1/2 Stacks VS Full Stacks – The Difference

Hello there!

In this post I am going to be shedding some light on certain “Amp Questions” I have been asked more times that I can remember. Specifically about 1/2 Stacks and Full Stacks. So let’s get started.

What is the difference between a 1/2 Stacks and a Full Stack?

When I’m asked this, I think to myself, “Are you asking about the difference in how they physically look? Difference in loudness? Power? etc…” So let’s break this down to make it very simple so everybody will understand.

Physical Look (Appearance):

           -Marshall Half Stack-
                       -Marshall Full Stack-

Obviously a Full Stack is going to be larger than a 1/2 Stack, well, because one is a Half and one is a Full.

The Reason Why:

They both consist of an Amplifier Head Unit (A Control Head) that has a separate Speaker Cabinet (usually has 4 speakers inside of it) that’s hooked up to it. A Full Stack has the same thing, except instead of having One Speaker cabinet hooked up to it, the Full Stack has Two or more (which also have 4 speakers in them).

The Sound:

Now that you know that, which one do your think is going to be louder? The one with 4 speakers or the one with 8+? Pretty obvious that its going to be the Full Stack.

Things To Think About Before Getting One:

Now, I absolutely love both 1/2 and Full Stacks, don’t get me wrong, they ROCK! BUT, there are some other things you should know about them.

  • A Full Stack has more speakers hooked up to it, meaning there’s more stuff to haul around whenever you have to move it from place to place. That can become a real drag if you just happen to be touring or jumping from gig to gig, or just going to a buddy’s house to jam. Think about the amount of time it takes with all the loading and unloading of equipment that is going to be needed. It won’t be a super long time each time, but that time adds of quick.
  • Let’s not forget the cost of them. Now, a Full Stack is almost ALWAYS more expensive than a 1/2 Stack. So, before you go and spend your hard earned money on an awesome Stack, do a lot of thinking on it and quite a bit of research before committing to purchasing one.
  • Both the Full and 1/2 Stacks can get Extremely load. They are made to play in big venues and huge areas. If that’s what you’re doing, that’s really awesome. But, if your only going to play it at home and/or inside, it would be a little risky. The Reasons: If you were at home, let’s say in your bedroom, and you cranked the volume super high, there’s a very good chance it would blow your eardrums out and we wouldn’t want that happening would we? Another would be, If you play super loud music in a confined area, your tone would be way off and it would drown out all the other instrument around you (if there were other people jamming with you).


So, that’s all I have to say right now the subject of 1/2 Stacks and Full Stacks. Like I mentioned in this post, I absolutely love Stacks, they are incredible at how powerful they can be and sound. They’re just made more for playing big shows and being outside. If you decide to get one, that is absolutely awesome, I’ll be jealous, just protect those eardrums. 🙂  Let me know what you think or have any opinions on the matter in the comment section below.


Thanks for reading,

Rock On!

Jerrick (J-Rock) S.

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