Ampeg SVTIII Pro vs. Genz-Benz Shuttle 6/9
Hello, dear colleagues.
Some background: I play mostly aggro/punk type-stuff in a very loud band (The guitarist plays through a MESA Boogie half-stack and our drummer is a pretty heavy hitter. We are a 3-piece and the bass is responsible for carrying quite a bit more of the melody line than is typical for this kind of music.
I have been playing my EBMM Big Al in the middle, active (sometimes called "the P-bass position") setting through the aforementioned Ampeg SVTIII pro going into an Ampeg SVT 410HLF cabinet for about 5 years.
I am looking for a way to generate a pretty significant volume level and yet maintain clarity and I have been contemplating picking up a Genz-Benz Shuttle amp, either the 6.2 or the 9.2, having seen many videos extolling their virtues, and also noting that they are VERY modestly priced these days.
If I had to characterize the sound I'm after, I'd say it would be the slightly clanky sound of the bass in bands like Nomeansno or early Big Black.
So, given the details above, and knowing that I will have to keep the cabinet for a while, what would you do?
You might be able to cop the tone you're looking for with 9.2 but I've had much better luck getting the Rob Wright/Jesus Lizard tone with a Streamliner 900. The Shuttles have a single tube that can be overdriven but overall they have a more modern tone. The Streamliner has that tubey goodness and using what some have termed the "SVT" settings it's definitely grindy.
When I think about it in depth, I'm actually more concerned with the clarity and I guess the term is "headroom" than I am with the overdriven possibilities. If necessary I can buy one of those Rusty Box pedals
I will admit that after decades of playing bass I still don't understand the speaker/ohms thing. If I buy a Shuttle 6.2 which outputs 600 W @ 4 ohms, will I destroy my Ampeg 410HLF rated at 500 W RMS at 4 ohms? My problem is I can afford to get a new amp or a new cabinet but not both at the same time.
You won't blow your speakers unless you turn everything up to the max. That being said you can damage speakers with a power amp rated less than you speaker cab by excessive boosts of frequencies, plugging in your bass without mute being on and volume setting high etc. There are many other issues that could cause you to damage your speakers, I'll let others chime in on them but these 2 are my immediate go to issues.
Let your ears be your guide. If you hear your cab starting to fart, clean up your eq settings or slightly reduce your volume.
Keep in mind though the Shuttle & Streamliner's only go to 4 ohm load. If you want to add another cab you need to go with 2 - 8 ohm cabs or one 810 4 ohm cab.
I use a Shuttlemax 12.0 so I can go with 2 4 ohm cabs.
Thank you for the info. I don't know why it is that I can't keep these simple rules about wattage and impedance straight but there it is. Given that the band I am in typically plays hole-in-the-wall type places I doubt I will ever need more than one cab. If my band situation ever becomes more serious than its current "Weekend warrior" level then I will gleefully invest in a major upgrade. But right now I'm just looking for a brighter, cleaner sound, not to mention a more portable bass head.
GK1001RB II . Lots of slam and nice gank.
I don't know exactly what you're looking for, but IMHO that's a great setup now. Plenty loud, and very crisp & clean. Maybe the fact you have used it for so long shows you've liked it. And so far, it's been very dependable for me.
Been there, done that
I used a SVT III pro for a while and changed it out for an older Genz GBE 600. I was surprised that the Genz just smoked this Ampeg in terms of clarity, slam and controlling the big old 15 inch Peavey I was using at the time. Also it showed up the Ampeg in terms of being able to supply more clean volume despite the power ratings being similar.
I've since gone GBE 750 to GBE 1200 to ShuttleMax 6.0. I won't tell you that the ShuttleMax is the equal of the GBE 1200, that's a special head with V8 power to spare.
However, the Shuttle Max has volume output roughly equivalent to the GBE 750 and it will definitely do that dry and tight tone thru your 410. If I recall correctly that Ampeg 410 has plenty of bottom. I think the Shuttle Max will have much superior clarity and articulation to cut through the mix. The EQ options are endless. And if you want to dirty it up, switch in the tube channel, voila you've got some grind with your grunt.
As you can probably tell I like my ShuttleMax a lot. It does all the things that I want a bass head to do plus it has a nice DI.
As long as you don't dime all of the controls, the 410 should be a safe choice for the ShuttleMax 6.0.
I believe my old Peavey 8 ohm 410 is rated for 300 watts & I'm putting 375 watts into with my Shuttlemax 12.0. It more than keeps up with a couple of loud guitars and drums. I had the cab before I got the 12.0 or I would have gone 4 ohm cab to start with. I blend my FET & Tube channels together to utilize the eq settings on both channels. The cab I really want is the GB Uber 410 @ 4 ohms. There's one in a music store in town but his price is totally unrealistic.
I think I am limited by my budget to the plain old Shuttle (no Max) but I'm hoping the 6.2 will be enough of an improvement over the SVT 3 Pro to make the hassle of buying and selling worth my while.
Turns out I was wrong! Got a good deal on a ShuttleMax 6.0 right here on good ol' TB and it's on its way!
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