Aquilar TH500,Genz Benz Shuttle 9,2 power modules

Discussion in 'Amps [BG]' started by jake bassist, Mar 17, 2014.


  1. jake bassist

    jake bassist

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    Europe / USA
    Have found information about power module in power section of my Aquilar TH500. I also do have Genz Benz Shuttle 9.2 and am not sure but I think I've read somewhere that Shuttle has the same power module. And that is either ICEpower500A series or ICEpower500ASP series. Engineered by Bang&Olufsen from Denmark...of course made in China like everything else.
    Went to ther web site and saw that they also make same power module rated at 1000w. So I am wondering how doable would it be to swap existing power sections in Aquilar/Genz Benz with those rated at 1000w ?
    Wondering also VERY much why that option was never offered by amp manufacturer. I did ask them, before I even knew about 1000w power module amp, do they plan on making higher rated amps and the answer was ...No.
    So ....yes ....multiple question :)
  2. KJung

    KJung Supporting Member

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    As far as I know, both those amps use one of the 2 x 250 ICE modules. There are heads like the Glock Blue Soul/Sky, the Puma900, the Markbass 1200, Ampex SVT7, etc. that use higher power modules made by various companies (I believe Markbass makes their own modules).

    If you have read any of the wonderful threads where engineers discuss the difficulties/complexities of building a class D/SMPS power section and integrating it into a bass amp, the idea of just swapping out an off the shelf module does not seem possible.

    I assume these companies chose that particular module (lots of SMPS/class D amps seem to use the ICE 250x2 and 125x2 bridged power modules based on cost, size (i.e., some of the higher powered ICE modules do not have the SMPS integrated, so much larger), weight and hitting the market 'sweet spot' of 500-600 watts or so into 4ohms.

    If you want a higher powered class D/SMPS amp, they are out there for sure. However, for many bassists who use a 112, a 210, a 212 or a single 410, that power module performs wonderfully and pushes most cabs to full mechanical performance.
  3. jake bassist

    jake bassist

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    Hi,
    I do use at the moment GK NEO 210 / 115. Aquilar does push enough air due to mid voice coloring. What I lack is the same decibel wise loudness and headroom from Shuttle. Also probably due to voicing....is more flat, and uncolored than TH500. But it is VERY noticable difference in loudness.
    What I saw on ICE site, it looks that tech specs for ICE 250 and 500 are identical . ICEpower1000A I do see some deviations in specs.
    So I was thinking that 2xICE500A, bridged would be feasible option....at least according to specs.
  4. KJung

    KJung Supporting Member

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    Make sure you aren't listening with your eyes. Knob position on the master means nothing. The Genz heads use a more audiotaper design for both the master and the initial gain (i.e., you have to crank the knobs more to open the amp up). Combine that with the complexity of the gain and secondary volume control on the Genz heads (LOTS of volume capability in that ratio), and it is hard to know when you are really pushing the Shuttle amps. Even the clip light doesn't indicate full volume (similar to the Aguilar). Neither of those clip lights are 'power amp clipping'. With the Genz, the light indicates that the power management/tube emulation is kicking in. With the Aguilar, the clip light indicates 'clipping somewhere between the input stage and the master volume, and again, doesn't indicate 'power amp clipping'.

    You will definitely have to crank the knobs more on the Genz to match the TH500 output (the gain design on the TH heads is unique... you will notice that there is still significant gain with the gain knob fully counterclockwise). (Edit: Also, the Genz has an unusually high hi pass setting. You need to (as you most likely know) add some bass, and in some cases, engaged the variable hi pass/low boost filter to match some other amps meaty low end (like the TH heads).

    I found the Shuttle 9 series and the TH500 to be pretty much identical regarding max volume, which speaks to the very conservative power rating of the Aguilar heads, and the somewhat hopeful power rating of the Genz heads.

    Either of those heads should be able to drive your GK stack to full mechanical performance (i.e., the speakers will exceed their mechanical capabilities before either amp goes into full limiting, IMO and IME).
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  6. jake bassist

    jake bassist

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    Well,
    there are D class power amps that can be used with both heads but that kinda defeats the purpose.....need for rack....again.
    In next couple of days I'll be seing one friend of mine, Marshall authorised service and halfway genius :)
    Maybe he can find a way to take stereo power sections from (Crown,Crest) and fit them somehow in those amps. Ha...

    I personally would be very happy to play on gain ,master barely opened, sounds best anyway, but the world around us is so damn loud
  7. Freddels

    Freddels Musical Anarchist Supporting Member

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    If you want the power of the 9.2 and the tone of the TH500, just use both and run the effects out from the TH500 into the return of the 9.2. That should work without causing any issues.

    Not sure what size venues you're playing but my TH500 is very loud and I'm not even pushing it.
  8. KJung

    KJung Supporting Member

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    Again, for the most part, the knob position is tonally meaningless. That being said, the tonality of these amps are quite different, and it is possible that neither are floating your boat.

    Unless you are playing with, for example, the 'clip light' always on with the Genz, adding more power (even if you could do it) would have minimal impact, and again, those cabs would go into power compression and mechanically reach their limit (remember, a cab's 'power rating' means pretty much nothing).

    So much goes into the voicing and customization of these power modules, that just cramming another one in there will most likely suck:p
  9. KJung

    KJung Supporting Member

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    Actually, he is indicating that the Shuttle cannot match the TH500 volume. Again, this is a function of pot taper design, hi passing and preamp voicing (and IMO, most likely a bit of user error regarding what is actually relatively 'flat' on the Genz (significant bass and low mid boost), and the rather complex gain/secondary volume design, combined with the audiotaper master, that doesn't really kick in until that master is well past noon).

    IMO and IME.
  10. jake bassist

    jake bassist

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    Oh yeah Genz is definitely in the Sci-Fy zone regarding rating.
    BUT sounds sooo good!
    Yes you are right , I know what you mean by "listening with eyes". Noticed that in the shop A/B them.
    The thing is.....if I want that clean,hi-fi sound from GB I need to keep gain at 9...9.30 max. Input and master volume in that case go all the way open......and still can't match Th500.
  11. jake bassist

    jake bassist

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    Oh no, they both float my boat a lot. Each in it's own way....TH500 great for Jazz bass style basses. Genz ....pretty much for everything else( if tube gain is not over 9 o'clock)

    Let see what will my guy say. Than we can do some .....first wiring to see how it sounds. And if it works see if we can cram it inside :).
    Never know......Frankestein is maybe gonna be CUTE ha ha
  12. KJung

    KJung Supporting Member

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    With the gain set that low with most instruments, +1, hard to get full volume performance from the amp. I do love the big, meaty, fat tone of the TH500, and it is the only head (other than the TH350 in my practice space) that I own. If you like that full, warm, fat tonality, hard to beat that head for sure!

    You might consider the GK MB800. Much bigger low end than the Genz, similar peak in the upper midrange (i.e., bright and modern) and it SLAMS hard. Very impressive performance. VERY different sounding than the TH500 though, but if you dig the Genz 'bright and modern' tone, the GK MB800 would give you a tonality in that tonal universe, and slam much, much harder (assuming you have the cabs that can handle it.

    Good luck!
  13. jake bassist

    jake bassist

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    Yeah i know, but that is where tube gain on GB stays clean. After 10 gets too distorted for my taste. Other than that GB is my favorite from those 3. Shuttle, TH500, Fusion. Later was , you're right LOUD, but was all over the place regarding frequencies, and that made him sound dirty to me. Not tube dirty, just dirty. Had to reduce and play a lot with freq buttons to be somewhat usable ffor me. Simply not my thing. Sonically is somewhere mid way between TH and GB, closer to GB. But didn't really like him.

    Have you heard and/or are you familiar, about changing the tube in Shuttle in order to raise distortion level of tube gain. That would raise the clean headroom on tube gain and enable higher signal to power section and will be louder. I'v heard someone mentioning this but I'm on the road now and won't see that guy.....maybe ever.
    Do you have some experience with tubes and their specs considering this topic(clean headroom) ?

    That would be a BIG help !!
  14. KJung

    KJung Supporting Member

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    I'm pretty much tube clueless. You might PM tber SVTB15. He has done some tube swapping with his Genz heads I believe.

    PS Have you tried the input pad and then turning up the gain?
  15. jake bassist

    jake bassist

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    Ooh by the way ...those are my babies. For 20 years now, not the same bass's but same brand.

    Attached Files:

  16. jake bassist

    jake bassist

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    and some more

    Attached Files:

  17. KJung

    KJung Supporting Member

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    Beautiful! Given you are in the EU, another head to consider if you want it clean and modern but not overly zingy, is the TecAmp Puma900. Beautiful sounding head.
  18. jake bassist

    jake bassist

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    Actually .....it didn't even ocur to me :)
  19. jake bassist

    jake bassist

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    Thanks K
    That is mine long time love affair.
    Jazz is recent addition. No brand name, made by my specs. Guy was probably hating me by the time he was done :)
  20. BassmanPaul

    BassmanPaul Gold Supporting Member

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    Jake, let's imagine that you could physically fit the 1KW modules into the amps chassis. What do you intend to do about modifying the particular amps power supplies?? To get more power out of the amp you have to take more power in. If the supply will not furnish that extra power it's just not going to happen.

    Even if you could get everything to work the increase in power would be basically inaudible.
  21. jake bassist

    jake bassist

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    No brand. Custom made

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