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Genz Benz Contour 500 a Good Option for me?

Discussion in 'Amps [BG]' started by BassDaddy77, Jan 19, 2014.


  1. BassDaddy77

    BassDaddy77

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2010
    Location:
    NE Ohio
    I've been considering picking up one of these Contour combos, but I have a couple questions. Much to my dismay I cannot find any demo videos or sound samples for these guys, and I'm hesitant to move forward with a purchase due to "the unknowns" - namely "what does it sound like?" For those of you who own one, or have played through one for a bit:

    - Is this amp capable of getting a halfway convincing tube-like tone ala Classic Ampeg B15/SVT, Fender Bassman, or Sunn?

    - Can it get the GB Streamliner warmth, or would you say it's more "modern" sounding?

    I just got rid of my Carvin BR615 combo and BR210 ext cab due to my taste in tone preference. I couln't get that warm vintagey tone from it no matter what I tried e.q.-wise. I don't want to make the same mistake with my next amp purchase.

    If these Contour combos aren't in my "tone wheelhouse," can anybody recommend something that gets the aforementioned tone I'm after? I'm not really bent on a combo. These GB amps seemed like a good deal, IF it fits the tone I'm after - otherwise it's just a waste of $350.

    I can't make good use of an SVT or Super Bassman, as I'm not a gigging bassist, but rather just a hobby "at home" player. 300 or even 100 tube watts wouldn't go over well with my neighbors. The only amp I have left is a Fender B-Dec and although it has a couple of OK sounding amp models, it leaves much to be desired tonewise. I really wish there were more options available in the low wattage all tube bass amp market, say 5-10 watts of sheer warm goodness. I'd welcome any helpful insight and opinions. Thanks ahead of time TB brothers and sisters.
     
  2. BassDaddy77

    BassDaddy77

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2010
    Location:
    NE Ohio
    Anybody have any insight on this? I don't know how long the supply of Contour combos will last, and was hoping to get some feedback :help:
     
  3. Low Class

    Low Class Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2005
    Location:
    Florida
    Go ahead and order one from Proaudiostar. $349 w/free shipping. You can always return it!
     
  4. nutdog

    nutdog Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2009
    Location:
    In the dog house.
    I have the 115 with ext. cab and a streamliner that I pair with a berg cn212. I've only used the contour rig for solo practice. IMO it has a nice warm sound with all knobs at noon except the contour. I've currently got it at about 9 oclock.

    The contour is supposed to be a shuttle 6.2 amp without the 3 preshape buttons, no tube and a less heavy duty amp chassis. It does have the genz tube emulation circuit. Whether this would satisfy your tube itch I don't know. The streamliner has more "character" and I still use it to gig.

    There are low wattage tube amp options like the 30 watt ashdown and the fender 100 watts has a half power switch. Ampeg makes a small all tube guitar head that's pretty cheap. Paired with a small bass cab might sound nice at low volume.
     
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  6. BassDaddy77

    BassDaddy77

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2010
    Location:
    NE Ohio
    Thanks for the reply nutdog. You mention the Streamliner as having more "character" and that's what has me concerned. I wonder if I would find the Contour too sterile sounding. If the Contour is essentially a Shuttle w/o the tube and added EQ section, would it even be as warm as the Shuttle itself? This video kinda deterred me from wanting a Shuttle a couple of years ago:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d-27szg61bw

    The Streamliner sounds so much warmer to me. If the Contour has less of that character than the Shuttle, I'll probably regret the purchase. I ditched my Carvin rig for that reason. I don't want history to repeat itself. But that price is soooooo tempting....
     
  7. jeff7bass

    jeff7bass

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2009
    It's a steal. I would do that. If you don't want to risk it, look at Ampeg combos because they're "vintagey" for days.
     
  8. hanales

    hanales

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2003
    Location:
    Youngstown, OH
    I just pulled the trigger on a 210. Should ship tomorrow. Stoked!
     
  9. fretwear

    fretwear Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2007
    Location:
    Eugene, OR
    Hey hey, my GB Contour 500 115 arrived yesterday, a total killer rig. This cab is very solid, great amount of tone selection, took all of 2 minutes to dial in that great GB sound, reminds me of my 9.2. Not as much power, but hey great tone.
    I'd put the snag to one before they are all gone.
    It will be interesting to see what these will sell for on the pre-loved market, GC and MF are still asking $800ish but will match prices. But some folks are paying full pop for these.
     
  10. jeff7bass

    jeff7bass

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2009
    You are wise Grasshopper. It is time for you to leave....

    :ninja:
     
  11. BassDaddy77

    BassDaddy77

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2010
    Location:
    NE Ohio
    I don't mean to sound like a fool, but are you guys able to dial up an Ampeg-like tone on these amps? I always find myself drawn to the "round sound" of the Ampegs. I'm not discrediting the GB tone, its just a preference of mine.
     
  12. kikstand454

    kikstand454 Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2012
    If you're that stuck on the ampeg sound......get an ampeg. Its the only way you'll be satisfied.

    Personally I have ordered my 115 contour and can't wait till it gets here.
     
  13. BassDaddy77

    BassDaddy77

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2010
    Location:
    NE Ohio
    I still might give one of these Contours a go. I just feel like I'm trying to talk myself into it. I don't dispute the quality or variety of available tones that are able to be had. At the same time, I need to be realistic about what it is and isn't. The price is right for sure. I suppose a VT bass pedal into the amp might give me what I'm looking for tonewise, if need be.
     
  14. kikstand454

    kikstand454 Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2012
    I hear ya man. I wasn't sure either....but at that price, I'm rolling the dice on the combo meeting my volume needs. We will see.
     
  15. fretwear

    fretwear Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2007
    Location:
    Eugene, OR
    What will they sell for when all the smoke clears, when that warehouse is empty and GB is no more? Whats the gently used value for the Contour 500 series look like? some folks spent the $7-800 while others got the killer deal at $3-400....?
    Had to ask :)
     

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