Genz Benz GBE 1200 or Fender 800 Pro?

Discussion in 'Amps [BG]' started by GrooveCreator, Jan 22, 2013.


  1. GrooveCreator

    GrooveCreator

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2008
    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    Disclosures:
    Mastering Engineer, Vibe Recording
    I am hoping to hear from anyone who has played through either of these amps. Our recording session start this week and I need an amp. Both are for sale on CL...the GBE 1200 = $650 and made in Taiwan while the Fender is $500 and made in USA. I play a Jazz bass clone with passive Seymour Duncan vintage Alnico style pick ups. Use a pick 90% in a three piece Americana/Rock band and also play a lot R&B and Reggae with finger style. Hoping to learn if the Tube channel in the GBE 1200 will give me a vintage vibe worth the extra rack space and 20 Lbs. I have read some threads about the Fender TB1200 being the $#!^ and slightly more desirable than the 800 Pro. However, one of those are not currently up for sale used in the Bay Area. Leaning towards the 800 Pro. However, don't want to count the Big Benz out. My concern on the GBE is that seems like they did not sell well. $1800 bass amps released during the Great Recession might have something to do with it. Is the GBE the overbuilt HiFi tank with a tube it claims to be or a repair risk due to off shore MFG :-/

    Thank in advance for any input or comments.

    ~ Michael :help: :confused:
     
  2. willsellout

    willsellout

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2002
    Location:
    Woodinville, WA
    The genz is built like a tank. You wont find an amp thats built better. The sound is modern but its plenty flexible. Tube warmth? Nope, not in my opinion. But it sounds great and its massively powerful. It hits harder than any amp I've ever played. Super punchy, super versatile, the ability to go to two ohms IIRC, and the Genz customer support people love. Its hard to beat, but it is big and it is heavy. I have no experience with the Fender.
     
  3. Jungy

    Jungy

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2011
    Location:
    Oz
    I owned the GBE 1200 for a couple of years. It is a great amp. I think the poor sales might have more to do with it being heavy and coming in at the time that light weight amps were taking hold of the high powered solid-state market.
    I thought they were made in USA, I'm almost sure mine was. Very reliable with a great and quiet fan. Never got very hot when loud. Only issue I had which is no biggy, is the volume pots can get dirty/scratchy. I've heard other people have this issue but no-one seems to be bothered by it, a little contact cleaner does the trick.
    In my opinion the tube channel won't give you a vintage tone. Maybe a slightly warmer or slightly compressed tone but still modern and transparent. You can also put a distortion pedal or anything for that matter, through the effects loop of one of the channels and then keep the other clean and blend them, which can be a good tool for some music styles, recording and live as well. Very versatile head.
     
  4. GrooveCreator

    GrooveCreator

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2008
    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    Disclosures:
    Mastering Engineer, Vibe Recording
    Thanks for the replies gentlemen. Very helpful info. Both the Hartke and Eden weigh in north of 80lbs each, so lugging the Benz is a moot point. Tomorrow I will take my bass and a cabs to go demo them. Both are 8 Ohms, and it looks like these heads put out around 750 at 4 Ohms. So I could run them both...YUM! :bassist:

    @ willsellout, I discovered Vovox cables and highly recommend them
    www.vovox.ch
     
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  6. maurilio

    maurilio Musician - Owner at Mo's Shop - Tech at Nordstrand Supporting Member

    Joined:
    May 25, 2003
    Location:
    Studio City+Redlands, CA
    Disclosures:
    Endorsing artist: Nordstrand - DR strings - Sadowsky - Genz Benz
    I use 'those' fender 800 pro every weeks at school, I HATE them! worse sounding amps I ever heard (well after carvin probably), sorry!

    Of course it is my own opinion, but I would go with genz benz any day

    ….and by the way, the 1200 is a monster :smug:

    M
     
  7. Session1969

    Session1969 Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2010
    That's crazy talk ! Lol !

    Seriously though, I actually like the sound of that line of Bassmans. Vintage vibe ? No problem, it's a Bassman. They sound nice, full, and allow the sound of the individual instrument to come through a warm sounding and pretty damn good preamp for being a solid state. I paid $380 for mine shipped. Deal of the century for me (this year anyway !).
     
  8. JimiLL

    JimiLL Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2009
    Location:
    Hunt. Co., New Jersey
    I have the GBE 1200. Definitely not built overseas. AFIK, thats only their new line of focus cabs.

    Its a tank, never skips a beat, built extremely well. You know as soon as you flip the big heavy duty power toggle and start turning a few knobs how well put together it really is.

    The tube channel, however, is not very vintage voiced at all. Think warm solid state with just a little push. It does do a rather remarkable OD however when the gain is pushed hard enough.

    Its a little light on the low end, but If you play a bass that naturally a little more vintage voiced or low end heavy (Pbass) you may like how it all works out in the end.
     
  9. dukeorock

    dukeorock Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2011
    Location:
    Nashville, TN
    Disclosures:
    Authorized greenboy designs builder
    I've had both...I would not say the 800Pro sucks at all, but I'd prefer the GBE1200 as well...
     

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