Trading a GB Shuttle 9.0 for a TC RH450?

Discussion in 'Amps [BG]' started by fistuno09, Apr 10, 2014.


  1. fistuno09

    fistuno09

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2014
    Hey guys,

    I like to play a lot of funk rock, slap, a lot of RHCP style music with a lot of punch to it.

    I currently own a Genz Benz STL 9.0 for the past year. I like it and it's a good reliable lightweight amp, but I've never really been blown away by the tone. Don't get me wrong, it's a nice tone, but nothing special. Pretty bland.

    I've had a trade offer for an RH450. I'm not too bothered about the wattage difference, as the GB is supposedly 900(quiet)watts, and the TC 450(loud)watts. I'm more concerned about the tone.

    Is it possible to get my desired tone from this amp? I've heard it's geared more towards the 'classic rock' type of bass, with not much highs that are used for slap. Is this true? Would I be making a mad decision to trade?


    Many thanks for any advice given :)
  2. Bass_Pounder

    Bass_Pounder

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2002
    Location:
    Palm Coast, Florida
    The TC is only 236 watts.

    No way I would trade.
  3. KJung

    KJung Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2005
    Location:
    Wisconsin and Upper Michigan
    That wattage thing is a bit misleading IMO. Having A/B'd these heads, the max volume isn't that different. However, the RH is designed and voiced to emulate a sort of vintage, sealed 10" rig, so it is going to be a bit more mid present than the Shuttle 9, MUCH more relaxed in the upper mids, and not nearly as extended into the treble (Edit: to the OP, given your post, this would probably not work very well for you, primarily due to the organic, relaxed and attenuated top end).

    I wouldn't do it myself, but it wouldn't necessarily be due to the way they designed the power output and power management per se. However, that power management IS part of the way the designers get to that 'modern/vintage' sort of warm midrange response, with some of the same 'tube compression' feel you get as you push an all tube amp. That is, for sure, an acquired taste.

    IMO and IME.
  4. Jim Carr

    Jim Carr Dr. Jim Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2006
    Location:
    Denton, TX or Kailua, HI
    Push in the bass boost AND the mid boost. Set the mids up high and sweep the center frequency, to where you like it. Cut the highs a bit.
  5. bucephylus

    bucephylus Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2002
    My $0.019 comments about the Shuttle 9:

    This has been my main gigging head for the past 4 - 5 years. It replaced a Trace Elliott Hexavalve (actually 2 of them), and is significantly more potent than the T_E. FWTW.

    The most common thing players do that disappoints them with the Shuttle amps is fail to use the EQ properly. The MAX heads have a more complex EQ; but even the little Shuttle heads have a pretty potent EQ. However, it does NOT produce optimal bass tone set flat. If having all the knobs at noon is important to you, this is not the head for you. The big ticket with the Shuttle 9, IMO, is setting the mid frequency center and gain correctly. I tend to set my mid freq center point around 8 o'clock which looks like it is somewhere around 200 Hz-ish. and then boost the gain a couple of clicks at that point. Instant mojo. But, that setting looks kind of extreme to the eye; so, I suppose a lot of players never use it. I would also find the flat setting somewhat uninteresting.

    As to volume; I respect Ken's opinions and experience a lot. But, I also have to say that I have never once gotten to volumes with this head where it did not keep up with my gig. In fact, I rarely get the Master gain past 9 or 10 o'clock. Beyond that the thing is too loud for most stage mixes. That includes a bunch of pretty loud rock bands. I used the head for quite a while to drive a Berg NV-610; which sounded fabulous, and just went louder and louder and louder. Since I never have use for volumes as high as the amp will go, I can not comment on how other amps are "louder." If I played at volumes above what the 9 does, most cases I would get fired from the band.

    I will also say that my impression is that the output section is fairly reactive to the specific speaker it is driving and can seem to lose steam driving less efficient cabs. That's a whole nother discussion; but, that has been my experience.

    I do also have a ShuttleMAX 12, which I EQ to try to emulate what the 9 does. I use it when I stack a 4 ohm and 8 ohm cab for bigger gigs. Then, just for grins, I recently rebuilt my rack with a Demeter preamp driving a Carvin DCM2000L. But, actually, the ShuttleMAX keeps right up with the rack, so....

    I suppose if you play in stage mixes that require hearing protection, then you might want more. I don't.
  6. KJung

    KJung Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2005
    Location:
    Wisconsin and Upper Michigan
    +1 FYI, I didn't mean to imply the Shuttle 9 wasn't loud enough for anything, but rather that the famous '236 watts' issue on the RH450 is a bit of a red herring.

    +1 that there is a LOT of tone in that ratio of gain to volume, and a bit of low boost is almost required with the Shuttle amps.
  7. bucephylus

    bucephylus Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2002
    Agree. And, a lot of the prefs is what kind of bass you are playing, what kind of sound you are going for and what the mix is that you are driving. Those are all over the place on TB.
  8. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    just the fact that shuttle 9s are no more while you can get that TC head wherever makes me not inclined to do it.

    and sure, wattage is not everything, but it's not nothing either, and going to less than 1/3 of what you had (with no weight or money savings) just seems silly.

    maybe you need to just look into a different preamp and run it into the shuttle's fx return.
  9. B-string

    B-string Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2008
    Location:
    Lake Havasu City, Az USA
    While you're at it do you have a Corvette to trade straight across for my Saturn? :bag:
  10. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2000
    Location:
    Gaithersburg, Md
    Disclosures:
    Brubaker Guitars
    I've been gigging my Shuttle 9.0 for quite a while now. At first I used to the set the gains on the left around 10-11 o'clock and no matter where I put the Master I wasn't impressed with the overall output. This despite the fact that most of my basses have relatively hot outputs. Then I read the manual.
    :meh:

    I was surprised at myself for treating this like another amp. Rookie mistake :D

    Now I keep both gains on the left around 1 o'clock and it made a massive difference. I keep the EQ's flat and the voicing switches off because with the basses I use (mainly Brubakers, usually flat) and the cabs (Glasstone Lil G (2-12) and Slap G (210-12) I don't need any tonal assist. Just cutting it loose made all the difference in the world for me. There is nothing quiet about my amp.

    I've tried that model TC amp and it's big brother the 750. Would I make that trade? No way in ... :D. Should the OP? If you haven't tried cranking it, do that first.
  11. bucephylus

    bucephylus Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2002
    +1 Brad. That's key.

    Actually, the rookie never figured it out.:D
  12. SanDiegoHarry

    SanDiegoHarry Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2014
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    IF you aren't loving the shuttle 9.0, I would look at a non class D amp. Change it up.
  13. fistuno09

    fistuno09

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2014
    Thanks for all the great replies guys, it's helped me to make an informed decision on keeping the Shuttle... for now.

    I was listening to some youtube clips of the RH450 and it did sound pretty good for slap, but as everyone is saying, its a much warmer amp with less highs so I probably wouldn't get on all that well with it.
  14. lowfreq33

    lowfreq33

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2010
    Location:
    Nashville
    Disclosures:
    Endorsing Artist: Genz Benz Amplification
    A little boost around 250 goes a long way with the Shuttles. Those were designed to not necessarily have a baked in tone like a lot of amps. They're meant to be very flexible. And the gain range is pretty wide as well. I usually have the gain and volume around 11:00, and the master between 9:00 and 10:00. This is on the Shuttle 6.0 through a NeoX212.
  15. fistuno09

    fistuno09

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2014
    Is there any kind of 'popular settings' thread for the Shuttle?
  16. cheezewiz

    cheezewiz Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2002
    Location:
    Ohio
    I've owned both. I really like both. If you are a slap style RHCP tone type guy, you will be MUCH happier with the Shuttle.
  17. lomo

    lomo passionate hack Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2006
    Location:
    NE US/CAN line
    It's all matter of taste. My buds favor the Shuttle, by a wide margin, with the eq goosed to taste.
  18. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2000
    Location:
    Gaithersburg, Md
    Disclosures:
    Brubaker Guitars
    Like I said, I turn mine on and turn it up.
    :D

    Could the issue be elsewhere? My gigging basses are active and I can go overboard with punch, lows and high end with my 9.0 set flat. A big part of that was learning how to control my bass so that I didn't have to automatically turn things down to help me control what I was doing. I also use relatively neutral sounding cabs. I want hear my basses, not drastic coloration. Unless that's what I'm after in the moment.

    What are you using?: cab, bass, strings. etc? How experienced are you with live sound production? I'm not trying to put you on the spot, the fact is no one started out knowing the ins and outs of getting what you want.
    :)

    Either amp could be made to work in the right situation, for me it's about going the route that doesn't require reinventing the wheel on each gig.
  19. happyg

    happyg

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2011
    I like both heads and have owned both. I did actually trade my Shuttle for a TC. I wish I'd kept the Shuttle.
  20. LHbassist

    LHbassist

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2003
    Location:
    Reno, Nevada
    I've had my GB Shuttle 9.0, bought from a fellow TB'er, for a while now... In my experience, it's basic layout and easy to eq features were the appeal, along with the extreme power to weight ratio- which is what all hot rod enthusiasts strive for! It replaced a Pearce B2p- a wonderful, but seriously complex amp that cannot be adjusted on the fly in between songs with different basses. the Genz is a cinch to operate and adjust fast.
    The front end works quite differently than most other amps Ive owned. The two gain knobs take some getting used to. The master is only really effective, if you set the headroom and initial tone- with those two knobs. Passive Fenders I use, I set them at about 1-2 O'clock, and master where it needs to be for the gig.
    The bass control- and I LOVE to boost bass- I never have past 1 O'clock as this amp produces tons of it. I find myself pushing all the tone and boost buttons 'in,' and adjusting the eq knobs afterwards. Cabs do make a difference. The only amps I've heard that I like as much, or better, believe it or not- are the Carvin BX series- also Class 'D' amps. Those are killer little amps- less power, but a bit less money, and readily available, too. Gigged through a friend's BX500 recently, with a Schroeder 15 PL, and loved it. He loves Carvin, and their great customer service. He blew up a Shuttle 6.0, and now it's a paperweight. He just bought a BX 1500, can't wait to hear that head.
    The single TC 450 I tried sounded great, but it cannot compare to the GB.

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