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Ampegfuzz's micro amp shootout

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by ampegfuzz, Apr 3, 2013.

  1. ampegfuzz


    Feb 13, 2007
    Davenport, IA
    This is just a amp shootout i did for myself and the "test" results.
    I just thought i would share how it went and my personal thoughts.

    So here are the results from the shoot out.
    Ill give you the numbers first then my notes and thoughts.
    The test was done on a 1-5 scale, 5 being best.
    A number of zero was given if the amp failed to get a grindy/distorted type tone. (A feature I was looking for highly)
    Eight basses were used for this shootout and the cab i used was my BNA Bassic 115.

    The basses used:
    (Buy the way its kind of a bass shootout too :) By taking the number of how much I liked the bass thru the amp, I then added them up for the basses total number )

    70’s aria Ripper clone--22
    ’79 white Ric--24
    White Parts P bass--27
    ’74 Fender P bass--30
    Parts Jazz Bass--27
    Early 90’s Musicman Stingray--20
    ’78 Brown Ric--36
    Black Parts P/J bass--25

    In order from best sounding to worst sounding
    Best clean amp:
    Genz Benz Shuttlemax 9.2--33
    Gallien Kruger MB500--30
    Genz Benz Shuttle 9.0--30
    Gallien Kruger 800rb--29
    Orange TB500--23

    Best Dirty/Grind Amp

    This test took ruffly 4+ hours to do.
    I didn’t do a terrible amount of knob turning.
    I started by setting the volume/gain and EQ at noon then running the basses thru it.
    I then found a setting I really liked (using either the ’74 or’ 78 bass) and played all the basses thru that amp again.
    I then tried to make the amp distort (As best as possible) and played all the basses thru it a third time.

    Now the notes I made during the test in no particular order.

    --The TB bass does sound like a tube-ish amp when its breaking up at the full gain setting.
    --The TB almost sounds the same no matter what bass is plugged in, clean and dirty settings. Its tone colors your sound quite a bit and clean it almost sounds like a blanket is over your cab/tone.
    --mb500 sounded as loud as the 9.0 with all controls at noon.
    --9.2 wins for volume and tone over the 9.0
    --i prefered the FET channel on the 9.2 over the tube channel.

    These are the over all winners
    (total scores)

    So all said and done my favorite bass is my ’78 Walnut Rickenbacker and the Winner of the Shootout was the GK MB500.
    The next day I played with the top amps again and the results didn’t change in my ear much.
    I really liked the GK’s over all.
    The GK’s (after a very short test) took distortion pedals the best. Over all i had high hopes for the 9.2 winning the day, but the top 2 slots are held by GK.

    Thanks for reading. :D:bassist:
  2. ampegfuzz


    Feb 13, 2007
    Davenport, IA
    Almost forgot a couple pics from the office


  3. change-jug


    Oct 11, 2008
    Thanks for sharing your review!
    Nice collection of gear and a really nice office space!
  4. ampegfuzz


    Feb 13, 2007
    Davenport, IA
    Thanks! Most of the basses were mine, some on loan. The 9.2, mb500 ,and TB were all loaners from friends.
  5. beans-on-toast

    beans-on-toast Supporting Member

    Aug 7, 2008
    That's some candy store!

    Did you play all the amps into the same cabinet? Do you think that the different strings on the basses made a difference?
  6. ampegfuzz


    Feb 13, 2007
    Davenport, IA
    Yes, all into a greenboy design Bassic 115 built by BNA audio. The amps tested would be primarily used with the 115 so none of my other cabs were used. All the basses are strung with the strings I like the most on that particular bass. To note, the '74 and jazz both had flats. Roto's on the '74 and WELL seasoned chromes on the jazz. Most of the strings are pretty fresh except the flats. Strings would/do play a big part, but they are all set up and strung the way i like them the best.
  7. madurolover


    May 21, 2011
    Tampa Fl
    I would think the cab makes more of a tone difference
  8. ampegfuzz


    Feb 13, 2007
    Davenport, IA
    General FYI, the cab is loaded with a 8ohm Eminence 3015 non lf.
  9. dukeorock

    dukeorock Owner BNA Audio Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 8, 2011
    Nashville, TN
    Authorized greenboy designs builder/Owner of BNA Audio
    It also appears to be a sort of reddish color, correct? :ninja:

    Seriously, awesome review! I was most curious about the MB500...now I kinda want an MB800 :)
  10. ampegfuzz


    Feb 13, 2007
    Davenport, IA
    Did I mention BNA audio enough? Your ears must of been on fire ;)
  11. agedhorse

    agedhorse Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 12, 2006
    Davis, CA (USA)
    Development Engineer-Mesa, Product Support-Genz Benz
    Might I suggest that you consider amps that are designed and tailored more for an overdriven tone (such as the Streamliner and some of the Ampeg models) if an overdriven, distorted tone is what you are after?
  12. dukeorock

    dukeorock Owner BNA Audio Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 8, 2011
    Nashville, TN
    Authorized greenboy designs builder/Owner of BNA Audio
    That was very kind of you...thanks :)
  13. dukeorock

    dukeorock Owner BNA Audio Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 8, 2011
    Nashville, TN
    Authorized greenboy designs builder/Owner of BNA Audio
    I've used pretty much just Genz ShuttleMax amps for a couple years now...they do clean very well, have truckloads of cool options and I happen to think they're a good pedal platform amp...awesome stuff!
  14. ampegfuzz


    Feb 13, 2007
    Davenport, IA
    Yeah this test was pretty much what was available to me thru my network of friends in town. I played a streamliner once and it was neat. I bet it would of ranked as high or higher then the terror bass at the least. As for newer ampeg stuff (read pf and pro series), the size and weight vs the features are ok. I am plenty covered for ampeg products though. '76 v4b, '74 SVT, '73 810 flat back, and two slm 810's. ;)
  15. ampegfuzz


    Feb 13, 2007
    Davenport, IA
    Well I ended up trading my genz 9.0 for a streamliner 900. Well the grit part of the gain in the streamliner is their but not very musical. It sounds very artificial to me. The clean tone of the 900 is decent. It has that "tube amp warmth" (kinda compressed feeling like a tube amp) but the EQ seems lacking to my ears. Which may be why it sounds kind of tubby and round. I broke down and got a Gallien Krueger mb800 so ill Pepsi challenge the two when it comes. But something tells me that for as much as I liked the mb500 ill prolly prefer the mb800 over the streamliner.

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