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Amplification decision – would like some ideas

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by bassman08, Nov 8, 2005.

  1. bassman08


    Jan 26, 2005
    Are there any manufacturers that make a model of bass head with the following features:

    Hybrid - Tube pre and ss power
    2 channels that are blendable and footswitchable
    At least 450W per side at 4 ohms or more in output - conservatively rated. Obviously a lot more in mono bridged mode if it has that capability
    Minimum impedence of 2 ohm
    Good eq for both channels independently, but I would almost settle for simple treble, mid, bass all together at this point
    Passive and Active inputs or a pad to switch
    preamp out or slave out to send to external power amp
    No more than 26 lbs in weight, but hopefully lighter
    XLR output for recording
    Tuner out
    Toroid / toroidal transformer design/technology
    Bi-ampble would be nice, but not necessary

    Models that I’m currently considering include: Genz Benz GBE 600, several Eden heads, Fender 1200 pro/Sunn 1200s. Mesa? – Weight issue.

    I’m really leaning toward the Genz Benz GBE 600 or the new Eden WT1205 or a WT 800, 600, or 550.

    Any info on the Genz vs. the Eden heads would be appreciated: headroom, bi-amped vs. straight mode, thoughts on tone, etc. I have noticed that I don’t particularly care for Edens when they are not in bi-amped mode, but maybe I’m doing something wrong – I would be curious as to others thoughts on this. I’m wondering if that also means I wouldn’t like the tone when ran mono-bridged (I haven’t tried that with the Eden yet). If I understand it correctly, the Eden has either one or two tube pres (model dependent) and two power amp sections (stereo), while the Genz has two preamp sections (tube and fet) and one power amp section and I’m wondering what effect the design of each has on tone.

    Models I’ve pretty much rule out, but am still on the fence on:
    Mesa M2000 Basis
    Epifani (not tube) – please correct me if I’m wrong
    Walter Woods (not tube) – please correct me if I’m wrong. Also, no local dealer, never heard in person, would love info though.
    Thunderfunk (not tube) - no local dealer, never heard in person, would love info though.
    Aguilar DB 750 (weight) and AG 500 (not tube)
    Gallien Krueger (not tube)
    Ampeg (just not what I’m looking for)
    Fender Pro 800

    I would also entertain ideas on a good pre-amp/power-amp set up., but I really wanted an all-in-one for medium size gigs where I wouldn't need the external power amp all the time, but the capability was there if I wanted to add it for a larger or outdoor show.

    Thanks in advance for your input.
  2. illidian


    Jul 2, 2004
    I've got a GBE600, and although haven't given it a good workout yet, it's a stellar amp.

    It meets your following requirements (although I'm sure you knew this):
    That's 11/13 of the features you want (10/13 if you hold those extra 25 watts against it).

    The GBE600 is a great amp. But I would recommend trying one (or even a GBE400) before you buy one.

    There is a distinct type of character, which really changes as you EQ the amp. With a little EQ I got very different tones. Decreasing the highs and high mids down to 11 o' clock, and increasing the low mids to 1 o' clock changed the tone a lot. I felt the sound was a little too treble-happy (stainless steel strings contribute) left flat, and the small EQ adjustments allowed it to allow "my tone" through. I found similiar results with more EQ'ing. Very easy to manage and predict, but how quickly it goes from one sound to the next amazes me.

    The voicing filters are great. The H.F. Attack I have nearly max'ed out (coming from a GK amp, give me a break). It adds the snap that I wanted to come out, especially when slapping. Very nicely voiced, I got no "treble" or fret-noise added, only that very high-end snap. The Mid Scoop feature was one I didn't expect to use. I really don't like scooping my mids at all, but I found this one very musical. For slapping, I found even a little bit helped and didn't take away from the overrall sound. The L.F. Extend feature I haven't really used, but see it being useful in rooms that need more low end.

    The dual pre-amps is great. I bought mine used (with a new tube, which made the sound "better," which may affect what follows) and the tube side is great. It has some tube goodness to it and more mids than the FET channel. More overtones, and a good overrall warmth added. Sounds like how people describe a JJ (I don't know what kind of tube is in there), if that helps. The FET channel has more highs and high-mids and more snap. I thought I would get more use out of this, but I love the tube channel. I use the two in about a 5:3 ratio (tube:FET) and am happy with the way it sounds.

    I really don't post here anymore, but felt obligated to help you out with your decision since I have first-hand experience. I should note, however, that I have had the amp less than a week and have no band or gigging experience with it until Saturday (if I remember, I'll let you know).

    Good luck with your decision, it'll be a tough one!
  3. bassman08


    Jan 26, 2005
    much appreciated. This is exactly the type of help I was looking for.

    Anyone else out there with information?
  4. illidian


    Jul 2, 2004
    A lot of folks over at the HCBF (Harmony-Central Bass Forum) have GBE600 amps.

    Several forumites here either own one or have in the past. I know Paurija (spelling?) sold his at one point, and I've seen some others pop up as well.