Best high powered class D heads

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by bassundergrace, Dec 28, 2012.

  1. What are the best high powered class d bass heads?
    500 @ 8ohms, and either 900 or 1000 @ 4ohms

    Here are a few I have been researching.
    any owners out there? known problems with these?
    If you know of any others please list.

    De-Monique - jule amps / demeter

    Tec Amp Puma 900 - tec amp

    Streamliner 900 - Genz Benz
    Shuttle 9.0 - Genz Benz
    Shuttle Max 9.2 - Genz Benz

    MB800 - GK
  2. guy n. cognito

    guy n. cognito Secret Agent Member Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 28, 2005
    Nashville, TN
    Can't go wrong with the Genz. Very reliable, reasonable price, and great customer service.
  3. CL400Peavey

    CL400Peavey Supporting Member

    Nov 7, 2011
    Grand Rapids Michigan
    Mesa M9

    Carvin BX1500

    Carvin B2000

    ART IPR - ART Pro Channel II + Peavey IPR 1600 (I run this rig)
  4. Depending on your tone goals, the most impressive heads to me with significant 8ohm power:

    Genz Benz Shuttle Max 9.2..... not a micro, but 'bagable' and very lightweight (under 10 pounds). Massively powerful EQ, nice controlled low end, variable hi pass/bass boost control, SS and Tube preamps, great reliability and service.

    TecAmp Puma900.... clean, pure, punchy. Great, simple EQ, tiny size and weight, slams. Service a little tougher if you live in the US, but the dealers are very good and will take care of you. Highly recommended if you want 'warm but very clean'.

    GK MB800.... very aggressive, big, bright, tone. Huge down low, grindy/aggressive in the upper mids, super sizzly up top. Reliability is a bit of an open question with this brand, as is service and support, but impressive output if you are looking for that 'more of everything' goosed GK type tone. Small, light powerful, and cheap!

    Markbass SD1200... freakin' hammer. Not a micro but very lightweight. Nice EQ... not particularly 'warm'.... a bit of a rise in the upper mids and a VERY big low end that can be an issue with some cabs. Nice though.... I prefer the Genz Max 9.2 myself, but pure, open, wide low end, the SD1200 will bury it.

    Glockenklang Blue Soul.... a bit lower rated wattage output than the heads above, and very expensive, but man, it is a hammer. Unique combination of warm, punchy low end and super clean, hi fi top end extending into the upper ranges of treble. Larger than the other heads, but still only 11 pounds, and massive clean power that seems much higher than the spec.

    Genz Streamliner900..... very tubey, old school tone stack... super fat, warm, with a very nice 'tube-like' sweet top end. More fat and warm than punchy, but very nice for those looking for a bit more old school but still clean tone.
  5. dincz


    Sep 25, 2010
    Czech Republic
    It depends what you mean by best. What are your criteria - sound, reliability, power, size, weight, price?
  6. jnewmark

    jnewmark Just wanna play the groove. Supporting Member

    Aug 31, 2006
    Stax 1966
    Play guitar.
    +1 On the Carvin BX1500. I have tried just about all the Genz heads, except the Streamliner, and alot of the MarkBass heads, inccluding the SD1200. For one reason or another, they did'nt really get it for me, although many here love them. The Bx1500 has more eq options than you will ever need, including a switchable graphic eq, which I use exclusively, a crossover for bi amping, bridged will give you 900 watts at 8 ohms, a one knob compressor that I use all the time, and a price that won't sink your bank account. Best bang for the buck bass head I've ever used.
  7. Virgil

    Virgil She's My Inspiration Supporting Member

    Nov 30, 2005
    Dresher, Pa.
    Epifani 902 C. 1800 watts. Warm, clean, punchy, and very reliable.
  8. babebambi


    Jan 7, 2008
    Well, if you are putting them up against the De-Monique ...
  9. Stephent28

    Stephent28 Supporting Member

    Feb 1, 2005
    C470, CO
    I have used most of the amps on your list and I currently own/use the PUMA 900 for my main amp and the GB Streamliner 900 as my backup.

    100% happy and no more GAS for a power amp.
  10. nostatic

    nostatic Supporting Member

    Jun 18, 2004
    los angeles, CA
    Endorsing Artist: FEA Labs
    Have owned and gigged most of those (or ones that are close):

    GB Streamliner 900
    GB Shuttle 9.0
    TC RH450
    Markbass LMTube
    Aguilar TH500
    GK MB Fusion
    Tecamp Puma 500/900

    I also briefly had a Glock BlueSoul. I presently have a Monique and am waiting on the Minnie.

    I had some minor issues with the TC head, no issues with the others. Ken described the general tone profiles pretty accurately. Really just depends on what you're looking for.

    I can say that I sold everything except the Monique and Pumas. And if you're into the feel and sound of a tube amp, Monique destroys anything else on the list mho - including the Streamliner. Monique really is that good.
    MDBass likes this.
  11. wilfredes


    Oct 11, 2012
    It depends what you mean by best.
  12. sratas


    Dec 15, 2007
    Parma, Italy
    Hi Kjung, Im on the point of considering a 3rd amp in my tonal arsenal (the other two, well, see my signature) and I was considering two candidates for clean, pure, hi-fi tone. The two are the Glock Blue soul and the Genz Max or the new Shuttle 6.2, high power does not matter for my needs. Lately, I find that 300 watts is always a wallop for my current semi-acoustic ensemble. I will pair it with my G&L JB primarily (wich is a wonderful classic sounding passive jazz bass) and one or two AE210.
    Could you gently spend some other words for describing, in your perceptions, what are the differencies between those two? I will test them in the shop personally, but I'm not so aknowledged as you, man, and I tend to trust your real world experience better than a useless test in a busy store at late night Italy there are no shops with a return policy. When you buy, you buy.
  13. All nice stuff. You have a Streamliner and a Thunderfunk. So, you have the fat, big, bloomy tube-like thing covered, and the nice warm, mid present thing covered nicely.

    The Genz 6.2 (REALLY nice upgrade of the original 6... fatter and more even), Max 9.2 and Glock Blue Soul would all be significantly different feeling and sounding heads. All of these (including the two heads you have) sound magnificent to me with the AE210's, which as you know are nice and punchy with plenty of upper mid articulation, and they can handle some low end power.

    The Genz choice, as is obvious, has to do with EQ power mostly (since power isn't an issue). Both will sound much brighter in the upper mids than either head you have, and also punchier down low due to a more controlled, hi passed low end. I think the Max 9.2 is amazing in that it has the dual FET/tube preamps that are both fully featured with dual semi-parametric mids (versus a single semi-parametric mid control on the 6.2). Also, the variable voicing filters on the Max are more usable than the 'all or nothing' voicing buttons on the 6.2. So, if the size doesn't bother you, and you have the cash, the Max 9.2 would be kind of a no brainer for me compared to those two. However, if you are looking for a 'micro' form factor, the 6.2 would be different enough from your other two heads to be 'interesting' for you...... brighter, tighter, more midrange complexity. I would think you could EQ the Max 9.2 to sound quite similar to your Thunderfunk IMO.

    The Glock Blue Soul is another very different voice. Where the Genz Shuttles are tighter and brighter than either of the heads you currently own, the Blue Soul will be MUCH deeper in the low end, relaxed in the upper midrange, and extend into the most hi fi regions of treble response. It is so clean up top as to give this head (and brand) a bit of 'love hate' on TB. For some, it is the closest thing they have heard to playing through a top notch mixing board. To others, the top end is clinical. That being said, the low end is warm and fat and just beautiful sounding. I again describe the Blue Soul as the perfect head if you dig, for example, Mark King's tone.... fat and big and full down low, and super clean up top. I really like it, but like the Streamliner, it kind of 'is what it is', which can work very well for some and not others.

    The AE210 again sounds great with both these options (lumping the Genz heads together). The Max 9.2 is a bit bright out of the box, but a cut in the upper mid control combined with a bit of bass boost really gives you a 'modern,punchy, articulate' tone through the AE210 stack (in my case, I gigged the Max 9.2 with both a fEARful 15/6 and an AE410 and it sounded very good with both). It again will allow you a more aggressive top end (and some grind if you push the tube preamp) than the Thunderfunk, and a bit more treble extension.

    The Blue Soul would be BIG sounding down low and very hi fi up top, even with the punchy, grunty AE210's. Nice yin and yang.

    The safe bet... the Max 9.2, since that EQ power will let you sculpt it to pretty much sound like you want it to sound. The Blue Soul.... the low end wump and super articulate top end is unique and no other head I've played sounds anything like it (other than the discontinued original Puma500). Adding your passive J into the mix, the Blue Soul will move that tone away from any sort of 'vintage' vibe versus the Genz heads, which will add that nice bright upper midrange complexity which is key to many for a traditional J tone in a live setting.

    Power is not an issue, per your post, but the Blue Soul is, IMO the most powerful sounding lighweight amp on the market that I've experienced, defined as a completely uncompressed, deep low end at massive volume. Other micro's will match its general 'volume' (like the GK MB800 and the Puma900), but not the deep, totally open low end combined with totally distortion free midrange as screaming volume.

    Whew... lots of words, but there you go:D
  14. georgestrings

    georgestrings Banned

    Nov 5, 2005
    Agreed - for copping the tube thing, the Streamliner is slammin' - for sheer versatility, the ShuttleMax 9.2 is the best there is, IMO... and as always, best customer service in the biz... I love my Mesa gear, but will probably always have some Genz-Benz stuff, too...

    - georgestrings
  15. As far as I know, that head is no longer on the market. I would assume the newer 502 (which is class A/B I think but still SMPS, so small and lightweight) would be a contender for some tone goals. Never really liked the front end on the Epi amps much myself... deep, powerful, but lacking (IMO) in midrange detail and low end control.
  16. sratas


    Dec 15, 2007
    Parma, Italy
    thanks Mr. Kjung, from your description it seems that a good option could be a Genz head...the features of the Glock seem far away from my tastes, especially the uber top end, I'm not accustomed to this type of voicing and maybe I would fall in the group of people that judges it somewhat "clinical"...
  17. nostatic

    nostatic Supporting Member

    Jun 18, 2004
    los angeles, CA
    Endorsing Artist: FEA Labs
    If you run it through a Baer cab, it will probably de-clinicize it since there is no tweeter. Actually I'm curious to hear the Blue Soul through the ML112.
  18. I can personally recommend the Gallien Krueger MB Fusion 500. You can get everything from old school thump with a bit of grind, to warm and totally clean, to bright and crunchy, or if heavy tube distortion is your thing, it's all there. It's a very versatile, powerful, compact amp (it weighs in at just a tad over 4 lbs.). Another plus is it's got two foot switchable channels. And it's not going to break your bank account to get it.

    The only other amp that I can compare this to, is my Mesa Boogie Walkabout. And I like them both equally—they both sound incredible. However, I would say that the GK has an edge in the vesatility department.
  19. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    SVT 7 Pro. Thank you ;)
  20. georgestrings

    georgestrings Banned

    Nov 5, 2005

    He wanted the best, not the least reliable:D:D:D

    - georgestrings