ELF system vs. Genzler Magellan 350 combo

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by stopple, Aug 15, 2018.

  1. stopple


    Aug 14, 2018
    Has anyone had the chance to compare these two?

    I imagine people will say the Genzler is "better" in a lot of ways, but is there a major discernible difference? Can you get a nice pure tone from the Elf with either the 2x8 or 1x10 (or both)? Does having the Genzler array cab make THAT much of a difference?

    By the same token, have people tried the 350 with an Elf cab?

    The Elf seems to also have a great DI option, as does the Genzler.

    Back info: I mostly play/record at home, but sometimes play in a high school auditorium with students (I'm a science teacher). My main bass is a Gretsch hollow body which I play clean, and primarily fingerstyle. I use a pick rarely, and slap even more rarely.

    I have a Mark Bass 102P combo, but live in a small space. So I need something smaller, and am going to sell/trade the MB. Came "this close" to getting the Elf, but online searching also brought up the Genzler, and am very intrigued by the array and the EQ mids on the Genzler. I also use an upright occasionally at school, and I hear the sound for that is great on both these systems.
  2. acid bass

    acid bass Supporting Member

    Apr 2, 2010
    I'm sorry I can't compare the two for you. I can only give you my impression of the Elf.

    I bought the Elf as a backup head in case something ever happens to my main amp during a show. It's perfect for that. I would never use it as my main amp unless all I was doing was playing in my bedroom or some quiet small setting like that. The gain stage reaches clipping volume very quickly, no difference with passive or active basses. I play fingerstyle as well (although I do have a heavy attack). But even when practicing quietly I get constant flashing from the clip light. The compression is noticeable and despite the fact that I'm not a tone snob, I find it distracting. I wouldn't want to have to listen to that for an entire gig.
    stopple likes this.
  3. Wicked G

    Wicked G

    Jan 19, 2017
    Hell Paso Texas
    IMHO the Genzler amp is the better amp. While the Elf is not bad at all, I tried one and thought it was kind of cool, the Genzler is of a higher quality.

    The cons on the Elf are the limiting/compression as you turn up the gain and the distortion is pretty much useless. Way too much squeal and feedback and there are also known issues with it cutting out when some users push the amp or slap.

    I really cant think of any cons on the Genzler Magellan and the DI is one of the best out there today. Genzler/Genz Benz are known for their outstanding DI's. They do cost more for a reason. ;)

    Many people are currently gigging the Elf and are quite happy with it and again I tried one out and thought it was pretty cool and loud, but I don't think you will find many that will say it is a better amp than a Magellan. IMHO and IME, but YMMV. :cool:

    Edit: I should also add that the Magellan also has a boat load of different tones with just the contour function alone.
  4. stopple


    Aug 14, 2018
    Thanks guys...that's pretty much what I figured. There's a store about 2 hours away that sells Genzler, so I might hit that up over the weekend. They also have the Genzler and Elf cabs too, so I'm curious how the 350 will sound with the Elf cabs in order to save a little $$ (and also some floor space) compared to the Genzler 1x10 Array cab.
  5. stopple


    Aug 14, 2018
    Yeah I was concerned about that clipping. I figured I'd probably leave the gain almost all the way down, but then The overall volume would be really low. I have a heavy attack too, and that clipping (and the light) would drive me nuts. I'm definitely not a tone snob either, but I can tell when there's audible compression.
  6. stopple


    Aug 14, 2018
    It's funny at first I thought the contour function was more of a gimmick, but after reading up on it I'm really curious to try it out.

    Having been out of "the game" for a while, I hadn't heard of Genzler/GB until recently.
  7. stopple


    Aug 14, 2018
    Hey guys, as an update....
    After traveling to Wolfe Guitars in Jupiter, FL, I wound up with the Magellan 350/BA-102 Array combo. Tried the Elf with its own 1x10, then its 2x8, then all three together. Moved on to the Genzler with its 1x10 cab (i.e., the one I wound up with). Also tried the Genzler with the Elf speakers (separate and together). In other words I tried every combination of those two amps and three cabs. The best sounding was the Genzler gear.

    The Elf amp, while amazing in its own way, could not compete with the Genzler amp, in terms of quality of tone. Elf had that Trace Elliot "sound", while the Magellan had the sound of my bass. I could probably dial in the tone I want on the Elf after a while, but still the sound quality compared to the Magellan was lacking.

    The owner also gave me a fantastic $ discount for buying the floor model. But even without the discount I had decided on the Genzler...I just probably would have had to wait a bit longer.

    By the way, the best part of the Elf system is indeed the 2x8 cab, IMHO.

    Thanks for your earlier advice!
    ColdEye, Rich Fiscus, Murch and 5 others like this.
  8. dralionux


    Feb 3, 2009
    Savannah, GA
    How is the ELF 1x10 cab compared to the Genzler 1x10 cab (with the Magellan 350 head)?
  9. Passinwind

    Passinwind I know nothing. Commercial User

    Dec 3, 2003
    Columbia River Gorge, WA.
    Owner/Designer &Toaster Tech Passinwind Electronics
    Cool, nice to see that Jay Wolfe is still in the brick and mortar business mode.
    stopple likes this.
  10. Quit overdriving the snot out of the Elf.
  11. voided3


    Nov 11, 2008
    Have you tried running the amp with the master volume all of the way up and control the volume with the input gain?
  12. stopple


    Aug 14, 2018
    That was actually the comparison that sold me on the Genzler cab. Going between the two (using the 350 head), the Elf 1x10 certainly was punchy, but with the array feature of the Genzler the sound opened up. The Elf 1x10 honestly sounded good. But as soon as I switched cabs (without changing any knobs on the bass OR the Magellan head) the sound became more full. Even the basses & guitars hanging on the walls around me started to resonate a little (whereas they weren't before). I took that as proof the sound field is much wider on the Genzler.
    imabuddha and dralionux like this.
  13. BadExample


    Jan 21, 2016
    That makes me sad :(
  14. acid bass

    acid bass Supporting Member

    Apr 2, 2010
    It's literally impossible not to unless you have a feather touch and I have the exact opposite. I can activate the clip light with the gain at 1 or 2.

    Yes, that helps. But I'd have to run the gain incredibly low due to my heavy attack. The Elf only runs 130W at 8 ohm, I'd end up moving almost no air. The only thing that makes the Elf usable in my situation is that we have great DI support with our PA. I was using a GK MB200 prior and it was infinitely more capable, but the Elf saved me a lot of real estate in size and weight.
    imabuddha and stopple like this.
  15. revroy

    revroy Supporting Member

    I hadn’t seen this thread until today but would have recommended exactly what you chose.

    I have both Genzler heads and one each of the the BA10-2 and BA12-3 cabs. I love them. There are times when I consider selling my 800 & BA12-3 because the little guy does so much. A week ago I was able to spend some time with an Elf & the 2X8 cab. It was very cool, but not in the same league as the Genzler. I came away thinking it would be fun for at home practice but wouldn’t be enough for anything but the very lowest volume gigs. The size was its strongest suit... and also its biggest weakness. There was nothing about it that made me go, “wow, how does something that small sound that good?” The Genzler 350 combo, OTOH, makes me think that every time I plug it in.
  16. stopple


    Aug 14, 2018
    I'm curious what kind of gigs you play. I see you're in the Praise & Worship Band Bassist Club, so I assume you play at church. If so, is it a large place? And are you using your 350 combo for the gig(s)?
  17. Omega Monkey

    Omega Monkey

    Mar 8, 2015
    The ELF doesn't sound anything like the "Trace sound". It's completely it's own thing, as every aspect of it is brand new.

    And you guys know that it's ok if the clip light is just flashing on peaks, right? If you play with a "heavy attack", it should be ungodly loud with the master cranked and the gain anywhere above 9 o clock. But honestly, you can get MORE volume with a lighter attack and turning the gain up a bit, because you bring the average sound level closer to the peaks (or vice versa). So you essentially use your fingers as a compressor.

    Anyway, I do think the Genzler is probably a better amp overall, but wanted to clear up any misconceptions. I do know a guy who loves using his Elf and 2x8 (usually adding his Genz NeoX 12), even on fairly big stages. Personally I think the Elf makes a good backup/practice amp. The tone stack doesn't quite get me where I want to go, at least to the extent that I've tried it out in stores. It was in the running when I was looking for a cheap and light portable amp (since my main amps at the time were both over 30 pounds), but in the end I upped the budget a bit and it came down to the ShuttleMax series vs the Ampeg STV 7 Pro. I ended up going with the Genz due to the 2 channels.
  18. revroy

    revroy Supporting Member

    I play in the worship band - lower volume, small church using electronic drums; as a side player for a couple different singer/songwriters - usually lower volume in a wide variety of settings from small to large, with and without PA support; and occasionally/rarely with an original guitar based pop-band with a tasteful drummer - medium volume usually in smaller clubs without PA support. As I said, I have both the 350 and the 800 Genzler heads and one each of the 12-3 and 10-2 cabs. For no good reason, I’ve used the 800 head and 12-3 cab for all of my gigs until this past week even though the 350 combo would adequately cover 99% of them excluding the pop band where I probably need the bigger cab and both cabs would work nicely. The 350 head is adequate for all of my uses.

    So this week was the first time I used the 350 combo for a gig... as a side player for a singer/songwriter in a trio setting - guitar, harp, and bass. I was playing my fretless Bee. The setting was a showcase in a largish club with excellent FOH and PA support. During sound check I asked the sound guy where he wanted my stage volume and he remarked that the rig sounded so good he didn’t care and that since it was going to be a lower volume affair, he might just take me out of the FOH and allow my rig to cover the house since it sounded so good. The singer/songwriter complained that the bass was too loud on stage so I turned down significantly and was added back into the FOH. One of the other acts was a trio of guitar, bass, and drums, and all three sought me out to compliment my tone. That bass player was playing a Warwick through a Genz Benz Shuttle 6.0 & 12 inch cab. He also commented that he needed to further check out the Genzler gear.
  19. Mark Ambler

    Mark Ambler

    Nov 18, 2017
    London, UK.
    Hopefully you've done this by now:)
    I was also thinking about the Genzler 350 head with the Elf 10" cab, should be great for lower volume situations and you could alway add another Elf 10" cab or a Genzler cab. So, how did they sound?
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2022
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