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G.Benz Tube Works

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Pickinator, Jan 15, 2012.

  1. Pickinator


    Dec 28, 2011
    Eagle River WI
    I found a used bass head.
    The claim is: 300 watt tube/Mos Valve Bass
    - tube and solid state pre-amp hybrid
    - tube power amp
    - hand wired

    The amp is pretty big and tall and looks like it could be a real tube power amp. Is it a real valve power amp and is this a good amp or have I just stumbled upon some wishfull thinking.

    Any recommendations on what this Tube Works head is worth?:eyebrow:
  2. Pics?
  3. will33


    May 22, 2006
    Looks like this? 1CF492F8-orig.

    It has a tube and an SS pre and SS power. Mine sounds great. They're really nice amps. Typical 2 rackspace unit and pretty light. Inside is rather sparse on components....easy to work on.
  4. Pickinator


    Dec 28, 2011
    Eagle River WI
  5. Pickinator


    Dec 28, 2011
    Eagle River WI
    -False Alarm-

    I just spoke with the owner and he says it is a hybrid tube preamp and MOSFET power amp; not a tube power amp. Sounds like a nice guy and for $250 it might not be a bad amp? 300watts may not be enough juice to push two 2X10 cabs with justice.

    Sorry if I got anyone else salivating. The box sure looks like it could be real tubes though. hey?:crying:
  6. handofseven

    handofseven Soaking up the cathode rays...

    Mar 23, 2010
    Vancouver, BC, Canada
    I think what you see under the amp is probably just extra rack space with a cover plate. I owned a Tubeworks Mosvalve 500 stereo power amp about 20 years ago. It was a decent amp...
  7. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    The point of the MOSFETs is that they are used in a way similar to tubes, in terms of compressing and getting dirty when you crank them up; so actually that amp is designed to get very, very loud for the wattage, as long as you are not keen on super-clean tone.
  8. I have one and love it! No problems at all for the 12 years or so I've owned it, except for the occasional dirty/noisy pots which a spray of deoxit works wonders. It does only have one tube in the preamp...the power FETS are fairly rare (I found a set a few years back and bought them, just in case) but so far, I haven't needed them. Also, I think it's a three space unit, not two.

    The Craigslist ad says this is a hand wired amp...it isn't (or isn't what we usually think of a hand wired amp, like an older Fender).

    $250 is a bit steep. I have seen them go for around $200 (mostly 'cause no one knows what these amps are).
  9. will33


    May 22, 2006
    Looks like the same or similair amp as mine installed in a bigger, more "tubey looking" headcase.

    I paid $200 for mine but it wasn't in top shape. An 89cent resistor and a good cleaning and it's great. I'd think $250 is a fair price for one that's working 100%. May be able to talk him down a little from there. They're very good sounding amp with a very effective set of EQ controls. The bass knob is set higher and the treble knob lower than most amps. Lots of control over the little intracacies of your sound.
  10. will33


    May 22, 2006
    Pic for the thread--


    The owners manual is available at Genz Benz's site.
    mpdd likes this.
  11. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009
    huh. when was bk butler a genz benz concern? i never knew there was a connection. (i do see under "manuals" a listing of all the tubeworks manuals.)
  12. hasbeen

    hasbeen Commercial User

    Sep 23, 2004
    Vice President, KMC Music. Warwick U.S. distribution, Ampeg distribution
    Butler started TubeWorks. We (Genz) bought TW from him.
  13. will33


    May 22, 2006
    The manual for mine says "Tubeworks, a division of Genz Benz Enclosures, Scottsdale, AZ.

    I'm uncertain what year mine is but regardless, I really like that amp. The tube pre is clean/articulate. The tube side a little warmer with a bit of musical sounding grit when you crank it up. They're 2ohm stable amps rated 180 watts @ 8ohm and 260 watts @ 4ohms and sound pretty strong. A little beefier than the numbers may seem.
  14. agedhorse

    agedhorse Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 12, 2006
    Davis, CA (USA)
    Development Engineer-Mesa, Product Support-Genz Benz
    Beware that for the BK Butler (pre Genz Benz) versions, some parts are no longer available and support is very limited. The output MOS-FETS have been discontinued for many years and finding them could exceed the value ofthe entire amp. Genz Benz does not support these products as we have no paperwork, schematics, parts, etc.
  15. abarson


    Nov 6, 2003
    Santa Cruz
    I own one of those RT-3300 heads, and it is an excellent workhorse, with plenty of headroom, good EQ, and is designed to power down to 2 ohm loads. $250 might be a little steep, but you are getting a nice original enclosure with it. It's not light, take that into account. I tote mine in an SKB case.

    A search for "RT-3300" indicates that this amp gets respect and love.

    A few years back, Genz Benz sent me a copy of the schematics to my amp, and there is a Tubeworks forum with a collection of schematics. Why the wet towel?
  16. hrgiger


    Jan 11, 2009
    bought TW from him and then killed it, you mean. :meh:

    I wish Peavey had bought it instead. IMO, there definitely was and still is a place for B.K. Butler's products, even if the stand-alone company making everything under the sun was doomed.
  17. will33


    May 22, 2006

    I've run across a couple of their guitar amps as well over the years, pretty impressive stuff, better sounding than you'd think for a SS guitar amp.

    Unless something's changed, Genz does have schematics of this stuff, whether or not they'll come off 'em is a different question. A few parts indeed may not be produced new anymore but a tech who knows what tbey're doing can make them work with suitable parts that are in production.
  18. agedhorse

    agedhorse Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 12, 2006
    Davis, CA (USA)
    Development Engineer-Mesa, Product Support-Genz Benz
    It's not a wet towel, it's called being accurate and honest. I think it would be a pretty crappy thing not to make a potental buyer of this amp aware of the lack of support and parts. I never said not to buy it, but just to be aware of the lack of parts support and let the OP make up his own mind regarding the risk. To buy any amp and not know about this risk would IMO be very uncool.

    We have very little in the way of pre-GB paperwork and the paperwork that's out there on the web may be very inaccurate too. There are different versions of these amps and I know the paperwork that I have seen does not reflect all the amps out there.

    I did hear of somebody that contacted BK through his website and got some support but I don't know if this was a special case or a one time deal. Worth a try I suppose.
    rufus.K likes this.
  19. hrgiger


    Jan 11, 2009

    Since we are "being accurate and honest" I think it would be a pretty crappy thing to be a potental buyer of this amp company Tube Works, aware of the intent to lack future support and parts.

    To buy an amp company like B.K. Butler's Tube Works without any intent to provide support and parts, past and present, would IMO be very uncool. Especially when obfuscated to appear that the opposite were actually true.

    Now this part just has me speechless:

    This is the kind of thing you say about a competitor's product isn't it? But your OWN?

    It wasn't enough to abscond with Tube Works, now it seems that the GB techs are saying to any prospective buyer of Tube Works stuff "you'd be dumb to do that, I wouldn't if I were you." Instead of "hey I'll tell you what man, since GB was the last man in charge of Tube Works, if you need it looked at we will see what we can do for you."

    I would imagine if GB heard their techs talking that way about Genz Benz amps they would get a good working over. NEWSFLASH Tube Works ARE Genz Benz amps! You wouldn't act that way to a customer with a long out of warranty GB amp, it should be no different. Good customer service isn't doing what obviously should be done, but going above and beyond for your patrons.

    Instead it is recommend to go begging to B.K. Butler for help. Class Act.

    This blows my previously held high regard for GB customer service.
    Dave Neal likes this.
  20. will33


    May 22, 2006
    No support for Tubeworks?...nice.:scowl: What are they trying to do, hope they all find their way to the landfill? Good news is, they're so low on the parts count inside, except for the transformer, you could probably replace every component yourself for around $200.

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