Genz Benz GBE 1200 / Mesa M-6 or M-9 Carbine

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by kevbassman, Feb 23, 2010.

  1. Has anyone done a thread comparing the Genz Benz GBE 1200 & either of the new Mesa's M-6 Carbine or M-9?
    I know it's like comparing apple & oranges........and all of us bass players are after that Holy Grail of Tone! :hyper:

    I currently own & use the GBE for larger shows (mostly outdoors & bigger venues). I use to own a Mesa Boogie 400+ and the older 400. I loved the tube amps, but didn't care for the M-Pulse. The GBE is just as heavy as the Mesa tube amps. That's the only con to me.....especially as I'm getting older and hate carrying heavy gear.

    Has anyone done a comparison on these amps? I must admit...I haven't played the Carbine yet.....but a trip to the local music store may be in line! :D

    Appreciate any help or if I missed a thread on these!

  2. KsPiNeSh


    Mar 28, 2008
    Kansas City
    I own, use, and love both the GBE 1200 and M6. What specifically are you wondering about?
  3. I would like to know about the tightness in bass response, and if they seem similar in volume through the same cab!
  4. I love my GBE, very modern sounding, and can get close to the SVT sound I'm always l;ooking for....I'm always looking for the SVT 70's sound if that makes sense. Alittle bit of a growl is what I want. I love the flexiability the 1200 provides, especially with the FET & clean channel's combined. I use to play a Mesa 400+........and loved it.

    I guess I want a tube sound out of a solid state amp...if that makes sense. Running a tube in the pre-amp helps, but it's not the same IMHO. Solid state is coming close to the tube sound.....but it's not the same IMHO.

    Thre cons to me are the weight of the Mesa 400+, 1200, etc. especialyl when dealing with bad knees & back. I play in a cover band where we an go from Bon Jovi to Steely Dan, Motown, Fuel, Beatles, Elton John, Mott, U2, Tom Jones....yes...we're all over the place.

    Heck, I'm a bass player.......I want it all...the Holy Grail of Tone is what I want! LOL :D

    What determines you using the 1200 or M6 on certain gigs?
  5. I get all that with my 1200.And with headroom to spare.Never used the mesa so cant help ya.

    All is I know is that the 1200 can be usefull if someones heart stops beating.I can just turn it up to " two" and it'll kick start your heeeart!!whoooaa yeeaahhh
  6. KsPiNeSh


    Mar 28, 2008
    Kansas City
    The GBE 1200 has been my workhorse for 4 years now, and I have owned and used the Mesa for a year. To my ear, the 1200 is a bit rougher through the mids and a bit tighter on the bottom than the Mesa, which has a more expansive low end (especially with the PULL DEEP engaged) and a slightly smoother feel overall while still retaining the same cutting ability as the 1200. Additionally, the 1200 has dual preamp channels (which I always leave mixed, dialing in tube grit to taste) and a more expansive EQ, but the EQ on the Mesa is deceptively agile and the voicing filters are fantastic. As mentioned, I'll dial in some dirt with the Genz, but the Mesa won't do it - while it has a tube. it is a clean machine all the way. However, I would say that the Mesa sounds a bit tubier in the sense that it's got a slightly rounder sound. Like you, I also tried an M-Pulse and did not like it at all. Worry not - the Carbines are drastically different.

    My amp usage breaks down like this - GBE 1200 for live gigs, Mesa for studio (unless I want some tube dirt action) and practice. I really like the extra tightness of the GBE live
    and, as I always have a PA available, let the PA do the heavy lifting on the low end. Also, the Mesa gets stupid loud immediately and is too loud for most stages. It is perfect, however, for practice, where I don't have a PA and have to get over my hard-hitting drummer :) In the studio, I like the Mesa for the little extra oomph in the bottom and the overall smoothness. My main bass is a hotrodded Warwick Thumb NT5 that growls like a mad dog, so I find the slight extra edge of the GBE to be a bit much on recordings.

    If you're interested in hearing a studio difference, check out our recordings here:

    Forsaken and Self-Inflicted were recorded with the Thumb/Mesa/Uber 410 signal chain and Monster Truck and The Sentinel were recorded with a Corvette/GBE 1200/Uber 410 chain, with Maonster Truck having the tube grit dialed up.
  7. tombowlus

    tombowlus If it sounds good, it is good Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 3, 2003
    North central Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    +1 Well said! I would have to agree with pretty much all of that. :cool:
  8. Evolver


    Feb 13, 2007
    North Central PA
    I've had thoughts along the same line (i.e. GBE vs. Mesa...). I own and have gigged, for about 2 1/2 years a GBE750 which I think is quite similar tonally to the GBE1200. I own a Mesa guitar amp and have been thinking about adding a Mesa bass amp. I dig the GBE 750 but would like to try some other amps (in that Holy Grail search...) - and less weight would be cool.

    I did find that a VT bass can add a very different feel/ tone to the GBE750 and I use it often on classic rock covers.

    I'm not sure, though, what amp I'd choose (Mesa, TC, Aguilar, Ampeg, another GB, other?) to compliment ( meaning really good but different tonally...) the GBE750 (but more weight is likely not going to make the short list...). I hope to hear more in this thread... Good luck on your search!
  9. Crabby


    Dec 22, 2004
    I really liked by Shuttle 6.0 and of course its hard to beat the portability of a three pound amp. But once I compared the Shuttle to my Mesa amps, I kind of lost any desire to play through it anymore. The Shuttle sounded thin and anemic compared to the Big Block 750 and just doesn't have the same depth or width of tone as anything in the Mesa line.

    Of course the Shuttle is a much different amp then the GBE1200 which I have only ever tried in a store. It sounded amazing but the weight of it is a little bit of a turn off. My M9 Carbine weighs only 25 pounds and is super easy to carry with one hand in my Gator 3 space rack.