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I just spent over 2 hours with the Shuttle 6.0

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by albass111, Feb 22, 2008.

  1. albass111


    Feb 13, 2006
    Los Angeles, CA
    I know there are a lot of threads about this amp, but I wanted to keep it out of the "hyped" threads and offer up some of my individual opinions.

    I am trying to be as objective as possible here, but my first impressions are this is a great little amp. The Shuttle is my first Genz-Benz purchase and as my expectations were high, this thing definitely delivered for MY needs. I AM NOT AN ENDORSER OF GB PRODUCTS.

    To give you a little background about me as a player and my tone goals, my main rig for the last two years is a DB750 through a large cab of sorts. (DB410 SA410 HT322 SVT810) I have performed the telefunken JJ tube swap to try and achieve a little more sparkle. However, the best bass tone that I have heard in my head, came from a Sadowsky SA200 through a SA410, all knobs set to 12:00 except for the gain knob set a little past 1:00. While the Aguilar DB750 has a great tone, it does not deliver my "ideal" tone.
    I play a lot of gigs in smaller venues where a 410 is too much so I have been on a quest for a lightweight rig for a while. I have not found one to my liking, but I have owned an AG500, Little Mark II, 70's WWamp and I ended up settling on lugging my DB750 around with 1 or 2 Epifani UL112's. I do like the WT550, but I don't love it and couldn't really justify owning it. Dragging around the DB750 is rather inconvenient for a lot of my gigs, but at least I could be happy with my tone.

    My main problem with the lightweight stuff that I tried, is that I felt like there was always a lack of perceived "thump." I am not a fan of the LMII and have done many gigs with that amp. However, I can see how someone who wants a really responsive sparkly high amp would love it.

    I received the STL 6.0 today from UPS. Right away, I found that this thing is not nearly as dainty as the threads seemed to infer. Everyone talks about how light and small this is, but it isn't much smaller that the LMII and doesn't seem fragile. This is a very solidly built unit, and screams of high quality components. I really, really like the perceived sturdiness of the knob and pot design.

    The test rig was a Epi UL112 with a Jazz bass with Sadowsky Pre and PU's and a Sadowsky M5-24.
    Since I like a warm sound, I initially set the gain until slight clipping began, and started with everything flat. Okay, this thing is loud, but it wasn't obscenely loud. However, I have not heard my UL112 put out as much discernible low end with any other head. So yeah, it thumps. I played blissfully, for a while and then got into the tone shaping. This really displays the versatility of the amp. With the low boost engaged, just make sure you have enough speaker. I can see this being great for switching from a rock song to a reggae/dub song with one switch. I tried to get what I consider a fast/ quick hifi tone out of it. (think TF550) This took a while. I was about to get discouraged, an then I found that the mid scoop switch engaged with a little bit of added low mids achieved this tone. However, it is my opinion, that it still wasn't as "sparkly" as the LMII. I personally love what the tube front end does in this amp. The tone that I can best describe is imagine a WW with a nice tube pre in the front end. (U5 Ditto)

    Sturdy for its size
    Tone ready to go, with all knobs at 12:00
    Loud and Full. (fills up a lot of space)
    Tone shaping controls make dramatic changes in tone. (versatility) This can also be considered a negative. (see below)

    For me, it really doesn't have any, but since I'm trying to be objective here goes.
    If I wanted a lot of tones out of this thing, I would have to turn a bunch of knobs and flip a bunch of switches to come up with my desired tone. Personally, once I start a set, I don't like fiddling with my amp and prefer to vary my tones based on technique, hand positions and touch.
    Backing off the gain and increasing the volume doesn't really "clean" up the tone as much as I thought it would. (again, not a problem for me)

    EDIT:2/24 After two gigs, HiFi and sparkly tones are achievable. Rather than delete some information, my initial impression, is still my initial impression, but if you read on, after a few gigs, I figured out some ways to utilize the amp's versatility. (End Edit)

    IS THIS AMP THE BEST THING SINCE SLICED BREAD? IS IT THE BE ALL END ALL OF LITTLE AMPS? Ummm.... For me it is. It won't replace my DB750, but then we'd have a real problem in the bass world. However, I can very easily see how someone who loves their LMII will not love what this little amp does.

    I am leaving for a gig right now, and have three more in the next four days. I will have much more to contribute once those are done, but so far, thank you Genz Benz for delivering a little amp with some great booty and punch.
  2. WesW

    WesW <>< Supporting Member

    Jul 25, 2002
    Lynn Haven, FL
    Very cool. Nice review. :)

  3. Great review- thanks
  4. Lia_G


    Oct 27, 2005
    Great, detailed and objective review. I'd say the same if you had decided you didn't like it ... it's obvious that you put an extreme amount of thought and care into testing this amp out.

  5. 1kinal


    Jan 18, 2006
    Montreal, Qc. Canada
    Endorsing Artist: SIT strings
    Great review!

    That sure doesn't help the GAS. It would probably be a great little brother to my Ashdown ABM500.
  6. scotch

    scotch It's not rocket science! Supporting Member

    Nov 12, 2006
    Albany, NY USA
    Please see Profile for Endorsement disclosures
    Well written & thought-out review. Thanks!
  7. fretster

    fretster Advanced Beginner Supporting Member

    Nov 27, 2005
    Moraga, California
    Agreed. I even started looking at closed auctions on ebay to see what I might get for my Walkabout. AFTER I get the shuttle. Which is AFTER I try it out for myself.

    Note to self: re-read thread on buying before you try.
  8. Fretlessboy


    Nov 29, 2007
    St Augustine Florida
    Endorsing artist GENZ BENZ/HERCULES STANDS/XSonics
    Very good review. So you liked it? I thought I was objective lol Will it replace my 1200? No but it is real cool. It has been my tour head for the Reggie Wayne Morris tour and has been flawless.


    I was not an endorser when I fell in love... but I did go for it after I fell in love.
  9. fretster

    fretster Advanced Beginner Supporting Member

    Nov 27, 2005
    Moraga, California
    Is that a security cable to prevent theft of the shuttle? I have one for my laptop at work.... :ninja:

  10. GRoberts

    GRoberts Supporting Member

    Jan 7, 2003
    Tucson, AZ USA
    Great Review! I appreciate you taking the time to share your background and recent gear too. It'sThat was very helpful.

    I just gigged with my Shuttle 6.0 for the first time tonight. Cabinet was Epifani UL310. I also took my LMII for comparison.
    In short, from the first few notes I played through the Shuttle 6.0, it was instant love and happiness. I didn't know what to expect since playing in a band mix can be quite different from demo-ing solo at home. The Shuttle tone sits fat in the mix while remaining articulate with a distinct voice that is never bloated or boomy. I am going to post a more detailed review in the Shuttle-LMII Mini shootout thread. So I'll keep this short.

    I agree that those who love the uber clean, sparkly, SS tone of the LMII will likely still prefer that amp. For me, I've come full circle. I think the Shuttle has more character and has it's own voice. I've always liked the presence a Tube adds to the tone of an amp and the Shuttle does not disappoint, nor does it overdo the tube thing. It's not so tubey or wooley that I couldn't get a clean, slap/funk tone. But like the Original poster here, I agree it's a bit harder to achieve that tone. For me, I need and use an uber clean slap/funk tone about 10% of the time. Other than that, I'd rather have fat, warm, full, sweet tone that the Shuttle 6.0 provides.

    I played my Nordy VJ5 Jazz Bass (Ash/Maple/Big Split PU's) tonight. That bass can border a bit on the modern side of tone, so I roll off the passive tone control about 40% to warm it up. With the Shuttle 6.0, I copped a sound that had more growl, fuller lows and it was just sweeter. I switched to my LMII for one song, and then went back to the Shuttle. The LMII sounded 'dry' and clean in comparison. And I had some of the VLE dialed in which usually warms up the LMII.

    Some musician friends were in the crowd and they commented that the LMII sounded like a cleaner amp, more suited to a funk/slap tone. I agree.

    Does the Shuttle 6.0 make me want to sell my LMII? No.They are both great amps. But based on my gig tonight where we did a bunch of Steely Dan, Tom Petty, SRV, Motown, Sting a few funk tunes. The Shuttle 6.0 blew me away. Seriosuly blew me away. It sounded freakin AWESOME! I am THRILLED with the 6.0. It is a major league Pro caliber amp. Build quality is first rate. and I personally love the seering blue led's and the glow of the tube through the top slotted chassis. They are gonna sell a million of these. Not a doubt in my mind.

    Also, volume wise, I had the master Vol at midnight, Input tube gain at 10 o'clock with the red light flashing on my hardest notes, Input Volume at midnight. Bass at 2 o clock, all other knobs relatively flat. The amp just sounds GREAT. GREAT, GREAT, GREAT. I never wanted to go back to my LMII after hearing the way the Shuttle sat in the mix. It has more growl and ballz to the tone than the LMII.

    My Guitarist and drummer said it was warmed and it didn't sound as snappy or trebley as the LMII. (I personally think my tone was a bit too modern and snappy, so I took that as a compliment, and the desired response!)

    To me, the Shuttle 6.0 is a magic amp that fills the void between lightweight SS amps and lead sled amps like the DB750. In short, it's a keeper! :hyper::D:hyper::D
  11. I didn't try my Shuttle 3.0 before I bought it. I liked the tone from the Neo-Pak (that I tried once) so much that I knew Genz Benz was the amp for me.
    I still haven't tried the Shuttle 3.0, I don't have cab but am in the process of getting one.
    Hope to go to the local music store soon. :)
  12. jokerjkny


    Jan 19, 2002
    NY / NJ / PHL

    great reviews guys! the shuttle 6.0 has been high on my GAS list eversince NAMM, and i've been waffling btwn the eden wt550 or the shuttle 6.0 for something fat and rock like for a few gigs i've been doing.

    even tho you guys seem to happy gigging wise with it, can you go into a bit more detail the gigs you used them on? how loud were the guitarists? were they using big fat boomy 4x12 cabs? how was it dealing against the keyboardist? etc.

    again, terrific reviews gents!
  13. bucephylus

    bucephylus Supporting Member Commercial User

    Aug 18, 2002
    General Manager TecPadz LLC
    Interesting comment.

    For the past 15 years, I have gigged with a WW Green light WITH an ART preamp in front of it. ONLY way I can get the sound I am after. In fact, I just finished a Blues gig with this setup on top of an Epifani PS112 and Flite 115MH. Its a perfectly great rig, except that hooking up all the different cables to make it go is tedious after about the 4th gig (not to mention after the 100th). So, the Shuttle 6.0 certainly sounds interesting. I wonder how it works with the upright?
  14. Lia_G


    Oct 27, 2005
    The NeoPak certainly works fine for upright, for me, at least. I would expect the 6.0 to be similar. The semi-para mid control on the NeoPak, 6.0 and 3.0 is very useful for feedback help and dealing with the weirdness of piezo pickups.

  15. bump to follow
  16. neptoon

    neptoon Supporting Member

    Jul 25, 2000
    Cape Canaveral, FL
    cool...i've been waiting on someone with a db750 to chime in on the shuttle...i've been contemplating a db750 rig + a couple of db112's, but i've been interested in the shuttle because i really dig pre-'s with tube front ends...trouble is, i can't have both...at the moment, anyway :D
  17. albass111


    Feb 13, 2006
    Los Angeles, CA
    Once again, the shuttle will not be replacing my DB750... read below
  18. Fretlessboy


    Nov 29, 2007
    St Augustine Florida
    Endorsing artist GENZ BENZ/HERCULES STANDS/XSonics
    I've been on the road with mine for the last week with a loud drummer and very loud guitar player playing blues and Hendricks. I haven't wanted more tone or power. I toured with Reggie last time using a 550 and dual 4 ohm 212xlt and wasn't able to get a likable tone but for half the places we played. This was like clock work. Before I left on the road I was using it in 2-3 guitar player situations and it was on the mark. In that band the guir players were using a Fender Evil Twin and and a Vox 50 combo. Have you been to Eden's website lately? I am no longer on the front page.
  19. albass111


    Feb 13, 2006
    Los Angeles, CA
    This amp is a completely different animal at 4 ohms. It is more full sounding and effortlessly loud.

    That being said, when running a 4ohm rig, you have a lot more headroom. With this headroom, I feel as if you can achieve a HI-Fi tone. This particular gig was with 2 Epifani UL112's, so there was plenty of high frequency to display. I previously posted that the preamp functions didn't affect the tone as much as I would like. At 4 ohms, this is alleviated. However, I still don't know why any player would not want the fullness of the tube sound.... (seriously)

    So far, this amp is getting more impressive. However, once again, I feel that this amp's inherent characteristic is warmth. I have heard it "sparkle" in the highs with the epi, but it doesn't scream definition. (this is fine with me though.)

    I have more gigs to come... I will post more as I have more real gigging experience.
  20. neptoon

    neptoon Supporting Member

    Jul 25, 2000
    Cape Canaveral, FL

    i think that it's starting to sound good enough to pick up until i can grab an aguilar rig...i'm currently only playing in my home studio with whatever projects get sent my way from a couple of studios in seattle, since i'm in memphis now...then again, the DI on that db750 is the money...i would have to get rid of my lefay to fund the aguilar rig, but with the mtd J5 on the way, i'm not sure that would be a bad thing :D not trying to digress...the shuttle is starting to sound like a real winner...and there will be one locally for me to check out in about a week or so...can't wait

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