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Is Genz overrated?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Zapp, Nov 28, 2006.


  1. Zapp

    Zapp

    Sep 4, 2005
    Gruene Texas
    hey pros
    i need some straight talk. I have read lots of opinions of how a Genz Benz head is an 'upgrade' over lots of the other commonly-loved equip. in the past week I had opp. to play a NeoX 400 combo [112] and a GBE 400 talking to a big Hartke 4 x 12 or such cabinet [not sure, but it was big]. in both cases I had similar thoughts [and I play a Sterling if it matters that much]
    - a Lotta volume.... both amps could get real loud in a hurry
    - almost too balanced with all settings flat. frankly sounded like a good clean guitar amp with all settings normalized. I was looking for some bass
    - with the "Extension" kicked in I start hearing bass. Then by running up the low end of the EQ it starts sounding good.
    - But with everything tweaked as best I can, I would not describe either amp as either "Warm" or "punchy". I can get midrange punch. I cannot get low-end punch. The low-end still sounds 'slow' to respond to me. Not as whooshy as my SWR, but still not a PUNCH. Nor is it as transparent and overly-clean as my old Eden. Its got some aggression, but .........
    I keep thinking I need a tube-hybrid but maybe I'm over-expecting. the Yorkie XS400 I just sold [too cheaply] had a lot of bottom, but no punch to speak of. yes you could make it muddy/bassy by running up the tube overddrive, but it was just that... a lotta mud being spread across too long of a time segment. Low-punch is what i need to balance the natural mid/high of the instrument. I had been told Genz Benz was the way to go. Do i need to look at their High-End equip....???

    am I doing something wrong? Should I be looking for a good 4-ohm cabinet instead of a head? this is annoying.
     
  2. Bone

    Bone

    Oct 28, 2006
    I've been using th GBE 400 going on 3 years now. This amp drove my ashdown 410 and 115 cabs great! Nice woof from the 15 and great punchy mids from the 410. I sold those cabs and bought a Bergantino NV425(3-10s and 1-15. After playing a few gigs with the berg cab It just didn't seem like the Gbe 400 had enough "GO" to push that cab. About a year ago I mated the Genz with an aguilar 410 and couldn't be happier with the tone. I wouldn't really call Genz-Benz High end but for me it's been very reliable. I've done over 300 gigs with this head without a single problem. FWIW I also own SWR, Ampeg, Trace Elliot,and Eden. The Genz and Aguilar usually get the call.
     
  3. opium89

    opium89

    Jan 27, 2004
    I played some of the GB stuff when I was shopping for a head about 1 year ago. My opinion is that they have a sound of their own. To me, I could only describe it as very "solid state" sounding, which is not necessarily a bad thing if you like it. Kinda reminds me of the late eighties Fender stuff (remember the old BXR heads and combos?)

    I would agree that they don't have much in the bottom end unless you use one of their XBT cabs. I personally think they did this on purpose to compensate because the XBT cabs have a tremendous low-end woof to them. I also seem to remember that the 600 was far superior (tone and power wise) to the 400.

    I think Bone here experienced the same thing. The Ashdown stuff also has a big low-end woof. When he switched to the Bergs, which tend to have a flat/natural response, the low end went bye-bye (but probably needed more power too as the Bergs are power hungry beasts!) Then he brought it back with the Aggies.

    If I was you, I'd go out and try everything I could get my hands on and buy what makes you happy.
     
  4. guy n. cognito

    guy n. cognito Secret Agent Member Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 28, 2005
    Nashville, TN
    Plenty of low end "punch" in my GBE 750, through both a GB410 XT cabinet and my Acme Low B. I did previously own a NEOX 112 combo, and it did lack that thick low end, which I attributed to the neo speaker rather than the amp. I like a lot of "thump" in my tone, and I did have to dial it in on the NEOX. I have never had a problem, however, getting a thick, punchy tone with the 750. I would suggest that you either try a 750, or go back and try the 400 through a better cabinet. Hartke tend to sound like ass to me.

    IMHO, GB is one of the best values for the money if you want a powerful, versatile amp.
     
  5. Zapp

    Zapp

    Sep 4, 2005
    Gruene Texas
    all of these responses are quite helpful. I too have been through Eden, Hartke, Yorkville, SWR, and played a handful of other things. I tried out a Neox 112 a few days ago and it didn't impress. Required too much fooling around to get an almost hard-hitting bottom. impressively LOUD, but not the definition I want. The big SWR's and the Galien K 700 have been the closest, but then I'm not able to "normalize" the cabinet, so it could be all smoke and mirrors... totally meaningless. Since I have no reference cab to tote around to all the dealers endlessly trying stuff out. But the comments here at least seem to support what I thought my ears were telling me about the GB heads.

    There's an old super Redhead for sale locally but my time is so limited, I'll probably miss it. Anyone care to comment on how it would fare against the others in the list? See, I like the transparency and articulation in the tamed-mid [don't like cutty mids... they all sound nasally to me] and high, and those are fairly easy to get with the Sterling bass. The weak part has been the bottom, where I can get a boom using an extension off my ancient WM 12, but its not TIGHT, punchy, quick. Its a whoosh. Probably because I'm just out of gas... i run the little amp at 90% gain and 90% power [and man does it produce some WHITE NOISE ! eeee gadddds].
    Played a bunch of modern Ampegs and didn't like any of them, sad to say. Maybe I should have kept the old Eden WT 400... it had a big bottom, just sort of sterile sounding. more like audiophile's home stereo.... not very exciting
     
  6. opium89

    opium89

    Jan 27, 2004
    Have you tried any of the EBS stuff? Want something really unique, check out the stuff from Orange. Also, the Markbass heads are kinda cool. Just get a different set of cabs. Other than that, you might have to go out and find yourself a nice used Trace or something.
     
  7. bassman blue

    bassman blue

    Aug 22, 2002
    Bellingham
    i agree with guy n. cognito... you should try a gbe 600, 750 or 1200 with the tube pre. i now own a gbe 750 and 1200 and am totally blown away with the sound, build quality and options.
     
  8. bassman blue

    bassman blue

    Aug 22, 2002
    Bellingham
    Oh, to answer your question, "Is Genz overrated?" NO! Personally I don't think Genz stuff is rated anywhere near what it should be. Very few complaints of problems, along with customer support that I have not found with any other amp or cabinet I've owned.
     
  9. Zapp

    Zapp

    Sep 4, 2005
    Gruene Texas

    good tips all.

    I had already figured that the upper-echelon GB's are remarkably diff from the entry level. no real dealers here, so I'll have to scour about for the big tube/hybrid ones.

    there is ONE [imagine... in Austin Texas of all places, only ONE] bass specialty shop and it takes me 1.5 hours to get there. I expect they will have a good stash of used/traded/and/new componetry.

    Then, not to branch but thinking out loud: I need my rig to stay light and portable. what cabinet????? Preferably one-handable-12-or-15 or 2x10 etc that will do great on that low end. This may be where Eden shines. their XLT cabs seem to impress

    z
     
  10. opium89

    opium89

    Jan 27, 2004
    Well I've got two for sale if you want a pair of Edens, but they're not light! I just about ready to pull the trigger on some customs by Dr. Bass or a couple of Epifani's. Haven't made up my mind just yet.
     
  11. Pickebass

    Pickebass Supporting Member

    Jul 12, 2004
    San Antonio, TX
    If you are in Gruene, check with Century music in San Antonio, they carry Genz Benz. I think Sam Ash may also carry Genz Benz. Bass emporium in Austin does not carry GB or Eden
     
  12. Zapp

    Zapp

    Sep 4, 2005
    Gruene Texas
    thx!
    I'm also planning to hit Guitar Rez in austin. they are heavy on pro bass gear and I have not been in there in several years [long drive]. there will be a number of things to play with there. plus a bunch of nice upscale Acoustic guitars..... the other side of my passion.:)
     
  13. Pickebass

    Pickebass Supporting Member

    Jul 12, 2004
    San Antonio, TX
    If you are going to Austin, you have to go to Bass Emporium... lots of great gear and John is great to work with. In San Antonio, you might want to make a stop at Guitar Center as well... Good luck!!
     
  14. yamaha

    yamaha

    Apr 7, 2006
    Montreal
    I LOVE Genz. Played or own the GBE 400 - 600 - 750. No complaints, warm, punchy, great rock head. But I have had a problem with lack of low warm bass with Hartke either when I power Hartke cabs with my Genz or my GK.
     
  15. opium89

    opium89

    Jan 27, 2004
    BTW, if you're gonna come down this way, hit up Guitar Center on Anderson...They are one of four dealers in the US that carry the Markbass stuff. I didn't care for the cabs but the heads were cool.
     

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