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NAD: Genz Benz (Love for Lead Sleds)

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by coolrunner989, Apr 21, 2010.

  1. I think with all the rage about micro heads these days I should give a little props to an old school "lead-sled" that I just picked up. I bought a GBE 750 and played with it for an hour or so today at lunch. Wham! I'm so impressed (although it's bigger and heavier than I am used to).

    My amp history goes like this: Ampeg BA115 (1 year), GK 1001RBII (1 year), GK MB2-500 (6 months), Genz-Benz Shuttle Max 12.0 (a year), back to a GK 1001 for the last few months. I currently play through a LDS 212/6/w tweeter, although I've almost always used 3-way cabs of some kind (Dr. Bass for about 2 years :/ )

    Now, I'll be playing this at band practice this weekend but I can already tell that the floor was rumbling in my apartment at the same volume I usually practice at. Now I know what you all talk about when you say that headroom improves the tone and feel of the amp.

    This is not to deride micro amps, I love them! I want to pick up another MB-500 now for jams and stuff. And who can beat the price/watts/size/weight ratio on some of those?

    Who else has some big amps that they love? Especially younger guys like myself who are moving from mostly smaller/micro heads!
  2. RHCP250


    Nov 24, 2008
    Not to steer the thread in the wrong direction, but how do you like your GBE compared to the GK head you were using?
  3. Joe.shaffer


    Nov 25, 2008
    Cabot, AR
    I still love my Peavey Alphabass, it has a tone no micro I've come across can come close to.
  4. waleross


    Nov 27, 2009
    South Florida
    The GBE 750 is only 33 lbs. . Its old school but Bass=Heavy and Big and heavy = Ampeg......:cool:
  5. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    as an ampeg lover i can always make an exception for genz benz ;)

    so much for the idea that some are floating around here that the lead sled is dead. generally i do like the little heads better (except of course for all-tubers), but there is always room for a good amp, no matter how big or small.

    btw, what do your nads have to do with it?
  6. will33


    May 22, 2006
    I didn't catch the "nads" comment but if your nads have anything to do with it, that's creepy. But I like so-called "leadsleds" as well, if you can consider something less than 50lbs. a leadsled.

    I see more and more shuttles around here which tells me I'll soon be the owner of a GB750 for cheap. To me, that's not a heavy amp.
  7. NAD = New Amp Day, just like in the Bass forum NBD = New Bass Day
  8. KsPiNeSh


    Mar 28, 2008
    Kansas City
    Lead sled or not, there is always a soft spot in my heart for my GBE 1200 - I'm somewhat of a gearhound and it's been my go-to for 4 years now. I tried a Shuttle and it just didn't quite get there... good, but not GBE good :)
  9. RTL

    RTL House Chicken Enthusiast Supporting Member

    Jul 20, 2008
    Leander, TX
    I must also express my love for the GBE750.

    I traded away my Aguilar DB750 for a brand new GBE750 a little more than a month ago, and the only thing I regret is not doing it sooner.

    Obviously, the GBE doesn't have the ridiculous power of the Aguilar, but it's so so much more flexable and usable in the real world. And honestly, it's still got more power than I really need.

    I haven't seen an amp yet that is as intelligently thought out (and executed) the way the GBE series amps are.
  10. Ukiah Bass

    Ukiah Bass

    May 10, 2006
    My ShuttleMAX12 wasn't heavy enough so I added a power amp.

  11. I love them both, but for completely different reasons. The GB is so much more flexible and has a cleaner, smoother tone, even when it's EQ'd to sound more GK-ish (more upper mids and treble, bass and low mids flat). I also think that the GB has more power and tone-sculpting abilities down low. The variable low-frequency boost, and the EQ points for the bass and low mid sound much better to my ears than the EQ points and flat 4/5-string button of the GK. YMMV.

    Nothing will sound like a loud GK with the boost control and volumes set correctly though, I will always love that tone. But unless I'm in a Tool-esque band or some other heavy rock context I am much happier with the smoother and clearer response of the GBE750. Maybe I'll pick up a MB-500 and play it through a big cab sometime if I need that.

    Also, the tube breakup on the GBE750 is excellent with my hot Warwick $$. I'm getting a P-bass special soon, which is passive, so I'll see how that drives it.

    I'll post back again after a band rehersal and gig, but I have the feeling that the GBE just thumps you in the chest more than the GK. We'll see.
  12. I would've done that if I wanted to move to separate components like that, and if I wanted to get a bigger rack. I have a 4-space rack right now and it's filled with my GBE750, Sansamp RPM, and my wireless.

    I do like that with your separate components you can take just the head for smaller gigs and then the whole thing when you really need the headroom and power. Nice!

    The other thing is the variable mids on the Max series are really cool. I didn't tweak it that much, and I wont know until I get the GBE750 in a band situation if I would like to be able to do that with the GBE750.
  13. To me it is a heavy amp - the GK was only 22 lbs, and that seemed heavy after being used to just having a bag for my Shuttle Max that only weighed 7lbs! So to go up again another 10 lbs was noticeable when I was changing them out of my rack. Not that I'm a whimp, you just get used to not having to put any effort into carrying your amp.
  14. Eublet


    Jul 28, 2006
    I used a GBE 1200 for a quite a while. It didn't see the number of gigs that my Shuttle or Neopak saw, but it brought some serious beef when I did bring it out. Dynamic headroom was incredible. It was one of the few bass heads that reminded me of playing through a preamp with a high qualty poweramp. Considering that, the weight becomes very much a non issue by comparison.
  15. unlined4string

    unlined4string Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2000
    Baltimore County, Md.
    I have an EA iAmp 600 that weighs about 30 pounds. Most of the weight is from the honkin big transformer. Despite the weight I can't bring myself to sell it because it sounds so good. My favorite model in the iAmp line.
  16. Crabby


    Dec 22, 2004
    There is something about a full size amp that the micro amps don't seem to be able to nail. I owned Shuttle 6.0 for awhile and now have a LMIII. But compared to my 25 pound Mesa Carbine M9, the LMIII sounds thin and 2 dimensional. The Carbine just spanks it in every way. Punch, clarity, sheer volume and pure power. Sure its rated at twice the power but there is a lot more going on tonally.

    I also own the 300 watt Walkabout and when comparing directly to the Shuttle or LMIII, the Walkabout just has a more complex and full fat tone that is just at another level. That being said, the micro amps are perfectly useable and so easy to move around. But I sure like my "led sled"!
  17. You are confusing wattage with format IMO.

    There are good and bad executions of micro amps, and good and bad executions of amps with non SMPS designs (i.e., full size, full weight heads). Comparing a 900 watt amp to a 500 watt amp, and attributing the volume and low end differences to design is a bit of a stretch. I agree though, that Mesa M6/M9 line is VERY impressive, and is probably the only two rack space format that I would put in 'lead sled performance territory' (especially the M9).

    I find most 500 or so watt micro heads to sound every bit as full, even, and loud as equivalently spec'd 'heavier' heads. For example, my MB heads more than keep up with the heavier Eden, Aguilar, and Thunderfunk heads that have the same wattage spec.

    Regarding the Genz 750, I find that head unimpressive given its size and weight myself, although if you dig the tone and don't mind the size and weight, nothing wrong with it. I have not done this direct A/B, but my guess is the Shuttle 9 (and even the Shuttle Max 6) would keep up with it in every way.


    Edit: Also, +1 on the Walkabout having a complex tubey tone, but again, that's a design goal versus the more clean, accurate design goals of some of the micro heads... apples to oranges there IMO and IME.
  18. Red Planet

    Red Planet Banned SUSPENDED

    May 29, 2005
    I'm cranky in my old age.
    I was a die hard Lead Sledophyte. You could not have gotten me to try these little amps for nothing. :D

    Then I had spinal sugery and everything changed. Not happy about the spinal troubles but I'm so happy I was forced to play some of these amps.

    I had the SWR MM Preamp into a PLX2 1804. Man was that a bone crushing good sounding rig.

    I had the Genz Benz Shuttle Max 12.0. Great Amp!

    I had the Mark Bass LMIII and TA501. Great Amps though not enough power and pretty much one sound.

    And then I picked up a Genz Benz Shuttle 9.0. OMG!

    The 9.0 was it! Does that warm gooey old school tone in spades but will yield the modern funk stuff as well.

    After getting the 9.0 I stopped thinking about amps. For me it is the fit I've been looking for all of my life.

    Sure a big ol Bass 400 sounds great but it does not weigh in at 4 pounds. :D

    I even bought an Ampeg V4 just to enjoy the Tubes. Wrong, the 9.0 keeps me away from the Ampeg. The 9.0 just sounds so good. Our Keyboard Player looked at me last night and said "I still just can not believe how much sound is coming out of that little bitty amp". I just smiled. :)

    OK 9.0 commercial is over now. :D
  19. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    so red, do you think that the 9.0, out of all the shuttle amps, is the one that comes closest to satisfying die-hard ampeggers like me? i ask that because i'm about to get a couple cabs using 3012lf's and a mid driver, and my plan is to use the svt with them, but i'm sure there will be times i'd rather not use the svt. and i also ask because this is the general impression that i get from descriptions of its tone.
  20. Hey Jimmy,

    I've spent a bit of time with the 212/6/1 design, and at 4ohms, it kicks just as hard as a typical 410 or whatever. So, no special uber power needed. I've also spent quite a bit of time with a single 112/6, and that cab opens up quite nicely with the typical 300 watts or so of power that most of the micro's put out at 8ohms.

    So, nothing special needed. The 'problem' with power is more with using the bigger 15/6 as a stand-alone replacement for a cab. While the SPL is decent on those, that bigger box with the bigger driver can take quite a bit more power than 300 watts, and seems to benefit from a head with 500+ watts of power at 8ohms (which is hard to find in a micro).

    Anyway, if you are going to be using two of the 12/6 cabs at 4ohms, they will behave similarly to a 'regular' cab regarding SPL and performance... so no 'special' needs there.

    IMO and IME!

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