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New Genz Benz and a BIG thanks to xcental34x

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by mikeyvr6, Mar 13, 2006.

  1. mikeyvr6

    mikeyvr6 Supporting Member

    Feb 19, 2002
    Plymouth, Wisconsin
    I want to publicly thank forumite xcental34x for being one hell of a guy! Last week I put up a wanted ad for a Genz Benz GBE600 and he PM'd me with the name and number of a local GB dealer near him that was blowing out a new one at an unbelievable price. I called immediately, ordered it, and it arrived today. How much you ask? Well, I'm gonna make you read my initial ramblings on this amp before I tell you! :spit:

    Obligatory pic:

    I spent the last few hours playing the GBE600 through my three main cabs and I can say I'm officially diggin' it! Definitely different than the Ampegs I'm used to. Not good or bad--just different. There's a certain low-mid frequency that is synonymous with Ampeg that I'm not hearing. Not a big deal--just something to get used to! I wanted a change in tone, and I sure got it. And a whole lot more!

    Everything I've read about this amp has rung true so far--versatile, punchy, clear, loud, built like a tank, etc. Tonewise it can do so many things well. I'm liking the vibe of the tube preamp with a touch of the FET pre added in for the snap I was after. On the EQ side I've not had to deviate very far from flat to get good tones. The Signal Shape section is a nice feature. It may come in handy for certain songs or passages when controlled with the 4-button footswitch.

    Power-wise it seems like it'll take on any cab you throw at it. My Ampeg 8x10 blasted me with a wall of chest thumping tone. To any of you who complain that the fridge is too muddy, go play a GB head through one. No sludge here! My Dr. Bass 2x10 and SWR 8x8 are very punchy and articulate with the 600 pushing them. The SWR will be my main gigging cab going forward, and I think I hit on a great combination--plenty of volume, bottom, and bite. Just what I was looking for!

    Aside from the lack of a tuner out on the back of the amp, the only issue I've had is it was a tight fit in my rack height-wise. (yes I took off the rubber feet!) The protruding screw heads on the top made it difficult to slide it in, even with the components above loosened. Not too big of a deal, but worth mentioning. Thankfully there's plenty of space inside my rack for airflow, even with the fan on the side of the amp.

    It's safe to say I took a leap of faith and landed firmly on both feet with this purchase. I can honestly say there is not a better amp out there that I could have purchased for the $510 (including shipping) I spent on this brand new GBE600. :D

    ...and of course a final picture of my latest gig rig just for the hell of it:
  2. xcental34x


    Feb 28, 2003
    Memphrica, TN
    I'm glad to hear you're enjoying it. I got a personal thanks from Eric Martin on Saturday when I went to see what's wrong with my GK 410SBX. I've been telling everybody about these amps, but they seem to be falling upon deaf ears. I just put money down on a 410-XB2, with plans of adding a GBE750, although I won't be able to touch near the deal you got.
  3. mikeyvr6

    mikeyvr6 Supporting Member

    Feb 19, 2002
    Plymouth, Wisconsin
    I'm not sure either why these amps aren't more popular. I know their dealer network has been small but they have been adding more around the country lately. There are plenty of Genz lovers on the bass forum that I regularly hang out on, as well as two guys from the company.

    If I would have had the coin I would have gone for the GBE 750. Maybe I'll just wait until that model gets discontinued. :smug: At any rate thanks so much again xcental34x. Like I said if I ever get down your way, drinks will be on me! :)
  4. hasbeen

    hasbeen Commercial User

    Sep 23, 2004
    Vice President, KMC Music. Warwick U.S. distribution, Ampeg distribution
    Hey, I'm glad you like the amp....I'm still using one as my main gigging amp.

    Low mids- I found your observation curious as I'm in love with low mids and this is one thing this amp has plenty of on tap. I noticed in your pic that your low mids are minused a bit.

    What bass are you using and what eq settings have you tried? Maybe I can help.
  5. mikeyvr6

    mikeyvr6 Supporting Member

    Feb 19, 2002
    Plymouth, Wisconsin
    Hey Roger, I'm surprised you didn't catch my thread over at HCBF! (i'm mike fitzwell over there) The picture was taken after I was messing with a mid-scooped tone, so don't base your judgement off of that! :D

    Disclaimer: Right now my opinions have not been qualified in a full band setting, which to me is the true acid test of an amp.

    After reading the manual this morning, what I may be missing is actually lows more so than low-mids. I noticed the frequency that the Low and Low-mid adjustments are centered on--80Hz and 200Hz respectively. I think I'll try engaging the L.F. Extend and bring it up to the 45Hz level and see where that gets me. It could be what I'm missing...then again I'm sure all this will all go out the window when I finally get it on stage. :rollno: That's just the way it is for me though!

    I've been playing it with the preamps mixed--more from the tube than the FET, but not into heavy clipping. Signal shaping off. EQ basically flat, maybe a detent or two in either direction, but that's it. Bass is a Geddy Lee jazz w/ SS strings. I look forward to any tips if you've got any for me!

  6. hasbeen

    hasbeen Commercial User

    Sep 23, 2004
    Vice President, KMC Music. Warwick U.S. distribution, Ampeg distribution
    hello Mike;
    Yes, I just saw your post on HCBF about an hour ago. Your Geddy Lee is passive ....correct? What type of tone are you looking for?

    Aside from those questions- When I'm playing one of my J basses passive, for slap tone (lots of bottom) I find I don't need to put the low control past 2:00 or 3:00. (on the clock face). I've haven't had a gig yet where I had to use the LF Extension.

    I was working on the gig with Nikki Sixx last week. He was just getting our amps into his rack before a show and still had his old heads there. The first thing he remarked on to the tech was how much more bottom end he had with the Genz so you should be able to find it.

    Let me know what tones, techniques and styles you play and I'll be happy to post some more suggestions.
  7. mikeyvr6

    mikeyvr6 Supporting Member

    Feb 19, 2002
    Plymouth, Wisconsin
    I'm after the vintage-esque fingerstyle tone, and yes the Geddy is passive with a pretty low output. Fat and warm is what I'm after with a little bit of snap on top. I spent a few minutes with it at home here while on lunch...and I think I found what I was looking for! Here are the settings on the GB, all values referencing a clock face:

    FET gain: 11
    Tube gain: 1
    Tube volume: 2
    Pres mixed
    LF extend: engaged, knob at 4
    Mid scoop and HF attack off
    EQ all flat except High at 1
    Master: 9

    One question: the LF Extend control is basically a frequency sweep from 30Hz to 45HZ, correct? That's what I got after reading the manual at least.

    Plenty of volume, warmth and punch through the SWR 8x8. At least for playing alone that is! Like I said before the real test comes on the stage. But for now, alone it's fantastic. Very happy! :hyper:
  8. hasbeen

    hasbeen Commercial User

    Sep 23, 2004
    Vice President, KMC Music. Warwick U.S. distribution, Ampeg distribution
    That's great that you're getting the tone you're looking for. I have to be honest, I've played our heads through many different cabs but the SWR 8x8 isn't one of them. As you know cabs can affect things dramatically.

    I'm surprised you have your low mids flat (I run mine at around 1 to 2 o'clock). That could be the nature of your cab though so I'm glad it is working for you.
  9. mikeyvr6

    mikeyvr6 Supporting Member

    Feb 19, 2002
    Plymouth, Wisconsin
    Absolutely! The low/low-mid issue wasn't as pronounced through my 2x10 or 8x10 as it was the SWR 8x8, which in itself is very mid-focused. Engaging the LF Extend really filled out the low end that this cab is capable of.

    I think you're right, although I can bet you $100 that it'll be the first knob I reach for once I get this rig onstage! Thanks again for taking the time to inquire and assist me Roger. I am a very satisfied GB consumer! :hyper:

    And to everyone else--please, if you have a chance, go check out a Genz Benz head. They really are as good as everyone says they are. :bassist:
  10. snappytom


    Aug 17, 2005
    Nice ..... the price you paid is excellent for a used head ... for a new one it is insane !

    The GBE600 is my newest acquisition currently being played thru Ampeg SVT210 and SVT15. Definitely a different sound than my Ampeg head but much easier to get different tones, and tons more power (GB amps seem to be very conservatively rated in terms of output). I am still getting used to it, but it is an awesome amp.

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