Problem with Genz Benz GBE1200

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by RS4StringPlayer, Jan 9, 2009.

  1. I have a Genz Benz GBE1200. It is only about a year old. Just recently it started making a strange static noise when the signal level is low. What I mean by that is that if I hit a loud note it sounds fine. If I hit a note and let it ring, the blue signal LED will light up and as it starts to fade off and drops below the level sufficient to illuminate the signal LED, the amp produces a static and distortion noise through my cab. As the note continues to fade, the amp will buzz and pop then cut out completely. If I push in and out any of the buttons on the front panel, (i.e. Active/Passive, Mute, Tube/FET, Mix, Limiter, etc…) the amp will kick back in.

    This is an intermittent problem and I’ve noticed that it seems to happen mostly when the amp is cold. After I’ve been playing for a while and the amp heats up, the problem seems to go away or at least it is not as noticeable.

    This problem happens with all my basses and with different cables so I know it's not coming from those. I don't have another cab to try but I really don't think it's the cab.

    Has anyone run into this problem before? Any of the Genz guys on here, do you have any idea what might be causing this issue?
  2. DougD

    DougD Bassman7654

    Sep 19, 2002
    North Las Vegas NV
    Try a little contact cleaner. It works wonders:)
  3. KsPiNeSh


    Mar 28, 2008
    Kansas City
  4. Fretlessboy

    Fretlessboy Guest

    Nov 29, 2007
    St Augustine Florida
    Endorsing artist GENZ BENZ/HERCULES STANDS/XSonics
    I am sure aged horse will check in at some point
  5. One other thing I forgot to mention is that the FET channel is now very noisy. Even if the mute button is pushed in, there is a constant loud hum. If I switch to the tube channel the noise goes away.

    Thanks for the replies so far.
  6. hasbeen

    hasbeen Commercial User

    Sep 23, 2004
    Vice President, KMC/JAM USA: Distributor of Ashdown amplification
    did you buy new?..doesn't matter much ..we'll stand behind it..just want to know origin of amp.

    Either way- NAMM week next FIRST thing on Monday, call the shop: 480.941.0705 and ask for Jeff or Scott....tell them your problem. It sounds like we need to get the amp back.

    Do you have a gig coming up for which you'll be challenged without your amp?
  7. ^^^ And that right there is a primary reason why GB is so awesome!

    You simply will NOT see this kind of CS support from any other amp manufacturer.
  8. Yes, I bought it new. I don't have a gig for a few weeks so I can live without it for a while. I'll call on Monday.

  9. svtb15

    svtb15 Inactive

    Mar 22, 2004
    Austin,TX - McKinney,TX - NY,NY, - Nashville,TN
    I play it all. Whatever works for the gig. Q+
    Maybe try this . I hope it will help...On the back of the amp try working a jack in and out of the EFFECTS SEND and RETURNS on both FET and TUBE and MASTER LOOP .sometimes oxidation builds up on the contacts.. If you get some Tuner or Electrical Contact cleaner, spray it in the jack slightly and insert the jack a dozen or so times... if that gets relief from the issue you may just need a good contact cleaning... Repeat if necessary.. I had a similar thing happen to an Alembic Preamp and my old svt3 years ago
  10. agedhorse

    agedhorse Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 12, 2006
    Davis, CA (USA)
    Development Engineer-Mesa Boogie, Development Engineer-Genzler (pedals), Product Support-Genz Benz
    By any chance are you coming from a very cold environment into a warm humid environment? This is probably one of the biggest causes of intermittent contacts and connections on all amps (not just ours). Generally, a cleaning by the service dept. takes care of all of this, but give Scott a call at the shop and he'll take care of you.
  11. Your41Plague12

    Your41Plague12 Guest

    Oct 30, 2007
    I don't own a Genz Benz amp (yet), but after seeing the kind of care they have for their customers, I don't understand why I didn't get one already. When my SVT broke down the first time, Ampeg pretty much told me to shove it and made me pay for repairs (even though it was covered under warranty, but that's another issue). A GBE 1200 will definitely be my next head.
  12. I do live in very cold environment but except for when I take it out for a gig, it sits in my living room where the temp is regulated.

    I tried spraying a little contact cleaner in the jacks as was suggested by a couple folks here and the problem is not happening now. I don't know if that fixed it or if was just the moving the amp around that made the problem go away. It has come and gone intermitently over the last couple months so I suspect the problem may come back.
  13. Dan Knowlton

    Dan Knowlton Sometimes you're the dog, sometimes the tree Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 3, 2000
    Palm Coast, FL
    You will NOT regret it... I went from the GBE-1200 to the Shuttle 6.0, mostly because the 1200 was REALLY over kill for playing in small churches, which is pretty much the only time I take my rig. Most of the time I play at large churches where they expect me to go through the house and, if there is a rig for a bass monitor, use theirs. (The other reason is that my laziness quotient keeps going up as I get older!).

    I'll probably be getting one of the Shuttle 12.0's soon - I just love being able to switch from the tube to FET preamp and blend them.

    Dan K.
  14. agedhorse

    agedhorse Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 12, 2006
    Davis, CA (USA)
    Development Engineer-Mesa Boogie, Development Engineer-Genzler (pedals), Product Support-Genz Benz
    When the amp is cold and you bring it into a venue, often there will be some small amounts of condensation that when it dries can leave the dust and stuff that's settled out of the air onto the jack's normalling switch's contact surface. This is a pretty big problem with mixing consoles, but all manufacturers face this kind of thing from time to time. Usually it's the effects return jacks that are the likely ones. We have also found bits of spider web inside the jacks, spiders seem to like dark little holes in some parts of the country.

    If the problem persists, try plugging and unplugging a cable into the effects return jack and if the problem disappears you are good to go. This applies to all manufacturer's products using serial effects loops.
  15. Well right now I'm very happy. :hyper:

    I cleaned all the jacks again and cleaned all the contacts for the buttons on the front of the amp. So far, the problem has not come back all day. Also, the hiss and hum from the FET channel is gone.

    I never would have guesed that crud in the effects loop jacks that I don't really use could have caused this problem.

    I'll see over the next week what happens. Thanks for all the feedback!
  16. ko stradivarius

    ko stradivarius Supporting Member

    Aug 14, 2006
    St. Louis
    Thats why I just sold the last of my Eden gear and switched to GB. I now own a GBE1200, a Shuttle 6, (2) NeoX 212 cabs, and a NeoX 112 cab. I'm covered for any venue and like having the peace of mind I can get help IF I ever have any problems with the gear. :hyper:

  17. ErnieD


    Nov 25, 2004
    you have the 1200 in some sorta case? I always keep the covers on my Gator/SKB cases closed tightly while they sit waiting for a gig. I take a small cloth now and then and wipe the inside of the cases and around the amps to get dust out of there.

    I also have a can of compressed air I use on my PC.
    Anyone know if spraying this into the amp(s) openings would keep it clean or is that overkill or just bad for the internals of the amp? Hope your 1200 issue stays away now and yeah we love that GB customer service. They've helped me a couple times over the phone and by PM or email, very cool.
  18. agedhorse

    agedhorse Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 12, 2006
    Davis, CA (USA)
    Development Engineer-Mesa Boogie, Development Engineer-Genzler (pedals), Product Support-Genz Benz
    Won't help, it's at the molecular level on the surface of the switch contacts. It's worse typically when they are unused for long periods of time. Again, this applies to every manufacturer that uses switches and jacks.
  19. WHughes

    WHughes Guest

    Nov 25, 2008
    Washington State
    So when I first saw this thread I thought, 'Holy Crap, what did I get myself into!' because I have a GBE due to arrive tuesday. I bought a used Ampeg this past March and it was still under warranty but I did not have original receipt. I paid to have it fixed when I burned up the first time. When I opened it up, it was obvious that it was not the first time it had happened. I called Ampeg and wrestled with their customer service people and they sent out another which also blew. Then another that blew, and now is getting repaired so I can sell it. I have burned up 4 SVT6 pro amps this year. 3 of them in front of a crowd of people. They say there is a moification that needs to be done to the amp. Luckily, I had a Mesa Pulse 600 plugged and ready this last time. I thought Ampegs customer service was good at first, but they will not fix another amp for me and now, I really cant trust them.
    I am excited about my Genz Benz purchase and now feel better knowing these guys are out here in our world taking care of us and building a good reputation by standing behind their product.

  20. ProfGumby

    ProfGumby Guest

    Jan 15, 2007
    Michigan's U.P.
    As a long term Peavey guy, that is also why the GB amps are in the running when I add a biger amp in the next year, or two....don't get me wrong, there are a lot of amp companies that represent themselves well after the sale, but the guys at GB sure stand out!

    Sorry for thehijack, we now return you to your regularly scheduled programming.........