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TC Electronic or GB 9.0, tough decision

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by chjohnst, May 7, 2010.

  1. chjohnst


    Nov 24, 2008
    Yes its all subjective, I havn't had a chance to play through a TC unit yet but I listened to some recordings on here recently and there are mixed reviews. I play a lot of hard rock and funk/blues (zep, rhcp, hendrix, etc). The GB 9.0 looks really good for the money and sounded great in my brief demo with it and the tube preamp is nice add-on. But the TC I have yet to hear, everyone on here seems to all the rave about it. I never heard of them before I got on this forum so I am trying to understand what the buzz is about. Their marketing makes the amp to look like its a toy or "so easy an amateur could use it". I will admit from the the looks of it, seems well put together and has a bunch of features that may be attractive for some (tuner, compressor, tube simulation). The recording I heard it sounded like a very warm unit, but not as articulate as the GB (seemed to be more middy and punchier which perhaps might suite my playing style more)

    Now that I am narrowing my decision down to these two heads I am trying to see which is right for me.

    Oh and I am looking to pair the amp up with (2) HT12 Bergantino cabinets.
  2. ()smoke()


    Feb 25, 2006
    did you listen to the clips down in the Rocket Music forum, under the Bergantino thread? Also--VroomVroom's thread on the Berg cabinets here in Amps has some clips as well, I believe

  3. silky smoove

    silky smoove Supporting Member

    May 19, 2004
    Seattle, WA
    If you're playing blues and rock stuff like you listed above, I think the RH450 would be an excellent choice. I really disliked that head, but for the type of music you're playing I think it would be a great choice. The feature set of that head is nothing short of incredible as well.

    The 9.0, assuming it's voiced like the Genz Benz GBE stuff (my only Genz experience) is considerably more hi-fi and wide. Probably not ideal for what you're doing. The Shuttle stuff might be voiced differently, so take that with a grain of salt.
  4. chjohnst


    Nov 24, 2008
    Yea Greg and I have been chatting, he has provided me some very valuable input. Also listened to the clips. (he did say stay away from neo cabinets if I can deal with the extra 7lbs on the HT bergs)

    I am very indecisive person, I have been researching cabinets and heads for the last 4 months. I finally got to play on a bergantino setup a local studio here in NYC and I was floored at the tonal range I was able to get from it. (was tempted to get Epifani, but havnt found a local dealer near my office that carries them).
  5. chjohnst


    Nov 24, 2008
    To be honest I play a little bit of everything as I am in a cover project and two smaller personal projects (acoustic rock and a hiphop funk project). But I play a lot RHCP style music though.

    I am going from a heavy 4x10 GK cabinet and a backline 600 amp that is just not practical for my gigging and rehearsal needs. Carrying an 80lb cabinet up from my basement studio to my truck and then to rehearsal spots is just no pracical. So time to downsize.
  6. uaudio


    Apr 11, 2008
    I found that the feature set of the TC unit made me overlook slight issues I had with the sound. With a VT bass pedal or another preamp that you love, it's an amazing setup.
  7. For that sound? Warm rock/finger funk?

  8. silky smoove

    silky smoove Supporting Member

    May 19, 2004
    Seattle, WA
    The feature set of the amp is really something to behold. Since the OP is stressing the need to downsize, I really think the TC would be a wise choice since it eliminates the need to carry any extra stuff. With that amp it's like you're bring an external tuner, a compressor, a tube emulator pedal (i.e. BDDI, VT, etc. just a different voicing), and a multi channel head, but it's all in one easy to carry, lightweight package. As far as downsizing without losing functionality is concerned, this amp really can't be beat. If only I liked the tone for what I'm currently playing, I would have bought it in a heartbeat.
  9. chjohnst


    Nov 24, 2008
    I play finger style (almost never with a pick) and some slap bass.
  10. chjohnst


    Nov 24, 2008
    Is that compressor actually that good? I have EBS multicomp that is literally always on with tube emulation mode and its one of those pedals that I would never likely replace unless something was that much better. The GB head has a Tube preamp in there, I didn't get alot of playing time with it when I demo'd unfortunately and I wasn't on the right cabinet to get a real feel for it to see if it made any difference whats-so-ever.

    The specs on the TC look nice, 3 custom presets, tube sim, compressor and tuner but I am more of a component type of person when it comes to things like that. Are they even any good.
  11. The features really do work well. The tuner is great, tubetone allows a slight hair all the way to full on tube drive and more. The presets work well, and despite the fact I don't use the compressor much, it's very slick and musical.

    Very loud, punchy and tight.

    Finger style and slap sound is great. It's not hugely bright and hifi like the Genz, more warm and thumpy...more tube like with a twist of the option of modern tones.

    Try one if you can :)
  12. chjohnst


    Nov 24, 2008
    I ended up talking to Greg on the phone he was nice enough to offer sending me both amps to try and out pick out the one that works for me within a 7 day return window.

    This whole class D stuff is all very new to me.... I worry I wont be able to keep up with two loud guitar players and a drummer who thinks hes chad smith :)
  13. silky smoove

    silky smoove Supporting Member

    May 19, 2004
    Seattle, WA
    It all comes down to compromise. The compressor in the TC was pretty good if memory serves, but it won't sound like your EBS. Likewise, I play through a Tecamp Puma1000 that has an onboard compressor that's very very nice, but my Rothwell Love Squeeze stays on my board, is always on and the Puma compressor is always off. It's not that it sounds bad, but I've decided that the Rothwell is part of my sound and have compromised by having to carry more gear. If I wanted to carry less gear I'd compromise on tone and just use the onboard one. There's always compromises in bass gear, you just have to decide where you want to place them.
  14. Bass7755

    Bass7755 Supporting Member

    Oct 27, 2000
    Roanoke, Va.
    I am going to purchase a new head soon. These two are at the top of my list. Rocket Music is only 45 minutes from me so
    when Greg has both of these in stock (and I have the cash)
    I'm going to take a little road trip to Blacksburg. :hyper:
  15. LeonD

    LeonD Supporting Member

    I'm also considering both of these heads.

    Is there a big volume difference between the two heads seeing there is a big difference in power output?

    Any more opinions or info?
  16. The TC RH450 is smoothly rolled off above 5K, giving it a bit of a vintage 'rock' type voicing (like a higher quality Ampeg type tone). I really dig it, and totally disagree with the comment about staying away from the Berg Neo's. The RH450 and AE Berg cabs are a match made in heaven if you like it punchy, tight and just a touch grindy. Check out my Sadowsky clip with the RH450 and AE410 in my YouTube channel. That is my primary gigging rig now, and it hammers. I again find the TC head to really match up well with a less smooth, more aggressive voiced cab like the Berg AE's. The TC RS210's kill also... VERY impressive cabs for the money.

    I recently tried a Shuttle 9, and it sounded very good... MUCH brighter up top than the RH450. Can't really comment on absolute volume, although they seemed pretty close (TC wattage rating is VERY conservative, I've found Genz to be just the opposite). The EQ is much more limited on the Genz, but it is similarly tight and punchy down low, and again, much more extended in the upper treble, and quite a bit brighter in the upper mids. I really like the Genz/AE matchup also... very grindy in the upper mids and tight.
  17. LeonD

    LeonD Supporting Member

    Thanks for the input Ken.

    A little background, I'm in the process of selling a Mesa M9. I absolutely love this head for it's tone but I'm looking to downsize.

    I also have a GB Shuttle 3.0 and find I end up taking it to practices and small gigs more than the M9 because of it's size.

    My initial thought was to get a GB 9.0 because I do like my 3.0 but then I started reading about the RH450. And now I'm torn.

    One of the big pluses for me with the GB is their customer service. It seems top notch. How is TC Electronics customer service?

    I'll be playing either head thru either an Epifani UL 1x12 (small gigs) or UL 4x10 (large gigs).

    Thanks again.
  18. I don't find the TC RH450 to be a great match with the UL line of Epi cabs.... not a great mix and match with the wide, hi fi voicing of the Epi cab and the more vintage voicing of the TC head.

    My favorite Genz head is the Shuttle 3.0. I'm not a fan of the regular Shuttle 6 and 9 Tube pre, but others totally love it. If you dig the 3.0 and need it louder, and the M9 is too big and bulky, you might want to consider the Shuttle Max 6. It is not a micro in size (still much smaller than your M9), but is a micro in weight (I think around 8 pounds). Since it has an FET channel, you would get a similar tone as your 3.0, but much louder, and the Shuttle Max does not have the low end roll-off that is baked into the standard Shuttle 3 and 6.

    I have tried the Max 6 with my Epi 410UL, and it kills, and has GREAT EQ, dual channel, etc. Really nice piece of gear... that would be my recommendation (again, assuming you dig the tone of your 3 with the Epi cabs).

    Regarding customer service, having the company headquarters in the same country as the customer is a very good thing. However, buying the TC head from a great dealer in the US (Like TBer Donovan from the Fretspot) is almost just as good... no issues there. However, I would not want to try to deal with TC directly from the US, and therefore would not buy a TC product from one of the mass merch sites like Musician's Friend.

    IMO... check out that Shuttle Max 6... nice unit! If you need to keep it really small, the Shuttle 9 sounds WAY better than the Shuttle 6 (non Max)... louder, fuller in the low end.
  19. chiplexic


    Apr 21, 2004
    I too am considering both these Brands and Models
    Another part of the consideration is warranty.

    Genz Benz is 3 years on Shuttles-transferable and great US based customer service throughout the warranty and beyond.

    I think ,for my needs, that the TC Classic450 would be perfect. But the Shuttle 9.0 is super adjustable and given I'm not extremely tone picky I think I could definatly have sufficient results from the Shuttle 9. Again...the Classic450 though, would be it.

    If Genz had a FET only Shuttle 6.0 I think I'd own it already.I also prefered the 3.0 over 6.0 and 9.0. I don't want to buy and carry all the extra the 6.0 MAX has. I just want FET. Ooohh they better not intro one at summer NAMM just after I make another purchase!

    One thing that concerns me about the TC amps is warranty. 1 year. I looked into service scernarios and was told by respected dealers that they would definately be there for me. But they don't think any repair work would be available to me locally. I suppose that's fine during warranty but that's only one year. Definately made me pause. And unfortunalely I think it would be the amp for me.

    Yes most problems pop up sooner than later. But some also pop up after a good stretch of use too....beyond 1 year.
  20. scowboy

    scowboy Supporting Member

    Jun 9, 2006
    Sacramento area
    I also went through a similar debate though I was going to buy a ShuttleMax 12.0. I heard the Shuttle's locally and could not try the RH locally. So I did a lot of reading here on TB watched all the demo videos and bought the RH450 and two RS210's. I had been using for a very brief period a Little Mark II and an Ashdown ABM500 EVO II. Love both of the ... the Ashdown in particular. The RH has become my FAVORITE head I have ever owned. I had some reservations about it initially but I am finding it is really what I want and may not have realized.

    I bought my whole rig from Greg at Rocket over the telephone. Thanks Greg! Yes I still want an RS112.

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