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Tube Works RT-3160

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by watstrings, Apr 11, 2021.


  1. watstrings

    watstrings

    Apr 10, 2021
    I'm thinking about purchasing a RT-3160 (Tube Works) but can find no literature, wiring schematics on this amp. Does anyone have any idea where I could find at least a schematic? Thanks.
     
  2. abarson

    abarson

    Nov 6, 2003
    Santa Cruz
    Tubeworks was bought by Genz-Benz many moons ago. Folks that worked at GB like @agedhorse will tell you that they didn’t get a lot of intellectual property with that acquisition so it’s not surprising it’s scarce. Unfortunately GB is history as well.
    If I recall, the 3160 was essentially the same as the RT-3300, just with less power output. I can scan the user manual and I may still have a PDF of the circuit. I might need a couple of days.
    One thing I will say is that Tubeworks kit was well built and combos are heavy.
     
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2021
  3. agedhorse

    agedhorse Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 12, 2006
    Davis, CA (USA)
    Development Engineer-Mesa, Product Support-Genz Benz
    Those amps had been discontinued long before Genz Benz acquired TubeWorks. We got very little information on the old models, nor did we have service parts. I can’t find any documentation on that model.
     
  4. watstrings

    watstrings

    Apr 10, 2021
    Yes this combo is 56 lbs. has a 15" speaker and is rated for 160 watts. Do you know what type of speaker they used? This one has a FET/Tube switch. I assume this toggles the preamp between tube and solid state? It is in excellent condition but I'm wary of older equipment that has no documentation. Thank you for sharing your knowledge.
     
  5. agedhorse

    agedhorse Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 12, 2006
    Davis, CA (USA)
    Development Engineer-Mesa, Product Support-Genz Benz
    I don’t think I’ve even seen one. I don’t know.
     
  6. abarson

    abarson

    Nov 6, 2003
    Santa Cruz
    I believe that the speaker is made by Eminence and Tubeworks simply applied their label to the magnet.
    The selector does indeed toggle between the solid-state preamp, and the 12AX7-based tube preamp. I found I could get quite a bit of grit with the tube preamp, but I thought it also added noise. "Character", if you will.
    I'm pretty certain everything other than the output power section is identical to the RT-3300 and RT3175. Here's a copy of the owner's manual for them.
     

    Attached Files:

  7. watstrings

    watstrings

    Apr 10, 2021
    Thank you. I just got back from picking it up. TubeWorksAmp2.jpg
     
    JimmyM, S-Bigbottom and daveman50 like this.
  8. abarson

    abarson

    Nov 6, 2003
    Santa Cruz
    Looks quite the beast!
    I found the DIs in my RT-3300 to be pretty good for recording as well. Two channels at once: one clean and one post EQ. Mix to taste.
    I never really sensed what the limiter was doing, and never saw its LED kick on. The Contour control was good at making quick changes to accommodate different rooms. I'm kind of nostalgic for its sound but not its weight. The RT-3100 is still doing bedroom practice duty.
     
  9. fauxtoe

    fauxtoe Supporting Member

    Apr 20, 2018
    Southern California
    Oh wow! I haven’t seen one of those in at least 20 years!
     
  10. Element Zero

    Element Zero Supporting Member

    Dec 14, 2016
    California
    Reminds me of my first bass amp... “HotCabs” brand back in ‘94.
     
  11. agedhorse

    agedhorse Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 12, 2006
    Davis, CA (USA)
    Development Engineer-Mesa, Product Support-Genz Benz
    I don’t recall ever seeing one of these.
     
  12. spufman

    spufman

    Feb 7, 2005
    Central CT
    My RT-3100 1x10 combo still kicks serious arse! Really satisfying punch and much louder than its size and power would suggest. 10+ pounds heavier than my Shuttle combo, so it rarely leaves the house at this point.
     
  13. Jeff Genzler

    Jeff Genzler Commercial User

    Feb 9, 2007
    Brooklyn NY
    Currently GENZLER AMPLIFICATION / Formerly GENZ BENZ
    Ahhhh, I can see now that Agedhorse, has become Old Horse. He would probably not have remembered this part of history but GENZ BENZ did design and build all of the cabinets for Tube Works in this era of TW. This was probably made in the late 80's, maybe early 90's.

    @watstrings ---- maybe a picture of the back of the amp might be of interest too.

    BUT as I remember, this woofer could have been our beloved GBE 1560 woofer, which was a workhorse of many of our designs in the 80's - 90's. That is also a Motorola Piezo bullet tweeter, that I believe was discontinued many years ago, the era I like to call, the "Jeff with hair era". That was a pretty decent piezo at the time, much better than what was left after they discontinued them. There was a large 4" version and this smaller one---2.5" diameter I think.
    We would build the cabs ----- guitar combos, bass combos and separate cabs in AZ and ship them up to Denver where they stocked the cabs and loaded combos with their amp chassis and ship out of their factory as completed. There was a 4 x 10", 1 x 15" and a could of bass combos. Eventually they made a little 100W bass combo with a singe 10" I believe.
    Several heavy rockers played some of these TW bass cabs in the day.
    I eventually connected with Mars Cowling from Pat Travers band through these TW connections. Talk about one hell of a loud live band. Man --- Boom, Boom, out go the eardrums.
    Mars eventually played 2 of our GB215 cabs with MosValve Amps and Blue Tube preamps.

    Anyway ----- this combo you've found is in really good shape for it's age. BTW----you could use a razor to clean up some of the extra fuzzy carpet on the combo, if you'd care to do so.
     
  14. agedhorse

    agedhorse Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 12, 2006
    Davis, CA (USA)
    Development Engineer-Mesa, Product Support-Genz Benz
    To clarify, I don't recall ever seeing one of those amp chassis. I do remember building the cabinets for a variety of the TW combos/cabs.

    I looked at that driver and it's got the wrong cone type for the GBE-1560 (one of my all time favorite drivers). I believe it's a long discontinued GBE-1540-8 and (surprisingly) I still have some recone kits in stock for these.

    Being so long ago, there's a lot of water under that bridge and the details are indeed becoming more and more hazy for all of us!
     
    abarson likes this.
  15. abarson

    abarson

    Nov 6, 2003
    Santa Cruz
    If you've never connected an 8 ohms extension cabinet to this combo, you're missing some additional fun! And seriously loud watts. The cut-only EQ is kinda weird, though.
     
  16. abarson

    abarson

    Nov 6, 2003
    Santa Cruz
    Interesting history! I didn't know GB did the cabinet work, but it explains why they're indestructable.
    Leland Sklar has been selling off a lot of his old equipment, including a pair of RT-3300 210 combos. One has sold, the other is still available. I can only imagine how loud it is!
    Tube Works RT-3300 300w 2x10" Bass Combo Amplifier Owned by Leland Sklar #38795 | eBay

    The little 100-watt 110 combo is the RT-3100, which I still use almost daily.
    0412211106_Film2.jpg

    Wow, crappy camera!
     
    spufman and S-Bigbottom like this.
  17. abarson

    abarson

    Nov 6, 2003
    Santa Cruz
    @Jeff Genzler so which came first, the RT-3160 or the RT-3175? Any recollection? They both used a 15" speaker and tweeter.
     
  18. watstrings

    watstrings

    Apr 10, 2021
    I'll take some pics of the back when I get off work. Is there a date code in the serial number? I know it has some age on it like me. I like the American made equipment and it seems the older items are more substantial. Do you know if there are any schematics floating around out there? Abarson shared with me the RT-3300 user manual. That explains all of the controls but no schematic. Hopefully I'll never need it but I like to have as much literature as possible.

    I found this on craigslist Genz-Benz1.jpg Genz-Benz.jpg
     
  19. abarson

    abarson

    Nov 6, 2003
    Santa Cruz
    View attachment 4232814
    No, that's a Genz-Benz M-Line combo, and it doesn't share any of the circuitry as the Tubeworks models.
    I'm still looking for my copy of the RT-3300 schematics, which shares commonality with the RT-3175, but I'm unsure how much is in the RT-3160.

    There should be a sticker on the back with the serial number and manufactured date stamped on it. The stamp ink on mine is faded but shows May 28, 1996.
     
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2021
  20. abarson

    abarson

    Nov 6, 2003
    Santa Cruz
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

     
    May 8, 2021

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