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Weird Choices but Both Offers Hard to Pass Up: RH450 or STL900

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Jawbone, Feb 12, 2013.


  1. Jawbone

    Jawbone

    Jul 15, 2010
    Humboldt County
    I know next to nothing about both of these amps but have an opportunity to get either for a very good value.

    RH450
    From what I've read the RH has a lot of power and I love the flexibility of the eq section. Also heard this company makes the least noisiest amps of all. Also have read you can dial in about any tone you want with a little work even that of an SVT CL. Hmmm.

    GB STL-900
    Lots of tubie tones but doesn't really hit the mark when trying to overdrive. Lack of tube power section may be the culprit. When pushed I've read where the low end gets saturated. EQ section is kind of "different" and would take some getting use to. Definitely rocks the house.

    The bad news is neither of these are that poplar in county and I'd be buying on blind faith - that where you come in. Not really a biggie because I'd probably flip it if I end up not being impressed. I just have always been a little weary of the whole class d amp craze. But I need a small basement amp and these seem to capable and fit the budget. Cheers.
     
  2. jungleheat

    jungleheat Banned

    Jun 19, 2011
    DC
    Definitely the Genz. The reason the TCE might be the "least noisiest" is because they rate their amps 2 or 3 times over what they actually put out.
     
  3. dukeorock

    dukeorock Owner BNA Audio Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 8, 2011
    Nashville, TN
    Authorized greenboy designs builder/Owner of BNA Audio
    No contest...Streamliner...the TC is kinda neat, but a bit gutless.
     
  4. ScottTunes

    ScottTunes Gear-A-Holic

    Feb 7, 2011
    So Cal
    I've been using the TCE for a couple of years now, and really like it!

    Tried the GB STL900 after I already had the RH450, and preferred the RH450.

    The TCE is more versatile in tone and feel that the STL, and can range in "feel" from just a bit tube-like sloppy to SS tight... Thanks to the "programmable" EQ, the TCE has a great range of sound types. And in spite of what is said about "actual" output power, it can get very loud with the right cabs/speakers.

    I really appreciate the TCE's multi-band compressor! Combined with the "tube tone" and power management, it has a very tube like sound and feel. Especially when you crank it up past the halfway point.

    For my playing style (60-ish Mowtown, flats, vintage tube amp, etc), the STL should have been perfect... But it just didn't hit the spot for me. Too soft on the attack (another word I read is "pillow-y"), and lacks definition somehow. The TCE gets about "90% similar" to the STL amp's sound...

    If you like the Ampeg SVT V-9, the TCE is designed to emulate that amp in sound and feel. It comes close... and although I haven't been able to compare them side-by-side, I would likely still prefer the SVT beast. But the TCE is close enough for me to sell all of my vintage tube bass amps (including the '69 Sunn 200S, '72 Traynor YBA1A MkII, '72 Fender Bassman 100)... Basically, it's a tube amp without tube hassle. AND I can get "my" sound at any volume, rather than just at the amp's sweet spot. Worth it's weight in gold right there!

    Writing about sound is not my strong suit... Sorry... And of course, all IMO/IME... YMMV.
     
  5. Baird6869

    Baird6869 RIP Gord Downey. A True Canadian Icon.

    +1. TC blatantly lied about the output of this amp.

    The RH450 does sound good though... But I didn't find a setting that nailed a SVT.

    I have owned 2 Genz amps and I didn't find them noisy at all.
     
  6. Tunaman

    Tunaman

    Dec 26, 2004
    Boston
    Remember you can put any preamp pedal into the back of a Genz & have a completely different sound, using it just as a 900w poweramp.

    Cool stuff
     
  7. FYI, the voicing of the RH450 is more about vibing a sealed multi10 cab (i.e., like a fridge) than the actual SVT head. It does a very nice job of that... low end attenuated but punchy, very warm in the mids, and a treble purposely rolled off above 4K or so to vibe the top end of an old school 10" driver, no matter what cab you have.

    Cool voicing (as long as the OP is not looking for deep low end and sparkle up top), amazing features, loud.

    The Streamliner is almost the exact opposite... big down low, very relaxed in the midrange, and very tube sweet extended up top. A number of SVT/Streamliner comparison clips are very impressive to me. Just like a bit tube amp, the Streamliner is a bit picky (IMO and IME) on cab pairings. If you like a tight, punchy tone, you better have a cab that gets you at least part of the way there.

    I've gigged both extensively, and they are literally almost the complete opposite of each other.
     
  8. Jawbone

    Jawbone

    Jul 15, 2010
    Humboldt County
    Thanks for the feedback - as stated, this is for a practice/demo/recording/basement setting. Not looking to crack and replace the mortar between the CMU. So LOUD is not really one of the main factors here.

    Since either of these can be had at a nominal cost I've decided I can leave my SVT in the truck so I don't have to cart it up and down the stairs. It will be mated to a GB Uber 212T

    I've read both get close to the tube vibe which is a plus since I'm playing 50's/60's/70's rock and blues. Also would like to do some recording from it. Sounds like the RH will get me there but not with the big low end that the STM has. Are they both punchy?

    The clips I've heard of the RH on you tube of the RH are weak but everyone likes the tone. Will it get me close to the overall blues brother tone? (No I'm not DD)
     
  9. Eublet

    Eublet

    Jul 28, 2006
    The RH750 compares more directly to the STL900 in terms of output and volume. It's also a more flexible head given some additional features that were added. The RH450 leans toward the dark and gritty side and is hard to nudge out of that mold, so if you like that tone then it'll always get you there easily. The RH750 can brighten up a good bit but it still has a retro quality to the tone.

    The STL900 is just big and clear sounding. Scooped mids, big bottom, and a lot of clarity in the highs. The overdrive can be added but it's not vintage sounding at all IMHO no matter what you do. It does have a tube feel to it, but more in the sense of a super high-quality studio preamp kind of tone rather than a vintage head. For the latter the RH750 is what you need, which is also a killer unit in the studio.

    Some folks have complained over the difficulty in getting the mid content desired on the STL900. Others have complained about the ability to get clean, sparkly tones on the RH heads. Neither head could be considered a true replacement of the other, so if choosing between them you need to know what you want from it first.
     
  10. Jawbone

    Jawbone

    Jul 15, 2010
    Humboldt County
    Just noticed I had a typo I am referring to the Streamliner STM-900, not the shuttle 9.0/.2
     

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