Genz-Benz Shuttle 9.0

(Dave Molter | Posted 2009-12-02)

Genz-Benz Shuttle 9.0

I like powerful, clean, lightweight, portable bass amp technology (and who doesn?), and Genz-Benz has a new powerhouse head that you should check out. On October 1, 2009, the Arizona manufacturer rolled out its new Shuttle 9.0, a continuation of its highly respected, lightweight bass series that includes the Shuttle 3.0 and 6.0 standalone heads as well as the Shuttle combos and the larger, more feature-laden ShuttleMAX heads. The Shuttle 9.0 packs 900 watts (at 4 ohms, 450 at 8 ohms) into a 4-pound package that should sound great right out of the box, just like itís siblings.

Shuttle 9.0 features common across the Shuttle line include:

- Analog 12AXT Tube Preamp

- 3-Band Signal shaping pushbuttons that can be controlled on the fly using an optional footswitch

- Mute (also footswitchable)

- Active EQ with parametric mid

- Aux input

- Headphone out jack for practice)

- Effects loop

- XLR out with ground lift

- Tuner out

Iíve been using Genz-Benz exclusively for the last eight years, and I have nothing but good things to say about the line. With almost any bass, active or passive, GB amps deliver outstanding sound in all ranges. Word is that Genz-Benz has adjusted the EQ voicing on the Shuttle 9.0 to provide more bottom because the amp should be used with larger, more powerful cabinets. But Iíve found that the Shuttle 6.0, which Iíve been using since April 2009, gives plenty of bottom even with small cabs. Bass Boost, Mid Scoop and H.F. Attack pushbuttons allow you to tailor your sound from bottom heavy dub to slap happy scooped mids. Iíve had the best results running my Shuttle virtually flat, but a small turn of any of its three boot/cut tone knobs (parametric mid with sweepable frequency) can make a huge difference.

While the Shuttle 3.0 and 6.0 can be happily a paired with the Shuttle combo series speaker cabinets, Genz-Benz warns those looking for more oomph NOT to try coupling the Shuttle 9.0 with the Shuttle series cabs. Designed to give high power with minimal weight, the 9.0 needs to be used with a cabinet that can handle 450 watts at 8 ohms or 900 watts at 4 ohms Ė something like the GB Uberbass 410T, or -- if youíre a powerlifter or have roadies Ė the Uberbass 810T, GBís 120-pound answer to the SVT 8x10 cab. Based on my experience with GB amps and cabinets, Iíd guess that any well-made bass cab will sound great with the Shuttle 9.0, but remember that GB goes out of its way to design its heads to work best with the companyís own cabs.

The 9.0 has been popular, with initial stock selling out quickly (which speaks to the reputation of GB), but if you have a GB dealer nearby and have never tried a Shuttle, the 3.0 or 6.0 will give you whet you need to know Ė just think LOUDER for the 9.0. MSRP: $1,099; street: ~ $850.

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