Genz Benz to unveil two new bass heads at Winter NAMM
(Dave Molter | Posted 2011-01-11)
Details are few and far between, but the chatter on Internet bass boards has confirmed that Genz Benz will unleash two new lightweight bass amps at Winter NAMM 2011.
The Genz Benz Streamliner (pictured at left) is a retro-styled, stripped down head with modern features and fewer knobs than most of GB's well-received Shuttle-series bass heads. The Streamliner will be available in 600- and 900-watt flavors and features a cool '50s-dashboard styling that should attract traditionalists. The 900 head will be slightly wider and somewhat heavier (6.5 pounds -- still pretty light) than GB's Shuttle 9.0 and features a 3-tube preamp section (vs the Shuttle's 1-tube pre). According to posts in online bass forums by GB insiders, the Streamliner is "voiced more traditionally" than GBs Shuttle series, which has the pristine hi-fi sound that many bassists love but still leaves some wishing for a "tubier" sound. The series also introduces GB's new "3dPM" circuit: "dynamic power management" module.
A few more details:
* Streamliner 600: 6 lbs; 375W @ 8-Ohms, 600W @ 4-Ohms
* Streamliner 900: 6.5 lbs; 500W @ 8-Ohms, 900W @ 4-Ohms
Tube input buffer
3-tubes, six gain-stages
~300v potential plate voltage
Back panel like Shuttle, minus footswitch
Rack mount available
D > 10.5"
Same power module as Shuttle series
3dPM Dynamic power Management system
Switchable between 120/240 volts
FRONT PANEL (left-to-right)
1/4" input jack
2-position gain button
Variable Gain knob
Bass - passive Baxandall-like
Mid control knob - active mid control network
Mid center freq selector: 220Hz, 600Hz, 2.5KHz
Treble - passive
Also new at NAMM will be the ShuttleMAX 9.0, a variation on the company's ShuttleMAX 12. The MAX 9.0 will feature the same switchable FET/Tube channels that give the ShuttleMAX series such amazing versatility along with four-band EQ on each channel and the three-pushbutton preset voicing setup of the MAX models. Couple this with DI and effects loop feature and you've got a bass amp that will supply enough power and features for about 90% of gigging bassists.
I've been using Genz-Benz amps for the past 10 years and am very excited about these two developments. I've never met a GB amp that I didn't like -- I started with a 200-watt 2x10 combo, moved up to the NEOX 400 112 combo and now run the Shuttle 6.0 with a 112SLT and 112 NEO cabinet. GB offers quality construction and unparalleled customer service along with features designed with pro bassists in mind.
Pricing for the Streamliner 900 is expected to be around $900 USD, street. ShuttleMAX 9.0 pricing was not available at the time of this writing, but should fall well within the price range of gigging bassists.
Dave Molter is Managing Editor and bass Guitars Editor of MusicGearReview.com. He has played professionally for 46 years.