Saturday, March 8, 2014

Genz Benz Shuttle 9.2 Bass Amplifier Head Review


We are looking at a milestone today. I recently replaced the bass amplifier that I had owned for longer than any amp before, the Genz Benz Shuttle 6.0. I replaced it with a more powerful and slightly updated version of the same thing, the Genz Benz Shuttle 9.2. I think this one will be sticking arounf for a while too.

I could not help it, I was tempted by super-low blowout pricing.

The Shuttle 9.2 is truly a marvel of modern technology. It is small and lightweight, with a footprint of 10” by 10” and a total weight of around 4 pounds. And despite its small size it can crank out 500 watts at 8 ohms, or 900 watts at 4 ohms.

Of course, it uses a class-D solid state power amp to get this much output without a weight penalty, but still uses a 12AX7 tube pre-amp to get a nice warm tone. Plus you can dial in a ton of gain on the pre-amp stage and get your tone all crunchy. The .2 models got the Genz Benz 3DPM™ power management circuitry for increased headroom and a heavier tone. So, it is plenty loud and it sounds good.

But, it also has plenty of features, most of which really work for me.

On the back are an effects loop, a dedicated tuner out, two Speakon outputs, a Genz-only type footswitch jack, an XLR output and a ¼-inch headphone jack.

On the front are gain and volume for the pre-amp, the 3-band EQ with parametric mids, a mute switch (also yay!), three signal-shaping switches and a master volume control. And do not forget the world’s brightest LEDs.

My only gripe is that the power switch is located on the back of the unit. That’s all!

I have paired the Shuttle 9.2 with a pair of Aguilar cabinets (GS112 and GS112NT) and this is a formidable combination. I am getting more than enough usable volume, even if I only use one cabinet. benefit of the 600-watts. This set-up has a very organic tone, and not as sterile as my previous rig. The overdriven tone is insane, and overall it is more full and heavier than anything I could achieve with my old Shuttle 6.0. It is not a knob farm, so set-up and changes on the fly are uncomplicated.

I am not sure what the warranty and service situations are with Genz Benz products after the Fender upheaval, but I am pretty sure Fender will take care of things if there are any problems. That being said, I have owned four Genz Benz amplifiers over the years and have had no problems with any of them.

You used to be able to find the Genz Benz Shuttle 9.2 online at a street price of $829, discounted from the list price of $1099. But, the supply seems to be drying up after the Genz line-up was cut by Fender. If you have a chance to buy one, you ought to snap it up because they are a great amp for the money!


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