Sunday, January 22, 2017

NAMM 2017: Genzler Magellan 350 Combo Bass Amplifier Preview


I was glad to see Jeff Genzler start a new amplifier business, as I really enjoy the tone and features of his products. In fact my current rig is a Genz Benz Shuttle 9.0 through a pair a pair of Aguilar cabinets, and I have used this rig for longer that any I have ever owned. And, at this year’s NAMM I was able to chat with Jeff for a few minutes (he is a personable guy), and check out Genzler Amplification’s new Magellan 350 combo bass amplifier.

Jeff has moved from Arizona to Brooklyn (yay!), and parlayed the name equity he earned at Genz-Benz into his new company, Genzler Amplification. They sell a smaller line of products that is focused on bassists that are looking for reliable gear with modern features, plenty of power, good tone, and a reasonable price. This is a tough combination to achieve, but Jeff and his longtime engineer, Scott Andres, have the experience and industry contacts to pull off this feat. As an added bonus, a portion of sales goes back into his local community to support music programs. From every angle I really dig what they have going on!

This Genzler combo is a package that include the Magellan 350 (MG-350) head and the all-new Bass Array 10-2 (BA10-2) cabinet. The mount for the head is a cleaner design that then one used on the Genz Benz Shuttle combo amps, which is not surprising as Jeff is always thinking of better ways to make things happen. The cradle is easy to remove from the cabinet if you need to, or if you want to move the cradle to a different cabinet.

The MG-350 head is the heart and brain of the combo, and it is capable of putting out 175 watts in this application, and up to 350 watts if you add another BA10-2 extension cabinet. These are 350 real watts, and this stack has more than enough output for most applications. This 3.5-pound amp measures 9” by 9.83” by 2.63” and it has a clean look. The front panel controls are intuitively laid out; they include volume, a mute switch, contour control (more on this in a bit), a 3-band equalizer with a sweepable parametric mid control, and a master volume control.

Around the back of the MG-350 are a the power switch, an IEC power cable socket, two Neutrik Speak-On speaker outs, an impedance selector switch, a ¼-inch auxiliary input, a ¼-inch headphone jack, and an XLR direct output with switchable mic and line level settings, pre and post EQs, and a pin 1 ground lift switch. What else could you want?

Let’s go back to the contour control. This switchable circuit (using the CURVE switch) allows continuously variable control of two different response curves using the SHAPE knob; you can tell which curve is selected by the color of the LED above the knob. I will left the Magellan Owner’s Manual explain the differences Curve A (Blue LED) “boosts lows and highs while simultaneously cutting Mids. The slopes are fairly gentle which keep the tone shaping very musical. This curve covers a wide range of sounds from flat to classic to modern depending on the position of the SHAPE control.” Curve B (Amber LED) “Provides a variable pre-shaped curve with attenuated high mids and highs, a low mid bump, and a slight roll-off of the lowest bass frequencies. Again, the slopes are fairly gentle which keep the tone shaping very musical. This curve is intended to provide sounds in the range of vintage amps and vintage cabinets that do not have tweeters.”

If you are looking for no tone changes or if do not like this feature, just turn the SHAPE knob all the way counter clockwise, and the result will be a completely flat setting (in either CURVE switch position).

The other part of the combo is the Bass Array 10-2 cabinet. This 13" by 15.5" by 15" box weighs 21 pounds and has a distinctive angled front and baffle held direct sound towards the player. It is loaded u with a single Neodymium 10” woofer and four 2.5” Neodymium line array drivers. It can handle 250 watts at 8 ohms, and has a frequency response of 55 to 20KHz. It is a classy-looking piece of work with a nubbly vinyl finish with metal corners and a single beefy carry handle along the back edge of the cabinet top.

When put together, The Magellan 350 combo measures 15.5” by 15”D by 16”H, and weighs in at around 25 pounds. It comes ready to play with a short Speakon cable to connect the head and cabinet. There are a pair of combination Speakon NL-2 and ¼” input jacks on the back of the cab so you add a second Bass Array 10-2 cabinet to take advantage of the full 350 watts from the MG-350. And, in my opinion, two of these look really tight when they are stacked.

Looks aside, the combo is also very effective gigging tool. There appears to be enough output for moderately sized gigs, and the tone is to die for. When trying it out at the 2017 NAMM show I found that it can be very smooth, but it also can be super punchy and responsive. Both of the tone curves should prove to be very useful, and I am especially impressed with the Curve B, which really delivers a sweet vintage tone. I look forward to wringing out this package a bit more in the future when I have more time!

I think Genzler’s Magellan 350 combo is a keeper and it should be a good seller for the company. It has a list price of $959, and if you want to add a second Bass Array 10-2 cabinet, it will have a list price of $569. I am not sure what MAP will be, but this is a great value, especially with Jeff Genzler’s history of making high quality products and his 3-year warranty. Check one out for yourself – I think you will be impressed! Go to for more details


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