Genz Benz GBE600

So i stumbled across this amp on a local trading site, never heard of them before so did some research and quickly realised this was a very competent amp which received some great reviews and feedback. Up until this point ive only ever owned combo amps so this along with a cab will be a decent upgrade in volume. Im hoping to check this amp out in a couple of days and hoping you fine folk can help me out with what i should be looking or listening out for? The guy selling it will have it connected up ready for me to plug in and play.

Also, i understand these amps are close to 20 years old. In terms of technology is this considered a dinosaur or is it up to par and able to match it in terms of tone and adjustments as newer, more modern amps


I kno of the amps, and know tgey are well regarded.

I have 2combo amps from the early 90’s and a matching cab.

I have a gallien Krueger head from late 90’s or early 2000’s and a new to me Carvin head that is about 20 years old and was well loved for its small light body that could profuce sounds like dinosaur amps that are big abd heavy and one of the more sought after rock and metal bass amps mase. Ampeg SVT.
The Carvi also lets you shape tone away from SVT with pretty wide Tonal range.
Fir SVT, anybody from Black Sabbath yo Rage Against tge Machine
Are tgey dated, no

So, my SWR’s which are user models made from From SWR to match theeir studio amps thar changed music recording for bass guitar forever, and eventually for live shows too.
Are tgey bad and dated., No.

Gallien Krueger is very Gallien Ktueger in the way that Marshall is very marshal and Orange is very Orange. Gallien Krueger, most would first think Flea and RHCP tho many others use them.
Dated? No

Carvin, dated, no.

Carvin is almost folded, running extremely limited operations.

SWR was bought bt Fender, and sadly closed, and no, fender amps are not SWR’s now. They become harder to find I guess but still hold value.

Gallien Krueger and Ampeg are still very much alive and great amps.

That said, Genz Benz are a great, not dated amp, and are in a higher class then say fender rumble and Crate or Peavey (i am not saying anything bad about those, I have used them all at one time or another) and could suite you, but only if it suits you.

You should not buy gear people tell you to get based on name and price, although if you say what you are looking for and whats your budget, tgen people can recommend tgings to look at.

I cant say if the Genz Benz will suit you, only it is a good amp, if in good condition.
I would recommend looking at it, and getting it if you like it.

I dont know more about them, so I cant offer tips to them but just tgat it only matters what you like, and what type of music you want to play, or if that matters to you.

Sometimes buying gear on brand rep and available for a bargain is a goid deal.
Other times it is not because after you get it you cant make sounds yiu want to get.

There are always preamp pedals to shape your tone, but why buy boutique amp to use other anps pre amps? Only you can answer that.

I often play my amps straight from my bass cuz I love tge tones I can get with SWR and my Carvin head thru SWR cab.

Other times I use pedals to change the sound to something else. If I had to use pedals all the time to get sounds I like from my amps, then I would get new amps.

Soorry I cant speak directly to that amp, but i can just say, buy what you like, dont buy what yiu dont cuz others do, unless you like them for the same reasons others do.


Also, consider this.
Fender makes more money selling reissues of old basses then they do on current models, except for tge fact many current models are reissues of things much older then 20 years.

And I dont mean expensive old basses built in the 60’s, I mean basses recreated today to replicate models built in the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s.

Squire too. Current squire models from today are $250, but Squires built to replicate 60’s and 70’s basses are $500

Same with amps. They always look to get the sounds from the past, but in smaller lighter packages.

20 year old texh in an anp is probably newer gear with 60 year old tech, or newer tech to be smaller but same sounding as old tech.

Only thing with aged gear is, check switches and connections, especially input jacks and heasphone jacks, as those are used most and could fail first.
But if in good condition, and all works, its prob fine.

If you like it.


Hi @BK .

Absolutely. When it came out it was a very advanced amp with capabilities that are hard to find even now.

Specifically, it’s two amps in one. Both a solid state and a tube amp. You can use either one stand alone or you can use them both at the same time and blend them.

It’s a pretty amazing amp. The only thing new amps might have over it is lighter weight.

If you want to read over the specs and features, take a look here. The GBE 600 is #49 on this page.
Page 3 of Genz Benz Amplifier Manuals and User Guides PDF Preview and Download (

Lastly, the engineer that designed it works for Mesa now but still does work on the Genz Benz amps. He is Darkhorse on the forum.


Thanks guys, appreciate you taking the time to respond. @eric.kiser Ive read that you mention Darkhorse in other posts and have read a heap about these amp over on talkbass. And agree @T_dub with everything you’ve said regarding older gear … thanks.

A friend of mine has told me when i arrive to make sure the amp is connected to a cab without the instrument cable plugged in, switch it on and losten out for any noise. Any other things i should be doing?


look for any noise associate with any switch, button or dial.
That means, play open whole notes, and let them ring out while playing with every switch button or dial, to see if anything makes static or pops.
You probably know, but turn the amp on and off, with master volume down, and don’t plug the instrument into the amp, or the speaker into the amp while it is powered on. That goes for removing the cables as well, make sure the amp is off. You probably already know that but doesn’t hurt to say it.
Do the static / pop tests with the volume reasonably low, but up enough to notice drastically, probably Master volume around 2 is enough with a powerful amp.
With it really low, around 1, try to wiggle the input connection a little and see if it cuts in and out, just to see if the jacks are getting worn out. You can do it on the speaker cables as well.

Thats pretty much what your friend said to do, but a little more specific how to do it.

If you get hum, and your instrument normally does not, see if you can easily identify the source, sometimes its a cell phone, or something simple, sometimes, it could be the amp, but most often it will be something simple, but make sure.

Also check it with the volume up of course, and make sure you can get clean tones as well as overdriven ones, although overdriven ones are not as important, you can always, and probably will add some sort of overdrive pedal for that, but check it gets the clean tones you like.

Thats about all I can think of, if I think of anything else I will, if I missed anything hopefully others can add to the thread.


Thank you @T_dub your advice is greatly appreciated


The only thing wrong with Genz Benz was Fender. Fender ran it to the ground.

Genz Benz and now Genzler are known for producing neutral tone. I love the concept a lot. I have the Genzler bass array combo stack and the Genzler acoustic pro then I picked up the Genz Benz acoustic, it’s really impressive filled to the brim with features and innovation.

I’ve seen the bass amp and speakers from time to time I might pick up another.


Ahhh, so SWR and Genz Benz have that in common.


It takes a special kind of screwups to destroy a thriving companies after taking over but fender probably do it for the intellectual properties and patents.

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Yeah thats apparently what they did. Bought the patents.

Anyways, with the help from the good people of on this forum i went in and purchaed this amp after having a good play with it. Could not hear any humming, buzzing, popping or anything else of that nature. I made plenty of tweaks on all the dials, pushed all the buttons and it all seemed to work fine. Now comes the next step … cabinets! Stay tuned, more help will be required whwn it cones time for them.


Awesome. Does yours come with the built in front kickstand so you can tilt the amp up?

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To be honest not sure. It came in a bass amp case. When i get some time this afternnon i may take it out and have a look.

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