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Jugghaid

Amp Shootout Round 1 results..........

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O.K. As a bunch of you know I am doing a shootout of basically equivalent amplifiers by different manufacturers in search of the ultimate amp hear. I'm starting on the middle to low end and working my way up to more expensive gear as I go. This way I can demo several less expensive amps at once and narrow the field more quickly.

 

I have played on these amps at home (except the one that showed up 5 minutes before rehearsal) and decided to take them to rehearsal to see how well they sit in a live mix situation with a full band. To me that is the true test of the amp.

 

All of these amps were tested using the same 3 basses (Sentinel 5XL, Mike Lull Vintage Jazz 4 & MTD Kingston fretless 5) and the same cabs (Eden D-210XLT & Eden D-115T) to make the most accurate comparison. This will be the case for all of the tests.

 

All of the amps are also in the 400-500W range for power.

 

The first 4 amplifiers are as follows: Yorkville 400B, Euphonic Audio iAMP 500, Genz Benz GBE-500H, and Ampeg SVT-IIIPRO.

 

 

Here's a shot of them all in the rack and on the cabs....very purdy

 

ampshootout1.3895125.jpg

ampshooutout2.9973795.jpg

 

 

I'll list them in the order I bought them.

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Yorkville 400B:

 

Really nice little amp. Paid a couple hundred bucks for it a few months ago for a back up head and for jamming in the basement and I was shocked at how good it was for the $$$$.

 

Features: 7 The front panel is very simple. Has a gain knob, a Volume knob and a 10-band Graphic EQ. There is no parametric or semi-parametric on this amp. All the EQ is in the Graphic. It has High and low gain inputs for active/passive and en effects loop send and return for a parallel effects loop on the front as well. line out as well. It also has a footswitch jack for the graphic EQ and contour (slap contour) functions. There are also buttons for the Graphic EQ in/out, Contour, and Limiter. The rear panel also has a series effects loop that is a tip/ring config which is good for a rackmount compressor, etc...and a balanced 1/4" line out. Lots of good stuff for an inexpensive amp.

 

Sound: 6 Pretty darn good. Very uncolored and clear, though not piano-like. Basically gives you a good representation of the sound of your bass. The contour is pretty good but a little bass-heavy for my tastes. The graphic EQ is effective but I still prefer even a 3 band semi-parametric to only a graphic. If you want 2 different sounds out of this amp and have it footswitchable, then it's what you have on the EQ and then just flat.

 

Overall Quality: 5: It's a pretty well made amp, but the pots are very scratchy and feel a little cheap. I have heard that the sliders and pots are noisy on many Yorkville amps, so it's not just this one. Case is pretty heavy duty and the jacks are pretty solid. The solder work inside the amp is sub-par IMO, especially for gigging. It got bounced around a bit in shipping to me and the 2 big caps came off the board. Now any amp will break if you abuse it but this was due to very poor cold solder joints. The rest of the amp held together better. This is important to me because gear doesn't always get treated nicely when you are gigging no matter how careful you are. {censored} happens and I need an amp to be able to withstand at least a little punishment.

 

Overall rating: 6

 

It's a good budget amp if you like one tone...clean. The EQ is useable but nothing special. Pretty good power output for its rating but about what I would expect. Great value for the money but there are definitely better amps out there. I'm still going to keep this one for a backup/practice amp though. It's perfect for that.

 

The Genz is next............

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Genz Benz GBE-500H

 

Got this one off the bay as well. Paid $412 + shipping for it. The rack ears were a little bent when I got it, but I fixed those up no problem and they're fine now. This is the predecessor to their current model, the GBE-600 that many of you rave about.

 

Features: 5

This amp has 2 preamps, one is FET and the other is Tube. You can control the level of each via knobs on the front panel. They are not, however, footswitchable for selecting them or blending them. I think their current model the GBE-600 does this. You can also control the tube harmonics and saturation levels from the front panel as well. Effects loop (serial) send and return jacks are on the front panel as well as the tuner out (which I like in the back better for a rack mount unit). Also there are active and passive inputs on the front panel, Master volume, and 4 band EQ. The DI is also on the front and has a pre/post EQ selection button and a ground lift button as well. Good design there.

 

Sound: 7

Great sounding amp with a ton of power. The loudest of the 4 by a pretty good margin. Power is not what this amp is lacking at all. Versatility is. You can get great tones out of it, don

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Euphonic Audio iAMP 500

 

Got this one off the bay as well. Paid $500 + shipping. A great deal on this amp. Showed up in great shape. I was a little surprised at the fact that it was a little heavier than I expected. It

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Originally posted by no-logic

WOW Jugghaid!!!!! Nice job! Do you work for a bass magazine?

 

Nope.

 

Bass magazines will generally tell you every amp is the best thing since sliced bread. I'll tell you what I really think. :)

 

These are all really good amps in their own right though. I will admit that. I liked them all, I'm just looking for the prefect amp for me.

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best on-topic post of the year. Keep it coming!

I'm dying to hear what you think about the Asdown compared to the Ampeg. (Also like to know what you think of the Ashdown, GenzBenz, Mesa Pulse, Ampeg SVT-IV comparison).

 

Great comparisons.

 

Stuff I'd like to see you test...

 

M-Pulse 600, SVT-IV, Hartke sm4000, Eden Road Runner, Aguilar db359, Ashdown ABM series and the new Fender line.

 

Thanks man. Great work. Wish I could have tested them as well!

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Originally posted by Andy Rontal

best on-topic post of the year. Keep it coming!

I'm dying to hear what you think about the Asdown compared to the Ampeg. (Also like to know what you think of the Ashdown, GenzBenz, Mesa Pulse, Ampeg SVT-IV comparison).


Great comparisons.


Stuff I'd like to see you test...


M-Pulse 600, SVT-IV, Hartke sm4000, Eden Road Runner, Aguilar db359, Ashdown ABM series and the new Fender line.


Thanks man. Great work. Wish I could have tested them as well!

 

 

Gonna test a lot of 'em. The M-pulse is probably the Mesa I'm going to test. You're right on targe with the Eden...WT-500. AMB500 for Ahsdown, either e Sunn or Fender 300T, and I want to try the new Genz Benz GBE-600 now that they've made a lot of the improvements I would have made over the GBE-500H.

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you might really like the Aguilar too. It's expensive, but it sounds delicious to my ears. I've been blown away every time I've played on one. At school, the three larger practice rooms had a Walter Woods through a Bag End cab (a Patitucci leftover I'm sure), an Ampeg SVT-IV through a Hartke 4x10 and an Aguilar db359 through an Ampeg 4x10pro. The Ampeg sounded great through the Hartke (the cab cleared up the detail from the Ampeg), but the Aguilar just sounded so {censored}in' hot. Warm, fat, yet detailed and clear. Mamma, what I'd do for that set-up.

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Originally posted by Andy Rontal

you might really like the Aguilar too. It's expensive, but it sounds delicious to my ears. I've been blown away every time I've played on one. At school, the three larger practice rooms had a Walter Woods through a Bag End cab (a Patitucci leftover I'm sure), an Ampeg SVT-IV through a Hartke 4x10 and an Aguilar db359 through an Ampeg 4x10pro. The Ampeg sounded great through the Hartke (the cab cleared up the detail from the Ampeg), but the Aguilar just sounded so {censored}in' hot. Warm, fat, yet detailed and clear. Mamma, what I'd do for that set-up.

 

The only Aggy I played was a DB359 and GC through an Aggy 112 and I wasn't that impressed. May have needed to be retubed though and most of the gear at that GC is abused, so I'll definitely give them another shot.

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Very cool.

 

I may just have to test out a Genz Benz now :p

 

 

Ya, you need to throw and Ashdown in there for some comparisons!!

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Originally posted by beam

Very cool.


I may just have to test out a Genz Benz now
:p


Ya, you need to throw and Ashdown in there for some comparisons!!

 

I will, I promise. I just gotta wait for the right deal. I got all of these amps at below fair market. I also think the Genz Benz and the iAmp might already be sold to fellow forumites. I'll pass on the good deals I get to you guys after I run them through the wringer to reiview them.

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Great work man. I think this thread is FAQ candidate!

 

 

And on Ashdown note - ABM and MAG series sound different - there are people who prefer the MAG.

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