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Gollihur Music
Amplifier Special - October 2011 Newsletter


Welcome to another in a series of our irregular and infrequent e-Newsletters!
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In This Issue:
  1. Special Sale - Thomastik Spirocore and Belcanto SALE ENDING
  2. Bob's Blog - Genz-Benz, One might ask...
  3. New Product Spotlight - Check Out Our New Amplifiers!
  4. Mark's Cool New Stuff - Acoustic Image Series 4 Released
  5. Acoustic Image Clearance - Big Savings on Brand New Amps
  6. Christopher's Corner - Using a Personal Monitor
  7. Thanks, Unsubscribe Info, Contact Us
Yes, this is the Amplifier Issue - but...
We thought it important to remind you:
OFFICIAL Thomastik Special Sale Pricing Expires Oct 31, 2011

...BUT, since you are a Gollihur Music Newsletter Subscriber, we'll quietly extend the set discounts through November 30 just for you - just type "THOM NEWSLETTER NOVEMBER" into the Comments box when you check out (or tell us on the phone) and we'll manually reduce the string set prices to the special sale price before we process your order!

(Single strings at regular price)

Bob's Blog
It's Bob!

Genz-Benz, One might ask...

Genz-Benz ...after over ten years with just two amplifier companies, why have you added Genz-Benz to the mix? As usual, it comes down to the same reason I first began to use, and then sell Acoustic Image and Euphonic Audio's stuff. My never-ending "in search of" philosophy brought me to another amplifier company, one that has some gear unlike what we currently have, as well as some options for lower priced amplification solutions for you, our customers.

I don't know about you, but my pattern for gear adoption has usually been driven by gig needs. Lately, electric bass gigs have been mostly the blues on electric five string, leading me to look for a more "tubey" sort of sound, not unlike the legendary Kern IP-777 tube preamp I used to pair with a power amp a dozen years ago... but lighter and more compact. I should mention that its replacement, the Euphonic Audio iAMP800, was to meet the need for a more articulate yet still warm sound that could better cut through a dense mix, the primary gigging needs at that time, and something I still admire and need.

A Genz-Benz Streamliner 900 will sit atop my new Euphonic Audio NL-210 (coming out in late October 2011) 2x10 speaker cabinets, as my electric bass guitar (and very loud URB/EUB) rig. The Acoustic Image Contra (now Coda Series 4) remains my favorite for low to medium volume upright bass gigs, and my compact EA Doubler (or Streamliner)/EA Wizzy 10 rig will also still see service for small electric gigs and some URB/EUB stuff. Just like having two upright basses set up for different sorts of gigging duties, having multiple rigs is also a good thing if you have the resources to do so.(Yes, there are advantages to owning a music store as well as having kids that are well past their college years.)

But back to the Genz-Benz gear... The Genz-Benz Streamliner amps have three 12AX7 preamp tubes utilizing six gain stages, so it is definitely very "Old School Tone Land." Their other amps, and most other "tube preamp" rigs on the market, have but one tube in the preamp section, so the result can be far less "tubey." In fact, many of those amps seem to use their single 12AX7 tube more effectively in the marketing of the amp than in the actual circuitry, but the Genz-Benz amps are not in that category. I should also mention that all the Genz-Benz amps have tube preamps with solid state power amp sections, and some even have circuitry to lend a tubey tone to the power amp's limiter, so doesn't go splat when you hit the wall.

Amps with tubes can have characteristics that can make them desirable... or unacceptable. You have to decide what you want your amp to do for, or to, your bass tone, and also recognize that all do not offer the same characteristics. The perceived benefit of a tube in the preamp section is a desired coloration of the sound, and varying the level of tube involvement and gain level of the circuit can take it from mildly warm, somewhat fat, or all the way to overdriven nastiness... if the amp maker includes that ability. My personal goal was more "heft," with more body in the higher register, with a subtle smoothness and softening of the overall bass signal. The price you pay by going in this pillow-ish tonal direction can be the loss of some of those edges to the note that help it overcome a dense mix, as well as some jagged overtones that exhibit the distinctive character of your bass.

Of the Genz-Benz lineup, the Streamliner's three-tube preamp definitely can deliver more of the pillowy, rich sort of old school goodness, but can also get pretty intense and driven as you advance the tube gain control. The Shuttle and ShuttleMax single-tube preamp offers a slightly less intense tube experience, not as thick or dense, but still pretty satisfying, and is probably a better choice for players who want to play on both sides of the fence. The Genz-Benz ShuttleMax 9.2 is in a class by itself, offering both a tube and FET (solid state) channel that you can mix for a little sharpness in your cream, or move between tube and clean channels depending on the gig or song. I have been swaying back and forth between the Streamliner and ShuttleMax, as the surgical fine tuning ability of the latter is quite attractive, similar to the Euphonic Audio iAMP800 (now iAMP Pro) I have used for the past several years.

In any case, one does have to step back and evaluate their personal amplification goals. None are wrong, all are valid, and admittedly, the differences can be quite subtle... especially in the mix. We are indeed fortunate to have the variety of such highly capable and precise bass amps and cabs from which to choose.

I should also say how thankful I am that Class D amps and Neo speaker cabs arrived just in time for the decline of my ability to carry the heavy stuff. What a wonderful world!


This "breaking news" blog preempted "Making Friends With Your Amp (Part 2) ", which will be published shortly.
Bob's Blog (and additional blog posts) can now also be found on our Wordpress Blog Page.

It's Bob!

GENZ-BENZ Amps, Cabs, and Combos

GENZ-BENZ offers lightweight, powerful, and flexible amplifiers with boutique features and sound at less-than-boutique pricing. They offer quite a few amps, cabs, and combos, so we can't list all their details here, so please see our Genz listings on for further info on each.

GenzBenz Streamliner 600 and 900 The Streamliner was the first GENZ-BENZ amp to get my attention, as I was looking for an "old school" amp for the (mostly electric bass) blues. It has three 12AX7 tubes in the preamp, so you can get some creamy goodness, or if you go that way, some overdriven grind. It has a basic three band EQ section, though you can choose from three center frequencies for the midrange. This unit has a ton of other features, see our web pages! Choose the Streamliner 600 (375w@8ohms / 600w@4ohms) or Streamliner 900 watt unit (500w@8ohms / 900w@4ohms) Just 6.5 lbs! Street Prices (call or email us for discounted price!) $819, $959

The GENZ-BENZ Shuttle 6.0-12T Combo Amp (1x12, 600w, 32lbs.) is a solid and compact amp, with a removable Shuttle Head; it slides out for use with other rigs. $1,189 for the combo (32 lbs), $679 for the head (only 3.75 lbs!!), $599 for the speaker (27.5 lbs). 375w@8ohms; 600w@4ohms. Call or Email us for best prices! The Shuttle 8T & Shuttle 10T Combo Amps (1x8 and 1x10" speakers) are similar, using a 300 watt (175w@8ohms / 300w@4ohms) Shuttle head. $699, $799 Shuttle Series 8, 10, and 12 inch Speaker cabs are available separately, too, at $389 to 599 "street prices".

GenzBenz Shuttle and ShuttleMax heads The Shuttle and ShuttleMax heads have some great features, including a 12AX7 tube with adjustable gain in the preamp section, a semi-parametric midrange control, three tone presets (adjustable in the Max), effects loop, tuner out, flexible DI output, switchable 110/220v power, GENZ-BENZ ShuttleMax 9.2 Amplifier is a knob-twiddler's delight (that's me!), with two complete preamp sections, one with a tube, one FET (solid state), that are footswitchable (included) to use either one or blend both! TWIN semi-parametric midrange sections, three adjustable presets, and 900 watts (500w@8ohms / 900w@4ohms), plus a ton of other features in a ridiculously light 7 lb package! Flexibility+!! $959

We advertise GENZ-BENZ "Street Prices" per their policy. Call or Email us for best prices -- We'll beat the street!!

Mark's Cool New Stuff

New Acoustic Image Series 4 at!

We just received the first of many Series 4 amps in, and a bunch have already been tagged and shipped to their anxious new owners!

What's new in Series 4?
  • ALL combos now have the removable head feature (Cabrio model)
  • ALL One and Two Channel Heads and Combos will now have the built-in effects
  • ALL heads and combos will have a 600 watts @ 4 ohms power level; slightly lower than the past Cabrio models but with improved specs
  • S4 Clarus 1 and 2 amps are upped to 600 watts, now include effects, and have the same case as the Cabrio models
  • Coda combo amps can now be had with one or two channels +effects, at $1199 and $1349 (Contra combo amps are replaced by the single channel Coda)
  • Corus combo amps can now be had with one or two channels +effects, at $1239 and $1389
  • Ten2 combo amps can now be had with one or two channels +effects, at $1449 and $1599
More specific details are on the product pages, and we've updated our product comparison matrix. Still confused by all the changes and new models? Give us a call or send us your questions by email; we know a lot about Acoustic Image amps - we use this gear ourselves!


P.S. If you call, you can count on us suggesting that you scoop up one of the remaining Series III Contra or Coda models if you don't need the removable head feature. See the next article for details!

Acoustic Image CLEARANCE Continues
Contra and Coda R combos heavily discounted - save $250-390 on that great Acoustic Image sound!

While supplies last! Don't wait too long - these great amps are going fast...
We've always been big fans of these great amps, and have been steering buyers to the discounted Coda R as a bargain version of the Series 4 Coda amps; not everybody really needs the removable head feature and 600 (instead of the still quite robust 400) watts... Acoustic Image is shipping out newly updated models of their combos, but still had the parts to make a limited number of their popular Series III amps -- when they asked us how many we wanted, I bought them ALL of them, so we could offer them to our customers at these great clearance prices!!

The Acoustic Image Contra boasts a full-featured one-channel preamp, 400w of power, and that great Acoustic Image sound in a highly portable format. Now reduced to $899 (save 15% off its original pricing of $1,049!)

The Acoustic Image Coda R SE (two channel version of the popular Contra, with built-in effects) combo is now $999 (save 14% off its original pricing of $1159!)

As always, Acoustic Image Combos SHIP FREE to the USA, and have special discounted fixed-rate shipping costs outside the USA.

If you always wanted an Acoustic Image amp, now is the time to jump on one before they are gone (and they will be, soon!) Click below for detailed information, and for 24/7 ordering on our site. We gig these amps, so feel free to give us a call for assistance in choosing the best model for your situation, and FYI, our 14-day trial period -- and Acoustic Image's amazing 5-year+ Warranty -- applies to these special amps, too.

Christopher's Corner

Using a Personal Monitor

In the last newsletter, I addressed the topic of intonation from a technique standpoint; but the fact is, no matter how much you practice, it isn't worth very much if you can't hear yourself on stage. This is a predicament that all bass players deal with at some point, and one that - before I started working at Gollihur Music - was something that I had learned to live with; it's a necessary evil, right?

Although you might have "the best" amplifier, pickup, microphone, and/or bass, nothing is ever perfect in a live performance situation. We are constantly fighting feedback, that guitar player that keeps turning up, and the lousy acoustics on "the stage from hell." We can usually make adjustments so that we sound great out front, but must at some point sacrifice our stage volume. Even if your amp is cranked up, if it's firing at your knees, it's pretty hard to hear yourself on a noisy stage.

Pam - aka Jenna Fischer - from the Office does not officially endorse this unit. This is satire! A handy way to fix this situation is a small personal monitor. The Alto PAM-5 Personal Monitor (from now on referred to as the "PAM" because I really like The Office) is a small, self-powered unit with two 5" drivers that weighs only 12 pounds. It even mounts on a standard mic stand, letting you point the sound where you need it: at your ears.

With its two small drivers, the PAM can't really crank out the low frequencies like a big bass amp can. It might not even sound as "good," tone-wise - but that isn't its job. The monitor is there to provide you with enough stage volume so that you'll finally be able to accurately hear what you're playing without putting your ear against the neck of your bass (I can't be the only one that does this sometimes...)
The PAM easily plugs into the effects loop, line output, or DI out on just about any amp or preamp, staying safely out of your signal path and not disturbing the sound coming out of your amp. It has a dual jack, which accepts either XLR (mic) or ?" (instrument) cables, and a volume control. It even has a separate RCA input for plugging in an iPod or CD player.

And yes, for those really small gigs (coffeehouse, open mic) where you just need a little boost over your bass' acoustic output, you could use the PAM-5A as a mini amp. In addition, it can be used as a vocal stage monitor, mini practice amp, PA for your next corporate function, small keyboard amp, karaoke, boombox... but I digress.

The best part? At $189 with free shipping to the USA, it won't break the bank. And besides, everyone likes new toys, especially when they're so incredibly useful. Get one today!


SPECIAL NEWSLETTER BONUS: Purchase a PAM-5A and enter the code "NEWSLETTER $20" in the Comments Box at Checkout (or mention it on the phone) and we'll place a $20 credit on your account that you can apply to your next order!

Thanks for reading!

Our plan is to put out occasional newsletters that highlight our latest informational Bass FAQs, as well as let you know of sales and cool new stuff. If you haven't already visited, check out the Upright Bass FAQ section (accessible from the menu bar under RESOURCES) and take a look at some of the other articles we've written. There are a number of topics like Impedance and Ohms (input AND output perspectives!), Rosin, changing strings, bridges, Mystery Basses, and more. More articles are in the works, and we welcome your suggestions for additional FAQs.

Gollihur Music is not just an Upright Bass store, it's your URB information destination.

"Life is too short for bad tone."
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