I’m of the opinion that just about every pro bassist needs a good small, portable, and great-sounding combo amp.
It’s just one of those essential tools for practice, rehearsal, and the gigs small enough to warrant it. The problem is that many small combos aren’t just light on size and weight, they also often have fewer features and less than great tone.
…But every once in a while, a stellar small combo amp comes along and fills that niche beautifully.
Genzler Amplification just released the updated ‘Series 2’ of their popular MG350-BA10-COMBO and BA10-2. The 1×10 cab features higher power rating, extended low-frequency coverage, better clarity and detail, and even lighter weight. The 10” combo and extension speaker feature Genzler’s unique “Bass Array” technology, with its striking vertical array of (4) 2” drivers bisecting the cabinets woofer. This design provides wider horizontal projection and dispersion of mid and high frequencies, and results in a quick and articulate yet natural sound.
Ever since I got a chance to review Genzler Amplification’s line of bass pedals a few months back, I’ve had a growing interest in checking out their amps and cabinets, particularly to see what the Bass Array design was all about. When the boxes showed up, I was struck by how small and light the gear was, and how well-built it seemed. The combo, including the Genzler Magellan 350 and mounting hardware weighs just 23 lbs., with the extension speaker weighing in at only 19 lbs. Both cabinets feature an angled baffle, which tilts the speakers up slightly at the player, and when stacked, are reminiscent of a high-end PA array that you would see at a big concert.
It’s a slick design that effectively gets the sound up toward your ears. Edge-lift handles on the cabinets make carrying a breeze, and the amp and cabs are connected with locking Neutrik Speakon connectors.
Genzler’s MG350 Magellan 350 head is mounted to the BA10-2-S2 via a hidden cradle, which securely mounts to the top of the cabinet using high-quality hardware.
The Magellan 350 is a full-featured head that pumps out an impressive sounding amount of volume and tone.
In addition to its “Dual-Curve Variable Contour Circuitry” (Curve A — Classic to Modern — Mid Scoop Curve, Curve B — Thicker to Vintage — Low-Mid Bump w/Tapered Top End), the MG350 offers a 3-band active EQ with semi-parametric midrange for precise tailoring of the all-important mids. The amp puts out 175W @ 8 ohms; 350 W @ 4 Ohms, or 2.67 Ohms.
I had a chance to take the MG350-BA10-COMBO-S2 and BA10-2-S2 for a handful of gigs and rehearsals, and I am happy to admit with all honesty that it just plain sounded GREAT.
Not only was the overall volume and low-end output shockingly good for a “pair of 10’s”, but the tone was also super rich, balanced, and natural. I took the full rig to one of my favorite local events, the always fun Asheville Bass Hang get-together, where we local low-enders gather to talk shop, network, and drool over each other’s gear. There were a handful of great-sounding rigs in the room, but the Genzler combo got consistently high marks from everyone for BOTH its tone and its volume capability. Everyone loved how it sounded on everything from a 60’s P bass to a modern 6-string. It was impressive to all how well the Genzler kept up with other rigs with much higher power ratings and bigger cabinets with way more speaker cone area.
I also brought the single 10” combo along with my trusty and great-sounding Roscoe fretless 5 to a rehearsal with a flamenco guitarist and percussionist.
I honestly don’t think it could have sounded much better. The voicing, warmth, clarity, and articulation was astoundingly good, with almost no need to EQ anything. I love this particular fretless bass, and it has truthfully never sounded better, all the way down to the low B, which if you know Roscoe basses, is one of their hallmark attributes and no joke. The single 10” cabinet had no problem pumping out deep clear notes at the bottom of the register. I was already bummed to have to send the rig back, but this experience made me want to abscond to South America with it. When I did mess with the EQ and filters, they were very musical and effective, particularly the global shaping filters.
I can’t find much at all to complain about with the Genzler rig. It excelled in pretty much every category: tone, volume, weight, build quality, aesthetics, and features. Occasionally I wished that the head and cabling was integrated into the cabinet as opposed to being mounted to the outside, but then again, the hardware bracket actually keeps it truly modular, in the event you want or need to separate the head from the cab for any number of reasons.
Genzler knocked it out of the park with this little beast of a rig, and it punches well above its weight class.
The only problem I seem to be having is that now I need to check out the Magellan 800 and the bigger Bass Array cabinets. Jeff, if you’re reading this, please send a Magellan 800 and 410-3 to my anonymous PO box in Tierra Del Fuego.
Check them out online for more info: genzleramplification.com