Jump to content
Osiris

Genzler Magellan 800 and 350 bass amplifiers

Recommended Posts

Here are my thoughts of the Genzler Magellan 800 bass amp after having gigged it for the past several months. I've deliberately left it a while to make sure that the honeymoon period was over so that any issues or quibbles that I may have with it have become apparent. For reference, I play in a 5 piece, female fronted, rock, pop and party band playing a mixture of pub and club gigs as well as some private work and functions. My cab is Tecamp M212 and I use a variety of basses, usually with a bias towards the neck pickup. I play finger style more or less exclusively and am pretty heavy handed too, I love to dig in when I'm playing!

If you're not already familiar with the amps here's what Genzler themselves have to say about them, the Magellan 800 and the Magellan 350. When I originally bought the amp, I tried it against some of its peers. To see how I thought it stacked up at the time see the thread here.

Overview

The 800 amp has both a transparent clean channel (that can be coloured by the Contour control, more of that later) and a coloured Drive channel. That makes it extremely versatile and usable for pretty much any and every musical situation that you're ever likely to find yourself in from soft jazz to the lesser extremes of metal.

Clean channel

The clean channel with the eq set to noon and the Contour control dialled out sounds even across the frequency range, there are no peaks or troughs in the signal. This sound works great in the mix straight out of the box. The Genzler marketing talks about a “weighted feel to the notes” and this is absolutely correct, the low end is definitely forceful, punchy and powerful but without being overbearing. Those that claim that class D amps lack heft should take an objective, unbiased listen to the Genzler.

Pre-amp

The EQ frequencies that the Magellan uses are absolutely perfect for real world live use. The bass EQ is voiced at 75 Hz which is great for adding audible bass to the sound if you're in a room where the bass is sounding a bit thin, or for backing the low end off if things are booming on stage. In my experience this has proven to be a far more useable frequency for controlling your low end than 40 Hz that many other bass amps use.

The semi-parametric mid covers a wide range from 150 Hz to 3 KHz. It sounds perfect with the mid eq control at noon, which keeps things flat but I personally like to give it a slight push in the upper mids to help the bass cut through a busy mix. But you have massive flexibility here to control those critical mid frequencies whatever you want to do with them.

The treble is voiced at 6 KHz so is useful for adding some presence to the tone or brightening up dead strings. Or backing things off a touch for a great retro tone. The treble never gets harsh and the tone is never completely dulled when the top end is backed off.

The simplicity of the tone stack and the choice of frequencies that they operate on cannot be praised enough. The Genzler just delivers everything you need and nothing you do not.

To finish of the awesome eq section there is also the dual voiced Contour control. A button on the front panel allows you to choose between curves A and B;

Curve A is a mid-scoop pre-shape. However, compared to similar controls on other amps, this one is more gentle and is more usable because of it, it is usable throughout most of its range. Its only when its cracked beyond about 3 o'clock that the bass sounds like it could potentially to disappear form the mix.

Curve B bumps the low mids while rolling off the upper mids and the extremes of the frequency range to give a great retro vibe or to tame a bright sounding, scooped rig . As with Curve A, things are still kept subtle and musically usable with this control throughout its range.

Drive channel

The 800 model also sports a footswitchable drive channel that has its own gain and volume controls. Genzler have wisely allowed the use of any generic latching footswitch to be used rather than forcing you into using a proprietary one.

Although the drive channel is completely valve-less, it is one of the most convincing, warm, valve-like sounds that I've heard. When engaging the drive channel a pre-set eq curve is applied that subtly rolls off the high and low ends and leaves you with a silky smooth, valve like drive that never gets fizzy. Even at full gain, the drive is always usable, it does not get into the realms of distortion. The slightly mid biased voice of the drive is more suited to Motown or classic rock than it is for anything extreme. If you want more gain, or a modern scooped distortion then you'll need a dedicated pedal. But for those of us who want that touch of hair or a light, usable drive that works in the mix, this is, as with everything about this amp, perfect.

HPF

There is no mention of any form of high pass filtering by Genzler, but I emailed them to ask about it and none other than Geoff Genzler himself responded to say that;

Yes, we do utilize a High Pass filter with the MG-800. It is a very steep slope and set low around the 30 Hz range. This allows us to achieve a clean, solid and authoritative low end without potential flubbyness. This also helps with protection from over-excursion for speakers under high power situations.

I hope this information is helpful.

Best Regards,

Jeff Genzler

How's that for customer service???

Construction and finish

The amp is a great looking design IMO and the quality of construction is flawless. Genzler describe it as; aircraft-grade, brushed aluminum (sic) chassis with a sleek custom extruded front panel. It certainly looks classy and feels substantial. Anyone concerns over quality because it was built in the far east are misplaced. And it has 4 ultra-important blue LED's on the front panel. Nice.

Niggles

As you have probably gathered by now, I'm struggling to find fault with the Genzler Magellan amps. However I do have a couple of very minor criticisms. It'd be great if the Contour voicings were footswitchable so you could switch between the different curve options on the fly. But this is just nit picking, and not something that I'm likely to ever do anyway.

And then there's the name. No doubt there is a reason or story about why Magellan was chosen, but it just seems a bit of a daft name for a bass amp to me, It's more like a name you'd give to a dog!

Summary

Honestly, I can't fault the Magellan amps. Everything about it is just right. It delivers everything you need in the real world. I've played many gigs in many different venues with mine and I'm yet to get a bad sound out of it or have ever been in a situation where the sublime eq section wasn't able to eq the bass to a room with poor acoustics in a matter of seconds.

In fact, I like it so much that I bought the baby 350 model as a rehearsal and back up amp. The 350 has the same great tone and features of its big brother but it does lack the jaw-droppingly brilliant drive channel. However is makes up for this by being smaller, lighter and cheaper. I've also gigged the 350 and don't let its nominally low power rating put you off, this thing has more volume than you're ever likely to need on a typical pub, club or function gig.

Edited by Osiris
Just cleaning the post up after the update.
  • Like 1
  • Thanks 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sid,

eloquent as ever and thanks for that, its a real gem of a review and sounds like a real gem of an amp.

I reckon you should have your own youtube channel. I can't, i have a face for radio......

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is not helping my GAS one bit :lol: great review, thank you!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

[quote name='Cuzzie' timestamp='1508921082' post='3395285']
Sid,

eloquent as ever and thanks for that, its a real gem of a review and sounds like a real gem of an amp.

I reckon you should have your own youtube channel. I can't, i have a face for radio......
[/quote]

Obviously we all have own own tastes and ideas of what makes a great bass sound. But the Magellan amps are massively versatile and I think they'd suit most people who plug into them regardless of their tonal preferences and the styles of music they play.

My own YouTube channel. Now there's an idea!

[quote name='Rich' timestamp='1508931958' post='3395415']
This is not helping my GAS one bit :lol: great review, thank you!
[/quote]

Just give in to it and give one a go ;)

Edited by Osiris

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Fantastic review, thanks!
I've always been impressed with Jeff Genzler's products and still own his fantastic GB Neox212 cab which to my mind is the best value 2x12 on the market.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well done Osiris!  That is indeed a great review of a great amp; I've got one (the 800) and can't fault it - or the review.  (Can't believe my luck to find a mint/boxed example at a reasonable price on this forum.)  Like you, I got a personal reply back from Mr. G - with an apology for the couple of days delay as he'd been away.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

PS Don't know if they still are, but Bass Direct were offering the 800 at £699 - very reasonable compared with US designed and built alternatives that are IMHO less capable and of no better quality.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not trying to be a smart arse but Magellan is not a random girlie name, it's a word that refers to discovery, exploration and circumnavigation (after the portugese explorer Ferdinand Magellan). I'm guessing it's a reference to the technology behind the new genz stuff, or a reference to breaking new ground etc. 

 

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On ‎16‎/‎11‎/‎2017 at 22:30, project_c said:

Not trying to be a smart derrière but Magellan is not a random girlie name, it's a word that refers to discovery, exploration and circumnavigation (after the portugese explorer Ferdinand Magellan). I'm guessing it's a reference to the technology behind the new genz stuff, or a reference to breaking new ground etc. 

That's exactly right - and I think it's a great name for the product.

Edited by Rich

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 hours ago, project_c said:

Not trying to be a smart arse but Magellan is not a random girlie name, it's a word that refers to discovery, exploration and circumnavigation (after the portugese explorer Ferdinand Magellan). I'm guessing it's a reference to the technology behind the new genz stuff, or a reference to breaking new ground etc. 

 

 

If that is indeed the case then I can see the logic behind the choice even if I'm not a fan of the name myself xD I guess it's more memorable than the usual mix of acronyms and numbers.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

An excellent review I’ve just stumbled upon, I concur ( not so elequently) with all the comments. I have found my Genzler to fill in all the holes that other heads have. On personal service, I mailed Mr G ( well the website) regarding not being able to log my purchase for warranty purposes. Mr G had it sorted, I asked another question: would it run at 2 Ohms, His reply was yes but don’t overdrive the Gain ..... I use 3 x PJB C4’s at the 2.67 setting. It really is a sublime head.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 16/11/2017 at 22:30, project_c said:

Not trying to be a smart derrière but Magellan is not a random girlie name, it's a word that refers to discovery, exploration and circumnavigation (after the portugese explorer Ferdinand Magellan). I'm guessing it's a reference to the technology behind the new genz stuff, or a reference to breaking new ground etc. 

 

 

True, as a portuguese i can confirm this info.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

An update to the original review after a year of gigging the Magellan's.

I've been gigging both the 800 and 350 for around a year now and have played some 40 or so gigs with one or the other of them in that time, as well as numerous rehearsals. The honeymoon period is well and truly over now and any flaws in the amps have had time to makes themselves known …

… Except they haven't. I still cannot fault these amps in any way, and I still stand by everything I said in my original review; They are infinitely flexible and can very quickly and very easily give you any bass tone you're ever likely to need (with the exception of very high gain distortion). The pre-amp is so simple and intuitive, and the EQ points are set exactly where you need them in a live situation to allow the bass to cut though a busy mix. The DI is noise free.

The anti-Class D league will have you believe that lightweight amps means lightweight tone. That is simply not the case with the Magellan's, there is a real weight and depth to the tone.

Although I prefer the 800 purely because of the drive channel - which I still cannot praise enough - be assured that the 350 is more than up to the task of gigging alongside a noisy drummer. In short these are simply brilliant amps, everything about them is just right. 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Totally agree. I have had the 800 for maybe 6 months, I’m still sussing out the variety of available toneage ( new word )suffice to say it exceeds my expectations, especially after returning an AG 700 for the Magellan. I run it with 3 x PJB C4’s... 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Anyone used the 800 for double bass yet? Love the 10-2 Array cab and gassing for a match. Puma 500 at present.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I’ll answer my own question. It’s great for double bass: I use it mainly flat but when I’m playing on a carpet a bit of the dirt channel gives it just the edge I need. With the 10-2 cab, unbeatable.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is excellent information in this review/thread!

Hope this thread is still sort of alive :),

I have had my share of noisy amps. I'm particulary allergic to background noise or hissing from the amps through the tweeters, because I like to play bass and jump back to my DAW without having to switch of the amp in the other side of the room.

Can you tell me how is the level of background noise/hiss for these Genzler?

Thanks!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you @TonyMontana :)

I've not had a problem with background noise or hiss with either of my Magellans. I should probably say that I tend to favour passive basses and use a relatively flat EQ setting and I'm not one for using super bright sounds. My cab has a horn but I tend to keep it turned down low, around 20-30% of full whack. 

The usual caveats will apply though depending on what else is going on in your signal chain; if you use an active bass with the treble boosted, apply compression with a high threshold, have a bass that isn't particularly well shielded, use loads of pedals including additional pre-amps and or distortion, have a cab with a cheap horn etc then obviously you risk introducing additional noise into your rig. But the amp itself does not have any additional inherent noise that is obtrusive. There is a very slight touch of background noise if you turn it up very loud as you will get with any amplifier but at sensible volumes I don't notice it and I doubt if anyone else would either. There's no noticeable noise or hiss through the DI either. 

Hope this helps! 

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yup, that helps!
Thanks, information like this is hard to find from the suppliers.

FYI, I was referring to the hissing of the amp only, I'm aware the rest of the signalchain.
I want to accept a little background hissing, and noise increasing proportional to the gain is ok too. Glad to hear the Genzlers are ok.

I have had some amps that were noisy at volume 0 and muted inputs. GK MB500 sounded like the Niagara waterfalls, I returned that one the same day...

Thanks!

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No problem. It's definitely not Niagara falls noisy! It's not totally noise free either, but then again I'm yet to hear an amp that is completely silent when pushed. But used under normal circumstances the background noise is not at all noticeable in my experience.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Osiris said:

No problem. It's definitely not Niagara falls noisy! It's not totally noise free either, but then again I'm yet to hear an amp that is completely silent when pushed. But used under normal circumstances the background noise is not at all noticeable in my experience.  

Often only noticeable, anyway, when you're practising at home alone. The moment you're surrounded by the noise of a pub or start playing you'll be hard pressed to notice at all. (And although not relevant here, cooling fans can often be just as noisy or more so than any amp hum). 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The fan is dead silent to the point I wondered if it actually works - and it does! Even after playing a 2 and a half hour set with a 4 ohm load, the amps have never been any warmer than ambient temperature. So efficient as well as silent. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

ah, so there is a catch afterall...

I thought the MG350 was just a power-scaled down version, which is nice because I only will be using it in my home studio.

And I was about to order it.

But now I see it lacks fx-send/return.
Grrr.....🙁.... MG800 cost 400 EUR extra, dont need/want that power....

 

Any alternatives ? (500 EUR range, dead silent)

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.



  • Similar Content

    • By Bassdude BE
      The ultimate lightweight combo for upright and electric bass! (8.7kg, 300watt combo)

      These are no longer made and much sought-after as they are considered the "holy grail" amongst ultra light weight, compact, giggable combo's.

      This one comes with an Accucase gigbag which is a perfect fit for the combo. Bass on one shoulder, combo on the other and you're good to go!  

      Only selling as I want to buy something a little bit bigger for gigs.
      I'm based in Belgium, but due to the weight shipping in EU will probably only cost 10£.

      http://www.genzbenz.com/?fa=detail&mid=2260&sid=56&cid=95











    • By jj1234
      Aguilar TH350 head in perfect condition. Bought in this parish not long ago and used lightly since, only selling as it occurred to me that for some applications I need an effects loop (doh). A wonderful head that can drive two 1x12s very nicely and has a stonking DI out. Plenty of info is available online, but it's still worth pointing out that the icepower power amp module in these is the same used in other manufacturer's heads rated ~500 watts. 
      Can be supplied with a carry bag (Gator) at small cost or not as the buyer prefers. Collection from London (based in southwest) or post at buyers cost.
      Many thanks and get in touch with questions. Not looking for trades.
      Cheers!

    • By Bassrock
      Hi folks. After researching reviews but unfortunately not having the opportunity to try either. I am about to order the Genzler Magellan 350 and a TKS S212. Anyone run this rig? I did also consider 2 x S112 cabs. Appreciate your feedback. 
    • By seifregno
      Perfect, not a scratch. Inexplicably lightweight system. The original bag for the head is included in the price.





×
×
  • Create New...