Black Pearl?

Gasp100

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
26,475
I noticed a lot of people mentioning the Genz-Benz Black Pearl as a nice, smaller wattage amp for the price. I like the idea of the stepdown from 30 -> to lower wattage because I'm a home studio player but might be jamming/gigging in the future.
I just sold an EL84 amp (Rivera Fandango) and I'm wondering if this is just too close to that amp. It was great, but I could not jive with the gain channel. It was just too grainy, raspy and harsh and seemed to require humbucker guitars (which I don't have) to sound any good. The cleans and verb kicked ass though.
Truth be told I'm probably more of a Fender BF 6L6 guy, but I really like the idea of any well priced, well made, great sounding amp so I don't want to lock myself into anything just yet.
How is the clean headroom on this? The clips look pretty cool (and John Hiatt is cool, that Tele sounds amazing) but I hear a pretty distinct breakup even on the cleaner demo.
Thoughts? Maybe it's too warm sounding for what I'm after, I don't know.
 

ruger9

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
10,411
just checking... have you done a search? Several very informative threads on this one...
 

Miles

Member
Messages
3,988
I would also suggest a search and I have posted several reviews in various black pearl threads.

However, long story short:

It's been wonderful for me, has great clean headroom for a louder band and takes pedals just fine.

When you really gain it out, you can dial in a huge sounding growl with humbuckers or single coils. I use both and can use the amp on the same settings at gigs and only use a little tone control from my single coil tele.

I also got rid of a rivera because I loved this amp so much.

The black pearl doesn't have all the finest components (some plastic jacks), but it's pretty damn good, and it's well made.

I would give one a try and search for what others here think.
 

John Thigpen

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
3,942
I got to play my new Black Pearl out of the house for the first time Tuesday night. I got very nice clean tones with a G&L Comanche, and using the boost was able to get some pretty smooth overdrive tones. I did find that my tone got much ballsier when I switched back from the 15w two tube setting to the 30w four tube setting. My tone was a little thin on the 15w setting, though it's possible I could have dialed that out using the amp settings.

It's a very nice amp, and very solid. FWIW, I was using a Dr Z Max 38. A playing buddy said the Maz always cut through the mix very well, but sounded pretty aggressive, bordering on harsh (his words, not mine). The Black Pearl has a smoother, more refined tone.

John
 

ruger9

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
10,411
I did find that my tone got much ballsier when I switched back from the 15w two tube setting to the 30w four tube setting. My tone was a little thin on the 15w setting, though it's possible I could have dialed that out using the amp settings.

I have found the same thing, and play mine in 30W mode all the time for that reason. Here's something interesting... I'm a big believer in attenuators, and have used them for a couple years. The BP30, for some reason, in my experience, does NOT like to be attenuated... it just doesn't sound good to me, doesn't react well to the attenuator or something. Luckily, the Master Volume on this amp works so well you don't need an attenuator.

Here's where it gets interesting... I hooked up my Airbrake to the BP30, and compared the attenuator to the "2 tube" mode (half power; still using the 'full' tubes, but only using 2 of them. We are still in Pentode mode), and the "2 tube" settings sounded better than the attenuator.

Jeff Genzler did a really good job thinking out this entire amp. It's not just an amp with alot of bells & whistles (there are alot of those amps out there), it's an amp where all of the bells & whistles ACTUALLY WORK VERY WELL!
 

es125luv

Member
Messages
699
I have found the same thing, and play mine in 30W mode all the time for that reason. Here's something interesting... I'm a big believer in attenuators, and have used them for a couple years. The BP30, for some reason, in my experience, does NOT like to be attenuated... it just doesn't sound good to me, doesn't react well to the attenuator or something. Luckily, the Master Volume on this amp works so well you don't need an attenuator.

Here's where it gets interesting... I hooked up my Airbrake to the BP30, and compared the attenuator to the "2 tube" mode (half power; still using the 'full' tubes, but only using 2 of them. We are still in Pentode mode), and the "2 tube" settings sounded better than the attenuator.

Jeff Genzler did a really good job thinking out this entire amp. It's not just an amp with alot of bells & whistles (there are alot of those amps out there), it's an amp where all of the bells & whistles ACTUALLY WORK VERY WELL!


I just really started using the 15 watt mode (I forgot about those little switches in back), and it does sound great... It is really nice to have the option...
 

FFTT

Member
Messages
28,354
My advice is to keep saving and keep researching.

You've got that money burning a hole in your pocket madness.

Set a higher goal for yourself and work towards it.

Otherwise you end up with a whole string of mediocre amps when
it's best to focus on one really good amp at one time.
 

Gasp100

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
26,475
"You've got that money burning a hole in your pocket madness."

What money? :rotflmao:rotflmao:rotflmao:(
 

ruger9

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
10,411
Otherwise you end up with a whole string of mediocre amps when
it's best to focus on one really good amp at one time.

The Black Pearl is FAR above mediocre. IMHO, sounds as good as so-called "boutique" amps, of which I own one (Dr Z) and have played a few (Bad Cat, Fuchs).
 

FFTT

Member
Messages
28,354
If I were spending that much I'd be looking at the Emery Sound Super Baby, Vintone Simplex, Reeves Custom 12, 18 or 30 or the Gries 35
 

John Thigpen

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
3,942
If I were spending that much I'd be looking at the Emery Sound Super Baby, Vintone Simplex, Reeves Custom 12, 18 or 30 or the Gries 35

I've heard good things about all of those amps, but I don't think you can buy one comparably equipped to a Black Pearl 1x12 for less than $1,500. Some are over $2,000. I bought my Black Pearl for $900, as did many of the BP owners on this forum.

John
 




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