NAD: Genzler 350 Combo

Discussion in 'Bass Area; The Bottom Line' started by royd, Mar 10, 2018.


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  1. royd

    royd Member

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    I’ve been playing the Genzler big brother - the Magellan 800 head and a single BA12-3 for some time now and love them but it has felt as if a smaller grab and go combo would be a good thing for my various uses. I’ve also had only one rig which meant more schlepping than I really wanted to do. I thought about one of the Fender Rumbles and tried them and liked them well enough for serious consideration. I also thought about the Carvin MB110. I had one of their acoustic guitar combos for a while and liked it a lot so thought that might be a reasonable choice as well.

    Carvin went out of business which raised its own issues and the 110 combos sold out pretty quickly. I didn’t want the larger size combos - the 115 or 210 - so they were out of consideration. The Rumbles were still on the table for price, reasonably good sound, and a variety of choices in size & weight. As I said, I love my Genzler gear and the added flexibility of the removable head, basically the same preamp as the 800, Genzler’s great DI, with a smaller power amp section and minus the dirty channel (which I don’t use) pushed me in that direction. I figured this rig gives me multiple options - the smaller head plus either cab or both cabs (there have been a number of reports that the BA12-3 and the BA10-2 play well together), the bigger head with the larger cab or both cabs, or either head without a cab as a great DI - so some 6 or 7 different configurations. I also figured that owning this little rig might give me more information for the future in case I want to upsize or downsize or both.

    The amp arrived this week while I was out of town for a business meeting so I didn’t get to plug it in until today... played it a bit and man am I impressed. It does sound and feel like its bigger brother and is both bigger sounding and louder than I expected. My first impression is that this little guy would meet 90% of my uses and with a second little cab, likely all of them at this time.

    The form factor is very cool. It is quite small and very light weight. If I remove the saddle and use it as a head/cab rather than a combo, the cab will slide under my bed which makes the spouse happy to not have more gear taking up space.

    Tomorrow or Tuesday I’ll get to compare it to the larger rig and get a sense of how it differs other than volume and how the two cabs play together. Plus tomorrow, I’ll use the little guy rather than my larger rig with the church band I play for.

    I also got the carry bag. It is seriously padded and well designed. The downside of all of the padding is that it is also significantly larger than I expected.

    All in all, this is top shelf gear and for anyone who wants/needs a rig that sounds amazing, gets reasonably loud, has a small footprint, and is very schlepable, check it out.

    [​IMG]
     
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  2. modulusman

    modulusman Member

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    I also own a Magellan 350 Combo and a Magellan 800 and 2 BA12-3 cabs. I use the combo more because of the size and the fact that I usually have PA support. The bag can be kind of a pain in the a** to use because it is a tight fit but it is nice.
     
  3. royd

    royd Member

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    OK...

    I used the combo with my church band this past Sunday using my fretless Bee (in the avatar).

    The first question is whether or not it was enough. Yes. We play at a moderate volume but there was more than enough. Indeed I started out with the gain and the volume controls both at about 11:00 and the EQ all flat with the contour fully counter clockwise and the sound person told me I need to turn down a bit. FWIW, I generally do not put the bass through the FOH. It is a small room (seats 120) with excellent acoustics. Putting the bass through FOH would basically mean removing my speaker cab from the equation. The rest of the instrumentation is drums, acoustic guitar, synth, and acoustic piano.

    My first impressions are that the cab has a good deal less bottom end than the BA12-3 which makes it sound a bit more focused on the mids and a bit brighter. Not quite honky or boxy but leaning towards the mids. It sat very nicely in the mix though. Bringing the bass up a tiny bit and the trebles down or engaging the contour B a bit took it closer to what I like to hear. I’m not implying it is weak in the bottom end. It isn’t and punches WAY above its size.

    Today I had a few minutes to play with both the BA10-2 and the BA12-3 using the 350 head and my fretted Sire V7. No surprises. The BA12-3 does have more bottom end, is a bit louder, and is more round sounding. The BA10-2 is brighter and perhaps a bit more punchy. They seem to play together quite nicely although the sound of the BA12-3 dominates. Still playing the two together does seem to me to be more than the sum of the parts. There seemed to be more of everything including the increased dispersion that one gets from the array. I expect the magic isn’t the same as having two BA12’s but it seems to still be there perhaps to a lesser degree. Playing the cabs together with the volume about 12:00 on the 350 head and everything else set as above was impressively loud.

    So, conclusions... The 350 head is likely all the power I need for any of my uses. Since I already have the 800 head as well, I’ll likely keep it but if I were buying it today, I’d just get the 350. One of these days I may decide to sell the 800 and get a second 350... or maybe not. It is nice to have the extra power even if I never need it. The combo with the single BA10-2 likely also covers almost all and perhaps all of my current uses. I think a stack of two of the BA10-2 cabs certainly would. I do prefer the overall sound of the BA12-3 to the BA10-2 though. While the BA12 is certainly not a large footprint or overly heavy, I do have settings where the smaller footprint and easier schlepability are real pluses. So... a trade off. We’ll see over time how I feel about that. Saying that, I am sure there would be folk who would prefer the sound of the BA10 over the 12. Different strokes. For them, the small cab is a huge win win. For me, it is a small question.
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2018
  4. dB

    dB Member

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    I'm just starting down this rabbit hole and I'm intrigued by the 800. I've read your posts over at Talkbass which is what got me looking at Genzler in the first place.

    How do you feel about the Genzler vs Forte or Aguilar 700?

    I've got my eye on a MAS Bodai 28 for the cab.
     
  5. royd

    royd Member

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    I haven't played either the Forte or the Aguilar 700 so can't give a helpful opinion. The closest I've come was checking out the B|Amp at NAMM and a Tonehammer 500 in a backline. The B|Amp was impressive even before you factored in the DSP so I expect the Forte would be as well as I understand they're pretty much the same minus the DSP stuff. The Tonehammer didn't do anything for me but I understand the 700 is a very different voice... There are so many great amps and speaker cabs right now it is difficult to find a bad one, just a matter of different flavors. Unless you're looking for something with a very specific kind of coloring, I'd be really surprised if you didn't love the Magellan 800. The EQ section is very powerful, the DI is great, the amp translates your bass accurately, and the power section slams. What more can one want in a bass head?

    Ditto speakers... it is a wonderful time to be playing bass. The MAS are so cool and Mike's specs on the 8 inch woofer are really impressive looking. Unfortunately, I've not run across them in the wild either. I thought very seriously about the MAS 1,8 when considering the 350 combo. What really threw it the Genzler direction were the reports that the BA10-2 played well with the BA12-3. I wasn't sure that would be the case with the 1,8 and the added flexibility was a real plus for me.
     

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