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Genz Benz Black Pearl Pirate's Den

Discussion in 'Amp Owners Clubs' started by ruger9, Oct 22, 2009.

  1. ruger9

    ruger9 Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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    Owners of Pearls unite! We are the ones who have discovered boutique tone at NOT boutique prices! Super versatile, well-built, tele-loving, AC30 variant... but oh so much more.

    It's the highly-active EQ & Voicing switch that gives you such a wide range of tones... Ac30/Matchless/BadCat, Dr Z, Marshall, Blackface... you can wring reasonable facsimiles of all with the right guitar, EQ, and Voicing switch. It's not quite like the Vox Modelers in that regard, but if ever there was a "tube modeler" (but a REAL AMP... no computers, COSM, or any of that stuff inside), the Black Pearl is it.

    Since buying my Pearl, I have been thru several amps, including a Fender SuperSonic and even a Dr. Z... but nothing has yet matched the fighting skill of my Black Pearl. I'm not one to say "I'll never sell it"... because history has told me there's ALWAYS a chance... but the Black Pearl might just be my "desert island amp" (well, that and a bottle o' rum!)

    Everytime I turn it on, it brings a smile to my face, and that's what it's all about.
     
    rflippin likes this.
  2. John Thigpen

    John Thigpen Tele-Meister

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    I was about to start a Black Pearl club, but fortunately went on to page two and found this one. I was playing a Dr Z Maz 38 and Carmen Ghia, which are both great amps, when a friend bought a Black Pearl 1x12. I played his and thought it was a pretty sweet amp and sold my Maz 38 to get one, and later sold the Carmen Ghia too. I ended up trading my 1x12 for a 3x10 and love it, though I don't love moving it. As Ruger said, they're very versatile amps. I don't set it to pretend to be a Vox, a Blackface, or a Marshall. I just set it to sound good, which probably has a little of each classic amp in the tone. The Dr Z Maz 38 was similar, but the Genz Benz is more versatile and a little smoother.

    John
     
  3. nvilletele

    nvilletele Friend of Leo's

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    I bought a black pearl on ebay once, on a whim as the auction was about to end with no bids, and a ridiculously low price, though I forget exactly how much. It was brand new, from a defunct music store. It was terrific, but I soon realized it was much more amp than I needed (and I had too many amps already for my meager abilities). So before too long it was sold, and I broke even. But boy was it versatile! You could get a lot of great sounds out of that beast.
     
  4. OM 21

    OM 21 Tele-Meister

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    I just joined the club last night. Got a great deal on a BP30 head. Haven't had a chance to put it through its paces yet, but even at quiet volumes last night after the kids went to bed I was blown away by the smooth tones I was getting at true bedroom volumes. I don't have a cab yet, so I had to run it through my BJr with the Cannabis Rex in it and even that sounded good. I have ordered a Coyote Cabs Alpha Pup 1x12 that I will put the Cannabis Rex into once it arrives. Can't wait. I'll make sure to come back and post pics once it arrives.

    Can anyone give me a rundown on what the different modes are supposed to be emulating?
     
  5. ruger9

    ruger9 Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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    The different voicings aren't really supposed to emulate any particular amps... it's really just more of a re-EQing of the amp; changing it's voice a bit.

    What I have come down to is this:

    Deep & Bright are in the "Fender" camp
    Natural is Vox AC30 all the way
    Dark & Thick ore more Marshally

    But keep in mind, the EQ on this amp works SO well, it's SO active, that it's easy to get these voices to overlap each other. Most of the time, I just leave it on Natural & use the EQ section to change the tone.

    But, for clean SRV type tone, I switch to bright.
     
  6. OM 21

    OM 21 Tele-Meister

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    So, as promised, here is a few pics, one with my new Coyote Cabs Alpha Pup 1x12, which currently has a Cannabis Rex in it, although I am thinking of going with a Canis Major down the road, hemp cone, alnico speaker, seems the best of both worlds.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  7. ruger9

    ruger9 Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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    Nice set-up! As to the speaker, speakers are of course a personal choice, but don't totally disregard the speaker this amp was designed with: the Eminence Red Fang. It's basically an Alnico Gold copy, and sounds fantstic with this amp.
     
  8. ruger9

    ruger9 Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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    bump up...


    Wow, that's it? No more BP30 owner's around here?
     
  9. OM 21

    OM 21 Tele-Meister

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    I am surprised these amps don't get more traction as well. I couldn't be happier with mine. I can get great just this edge of breakup tones at bedroom levels, or I can hop in with a full band and have no problem being heard in the mix. And regardless of what guitar I am playing through it I can always get a good tone. Although I must confess that this amp really is voiced for an alnico speaker. I swapped out the C. Rex in my cab to an alnice Tone Tubby and am now in tone nirvana.

    For anyone who hasn't played one of these, try it, you'll like it, I promise.
     
  10. ruger9

    ruger9 Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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    That's what I suspected. I read the builder says they did blindfold tests of all the popular speakers, and everyone agreed the Eminence Red Fang was the clear winner, even over "more well-known/popular" speakers. The BP30 is a Vox-inspired design, and they had Alnico Blues in them, so no surprise the red Fang (which is basically an Alnico Gold copy) is the one that sounded the best.

    FWIW, in the years I've owned mine & been reading about them, I haven't read one bad review yet. Not one. I've seen guys sell them to "trade up" into the boutique world, but I've seen NO ONE "not like" the BP30.
     
  11. InyoTim

    InyoTim Tele-Meister

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    I bought a Black Pearl head last year. I was running it into my Marshall 4x10 cab with Vintage 30's and it sounded good. I bought a 1x12 Lopo cab and installed a Red Fang. This is the sound I was looking for. Really, this head sounds great into any cab I have. I bought my first amp in 1962 and have owned many over the years. The Black Pearl sounds better at low volume than any I have owned.
     
  12. OM 21

    OM 21 Tele-Meister

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    That's one of the beauties of this amp, I can play late at night after the wife and kids have gone to bed and do not have to sacrifice tone in any way. Love it. I really am surprised these amps don't get more attention than they do.
     
  13. InyoTim

    InyoTim Tele-Meister

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    My son owns a Black Pearl 1x12 combo and was visiting here for a few days. I thought I had a good tone dialed in. I'd never really let it rip, not wanting to bother the neighbors. We took my Black Pearl head and 1x12 cab to a place we could crank it up. He flipped the switches to full power, fiddled with the settings, and entertained me for an hour or so with the best rock tone I've ever heard. He was using my Tele with EMG's.
     
  14. vincent

    vincent Tele-Holic

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    I am now a proud Black Pearl owner. I was looking for an AC30 but came across this on craigslist for a good price. It is the 3x10 version. The thing sounds great, but boy is it heavy. I have only had it for a couple days but so far I am very impressed with it. I could not find a bad review of this amp. If anyone has some favorite settings please post. I have pretty much just been using the British tone so far.
     
  15. InyoTim

    InyoTim Tele-Meister

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    Good score Vincent. I don't think the BP has a bad tone in it. I think the "British Sound" is my favorite too.
    I have an old 50 watt Marshall I bought used that I have been fooling with for years trying to get a good low volume tone working. I finally bought some Mullard clone EL 34's and got the tone I want. The Marshall was way too jangly with a Strat at low volume and there is no presence control. At higher volumes the jangle isn't annoying. Anyway, the last week or so I've been only playing the Marshall and enjoying the better tone at low volume. Last night I switched to the Black Pearl and the reality of how much better the Genz Benz sounds at low volume was made evident.
     
  16. shindigger

    shindigger TDPRI Member

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    Hello everyone,
    I'm new to the forum but just had to chime in when I read your posts on the Black Pearl. I have the 1x12 combo and have owned it over 2 years now. It's a magnificent piece of gear at any price but indeed a bargain considering it's tone and versatility.
    I use it regularly out in the field and always with more than pleasing results. I have to play a variety of music from seniors halls to veterans clubs, pubs and all manner of parties indoor and out. I'm not a metal player, but the amp can rock if pushed.
    Extremely sensitive, adjustable and responsive with quality sound.
    In fact, I've only just decided to upgrade to the head and matching 2x12 cabinet. I think the Red Fang is a good companion so I'll now go with TWO! cheers guys
    Rick Wood
     
  17. tankonedog

    tankonedog TDPRI Member

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    Hey brother tele lovers.

    I have had one for about a year. It was 3 years old when I got it. Changed the tubes as one had gone harmonic. Unbelievable clarity and depth.This thing is so well crafted that I get lost experimenting with the tone variations when I should be practicing. My Deluxe Tele w/ Bare Knuckle Blackguard pups and this amp are sending me back to school. The amp is so tactile that when I first start working with it, I thought 'wow I suck!' Really forces you to tighten up on your fretting/picking.
    Ordered the optional cover from GB. Really thick padding and nicely monogrammed.Classy.
    When you email them you get a reply from Jeff Genzler within hours. The dude even sent me a free tshirt with my cover.
    My only complaint is it is a little heavy(53 lbs)
    I fitted a set of recessed cargo handles on the sides to make it easier to carry.
    Will probably be buried with this amp when I've played my last gig.

    Peace
     
  18. InyoTim

    InyoTim Tele-Meister

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    tankonedog, what is your speaker configuration?
     
  19. firemanbill

    firemanbill TDPRI Member

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    I just got one of these amps. Based on the recommendations from here and Harmony Central. Wow! What a great amp. I like how you can step down the output. Plus the different voices, and the real spring reverb is a plus too. I just replaced the preamp tubes with Tung Sol 12ax7 and the power amp section with JJ's (oh, pos-1 was replaced with a JJ based on the recommendation from the Genz Benz Tech) The fact that you don't have to have this amp rebiased is really cool too. The Tech at the Genz Benz factory is really cool and is extremely helpful. He does't mind talking about the amps. In fact, he was really enthusiastic. Thanks for the help picking out a great amp.
     
  20. guitarworship83

    guitarworship83 TDPRI Member

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    Just bought a BP30... I LOVE IT! I actually like it better than my buddy's 60's Tweed Bassman... MMMMMmmmmmm tone
     
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