#1
Now some of you may be a little confused by the thread title, since I already own this amp....

Well, I had some troubles wiht my El Diablo about 6 weeks ago. All of a sudden, the pilot light started dimming, and the sound of my amp suddenly changed. The beautiful tones I had were lost. It still sounded ok, but very sterile compared to before. So I brought it back to the store, and they sent it off to Genz Benz's Canadian tech center in Toronto.

Just over a week ago, it It came back from repair. The guy in Toronto said that the preamp tubes were shot (which I knew - they were microphonic as hell) and the bias was off (which I don't agree with). So he re-tubed it with the same crappy Ruby Reds that were originally in it, and sent it back. It worked and the power issue with the pilot light seemed fixed, but the amp still didn't have it's original sound back. And it now had a nasty scratchy noise in the crunch channel, and a lot of hissing - both problems that it didn't hae before sending it off for repair.

The guy at the local shop tried re-tubing the amp himself with different brand tubes (Electro-Harmonix pre and power amp tubes), and had the same problem. So I told him if that was the case, get it repaired and I wanted to trade for something else since I'd lost my confidence in Genz Benz's tech work for repairs.

Dude passed that info on to the store's Genz Benz rep (who I actually met a while back). He left Rob (the store owner) a message for me saying he wants me to know that Genz Benz stand behind their products 100%, so they'll be sending me a brand new amp to replace my obviously defective one. And as a bonus, since this is a new amp, he's "resetting" the warranty on it to the date I receive the new amp, whereas normally, the warranty on a replacement would only apply from the original purchase date.

So I should be receiving this new amp either by tomorrow or early next week at the latest. Can't wait to get this new amp. As a bonus, I also bought a TS-5 Tube Screamer (with the 808 mod), and will most likely be receiving that sometime next week. Can't wait to hear what this will sound like.
Guitars: Custom Lado Earth 2000-3, Custom ESP Explorer, BC Rich KKV, Gibson LP Studio, Greco SG, El Degas Stratocaster, Agile AL-3000, LTD EX-351

Rig:Marshall JVM410H + Marshall 1960A, Boss Noise Suppressor
#2
How do Genz Benzes sound? Are they dark? Bright? My friend gigged with one and it sounded good, but I couldn't tell how dark or bright it was.
2005 Epiphone Les Paul Custom
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Ibanez TS-7 (being modded soon!)
#3
Dark. Very dark.


Genz Benz seem great, but then their amps randomly crap out on people a few weeks/months into use. Its really kinda sad because they sound awesome.

I remember Spynal said he had troubles with his El Diablo, too.
#4
good to hear they are hooking you up Crunch. Did you get the Keeley modded TS-9? I got a Keeley OD808 that I was able to A/B with my stock one, and the difference was very noticable. The Keeley modded one sounded much better at all settings. I actually didn't think the difference would be as noticable as it was, I was only expecting subtle differences, but it really produced a better tone at all levels.
"The fool doth think he is wise, but the wiseman knows himself to be a fool." - W.S.
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#5
The El Diablo can bo both dark and bright. When used in full power (Pentode mode) the sound can get quite bright. It's darker than some other comparable amps, but it can go bright. In half-power (Triode) mode, volume isn't affected much (barely noticeable). However, the sound and voicing changes quite drastically and gets very dark. It gives more power tube breakup.

I personally like it in Triode mode with my VHT Hotplate connected at -12 dB and its bright switch engaged. For cleans, I find it sounds better in Pentode mode.

And more MASSIVE metal chugging, swapping out the EL34s for 6L6 makes a huge difference. However, the phenominal clean tone you normally get out of the clean channel deteriorates quite significantly with these tubes.

Erock503 - I got the TS-5, not TS-9. Not sure which shop modded it. I just know the guy I ordered it from listed it as 808-modded. I've known this guy (online) for a couple of years and he's a straight-up guy. I should perhaps inquire about the mod though... But I agree they're pretty difference. Got to try an original TS808 today and compared it to a TS-9 and a TS-10.... They all sound completely different, with the 808 being by far the best.
Guitars: Custom Lado Earth 2000-3, Custom ESP Explorer, BC Rich KKV, Gibson LP Studio, Greco SG, El Degas Stratocaster, Agile AL-3000, LTD EX-351

Rig:Marshall JVM410H + Marshall 1960A, Boss Noise Suppressor
#6
ahh, cool, I must have brushed right over that. I also prefer the 808, I've A/B'd it with the TS-9 and I liked it a lot better for my setup. What's the deal with TS-5, what made you chose that over the others? I've heard your recordings, so I know you know what you're talking about. I don't think I've ever heard or seen one in person.
"The fool doth think he is wise, but the wiseman knows himself to be a fool." - W.S.
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#7
Quote by Erock503
ahh, cool, I must have brushed right over that. I also prefer the 808, I've A/B'd it with the TS-9 and I liked it a lot better for my setup. What's the deal with TS-5, what made you chose that over the others? I've heard your recordings, so I know you know what you're talking about. I don't think I've ever heard or seen one in person.


I'd actually been bidding on a few Maxon 808s on ebay, but would always get outbid. Then this guy sent out a MySpace bulletin saying it was housecleaning time and he was selling off a bunch of old, unused **** über-cheap. He listed the modded TS-5 for $25. That's why I chose it. If it doesn't work out, I can resell it and try something else.

I actually don't need the tube screamer at all, but I've been noticing that a lot of the new metal bands (not nu-metal) are using these high gain amps with low gain settings, and throwing TS-808 or Maxon 808 in front of them with low gain settings to give it a boost. They're getting brutal bite and killer tone. Killswitch Engage, Shadows Fall, and others are doing this, and I'm really liking their tone, so I figured I'd try it out for kicks...

This is the TS-5 I'm getting:

Guitars: Custom Lado Earth 2000-3, Custom ESP Explorer, BC Rich KKV, Gibson LP Studio, Greco SG, El Degas Stratocaster, Agile AL-3000, LTD EX-351

Rig:Marshall JVM410H + Marshall 1960A, Boss Noise Suppressor
Last edited by Crunchmeister at May 18, 2006,
#8
haha, that is exactly what I use mine for. I saw an article with Andy Sneap, and he recommended it, so I tried it out. I use it with the Framus and Mark IV, and it sounds great with both. You keep the OD way down, and crank up the balance to taste. It tightens everything up, and gives it a nasty bite. The OD808 works great for this I've found, it seems to have a little less drive than the TS9, so it doesn't color the tone as much. If you get a chance, have a go at a sonic maximizer sometime too man, it's a pretty neat toy if you can dial it on an a parallel FX loop when you want to use it. I just got a used Keeley OD808 for $95 BIN a couple weeks ago. If you like the OD808, the Keeley mod is really worth it.

I'd be interested to hear some clips when you get the TS5, sounds like a killer deal if it works out.
"The fool doth think he is wise, but the wiseman knows himself to be a fool." - W.S.
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#9
Yeah, that's what I'm hoping. If it doesn't work out, then it's only $25 plus shipping. I can most likely sell it locally for at least that much, possibly more. One way or another, it's not wasted cash.

And I've been looking at the the BBE for sometime. They have the stomp version at a local shop and it's got my curious. And even better, the El Diablo has a series loop, so the sonic maximizer will have effect on the full signal. I have another friend over at the Metallica forums who uses an El Diablo 100 head and has his BBE in the loop. He says it sounds fantastic.
Guitars: Custom Lado Earth 2000-3, Custom ESP Explorer, BC Rich KKV, Gibson LP Studio, Greco SG, El Degas Stratocaster, Agile AL-3000, LTD EX-351

Rig:Marshall JVM410H + Marshall 1960A, Boss Noise Suppressor
#10
yeah, that's why I suggested it, I kind of figured you might like it with the sounds you're after. It can really give everything a thick sound, without getting flabby. I like how it brings chords out, even with a lot of gain. Only thing I've found with it, you have to be careful with the process knob, or you can digitize the tone too much. I also much prefer it on the loop, I've tried it on several amps, and it can get a little too overpowering in front of the amp. On the loop, it can really sound great if you dial it right.
"The fool doth think he is wise, but the wiseman knows himself to be a fool." - W.S.
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#11
glad to hear you got sorted out, man. let us know what the new one's like

I'm an idiot and I accidentally clicked the "Remove all subscriptions" button. If it seems like I'm ignoring you, I'm not, I'm just no longer subscribed to the thread. If you quote me or do the @user thing at me, hopefully it'll notify me through my notifications and I'll get back to you.
Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#12
I should add that with my Guitar Port, I find that putting a tube screamer with really low drive setting in front of any of the amp models can easily make it a screaming metal monster, even with a low gain setting. Seeing how well that worked made me want to try it with the real thing.
Guitars: Custom Lado Earth 2000-3, Custom ESP Explorer, BC Rich KKV, Gibson LP Studio, Greco SG, El Degas Stratocaster, Agile AL-3000, LTD EX-351

Rig:Marshall JVM410H + Marshall 1960A, Boss Noise Suppressor
#13
hehe, yeah, I've tried it with the pod too, I have the xtlive. Let me tell you, if you like that, you are going to LOVE the real thing, without a doubt.
"The fool doth think he is wise, but the wiseman knows himself to be a fool." - W.S.
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#14
Yeah the theory with the OD pedals and higher gain amps is pretty true if you have a bigger/boomy sounding amp.

My OD808 sounds good in front of my recto or 5150, but I don't have a need for it with my powerball, which has more bite than either of them INCLUDING with the pedal.

This is mostly why I use hot pickups to begin with, so my signal doesn't mud up once it gets to the preamp section, which I find gets really annoying... I get a similar effect with my EMGs or BKP, only diminished in comparison to the boost.

Boosts = awesome. They're getting really popular lately, especially since groups like Trivium etc are running them, they seem to be making a comeback from the standard 'TS-808 solo boost' label. People don't realize how much of a difference it can make!

I'm thinking about geting a keeley BluesDriver or something, too.

Well, goodluck with the amp. Genz Benz are usually pretty good about their customer service but I have no clue why their amps seem to fail too much. Maybe I'm just seeing all the cases.
#15
^ yeah, it's a possibility. Most people get online to complain that their stuff isn't working, lol.
I'm an idiot and I accidentally clicked the "Remove all subscriptions" button. If it seems like I'm ignoring you, I'm not, I'm just no longer subscribed to the thread. If you quote me or do the @user thing at me, hopefully it'll notify me through my notifications and I'll get back to you.
Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#16
Yeah, well I've heard of it once locally (there are 2-3 genz benz dealers, which is almost as many as mesa/boogie!) but three or four times on forums in specific... I dont take HC reviews into account because there are a bunch of liers that post on there to bash.. (I found out first hand about my powerball that **** was just NOT true)

But their service/support seems good so I wouldn't have too much of a problem..
#17
genocide, if you're thinking of the Keeley Phat BD, you might also want to check out the xotic line of boosters, if you haven't already. I picked up an AC booster to play around with recently, and it's really great sounding pedal, with a large range. A little pricey, but in the same range as the BD-2. It was $145 new on eBay. I bought it mostly as a booster for cleans, but it's that and a lot more. I saw Mascot and Power Freak talking about them, so I decided to check them out, and I'm really glad I did.
"The fool doth think he is wise, but the wiseman knows himself to be a fool." - W.S.
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#18
I only know of 4 other people own(ed) El Diablos. Only one of them did have a problem with it. He had a couple of resistors fry in the amp somewhere in the amp and had to have them replaced. He had the 100W head version. Otherwise, the others have praised its reliability. One ended up selling it because it wasn't quite meshing wiht his band's sound, but otherwise, I've heard nothing but good things about Genz Benz.

The shop I bought my amp from are the only GB dealer anywhere near here. The owner told me that since he started selling them last year, he's sold about 15 El Diablos (100 and 60W heads and combos) and mine is the first to have problems. I did get a model that had been on the store floor for at least a month though. I'm thinking it's possible that someone could have hit the 6L6 / EL34 switch on the back and it may have run in the wrong position, possibly causing something to wear prematurely. I'm just speculating here.

But the good part about this is that I'm getting good service. Hopefully the new out-of-the-box amp will give me no problems.
Guitars: Custom Lado Earth 2000-3, Custom ESP Explorer, BC Rich KKV, Gibson LP Studio, Greco SG, El Degas Stratocaster, Agile AL-3000, LTD EX-351

Rig:Marshall JVM410H + Marshall 1960A, Boss Noise Suppressor
#19
Oh yeah, I'm not slagging the quality or anything, they looked well built and are heavy as hell ( I helped a salesman move it into their sound room!) but damn, its just kinda weird to hear about the problems. Thats the internet for you! Everyone comes on here to bitch about their Marshall MGs, look at the reputation they get.

The Genz Benz are great amps, if I had the extra money I'd definitely buy one... but It'd be a ways back on my wishlist

Yeah Erock, the more I think about it, the less I want to sell my pedals I might keep that OD-808 and mod it or something.I do want another one for boosting, though. I might pick up a Duncan pickup booster, which gives a christload of gain.
#20
They definately are built like tanks. I'm sure these could take a good amount of road abuse. Whatever happened with mine, it's probably a fluke and quite unlikely that it would happen again to new amp. But if I have problems with this new one, I'm dropping Genz Benz and getting something else.
Guitars: Custom Lado Earth 2000-3, Custom ESP Explorer, BC Rich KKV, Gibson LP Studio, Greco SG, El Degas Stratocaster, Agile AL-3000, LTD EX-351

Rig:Marshall JVM410H + Marshall 1960A, Boss Noise Suppressor
#21
Quote by Crunchmeister
They definately are built like tanks. I'm sure these could take a good amount of road abuse. Whatever happened with mine, it's probably a fluke and quite unlikely that it would happen again to new amp. But if I have problems with this new one, I'm dropping Genz Benz and getting something else.


Yeah, it would be quite depressing to see that happen, too.

Any clue on what else you'll be going after if you return the Genz Benz?
#22
If I lose the Genz Benz, I'm going to get a PODXt Live, a 2 x 12 cab, and a power amp. Haven't decided on an amp yet, but I'd probably grab a Carvin tube power amp off ebay.
Guitars: Custom Lado Earth 2000-3, Custom ESP Explorer, BC Rich KKV, Gibson LP Studio, Greco SG, El Degas Stratocaster, Agile AL-3000, LTD EX-351

Rig:Marshall JVM410H + Marshall 1960A, Boss Noise Suppressor
#23
Hmm.. VHT Seem to be a pretty big choice as far as the harder/heavier stuff goes, but I've heard they're rather dry so I'm not sure if you'd want to pair them with something already digital (like a multieffects)

You could always start a rack =P go with an ADA or marshal JMP preamp and a cheaper tube poweramp an work your way up slowly.. That could be fun, too.

If you get a 2x12 you should get the G-Flex, lol. Lots of bass, really tight. Great cab really, I almost bought one for my Powerball.
#24
Well, if I go for the modelling setup, the VHT Hotplate is going to disapear from the setup altogether. I won't have the requirement to crank the volume to get the sweet tones if I have a POD, since it also models the power amp breakup. I want a cheap tube power amp, or possibly (at first due to funds) a good solid state power amp. But I'm hoping it doesn't come to that.

And it will most likely be a G-Flex cab that I get. The store owner has a used Genz Benz 2 x 12 'vintage' cab in stock now he said he'd let me borrow to try out when the new amp arrived, and he'd order a G-Flex for me to try as well. He said that people (particularly the metal crowd) have been buying up these cabs like crazy for their huge low end. He said he's only sold about a dozen Genz Benz amps since he started selling the line last year, but sold upwards of about 40 G-Flex cabs. That has to say something about them.

I love that VHT Hotplate, and I don't really hear this 'sound deterioration' that people say about it. It was expensive for a little box like that, but so worth it. I actually use the Hotplate even for band practice. It allows me to get the maximum power tube drive while not stomping all over the band. Without any attentuation, I have both my pre amd master volumes at 4, and I'm burying the entire band, including our overly loud bass player with his 350W Nemisis 4 x 10 combo and Eden 4 x 10 cab. With the Hotplate at -8 dB, I can crank both volumes to 6 (the sweet spot on this amp) and the rest of the band can still be heard.
Guitars: Custom Lado Earth 2000-3, Custom ESP Explorer, BC Rich KKV, Gibson LP Studio, Greco SG, El Degas Stratocaster, Agile AL-3000, LTD EX-351

Rig:Marshall JVM410H + Marshall 1960A, Boss Noise Suppressor
Last edited by Crunchmeister at May 19, 2006,
#25
Yes, hotplates are wonderful. My ENGL isnt too picky about volume, which is one of the things I loved about it.. I can run it at 1, 4, or 10 and only have to make minor adjustments! The sweet spot thing is so true on amps, though. The first few times I tried Genz Benz I didnt like them much just because I couldn't turn them up.. The same goes for Rectifiers and stuff, too.

The G-Flex is superb for metal. I really can't say much more about it other than it kicks more ass than any other 2x12 for straight-up metal.
#26
My 5150 wasn't too picky about volume either. It was the only tube amp that I had tried that could get me the sound I wanted without having to make my ears bleed inthe process. I do miss that amp a lot, but I'm not disappointed with tone of the El Diablo. Well, I was a little at first (playing at home) - until I got the Hotplate. Then it was smooth sailing.
Guitars: Custom Lado Earth 2000-3, Custom ESP Explorer, BC Rich KKV, Gibson LP Studio, Greco SG, El Degas Stratocaster, Agile AL-3000, LTD EX-351

Rig:Marshall JVM410H + Marshall 1960A, Boss Noise Suppressor
#27
Just got the new El Diablo and it's sounding pretty sweet....
Guitars: Custom Lado Earth 2000-3, Custom ESP Explorer, BC Rich KKV, Gibson LP Studio, Greco SG, El Degas Stratocaster, Agile AL-3000, LTD EX-351

Rig:Marshall JVM410H + Marshall 1960A, Boss Noise Suppressor
#30
hey Guys , were from South Africa and our lead guitarists 100-combo just went err.... "Funny". Basicly what happend was ,
1. He turned off his amp
2. changed his indipendance switch from 4 ohm( default for the combo) to 16 ohm
3. Took out his speaker cable
4. pluged in a beringher 412 ultrastack 400w cab(16ohm) into his speaker jack
5. turned the amp on , played for 1 minute
6. turned the amp off
7. plugged the berhinger out and put the combos speaker jack in again .
8. swithed the ohms selector to 4ohms again
when we powered up the amp it sounded like it was not reaching full potensial .
After a physical inspection we saw that 2 ( the center ones ) vavles was not lit up.
upon further investigation we swapped the vavles to see if the problem was 2 blown vavles. It was not the vavles that was gone , seeing as we swapped them and they worked fine. Now all i want to know is where the hell can i check the fuses, i can only see one place for a fuse and that is under the Power cable , if eny1 know where i can look or maybe point me in the right direction , it would be very kewl.

P.s im suppose to get My el diablo stack this weekend , but after this incedent im unsure...
Please help
Ryan.