WHEN THE GENZ BENZ SHUTTLE 6.0 combo arrived on the scene in 2008, bassists took notice of the little box with the big sound. The high-powered, lightweight package provided gig-worthy volume with all the tone shaping capabilities and features pro players wanted. Available in several different configurations, the Shuttles took a big bite out of the combo market, and have remained popular for several years. But the folks at Genz Benz have not exactly been chillin’ by the pool— several new developments have surfaced in their other products, and it was time to give the Shuttle combo a well-deserved update. Enter the Shuttle 6.2.
On the surface, the new look is clean and cool, but also functional. To make control settings more visible, a pronounced line is cut into each knurled aluminum knob— a nice update from the previous model. The 6.2’s digital high-current Class D amplifier and switchmode power supply crank 375 watts into the 8Ω 1x12 neo-loaded cabinet, and a full 600 watts when coupled with an 8Ω extension cab ($650 street). There is more gain past the 3 o’clock setting to drive the single 12AX7 preamp tube, and in tandem with the individual channel volume, you can dial in a sweet, clean tone, or well-saturated grind, even with passive instruments at low volume. The active 3-band EQ offers LOW, semiparametric MID, and HIGH controls, as well as three preset filters for low frequency boost, mid scoop or high frequency boost. A moderate Q in the range of 600kHz gives the mid scoop filter a more focused cut, and leaves the bottom alone. The original Shuttle 6.0 employed a high-pass filter to roll off the sub-low frequency output of the amp. It maximized the amp’s efficiency, helped protect the speakers, and gave the rig a tight bottom. But with a new robust, cast-frame neodymium woofer in an optimized cabinet, Genz chose to lower the frequency on the 6.2’s high-pass filter, making the low end noticeably fuller than the previous version. On the opposite end of the spectrum, the crossover point for the tweeter has been set lower, resulting in a sweeter, more open high frequency response.
A noticeable enhancement to the 6.2 is the addition of the 3 DPMTM circuit, which Genz first introduced in their Streamliner amps. 3 DPMTM is essentially a multi-band limiter focused more on the low frequencies. When activated, the lows are subtly limited while the mid and high frequencies are relatively untouched. A variablespeed fan keeps the inner workings cool with less noise; and with a tuner out, fullfeatured DI, effects loop, headphone out and aux in around back, you’re covered for a wide range of circumstances. Genz has also released a 900 watt version, the Shuttle 9.2 head ($830). The Shuttle 6.2 combo is also available in a vertical 2x10 configuration ($1,350), with a matching 2x10 extension cab ($700). The Shuttle 2 Series cabs all have the built-in kickstand for angling the box toward your ear, and bigger cushier handles.
As a long-time user of the 6.0, I immediately felt the enhancements in the 6.2. Tested side-by-side, I heard a much stouter lowend presence from the 6.2, and the high frequencies seemed less claustrophobic. But it’s not all sheen and thump—the mids are well represented, too. The natural balance of the amp set completely flat gave me a perfect starting point with a variety of different basses. With its healthy amount of gain, I’ve played many gigs using only the onboard EQ on my bass. While some amps are designed with a sonic signature in mind, I find the Shuttle to be fairly neutral in character, with EQ flexible enough to dial in specific sounds. For players that own several instruments, or play many different styles—this can be a big plus.
The combo on its own can produce a surprising amount of volume without crapping out, but connecting the matching extension cab added some serious girth. I pushed the mini-stack with a Mike Lull MV5, riding the low B like an over-caffeinated Nordic sociopath and the amp took it with a smile. I could hear the squash of the 3 DPMTM, but rather than flattening out the punch like some built-in limiters—it dished tubelike squash with impact and detail. While the Shuttle can easily get the modern hi-fi vibe, for a plateful of old school tone, I rolled back the variable tweeter, cranked the tube gain to just before overdrive, kept the channel volume at 10 o’clock, pulled back on some highs, and there it was—dark, chunky P-Pass territory.
I’ve been able to cover live situations from Texas rock & roll to acoustic jazz with a Shuttle 6.2/12t combo and Shuttle 2 Series 12" extension cab—and so far, it has delivered the goods every time. The outsized performance of this rig, combined with its ease of travel, could make it a working bass player’s best friend.
GENZ BENZ SHUTTLE 6.2-12T COMBO
Pros Powerful, lightweight, flexible, pro performance
Topography Class D
Power output 375 watts into combo, 600 watts w/ 8Ω extension cab
Controls GAIN, VOLUME, LOW, MID, MID FREQ, HIGH, MASTER VOLUME, L.F. BOOST, MID SCOOP, H.F. ATTACK
Inputs 1/4" instrument, 1/4" aux in
Outputs 2 Speakon, 1/4" HEAD PHONES, EFFECTS LOOP, TUNER OUT, balanced DI
Dimensions 14.2" x 18.3" x 21.7"
Weight 33 lbs
Made Taiwan (amp), U.S.A. (cabinet)
Warranty 3 year transferable