Reed Jones speaks up for Genzler Amplification

Reed Jones, bass player with Audie Blaylock and Redline, shared a video he made recently about his experience using the Genzler Amplification Magellan 350 on the road with the band. The company specializes in compact amplification systems, and their products have been embraced by a large number of players who appreciate their dedication to tonal transparency.

Jones wanted to make sure that bluegrass and acoustic music bassists were aware of the company, and their products, as they are newly formed. Reminding us that many upright players use an small amp on stage, not to mention electric uprights, he said he was very happy to hook up again with Genzler, who he thought was gone from the market.

“For years, many bass players in our music (Terry Smith, Mike Anglin, Matt Wallace, and myself, to name a few I remember off-hand) played Genz Benz amplifiers because of their size, power, tone, and convenience. The company was eventually bought out by Fender and, to my understanding, production stopped. Fast forward a few years, and the Genz in Genz Benz, Jeff Genzler, started another amplification company called Genzler Amplification. I recently started working with them and have found their products to be incredible; remarkable design and quality.”

We spoke with Jeff Genzler earlier this week, and he was also eager to assure bluegrass artists of his commitment to pure tone in a small package. He told us a bit about how his earlier effort came to an end.

“I started Genz Benz in my garage in the ’80s, and built it up until we were distributed by KMC Music (Ovation). They eventually bought the company in 2003, and then Fender bought them. Then in 2011 Fender essentially dropped the brand. We had been at the forefront of lightweight bass amps and cabinets.

So I started Genzler in 2015 figuring I could do this again.”

The concept with the new company is what they call a bass array cabinet. We’ve all seen those large hanging cabinets at concerts that are suspended from cables above the stage, with the various speakers oriented in different angles. Genzler has reduced this concept in size, and uses one built into his cabinets to provide the punchy high end that many bass amps fail to reproduce in small combos.

Reed demonstrates this well in his video.

Jeff told us that he started making this sort of cabinet with a larger 12” speaker and 3” array components. Once he saw how well it worked, they set to finding out how small they could take it, ending up with the current configuration that Jones likes for bluegrass.

Here’s a video of Reed on stage with Audie at the Jenny Brook festival, showing the Magellan 350 in action.

Genzler Amplification products are distributed through an international network of dealers, and you can purchase them directly from the company. They also offer an Acoustic Array Pro designed for acoustic guitar which a good many banjo and fiddle players have come to rely on when they have to plug in on stage. There is even one in use on the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville.

Find more details on Genzler at their web site.

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About the Author

John Lawless

John had served as primary author and editor for The Bluegrass Blog from its launch in 2006 until being folded into Bluegrass Today in September of 2011. He continues in that capacity here, managing a strong team of columnists and correspondents.