For many years I have been wrestling with the problem of being able to hear myself the way that I wanted to and still get a good(full) guitar tone. I have always preferred the sound of my cabinets on the floor, without the speaker pointing directly at me. The problem with this set up is that I don’t hear myself very well unless I really crank the amp. Cranking up is cool if you are in a big enough room to get away with it, but for most clubs you end up pissing off the sound man, and/or the rest of the band. The answer has always been to angle the cabinet toward your head, by either tilting it or putting it on some kind of stand. The problem with this is that high frequencies always project farther and faster than the middle and lower frequencies. You perceive this as a lot of piercing treble, no bass and few mids. When the speaker is on the floor or angled away from your ear the highs are deflected and you will hear more lows and mids. I have tried many things to correct this problem. For years I put cardboard over the speaker usually attaching it to the grille cloth. This got me a lot closer to what I wanted hear until the cardboard started rattling against speaker or grille.
About a year ago I started hearing about the Genz-Benz G-Flex 2x12, and my hopes were raised. I’d been looking for a smaller cab (was using a couple of different 4x12s) that would sound good off of the floor and this sounded like just what I needed. I read several reviews and played as many 2x12’s as I could in music stores, but nothing really impressed me. Unfortunately I was not able to try out the Benz. Finally I decided to take a chance and order one from Musician’s Friend. I had read a lot about this cabinet, some good and some not so good. However, I found the negative reviews to be just as informative as the positive. From the descriptions by other players I had a strong feeling that I would like this box. Although I did have some reservations about buying it unheard from the net, I rationalized that I could return it if I really hated it.
The G-Flex has an interesting design., a little different from the garden variety guitar speaker cab. There are two primary features that set this cabinet apart the other cabinets that I had used in the past. First of all the baffle board (the piece of wood that the speakers are physically bolted into) is “flexed”. The causes each speaker to face slightly away from the other. This feature helps to reduce standing waves within the cabinet and provides better sound dispersion, reducing some of the “beaming” of high frequencies that is common with the usual closed back design. The other feature that sets the G-Flex apart is the ported design. There are 4 round ports evenly spaced just below the baffle board. The ports allow more lows and mids to escape the cabinet. The effect is similar to having a semi-open back design, but with the opening being on the front. The G-Flex also features some other conveniences that are more common to other guitar cabs including separate input jacks for mono/stereo operation and 4, 8 & 16 ohm connections (8ohm connections are for stereo operation only)
I’ve been playing the G-Flex using my 3 primary amps, Budda Superdirve 30, Dr Z Maz 18, Marshall 1987x, and the cabinet has enhanced the sound of all three. The first thing that I noticed is that the mids are accentuated yielding a vocal quality to the sound. This is very useful for leads and definitely contributes to the overall tightness of the sound. It can also be easily dialed out with the amps tone controls if desired. This cabinet also produces more low end than any cabinet that I have ever played. Even with it about 3 feet off of the floor(used an old keyboard stand for this) I could still feel the thump of the low strings in my chest. I have been gigging with this cabinet for a few weeks now, and I am hearing myself better than ever. Even my band mates have commented on my improved tone.
The G-Flex weighs in at little over 60 pounds, and even with the recessed corner handles is a bit awkward to carry solo. It seems sturdy enough but only time will tell. The speakers are 75 watt British made (Made my Celestion?…not sure) , but I am wondering what the G-Flex would sound like with a nice set of alnico speakers or hemp cones, but for the time being I think that I’ll leave it as it is.For more information visit http://www.genzbenz.com/?fa=detail&mid=1409&sid=419&cid=93
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