Other than those who shoot for the “straight-wire” transparent sound of audiophile-approved gear, most bassists appreciate having some tone shaping available via their amplifier. While tone is the result of endlessly complex variables, like the shape of a room and the angle of finger to string, sound-sculpting circuits like EQ and overdrive have the biggest audible impact on what a bass sounds like. Few amps offer as much thoughtful tone shaping as Genz Benz’s GBE heads. Though by appearance (and sometimes in practice) the top-of-the-line GBE 1200’s EQ and contour controls are daunting, good engineering and sound contribute to a sonically fruitful tweaking experience. On top of piles of EQ, Genz Benz loaded the 1200 with extensive effect-loop routing, self-diagnostic features, a high-output power section, and a proprietary “powerflex” circuit that optimizes the power supply for different nominal load impedances.