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Genz-Benz Shen 300

Genz-Benz "Shenandoah Compak 300" Acoustic Amp  Model: Shen-CPK-8T

By Craver

Genz-Benz has been long-known as the quality-leader in the electric guitar/electric bass amplifier categories.  I was eager to give their new acoustic amp a try.


The first thing that I noticed was how small and light-weight the 'Shen' was.  As the years press on, I find myself seeking more compact gear.  The 'Shen' is an amp/speaker combo and at only 16 lbs., this rig made me smile.

To call the 'Shen' an acoustic amp is to sell it short.  It has many features of a full-blown PA.  With two-channels, an amp, a speaker, and effects, this little guy is way more that an amp.

The amp has two-separate channels and easily accommodates a solo performer setup with a mic and a guitar.  Each channel provided a wide array of sound controls, including reverb.  The amp easily is removed from the cabinet.  This enables the use of the amp with separate speakers for outdoor gigs, etc.

The on-board amplifier has 300 watts of power.  I used it in small to medium sized bars and it filled the room with sound.  I also used it at a poolside gig and I got great feedback on the sound.  In addition to the on-board speaker, the amp has another speaker output.  So, in larger applicaitons, a second, non-powered speaker can be added.

My second favorite feature, next to it's compact size, is the sound quality.  After playing through the 'Shen,' I was asking myself, 'how do they get such a great sound and presence out of such a small package?'  The answer is Jeff Genzler.  This guy knows his stuff!

The 8" speaker delivered a very warm tone from the guitar without sounding 'muddy.'  The highs came through crisp and clean.  The vocal quality was also very good and the many tone controls let me 'dial in' my sound.

There is a convenient, spring-loaded, floor tilt stand built into the bottom of the cabinet.

The 'Shen' could use a pole mount on the bottom.  I worked around that by simply putting the amp on a table.

Over-all, I was very impressed with the Shenandoah Compak 300.  I give it my highest recommendation.

Specifications & Features

Power Output: 175W  /  300W
Power Amp Technology: Lightweight 'Class D'
Preamp: Two-Channel w/XLR and 1/4" Inputs
EQ: Active 3-Band with Sweepable Midrange
DSP: Studio Quality with 15-Preset Programs
Phantom Power: Provided for Condenser Mics
Outputs: Three-Separate Direct Outputs
Inputs: One-Auxillary Input
Headphone Jack: Yes
Suggested Retail: $1,149.00