Gallien Krueger GK Fusion 550 motorized knob problem

Discussion in 'Amps [BG]' started by Simon Langley, Dec 7, 2009.


  1. Simon Langley

    Simon Langley

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2007
    Location:
    Chico, CA
    To all those that thought the motorized knobs on the Fusion 550 were gonna be a problem...

    I wish mine actually were broken rather than what it is doing. It seems I have an overactive one on the contour control. So heres the problem:

    A. On channel 1 it goes back to zero, regardless of where you set it and the motor keeps running (you can hear it). Not a big deal but it means I can't use the contour on channel 1. Also seems like the knob moves much slower than the others when switching channels.

    B. Also seems like it isn't keeping the memory for channel 2. When switching from channel 1 to 2 the contour knob doesn't keep running but it stops wherever it was in its sweep back to 0 on channel 1. If you change the setting it does not come back to it the next time you switch to channel 2.

    So, any other Fusion 550 owners out there experience anything like this? And you all thought they would break and not work. Betcha didn't see this kind of problem coming, did ya?
  2. Simon Langley

    Simon Langley

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2007
    Location:
    Chico, CA
    *Got in touch with GK today and they are gonna cover the repair under warranty. Apparently they learned a thing or two about how to make these motorized knobs work since this amp was released. Which has made me think about something.

    *I read a lot of threads here on TB about GK and their reputation and problems regarding their products and quality control. I am fairly new to GK and there is one thing I have already come to realize. Their amps are different than anything else out there and maybe that has more to do with their "problems" than anything else.

    *For example, my old amp was an Eden WT-550 hybrid tube design which in and of itself is a great amp but it's overall design isn't anything new. It is based on the SWR SM series which goes all the way back to the original GT preamp. It is a tried and true design that has worked well for many years.

    *The Fusion 550 on the other hand is a totally different hybrid tube head. Who else uses 3 tubes, run at the high plate voltages GK uses, to control all major operations of the preamp? And what about the motorized knobs? No one else would even dare? Sure it might sound a little over the top but I can already think of several different ways I can use this feature. And what about their unique method of bi-amping their heads with their cabinets? All very original and very much unlike anything else on the market.

    *In any industry there are always going to be problems and a learning curve whenever you are pioneering new ideas. GK needs and even asks for feedback from us so they can continue to improve and refine their radical designs. So far my dealings with them have been nothing but top notch and they have always been quick to meet my needs and get me back out on the gig. I am totally stoked to finally find an amp that gives me the sound I have always heard in my head but could never get. Probably because all the other amps I have tried have been a little too much like each other and I needed something totally different. I have found that with GK. Sure it might require a trip or two back to the factory for some maintenance, repairs and even updates but that a sacrifice I am willing to make to get the sound that I want from my amp.
  3. B-string

    B-string Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2008
    Location:
    Lake Havasu City, Az USA
    I haven't had a problems with the knobs on mine, but if I do I know G-K will be there to take care of things.
    BTW First channel switching, built in effects, effects loop, DI output, Biamp amp head...all started by Bob Gallien. He should have patented all that stuff.
  4. silky smoove

    silky smoove Supporting Member

    Joined:
    May 19, 2004
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    GK produces, of all the amps I've tried (lots), my all-time favorite amp tonality. That said, I ended up having nothing but reliability problems with GK and had to move on. It was a pretty sad moment when I made that decision because I absolutely LOVE the GK sound.
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  6. Simon Langley

    Simon Langley

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2007
    Location:
    Chico, CA
    Got my Fusion 550 back today and everything looks fine. Thanks again to the people at GK for standing behind their product. Now, anyone know where I can find a black tolex covered rack case to put it in?
  7. silky smoove

    silky smoove Supporting Member

    Joined:
    May 19, 2004
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    Glad that ended up working out for you.

    I should clarify on my point above, that even though I had reliability problems with the GK products I owned, they were always very helpful and provided me with no-cost warranty work or replacement products in a very timely manner.
  8. koobie

    koobie Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2007
    Location:
    Portland OR
    I gotta wonder why they went with motorized knobs on the Fusion. The whole idea just seems like it's adding unnecessary complexity & cost. GK does have a good rep, glad yours got taken care of.
  9. Mike Shevlin

    Mike Shevlin

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2005
    Location:
    Las Vegas
    ^I'm eager to see if the new Fusion 500 micro head sounds similar to it's big brother~ I'll give it a try at NAMM~
  10. willsellout

    willsellout

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2002
    Location:
    Woodinville, WA
    The knobs are the only thing I'd change on that amp. It's so incredible in every other aspect.
  11. Simon Langley

    Simon Langley

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2007
    Location:
    Chico, CA

    *What unnecessary cost? Street price of a Fusion 550 is $950.00. Street price on my old Eden WT-550 is $1199.00.
  12. Simon Langley

    Simon Langley

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2007
    Location:
    Chico, CA
    *I actually am very interested in trying it for a couple of reasons. I hate the sound of a overdrive through a tweeter. But I like the clean sound with a tweeter. Hit my Bass Big Muff and shut the tweeter off all in two buttons. Also, one setting for home and one for live. How about switching from a P to a J mid set?
  13. willsellout

    willsellout

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2002
    Location:
    Woodinville, WA
    I can see their use but I'd much prefer two channels. I sold mine for a couple reasons and neither of those reasons had to do with the sound. I just think the knobs were unnecessary. It's still one of the best heads (soundwise) that I've owned.
  14. LAG

    LAG Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2005
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    Disclosures:
    Endorsing Fan: Green bay Packers
    The motorized knobs are the reason I shy away from the 550. Too much stuff prone to failure.
  15. B-string

    B-string Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2008
    Location:
    Lake Havasu City, Az USA
    Contact Benny at www.rak-shack.com he should still have the dims from making mine. He will build it however you want it and does an awesome job. Any number of spaces, covering, handle placements, feet, depth, width....:bassist:
  16. Simon Langley

    Simon Langley

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2007
    Location:
    Chico, CA
  17. goran

    goran

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2002
    Location:
    Croatia
    Instead of opening a new thread, I'll resurrect this one as I have a similar, but more serious problem.

    Ok, I LOVE my Fusion 550, it's the best amp I've ever owned. I bought it 6-7 weeks ago, from authorized dealer. I got substantial discount because it was a floor model. So far I've used it on 1 gig and 10 rehearsals. It was stored in my rehearsal room (dry, constant 20C/68F temperature).

    Yesterday, when I powered it up, knobs (all of them) started spinning all over the place, like they have mind of their own. Whenever i switched channels, they didn't remember their previous position. After 5 minutes of trying, they stopped doing that and amp behaved normally. Today, the same thing, although it took longer than that for amp to get back to normal. It looks to me like microprocessor came to itself after tubes warmed up itself and amp interior. Also, during that 10 minutes, I heard the "crackles" sound from the speakers when I played some notes.

    Any idea of what went wrong? I'm hesitant to send it back for repair because I think there's no authorized GK repair shop in my country, only a dealer. I have a local tech that I trust 100% and I would rather let him look at it, than send it back to the shop and have them try to do the repair.
  18. B-string

    B-string Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2008
    Location:
    Lake Havasu City, Az USA
    Email jason@gallien.com and tell him all that it is doing. Jason is the lead tech for G-K and he may know where the trouble is. He can also supply schematics for your local tech or PM me and I have an older copy, don't know what revs have been done since I received my copy.
  19. goran

    goran

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2002
    Location:
    Croatia
    Thank you!
  20. B-string

    B-string Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2008
    Location:
    Lake Havasu City, Az USA
    Your welcome. I own that head. It is an awesome piece of equipment :D
    G-K works 8AM to 4PM PST Monday through Friday (California, USA).
  21. goran

    goran

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2002
    Location:
    Croatia
    I have just sent Jason a email explaining what happened. I hope to get a reply tomorrow. Again, thank you! :bassist:

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