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SansAmp to get GK tones?

Discussion in 'Amps [BG]' started by dean owens, Dec 16, 2013.

  1. dean owens

    dean owens

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    Sorry if this shows up twice. Thought I posted this but can't find it anywhere.

    My church just switched to in-ear monitors. For a few years the church has been using my old GK 200RCB. Now that we've gone the in-ear route there doesn't seem to be much of a reason to keep it on stage. I'm toying with talking them into getting a SansAmp pedal to handle all the bass duties. But I have a few questions first.

    I've been a GK guy for 20 or so years now. Just love how they sound. Tech21 has the basic Bass Driver (DI, Programable, & Deluxe models) and the VT Character series. I have experience with Tech 21 when it comes to guitar character pedals and I like them. What I'm wondering is if any of these will give me a tone I like (can they sound like a GK). I also like the idea of the ones that can be powered with phantom power to help clean up the stage area.

    So here are my questions.

    Question 1 - Could I just run the head (200RCB) with no cab? There's no need for the cab on stage now. This would save money and help retain a sound I like.

    Question 2 - Are any of the SansAmp bass preamps/pedals able to get a good GK sound? If so, would I be looking at the basic bass preamp or would I be looking at more of the VT Character route?

    If you have anything to add that might be useful to me in making this decision please feel free to share.

    Thanks in advance.
  2. B-string

    B-string Supporting Member

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    Yes you can run the G-K without a speaker cab no problem. Use the effects send on the 200RCB into a matching balanced transformer (Hi-Z to Low-Z adaptor) to keep things clean at the mixing desk, note the signal will be "line level" not mike level. I don't personally know of a pedal that cops the G-K tone.
  3. GretschBassist

    GretschBassist Supporting Member

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    What's you budget? There surely are far better options than the VT pedals on the market, if you're willing to look at something like Demeter Amps (preamps rather) to build a nice rack. But yes, any SS amp can be run without cabs. As for GK Tone, get an MB Head! ;-)
  4. jumblemind

    jumblemind I also answer to Bryan Supporting Member

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    Should probably be careful with a blanket statement like that. All of my SS heads are fine without a cab, but I'm pretty sure Ashdown says not to run their ss heads without one.
  5. Back2Bass

    Back2Bass

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    I would say it gets close myself. I was running a SansAmp bass driver through an Ampeg pf-500 to get the sound I was searching for. And with the budget I had to work with. And was pretty happy.
    Then in the search for a lighter setup I found the G-K Mb212-11 2x12 combo. It had that sound right out of the box with a little tone control tweaking I was there. All I do now is plug in and play.
  6. GretschBassist

    GretschBassist Supporting Member

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    I had an Ashdown ABM 500 Evo III, ran it without and I'm still alive. (The amp is too.)
  7. jumblemind

    jumblemind I also answer to Bryan Supporting Member

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    GK is long rumored to come out with their own preamp/DI, but until then you're not in much luck, and B String would know. I would agree the Sansamp isn't very close to GK at all no matter how much you turn the knobs. You could get closer with an MXR M80 DI+ (great pedal and DI for the $), but it still wouldn't be GK.

    As for using your head without a cab to retain the GK sound, the DI out from the head may not have that same GK growl you are used to. A lot of DI's on amps are uncolored signals. You might need to run your GK amp into something like a Countryman DI in speaker mode. That would be much closer to getting your amp's tone through the house system, I would think.
  8. BassmanPaul

    BassmanPaul Gold Supporting Member

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    Only SS amps that have an output transformer need to have a load.
  9. jumblemind

    jumblemind I also answer to Bryan Supporting Member

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    Right on. I was just going by this thread and Ashdown's apparent response to the question:
    http://www.talkbass.com/forum/f15/operating-solid-state-amp-without-speaker-load-261157/

    I find it dubious and don't see why any ss amp would need a speaker load, myself.

    Ah, there you go.
  10. Stevorebob

    Stevorebob Supporting Member

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    I think the GK MB200 is the pedal you're looking for. ;)
  11. jimfist

    jimfist Supporting Member

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    FWIW, I've been using the Zoom MS60B stomp for grab-n-go gigs, and though it doesn't have a GK amp model in it, you can certainly get tones that are pretty close using some of the available modern ampstomp models. I also just picked up a scratch-n-dent Zoom B3 for cheap, and it has the GK amp model in it. If that is the type of tone you like, then I'd hazard to say, again, that their are other preset tones in the B3 that might be even more satisfyingly similar to the GK800RB + Hartke 4x10 aluminum tone that I loved in the 1980s. For the $$$ these Zoom boxes cost, they are a great bang for the buck....worth looking into IMHO.
  12. oldcatfish

    oldcatfish

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    The Zoom b3 does have a GK amp model...along with many others. It would be a great option for you, and it's a favorite among many church bass players that play with in-ear monitors.
  13. will33

    will33

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    Disclosures:
    Use of this field for any other purpose is prohibited
    Sansamp and GK are a sort of ying and yang. One won't sound like the other but between the 2, you have about every sound you'd need.
  14. CharlieC

    CharlieC Supporting Member

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    +1

    Demos of all the Zoom B3 amp models can be found here:

    http://www.zinfanus.com/zoom_b3

    Cheers!
  15. kleinenenten

    kleinenenten

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    Been looking at a GK MB200 as a "pedal" myself. For me it's to be used as a DI and headphone amp, but with my beloved GK tone. I could likely fit it on my pedalboard, and keep it as an emergency backup. It has an aux in to learn covers as well. Seems well worth it to me! It'll probably be a Christmas present to myself.
  16. dmusic148

    dmusic148

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    Not a bad idea. For less than many pedals you get a DI, a line out, a headphone amp with aux in, and oh, a small amp. Not bad at all.
  17. tbirdsp

    tbirdsp Supporting Member

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    I've used the DI out on my MB200 for some basement recording and to FOH PA systems and it sounds very good.
  18. jumblemind

    jumblemind I also answer to Bryan Supporting Member

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    But do you get "GK tone" from it? The MB200 definitely has a decent DI, but I wouldn't necessarily think of it as having the GK tone stamped on it. IME it's just a good, clean, slightly buffered signal.
  19. tbirdsp

    tbirdsp Supporting Member

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    I guess I'm probably out of touch with what the "GK tone" really sounds like. Used to have a 400RB 20+ years ago:D

    I usually go for a pretty clean tone though. I've run the little MB pretty hard a few times and it does have a nice "growl" to it.

    Here's a recording of a blues song. Squier 70's Jazz into MB200 DI out to Tascam US1800 interface to PC running REAPER software. I don't think I did anything to the bass at all while mixing down, not even EQ. Guitar solo starts at 2:00, you can hear the bass better during that.



    Just an example of a "good, clean, slightly buffered signal" ;)
  20. thedude77md

    thedude77md

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    The GK modeling on the Zoom B3 is pretty darn close.

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