Calling on All GK Gallien-Krueger Owners. What are your settings?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Modern Growl, Sep 30, 2005.

  1. What do you all set your heads tone configurations up to, and what style tone are you going after?

    I think “o’clocks” (1 o’clock, 11 o’clock and so forth) would be easiest to communicate, no?

    I currently set my head up pretty simply and keep getting amazed each time I plug in. Everything up at 12 o’clock except the boost, which is perhaps at 2 o’clock, and the input volume witch is around 9’oclock.

    (I’m starting to see more and more that the input volume and the boost control have a HUGE impact on each other. Having more gain in the input stage will give you a much thicker sound, but be careful or it can get pretty muddy)

    GK heads are extremely versatile, from anything to thin and trebly, to hefty and thick. It would be cool to see how you all achieve the tone your after w/ sample settings.

    Please chime in!
  2. Nedmundo

    Nedmundo Supporting Member

    Jan 7, 2005
    I think there was a thread on this exact topic a couple of months ago. Anyway, based on other threads I think you and I like similar tone, and thus it's no surprise that my settings are like yours.

    The more I've used my G-K heads and wanted growl, the more I've cranked the boost, so it's usually past 12:00. The EQ always starts flat. I'll make adjustments from there depending on the bass and room, but rarely will any band go lower than 11:00 or higher than 1:00. I typically keep the presence and contour off, but my current band rehearses in an acoustically dead room, so I've been using presence.

    My goal is a strong, balanced, versatile rock tone somewhere between vintage and modern hi-fi, with a full but not boomy low end, solid mid-range punch, and clear but not sizzling highs. I think G-K heads are excellent for this, as are the G-K Neo cabs (at least my Neo112). I usually have the tweeters in my cabs below 25%, and sometimes they're off entirely.

    (By the way, since you obviously like growl, you should check out "Done Gone Blue," the first track on Los Lobos' Good Morning Aztlan disc. Awesome tone.)
  3. Vic

    Vic There's more music in the nuance than the notes. Gold Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2002
    Central Illinois
    Staff, Bass Gear Magazine
    Currently, 2 112 Aggies and a 1001RB-II

    Contour and presence pretty much 10-12 o-clock
    I play 5 string but have the button on the 4 string setting
    I add a touch of bass and treble (1-2 o'clock)
    I take away a touch of the mids (like 10-11 o'clock)
    I set the volume at about 12 o'clock
    I set the boost at about 9-10 o'clock
    Adjust output with woofer

    Salt and pepper to taste...
    Mortom27 likes this.
  4. Joe P

    Joe P

    Jul 15, 2004
    Milwaukee, WI
    It drives me nuts when I keep seeing folks say "GK is harsh and zingy", or "in-your-face treble" or whatever! That may BE true for some models - I dunno - but my 700RBII can go downright MUSHY, if I want it to! It also CAN get zingy. I'm not talking about just turning the treble down - I'm speaking of working with the input and boost controls, like you're saying.

    I'll get back to y'all with my settings - gotta run!

  5. danman


    May 18, 2004
    Philadelphia, PA
    EQ all 12's...sometimes a 11 for low mid
    presence 12
    contour 3
    volume 12
    boost 3

    This is a 700RBII on an eden 212xlt

    WHR likes this.
  6. Vic

    Vic There's more music in the nuance than the notes. Gold Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2002
    Central Illinois
    Staff, Bass Gear Magazine
    Joe, I think with those folks who are complaining it's about the frequency points GK chose to place those EQ controls at, which you can't change... not that they never thought of turning a knob. :) This is the same problem a parametric EQ is supposed to solve, but then people complain the EQ is too complicated. :)

    IMHO, the GK EQ is just fine, but remember, not everybody's opinion is the same. Also, this is SOOOOOO speaker cab dependent it's not funny. :)
  7. +1 - Speaker cab dependant indeed!
  8. I'm not pretty much having my boost control at MAX, and keeping my input volume at around 10:00. Using Ouput, or Master volume as needed of course. I say give the boost control a try at full on. It really brings out more harmonic content from the signal.
  9. danman


    May 18, 2004
    Philadelphia, PA
    To me the EQ on the GK's is best used to modify sound to suit different situations. I don't think the eq shapes sound really well....It just compensates really well....Thats why I love it. My bass sounds great, the GK just makes it louder. Nuff said.

  10. I agree. That’s why I keep everything flat, or 12 o'clock. Each time I mess w/ the EQ too much it doesn’t sound good anymore. If I do mess w/ the EQ its only by a hair. Like instead of 12 o’clock… I’ll boost or cut something to like… 11:30, or 12:30 tops.

    That boost knob is something else though, huh? That is what I max out. I keep my input volume at around 9-10 o’clock, any higher then that boost knob turns into mush knob.

    Anyways it almost sounds sorta like a little Sansamp Bass Drive is in there to me, but not to such an extreme degree. I found the Sansamp to suck tone, (no tomatoes please, just my opinion) rather the boost knob will add growl by emphasizing the optimum harmonic content of the signal. I would say it has a ‘driven’ sound to it. And if you have a growly bass like mine… American Jazz Bass, then GK will only make it louder, letting the bass’s true tone shine through, but also enhancing growl. Man, that boost knob G.I.V.E.’s me exactly what I’ve been looking for in amplification tone.
  11. Joe P

    Joe P

    Jul 15, 2004
    Milwaukee, WI
    Good One...

    That would be "Gate Induced Valve Effect" for you who are not-so GK-savvy.

    My 700RBII settings, driving a JBL JRX125 PA cab (generally-speaking):
    Preamp gain = 12:00
    String bass = OFF (I DO play a low-B 5-string)
    Conture = 11:00
    Presence = 1:30
    Treble = 10:00 (I must mention that I always use the tone control on my CS-3 compressor as a treble-boost before the amp, AND I have an Aphex Xciter boosting it again right after that. Aphex's Big Bottom also changes the bass response...)
    High-mid = CRANKED! (nobody else boosts high-mids?)
    Low-mids = 12:00; maybe down to 11:30
    Lows = 12:00; maybe up to 12:30
    Boost = 12:00
    Woofer high-cut = IN (on)
    Woofer/master to taste (often around eleven or noon for a gig)

    Do any other of you use the 5KHz crossover freq cut the highs there?

    I'd also like to know if any of you use the built-in BI-AMP FEATURE.

  12. origami


    Jun 26, 2005
    Big D TEXAS
    I use to do all this extreme EQing, but most of time I put all the knobs straight up "flat/noon and sometimes little things at 10 and/or 2 o’clock if needed.

    I may use slightly differing EQ's when playing through 10”s or 15”s and if I am going through a GK bi-amp cab or not. Sometimes the room sounds strange acoustically and needs EQ adjustment. Here are my variations:

    I usually do not use the 5-string bass button. It’s an 11+db at 20Hz. If I am running into one cabinet it adds too much low end. I only use it when I run multiple cabs that can spread out the sound, and they handle getting slammed with that much low end. That button is incredible for bigger venue with large PA support. The crowd feels that low through the house subs.

    I usually don’t use the presence. I don’t slap or pick. The presence knob is a +9db boost at 10kHz. I usually play with the horn barely on. Just because I have dialed it out of my cab does not mean the house PA is not reproducing that ultra high end. I especially don’t use the presence when dealing with 15”s. Generally some 15”s drivers (in hornless cabs) don’t produce much of 10kHz anyhow.

    I mostly play live with fingers, and if my strings are new I usually dial a little high mids (1kHz) out to compensate for the clanky-ness of finger attack. Just to 10’oclock works fine. This is especially true if you are playing through 10”s, which are punchier.

    I usually have the contour around 2 o’clock. The contour adds a little at bass at 50Hz and a little treble at 7kHz while taking away mids at 500Hz. It sort of adds a touch of moderness to the incoming bass sound without getting too intrusive.

    I am currently running my head into an Ampeg SVT 610hlf for live shows and an Ampeg SVT 115e for rehearsals and acoustic shows.

    I just sold my last GK cabs. The construction was top-notch, but the drivers were just too hit and miss. At different times I did own SBX115-II, 410SBX and the 410RBH. I do highly recommend the 410rbh as one of the best 410 out there.

    When I did use GK cabs I used the “tweeter hi-cut” to kills everything above 10kHz(basically hiss).

    I did not use the “woofer hi-cut”. This cut everything above 5KHz and sent it to the tweeter. I thought this made my woofer sound too dull.

    I regretfully have to use my pad on my EMG p-bass. My EMG Jazz bass is not as hot. I think the pad robs some tone. I wish it were just –7db and not –14db pad.

    I love the “boost” it is the soul and body of the GK head. It dramatically increases volume too. I do never turn it past noon or the sound become mushy and starts to have that a rough (not good) sounding distortion, but If you turn it down past 10 o’clock you lose all energy in the sound.

    Overall, the 1001-rb is extremely versatile in many musical situations. If there were any improvements to make it would be a straight up simpler EQ with no pre EQ tone modifiers (like the Carvin mono-blocks). A softer pad for active basses, and perhaps a true distortion channel (like the 2000 series).

  13. 4Mal

    4Mal Supporting Member

    Jun 2, 2002
    Columbia River Gorge
    Conrad is a wonder. Big tone, all the fat notes and nothing extraneous. Very tasteful with a monster pocket. He's a fav of mine.
  14. 4Mal

    4Mal Supporting Member

    Jun 2, 2002
    Columbia River Gorge
    Settings wise I run the Gain around 9 to 11 depending on the bass I'm using. The 4 string/5 string button is on 4 string. The Countour is variable but never more than noon, not generally more than 9, often its off completely. Tones are flat with a bit of treble roll back, hi mid boost and bass boost depending on the room. Boost is straight up at 12.

    I run a more of less flattish kind of sound that let's my bass speak, I use the EQ to knock back excessive highs and more or less compensate for the room. I use the Contour to fatten it up a bit if necessary.

    I'm currently running an Alesis 3630 Compressor/Limiter/Noise Gate in the effects loop. The Compressor is barely on. I find thatit helps a bit with my rght hand and also thickens things up just a scootch. Unless I'm slapping and popping, I never see more than 1 of the output LED's light so it's pretty much just idling there. I'm digging the noise gate as I've started running a Line 6 Filter modeller, a Trace Elliot EQ in Stomp Box format and an MXR Bass Octave. I set the nise gate with a pretty high threshold and it's dead quiet in between songs.

    Not sure where I'm going with the effects thing. I haven't been an effects user for a long time. In my trio I have the freedom to experiment a bit so what the heck!

    I'm running 2 shallow Bag End 2x10's (16ohm cab's). A D-10X-D and a D-10-D. The 'X' cab has a co-ax tweeter so 1 tweeter for the two cabs. It's an awsome rig. I can roll it in on a hand truck in one trip and it can really pound away! The Bag End's look like hell on paper. They roll off at 50 hz. The tweeterless can only goes to 6k. They don't do the big warm Bergie or Aggie kinda scooped thing. Not bedroom cabinets at all. Get them in a live band context and they are just so sweet. They can just rip through and be punchy as heck without getting boomy or even all that loud. Fantastic cabinet on stage!

    I can add in a Bag End 2x12 or a couple of JBL 15's if necessary. So far it really hasn't been.
  15. Doug Parent

    Doug Parent Supporting Member

    May 31, 2004
    San Diego, Ca.
    Dealer Nordstrand Pickups.
    Vic, I just got two aggie 112's yesterday, still messing around with my 1001RBII. I tried your settings, which sounds good. The boost to me seems subtle, but then again I'm not cranking away in my living room.
    are your tone settings based on your MTD 535? Thanks.
  16. thanks for the post's guys. this is awesome stuff!

    nice to see how everyone uses their GK heads and commentary on features.

    anyone else?
  17. Joe P

    Joe P

    Jul 15, 2004
    Milwaukee, WI
    I played a gig Saturday in a smallish hall that opened-up into a bar - it was a pretty decent-sounding room.

    I was reminded again how great my rig sounds. I'm still getting used to the T.I. Jazz Flats - it didn't take me long to get used to the playing-feel, I'll tell-ya; that is just perfect for me, but I'm working with the sound a little all the time yet. I find myself boosting treble all over the place! I have boost on my CS-3 Tone control, then again on the Aphex Bass Xciter - yet I'm CUTTING treble on the 700RBII; I should look into whether this really is my best bet.

    Now I use distortion more than ever also (with the Xciter just before the ODB-3, I get such a nice OD AND distortion sound!). I think I'm going to get a good noise gate, so I can really get'er dingin' - then I'll be able to work-up a super-clacky, noisy, racous fuzz-tone also! As-it-is now, I always cut treble on the ODB. I like the idea of that Boss Noise Supressor that senses threshold right off the bass, then gates what's in its loop. Do any of you guys have experience with this gate?

    Well anyway: I was once-again reminded how much I love this amp head! I caught myself sneeking-up the treble control to about 11:30 or-so during the first set, but the noise was starting to bother me.

  18. tbone0813

    tbone0813 The faithless say farewell when the road darkens.

    Aug 6, 2005
    Grand Prairie, TX.
    I am running a GK 1001RB II head, NEO 212, & a NEO 115 cabinet. I am running the 212 with the tweeter through the GK HM system. The tweeter in the 115 is off. It is the best rig in the world. :hyper:

    5 string engaged
    Input- 9 o'clock
    Contour- 1 o'clock
    Presence- 11 o'clock
    Treble- 1 o'clock
    High Mid- 11 o'clock
    Low Mid- 1 o'clock
    Bass- 12 o'clock
    Boost- 10 o'clock
    Tweeter- 11 o'clock
    Tweeter Hi cut engaged
    Woofer- 12 o'clock
    Woofer Hi cut engaged
  19. Squidfinger

    Squidfinger I wish I could sing like Rick Danko.

    Jan 7, 2004
    Shreveport LA
    I run a 1001RB-II+NEO212+passive P-bass with the tone knob wide open and mainly play with a thick pick.

    Volume (gain): 10 o'clock

    4 string setting

    Contour: off

    Presence off

    Highs: 9 o'clock

    High mids (the enemy of warmth): 8 o'clock

    Low mids: 12 o'clock

    Lows: 10-12 o'clock

    Boost: 2 o'clock

    Tweeter: off

    Tweeter hi-cut: on

    Woofer: 1 o'clock

    Woofer hi-cut: on

    I would probably boost the highs and high mids a notch if I was using fingerstyle. I struggled with my GK for a long time before I found the sweet spots. Unlike some amps it still sounds useable at extreme eq settings.
  20. morebass!

    morebass! I'm listening Supporting Member

    May 31, 2002
    Madison WI
    Interesting that people don't really use the settings recommended in the manual. It's suprising to see how extreme some of the GK manual's settings are!

    My main rig is the GK1001-II with 2 410sbx cabs. I'm happier with the head than with the cabs but I never seem to be happy with cabs. :crying: Anyway, the rig sounds pretty good in small places, a little thin in bigger places (no PA support). On the small stages we usually play I'm right next to my amps and wear earplugs. When I eq it to sound good there it lacks bottom out in the room. Exactly the opposite of when I used to use 15" speakers. I'm thinking of replacing one of the 4x10s with a 15. I play 4-string fenders (MIA jazz deluxe and MIA P) and sometimes tune down to D. I use a TI dual compressor before the amp.

    Like many above I've stuck with moderate EQ settings. Sometimes I cut the highs and/or high mids a little. I guess the only thing I can contribute here is that you can use the woofer and boost alone to control your sound. When you want warmth and drive (fingerstyle) increase boost and decrease woofer. When you want clarity and depth (slap) decrease boost and increase woofer. You may never have to touch anything else.

    Also, I use the biamp feature and find the high cut buttons to be pretty subtle.