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Do you find GKs wattage to be conservative in rating?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by TSanders, Sep 6, 2008.

  1. A local bud (who is also a TBer) and I did an interesting A/B yesterday.

    The two amps we A/B'ed were:

    a Gallien-Krueger 700RB-II (480 watts @ 4 ohms)
    an Ampeg SVT-4 Pro (1200 watts mono-bridged @ 4 Ohms

    Both amps were set with minimal eq adjustments and run through an Ampeg SVT610HLF (4 ohms). As we played with volume and gain settings it was our observation, that the GK was a decent bit louder.

    Granted both amps deliver plenty of power at 4 ohms for most any gig. BUT, it was fascinating to hear an amp seemingly overtake (in volume and headroom) an amp with 2 and a half time the wattage.

    Anyone else find GKs wattage ratings to be on the conservative side?
  2. fdeck

    fdeck Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 20, 2004
    Madison WI
    HPF Technology LLC
    The two amps probably have different tone voicings when their knobs are set "flat." Depending on how the chips fall, those differences might make one amp seem louder than the other. It's unlikely that an amp rated at 480 W would be underrated by a factor of more than two.
  3. BassMaster4s


    Jul 28, 2008
    Wind Gap, PA
    I definitely think GK gives its amps conservative ratings. This may also be a testament to ampeg overrating their wattage. The tube preamp in the ampeg compared to the complete solid state GK may be a factor too.
  4. JKT


    Apr 30, 2007
    Buffalo NY
    Endorsing Artist: Barker Basses
    The Gk amp I bought was a 400RB about 20 years ago. I remember the salesman (who was also a bassist) saying at the time that GK's were always going to be conservative in their ratings and usually louder than other makes of equal or bigger size.

  5. willsellout

    willsellout Supporting Member

    Aug 13, 2002
    Fort Wayne, IN
    Sweetwater Sales Engineer
    GK's are accurately rated I think. I think Ampeg's are not rated accurately. This is probably why you can use the 800RB on just about any gig and have plenty of volume.

  6. mike_Ro11


    Dec 17, 2007
    i love my 700RB-2!!! Never played through a 4 pro. But I have played through a 3 pro and thought it sounded underpowered.
  7. billfitzmaurice

    billfitzmaurice Commercial User

    Sep 15, 2004
    New Hampshire
    Owner, Bill Fitzmaurice Loudspeaker Design
    What you compared was the gain structure of the two amps. The only way to compare actual output at a given THD is to measure it.
  8. bertbassplayer

    bertbassplayer Supporting Member

    Jul 7, 2000
    Dallas/Ft. Worth, TX
    +1. I've owned both Ampeg and Gk, I think GK's ratings are right on where Ampeg's are way overrated. I think something about Ampeg's tube preamps really suck power.
  9. If you consider the postings of both Fdeck and BillF you will see that you are comparing apples and oranges. The EQ pots mid position of most bass amps is nothing like "Flat" and the position of a volume or level control has nothing to do with the actual output of the amplifier. Thus you have to measure the wattage being delivered into the load to make an accurate assessment of each amps capabilities.

  10. allexcosta


    Apr 7, 2004
    I think these hybrid Ampeg heads are the joke of the century. The SVT4-Pro sounds like a cheap 150W head.
  11. bassie12


    Aug 23, 2008
    Amen to that. I bought one of those when the first came out...97 or 98? Completely over-rated, underpowered, boat anchor. As much as I loved Ampeg before that purchase, I've steered clear of them since because of it.

    I used to be a big KG fan... used a 400RB on many club gigs in the 80s.

    I'm looking forward to their new ultralight head :hyper:
  12. allexcosta


    Apr 7, 2004
    Finally someone agreed with me. First time I used a 4Pro I was scared that no sound was coming out of the brand new 8x10 cab. It was a big stage. I thought the amp was broken or something. I ended up turning the thing off and putting the bass on the monitors. Now I just bring my GK2000RB everywhere I go. Although I think GK's ultralight head will be nice, you can get some crazy power from a 1001RB II that weights only 17 pounds.
  13. I own and really like my SVT 4 Pro. I will agree that it doesn't put out the juice for the wattage but this through my 610HLF is tone for DAYS.

    And honestly, if you're playing louder than how much the 4 Pro puts out, then you've got hearing issues or are just playing too damn loud.
  14. bertbassplayer

    bertbassplayer Supporting Member

    Jul 7, 2000
    Dallas/Ft. Worth, TX
    I had a SVT-3Pro that I used with an 8x10. One day at practice I was late so I had forgotten to bring the 3Pro and used my backup Behringer 350 Watt head. The band was asking what I did to improve my sound, and I had mentioned I left my other head at home... they said I should sell it and continue using the Behringer becuase it sounded better and was louder.
  15. NorCal Dog

    NorCal Dog

    Nov 28, 2005
    ^ you're tripping right ? ( dude, give me a hit of that stuff you're on ) jk :D ( i am NOT implying that you're a crackhead ) :bag:

    i ran an SVT4PRO running into a pair of 4ohm BXT410HL4's for close to 5 years,, ( hundreds of gigs ) & NEVER had an issue what-so-ever with that rig,, ( except for everybody wanting me to turn down ) :D & the tone out of that rig was incredible, to say the least )

    if you can't get the volume & tone out of a 4PRO,, you obviously don't know how to run that head period.

    i now jumped on the GK wagon, with both a 700RB-II & a 1001RB-II ( run into a pair of Carvin 1503's 3way cabs ) & i actually think that the 700RB-II doesn't have the grunt & the balls to give me what i'm doing. ( ya,, call me kooky,, lol )

    but the 1001RB-II does compete with the 4PRO, no question about it.

    i just picked up a Hartke LH1000 head that KILLS,, so simple to get a killer tone, ( think Bassman on steroids :hyper::hyper::hyper: )

    the 4pro is pro gear,, the 700 / 100RB-II is pro gear, but to make a statement that the 4pro is " the joke of the century " & " sounds like a cheap 150 watt head " just sounds like something a 15 year old kid, with no real experience with that gear would say

    ( & please excuse me IF you are actually a 15 year old kid, with no real experience with that gear ) :D
  16. bassie12


    Aug 23, 2008
    Actually, I never play loud. Playing bass isn't my main gig, recording and mixing is. I will leave a bandstand long before volume becomes a threat to my, or anyone else's hearing. I bought the amp because I'd heard good things about it. And, because I couldn't audition one here where I live, I trusted the brand and ordered one. The amp was just a disappointment in terms of headroom, apparent volume, and tone. I went through numerous cabs, did preamp tube swaps, etc. Maybe I just scored a dog. My local dealer and Ampeg were less than helpful. This was in a four piece band playing small to medium sized clubs. Maybe it was just that first run of 4 pros, but it was enough to turn me off. Ashdown's ABM series served me well for years after the pricey Ampeg debacle.

    Clearly, your mileage varies. :cool:

    So it goes.

    I'm happy with the amps I'm using now now, and your 4 pro is treating you well. Everybody wins :D
  17. CapnSev


    Aug 19, 2006
    Coeur d'Alene
    I think it's the other way around. Ampeg fudges their ratings so bad it's ridiculous.
  18. allexcosta


    Apr 7, 2004
    I'll send you some good stuff anytime, just PM me your shipping address. :D

    I've been playing bass professionally since 1988 and that's the way I feel about the Ampeg hybrid heads. I do know how to run the amp. I still think that a head that sounds like a 100W Crate amp having written 1200W on it's back is a great joke, but that's just my opinion.
  19. bluewine

    bluewine Banned

    Sep 4, 2008
    Are bass amps and technology better now or just more expensive and complicated.

    Back in the late 60s I used and Ampeg B-15, you have volume, bass and treble you could gig at any bar and it sounded great. In 19 72 I bought one of the 1st SVTs, I think it was all tubes with 8 10"s. It was easy to use and sounded great. From reading these posts and rhe equipment you guys have it almost seems like you need an engineering degree to play bass and understand youer equipment.
  20. allexcosta


    Apr 7, 2004
    Personally I like gear that I can carry with my hands, so that's a big difference from vintage gear. Also, I play in bands that have 14-16 musicians onstage and things can get pretty loud. And I just cannot handle the sound of tube amps for bass guitars. If a Pbass with SVT+8x10 does it for you and you can actually carry it upstairs and all, great. Myself, I need different gear and the only way to find what suits my needs best is researching and looking around.

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