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Dont think i can ever trust a GK head again.

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by dave_bass5, Jul 8, 2018.

  1. dave_bass5


    May 28, 2004
    London, UK.
    Ive had my MB800 for about 2-3 years. First year it was used a lot, but on more than one occasion i could not get anything out of it for 10-15mins at gigs. It never cut out once it came on, but i started to need to take a back up amp just in case, and needed it a few times. All the lights would come on, but no sound. After a while it would work, but that’s really not good enough when I’m trying to set up or sound check.
    I haven’t used it for about a year, but started again a few months ago. Jump to last week and we finally went in to the studio. Engineer plugged his lead in to the XLR out....nothing. Stone dead. Switched to Post EQ and i got a very distorted, low level sound. Totally useless. Needed up going from the DI on my board, and that was fine.

    Having tried a few leads, and substituting my MarkBass F1 with the same leads its definitely the amp.
    Now i know these things can happen, but quite honestly if this is a pro piece of gear, designed to be used on tour etc, then these things shouldn’t happen.

    It too late to send it back, and I suppose i can be fixed, but I’d never trust it again so I don’t think ill bother. It can gather dust in the cupboard with the rest of the stuff that i have but dont use.
    I know others love these amps, and i do, but its not been reliable and we all know how that can turn out at a gig.

    This is the 3rd (and last) piece of GK gear thats been rubbish. The first was a small combo (many, many years ago) that had a really low output, and would distort on the DI if the built in chorus was turned on, and a RB1000-II that crackled (not distorted) on anything above 1/3 of the volume.

    Rant over
    murphy, morse and fast slapper like this.
  2. I hear ya. I have never owned GK amps myself, but have used borrowed ones quite a bit in the past. Each and every one of them died mid gig. I know how to connect an amp to my cabs, I know about ohms and all that. Based on that experience, GK is a huge no go for me. The same has happened to me with early Markbass amps, btw. Both will never be part of my rig.
  3. dave_bass5


    May 28, 2004
    London, UK.
    I really like my MB800 but enough is enough. For home use its fine (not that i ever use an amp at home), but 3 different piece of gear with issues over the years is enough.
    In fact just before getting the MB800 i had a MB Fussion 800 delivered. To say it looked sub standard would be a pretty accurate statement. Screws at an angle, front panned with huge lumps of solder and dents. This was straight out off a sealed box, and the box had no damage to it. I never even plugged it in, it went straight back.
    To allow that outer of the factory should shave set alarm bells ringing.
    murphy likes this.
  4. agedhorse

    agedhorse Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 12, 2006
    Davis, CA (USA)
    Development Engineer-Mesa, Product Support-Genz Benz
    Funny, I have seen hundreds of GK amps on tour that worked fine for years. Maybe some players have all the luck?
  5. dave_bass5


    May 28, 2004
    London, UK.
    Well thats my point, if its ‘luck’ that you have to pray for to stop them breaking down then its time to move on.
    I’m sure we all have stories about gear malfunctions, but with a 100% failure rate over 3 amps that’s a just too high to take a gamble on anymore.
    Never had an amp fail during a gig, but neither have I had any issues with amps other than GK.

    My old Markbass F1 is still going strong so back to that.
    murphy and morse like this.
  6. DWBass

    DWBass The Funkfather

    Yeah, I think a few isolated cases. I've been using an MB200 for about 5-6 years now and no issues outside of a gig I did on a cruise ship. Went into protect mode but I suspect it was the ship's onboard generator not giving enough current. I've had no issues anywhere else.
  7. Element Zero

    Element Zero Supporting Member

    Dec 14, 2016
    I take it all 3 of your amps you never bothered to take them into a repair facility?
  8. When I read such tales of woe I wonder exactly what speaker cabinets you had connected and what were their impedance?
    Omega Monkey likes this.
  9. I think these have simply been the wrong GK heads. :bag:

    Go grab an old 800RB and you'll be fine. :thumbsup:
    NOVAX, 10cc, Kieran Mulvaney and 7 others like this.
  10. JGbassman

    JGbassman Supporting Member

    May 31, 2011
    I’ve got a few GK heads, one an MB800, the other an 400RB.

    I’ve got many, many hours on the MB800, I toured with it as well. I’d say it’s 6-7 years old now. It did develop an issue on the road, cutting in and out. I took it to a shop, where a dab of solder on a solder joint fixed it. 50 bucks out the door. Sometimes things break and they need a little tic. It’s been going strong since then.

    My 400rb sound great, but I mashed the mute switch loading it one night and it’s down right now. I spent 12 bucks on a new switch and I’m going to have a tech solder it in when I get time to run it over.

    Point being even though everything breaks eventually, a little work is sometimes needed. I certainly don’t slight GK at all, and enjoy their amps as much as any manufacturer.

    If your car needs breaks or maintenance we just get it fixed and it’s part of owning a machine that gets used.

    Don’t be so hard on the company. There are plenty of good amps out there. I own two of them.
  11. BogeyBass


    Sep 14, 2010
    Newer stuff no thanks. Agreed

    But the older 400rb and 800rb are work horses. And have a nice grind when being pushed. Find them used all the time and they just keep going
    NOVAX, JMacBass65, 10cc and 2 others like this.
  12. JimChjones


    Aug 6, 2017
    SE England
    Well that's going to be true of every brand. The company doesn't exist that hasn't shipped some product that weren't as good as they'd like, and most of them are going to have had one really unlucky customer who's had a run of bad luck.

    And chance is a really strange thing when it comes to dubious kit. I recall comparing notes with an oppo at a company down the road when I was in the bike trade, and he was saying how great Model A was, how they sell loads of them and their customers love them, and how Model B was nothing but trouble. And I was utterly gobsmacked, because our experience, based just 10 miles away, was the exact opposite.

    And you know, its pretty unlikely that all a company's different products are going to be dodgy. Sure there will be some models that are better than others, but any company that's lasted a few years can't be shipping universal junk because returns just cost too much and in these days of forums and so on reputation is too easily lost.

    You've got to ask yourself is it more likely that everything GK ships is breakdown prone, and somehow no-one talks, or it is just that you're the poor sod on the far end of the probability curve who's had a ridiculous amount of bad luck? Because someone's going to be that unlucky b******d.
  13. Bass Man Dan

    Bass Man Dan Endorsing Artist: Ned Flanders' Bass-a-Reeno

    Oct 20, 2017
    Only amp I've ever had an issue with is a Backline 600 that I think got a bit rattled in my car. That said, my mb115 has been good so far.
  14. Stevorebob

    Stevorebob Well... I Am Here, Aren't I? Supporting Member

    Sep 29, 2011
    Los Angeles
    Ever consider taking it to a tech to have it looked at? Might be a simple repair.
  15. JGbassman

    JGbassman Supporting Member

    May 31, 2011
    Honestly it sounds a lot like the issue I had with my MB800. You might be suprised on how cheap it is to get back running perfectly again.

    I can understand being shy about a piece of gear thst left you stranded, but if you get it fixed you could always sell it if you didn't want it any longer.
  16. Paulabass

    Paulabass Supporting Member

    Sep 18, 2017
    When some less evolved (only two generations without a tail) drunk yahoo tried to push my cart down stairs, my GK1001 RB fell off two cabs stacked, and bounced down some concrete stairs. The anvil case was totalled, and the amp runs perfectly.
  17. gidbass

    gidbass Supporting Member

    Aug 5, 2009
    My only experience with GK stuff has been my gen 1 mb212. Aside from a warranty repair back when i bought it, it's been flawless. My next rig will most likely be GK based on my tone preferences, my limited experience, and the feedback on this forum.

    GK customer support seems to be top notch. Did you contact them with your issues?

    Good Luck!
    NOVAX and Al Kraft like this.
  18. twinjet

    twinjet GE90-equipped Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Sep 23, 2008
    That stinks, but if all three of someone else's gear failed, I'd chalk it up to poor maintenance/storage on their part. I have a less expensive MB210-II combo which has served my needs without fail for nearly three years. I'm sorry to hear yours and OP's didn't. They really are great sounding equipment.

    Good luck on your search.
    pcake likes this.
  19. popcat


    Jan 7, 2016
    Cold/cracked solder joints are common on various electronic equipment -- especially at through-hole connectors and capacitor pins. Sometimes they manifest quickly, but they often don't become a problem for years or are annoyingly intermittent. I can't tell you how many of these I've fixed on my own stuff over the years; from worn TV sets to a PC board in a brand new oven. Most recently, my external PC speakers were intermittently going in and out and crackling for a couple of years; after all that time I finally took apart the power-side speaker, and guess what I found?

    They can also be difficult to find, wiggle connectors and use the eraser-side of a pencil to tap and poke at components -- if you feel comfortable doing so.
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2018
    murphy and Jason Hollar like this.
  20. Killens84

    Killens84 Supporting Member

    Sep 3, 2008
    I’ve seen tons of GK amps used all over the place, and they seem to hold up like tanks. It’s been one of the touring standards for bass players for years, on thousands and thousands of stages. I have an older GK 400-RB III combo that I’ve used for years, and it just keeps on going.
    murphy, Crystalman85, NOVAX and 4 others like this.

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