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Gallien-Krueger 1001RB-II vs. Kustom 1200HD Groove Bass vs. Carvin B1500

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by chilliwilli, Nov 29, 2006.

  1. chilliwilli


    Aug 17, 2005
    I play hip hop, R&B, and gospel. They are all in similar price range with Kustom being the cheapest and GK being the most expensive.
  2. I'll bump this. I'm particularly curious how the GK and the Carvin compare sound wise...
  3. Matt Morgan

    Matt Morgan Fellow Conspirator Supporting Member

    Oct 21, 2001
    Plano, TX
    The GK is LESS expensive than the Carvin. You can get one new, delivered to your door from rmcaudio.com for $600.

    I tried the Carvin and did not care for the quality (poor assembly, noisy fan), the size and weight of it and the poor service I received from Carvin. I returned it promptly.

    I now own the GK 1001RB-II and it has been a great amp. Loud, very clean, quick, light and portable.
  4. bass-shy


    Jan 11, 2005
    IMO, the Carvin beats the crap out of all of them. Seriously, the other's don't even come close in terms of build quality, flexibility and sheer muscle. I think it beats a lot of other amps that cost way more, too. This is only my opinion though. Good luck with your search.
  5. This is more or less my take too. I've played a buttload of G-Ks, and they're a good amp. I've spent much less time with the Kustom, but enough to get at least a tangible impression; it was good too. But after owning a Carvin B1500, I wouldn't be interested in either of those alternatives. To me the B1500 is superior in every respect: tone, build quality, flexibility. Nothing's perfect, but it's an excellent amp. Just my $0.02.
  6. chilliwilli


    Aug 17, 2005
    I got a chance to try the kustom, it was alright. It sounded scratchy at times, but i think it was the terrible kustom cab not the head.

    Now that i've found out about a cheaper way to get the gk (thanks Matt), i guess its between the carvin and the gk now.

    I'm more interested in quality of tone. The watts on the carvin look impressive, but im afraid it wont sound as loud as it's rated. I cant try it out to find out for sure either. Also the eq section worries me. The sub bass is at 50hz? I'm afraid it wont cut it for a 5 string bass or the styles of music i mentioned above.
  7. Your worries are misplaced IMO. Yes, the B1500 is very loud. Read some of the reviews on here. If the Carvin isn't loud enough for you, I'm morally certain the G-K won't be either.

    Don't worry about the EQ section. I play 6 and it goes low enough. Remember, the number on the control doesn't mean only that frequency is boosted or cut. There is a band to either side that is also affected. Or, if it's a shelving control, everything below (or above) the specified frequency is affected.

    And yes, you can try out the Carvin. there's a 10 day trial period. You do have to pay the shipping, though, but it would be worth it if it turned you on to an amp you ended up really liking.
  8. chilliwilli


    Aug 17, 2005
    Could you please state what type of music you play and your experience? maybe go a little bit more into depth?

    Same to you also and have you ever played the gk 1001RB-II?
  9. chilliwilli


    Aug 17, 2005
    I'm not that worried about loudness that much though. I'm just trying not to be wooed by the watts. 1900 watts for $700 is nice, but im more concerned it wont live up to expectations. The GK im not worried about how loud it sounds though because for some reason they always sound louder than they are. So the 750 watts will probably feel closer to 1000.

    As for the eq, which is it? Is it shelving or not? what other frequencies are affected?

    I might consider that, but i was gonna try and look on ebay or used somewhere else first.

    Could you please tell me what type of music and setting you use your 6 string and carvin b1500 for also?
  10. HeavyFingers


    Mar 18, 2006
  11. If you want to know about the EQ on those amps, you should go to the sites and check the manuals. I honestly don't remember offhand, and I can't put my hand on my manual. On a non-shelving EQ, the controls for each frequency affect a range of frequencies, but not all EQs are identical in this respect; the width of the "band" can vary. You'll have to talk to the companies if you want to know more. But really, all that's not so important if it sounds good.

    As for what I play, check my profile. Besides what I've listed there, I've propbably played most other styles that you'd imagine a guy of my age with 35+ years of playing experience would have played. Besides, don't get too hung up on the idea of certain amps having to be associated with certain genres. There can be a little truth to that, but not NEARLY as much as many people think. That association is way exaggerated. IME the best amps can usually be used very effectively for more than one thing.
  12. Blues Cat

    Blues Cat Payson Fanned Bass Strings Owner Commercial User

    May 28, 2005
    Katy, Tx
    Payson Fanned Bass Strings Owner
    The B1500 sub bass is 30 hz.

    From the manual:

    Sub Bass 30Hz
    Bass 100Hz
    Lo Mid 300 Hz
    Mid 1kHz
    Hi Mid 3kHz
    Treble 10kHz

    Listen with your ears not your eyes. Alot of the time the B1500 sounds best with the Sub Bass rolled out a little.
  13. Matt Morgan

    Matt Morgan Fellow Conspirator Supporting Member

    Oct 21, 2001
    Plano, TX
    I've been playing about 20 years now and have played in groups ranging from coffee house acoustic trios to festival volume hard rock bands. These days I usually play in two guitar, alternative/modern rock bands. I've owned gear from just about every manufacturer out there (SWR, Aguilar, Demeter, Acme, Demeter, Euphonic Audio, etc.)
    I think I'm one of the few that didn't have a good experience with the B1500. I also didn't have a great experience with one of my EA Iamp800s either. I think in any manufacturing process, you're going to get the odd lemon here and there.

    I've owned two GK 1001RB-II amps and they've both been flawless. They're easily loud enough for any club gig, reliable, well built and simply work. They're like the Toyota Camry of the amp world. There are far sexier, higher powered, ultra-light, super power, boutique amps out there (and I'll probably own another one of those some day!) but for now the GK works for me. It's easy to EQ, is pretty transparent and has plenty of low end punch. Using the tone controls, you can really dial in a nice midrange "growl" with it too. It works great for straight forward rock. Hard to beat for the money.
    Just my experience and my opinions!
  14. bass-shy


    Jan 11, 2005
    Yes. I have played G-K 1001RB-II's on many occasions. I won't say that they aren't good amps, but IMO they aren't in the same league as the B1500.

    If you're leaning towards buying the GK, you should. It sounds to me like you might have already made up your mind about the other two. Best of luck.
  15. 4Mal

    4Mal Supporting Member

    Jun 2, 2002
    Columbia River Gorge
    The Redline series stuff was enough to turn me off of Carvin period. My experience with the 1001 RB II was nothing but pleasant. A great sounding workhorse amp. At $600 delivered it should be considered the benchmark in sub $1500 amps in my book. I had it toe to toe with a UL-502 and ended up thinking - two nice amps... 'course one of them is twice the price of the other ...

    I've dealt with GK's customer service in the past and found them to be responsive and customer focused. Given my previous and short lived exposure to Carvin it is extremely unlikely that I will have the occaision to evaluate their customer service again.
  16. JGR

    JGR The "G" is for Gustav Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jun 29, 2006
    President, CEO, CFO, CIO, Chief Engineer, Technician, Janitor - Reiner Amplification
    The new Carvins may be built well but I don't think they have anything over GK in terms of build quality and reliability. Time will tell how they hold up, but currently I think you will find there are a lot more old GK's going strong than anything Carvin has put out. GK has a proven track record and I would give them the nod at this point where reliability/durability/build is concerned.

  17. cheezewiz

    cheezewiz Supporting Member

    Mar 27, 2002
    Don't sweat the EQ. 30hz and 50hz eq points should be used to CUT only. You get NO audible sound from that, just rumble, and unnecessary power use.
  18. greenboy


    Dec 18, 2000
    remote mountain cabin Montana
    greenboy designs: fEARful, bassic, dually, crazy88 etc
    Depends on the cab you use, and the room, etc. I get plenty of audible difference with my setup when cutting at 50 or 40 or even 30. But speakers that fight to produce those frequencies, the story will be different. For solo gigs or gigs without subwoofered PA, it can be a plus to have a rig that can actually make true low end (without ridiculous amounts of compensatory boosting which is as often destructive as not).

    When there is good subwoofer PA support I do then want to cut the lower bands and even 63 and maybe higher because on smaller stages it puts my rig in a physical location that is likely to cause phase cancellations and exaggerations with the subwoofers.
  19. greenboy


    Dec 18, 2000
    remote mountain cabin Montana
    greenboy designs: fEARful, bassic, dually, crazy88 etc
    Funny - in just the past week I could have swore I saw several threads with GK problems talked about. I guess we all have our faves, but there's definitely fuel for the fire for almost any brand name. I think it's more important to focus on specific models anyway - that's often more to the point when it comes to reliability and performance. So when I check out anecdotal "evidence" I'm definitely not looking for blanket praise or indictment...

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