gallien krueger 800RB

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by xrosslobsterx, Aug 16, 2001.

  1. xrosslobsterx


    Aug 1, 2001
    Ive been searching ebay for a new head and there are a total of 3 of these up for bid at the moment. does anyone have any experience playing one of these? are these reliable and what do they sound like. oh yeah and what would i expect to pay for one of these new?
  2. EString


    Nov 20, 2000
    Los Altos, CA
    Gallien-Krueger 800RBs ROCK! If you are looking for the Ampeg sound, look elsewhere. Gallien-Krueger amps are clean and transparent, occaisionally with a slight, aggresive grindy tone to them. Listen to the Red Hot Chili Peppers, No Doubt, or Radiohead and you'll get the basic gist of the Gallien-Krueger sound.

    Expect to pay between $600 and $700 for a new 800RB.

    Gallien-Kruegers are quite reliable, in my experience, especially the time and road tested 800RB. Some people claim to have had persistent technical problems with Gallien-Krueger amplifiers, but they usually pertain to the 1000RB or the high-powered 2000RB.

    Fear not though, the 1000RB has been discontinued in favor of the 1001RB and the 2000RB has received an upgrade for 2001, the new version being designated the 2001RB.
  3. boogiebass


    Aug 16, 2000
    I had good luck with an 800RB for a couple of years. It's a pretty clean amp, not a lot of coloration. Obviously, being all solid-state, it's reliable. But fat? No. Not at all. Ultimately, I sold mine and bought Eden because I found the sound just too "vanilla." Of course, YMMV. If clean and reliable and not too heavy is what you want, you might just be happy.
  4. leonard


    Jul 31, 2001
    Yes, the 800rb does sound excellent and many famous bands seem to use them. But there are things to consider. It has two different power amps: 300w/4 ohms and 100w/8 ohms. Lord Valve has stated in some other forums that the 100w amp often blows because of players using 4 ohm cabs with it. Actually, I've had mine blown using an 8 ohm cab. It just blew for no apparent reason. I wasn't even playing very loud. I had it fixed but couldn't really trust the amp after that.

    You might want to do a search on with the words "lord valve 800rb".

    I hope everyone else out there using 800rb is more lucky than me. It really sounds great - the best IMHO.
  5. CrawlingEye

    CrawlingEye Member

    Mar 20, 2001
    Easton, Pennsylvania
    Check out Rancid, Matt Freeman uses a 2000RB. (bassist of rancid)

    He's arguably one of the best bassists, currently.

    G-K heards have a unique tone to them, it's EXTREMELY clean. I venture to say sterile.

    I suggest trying one before you bid?
  6. EString


    Nov 20, 2000
    Los Altos, CA
    I actually don't think Gallien-Kruegers are THAT clean.

    They are clean, but they are kind of a dirty clean, if that makes any sense, especially with the boost function on.

    I love the nuances the GKs add to your sound, like a really sharp attack, more growl, and as much brightness as you'll ever need. However, all the character that the amp adds still allows the true sound of your bass to shine through loud and clear.

    I love GK, Bob Gallien is a real nice guy.
  7. I'm with you Estring! It can be a clean and sterile sound but it can get down right dirty and overdriven if you like. Or transparent, or grindy and problems. What I like about it and have come 360 degrees on that all these years I've been playing 'tube' because everyone says they like tube best, but I find tube amps (SWR and EDEN which I've had and still have / for certain purposes of course) are very 'bouncy' and transparent, there's no 'immediacy' or presence about their tone. I like the immediacy when playing 16th notes steady and consistent, and being able to feel that punch / on the money, and not bouncing in mili-seconds later, like what tubes do for me. So my main amp, is my GK again...I love it's immediacy. Now not a put down to SWR because I'm keeping it for a certain smooth jazz kind of tone. I like em all...but my main is a GK800RB.
  8. ljazz


    Dec 10, 2002
    Cookeville, TN
    The GK's, if set right, and run through the right cabs, are very warm. I find my 700rbII to be downright "throaty" with the boost up a bit. One big plus, to me at least, is the 5 string filter. It extends the lowend roll off (my understanding), and sounds great, even with a 4 string. There is nothing sterile about it.

    I would skip the 800, and get with RMC Audio on a new 700RBII. I think they're selling them for like 520.00 with free shipping.

  9. I was going to purchase a GK800RB last year but I ending up with a 1001rb.

    My thoughts on GK is that I've found the amps to emphasize all the right frequencies and you don't need to spend hours trying to get a good sound, they sound great with all the controls flat - you just need to fine tune it if you want. While they are transparent to a certain degree they add punch and 'sizzle' to your tone and you can use the boost or push the master volume to get a warm growl.
  10. ljazz


    Dec 10, 2002
    Cookeville, TN
    True dat.....

    GK's are voiced to sit beautifully in the mix. That makes them worth another 200 watts (at least).

    I'll be the first to admit that I'm not a fan of how my GK sounds when I'm playing by myself. But I learned a long time ago most tones I find to sound awesome are lackluster when in a band setting. LOL..... the when amp shopping, the more I like something in the store, or even in my home, the more it isn't going to work when I get it with the band!

  11. 62bass


    Apr 3, 2005
    I agree with this somewhat. Different eq is needed for a fat and warm sound at home in a small room with no other instruments. But with the GK amps, and I've been using them for many years, I can easily get them to sound great at home for solo practice or with a band in any size room.

    Some have said they're too clean and sterile. For me they aren't-I can get them to sound pretty fat and grindy using the preamp gain and the boost control properly.

    Others say that you have to use a Sansamp to get them to cut through. Again, I haven't found this true. I've got a Sansamp but never have to use it to add anything to the GK sounds. It makes a good direct box though to put a bit of warmth in the front of house sound.

    And GK watts sure seem to go a long way. Even the lower powered 400RB I used for about 10 years straight seemed like a much more powerful amp.

    And the little 26 lb. MB 150S combo I have now is a wonderful amp for practice at home, small band rehearsals and even for live gigs if there is FOH support. It records wonderfully too. You can get it to sound just like a huge live stack with just the right microphone placed a few inches from the speaker. No direct box needed.
  12. ljazz


    Dec 10, 2002
    Cookeville, TN
    The at home stuff I mentioned was kinda tongue-in-cheek. It's all really a matter of preferences and taste. The point here is that we really need to see if the stuff we GAS for will work for us in a live playing situation. Things we think are great may not always be so great in a live situation.


  13. 62bass: you have got it! I concur. Practicing at home is night and day from actual performance. In the first place, just the volume is greater. That alone changes the characteristics of the tone and feel of the instrument. In most cases with most amps, but in the case of the's huge...but that's where the quality of tone really comes to show the performance. The GK's do so much better in the live situation. I can never get that when practicing at home, because I never play that loud. This is true with most amps as well. I find that to truly hear what your amp will sound like and if you really like it, it's in the performance. Then you can tell .... if she's a keeper or not. MHO.
  14. 62bass


    Apr 3, 2005
    Exactly right.
  15. 62bass


    Apr 3, 2005
    Thanks for the support. One of the reasons I guess why Yorkville amps seem to work so well live and are used so much by working musicians who could afford to pay more.

    GK certainly has built a reputation on sounding great live. You're right about not playing loud at home affecting the sound. That's where using a small cabinet at home can give you a bigger and warmer sound. I tried my GK MB 150 through an Eden 1x10 co-axial speakered cabinet once. Sounded great. Still very GK sounding but way more efficient than the combo's built in 12' speaker. But the nice thing was it didn't thin out and get sterile at lower volumes the way some cabinets seem to do. It would make a great extension speaker for the combo for playing live.
  16. Planet Boulder

    Planet Boulder Hey, this is a private Supporting Member

    Nov 10, 2001
    6,482 feet above sea level
    I once had impure thoughts. Oh, and I pluck my ear hair.
    Holy frijoles! a 7-year old thread! :eek:

    I don't think EString is around anymore. ;)
  17. 62bass


    Apr 3, 2005
    It doesn't matter. It's a chance to discuss gear.
  18. Might as well try to make make it 8 years :)

    I am planning on picking up an 800RB in the next few weeks.

    One of the best gigs I've had so far was at a pretty well known, decently sized club in Boston. We were the opening act for a sold out show, and actually got a proper sound check! The band leader informed me previous to the gig that there would be a back-line provided. So I show up to the club just as the headliners get sound checking, and I'm blown away. The band sounds just perfect, like a rock orchestra. 3 guitarists, pedal steel player, a horn section, harmony vocals. The music is just breathing from everywhere.

    After they finish up, I meet the bassist from the headlining act/his rig. He turns out to be a really straightforward and kind soul...and his rig turns out to be an 800RB through a Ampeg fridge! He gives me Carte Blanche with messing with the settings, and away I go!

    I gotta say, I have yet to play through a rig that sounds so good AND feels so right! Played a $200 Squier bass with no mods. I really did my homework and it ended up being the first gig I've played where the music came out *effortlessly*...kind of spooky at first, but an amazing feeling! The gig ended up being an outrageous success from so many different angles.

    I was shocked to learn that the 800RB is only 300watts (got some SERIOUS bass in a pretty big room that night!), not very expensive and has a really stellar reliability reputation. And since I am looking for a head at the moment, I figured I might as well give it a shot.

    The only thing I'm worried about is finding the right cab to mate it with. I'd love to find an Ampeg 810 or 610 or a Bergantino 610, but that just won't cut it for the time being. Currently I have an SWR Goliath III 410, so hopefully it will get the point across. I'll be sure to report my experiences here as they become experienced.
  19. Jack


    Sep 6, 2003
    Newcastle, UK
    Id love to try a 800RB with a 4x10 for the low amp and a 2x10 for the highs. Just for the hell of it. Played a 800RB with an Ampeg 410 as backline a while ago.

    I was all ready to feel superior knowing I had a 1001 and GK Neo cabs back home but that rig just rocked. With my Ray I felt like I belonged in No Doubt the whole night through. Even convinced the band to add 'Just a Girl' to the set list. We hadn't played that one in a while, kicked it's arse though. :)
  20. DrBass

    DrBass Banned Commercial User

    Oct 20, 2003
    Myrtle Beach, SC USA
    Owner, Dr Bass LLC
    I have had my 800RB for 20+ years and I have never had a single problem with it. Simple to use and as reliable as the sun coming up every morning. I personally have retired it to my shop and use it everyday for testing cabinets. I now use a 1001, my partner uses a 2001, and my brother still uses his 1987 1200CEB metal combo with an MB squared on order. And their new Fusion 550 is the bomb...............It will be mine, oh yes, it will be mine!