Getting a GK 1001RB-II to sound more like an 800RB

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by dave120, Dec 24, 2005.

  1. dave120


    Jun 27, 2005
    Central Florida
    Hi guys,

    A few months back I was shopping for amps because I outgrew my Kustom KBA65 combo pretty quickly when I started playing with a band with 2 guitar players. I assume most of you know 65 watts doesn't work too well with 2 overdriven guitars with 100 watts each and a loud drummer!

    I love the sound of most artists using GK amps so I decided my amp was gonna be a GK. The 800 is the classic sound guys like Duff McKagan used in the GN'R days that has an usual sound to it unlike most other bass amps. But it's 300 watts @ 4 ohms which didn't seem like it might be enough for me down the line and I didn't want to go amp shopping again. I ended up going for the 1001RB-II and I love the sound I get from it with my band and have gotten what is "my sound" tweaked from it.

    But with longer gigs happening lately we've decided to do some cover songs to fill up some time as well as entertain the crowd and I'm trying to get more of the 80's rock sounds of the 800RB and I can't seem to quite dial it in. The GK manual says the contour knob on the 1001 will make it have the same contour as on an 800RB, but I don't thinnk that's all there is to getting that 800 sound. Do any of you know any tricks to making the 1001 sounds more like an 800? Or is it just a sound all its own (which is really good) that can't be changed all that much?

    Any tips would be appreciated
  2. seanm

    seanm I'd kill for a Nobel Peace Prize! Supporting Member

    Feb 19, 2004
    Ottawa, Canada
    This is just a thought, but I bet some of the 800RB sound *is* the fact it is only 300W so you are going to have it cranked.
  3. NJL


    Apr 12, 2002
    San Antonio
    Bump...I'm curious as well...

  4. NJL


    Apr 12, 2002
    San Antonio's a +11db@20hz
  5. Ryan L.

    Ryan L. Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Aug 7, 2000
    West Fargo, ND
    I believe it says something about that in the manual, so I think you are right. (I have been looking into GK amps lately, 2001RB to be exact)
  6. Also, they say that the contour should be either full or off - I guess the 800RB only had a switch which put it at "full" contour.
  7. origami


    Jun 26, 2005
    Big D TEXAS
    I own the GK1001rb-II and I recently tried out a used 800rb at a local shop. I don't know exactly why, but I did think the 800rb sounded more; 'even' and 'tone-ful' compared to my 1001rb-II. After looking at the EQ's the 1001rb-II are voiced a bit more modern vs. the 800rb.

    I think a lot of Duff's GK tone comes from Rotosound strings, a good blend of Jazz bridge pick-up and middle P-pick-up on a passive bass, and the use of a pick.

    To showcase some differences tone-wise with the 1001rb-II vs. the 800rb: besides the 1001 having a different type of bi-amp, more power and headroom, the EQ’s are a little different too, and that can explain some of the differences in tone:

    800rb controls:
    Treble: +/-13db @4kHz.
    High Mid: +7db/-11db @1kHz.
    Low Mid: +6db/-12db @250Hz.
    Bass: +/-8dbdb @60Hz.
    Low cut on: -14db @40Hz.
    Mid cut on: -10db @600Hz, +2db @80Hz, and +3db @4kHz.
    High Boost On: +12db @4kHz.
    Boost On: +15db.
    Crossover: sweep-able from 100Hz to 1kHz.

    1000rb-II controls:
    Treble: +/-14db @7kHz.
    High Mid: +6db/-10db @1kHz.
    Low Mid: +6db/-10db @250Hz.
    Bass: +/-10db @60Hz.
    4/5 string on: +11db @20Hz.
    Contour On: +2db @50Hz, -10db @500Hz, and +3Hz @7kHz.
    Presence On: +9db @10kHz.
    Boost On: +?#db (adds even order harmonics).
    Crossover set at: @5khz.

    This explains how a 1001rb-II can mimic a 800rb, but the 2 heads are voiced differently and the 1001rb cannot do an exact replication.

    The 1001-rb is more powerful, more headroom, and veristile EQ wise, but is designed with the GK bi-amp spaekers in mind.

    I really like how the 800's crossover works. I just wish it was a little more powerful in the 8 ohm/100watt high amp and the 300watt/4ohm low amp. It is the perfect head for a 2x10 and a 1x15 cab. It is very usuful at keeping the lows in one cab (15") and the definition in the other cab (2x10"). It also sounds very good with an ampeg 8x10 in full range.
  8. ras1983


    Dec 28, 2004
    Sydney, Australia
    i distinctly remember reading in my manual that it is a combination of all the above suggestions... let me check it...

    the contour knob must either be 0 or full and the 4/5 string button must be set to 4 string.
    here's a link so you guys don't have to get off your chairs to read the manual:
  9. dave120


    Jun 27, 2005
    Central Florida
    Thanks for the replies. I run with the Contour full on and in 4 string mode (seeing as I don't play a 5 string anyway). I use Rotosound RS66 Nickel strings with SD basslines P/J pickups (passive) so my sound should be fairly close (and it is on some songs). I might also try some Rotosound RS66 Stainless Steels again...I tried them when I was fairly new to bass and they slaughtered my fingers because they're so rough, but they might not be as bad for me now and I know that's what Duff uses. Trying to replicate someone's sound is quite a pain in the neck I have to say :) My tone I use for our originals is more like Duff's sound in VR, especially since I also use the same MXR M-80 that he uses now, but it is still different sine I don't like it quite as bright and with a little more bottom end. Funny how I bought almost all my tone shaping gear (SD Basslines Hot P and Hot Stack Jazz pups, Rotosound strings, MXR M-80) before I even learned what he used besides the GK amp...I guess being a GNR and now VR fan for so long has sort of gotten me used to a certain kind of bass sound that I like.
  10. eots


    Dec 18, 2004
    Morris, IL.
    Doesn't Duff play a P bass? Could that and an 800rb be the sound you're after?
  11. ras1983


    Dec 28, 2004
    Sydney, Australia
    what cabs are you using dave120? Duff uses GK cabs (RBH series in the not too distant past and neos now).
  12. You'll need to go all the way on or all the way off with the contour, go with the 4/5 string button out, roll off the bass a little and go heavy on the boost. The 1001RB has much more power than the 800RB so it's still going to sound cleaner, but if you go heavy on the boost, you should be able to get more growl.
  13. dave120


    Jun 27, 2005
    Central Florida
    I'm using a Steelsound Eminence loaded 410 with a piezo in it also. Not a GK cab but it sounds alright. As soon as I have the extra money I'm going to get GK cabs down the road. I imagine that contributes to the sound as much as anything else does.
  14. origami


    Jun 26, 2005
    Big D TEXAS
    i've seen many detailed pics of duffs GK gear.

    his knobs on the 800 are @:

    volume: 10 o'clock
    mid countor: on
    treble: 10 o'clock
    high mid: 10 o'clock
    low mid: 2 o'clock
    bass: 2 o'clock
    boost: 12 o'clock
    crossover: 12 o'clock
    (hi) 100 watt amp: off
    (lo) 300 wat amp: 12 o'clock

    his knobs on the 2001 are @:

    gain: 12 o'clock
    edge: 3 o'clock
    bottom: full
    level B: full
    level A: 2 o'clock
    treble: 10 o'clock
    high mid: 10 o'clock
    low mid: 2 o'clock
    bass: 2 o'clock
    boost: 12 o'clock
    tweeter: off
    woofer: 10 o'clock

    diesel dog settings @:

    gain: 12 o'clock
    treble: 3 o'clock
    middle: 3 o'clock
    bass: 12 o'clock
    volume: 12 o'clock

    he used the 800rb for a long time mated with the RBH410 and rbh115 cabs. i highly recomend the RBH410 it is a very good cabinet. i used to own one they are great.

    duff is now using the 2001rb with the neo 2x12 cabs. i have not played the neo 2x12 cab, but they seem to have a good rep.

    in the studio duff will sometimes mic the 4x10 and 1x15 or even a blend in a marshall 12" loaded cab or an acoustic 2x15" cab.

    he recently also uses the mxr di m-80 and the gk diesel dog for distrtion. his usually uses the old ibanez analog pedals but now uses an yamaha spx90.

    i hope this helps you get a little closer to his tone.
  15. dave120


    Jun 27, 2005
    Central Florida
    Awesome info origami!

    I think I came about as close to Duff's sound as I want to get right now. On my 1001RB I'm running the following:

    Presence: Max
    Contour: Max
    Boost: Max
    Bass: 12 o'clock
    Low mid: 2 o'clock
    High Mid: 1:30 o'clock
    Treble: 12 o'clock

    Woofer volume at 12 and input master at whatever the required volume is, usually pretty low like at 1 or 2 on the scale.

    On my MXR M-80 I run the level fairly high at about 4 o'clock, the gain at about 10 o'clock and the blend at about 8 o'clock (very little blend because otherwise it gets guitar-like heavy distortion! All I really need is a hint of it, the Boost feature on the amp does the rest). On the main EQ part I do a slight cut to the bass because with the color switch on it adds a little too much IMO, and you can't turn color off while using the distortion. I put the mids at about 1 o'clock and leave treble at 12.

    There is some serious punch in this setup! It cuts through 2 distorted guitars with halfstacks easily and without needing a lot of volume to do so. I would say it's definately brighter than most bass rigs but I like that sound because of that. Standing next to it I don't get the full effect of the sound but after watching a video of my gig last night it definately gets in that classic GNR sound range sometimes and can also sound heavier when it needs to depending on how I attack it. My band loves the sound and I got complimented by 3 other bass players last night about my sound. Not bad for my budget rig! The amp is by far the most expensive thing I use. Cabs and basses you can get pretty good ones for cheap these days but I didn't wanna go cheapo on the amp because I haven't seen a real cheap amp that sounds that great. I'm also using Rotosound Nickel RB-45 strings which are also a little brighter than most other strings too. I tried the SS ones but they were a little too bright and i couldn't hear myself at all in the mix with them. Maybe they just needed to wear in a bit more but I like the sound I get from the nickels a lot and they're a lot easier on the frets and fingers. I think I finally found the sound I've been after with this setup :) Following that GK sound with a little bit of my own sound mixed in is just perfect! It sounds great with my band's music and it sounds almost perfect when playing the GNR covers!