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GK 400 RB with a slave power amp

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by morebass!, Jun 11, 2003.

  1. morebass!

    morebass! I'm all ears Supporting Member

    May 31, 2002
    Madison WI
    My preamp is going into the shop so I tried using my backup 400RB as a preamp. First I went from the "send" jack of the effects loop to the power amp but later tried the "direct" out. The direct out seemed to have a hotter signal and it sounded really good. I also used the power amp of the GK to power one of the cabs so my Crest could run bridged into my 2x12. I used to have 900 watts (450x2), now I have 1300 (1100 + 200). It works well with my cabinets (PV 2x10 rated at 175w and Avatar 2x12 rated at 700w). Anybody else use a GK like this? Any dangers I should be aware of? Thanks.
  2. Hey there,
    I don't see any problems with your setup though it sounds complicated:meh:
  3. squire_pwr


    Apr 15, 2003
    San Diego, CA.
    wow, that's a pretty cool setup there. this opens up some options... since you can do that, it means that I could get a used 400rbIII at a good price, and if/when it gets too small for me, simply buy a poweramp and I'm good to go! assuming the cabs can take it, of course.

    The only problem I see with the setup is now you have a lack of PA support, since you're using the direct out for the power amp. Though, I'm sure you could either get a Y-connector or maybe your poweramp has a DI? Interesting though... veeerry interesting.

    how much would a usable poweramp go for? I wouldn't need the best, just something that's not crappy.
  4. morebass!

    morebass! I'm all ears Supporting Member

    May 31, 2002
    Madison WI
    Daniel - Thanks for the blessing. I know it's a more complicated setup than an 2001RB or other high-powered head that would do the same thing but not a lot more than the preamp/poweramp setup I had before. If I could start over I might do things differently. As it is I'll just have to be careful.

    Squire - You're right about not having PA support. Our PA is pretty rinky-dink and is devoted to vocals so I'm on my own. That's why I need so much power. If I need to use the direct out for a house PA I could use the send jack for my power amp. I bought my Crest V900 for a little over $500 as a floor demo about 5 years ago. You see similar units for sale for down to about $300 used. I think this setup is a good option if you like the GK sound (I do). As Daniel warns though you don't want to get too complicated. It makes it easier to make an incorrect connection and blow something up. For example if you plugged your GK's speaker out into your power amp you could do some serious damage.
  5. Eric Cioe

    Eric Cioe

    Jun 4, 2001
    Missoula, MT
    I do something similar. I run the effects send into a crossover (where I can boost the not-so-hot signal to +10, leaving it at 0dB), and the high out into the effects return of the GK (crossover set at 180hZ). This power amp powers an Avatar 2x10. The low out is run into a Carvin DCM1000, giving 700 watts to my Yamaha 1x18 PA sub. Pretty complex, and I'd recommend to anyone getting a rig that requires this many cables to buy good cables. If one goes bad, it takes a long time to find out what it is.

    That said, my rig is very easy to set up. I set the cabinets down, the rack on top of that (it's a bear to lift 65 pounds up to chest level!), then plug the cabinets in, the power strip in, and my bass into the input. 5 minutes and it's all done. :)
  6. morebass!

    morebass! I'm all ears Supporting Member

    May 31, 2002
    Madison WI
    10 months later, gigging almost every weekend and this setup is still working fine. I'm surprised that more people don't do this. I've got the GK preamp and 1300 watts and paid only ~$800 for it. My complaints are that if I want to use the GK alone for a small gig or practice I have to remove it from the rack or carry the whole galumpus ( I know, I'm lazy), and the fact that I can't control the signal level coming from the GK relative to the power amp. The volume and master volume affect both the powered signal from the GK and the preamp signal going to the power amp. So I can't change the relative volumes coming from the cabinets. This hasn't been much of a problem though since they seem pretty well balanced now.
  7. Not that you would necessarially want to add to your signal chain but you could add any input device (compressor, EQ....) that has an ouput level control after your send and before your power amp. This would allow you to control the volume of your 2x12 relative to the 2x10.
  8. BTW I recently tried the same setup with my Ampeg B2r, QSC USA 900, Hartke MX410 and Avatar B115. It sounded good but a fellow TB'er suggested I may be getting too complicated. I tried my setup running all speakers into the QSC and I liked the results better than running both power amps. Something to try. You never know.
  9. morebass!

    morebass! I'm all ears Supporting Member

    May 31, 2002
    Madison WI
    Muzikman, That 's a good idea. I'm using a TE stompbox compressor before the GK that I could move to after the GK. The GK seems to have a compressed tone anyway so it might not be missed on the 2x10. I'll try that and report back next week. Thanks!

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