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GK 400rb and Bag End 15 (vintage?)

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by shirojiro, Oct 26, 2006.

  1. shirojiro


    Jan 24, 2001
    San Francisco
    Hi folks,

    I'm looking for a smallish rig for gigs and jamming here in NYC, and I'm looking at an old GK 400rb that is mated to an even older looking Bag End 15" cabinet.

    The GK looks like an early model of the 400rb: grey face, red LED, 200 watts into 4 ohms. It appears to be in good working shape, although the low cut, countour, and high boost switches are a bit scratchy.

    The Bag End looks like it was ridden hard and put away wet. It's an oiled plywood cabinet with lots of nicks and scratches. There's no way that this cab could sit in one's living room and pass for furniture. The speaker is an 8 ohm Gauss speaker with an aluminum dust cap. The ?Bag End front grille is missing, but the round metal grille is in place in front of the speaker. The cab has "Bag End" burned into the top and rear. There's a large rear port, and the cab is lined with what looks like carpet under-padding. The side handles are intact and still spring down.

    Together, the rig sounds pretty cool! The volume is surprisingly loud for something like 125 watts. I don't really understand the boost control on the GK, but it dials in a nice overdrive when you turn it up. The rig sounds nice with my Ibanez RKB900. I'm able to dial in a *bunch* of tones.

    So some questions:

    The seller wants $200 for the GK 400rb. This seems pretty reasonable.

    He also wants $250 for the Bag End. This feels high for an older cab that looks a bit worn around the edges. It really looks like it was taken on tour or something.

    The prices are firm, and he won't budge.

    Does anyone have an opinion on these prices?

    Is anyone playing a rig like this?

  2. I use a Bag End S-15X-D(deep red carpeted)& love it. I paid $390 used, shipped w/a nice cover. Comparing it to other similar items, I considered this a good deal. A friend who(unlike me:rolleyes: )plays professionally, uses an older, oiled birch-ply no-tweeter model. His also looks beat up; I think they(bare wood)get to this state pretty easily/quick. If the cab works well & you like it, I'd call $250 fair. You likely won't find a cheaper BE regardless of price, though. The GK head is pretty common; also a decent deal. IMO.
  3. BassGreaser


    Aug 22, 2002
    Austin, TX
    do the BE 1x15's (18"W, 18"H, 15"D) have the low end for a 5 string with a low B?
  4. shirojiro


    Jan 24, 2001
    San Francisco
    When I tried the 400rb with the Bag End and my OLP Tony Levin, the sounds seemed to roll off pretty quickly below D. I didn't get to tweek it much though, and I was using it a very low volume in the seller's apartment.

    I think that the Bag End is the first 15" cab that I've liked though. I'm usually a 4x10 or 2x10 guy.
  5. shirojiro


    Jan 24, 2001
    San Francisco

    Thanks for the input!

    When you say that $250 is fair, do you mean a good price? Or good/fair/bad? It sounded ok to me, but the condition of the cab was a little turn off.

    I'm guessing that you meant to write that I won't find a cheaper one regardless of condition?
  6. appler

    appler Guest

    I used to play throuh a newer model 400RB and a Bag End S15. No complaints here-always got a solid, full sound. It was quite loud for its size, too. I think for $450 altogether, you'd be doing okay. For what it's worth, I paid $300 for my used Bag End which was in great shape.
  7. Reefer

    Reefer Guest

    Mar 9, 2003
    $250 is way too much for the Bag End. You can pick up S15D Bag Ends all day long is real good condition WITH THE ORIGINAL SPEAKER for $300. No front grill and no original driver, I would stay clear. Although Gauss makes excellent drivers, that cab is designed for Bag End drivers and you would be much better off buying another cab.
  8. emblymouse

    emblymouse exempt Supporting Member

    Jan 22, 2006
    I agree that $250 is an 'ok' price. Regardless of cosmetics, that birch cab will erode very slowly, like a mountain range. They are really built. And an FYI- Bag End didn't always have their own drivers and that cab may pre date. I've seen JBL and Gauss used in older ones. That said, it still may be a mismatched replacement.
  9. $250 is way high...I bought a similar Bag End cube loaded with an EVB-15 for $90 last year, and love it to death. Here's a link to a similar cab I tried, but rejected because it was loaded with a Peavey Black Widow I hated:
    I'd say snag the GK -- that's a fair price -- call the store about the abovementioned speaker, and source a better-quality driver.
  10. winston

    winston Supporting Member

    May 2, 2000
    East Bay, CA
    My first real rig was an '87 400RB into the small Bag End cab loaded with a ProLine EVM 15B. Didn't have a ton of low end but it was very punchy and made a nice, portable rig. As others have said $250 might be a little steep for a worn cab with a possibly mismatched speaker.

    I still have the 400RB and find the Euphonic Audio Wizzy cab to be a great match. It's a light, small, efficient 4 ohm cab that sounds warm and clear and really wrings maximum performance out of the 'lil GK.
  11. tplyons


    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    Remember that the old versions of the 400RB are only 200W.

    But I'd still pick it up for that price.
  12. shirojiro


    Jan 24, 2001
    San Francisco
    Thanks for all the input!

    I asked the seller regarding the speaker, and he claims that the Gauss 8 ohm speaker is original equipment. He also states that the cabinet is over 20 years old.

    It really sounded great to me. I've never really liked 15" speakers, and this cab was a bit eye opening for me.

    $90 for a cab like that? I wish I could find a price like that here in New York...
  13. shirojiro


    Jan 24, 2001
    San Francisco
    Ok, so I bought both the GK 400rb and the Bag End cab. I realize that the price of the amp is better than the price of the cab, but I figure for $450, I could do a lot worse.

    I had tried a GK Backline 210 a couple of weeks ago - more powerful amp, and 2x10 cab, but I didn't like the tone as much as I like this older rig. I could have gotten one new for close to the price I paid for this older rig though.

    FWIW, though, I do like that combo. The GK BL600 seems like a decent amp, and I would be pretty happy with that setup as well.

    This is really illogical, but I kinda prefer the older GK sytle of amp with the larger diameter knobs and the grey face. Plus, I've always liked the preamp in the 400rb.

    Anyhow, the seller threw in a Yamaha rackmount digital delay, which I'll likely sell so, I'll recoup a little of the price.

    Thanks a lot for all of your input. I guess I'm taking it on faith that the speaker is OEM, but it sounds really great, so I suppose for my purposes, it's fine.

    Oh, and it gets surprisingly loud for 125 watts into 8 ohms...

    Attached Files:

  14. Throw some carpet under that rig, and you'll like it a lot better...congrats!
  15. BassGreaser


    Aug 22, 2002
    Austin, TX
    looks awesome!! hey does are the new GK amps made?
  16. Michael Vee

    Michael Vee Supporting Member

    Feb 3, 2004
    Knoxville, TN
    Good deal, shiro!

    I applaud anyone who buys the Bags these days. It's good to see people not mortgaging their futures and maxing the credit cards just to buy the flavor of the month on Talkbass. Not many of us can hang with the outspoken, wealthy hobbyists on here.

    The Bag End S15-D is a great cab. I am enjoying mine a lot. If you like the way it sounds, then don't listen to the snobs. The natural birch cabs are pretty cool, too.
  17. Crockettnj


    Sep 2, 2005
    North NJ
    around here bags arent real common but they come HIGHLY rated .

    what i think was a 12" version of yours, in worse condition, went for 250 at gc not too long ago. it looked KILLEd

    great price on the 400rb... gotta love the old ones!

    you could prbably pull the driver and call BE with a serial # to see if it is stock. or not, if it sounds good as is.

    i absolutley dig "wood" cabs.

    $450 less the delay? imo great job.
  18. shirojiro


    Jan 24, 2001
    San Francisco
    Thanks for all the input, encouragement, and replies!

    I'm still in the honeymoon phase of new (to me) gear ownership, but even so, I wish that I had gotten a 400rb a long time ago. It would have saved me a lot of time and effort, searching for tones that I like.

    There's a ton of useable sounds from this amp, from scooped mids, to full on, honky mids, to dub bass, to warm and fuzzy. It's great!

    I jammed with a pretty controlled drummer, and the bass tone was just so thick and present. I always forget how a mid heavy tone sounds a little coarse by itself, but in a mix, it just sits so nicely.

    The boost control dials in nice dirt for a SS amp. I haven't been using my (usually) ubiquitous SABDDI with this new rig.

    You guys are all right on about the Bag End S-15 too. What a great little cabinet. I'd love to find another to have a 2, 1x15 stack with the 400rb. I bet it'd sound great too.
  19. basss

    basss Supporting Member

    Aug 27, 2001
    Love the rig. I'm one of those trendy gear TBer's (AI Focus and Epi UL-112). I did a reahearsal in a rental studio and they had an old GK 400RB. I was pretty impressed by the fat punchy tone it put out. I've been gassing for a 1x15 as well. All the discussion about cabinet design aside - there is a 'bigness' to the sound whenever I play through a 15 that just sounds right.
  20. 62bass


    Apr 3, 2005
    My favourite small club rig was a GK400RB and a single 1-15 cabinet, no tweeter. The Yorkville 1-15 worked great even though 8 ohms and I always had plenty of volume.

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