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GK 400rb

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by TravTrav, Feb 14, 2012.

  1. TravTrav


    Jun 6, 2010
    Is there a more desirable year/model than the others? Are the combos any good? Or is it all about the old school heads?
  2. Jimmy Stump

    Jimmy Stump

    Jan 27, 2010
    Not sure about years but have heard that the ones with a horizontal on / off switch are more desirable.
  3. Marton


    Sep 20, 2005
    I had one from 1985 and have one from 1989 and both sounded super-awesomely good.
  4. HuntYouDown


    Jan 3, 2012
    Tampa, FL
    I have a 400RB 210 Combo and it's really a great amp. Solid, dependable, excellent sound.
  5. husky123

    husky123 Supporting Member

    Jul 6, 2006
    Leesburg, VA
    Endorsing Artist: Spector Basses
    I'm not aware of one year or another being more desirable. I do know that they are one of the greatest sounding amps ever.
  6. lvbass


    Jun 17, 2011
    I just did a gig with one and had tone problems all night. This was a unit provided by the venue and it was through a 4x10and a 1x15. I play a Pbass with flats. I try to get the old school Jamerson tone and it was really tough on that amp. All night it was either to bassy or too trebly which ever way I adjusted. Now as I said it was not my amp, and I did not have a ot of time to play around , but I would love any suggestions as I will probably have to use it again.
    THe best I got was settings similar to this:
    Mid Boost in
    Treble about 1/2
    Mid HIgh about 1/2
    MId Low about 1/4
    Bass about 1/2
    Amp still broke up with any aggressive paying and sounded really muddy to me on stage. There was PA support with pro sound, so it was probably(hopefully?) better sounding out front.
    Guitar was full out on tone and volume
    Amp Volume about 1/4
    Boost about1/4
    Love some ideas for the next time.
  7. Energy


    Jun 20, 2006
    Did some reading about the old GK heads recently, because I got an offer for a GK400RB and wanted to know if it was a good deal. If I understand it right, the GK400RB models with fixed power chord and metal 1/4" jacks are most desirable. The MB200 Combos have very good reputation, too.

    It turned out the amp from the ad was one of the series with metal jacks. So I bought it. What can I say? This little beast is plain awesome. Perfect match for my Precision and four 112 cabs in a quite loud 2 guitar rock band.
  8. First, there is no 'Mid Boost,' only a Contour(cut) button. Do not press it. To make matters worse, you cut the low mids even further with the low mid knob. These things took all of the punch/balls out of your sound.
    Next time, don't press any buttons and set all knobs at 12:00. Make slight adjustments from there. Or not- it should sound damn good like that.
    For flavor I like to run the Boost knob at around 2:00.
    squidtastic likes this.
  9. lvbass


    Jun 17, 2011
    THanks, I will give it a try. When I trided it with the button out, it sounded hollow and no balls at all. I will try again next time.
  10. craig.p


    Sep 28, 2008
    New Hampshire
    > This was a unit provided by the venue and it was through a 4x10and a 1x15

    This also caught my eye. First, whose bright idea was it to mix cabs. It could have been Delay Cancellation City up there. Second, who knows what was in those cabs or how they were wired. Or whether all the drivers were even running same polarity. Or even all working. (Even one dead ten would cause that whole cab to go way out of spec in terms of tuning, not to mention possibly fight the fifteen even more than normally.) [DEL]Second[/DEL] Third, unless the 410 was half the impedance of the fifteen, which I seriously doubt, you can bet the fifteen was crying uncle way before the 410 was even breaking a sweat. Next time try running the 410 alone and see what happens. Take the 15 right off the stage so it doesn't act like a bass trap for the 410. Things might open right up.
  11. jmlee

    jmlee Catgut? Not funny. Supporting Member

    Jun 16, 2005
    Halifax, Nova Scotia
    I've had my 400RB since the early 80s, horizontal power switch, metal jacks, fixed power cord and all. Super warm sound with upright, P-bass or something really modern. Never a problem, super reliable and *ridiculously* loud for its nominal 200 watts into 4 ohms. IMHO these amps are amongst the best sounding of all the GK Products over the years. Never tried the later versions, but the 800s are just not as warm sounding.
  12. Jerry Ziarko

    Jerry Ziarko Supporting Member

    Feb 23, 2003
    Rochester, NY
    I've always said my 80's 400RB will be the last piece of gear I sell before I give it all up. Currently I use a MB500 and a Fusion to fill the need, but every so often I bring out "old faithful" to give me a nights worth of grins. That thing at 4ohms is one of the best sounding heads ever made IMHO.
  13. jmlee

    jmlee Catgut? Not funny. Supporting Member

    Jun 16, 2005
    Halifax, Nova Scotia
    +1. Using an MB500 as well for all those good reasons and missing my 400RB in the rack like anything. It'll never go.
  14. TripleDouble

    TripleDouble Guest

    Aug 5, 2008
    These rule. I currently use a 700RBII most of the time, it's a bit louder and a bit more modern sounding, but those 400 and 800s rip. The horizontal vs vertical power switch thing means it's older and "made with better quality components", whicH sounds like a myth to me. I've played dozens of 800s and never noticed much difference in tone other than a few had a bit of hum either from dried old caps or maybe just dirty power. Speaking of backlines, those Backline 600's are pretty much a 400RBIII made overseas, and they're pretty cool too, and you can find them very, very cheap. Good luck in your search.

    squidtastic likes this.
  15. Yeah, the 400RB-III and the 1001RB-MK-I looks just like Backline 600's.
  16. lowendblues

    lowendblues Supporting Member

    Oct 8, 2004
    Arent they making the 400RB IV again?
  17. Standalone


    Jan 17, 2005
    New Haven
    I have the same feeling about my 400 and 800. It may be that the 800 needs to be pushed to really use its 300 watt section fully to get the warmth that the 400 does. But for my purposes, the 400 with enough cone surface covers everything!



    I'll make the obligatory reminder that the original 400RB (and what is technically the 400RBii) are not really quite the same amps as the later IV amps such as the combo referenced above.

    edit: I also usually engage the bass mid scoop/contour. And yes, I know about mids being good and all that good stuff. It does accomplish what I need to do in terms of tone. Except when it doesn't, and then I leave it unengaged.
  18. Ric Vice

    Ric Vice Supporting Member

    Jul 2, 2005
    Olivette, Missouri
    The MB200 is the new GK amplifier with a Class D power amplifier. They certainly don't sound bad, but the older 200MB's and RCB's sound much better IMHO. It would be underpowered for the kind of music you are playing, but it's got a beautiful pre amp voicing.

  19. The Massive

    The Massive

    Feb 10, 2012
    +1 on the horizontal power switch and fixed cord. I use one at my smokey, dirty and shizhole of a practice space (I mean that in an adoring way) and run it thru an ampeg 810. A little short on power and low end...but the tone is grindy and aggressive. Love it. And, its tough as nails...The master is dimed all the time and it never fails.

    Unlike my former 1001RB-II that I blew up twice...although its worth mentioning that GK customer support is awesome and fixed it both times for FREE without having to ship it anywhere.
  20. I found a gentlemen selling one of these on Craigslist for not much money at all, like he may as well give it to me.

    My only concern is if they are loud enough for my band. We are loud. Guitar player is a fuzz fanatic and our drummer has an affinity for Dale Crover. I use an Ampeg 8x10 cab, so I assume I should have enough speaker to keep up. I just wanna know others' experiences with these heads.