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GK 700RB II vs GK 800RB

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Slowgypsy, Oct 31, 2007.

  1. Slowgypsy

    Slowgypsy 4 Fretless Strings

    Dec 12, 2006
    NY & MA
    I did a quick search and didn't really find this comparison, so I'm asking. I'm in the market for a head and a cab. For many reasons, I'm settling on a GK Neo 212 as my main cab, and I'm still up in the air over these two amps. As far as power goes, I know the 700 has an edge, but it isn't really enough to make a difference. But not yet having played either one... any thoughts/opinions on sound quality, useful features, likes or dislikes, etc ?? I am at this time choosing between only these two amps... not open to other brand suggestions. Any thought??? Thanks....
  2. pedro


    Apr 5, 2000
    Madison, WI.
    I don’t think you can go wrong with either. I played a friends 800 a couple of years ago and thought it was great. In fact, when I finally became frustrated with my Eden, it was that memory that prompted me to look at the GK’s.
  3. Jack


    Sep 6, 2003
    Northumberland, UK
    It basically boils down to the fact most people hear the 800 as being grittier, whilst the xxx-II series are a little more modern and smooth, more features too.

    Take this subjectiveness with a grain of salt, but I think most people would agree with that.
  4. silky smoove

    silky smoove

    May 19, 2004
    Seattle, WA
    To me the 800 is definitely the most aggressive sounding of the lot which seems to parallel your thoughts. That said, I found it to be warmer than the 700 and 1001 and pretty much on par with the warmth of the 2001.
  5. Big Thump

    Big Thump

    Jun 29, 2005
    North of 49
    I just switched from an 800 to a 700 & I found the 700 to be warmer,more bottom & a little growlier, I gigged my 800 since 1983, so I new it well, 800's are great amps, I just wanted something a little warmer & so far I've been pleased with the 700, I haven't even bothered hooking up my Sansamp as I'm happy with the tone on it's own,I only hope my 700 will be even half as reliable as my 800,

    The 700 is also cheaper than the 800 by a couple. Cheers
  6. silky smoove

    silky smoove

    May 19, 2004
    Seattle, WA
    That's interesting that your findings were so different from mine. The one difference I can find is that yours way from 1983 whereas the 800 I played was brand new. Maybe there's been some changes to the circuit?
  7. fdeck

    fdeck Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 20, 2004
    Madison WI
    HPF Technology LLC
    The difference is 100 RB. :D
  8. silky smoove

    silky smoove

    May 19, 2004
    Seattle, WA
    OF COURSE!!!!! In some cases 'X' really DOES mark the spot huh :smug:
  9. I own both, and while I've never been one to be able to verbalize minute qualities in the sound of bass amps, I can give my general impressions of the overall sound and my preferences of features. My 800RB is a 1987 model which I bought new and used it as my only amp for nearly twenty years. Also, during that period I played numerous "big stage" gigs with some well known artists and most times the supplied backline amp was an 800RB. I recently decided that owning a second amp would not be a bad thing in the event of failure, hurricanes, etc. So after a period with a Thunderfunk, I decided on a 700RB and have had it for about three months.

    My requirements are a generous helping of power and the ability to produce clean, articulate tone as well as a grittier (warmer?) tone and have a good EQ as well as some versatile features. Both amps meet that criteria, IMO, and can sound more alike than different. If I was forced to give one of them up, it would be a hard decision, but one that I could live with either way. So, I'll outline what I consider to be the major differences.

    Crossover/Biamp system: For me, the 800RB wins here. The crossover is adjustable from 100Hz to 1kHz and includes an additional 100w. amp. This gives you the ability to have a legitimate biamp scenario. Let's say you have a cab that's capable of producing some good quality, bona fide low end (1x18", 1x15", 2x15", etc.) and another cab that excels at midrange and highs but won't deliver robust lows at full gig volume (that includes many 2x10 & 1x12" cabs I've played). You can select the optimum crossover point and have separate level controls for each. This also lets you power three 8ohm cabs full range if so desired.
    The 700RB crossover is fixed at 5kHz (50w.) and the average bass guitar has very little content in this range. You are limited to using a GK cab wired for this feature as well so IMO, not nearly as versatile and can't use three 8ohm cabs full range.

    Contour: 700RB better here because it is adjustable. I generally operate the 800RB with the contour switch engaged as I like the boost it provides at meaningful low and high frequencies but sometimes wish I could control the boost levels.

    Aside from those two features that are important to me, the rest is just minor pros or cons.

    1; All jacks (except speaker outs) on the front panel. Seems crowded. I prefer effects, direct out and tuner jacks on rear.
    2; Presence control. I don't use it.
    3; Fan top mounted. Inconvenient in a rack.
    4; 5/4 string switch. Helpful in some cases.
    5; 2 rack spaces (good) vs. 3u on 800RB. Also a tad lighter.

    1; Most I've played had some HF hiss. Minor annoyance
    2; No tuner out.
    3; No level control for Direct Out
    4; No mute switch
    5; Boost can be switched with foot switch (good)
  10. Nope, the difference it´s: -100 II ;)
  11. Slowgypsy

    Slowgypsy 4 Fretless Strings

    Dec 12, 2006
    NY & MA
    Thanks all for your input... Dog, that was quite the writeup, thanks. I'm coming to the conclusion that either amp is a winner. While I'm aware of the legendary status of the 800, I think I'm leaning towards the 700... actually reading the interview with Bob Gallien is helping push me in that direction... newer design/thinking, lighter, some adjustments that are more important to me, etc. Now if I could only find a dealer in my area that actually stocks these things so I could physically try it out... seems like no stores keep stock on GK stuff. Anyone else experience this?
  12. pedro


    Apr 5, 2000
    Madison, WI.
    No GK seems to be readily available around these parts.
  13. Christian Waiau

    Christian Waiau

    Jun 16, 2005
    las vegas/maui, nevada/hawaii
    Endorsing Artist: Spector, Aguilar, Darkglass

    its actually 100RB... you can be 100 away from 700 to 800 and 800 to 700 but not -100 from 700..

    if any of that makes sense :ninja:
  14. I live halfway between New Orleans and Mobile, AL. AFAIK there aren't any dealers in my town but several in those cities.

    BTW, RMC Audio seems to have everyone online beat at pricing. You have to email for a quote but it's worth it!

    Here's a link to G-K's dealer page: http://gallien.com/dealers_us.html

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