GK 800RB differences?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Bud Bolf, Apr 17, 2005.

  1. Bud Bolf

    Bud Bolf

    Apr 17, 2005
    Hi all,
    I have read Posts in here for a long time, but was always just a fly on the wall. This is my first post and I am now an official registered member.
    I have a question that I need help with, when it comes to the GK 800RB's I have seen Pics of the front panel and all pics look the same but I've seen different versions of the Back Panel. So my question is does anyone know what these different versions mean?
    This is what I've seen:
    Version's for Rear connect Panel (Power and In's/Out's)

    1) Silver Chrome plates with two 1/4" jacks for
    the 100W High and 300W Low speaker outs.

    2) Black panel with same as above.

    3) Rear panel with just one 1/4" jack out for the
    100W High speaker and two 1/4" jacks
    for the Low Speakers. This is the Diagram
    that you will see at the GK website.

    So, does anyone know which Version these each represent?
    Also any version that is better than any others?

    Bud B.
  2. winston

    winston Supporting Member

    May 2, 2000
    Berkeley, CA
    I'm a GK buff--I have an '87 400RB and an '88 200MB. AFAIK the change in the number of jacks (from 2 --> 1) for the high frequency amp has to do with the fact that the 100 watt amp can only do 8 ohms. From what I heard people were blowing the high frequency amp by using both jacks--with 2 8 ohm cabinets that would be a 4 ohm load.

    There have been some other changes over the years, including the color of the LEDs (from red to green) and a change in the position of the power switch (from horizontal to vertical). It also looks like they went from using metal-barreled jacks to plastic ones:>(

    TalkBasser Daniel Elliott works for GK, I'd be surprised if he doesn't post to this thread.
  3. Bud Bolf

    Bud Bolf

    Apr 17, 2005
    Thanks Winston,
    I was wondering if these changes reflected the Age (I had read that the older amps sounded better than the newer amps, T/F) of the amp, or if they were only Cosmetic?
    Should I look more for one or another when purchasing used?
  4. winston

    winston Supporting Member

    May 2, 2000
    Berkeley, CA
    Several years ago there were a lot of complaints about the reliability/manufacturing quality of GK amps (particularly the 1000/2000RB, the 400RBIII and the first-generation 700/1001RBs). You could search here or the Harmony Central reviews. I read a lot of stories about faulty fans/thermostats, fried transistors, and clouds of expensive smoke.

    It seems like GK has gotten their sh!t back together in the last few years. Also, it sounds most of the complaints had to do with flaws in recent designs. Aside from the above-mentioned changes the 800RB has stayed pretty stable design-wise over the years. I've never compared old/new 800RBs side to side so I really don't know if there's much tone difference. One common problem in the 400/800RBs is oxidization in the FX loop jacks, which cause an intermittent crackle. Not too hard to fix.

    When my '87 400RB needed some work, I drove it to the factory ~50 miles away. They inexpensively/quickly fixed a problem in the boost circuit and replaced a broken switch. Amp has worked perfectly in the 2 years since and I use it a LOT. I'd probably get an older one just because I've had good luck with them, but I've seen a lot of good-condition 800RBs from every era for about $350.
  5. danomite64


    Nov 16, 2004
    Tampa, Florida
    Tho older ones have a different face; the grey area around the knobs is a separate metal plate that is held on with a few screws; and the graphics are all painted on. The newer ones face plate is just one big sticker attached to the front of the head. I have owned one of each, and while the tone was the same, I preferred the older one as here in Florida, sooner or later, all stickers fall off :)