GK Heads with non-GK Cabinets?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Daniel Elliott, Apr 1, 2003.

  1. I hope it's okay to post this. I am curious about something. Since starting with Gallien-Krueger a few weeks ago, I have discovered that there are a lot of bassists who like to use GK heads with non-GK cabinets. If this is you, why is it you chose to go this route as opposed to using GK cabinets? Which GK Cabinet models have you tried? What did you like/dislike about them? Any and all feedback welcome.
  2. Wownirvana


    Jul 7, 2002
    Athens, GA
    I use GK heads but prefer Mesa cabs. I've tried out a couple different GK cabs, the 4x10, the 1x15, and the 700RB 2x10 combo. They aren't that bad, but they don't get the sound I want. They just don't have that punch and growl that I get with Mesa cabs. I don't really know how to explain it. I think I could get a GK cab sound out of an Ampeg, SWR, or a Mesa cab, but I know I can't get a Mesa sound out of a GK cab. They just don't have it. This is just my personal opinion, of course. I think the GK cabs have a bad image. Lots of people don't even know they make cabs. I think GK should emphasize players that use their cabs more in their advertisements than they do. I don't think I've ever seen an ad just for GK cabs. That isn't why I don't use them, but image is important for lots of people.
  3. I use an 800 rb with a eden 4x10 and a ampeg 1x15. These cabinets are upgrades from GK cabs because of their sound design, construction and tonal "color". I don't dislike the newer GK cabs I just like these two better. Plus they aren't oversize which was one of my concerns with GK cabs. It looks like they're just a little wider then most so I wasn't sure if they would fit in my car.
  4. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    For years GK couldn't give away their cabs. I tried many of their cabs during the 80s and was extrenely underimpressed.

    GK head plus Hartke cabs was a very popular pro setup through the 80s and 90s and still sounds better to me than all Hartke (I don't like their amps at all).

    Cabs have more to do with the overall tone anyway, so I always advise picking them before shopping for a head.
  5. SnaveDogg


    Mar 21, 2003
    Birmingham, AL
    does this count?
    Seriously, I just happened to find these two cool older cabs a long time ago and snatched them up. They sound good with my old Fender Bassman135 head.
  6. lamarjones

    lamarjones Supporting Member

    Aug 27, 2002
    Raleigh, NC
    I got a gk 700rb with a mesa 210 diesel, an EA vl210, and an aguilar gs112, all of which I run different combinations of 4 ohms (they are all 8).

    I had some 'nicer' heads, but they didn't sound as good. My favority setup is the ea on top of the mesa, it kicks ass!!!!!!!!!!!
  7. Mike A

    Mike A Supporting Member

    Oct 3, 2002
    Hmm.. good question. I run a 1001rb through an Ampeg 410HE and 115EN... I find I get a much "Warmer" sound with a varying degree of "dirt" through the Ampeg cabs. An all GK rig sounds fairly similar to an all SWR rig to my ears... and it's a bit too clean for my taste.

    I do love the juicy 1001rb head though. I like it enough I'd consider picking up another backup one, if I ran across a deal at the right time.. :)
  8. Some manufacturers rigs work their best only when paired with the same make of cabs. GK amps seem to work well with a variety of cabs which is interesting. My Mesa M-2000 really didn't sound very good at all (IMO) with my old Eden cabs. When I plugged my 400RB into them they sounded way tighter and clearer than ever, really good.
  9. [Sorry for the essay]
    although I am not currently a GK user (see below), I will let you know why I decided to go with a competitor's offerings instead. Initially, I was looking to add a 400rb to my arsenal so i didnt have to lug the Mesa m-2000 around (its heavy) for my smaller gigs.

    I liked the 400rb for most everything, but fell short in its abilities to give me the pant-flapping lows. This was thru the 410 with the "Gallien-Krueger" vertical on the grille (about a year ago - BTW, for some reason the designations are nearly impossible for me remember).

    Also, I found that GK heads have lot of midrange accent, which is not a bad thing. But the cabs do as well, with makes them a bit too much in that respect. I found myself cutting nearly all of the mids out and using the V contour to make the sound not too honky with my pbass.

    I thought it was the head, so i was curious to try the M-2000 into that 410. The prob was the cab, it was very mid-focused and tight, but not totally pleasing to my taste. So I tried the 400rb into a Goliath III and I was sold! "There it is!", I thought. (aside: I found myself unemployed just prior to buying it).

    So, to answer your question: Bassists do still biamp, but dont like to "have-to". IOW, if I can bring only my 112 (for most it's their 410, understandibly) and not lose bottom, then I will. But y'alls cabs are more component oriented and the 410 just doesnt cover the ground most people desire in a stand-alone. I hope this helps.
  10. tripwamsley


    Jan 31, 2002
    Sulphur La,
    I have used two 210 RBH cabs since 1998. They have been ultra-reliable and sound great. That upper-mid was just what I needed to cut through everything. The GK EQ is quite smooth and you can dial out that "honk" with just a twist of the hi-mid knob. Good stuff. There's my two pence.
  11. jerry

    jerry Doesn't know BDO Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 13, 1999
    I've had a GK400RB for over twenty years....I don't think I've even had to change a fuse in it..great head! Like Brian said.......when I used Hartke cabs in the 80's, they sounded great together...I've also used it with almost every other cab I've had/have, always sounds good!
  12. Cantstandsya


    Jul 27, 2001
    Fontana, CA
    I am using an all GK rig which is the 2001RB and the RBH 4-10.My first experience with GK was when my SWR SM400S was being fixed and I borrowed a 1001RB to push my Henry 8x8.To my surprise the 1001RB was louder,cleaner and cut through way better than my 400S.Because of this I was very open minded about trying a GK cab.To my surprise I liked the RBH 4-10 better than any SWR cab i'd ever used and i've owned a Goliath II and III,Goliath Jr. III,Triad and Henry.The RBH 4-10 was louder,warmer and had a very flat response compared to the SWR cabs.Anyways,I love the RBH cabs,that's my 2 cents:D
  13. Petebass


    Dec 22, 2002
    QLD Australia
    Daniel are you asking in a round about way "What's wrong with our cabs?". If so, the answer is nothing. They're fine. Brands nowdays seem to capture certain market niches, usually as a combination of good product design, marketing, price, and most of all luck. Rather than feeling down because GK cabs arent sought after, be pleased that the heads are.
  14. ChenNuts44


    Nov 18, 2001
    Davenport, IA
    well, it's just not good business to produce a product that the majority of players aren't going to buy. if they can get good feedback and engineer something catering to the contents of the feedback, effectively pleasing the majority of customers, GK will sell more units in the end. i agree with your point though Pete- nothing is wrong with the cabs other than a bad reputation in the past or perhaps being overlooked for more highly regarded cabs. i think it's also a matter of luck, as you mentioned.

    economically, it's a matter of looking to increase profit margin or perhaps in this case, to stop losing money on a product. as we all know, if you don't move enough of a product, you don't make any money, and often times lose some in the end. also, i'm glad to see that GK is looking for feedback on their product.

    another thought: even if GK put out a cab that was all but identical to an epifani or a bergantino in performance, both sound-wise and on a spec sheet, i can see people still looking at the epifani or bergantino with higher regard than the GK. in order to get serious momentum in the cab department, they'll have to all but amaze the masses. i'm not sure if what i'm saying in this last paragraph is clear, but hopefully my idea was put accross ok. i'll try to clarify if necessary.
  15. gfab333


    Mar 22, 2000
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    I've been using a 1001rb with two Eden 2-10XLTs (one cab for smaller gigs). I played a gig once where the backline was a 700rb and a newer GK 4-10 w/ horn cab.

    I prefer the Edens because of their punchy quick transient response, while still having good articulate low end and snappy highs. It's just a matter of personal preference. Perhaps this is due to the two brands having different frequency responses. I don't know what else to say as I'm going by what's pleasing to my ears.

    As indicated in another TBer's previous post, I wouldn't recommend that GK go out and try to achieve an Eden sound. You just need to find your own niche, like what EA did. Just to use EA as an example, they're speakers are unlike most of the other brands out there, as far as some component materials and design. The guys who like EA, don't like Edens, Epifanis, or Hartkes, etc., and vice versa. I didn't like EA's three way VL series cabs. The tone just did not appeal to me. I just bought one of EAs new light weight CxL 1-12 co-axial cabs. These things are light weight, punchy, put out great tone response, and are loud. The tone is more to my liking than the audiophile-style hi-fi response of the VL cabs.

    GK just needs to come up with something else that might appeal to a market niche, something that's not being done right now.
  16. Cantstandsya


    Jul 27, 2001
    Fontana, CA
    I would like to see GK make a 6-10 cab :bassist:
  17. Actually no. I know what the cabinets sound like and believe they are as good as anything out there. It's just something I noticed and was curious about. My theory is because GK had some not so good cabs years ago, and then stopped making cabs altogether, people today either weren't aware of them or just simply haven't tried them. Based on your guys's posts, there seems to be some truth to that. The other side seems to be just a tonal preference.

    At first I wasn't too sure about the GK cabinets until I began to understand where Bob Gallien was coming from. It's better to have it and cut if you want than to not have it and try to ad it. With my old Ashdown rig, I could hit the eq bypass, add a little grind and get the sound I want. With my GK rig, I had to cut some high mids and make some other adjustments in the eq a bit to get my sound. Actually I did often cut 125hz in the Ashdown ABM500.

    The GK cabs do seem to be brighter than other cabs and have a pretty strong midrange section. Once I realized that, it was no problem dialing in my sound. Ultimately, I found the GK rig to be more versatile than stuff I've used in the past.
  18. Petebass


    Dec 22, 2002
    QLD Australia
    Very true.

    Out of curosity, what drivers does GK use in their cabs?
  19. The RBS and RBH cabs speakers are designed by Bob, built by Eminence.
  20. ThunderStik

    ThunderStik Guest

    Jun 25, 2001
    Claremore OK.
    Dan (if i may call you by that),

    I tried a handfull of GK cabs through the years and some buddies have had some but truthfully to me (and only me) you dont get much for the price.

    That may sound funny from a guy who has one of the "high dollar" cabs but I dont feel the price is justified as other may not feel the price is justified on my Berg.

    I have seen many a blown driver in GK cabs and have taken apart a couple of cabs and the drivers seem cheap with tiny mag structures and seem "fart" and bottm out quite easily. This is all a sign of quality or lack of. After having said this I will state that none of this this experience is with the newer cabs but I feel if the same people are working on the new cabs and the same design philosophy is still in place then why should I expect anything different other than new labels.

    What I feel or think may not be true but I believe there will have to be a long term commitment to building quality cabs before more people will feel comfortable with them. Many people would not think twice about a GK head as its not uncommon to find an 800rb that was buit in 1983 still bangin away in some smokey bar without skippin a beat.

    What was said about finding your niche is very true as there are so many manufacturers out there. Avatar is building quality stuff with quality components at a more than reasonable price and they are probably the best bang for the buck around and thats where they fit, because I have a more expensive cab does that mean I would not even think about an avatar ? No it doesent there have been too many rave reveiws not to give it an honest shot if I was looking for another cab. Would I give a GK an honest shot? I honestly dont know probably not but maybe, im just being honest (I know its closed minded) becouse for less cash I could find some good cabs and for a little more I could probably go with a more "established" name.

    Wow im sorry for the novel and am by no means hackin peoples rig or peoples opinion this is merely my opinion.