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GK Lovers/Users:Can you overdrive a 800RB?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by BrentSimons, Dec 24, 2005.


  1. Hey Guys,
    I know the 800RB is supposed to be one of the cleanest amps around, but I was wondering if any of you have been able to get a descent overdrive sound out of it? I'm not talking over the top, just a subtle overdrive.Or should I go with a SVT 3 Pro? Any advice would be great.Thanks.
    B
    ;)
     
  2. tplyons

    tplyons

    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    Yes, you can. There's nothing better than that famed GK grit. :)
     
  3. seanm

    seanm I'd kill for a Nobel Peace Prize! Supporting Member

    Feb 19, 2004
    Ottawa, Canada
    You generally don't try to overdrive an SS amp, and they usually do not sound good when you do. What you do is get an overdrive pedal and let the SS amp cleanly amplify the dirty signal :)

    Something like a Fulltone Bassdrive or a Voodoo Labs Sparkle Drive would probably work well. However, I find that subtle OD gets lost in a band setting.
     
  4. The 0x

    The 0x

    Aug 24, 2003
    Timonium, MD
    I find the Boost circuit in GKs when overdriven actually sounds kinda nice in it's own way. It doesn't sound like overdriven tubes, nor does it try to.

    Give it a shot... dime the boost knob, and see how it sounds.
     
  5. And this coming from a tube guy, if I'm not mistaken.
     
  6. The 0x

    The 0x

    Aug 24, 2003
    Timonium, MD
    Yup, but someday i'm going to own a GK with a small cab, just because I like the way GKs sound. IMHO they're some of the best solid state amps out there, and they're not rediculously expensive, either.


    I still prefer my tubes, though. ;)
     
  7. Turn the boost all the way up then just turn the gain (volume knob) up until you get enough overdrive. Keep in mind that you'll need to run the master pretty low otherwise it'll blast your ears out.
     
  8. Thank you for all the advice guys! Merry Christmas!
    Brent
     
  9. I take "subtle OD" as mild amp clipping, and feel the exact opposite as you....the first thing that comes to mind is Tool, Faith No More, Rush, and Guns 'n Roses

    ....great examples of Mesa, Peavey, Ampeg, and GK amps having their front end pushed pretty hard....

    BTW, GK, some Peaveys, and all Tech 21's bass amps are examples of SS amps that make some nice grit....

    Full amp clipping is the one which buries your dynamics, and your tone...
     
  10. THB_bassman

    THB_bassman

    Oct 11, 2005
    socal
    This is not intended to nit-pick or be argumentive, but... actually, yes, it does try to. It's called G.I.V.E. (gate induced valve effect) and that's what Mr Gallien and Mr Krueger set out to do, to have a nice growl, even-order harmonics without the weight of tubes and heavy transformers.
    I have used GKs for many years, (I believe you're 17, Ox, longer than that long) and the boost circuit cranked up is the stuff. Now, whether or not it sounds like real tubes is an ongoing debate that will probably never end. I happen to like the sound, but I also like my hybrid Ashdown and all-tube Mesa bass 400+.
    That said, most people in the audience at a gig can't tell the difference and really couldn't care less.
     
  11. The 0x

    The 0x

    Aug 24, 2003
    Timonium, MD
    Yeah I know about the GIVE thing, but GK doesn't make huge claims that it sounds exactly the way a tube sounds like Ampeg does with their Mosfet amps (which sound nothing like tubes).
     
  12. GIVE only implies that it saturates in the same way tubes do when overdriven. It does not imply that it will have the same audible results. In fact it has it's own sound and GK has never claimed anything otherwise. Other companies have since taken that same idea and called it tube emulation which has proven to be a highly successful marketing ploy. So no one has built a better mousetrap, they just came up with a better (misleading) name for it.
     
  13. The 0x

    The 0x

    Aug 24, 2003
    Timonium, MD
    Well, someday I plan on owning an 800RB or something just as a lightweight backup head. Pretty suprising coming from a "tube snob" eh?
     
  14. 62bass

    62bass

    Apr 3, 2005
    I've owned a 400 RB and used it hard for many years. Great sound clean or overdriven. I've also owned the 2000 RB which also was a great sounding amp, but way more power than I need now.

    I've tried every GK amp on the market and find them to be one of the best sounding, dependable amps around. They do have an unmistakable sound which I like very much. And a lot more power than their ratings suggest, unlike some other high profile amps I've tried.

    I started playing bass when the best amp you cold get was 50 watts at best. I don't miss "the good old days" of tube amps one bit.

    I own a Mesa Walkabout now because I wanted light, powerful and fat sounding. I went in to the store to buy a GK but they were out of stock and got a good deal on the Mesa. I'm very happy but I'd have no problems switching back to a GK if I needed a new amp.

    Oh yeah, you can overdrive the 800.
     
  15. THB_bassman

    THB_bassman

    Oct 11, 2005
    socal
    So Daniel, I see you work for GK? No offense, but what you said sounds like something a politician would say. I think the semantics of this are ridiculous...This is weird for me now, because I am -and have been -a GK user who has spent quite a bit of time debating the advantages of your amps, but I have to take an argument here, with a representative of GK, no less!
    I think it sounds a LOT like tubes, and I believe that's what it was designed to do.

    "GIVE only implies that it saturates in the same way tubes do when overdriven. It does not imply that it will have the same audible results"

    OK, If GIVE wasn't intended to emulate the SOUND of tubes, (have the same audible results) then what was it intended to do? If it saturates the way tubes do, what else would it be trying to emulate?
    It surely wasn't designed to emulate overdriven transisters.
    GIVE = gate induced VAVLE effect. That says to me that it has the same effect -or sound- that valves would have. It may (or may not) achieve this...depending on an individual's hearing, but that is the bottom line, right?

    Again, keep in mind that I am a huge fan and long-time user of GK. I just can't handle the way we have to tip-toe around these things.
     
  16. Bob Gallien invented GIVE technology because he was looking for a way to overdrive transistors that sounded musical. He called it the VALVE effect because it operates on the same principle as a valve does.
     
  17. fdeck

    fdeck Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 20, 2004
    Madison WI
    HPF Technology LLC
    I understand the design of the GK boost effect pretty well. Dan is correct that JFETs and tubes respond to moderate overloads in the same way. Does the GK circuit sound exactly like a tube preamp? Well, no two tube preamps sound alike. You can change the sound of both tube and JFET gain stages by device selection and biasing.

    I think calling it a "valve effect" is not misleading in any possible way. There are those who believe that nothing but a tube can ever sound like a tube, but that is far from an authoritative opinion.
     
  18. THB_bassman

    THB_bassman

    Oct 11, 2005
    socal
    fdeck:
    "I think calling it a "valve effect" is not misleading in any possible way. There are those who believe that nothing but a tube can ever sound like a tube, but that is far from an authoritative opinion."

    My point exactly...nobody is misled, and if they are, then well, some people are offended too easily. GIVE is supposed to sound Like A Tube. But everyone's afraid to say that, and they won't say that, but that's what it is. I like it. It's not perfect, or an exact replacement for a tube, but it tries and does a fine job, probably the best job of anything.
    Here's where I get confused:
    Daniel Elliott himself stated above that:
    "Other companies have since taken that same idea and called it tube emulation which has proven to be a highly successful marketing ploy. So no one has built a better mousetrap, they just came up with a better (misleading) name for it."
    That's what I don't get...the "misleading" part. Why is it misleading? Please tell me, I'm not being a smartass, I really want to know! Why doesn't GK call it "tube emulation" as well and take advantage of the fact... that...that's what it is!
    :hyper:
    I'm done. Sorry to go on and on, but I LOVE GK. I have a 400RB that still rocks after 16 years of my hard use. An anvil is probably more likely to break.
    :bassist:
     
  19. Because while it functions similarly to a tube, it's tonal results are not the same. Saturating a JFET produces it's own unique tonal results. It should be appreciated for it's own merits. The only reason to call it tube emulation is because the general bass playing public for whatever reason thinks that tubes produce better tone. It's not better, it's just different. Calling it tube emulation just cheapens it.
     
  20. THB_bassman

    THB_bassman

    Oct 11, 2005
    socal
    OK, I give...you're the guy from GK - and I'm just a bass player...I think I got your point. Stubborn, ain't I?
    Thanks for listening anyway.
    It's cool.

    :)