1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

GK tone issue

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by BboogieXVII, Feb 4, 2013.

  1. BboogieXVII


    Feb 4, 2013
    I have recently picked up a GKMB115II from GC. I bought it for a few reasons, moderate price, very low weight and GK reputation. However, I'm not sure I can get the tone I'm looking for out of it. No matter what setting I have the amp on there seems to be an odd overtone to the sound that I am not sure how to describe.

    Being a fussybugger when it comes to equipment I took my bass a SR250 down to GC and another music shop and tried out several other combo amps. I felt the GK products had this strange harmonic/overtone sound across the board to some degree or other. My bass I know is on the cheap end which may be contributing to the strangeness in the tone. The Ampeg and Acoustic combos I tried seemed to not have this issue or if it was there it was there to a lesser degree.

    I admittedly am a bass noob so perhaps there are some things that I'm overlooking. I also plugged in a 600 series Ibanez and ran it through the same amps, with fairly similar results.

    I am considering trading the MB115II in for an AmpegBA115HP 220 watt combo since I am still inside the GC 30 return period. Same price range speaker size, but rated 20 more watts. Unfortunately for me the Ampeg weighs in at a whopping 80 lbs, and I have had some health issues recently (hernia type) so the weight is a real factor.

    I'd really like for the GK to work out, but I'm not sure I can dial in the tone, maybe there are some other light-weight options out there?
  2. You are more than likely hearing the upper mids from your bass. There is a lot more to every note you play than just a single frequency. Some call that definition, it may not be for you yet. Try dropping the high-mids and treble controls and keep the boost off.
  3. BboogieXVII


    Feb 4, 2013
    Yes B string, I turned down the high mids and the boost and the treble and harmonics drop off a bit. I will continue to fiddle with the settings. I never realized how readily the overtones pop out on eb.
  4. I have the MB112-II andf the tone is very similiar to my MB800 which is excellent, What strings are you using and how old are they,It sounds like something is up with your bass.
  5. If you have round wound strings I would suggest at least half-rounds if not flat wound (maybe even tapes). I have a Yamaha bass that is bright and heavy upper mids no matter what I have done to it.

    Remember the more pronounced upper end of G-K may not be your thing? No shame in that as we all want something a little, if not a lot different. Some people are not happy until their flat wound strings are at least a year old. Myself, I start frowning when my round-wounds are at six months!
  6. majortoby


    Jul 2, 2009
    Tampa, Fl USA
    Not to be a smart@$$, but that sounds to me like the GK tone, amigo. :) there's a TON of upper-end stuff going on with their sound. When I first started playing, I despised the GK sound to no end. But now, it's the tone I want most :D it's just a matter of letting your hands and technique mature as you advance in your craft. You may find that the modern, cutting growl of the GK grows on you. Since you described yourself as a "n00b", I'd not make any decision hastily.
  7. Yes, I tried to say this in post #2 so I agree. Once you also find out you are lost in a band mix, you really start to like mids a lot more! :D

    Long and short solo tone and band mix tone rarely meet when you start out.
  8. BboogieXVII


    Feb 4, 2013
    The bass has D'Addario roundwound nickel lights 045-100 a really common set of strings I believe. The thing fairly squirms with harmonics while playing with the GK, so that's a good thing when playing with a band? I imagine a bass sound with fairly few harmonics/overtones whatever the proper term is, is easily swallowed up when in a band situation. An "ooommmph oooomph" tone is not going to shine very well.

    I think the GK tone may start growing on me.
  9. 4Mal

    4Mal Supporting Member

    Jun 2, 2002
    Columbia River Gorge
    Op -what are your settings across the board ? I've mixed bassists using that amp in a variety of settings and was always able to find something workable and sometimes rally really good... Fender J basses to a Stingray to URB, to a Yamaha Nathan East. I've used it as backline myself with a PBass and Lakland 44-01... My starting point is close to noon for the tone controls and then roll back the hi mids and high's ... I forget if that amp has the GK contour but I stay away from that if so...
  10. +1, you would be surprised at what sounds good in a band mix, that sounds like s@#t by itself.
  11. 4Mal

    4Mal Supporting Member

    Jun 2, 2002
    Columbia River Gorge
    Your oomph, might be my thump... The GK might also be revealing some setup issues with your bass and choice of strings...
  12. ACNick

    ACNick Guest

    Oct 23, 2012
    South Florida
    I'm not an expert, by any means, but I recall threads discussing the lack of acoustic foam inside the MkI series of gk's MB combos. Maybe the MkII has a similar lack of foam, and that is contributing to the sound you hear. Again, I am just thinking out loud, maybe a more educated member could confirm or deny this.
  13. BboogieXVII


    Feb 4, 2013
    I had the low and mid highs at around 2 o'clock the gain and boost, were also up there taking after B-string's suggestion I dialed the high mids back to 10 o'clock or so and the boost down past 9.

    Anyway I will learn as I go, I think the earlier alarm I had about the tone might turn out to be a non-issue in the long term.

    The contour does seem to shift everything quite a bit, seems to scoop out all the mids which may be there for people like me who have an initial bad reaction to a lot of high mid sound
  14. coyote1


    Mar 23, 2012
    Having both an 800RB and a Hartke HA2000 in the house, along with a Crate BX100, I gotta say the GK is not my fave bass amp. I find that its distortions are not pleasant to my ears.

    For decades I have seen GK amps atop bass cabs, and in all at time I've never worked up a liking for them. They are good no doubt, but IMO there are better sounding amps out there.
  15. I found the Daddario rounds to be very bright,almost to bright, for me atleast, I use chromes (flats) and add a little fuzz, distortion to reduce any mud with a slight bump in the mids on both my GK rigs and it is perfect to me.
  16. Thank you for proving my point ;).
    OP if you go for a thumpy heavy low end sound only it may sound good alone but in a band mix it turns to mud in about 6-10 feet out. Long visualization fallows:
    Take a piece of clear glass, use a fine point sharpie and print your name. Stand back a few feet and read it, double the print lines and stand back to read again, repeat. It gets harder to read the letters even though the printing is now darker (heavier). Clear the glass and use a single line again, now start with dark paper behind the glass view it from a distance and slowly use lighter pieces of paper to white. Low bass is your bass control and mids are the background paper color. I used to use this demo when I taught new players. Black on white paper is the easiest to read but boring and lacking interest.
  17. And then you must snatch the pebble from his hand Grasshopper!! Damn bro friggn brilliant!!!:ninja:
  18. One story I have shared before. I was a bit younger and carried my V4B to slave from my 800RB if needed for an outdoor gig with a weak PA. I wound up not needing the V4B but it sat there all night. Had so many people come up and tell me how much they enjoyed the "Ampeg's" sound. Guess they didn't notice no lights or instrument cable attached all night long? I repeated this little trick many times just for fun after that night. Funny how much more they liked the 800RB when the Ampeg was just there doing nothing ;)
  19. LOL! Nice one. O ne more thing I noticed with the GK drivers is that they take time to break in. I found on both my 2x12 NEOS and the MB/MBP combo is that they were a tad harsh new, but mellowed and got deeper after about 20 or so hours on them.
  20. BboogieXVII


    Feb 4, 2013
    Ah yes, then I will also be able to play the Seinfeld TV show theme on eb, (although the show actually used a keyboard I believe, but hey that doesn't really matter!)