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GK vs Ampeg vs Crate

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Lower-Than-Low, Nov 29, 2006.

  1. Lower-Than-Low


    Jun 7, 2006
    This has probably been covered many times over, but I am sick and don't get along well with Mr. Search Button...

    Anyways, I am in desperate need of an amp as all I have now is a sketchy speaker and general/guitar amp set-up. An example of how crappy it is: I twist the tone knob on my Jazz in either direction to the max, no difference in sound is heard. I have to keep the dang thing on max volume (and on my bass as well) if I want to hear ANYTHING come from it.

    So, after after doing a bit of research, I have decided to go for either a head or combo. The three main companies that I have been looking into are Ampeg, GK, and Crate. But due to my lack of an attention span, I have had a hard time finding prices and reviews/opinions on these companies. So I figured I would come here for help.

    Basically, I want a good, cheap, and reliable amp that has some adjustability. My price range is pretty much $400 and lower... This might limit things a lot.

    Thanks for reading thru all of this. ANY and ALL suggestions welcome!
  2. did you see ashdown MAG combos?

    307 watts for 400 which is the Ashdown MAG C115-300

    how many watts do you need though?
  3. Lower-Than-Low


    Jun 7, 2006
    I actually have no idea. I know next to nothing about what all the watts and stuff actually do for your sound.
    Its rather sad really.
    Is there anywhere I can read up on this type of thing?
    (my cold has left me extremely brain-dead)
  4. to know how much power you need, you need to consider the following things:
    • type of music
    • instrumentation of the band and how loud they play (1 guitar or 2, keyboards, acoustic drums or electric drums, loud drummer or soft drummer).
    • Venues you'll be playing in...at home, rehearsal room, small clubs, etc.
    • Will your bass be running thru FOH PA - if so, you just need enough for stage volume.
    I use an ampeg rig and really like it - svt3 pro w/ an ampeg 4-10.

    I have used crate's in the past and do not like them at all - they tend to distort and sound muddy to me.

    It's been a long time since i used GK, but I liked everyone I've ever played thru (rb800's mostly, I think).

    You need to decide if a head-cabinet is best for you or if a combo makes more sense. If you're looking at combos, consider a Yorkville. I have an xm200 (~$450 new) that i bought several years ago and I love it. When I upgraded to a more powerful ampeg recently, I decided to keep the yorkville, because there's no way I could the get enough money of it to justify selling it. I still use it sometimes for rehearsals or small gig when I don't want to lug the bigger cabinet.


    if you google yorkville xm200 you can find pretty good prices online.
  5. salFPS


    Aug 30, 2006
    San Diego
    supposedly, you need a 1/4 guitar/bass wattage set up (if your guitarist runs 100 watts tubed, you idealy want 400) hopefully someone can back me up or drop some science on me.

    as for the brand, I play GK because I like how dirty it can sound and with a simple tone knob on my bass it can sound clean and full.

    My buddy has an Ampeg 3/4 stack, but he plays with a pick and pecks the strings, doesn't strum, at the very bridge, so it sounds like, well, like a waste of the 1,600 he spent.

    As for crate, I had the BT 100 combo and it worked. I played in a school gym in front of 2,500 highschoolers and it still stood a chance against my guitarist's old B-52 100 watt.

    ...back to what you should get, I say try it out for yourself, hear what you like. I just chose GK because it was MY style over Ampeg's clean low (I don't think I've ever heard an Ampeg played at a non-clean-low-sometimes-boring-tone).

    O, and my GK was cheaper...
  6. In this price range, used gear is your friend! I would also try and swing a head/cabinet combo over the combo; much easier to upgrade down the road.

    $200 or so in used gear could buy a GK 400RB*, a GK Backline600, Ashdown Mag 300 or possibly an Ampeg B2R. The balancecould buy a used single 12, or 2x10 speaker cabinet, such as a used Avatar. Kick in an extra $50 or so, then I'd say buy a used bass amp head, such as above, and buy a NEW SB112 direct from Avatar. Just my $0.02
  7. Kronde


    Feb 1, 2005
    Charlotte, NC
    Definately should try a few amps out. IMO avoid Crate. I have played thru them a few times as a supplied backline and could never get a sound I liked. I think GK is great for the money and I wouldn't be afraid of buying a used GK as they seem well build and reliable.
  8. Lower-Than-Low


    Jun 7, 2006
    OK, after reading thru all of that, I think I know what I am gonna do.

    I only need enough power for at home and maybe band stuff for at school. I am definately gonna try and go for something used, most likely a GK Backline600 or something else by GK (The Speaker part of my current set-up is fine. I am pretty sure the amp/head thing is the problem), and finally, Thanks a ton for all the help.

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