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GK?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by RyKnoz, Aug 4, 2002.


  1. RyKnoz

    RyKnoz

    Dec 22, 2001
    NYC
    I've been wanting to get a medium sized rig for small/medium auditoriums and have been considering some GK's. However everywhere I have tried out some GK's the amps were already busted, so I haven't been able to really experience them. Some people have also told me that the sound is good when you first hear it, but when you listen to it more you start to find it's not really all that great. Comments?
     
  2. RyKnoz

    RyKnoz

    Dec 22, 2001
    NYC
  3. Matthias

    Matthias

    May 30, 2000
    Vienna, Austria
    I can't comment on medium sized rigs, but I have the Microbass 150 (since April 2000) and I like it even better the longer I have it.
    It also sounds really great when you drive the preamp a little harder or turn up the 'boost' knob although there's not one single tube in it.

    The other day at a rehearsal I found our guitarist kneeling in front of this little monster while I was playing and he was smiling. When I asked him what he was doing there he just said: 'I still can't believe how good this amp sounds...'
    :D
    Yeah, he's really a great guitarist ;)

    Matthias

    PS: Never had any reliability issues so far although I push it close to it's limit sometimes.
     
  4. I think they sound good but have always found/heard reliability to be a problem.... just in case "everywhere I have tried out some Gk's the amps were already busted" didn't tip that off.... :)
     
  5. Matthias

    Matthias

    May 30, 2000
    Vienna, Austria
    What I've heard, reliability seems to be a problem with the newer models, especially the higher powered (1001RB, 2001RB). I have also heard that the good old 800RB and the MB200 proved to be reliable workhorses for decades.

    Matthias
     
  6. HeavyDuty

    HeavyDuty Supporting Curmudgeon Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 26, 2000
    Suburban Chicago, IL
    It's hard to beat an older 400RB for a basic head. It also serves well as a practice/backup amp after you upgrade!

    I played through one twenty years ago, and it impressed me so much I searched a used one out when I got back into playing.

    How many watts are you thinking?
     
  7. RyKnoz

    RyKnoz

    Dec 22, 2001
    NYC
    Thinking about 400 watts sorry I was really busy today so I didn't get to see this thread again till today. Thanks for the replys, I would appreciate a little more description on the sound though. Thanks for any replys in advance.
     
  8. Matthias

    Matthias

    May 30, 2000
    Vienna, Austria
    Sounds are hard to describe.
    My GK sounds very tight and punchy and does not add much colour. Some people say they sound sterile compared to tube amps. And when I drive it into distortion, this sounds more pleasant to me than some amps with preamp tubes.

    If I should need more power some day I think I will get the new GK preamp and a decent power amp.

    Matthias
     
  9. RyKnoz

    RyKnoz

    Dec 22, 2001
    NYC
    Thanks Matthias that's a little more in detail than prior posts on the sound that I wanted to hear about.
     
  10. tripwamsley

    tripwamsley

    Jan 31, 2002
    Sulphur La,
    Hey everyone!

    This is Trip from GK. Some of our amps are pretty much mutiliated by customer abuse at some stores. Particularly at the larger chains. I will confess that WE DID have some problems earlier this year. These things have been rectified. We have not stuck our heads in the sand and ignored it. As for warmth in our amps it really depends on where you set the preamp gain and the boost. A good place to start is with the pre gain at 11 and the boost at 11 as well. You can get the amp to "crack" up really good if you are careful. The preamp is all FET based. FETs are supposedly warmer than "normal" transistors. I am not much of a techie, I just hear Bob Gallien babbling away and some of it sinks in.:D One more note; If you are using a active bass of the Zon, Ken Smith etc. variety make sure that the -10db pad is on at the input.
     
  11. I really like my 400RB. I believe it was manufactured in '86, and I've heard the older ones are more reliable. It's never given me any trouble--I imagine it would be fine if I threw it down the stairs. In my experience, GK has the most tube-like sound of any solid state amp. The sound is warm, yet it retains the clarity of a solid state. I can get a very nice mix of vintage and modern tones using it with my bass--the best of both worlds, really.
    I'm using a 4x10 SWR Workingman cab, but I'm finding my rig is underpowered (did you ever notice drummers just get louder the more you use them?). I'd like to upgrade to the 800RB eventually, but I think a 2x10 cab is a more realistic goal right now.
    If you're a quieter band, the 400RB amp would probably work for you. If your a full-out rock band, I'd go with a bigger amp (700, 800, 1000).
    I have not experienced dwindling adoration for my amp. I still love the sound--I'm just overdriving it too much right now.

    -K
     
  12. boogiebass

    boogiebass

    Aug 16, 2000
    I had good experiences with the 400RB and 800RB over the years. Reliable, functional and tone was generally good. Worth the money, at least in my case. They're the Chevy of the bass amp world. You won't get the best tone out of 'em but they sure won't give you the worst, either. Right down the middle.
     
  13. tripwamsley

    tripwamsley

    Jan 31, 2002
    Sulphur La,
    Trip from GK here. The sound of the Police? Are you a fan?! They are my absolute favorite band!
     
  14. I bought a GK400RB-III to go with my Avatar cabs. Since the first time i played it i felt that the sound wasn't right at all. It wasn't punchy or anything. It was very dull. So i added another cab to it to make 4ohms (it was recommended) and it still sounded plain. It was the most unpunchy sound I have ever heard. My Fender Bassman 100 sounded better then what i was getting. I was supposed to be getting 240w and i didn't think it was loud at all. So i returned it and got a Hartke 3500 head and i was blown away by the difference it made. It WAS punchy and bright unlike the GK.

    That was my expierence with GK. Others are probably totally different. I think that the head i bought could have been defected but i haven't played anymore GK stuff to justify that. IT could have been a bad head or could be just the GK sound that i found to be terrible. My advice is to try out different heads before going out buying a head and going through the hassle of returning.
     
  15. tripwamsley

    tripwamsley

    Jan 31, 2002
    Sulphur La,
    I see. Sounds like you got a bum one. It is a really punchy head. Mine is at least. I have 2/3 of the product line in my house. So I play most all of the stuff on gigs and in the studio. Perks of the job!:D
    Anyway, I owned a Hartke about ten years ago. It broke down quite a bit, but when it did work it sounded quite good. I had the 3500 by the way. I am really getting a kick out of replying to these posts. Keep them coming please.
     
  16. If you mean The Police, nope. Sorry. Don't care much for them, to tell you the truth.
    ...unless saying yes would score me a deal on GK products...
    No? Darn.
     
  17. ndjx

    ndjx

    Oct 26, 2001
    MN
    GK makes great stuff, Rage I'm guessing your problem was the fact you were giving your cab 150 watts and Avatar's can handle 1,200 watts... wouldn't you say you are underpowering it just a little?


    GK heads with Hartke cabs are the way to go. :p
     
  18. Hey Trip. Great to see a rep on the board. You can guess by my screen name that I am a fan, The attached picture may prove it as well.


    I have a problem "brewing" with my RB2000. One of the amps (running bi-amped) gets super distorted and then cuts out totally. I cleaned all the pots and things went back to normal.

    It cut out again and I noticed I could "bring it back" if I hit a really hard slaped note or poped a string against the fretboard.

    Is this a warning sign of the infamous RB2000 plague virus?

    If so what are your suggestions.
     
  19. tripwamsley

    tripwamsley

    Jan 31, 2002
    Sulphur La,
    Sounds like that one of the evil switches is acting up. At the factory there is a tech named Alvin Villaflor. He knows how to solve this problem. Call me at home at 337-626-0763 and I can try my darndest to solve this problem for you. The reason I am handing out my home number is because my factory issused cell phone is only working about 1/4 of the time right now. Take me up on this.......Seriously what do you have to lose?
     
  20. My G-K experiences have been nothing but good. My 400RB (ancient though it is) gives great tone and punch.

    Rage, I guess you got a bad example of the breed. But I'm glad you found your sound with the Hartke!

    ndjx, the rated power handling capacity of the cabs isn't the issue. You can run a lower-powered amp into a high capacity rated cab and it won't create a problem. Some cabs are more sensitive than others -- the higher the rated dB output @ 1 watt @ 1 meter, the more sensitive it is. They will be louder on a watt-for-watt basis. If you run cabs of a low sensitivity (such as Acme), it's possible you might be driving your amp into clipping a lot of the time without getting a lot of volume.

    As most of you know, I run Avatar cabs -- a B210 and a B115. They seem to be about average in sensitivity. My 400RB keeps up quite nicely with a Fender Super Reverb and a Marshall JTM-60 in one of my bands. If I need more headroom and/or more volume, I'm now running the G-K's direct out to a dbx compressor as a line driver, and then to a QSC RMX-850 power amp. I have more than enough power to obliterate both guitarists if I needed to. And I still retain the G-K sound, which I happen to like a lot.