GK400RB vs GK1001-II

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Larzito, Sep 13, 2004.

  1. Larzito


    Aug 1, 2000
    Dallas, Texas
    Over the weekend I played Fri/Sat night gigs powering my mini Bergie stack (HT/EX112) with my old GK400RB. Have been using my Ashdown 500 EVO. Not only did the little GK do a wonderful job and seem more suited to the Bergie 12's characteristic (more punch than fundamental), it even had headroom to spare. I ran it without the mid scoope preset engaged, bass boosted almost full, low mid 1:00, high mid 12:00, treble 11:45 using Alembic and Pedulla 4 strings.

    My question. I've been eyeing the much more powerful GK1001-II and wonder what benefits I would gain in terms of sound...I'm well aware I would have mucho more power/headroom, but am curious about the sonic benefits or drawbacks. How are the two amps voiced differently or the same. I'd hate to shell out cash only to find I prefer the old sound to the new.

    PS. Not to be snotty, but I know all of the features of the new heads, I need responses from those who have owned and are familiar with the old stuff and the new stuff for direct comparison.
  2. Squidfinger

    Squidfinger I wish I could sing like Rick Danko.

    Jan 7, 2004
    Shreveport LA
    I own an 1001RB-II. From what I understand all GK heads are exactly the same except for their power ratings. The only small differences would be that the 400RB has no tweeter amp and the 2001RB has a distortion channel. Other than that I think their all the same. :bassist:
  3. Jerry Ziarko

    Jerry Ziarko Supporting Member

    Feb 23, 2003
    Rochester, NY
    I myself own that exact speaker combination and those exact two GK amps. I agree the 400RB does a nice job with that setup, but nowhere near the job of the 1001RBII. They do have similar voicings, but the 1001 is so much bigger sounding. I'm not sure if it is because of the increased headroom (which there is lots of) or if some of the voicings are a bit different. All I know is playing them side by side, (literally) in my opinion it really is a night and day compairison. I felt as though the 400RB really was working hard to deliver the kind of punch I was looking for, where as the 1001 was barely trying. With that being said, if the sound of the 400RB is something you really like, and there is enough power for your particular needs, why change?
  4. If you look at each GK amp on a scope, there will be some minor differences. The 800RB and the 1001RB-II are fairly similar down to about 100hz. The 1001RB lowend extends down much further than the 800RB. Another small difference is the preamp gain, It's pretty high on the 400RB where the 1001RB seems to have more headroom in the preamp. Also the 1001RB-II has a higher damping factor than the 400RB-I. So it's going to feel quicker when you're playing. The 400RB-IV also has higher damping. The high current design of the 1001RB power supply also adds to that quickness. They all have the distinct GK tone, but they're not exactly alike.

    The main thing with GK amps is you can go extreme on the eq settings and still get great tone, so if you're not getting what you want with everything at 12 oclock, don't be afraid to make adjustments.
  5. Larzito


    Aug 1, 2000
    Dallas, Texas
    Thanks Daniel and Jerry for the replies. In response to Jerry's question, yes the 400RB worked fine powering the mini Bergie stack in that situation, but it doesn't have the headroom to be my main amp (also have a Bergie 115/210 stack), plus there are some nice features on the newer models- XLR out, variable filters, mute, etc that would be beneficial in the variety of stage situations I encounter.

    Treble question- the specs from the manual on the 400RB state that the treble is boost and cut at 4K. The manuals on the newer models state treble is at 7K. What difference in sound do you notice? Since I tend to run the treble flat or with a slight cut (not a fan of clanky treble and don't slap anymore), will this affect the tone much? 4K sounds like a better freq for fingerstyle treble than 7K.

    Daniel, I also have another question- you state that "Another small difference is the preamp gain, It's pretty high on the 400RB where the 1001RB seems to have more headroom in the preamp." What do you mean by preamp gain is pretty high? Does that mean on the 400 I have to turn the knob up more to get the volume I need (I usually run the master on 10 and adjust the preamp for overall volume...12:00-1:00 is typically the threshold where it begins to distort)? I suspect the 1001 with master volume on 10 would make the preamp volume way too sensitive. So I suspect I will have to figure out the "proper" preamp setting, then adjust the master...a bit different philosophy. Any pointers on how to set preamp level for the 1001?
  6. It's the other way around. You can go higher with the master on the 1001RB because the preamp gain doesn't start to distort until around 2 oclock. I've always had to run the gain on the 400RB lower in order to get a clean signal. With the 1001RB, you can run both at 12 oclock and get a very clean signal.

    For the treble, if you want that airy sound, turn the presence knob all the way up but set the treble around 9 oclock. The horn crosses over at 5k, so a 4k treble control would have little effect on it. With GK amps, they're fairly bright already, so it's better to cut the highend than to boost. That way you get less noise.
  7. RicPlaya


    Apr 22, 2003
    Whitmoretucky MI
    You will have way more headroom and power therefore your tone will be even better but still have the same sound you like.
  8. bben


    Feb 28, 2002
    Santa Fe, NM
    I have a GK700RB as well as a GK1001RB-II. I use both with a Bergantino HP plus EX 112 stack. IMHO the 700 is OK but just barely adequate (lately I've been leaving it in a rehearsal studio as a practice amp) but the 1001-II really makes the Bergantino 112s come alive. Sounds pretty good with a pair of Epifani T-112s, too.
  9. Larzito


    Aug 1, 2000
    Dallas, Texas
    I order the 1001RBII today from Ric's Music. Great price/friendly service. Got the sexy little gig back for it too. I'll post an update once I give it some gig time. BTW, played a gig where the backline head was a Hertke 3500. Reinforces why I sold mine years ago...possibly the most unmusical head I've ever played through...harsh tone no matter what eq tricks I tried...blugh...that was me puking on it in disapproval :oops:
  10. bben


    Feb 28, 2002
    Santa Fe, NM
    Well, good for you, I got mine at Ric's, too.