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GK400RBIV / Backline 600 Comparison

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Cheshirecat83uk, Oct 1, 2008.

  1. Hey guys,

    It's time to get a new bass rig, and I've settled on GK I think. The two heads mentioned in the title are what I've got my eye on. I would love to hear any opinions on comparing these two heads - anyone tried both before? - but also on perhaps resolving a question that's burning me up.

    Regarding these heads, Bob Gallien said:

    "The Backline 600 is basically a 400RB-IV that is made in China ... it is constructed with all of the same components that you will find in our American-made amps."

    I'm a cautious chap, and the term "basically" in that quote does hold a lot of intrigue and ambiguity. A quick search will show that there is a sizeable price difference between the two units - £140 is one example.

    Okay, so if they're basically the same why does one cost a lot less than the other? Do they sounds relatively the same? I would love any information about either / both units if you've had the pleasure of playing them.

    Cheers guys :D

    Ps. whole interview located here:
  2. Sorry, it's been days without any answer, so...

    Bump :)
  3. fdeck

    fdeck Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 20, 2004
    Madison WI
    HPF Technology LLC
    Check out my little web page for a geeky review of the BL600, including some tips on the EQ that I consider to be useful. I have been happy with this amp, and have had it open to see that it is quite well constructed.

    Recently, I switched to a micro head, but if you want to save some money and are not too concerned about the weight, I think the BL600 is a very good deal on a quality amp.
  4. bassbully

    bassbully Endorsed by The PHALEX CORN BASS..mmm...corn!

    Sep 7, 2006
    Blimp City USA
    I second that it is a great head. It is cheaper since it it made in china. I own one and used to practice thru a guitarists GK400 and could hear no difference what so ever between the two.
  5. Might be similar specs, but different components. Depends where the electronics are made I guess. Stuff that is chosen to be made in China b/c it's cheaper to do there, might also have other cutbacks in the process - ie use of cheaper materials. So, it might have the same specs in general, and might sound similar, but the RB might have higher quality parts?

    Just my assumption.
  6. Cheers for the responses guys :)

    Fdeck, yes thanks mate - I checked your review first to get a good idea about the Backline 600. It was very informative and handy, what I understood of it haha. I'm not very technically-minded :)

    And yeah, I was hoping that the cost difference between the two units was most likely down to labour costs and things like that. I know the 600 is larger and heavier than the 400RB, so I'm sure that's been a consideration too. All I wanted to try and ascertain was that there was no - or little - difference in sound quality and build craftsmanship.

    Looking very promising :) Thanks to all that have replied, and those that will reply yet!
  7. I used to have a BL600 and moved up to a 1001RBII so can only give that comparison. The sound is from the same family but discounting the extra headroom, the artist series sound is so much bigger and richer. I'd try to do a side by side and see what your ears say. There has been some switch and solder joint issues on some of the older backlines that I believe has been addressed. As far as reliabilty on mine, I had it for 1 1/2 years and did over 50 gigs with it and countless band rehersals with no issues.
  8. jtc_hunter


    Feb 16, 2007
    If your budget is low, then the BL600 is a great buy. i had one once and it was a very adequate amp for gigging anywhere. A good DI too. My 700 rbII is a definate step or 2 above , but cost is twice as much too. If I walked on a stage that had a backline w/ the 600, i would not mind playing all night thru one.
  9. davecanady

    davecanady Guest

    Aug 24, 2008
    I listened to the BL600 at the store through a BL410 cab and was ready to buy a new one when a too good to pass up used 400RB deal was put in front of me. I didn't do a side by side but as much as I like the 400, I don't think you will be disappointed with the 600. If you ever need more amp, the 400 won't be enough either, you're going to have to make an expensive jump to get anything significantly better. Good luck.
  10. Cheers for all the feedback guys.

    As for trying them out personally, well, none of the music shops in the area stock GK - the buggers - so I can't try them out for myself. It was mostly just a query about the price difference between the two units even though they're apparently "basically" the same thing, but made in different places.

    Thanks for the feedback, and for more if it comes :D

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