Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by jazztonebass, Mar 5, 2014.

  1. jazztonebass


    Apr 23, 2012
    There is a a 1997 GK 880RB for sale in my area but it is a bit of a drive for me. Can anyone provide some impressions of this amp? I know its a classic but have never played one. What are its strengths and weaknesses?

  2. Dave W

    Dave W Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2007
    White Plains
    How much are they selling it for and how far away is it?
  3. 6jase5

    6jase5 Mammogram is down but I'm working manually Supporting Member

    Dec 17, 2007
    San Diego/LA
    Reliable, good sound, for $300 or less you will have spent your money wisely. It's the back up or main for many people. I've dropped one down a flight of stairs and it left a mark in the concrete, bent a rack ear, and worked just fine for many years with it's new battle scars.
  4. Mvilmany


    Mar 13, 2013
    Upstate NY
    My main amp. Highly recommend it. As long as everything on it works right, buy it.
  5. Mvilmany


    Mar 13, 2013
    Upstate NY
    I usually keep the EQ flat. The preamp is very transparent. There's a foot switchable Boost, which I don't switch (actually, leaving it at around 2 o'clock is great and sends a hotter signal to the power amp. This makes it sound thicker. This is the secret to this amp). The power amp on these older models is where that classic GK growl comes from. I don't hear that growl as much from newer GK models. There's a low cut filter, which I use at indoor gigs that are too acoustically "boomy". There's a mid cut that i never use anymore because it pulls the Mids out too much . This mid cut would be good for slapping which I'm not into. There's I high boost that I usually leave on, YMMV. Effects loop, direct out (post preamp)
  6. I've had mine for 28 years. BULLET proof. Never let me down. The 300w has always been more than enough.

    They do have their own voicing. They don't quite have the upper frequency transparency of the newer 700rb II, or the pee-in-your-pants warmth of a Fusion 550, but they still sound awesome and unique.
  7. Staccato

    Staccato Low End Advocate

    Aug 14, 2009
    I've learned lots about that model from researching threads in the TB archives.
  8. BassCliff


    May 17, 2012
    So. Cal.

    Mine has been my main amp for over 15 years. I boost the low mids just a bit, maybe 2 o'clock, and turn the contour up to about 9'oclock, all depending on the cab(s) is use with it.

    It's a tank. You might want to check and clean the internals, look for bad capacitors, just to be sure.

    Thank you for your indulgence,

  9. Jim C

    Jim C Spector#496:More curves than Sophia + better sound

    Nov 29, 2008
    I'm borrowing one tonight for a week; I'm torn between buying a used 800RB or a new MB500.
  10. Every time I play through an 800RB I get a huge smile on my face. That said, I have an MB500. Try lugging an 800RB around the subway in NYC.
  11. 1bassplayin

    1bassplayin -Nowhere Man- Supporting Member

    I own two 800rb's. One I bought new some twenty-odd years ago and another on TB last year. Used on thousands of gigs and really no major problems with the amp other than an input jack that just wore out and losing the grey inserts on the knobs. Great investment and has paid for itself many times over.

  12. Jim C

    Jim C Spector#496:More curves than Sophia + better sound

    Nov 29, 2008
    You are the guy I'm looking for!
    Can you contrast and compare the two?
    There are no dealers near me that even have an MB500 to try.
    As I understand it they are similarly voiced and the 800RB has more grind and less power.
    Any other details would be greatly appreciated.
  13. Sorry, Jim, I really can't. I haven't played through an 800RB in years, plus I'm terrible at these things. I basically go by if it gives me that smile. I get totally confused with amps I have to use that have a million knobs. I just want it to sound nice without having to get into tons of details.
  14. Dave W

    Dave W Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2007
    White Plains
    800RB has low end roll off at 50hz and the newer MB series has a lot of low end.

    I have a 400RB, 800RB, MB200, MB500, and previously had a 2001RB. I'm pretty positive I've outlined the tonal differences as best as I could in previous threads. Really, they all sound like a GK amp. The older stuff has less low end than the newer stuff, and the RB series heads can "hit the rails" while the MB series can't but they have a boost channel than emulates it good enough for live work.

  15. rapidfirerob

    rapidfirerob Fusion rules!

    Owned the 800RB for many years. I dropped it once. No problem. Great, warm sounding amp. I used to biamp it as well.
  16. B String

    B String Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2002
    Los Angeles
    The secret of the 800rb is matching it with the right boxes.
    For many years it was one of the most popular backline amps matched with an SWR 4x10. The SWR was all lows and highs.
    The 800rb has low mid to high punch up the wazoo if needed.
    Killer match. Mine sounds fantastic with my Epifani, Baer, and Bergantino AE cabs.
    As far as low power, I have just as much volume with the 800rb as my F500 or TH500, with more weight behind the notes.
    I gotta use this thing more often. I get spoiled on small, lite, and powerful class D heads. The 800rb kills most of them.