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Head/cad recommendations

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Trevor.A, Jul 18, 2005.


  1. Trevor.A

    Trevor.A

    Jan 2, 2005
    Lubbock, TX
    Hey whats up. I've been lurking around here for quite some time, just never posted.

    I've just recently joined a metal band (I.E. Shadows Fall, Killswitch Engage, Lamb of God... more "modern") and my little 65w combo amp that's been great for my room for some reason just doesn't cut it anymore :) I think I've finally saved up enough cash to get a new setup, and was looking for some advice. I have about $900-1000, but I would really like to spend as little as possible. There's just something about needing that money stuff :meh:

    Heads: I think I've pretty much narrowed it down, for the most part, to either the GK 1001RB-II or the Kustom Groovebass. From what I've read, they both should give me plenty of power (our gutairist is running a 100w Marshall halfstack, I think This to be exact). Have I been misled? Unfortunately, there is no way I can try any of these out. From what I've heard from soundclips, I really like the GK tone. Would it work very well in this type of a band setup? I do also like to play a lot of other types of music; I like to slap, and like to play a lot of stuff like Incubus, so versilitility is a must, although this type of music won't be played at gigs or anything so it's not my- priority. I've heard, especially from Quadzilla, that the Kustom is one helluva head. I've never heard it, though. It's price is certainly much more appealing than the GK, but that's not what I'm really concerned with. Again, how would it fit in a metal setup? I really like the boost/mute footswitch, really nice feature. Anything I haven't considered?

    Cabs: Avatar, Dr. Bass, GK... I would probably only go GK if I got the head to go along with it to take advantage of the biamp system. How do the SBX-II cabs sound? Any great improvement over the Avatar/Dr. Bass? And Avatar vs. Dr. Bass... I know it's been debated before. a lot. So I'm not gonna even ask. I do like that Dr. Bass covers their cabs with tolex instead of that rat fur. The Dr. Bass RX212 is about the same price as the Avatar 212 Neo, so that's not an issue. Do the BL series sound much better than the RX series, are they worth the price? Any other cab recommendations?

    Another thing, what would be a good cab setup? I think I'm going to start off with a 212, but what should I add later?

    That's all I can think of for now, I hope I gave enough information. Sorry I have to rely strictly on your opinions, if there was any decent store around this wouldn't be an issue.
    Thank you very much! \m/-.-\m/
     
  2. definetly go for the 1001rb-II. it is great!
     
  3. vacman

    vacman

    Mar 8, 2004
    portland, or
    I have a 400Rb 2-10 combo with a 15 underneath that for metal, at least all the newer stuff, does not cut through enough. However the 1001rb is KILLER and cuts very well.
    I like the G-K cabs and think a 4-10 or a 4-10 and 15 would do well with the 1001rb. G-K has great customer service and I have been very pleased with my set up. In fact I am seriously considering selling my tube stack set up for a monster g-K stack. Can you say 2001rb? :ninja: Up the irons my son and I'll see you at the underground tour this summer...
     
  4. Dirty Dave

    Dirty Dave

    Oct 17, 2004
    Boston, MA
    I have the GK 700RB-II and it CRANKS, so I can only imagine how loud the 1001RB-II must go. I currently play in a two guitarist driven cover band and it handles the occasional volume wars with ease. I use it with the 210SBX/115SBX cabs and the guys in the band seem to love the tone. I'm pretty sure a GK 1001RB-II together with a 410SBX might be priced right around $1000 at Riks.

    I'd also be hard pressed to believe that the Kustom Groovebass with an Avatar B212 wouldn't be a safe bet with all the praise they have received here at TB.
     
  5. Trevor.A

    Trevor.A

    Jan 2, 2005
    Lubbock, TX
    Thanks guys
    Would the GK 210/115 SBX-II cabs be just as good as the 410 with a 115? The 410 II isn't expected to be released until sometime next month according to Riks, so I was considering the 210 instead. Should I get the 115 first until the 410 is available (and i can afford it), or get the 210 now and the 115 later? Would the 115 give a decent sound alone? Or is the 410SBX-I just fine? I know they're upgrading the power handleing, so have/will blown speakers be an issue?

    This is purely hypothetical, I haven't decided on anything yet. Although it is gonna take a lot to sway me from the GK head. Anything about the Kustom? I know not many people have used 'em, but any advice is welcome. Sorry I have so many questions, but I really like to research before I buy, especially when there's this much money involved, I don't want it to go to waste 'cause I don't have much.
     
  6. Plain Old Me

    Plain Old Me

    Dec 14, 2004
    Another option would be the Traynor YBA-200 head with one of the cabs you listed above. Its all tube, and would be killer in a metal setup. However, you do lose a bit of versitility. If you are only looking at the GK and the Kustom, I'd say the Kustom has more warmpth, but even then it doesn't compare to what you can get out of the YBA-200.
     
  7. Trevor.A

    Trevor.A

    Jan 2, 2005
    Lubbock, TX
    Wow I really like that. Only problem is I can't find an online retailer :( How do the XS400H and XS800H compare?
     
  8. Quadzilla

    Quadzilla Supporting Member

    I did a mini shootout between the two heads when I was in the EXACT same position as you (looking to by one of those two heads). My dealer let me take them both home to try them out. Here is a copy of that review (the whole thread is linked in my sig below):

    When I went to pick up my Kustom GB1200 that I ordered, I noticed that my local music shop also had a GK 1001RB II there. I said to the shop owner, hmmm, maybe I should try the GK before finalizing on the Kustom. He said asked me to pay for the Kustom, take them both home for a couple of nights, and if I like the GK better, I would just give him the difference (about $150).

    Even though the GK was lighter (definatly a plus), I personally found the tone a lot more sterile that the Kustom. I tried them both on the same cabs. True, the GK seemed a bit louder under an 8 ohm load (1 - 8 ohm 2x10 cab). When I put them both under a 4 ohm load (an 8 ohm 2x10 and an 8 ohm 1x12) the Kustom was actually louder (strange huh, but true!). I did not have the oportunity to put them both on a 2 ohm load (not sure if the GK can do this but the Kustom can).

    Anyway, I found the tone on the GK bright and "in your face". Very solid state sounding. Yes, you can get a bit of growl out of the GK with the gain knob, but that's all I could get, just a bit (another bass like a MM might help, I was using my P).

    The Kustom was not quite as bright (but close) with the main up and the gain at 5 or 6. Enabliing the mid-shift and other EQ settings will help this. Now here is where things get different. When you crank the gain knob to just where the clipping light comes on and then back it off a hair, the Kustom gets nice and gritty! Almost SVTish. Very warm and gritty. This is the tone I've been looking for out of a solid state head (and I've owned a couple heads with tube pre-amps and could not get this).

    GK:
    Pros
    Weight (nice and light)
    Nice bright, in your face tone (if that's your fancy)
    Has cross-over capabilities (but also a con, see below)

    Cons
    A little too bright for my taste (can't get a tube sound out of it)
    Reliability - a bunch of these series II have fried (do a search here and go look at harmony central reviews, lots of fried GK1001 II's there. To GK's credit, they do say that they know what the prob is and have fixed it and am willing to fix on users heads already out there. (update, Daniel from GK informed me that only a small number of 1001's were effected and that they have fixed most of them free of charge)
    Only goes down to 4 ohms minimum
    Has crossover capabilities but only works with GK cables and cabs. I don't know why GK would not allow you to do this with other brands of cabs (all other head manufactures allow for this). Total BS on this one IMHO!

    Kustom:
    Pros
    Good solid state tone if you want it (not as quite as broight as the GK)
    Nice warm, gritty tone for a SS head (almost overdrivenish/tubish)
    Killer Looks (lots of polished and stainless steel, bright LEDs)
    Good bundle (includes 8 ft HEAVY DUTY Speakon cable and nice footswitch with solo boost and mute functions)
    Goes down to 2 ohms(woohoo )!!!

    Cons
    A little heavy for my tastes (31 lbs)
    No 1/4" speaker outs (Speakon outs only, but Hosa and other make Speakon to 1/4' adapters for pretty cheap and most newer cabs have speakon connectors anyway)
    New model, reliabilty unknown (only been out since early summer 04), but have yet to see any reports of failure on any forum, harmony central, etc.
     
  9. Quadzilla

    Quadzilla Supporting Member

    A small follow-up to the min-review above (that I did several months ago). We have had a couple of Groove Bass heads go up too. Mine and several others I have spoken to here and on other forums have been functioning flawlessly but a couple others had issues. Luckily, they had their issues almost right away and exchanged them without issue from what I recall. Again, GK and all other manufactures have their issues. It's just comes with the territory of building high wattage electronics... Either way, good luck!
     
  10. Trevor.A

    Trevor.A

    Jan 2, 2005
    Lubbock, TX
    Thanks, Quad. I've seen you praising that head so much, that's really the main reason I started to consider it.
    But the Traynor YBA200= MAJOR gas :D
    Is musiciansbuy.com reliable?
    http://musiciansbuy.com/mb/item.asp?ic=YBA200#tabs
    This is the cheapest I could find it.
    The only question I have is would 200 tube watts be enough? We just have one guitar with that Marshall 1/2 and a drummer. I'm also looking at the XS800H. Anybody have any opinions on Traynor/Yorkville?
     
  11. TheChariot

    TheChariot

    Jul 6, 2004
    Boston, MA
    200 Tube Watts would be plenty, I would think. It would probably sound like a similar volume to the 1001RB-II.
     
  12. Trevor.A

    Trevor.A

    Jan 2, 2005
    Lubbock, TX
    Great
    Does any one have any experience with musiciansbuy.com? Know any where else that sells this head?
    And I've been thinking of going with a Avatar 210 Neo, and later adding a 212 Neo. Any recommendations?
     
  13. popinfresh

    popinfresh

    Dec 23, 2004
    Melbourne, Aus
    I'd say get the 212 first.
     
  14. Trevor.A

    Trevor.A

    Jan 2, 2005
    Lubbock, TX
    How big is the difference between the 212 Delta and 212 Neo?

    And does anyone have any experience with the YBA200? I like the tubes, I may have to give it a shot. If not that, what about the XS800H? I can't believe I overlooked Yorkville...
     
  15. Plain Old Me

    Plain Old Me

    Dec 14, 2004
    I tried one out extensively and almost bought it used. Until I found a Mesa 400+ and a 215 cab for $1000 :smug: . However, the Traynor should cut it volume wise and it sounded very awesome to my ears, but this mind you was with other than stock tubes. The stock tubes, I've heard, overdrive very easily, which can be both good and bad. I found the sound to be better than just about any other head in the same price range (new of course) but the only drawback is the weight. Some may not like it because its anything but hi-fi, but I love the sound of it. Compared to the other Yorkville heads, the YBA-200 is a lot warmer and more grindy, but the other Yorkville heads are certianly good sounding if you don't want to carry around a 40-50 lb head. The YBA-200 sounds a lot more vintage, similar to an SVT sound, than any other head in this price range. That website which has the YBA-200 for sale has a pretty good price; lowest I've heard new is about $620.
     
  16. Trevor.A

    Trevor.A

    Jan 2, 2005
    Lubbock, TX
    I've heard that about the stock tubes, but they're cheap to replace, at least the preamp tubes and that seems to be where 90% of the improvements are made. Weight isn't an issue at all. Sounds perfect for what I need.

    So how does a YBA200 w/ Avatar 212 Delta sound?
     
  17. TheChariot

    TheChariot

    Jul 6, 2004
    Boston, MA
    I think you'd be very happy.... and it'd be a nice changeup from the "GROOVEBASS AND AVATAR" club....



    ..... even though I keep suggesting the Groovebass and Avatar combo. :p
     
  18. Trevor.A

    Trevor.A

    Jan 2, 2005
    Lubbock, TX
    Awesome
    Bad timing though, I leave for vacation with the family tomorrow morning :spit:

    TheChariot: Our AIM SNs are almost identical o_0