SOLD KRANK D-800 Dirty Valve BASS Head

Discussion in 'For Sale: Amps, Preamps, and Cabinets' started by Tweaker27, Aug 10, 2020.

  1. Tweaker27


    Aug 28, 2014
    New Haven, CT
    United States
    Does it Doom?
    Hell Yeah It Does!

    800 watts into 4ohms.

    Cuts through like crazy. And competes with the loudest of drummers and guitar players.

    Recapped last month. And, new tubes (12ax7's) and new voltage switch.
    I can provide service documentation.
    (12at7's also included as they provide a more mellow tube sound)

    $700.00 OBO
    That includes shipping to the 48 contiguous states.
    No trades, thanks.

    Here is a review I found online that gives a lot of info about this head...

    These days, it seems many manufacturers vie for the crown of the “Everything to Everyone” bass amplifier. Shiny, 4lb amps with better than a dozen controls and multi-function footswitches seem to be the order of the day for the modern working bassist. Then, every once in a while, a company produces a product designed to appeal to only a very few out of the crowd. Krank Amplifiers, one of the most visible newcomers to the world of high-gain guitar amplifiers, has made a bold stroke with their first entry into the Electric Bass market - The Dirty Valve D-800 - A bass-specific hybrid amplifier shamelessly labeled as “An amp for the rock and metal guys”. Amen. But of what variety is this amp? High-tech Class-D featherweight? Old-school turret-board tubester? A closer look reveals that the D-800 and its companion cabinet, affectionately titled “Basszilla”, may be slightly harder to classify....

    Approaching the D-800 takes a bit of caution. The first thing you’ll notice is the black “go-faster” splatter paint graphics on the 3RU, brushed aluminum chassis. Although I’ve never been a fan of flame graphics splashed across the front of a 70's Camaro, the garish garb of the Dirty Valve did invoke a certain boyish excitement, especially when closer inspection revealed tiny, bright red skulls take the place of the white position markers past the 12 o’clock point on the Volume and Master knobs. The overall effect is that of an Aguilar DB750 dressed in scary-clown makeup for Halloween.... Krank isn’t kidding when they call this a rockers-only rig, if only in that no self respecting Gospel player would be caught dead lugging this thru the door at the local megachurch....

    For all the faceplate flair, the D-800's controls are plainly laid out. Volume or gain controls the input signal from either of the amp’s inputs, labeled for passive or active pickups (-20db). Treble, Midrange & Bass controls are arranged in that order left to right, guitar amp style. Next comes Krank’s Proprietary “Sweep” control, flanked on both sides by bright red push-buttons marked Girth and Midpunch. Next up is the Fat Growl knob, a Dirty-Valve exclusive, and final push-button marked Brite bookend the amp’s Master Volume control. Grinning red skulls and all.

    Popping off the amp’s well secured cover revealed a mixture of 70's muscle and ultra-modern tech. Attached directly to the faceplate potentiometers and secured to the chassis at all four corners is a single, very thick, two-sided PCB with two JJ 12AT7 tubes mounted vertically at either end. When asked about the choice of the lower-gain 12AT7 instead of the more popular 12AX7, Krank stated that, due to the very high-gain nature of the circuit, they found the 12AT7 to have a smoother and more controllable overdrive characteristic in testing.** I was pleased (and surprised) to find both tubes sitting atop high quality ceramic sockets. The rest of the PCB was sparsely populated, save a few large resistors and an two gigantic power supply filter capacitors, rated at 10,000 uF each. These, when viewed next to what may be the largest toroidal power supply transformer I think I’ve ever seen in an integrated bass amp, promised huge performance, but this is where the old-school stops and the new school begins. Nestled in a rear corner were two very smallish, very new-school looking Hypex branded class-D power output modules. The tiny, surface-mount chipsets and Tungsten blue heat sinks looked distinctly out of place in the amp’s otherwise sparse and muscular looking interior. This is a rare, although not unheard of combination of linear power supply and Class-D output boards. The now famous Aguilar AG500 won over an army of Class-D converts in just this fashion. The two output units are bridged together and wired to two parallel Neutrik combination Speakon and 1/4 outputs. Another small PCB mounted to the rear of the amp holds a transformer balanced DI out, tapped directly from the preamp (post-EQ of course!), and possessing its own rotary level out control. Another very nice touch.

    The Test Drive-

    With all controls set flat, the D-800 had a very even, very tubey tone, while being slightly shy in the treble region. The tone controls, being all tube driven, were subtle and somewhat interactive in that cutting Mid made Bass adjustments seem more dramatic. This behavior will be familiar to those who’ve spent time with tube guitar heads. Moving east on the control panel we are confronted with some less familiar goodies.... Girth does just what you think it should, and shunts in a wide, mild boost in the lowest frequencies. “Sweep” is Krank’s proprietary passive midrange tweak-tool.... found on all Krank models. Running it through the range, I get the impression of a wave running horizontally left to right across the frequency spectrum... boosting a wide band of frequencies and cutting a narrower band behind it as it travels. This control can give you a bunch of really nifty, punchy sounds, and a few bad ones... “Sweep” alters the EQ curve so dramatically that, if your Midrange settings are too high, certain settings can sound downright tinny and obnoxious. This is a very powerful control and should be used with caution. Krank describes their Midpunch button as re-voicing the stack for a classic dirty overdriven tone. This is an understatement. Functionally the Midpunch has the effect of turning the “Presence” knob on a tube amp from off to full-on in a split second. Here again the interactive nature of the circuit becomes apparent... With Midpunch selected, Sweep set anywhere from 1-5 and Mid adjusted tastefully, you get a slightly gritty, grand piano ring, great for cutting through dense guitars. Sweep set anywhere between 5 and 7 its SVT-city. Anywhere past 7, and its gets unpleasantly clangy. “Fat-Growl”, another Dirty Valve exclusive, provides an adjustable range of the sweetest, furriest Bass Guitar overdrive I’ve every heard. Overdrive is an intensely personal matter, with many types and sounds having just as many devotees as detractors... Krank walks the tightrope skillfully here. The tones range only from slight tubbiness to subtle fur and into true grind only at extreme settings. When running Fat Growl thru its paces, midrange overtones become more present, but the overdrive never gets shrill, almost as though only the tastiest frequencies get placed in the overdrive side-circuit. Even with the control dimed, true distortion is unavailable, but what you do get is thick, meaty, overdrive sirloin. Again, the circuit is so interactive that, with Fat Growl in use, each control on the amp can dramatically alter the overdrive characteristic, especially Volume. Engage the Midpunch with this knob up and you have growl and grit enough to slice through even the loudest guitar shred, engage the Girth control, Midpunch out and set the Sweep just about anywhere, and you have a thundering steam-shovel. Pure Rock bassist heaven. Like most of the other controls on the D-800, Brite does what it should, and tastefully. And it’s loud. I mean really, really loud. And why shouldn’t it be?

    With the D-800's Master Volume set anywhere past 5, this rig is stupidly, insanely loud, with further experimentation into the upper reaches of the Master knob’s range bringing more and more upper midrange bite into the overall sound, while bass response remained largely the same.

    While, even at extreme settings, the D-800 / Basszilla rig does not provide gut-loosening Low-Bass, it isn’t meant to. This is a machine built for one purpose; cut through dense guitar. In practical application it does the job better than any single rig I’ve used in this setting, as well as cleaning up the mud often inherent in heavy, down-tuned bands. In rehearsal with a very loud metal band consisting of mic’d up double kicks and two Mesa Boogie Dual Rectifier stacks, the Krank bass rig filled out the holes in the mix in some unexpected ways, and had the uncanny effect of cleaning up the entire mix. Where the rig felt somewhat shy in the sub-80hz pillow region on its own, in a live setting my drummer’s kick drum felt more present and the whole band felt tighter. With the EQ set in neutral and Sweep about halfway thru the range, each note spoke through the guitar with bite and clarity. With Girth engaged and Fat Growl turned up just past 5, the effect was like sweeping away bad frequencies in the guitarists’ tone, and quick, second position runs and hammer-on tags came through in a tight, present fashion I wasn’t used to. Engaging Midpunch brought a familiar SVT flair to the overall mix, and created a bit of upper midrange clang great for big unison verses. I was pleased to find I didn’t have to dig in as much as with other rigs to get this effect. With the bridge pickup solo’ed on my Brubaker Brute, the Krank brought forward the Jaco buzz naturally, while not being nasal or needing additional bass boost. Blending both pickups gave a deep, ringing Geezer Butler type tone. Perfect.

    Krank set out to make a bass rig for Rockers, and in the D-800 and Basszilla, they have succeeded completely. The overall construction and materials used borders on boutique, while still clad in leather and painted black. A cool mixture of old-school mojo and nu-school tech, the Dirty Valve D-800 and Basszilla are singular tools for a singular purpose, and, if Rock or Metal is your thing, it will make you enjoy getting dirty.

    ** Krank encourages the end user to experiment with using different tubes in the preamp.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Sep 14, 2020
  2. twinfallsbass

    twinfallsbass Supporting Member

    Jan 24, 2005
    Somewhere in AZ
    I had one of these. They are ridiculously loud, sound great and are pretty light for their size. I actually met Tony Krank, real nice guy and he makes one heck of a product! You won’t be disappointed with this purchase!
    Tweaker27 likes this.
  3. Tweaker27


    Aug 28, 2014
    New Haven, CT
    Price drop to $700.00 shipped to contiguous U.S.
  4. StephnG

    StephnG Supporting Member

    Oct 1, 2014
    Belvidere, IL
    Can you provide pics of the back please!?
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