NAD: Kustom KXB800..another Great Amp!!

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Low Class, Dec 14, 2014.

  1. Low Class

    Low Class Supporting Member

    Jul 4, 2005
    Gasaholic
    Many of you have seen my thread on the Kustom kxb500:
    http://www.talkbass.com/threads/nad-the-best-amp-ive-ever-heard-kustom-kxb500.1094234/

    The Kustom name is not what most think of in great sounding bass amps. But, after posting my opinion of the kxb500, many players have taken the plunge and agreed that the kxb500 is as good or better than amps considered the best amongst today's crop of bass amplifiers at a much more affordable price.

    Ever since I discovered the kxb500 I have been curious about the kxb800. Last week a deal came along on one I couldn't pass up and it arrived yesterday. Here's my thoughts:

    First off, it's not a class D and it doesn't weigh 4 lbs like the kxb500. Spec sheet says it weighs 35lbs, but it feels much less. The fact that it is a "lead sled" is one reason I was curious about it as my experiences with Class D overall have not been favorable.

    First thing I notice is the quality. It appears to be built like a tank, very solid build and the hardware appears to be of very good quality.

    Features Include:
    800 Watt RMS Output @ 4 Ohm
    Single ¼" Input with pad, signal and clip light, foot-switchable Mute -- flashes when engaged
    Three rack space, solid steel chassis - rugged construction for years of touring.
    Three band EQ, each with Individual Frequency mid-point select.
    Bass (50 / 100Hz) Mid (400 / 800Hz) Treble (3k / 6kHz)
    Nine band Graphic EQ for the Ultimate in tone tweaking in a concert environment
    Fully vented front and back, two speed fan cooled for whisper quiet operation

    manual:http://www.kustom.com/Content/20136/KXB800-manual-RevB-07Oct2011mc.pdf

    When turning it on there is some fan noise, but nothing obnoxious.
    Plug in my bass and immediately I notice is how similar the tone is to that of the kxb500. Uncolored, sounds like my bass. The EQ is voiced slightly different than the kxb500, but I think I might actually like it better. I'm able to get a tighter and more focused tone. I don't know if that is the EQ or the power section, but that's what I hear. It also seems to have more body to the sound, and that I would guess is more attributed to the power section. The graphic EQ is very useful in dialing it in even better.

    Haven't had it on a gig yet, so not much to add at this point other than the power difference is VERY noticeable! It sounds MASSIVE!! The only other 800 watt amp I have had very recently is the GK MB800, and although it was a very powerful amp, the tone and power of the kxb800 is much better IMO.

    Bottom line, much like the kxb500, only more of it. I mentioned in my other thread how this may be the DB751 slayer. For my tastes I prefer the sound of the uncolored tone of the kxb800. Very easy to dial in my sound, especially with the graphic EQ. It also weighs less than the DB751 and seems to have as good of build quality. And of course it cost a fraction of the DB751. Unless someone just prefers the Aguilar tone or needs an amp that will go to 2 ohms I can see nothing that the DB751 has on this amp.

    For an amp that has a street price of about $649, my opinion is that Kustom has another sleeper on their hands that bass players on any level need to take a serious look at.

    btw, a dealer has these brand new for $500 shipped on eBay.

    KXB800-black.jpg
     
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2014
    smeet, jpc, Teacher and 5 others like this.
  2. MarkA

    MarkA In the doghouse. Supporting Member

    Sep 26, 2008
    Thanks for the notes on this. When I get my KXB 500, if I like it enough... who knows, I might take a look at this. I already have a capable, three-space lead sled in the form of my GBE 1200, though. I have a hard time seeing this replacing that - not in terms of power or features - but it does seem a good - potentially excellent - head for the price.

    I wonder how it would do pushing a stout 8 Ohm cab, and whether engaging the graphic EQ induces any noticeable tone-suck.
     
  3. Low Class

    Low Class Supporting Member

    Jul 4, 2005
    Gasaholic
    Manual says it's 400 watts @ 8 ohms which is respectable, so it should push an 8 ohm cab just fine. As far as the graphic EQ I must say I was expecting the "tone suck" myself, but this graphic EQ is just the opposite to my surprise.
     
  4. SirMjac28

    SirMjac28 Patiently Waiting For The Next British Invasion

    Aug 25, 2010
    The Great Midwest
    Congrats it looks like an awful lot for $500.00 these are great times for bass players great quality gear is getting more and more affordable.
     
  5. grenadilla

    grenadilla Guest

    Aug 22, 2011
    alabama
    Is this amp about the same as a Kustom Groovebass 1200 ? It could run at 2ohms (1200watts) and I think was 800 watts @4ohms. Does your amp sound anything like the trusty padded Kustom 200?
     
  6. One of the big differences in power, between this and the 500, is this is 800 watts @ 1% THD versus 500 @ 10% THD.
     
    Low Class likes this.
  7. Low Class

    Low Class Supporting Member

    Jul 4, 2005
    Gasaholic
    I have no experience with either amp, sorry.
     
  8. Low Class

    Low Class Supporting Member

    Jul 4, 2005
    Gasaholic
    In taking a closer look at the Groove 12oo, it appears the preamp section is similar. The power amp is 750 watts @ 5% THD where the kxb800 is 800 watts @ 1% THD.
     
  9. It looks like another winner.

    Is it just me, or do I see a potential market for roll & tuck housings for these new Kustoms?
    Somehow, they just don't seem right without that. :)
     
  10. Teacher

    Teacher

    May 3, 2012
    Oh boy, now I have to make a choice....
     
  11. Low Class

    Low Class Supporting Member

    Jul 4, 2005
    Gasaholic
    Between what?
     
  12. Teacher

    Teacher

    May 3, 2012
    Between the 500 and the 800. Given the price difference, I'll likely get the 500, since it's more than adequate for my needs (which are zero right now). However, not having to buy an external eq would be sweet.
     
  13. Low Class

    Low Class Supporting Member

    Jul 4, 2005
    Gasaholic
    If I were to pick one it would be the 500 because of the weight and size.
     
    Sanchan likes this.
  14. jeff7bass

    jeff7bass Inactive

    Apr 9, 2009
    Great looking amp! I like the asthetics and the functional handles. Bet it would sound killer on an a big SVT810 cab. I would probably go for a pair of 212's to pair with it. Then use the KB500 when I only needed a single 212.
     
  15. MarkA

    MarkA In the doghouse. Supporting Member

    Sep 26, 2008
    Good point. I read that, but it hadn't quite registered.
     
  16. Low Class

    Low Class Supporting Member

    Jul 4, 2005
    Gasaholic
    There more I play this amp the more I'm loving it. This amp is as good if not better value than the kxb500.
     
  17. wvbass

    wvbass Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2004
    West Virginia
    I'm not surprised at all that Kustom has some great amps. I was blown away by the warmth and tone of the Groovebass, and couldn't believe how cheap it was. The only reason I never owned one was that I didn't want to lug it around. It was a heavy amp at a time when amps were starting to get lighter.
     
  18. VincentGrim

    VincentGrim

    Aug 17, 2008
    Any chance of some sound clips of this one? How's the rock tone?
     
  19. Papersen

    Papersen Supporting Member

    Mar 22, 2002
    Great score !!
    I´m still thinking about buying the KXB500 since weight and portability is an important issue to me.

    Thanks for the review.
     
  20. Low Class

    Low Class Supporting Member

    Jul 4, 2005
    Gasaholic
    After playing the kxb800 out a few times I found I prefer the tone of the kxb500 better. The frequency centers of the kxb800 just didn't sit right for me. Different cabs would probably bring different results, but with my Berg HT112ER's the kxb500 is a better match.