Psst... Ready to join TalkBass and start posting, make new friends, sell your gear, and more?  Register your free account in 30 seconds.

New amp suggestions? Upgrade from GK 800RB

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by ashbory, Nov 20, 2003.


  1. ashbory

    ashbory

    Jun 13, 2000
    The Hammer
    After 15 years of trusty service, the time has come to upgrade my amp.
    I am looking for something lighter, with a little more power, and of course better sound.
    The sound I am looking for is warm, clean, smooth etc. you know what I mean (I hope).

    So heres my checklist:
    1. Great sound
    2. Lighter than 23 lbs.
    3. More than 300 Watts into 4 ohms.

    I will be using it with a Yorkville 2x10 (small rig)
    and Hartke 4x10 plus the Yorkville (big rig). Both are 8 ohms.

    I am thinking of trying out:
    Eden WT 400
    WT 550
    Euph. iAmp 500
    iAmp 800

    Any suggestions for other amps that I should check out?
     
  2. lo-freq

    lo-freq aka UFO

    Jan 19, 2003
    The Republic of Texas
    If you can swing the cash outlay, I would recommend the EA iAmp-800.

    If I had to replace my rig, that would probably be where I would start.
     
  3. bben

    bben

    Feb 28, 2002
    Santa Fe, NM
    If you are happy with the GK sound, both the 700 and 1001 are nice. I have one of each, and like the 1001 better, it has a lot of poot. In terms of tone, they both sound pretty much alike.

    The iamp 800 is probably a great choice, from all I've heard (no personal experience), but at $1100 for the EA vs $650 for the 1001 that may be a consideration.
     
  4. ashbory

    ashbory

    Jun 13, 2000
    The Hammer
    lo-freq: Do you think I need the extra juice of the 800 (vs. 500)? My current 300 Watts usually cuts it, except a tad more clean power for the occasional outdoor gig would be nice. I am likin' the idea of 5lbs less, $300 less for the iAmp 500.

    bben: I am looking for something with less harshness in the highs than my current GK. I haven't tried either the 700 or 1001 though. Are they much different sounding than the 800?
     
  5. NeedMoreBass

    NeedMoreBass unregistered

    Feb 14, 2003
    GK 1001RBII. 700 watts, 18 lbs! $650 shipped. That's $500 less than the iAmp 800 and an easier amp to use. Best deal going.:bassist:
     
  6. RicPlaya

    RicPlaya

    Apr 22, 2003
    Whitmoretucky MI
    I like the Edens, if not an Eden go tube.
     
  7. Craig Garfinkel

    Craig Garfinkel

    Aug 25, 2000
    Hartford, CT
    Endorsing Artist: Sadowsky Guitars
    Well, I was gonna recommend my usual until you said light ...so uh, er...never mind!

    But Ashbory...if you go for the iAMP, which by all accounts is a marvelous choice, spend the extra jing for the 800. IMNSHO a bass amp is like an automobile engine. Having more power than you think you need is a good thing, and just may save your life someday.

    Or something like that.

    I was never great at analogies.
     
  8. ashbory

    ashbory

    Jun 13, 2000
    The Hammer
    Craig,
    I have to agree with you that more power is always good. Once I've decided on what sound suits me best, I think the watts vs. weight will be the tough decision.
    Currently I can do a one trip load-in with the small rig (using a luggage cart), unless there are stairs! Now if I can put the head in a shoulder bag, stairs will be no problem. Having to park two blocks away won't be so bad either. Hmmm...

    RicPlaya,
    I haven't played through an Eden for a few years, so I'll have try one out again for a refresher. My experience in the past with a WT300 or 400 through an 4x10 XLT was superb. On the other hand with the same amp through a 2x15 (not my style) was bleh. When I used a GK with the Eden 410XLT and on another occasion, my old V4B with an Eden 2x12 it was nothin' special. So does the Eden magic happen only with the matching set? :)

    Low Freq,
    Checked your profile...How does the iAmp sound compare to your current setup?
     
  9. lo-freq

    lo-freq aka UFO

    Jan 19, 2003
    The Republic of Texas
    You have to 'weigh-in' all your personal situation factors, but since I'm not in your situation, it's easy for me to say "Go with the power."

    Someday you may have different cabs that require more juice.

    If you're wanting to get an amp and hang on to it, more power will increase its value further on down the road. If not, more power will also increase its resale value.

    But I'm not concerned with getting all my rig in one tote...

    Question: I know the iAmp-800 has pretty generous dynamic headroom, does anyone know about the iAmp-500 in this regard?
     
  10. RicPlaya

    RicPlaya

    Apr 22, 2003
    Whitmoretucky MI
    RicPlaya,
    I haven't played through an Eden for a few years, so I'll have try one out again for a refresher. My experience in the past with a WT300 or 400 through an 4x10 XLT was superb. On the other hand with the same amp through a 2x15 (not my style) was bleh. When I used a GK with the Eden 410XLT and on another occasion, my old V4B with an Eden 2x12 it was nothin' special. So does the Eden magic happen only with the matching set?

    I have a WT-800 and run an Ampeg 4x10 hvt. It sounds HUGE! Cutting highs, punchy mids, and rumbling lows. I upgraded to Eden from a GK head. The next step for me will be all tube if I chose to upgrade. I don't know about matching cabs and heads it just sounds good. I have room to add a 15 to my set up but at most gigs my head just blows out the club as it is. I think a good powerful Eden head will make anything sound good. But I am not a huge fan of 15's by themselves only in combination with some 10's.
     
  11. lo-freq

    lo-freq aka UFO

    Jan 19, 2003
    The Republic of Texas
    Yeah...if you like the 'Eden sound'.

    Some do. Some don't.
     
  12. RicPlaya

    RicPlaya

    Apr 22, 2003
    Whitmoretucky MI
    Yeah it's just my take. A really like the Eden's as far a solid state or hybrids go. For me the only thing better would be all tube.
     
  13. skippie69

    skippie69

    Oct 29, 2003
    Maryland, USA
    If you are going the hybrid route and can afford it, you should check out an Aguilar DB-750. I got one from Austin Bass Traders about a month ago and it is by far the best sounding amp I have ever used. I had a GK-800RB for a very long time and it sounded fine but there is no comparision. The Aguilar is just better.
     
  14. gfab333

    gfab333

    Mar 22, 2000
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    Ashbory,

    From your profile, it looks like we're from the same era! ('70s). I may have some useful comments for you, based on my past experience. I've used GKs since the mid 70s; owned a 400B, 400rb, 800rb, and 1001rb over the years. I bought an iAMP 800 in early 2003, and just received my wt-550 a couple of days ago and gigged with it last night.

    The GKs that I've owned were all excellent amps for the price. I must say, though, that I have not had a chance to try the new 1001rb II model. GKs are typically clean, punchy, and have very good headroom. I found the 1001rb had more low end and more hi-fi style high end than the 800rb. As you know, the 1001rb has more power as well. A search will provide you with tons of posts which I've read, and some of which I've contributed to. The GK posts that I've read are generally pretty accurate. GKs quality control and customer service has had some challenges in the past as those posts will indicate. I've not dealt with them lately, and they may have solved that problem.

    The iAMP 800 is an awesome amp, and it has been covered thoroughly in other threads as a "search" will disclose, so I won't bother to go into detail. Basically, it has excellent tone capabilities, great punch and headroom, and is light weight relative to its power rating. This amp does everything that EA says it will do. It remains my main amp. The one thing that you cannot do with an iAMP is overdrive it classic rock tube-style. This amp will only give you a super clean tone. and I should add that Gary and Larry at EA provide excellent customer service.

    I just bought the wt-550 to replace my 1001rb as a backup, and to provide me with the tube-preamp capability. Although it will serve partially as a backup, I doubt that an iAMP needs a backup. My main reason for buying this amp is that I wanted a head with a tube preamp allows me to get that fat warm tube tone, along with a slight overdriven growl if desired. Its preamp tone controls are excellent; it seems to be pretty much the same preamp as the wt-800 that I played through once. Awesome low end, punchy mids, smoth hi fi high end, but all with tube warmth. I give it high ratings for punch and headroom too. and don't forget, it's very compact (only there's no handle, I guess it's meant to be racked).

    All of the amps discussed above are very good pieces of equipment. It all comes down to your personal preference in tone and what you can afford / what you want to spend. I know that it can be difficult, but the best thing for you to do is to try these amps out if at all possible. You'll be able to make a decision taht you'll be happy with. Happy amp hunting!
     
  15. gfab333

    gfab333

    Mar 22, 2000
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    Skippie, thanks for reminding me about Glenn's shop via your post. I bought my iAMP from Austin Basstraders. Glenn will take care of you either way... iAMP or Aggie.
     
  16. lo-freq

    lo-freq aka UFO

    Jan 19, 2003
    The Republic of Texas
    The Ag DB750 would appear to significantly exceed ashbory's weight spec's.

    ['Tis a fine amp, though, but it is heavy.]
     
  17. Craig Garfinkel

    Craig Garfinkel

    Aug 25, 2000
    Hartford, CT
    Endorsing Artist: Sadowsky Guitars


    The Ag DB750 would appear to significantly exceed ashbory's weight spec's.

    ['Tis a fine amp, though, but it is heavy.]
    [/QUOTE]

    You betcha. That's what I meant in my previous post about "recommending my usual"...

    The Aggie weighs in at close to 50 lbs. Which is why I bought a GK 700rb-II. Great for rehearsals, but I schlep the DB750 to every gig. Gotta have that tone!

    Excellent post by gfab333 regarding the GKs etc. Great description of their tone qualities. The rb-II series has even more headroom than the "old" rb's. A lotta bang for the buck.
     
  18. ashbory

    ashbory

    Jun 13, 2000
    The Hammer
    I'm now trying out an Eden WT-300, here's my observations:

    - Its a lot louder than I expected (this thing has nads)
    - Lots of punch in the midrange
    - I don't like the tone! The subtleties of my bass seem to be lost, for instance there is not much difference when panning between pickups.
    - My GK actually sounds warmer to me when A/B'ing the two, where's that tube action?

    Anyway, I'm going to try some tube swapping (I have some tubes that I know sound good).

    Any suggestions for knob twiddling? I've tried a)flat, b)eqing to what my ears think is flat c) various settings with the enhance knob
     
  19. RicPlaya

    RicPlaya

    Apr 22, 2003
    Whitmoretucky MI
    Does the WT-300 have bulit in compression? If so turn it off. I run my WT-800 kinda flat, I'm not very familiar with the wt-300, if you have the parametric EQ like mine, I think they call it parametric where you can fine tune to the decibals for lows, mids , and highs mess with those to fine tune your tone. I run the enhance knob around 10 o clock. Once again I'm not very familiar with that model but I hope I helped.
     
  20. gfab333

    gfab333

    Mar 22, 2000
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    Try leaving the para metrics flat, set the enhance between 9 and 11 o'clock with the compression off (pull the enhance nob out), and the bass and treble nobs set between 11 and 2 o'clock depending on you taste and your ax. On the enhance control, I've noted in TB posts that many Eden owners run the enhance between 9 and 10 o'clock.