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New Amp (to me) Gallien Krueger 800RB - First Impressions + Soundclips

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Lokire, Jun 1, 2005.

  1. Lokire

    Lokire Supporting Member

    Aug 21, 2003
    Seattle, Washington
    I've been looking around at bass amps (and High end DI's) for a while now and came across this amp for a good deal (Thanks Tplyons :D ). A Gallien Krueger 800RB Head. I've been hearing great things about them and have wanted to try one out myself.

    First Impressions:

    A little goes a long way with this amp. With the EQ especially, just boosting or cutting it a little makes a noticeable difference. It's very flexible and I like having a high-mid (at 1kHz) and a low-mid (at 250Hz), though I'd prefer to have one closer to 400hz or so. There's 3 voicing filters (Lo Cut, Mid Contour, and Hi Boost). I played around with them a bit and would only see myself using the low cut occasionally, as I usually boost the lows on my Bass' preamp and like that sound best. The mid contour scoops the midrange pretty drastically and It's a good sound but not really right for the styles that I play most. I usually like my midrange boosted if anything. Then the boost function is unique to GK amps. From what I understand, it adds some harmonic distortion to certain frequencies of the midrange to get a sort of growly sound that GK is known for. To my ears, I can only hear a difference if it's all the way cranked and even then it's just a little distotion in the midrange, and not in a very good sounding way. The GK combo amp (Backline series 1x15) I use for my School's Jazz band has the same boost function and it does make a definate difference that I do like. Maybe I just need a Cab to get the full potential out of it? I dunno. It definatly sounds good but didn't have that initial "Wow" factor that I was hoping for. I still gotta spend a bunch of time learning the EQ and figuring out what works best with my setup. Maybe I'll find this is the amp for me or maybe I'll try for another one.....

    But anyways - I recorded a couple soundclips clips after playing around with it some. One is part of a song by Meshell Ndegeocello (Though I can't groove half as good as Meshell, she's amazing). And the other is something cool I learned from a soundclip of a Warrior Bass.



    When the EQ and everything is set flat it sounds pretty much the same as when I'm running through my DI. I think I'm ideally looking for something that's a lot more colored and would really give me a different sound. Something really growly and slightly overdriven maybe? If you've got any ideas let me know. I'm just going direct for recording if that helps.
  2. pickles

    pickles Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 23, 2000
    Ventura, CA
    Cool clips! Especially the fingerstyle lines on the second one. That me'shell tune is a standard bass demo lick for me as well. Are these recorded direct? My impression of the GKs is that they have a very snappy, immediate sound, and thats what these clips show. It doesn't have a "wet" top end or a bunch of "tube gush", but its a really good sound. Its a solid state amp and I think it sounds great. You need to get it fired up with a band, I bet you'll love it mixing with a kick.

    One of the best amp combos I've ever heard was a GK2000RB through an older tweeterless Ampeg 810E. The clarity of the GK works really well with the compressed vibe of the sealed 8x10. IMO you're looking for a cab with a bit of "color" to the sound ... just go shop around and plug into everything. Something will jump out.
  3. Lokire

    Lokire Supporting Member

    Aug 21, 2003
    Seattle, Washington
    Thanks - I'll keep that in mind.

    It is recorded direct. I'm not in a gigging band right now and probably won't be for another 6 months or so. I'm not in the best situation to have a big Cab that's cranked either. I've been doing a lot of recording though so right now I'm looking for a great recording tone, direct.

    What do you think about putting maybe a sansamp in front of it to spice things up a bit?
  4. popinfresh


    Dec 23, 2004
    Melbourne, Aus
    If you just want a DI, how much money do you have? Whilst the sansamp is a great and cheap DI, theres many better ones out there.
  5. Lokire

    Lokire Supporting Member

    Aug 21, 2003
    Seattle, Washington
    It's not just a DI that I want. I have a DI (A Klark Teknik), that sounds great. The general DI is made to preserve the tone of your bass, which is great for some things but I have that and now I'm looking for a different sound. The sansamp comes to mind because it's got a very colored sound (from what I've heard) and does overdrive as well. :bassist:
  6. popinfresh


    Dec 23, 2004
    Melbourne, Aus
    If you want overdrive.. I'd suggest putting a Full Tone in your chain, if possible.
    Sansamps are a nice little unit though, and fairly cheap so it wouldn't hurt to pick one up.
  7. Awesome stuff!!!... I am actually looking at importing a second hand 800RB to Australia- in fact I am quiet sure I will, though carrying a Step Down Converter will be a pain. :rolleyes: Worth it though I feel.

    Great tone- hooked up to some cabs the GK's have some awesome punch and loads of power.

    Thanx alot for sharing :bassist:

  8. resol

    resol Guest

    Feb 21, 2005
    very nice clips there - greatly appreciated!!

    i wish i cud play anywhere near how you play - like the harmonics on the second one - which warrior bass clip did you get that one?
  9. pickles

    pickles Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 23, 2000
    Ventura, CA
    Yea man, the BDDI is great for ganking things up a bit. I have a nice expensive clean rig, and I use a BDDI as a stomp box to get hard rock sounds out of it. Its perfect.
  10. seanm

    seanm I'd kill for a Nobel Peace Prize! Supporting Member

    Feb 19, 2004
    Ottawa, Canada
    Me too. I use the BDDI to get that SVT tone. It is a pain that the overdrive is not switchable, so I put a Sparkle Drive in front of it for the "dirty" channel.

    Does anybody else notice that the BDDI boost the level a bit with turned off? I put a loooper on it and you can hear a boost when engaged.
  11. Planet Boulder

    Planet Boulder Hey, this is a private residence...man

    Nov 10, 2001
    6,482 feet above sea level
    I once had impure thoughts. Oh, and I pluck my ear hair.
    Nice clips, man! I have a 700-RBII, which is a different animal in terms of features and, IMHO, tonal characteristics, but I played through an 800 last night at a gig (it was part of the house bass rig) and I dug it quite a bit, even though the cab I played through left a lot to be desired. Had to tweak it quite a bit to get the tone I normally get out of my 700, but that's to be expected given the cut/scoop switches and tonal characteristics.

    If you're looking for something more colored, the Sansamp is not a bad way to go, though there are some other ones as well, such as the mxr DI+ (which I am actually looking to sell for cheap, if you are ultimately interested) or the Fodera 2000 (my personal fave and I think the newer ones have an XLR out).

    I have become a rather huge G-K fan, personally, as I have been happy as hell with my 700-RBII. I don't like a lot of coloring (unless it's the coloring you get from a Trace Elliot), and the G-K gives me a nice edge, but without excessive coloring. Simply put, I like to hear the bass I'm playing as opposed to the head (again, with the exception of the Trace coloring, of which I'm a fan), but that's just me.
  12. Lokire

    Lokire Supporting Member

    Aug 21, 2003
    Seattle, Washington
    If I remember correctly it was the Bolt-On Mahogany with Ebony Fingerboard soundclip.

    Thanks for all the tips guys. I'll look into some DI's like the MXR or the sansamp to put in front of it... :bassist:
  13. 4Mal

    4Mal Supporting Member

    Jun 2, 2002
    Columbia River Gorge
    IMO - the GK by itself isn't a great head for recording direct. It doesn't have the juicy roundness that many us crave. Put it in a band enviroment through and it kick's serious butt while a lot of the juicy roundness turns to mud.

    I'm kinda looking for an old 800 or maye a 700 II as a backup to my Demter & Crown for those nights when I really don't want to lug the rack or try to find space for it on a tight stage.

    Nice amp. Glad it found a good home!

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