Small, budget cab for GK400RB...

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by dwjazz54, Feb 24, 2014.

  1. dwjazz54


    Jan 21, 2003
    Jersey City, NJ
    I've recently removed the amp section from an old GK400RB/115, as I love the amp itself, and am looking to use it as a small recording / maybe-small-gigging rig to supplement my primary amp (GK MB212-ii).

    As it is right now, I'm waiting on a top and sides for the amp, so I can't immediately run the amp around town trying out different cabs. Don't NEED to get one now, and intend to try before I buy, but I cannot promise that I won't pull the trigger on a deal that looks too good to be true. So I'm just getting a feel for what others like. I've only ever heard the amp through one other cab - hooked it up to a Hartke 210 of some sort for fun, and I remember liking it. But that was ever so long ago.

    So, any favorite parings for a 400RB out there?

    Only two things: 1) I don't have a lot to spend, so let's say budget of $300 - and used is fine! 2) I'm thinking 1x12, 2x10, maybe even 1x10 if there's something that just sounds great with this amp - volume is not the goal here. TONE, however, surely is!

  2. jasper383

    jasper383 Supporting Member

    Dec 5, 2004
    Durham NC
  3. dwjazz54


    Jan 21, 2003
    Jersey City, NJ
    I have always been intrigued by the reputation of those cabs, but have had bad luck - I have never played through their stuff, and can't actually recall ever seeing anyone else playing it at a gig. Youtube can only tell me so much - how would the tone be best described?

    Also, anyone have any experience or thoughts on the Eden EX112, especially paired with a GK RB series head? I've always kinda liked that Eden mid-hump, but the prices on new ones seems almost too good to be true...
  4. orangejulius3

    orangejulius3 Supporting Member

    May 6, 2013
    La Habra CA
    I have an Avatar SB112 paired with my GK 400RB.
    It is not the NEO version.

    The cab is rated at 4 ohms so it does get overwhelmed by the GK amp.

    I can get the amp up around 75% of its power, after that, the speaker sounds bad and distorted.
    Plenty loud though at 60%.

  5. shirojiro


    Jan 24, 2001
    San Francisco
    I use one or two Bagend s15 cabs with my 400rb. I love them. I have one old one from the early 80s and one newish one. They're quite different in construction, but the tone is similar. They're efficient cabs, and get suprisingly loud. The mids are full and contribute to the perceived loudness. They don't have a ton of low end, but its plenty for most situations that I play in (rock, jazz, funk). They have plenty of high end and the speakers have a quick response. They're the cabs that made me realize that speaker diameter has little to do with tone or frequency response and that the cab constuction coupled with speaker voicing is what gives each cab its character.

    I really like them, and use them with my 800rb and my mb150s as well.
  6. dwjazz54


    Jan 21, 2003
    Jersey City, NJ
    At one of our rehearsal spaces, there is an Avatar 112 (unsure of the model) hooked up to a beat-up old Fender amp with wonky jacks. I like the cab, but am looking forward to hooking the GK up to it!

    Thanks for the responses in regard to the Bag End, as well, everybody - will definitely look into it!

    Bump to see other ideas as well, and to see if anyone has any experience with the Eden mentioned above - the price is too tempting!
  7. AdamR


    Sep 24, 2007
    Bethel CT
    Endorsing Artist: VF Cables, Dirtbag Clothing
    I was going to suggest the Hartke. Maybe even a Hydrive 112
  8. jeff7bass


    Apr 9, 2009
    I have an Avatar SB112 and it works fine for small gigs when my drummer is un-mic'd and my guitar player only uses one of his 12" amps. Nice cab, good price. You might want to consider the B210 though for a bit more volume. 4 ohm version will get the most power from that head but you won't need all the power IF you go with the SB112.
  9. dwjazz54


    Jan 21, 2003
    Jersey City, NJ
    Thanks for all the responses, everybody! But I just want to clarify - volume is of negligible concern here. I've got volume covered with my other amp. The cab I'm looking for would specifically be for recording and the indeed-very-rare coffee shop type, open-mic thing (which my current band does not do, but I've sat in to support local friends in the past). Really, a 1x12 / 1x10 / even 2x8 (???) would easily cover those.

    Also, light weight is a plus, but only because I have a worse back than any other 28 year old deserves!
  10. jeff7bass


    Apr 9, 2009
    My SB112 NEO is a very cool blue. I like that red one too. The cheapest new ones are rat fur with ceramic speakers. They'll sound just as good, some say better (more power), but weigh a little more. I quit hating rat fur when the bars banned smoking since rat fur just soaked up the stank!

  11. dwjazz54


    Jan 21, 2003
    Jersey City, NJ
    Agreed on that!

    And that red cab is pretty sexy...
  12. garp

    garp Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2009
    Connecticut USA
    Avatar’s SB112 Neo weighs 39 lbs., which is great for me. However, G-K’s Neo 112-II is even lighter: 34 lbs.
  13. tjh

    tjh Supporting Member

    Mar 22, 2006
    I also really liked the Baggie S15D's with the 400RB .. I wrote 15's off a long time ago for my tastes, but I had to try the Baggies with what I was reading/hearing about them, and to me they were unlike any other 15 I had used, mostly for the reasons I highlighted above ... I strongly prefer sealed cabs, and the tight/quick response of the Baggies came close to that for me, despite a huge center port directly behind the magnet ... I found the Baggies much easier to move and carry than their 45 lb weight, the handles on mine were actually mounted opposite most cabs mount, and I am in a minority, but I liked it ... that and the large rear port and top front edge made an alternative 'handle' for quick repositioning on stage ... with all that said, I really think where the Baggies shine, is in the mix ... so if tone is your primary concern, the 'Baggie' sound may not be for everyone ... I think everybody should try them, and if purchased used there is a high demand for units at used pricing if it turns out not to be your cup of tea ... I also think that a PAIR of them 'stacked' is MORE than twice as good as ONE ...

    What has been the 'go to' for me with GK heads (MB200, 400RB) for all the small stuff, has been the Ampeg 210AV's ... more and more I am grabbing one and going ... they meet my requirements of light (26#s), tight, and quick ... a little flat sounding for my tastes, but usually EQ'able to work ... last night I recorded two live hours on radio with the MB200 and one 210AV ... again, two here is also more than twice as good as one ... but one should meet your needs mentioned above just fine ... now its just a matter if YOU like what you hear from them ... again, a great used market should you decide it is not for you as well ...

    The other option I have I probably like the tone of best, are Hartke 210XL's ... again sealed, very quick, and to me the tone of the 400RB really shines here, but at low volumes ... these cabs dont handle much power, and are not good for carrying a room, but again in a minority, I like Hartke aluminum cone drivers ... the 400RB and Hartke 410's were the standard for years, but not at all practical for moving around for an old coot ... the GK/Hartke voicing hits it for me, but again you need to realize the 210XL limits ... not much of a market for selling these used, and you really need to be careful buying them used, as driver condition may be questionable, and there are no replacements available ... I do not think they are worth the new price, but thats JMHO ... I have three of these, one with a bad driver, but find myself grabbing the Ampegs most of the time simply because of their weight, and with the rat fur on the 210XL's and a yellow lab, mastiff, and two cats, every time I take them some where I feel I am taking my animals along with ...

    Here is a pic of one of my 400RB's atop the Baggies and 210AV's, so you can kind of compare size ... I guess I dont have one on the 210XL's readily available ...

    Attached Files:

  14. dwjazz54


    Jan 21, 2003
    Jersey City, NJ
    tjh - REALLY appreciate the detailed response! With everything that's been said, it looks like I HAVE to find a Bag End to try - I was a little wary of the no horn / tweeter, but it sounds like they're pretty decently full-range!

    I've played Ampeg before, and never really got into them - but I think that was mostly due to the amps themselves. I've played rigs that I liked that were Ampeg cabs with whatever head, but never really clicked with one of their amps for whatever reason. (Edit: Did once get to play a B-15 fliptop, and...well, I really liked that quite a bit!)

    Still wanna try another Hartke, too...for those who have played both, how do the newer HyDrive cabs compare with the classic full-aluminum-cone cabs? Again, youtube can only tell me so much, but I remember playing through a 400RB and Hartke 2x10 YEARS AGO, and I think I remember liking it.
  15. thejumpcat

    thejumpcat thejumpcat

    Sep 30, 2007
    I use an LDS 1x15 and it's plenty righteous.
  16. dwjazz54


    Jan 21, 2003
    Jersey City, NJ
    Always been intrigued by those - and related - designs. Haven't ever played through one, though I'd like to.

    But it would be out of budget, I think...
  17. tjh

    tjh Supporting Member

    Mar 22, 2006
    .. the more I think about this, I don't think that I heard any decent cab combined with 400RB that I didnt like ... from a little Yamaha BBT110 all the way up to a fridge ... but then, maybe I just like the 400RB and all of its simpleness .. ;)
  18. Had a bag end S15d with an 800RB, it sounded great, wish I'd had a pair of em. I since sold it but would pick up another if the opportunity presented itself. The cab is smallish, fairly light & recorded well, punchy & tight, not too deep sounding which i generally prefer.
  19. dwjazz54


    Jan 21, 2003
    Jersey City, NJ
    I consider that good news! It is such a great amp - certainly loud enough, and TONE FOR DAYS. Hence, the removing it from my old combo.