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Speaking of GK...

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by SanDiegoHarry, Sep 23, 2008.

  1. SanDiegoHarry

    SanDiegoHarry Banned Supporting Member

    Aug 11, 2008
    San Diego, CA
    Is it just me, or is the GK400RB the coolest, cheapest amp ever made? I've had a first generation one as a backup head for I don't know how many years, I've repaired it multiple times, it is beat to death and still keeps working - and sounds good for a solid state head!

    Are there other GK400RB fans out there?
  2. dougjwray


    Jul 20, 2005
    I'm with you! I have one that I bought new in the summer of 1985, and I've never had to have it repaired, except for having the input jack replaced a few years ago. (It finally wore out.)
    It's a fantastic amp... others come and go, but it stays.
    A few months ago, I bought a 210RBH cab, which is rated at 400 watts. The 400RB, rated at 175 watts into 8 ohms, actually sounds loud and full through it. (Admittedly, the cab sure is efficient.) I recently bought a used 1001RBII, which is a better match for that cab. I'm thinking that the 400RB will be the backup, but I wouldn't be surprised if, 10 years from now, the 1001RBII is gone and the 400RB is still around. Fantastic amps.
    Some people find them sterile or thin, but in a mix they're perfect-- never muddy, always punchy. And small enough to carry in a backpack on the subway, if you play gigs in New York!
  3. Laklandlover

    Laklandlover Supporting Member

    Mar 22, 2008
    Los Angeles, CA BABY
    I am with you guys I have never met a GK amp or cab I didn't like. Right now I working w/ a 1001RBII on top of a 1/12 and a 2/12. It is so smooth it makes you want to slap somebody.:eyebrow: I have gotten 4 offers on it. It is Da Bomb!

  4. Trevorus


    Oct 18, 2002
    Urbana, IL
    I have a 1001RB-II and a 400RB-III. The 400 gets a lot of work. Awesome little amp!!!
  5. fdeck

    fdeck Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 20, 2004
    Madison WI
    HPF Technology LLC
    The Backline 600 head is. :bag:

    Actually, I am not disagreeing with you, especially since the Backline 600 is probably a descendant of the 400RB.
  6. lposavad

    lposavad Supporting Member

    My first real bass amp was a GK 400B (ancestor to the 400RB) with a 4412H cabinet that I bought in 1978. At the time it was a serious piece of gear. I got 20 years out of it, never looked at another rig.
    Several years ago the head died, putting me on the rocky road to gearwhoredom. I still have the 4412H cabinet- it's still big and loud an punches like hell. I plan to use it this weekend (Harry, if you're up in Escondido, drop in to Pounders on Grant Ave.).
  7. I have a 400RB-III. I purchased it about 6 years ago and I've used and abused it. I play an average of 2 to 4 gigs a week with it. Its a great amp.

    I got the itch to purchase a 700RB. I can't justify it unless something happens to the 400RB and in all these years it has never let me down, nothing has ever stopped working, crackled, etc. Its very durable.
  8. I have a BL600 I'm real happy with - love the sound. I've been thinking of upgrading(?) to the 400 / 700RB sometime. I imagine they sound close to the same with the same effects.

    Sounds real good through my Carvin BR115 + horn.
  9. I wish, though, that they had chosen a less marginalising name for the "affordable" GK line: BACKLINE, splashed across the face of the head, with GK in tiny letters to the right, implies that this is from the back of the store, the bottom of the barrel. Seriously, I've done a quasi-valid survey (give me a grant and I'll do it scientifically with all the statistical bells and whistles) among fellow musicians and they, too, feel that GK couldn't have chosen a more terrible name.

    Why, GK, why marginalise those of us who have massive bills to pay and yet crave your hallowed tone? Why oh why :bawl:
  10. fake-bass


    Oct 17, 2006
    the perfect head for me!
  11. Okay, so I'm "forgiving" GK for the Backline name. Please tell me what features you find attractive in the head discussed here.

    After all, I can always commission someone to change the logo to FRONTLINE :D
  12. dougjwray


    Jul 20, 2005
    My guess is that GK chose the name "Backline" because the company is, in fact, almost synonymous with "backline." In other words, "backline" means "resident gear owned or rented by clubs and festivals, to be used by all the visiting musicians", and GK gear has been a favorite choice in that area, for years now. (Hartke seems to have a stranglehold on *rehearsal spaces*, from my experience.)
    I agree, though, that the "scrawled on by a 5-year-old with a crayon" logo is horrible.
  13. Thank you for explaining what "backline" means. I had no clue and neither did the people I asked. Their "Rorschach" projections in Re that word ("the word, the word, he said the word!"), so to speak, were negative. Who did GK's marketing research?! And they don't write Backline on their premium lines. And, oh yes you are so on-the-scribble about the crayon logo. Somebody @ GK thinks a bit too highly about her/his child's graphic abilities, clearly.
  14. René_Julien


    Jun 26, 2008
    You guys like that 400RB so much?

    I was thinking of getting one, then newest (4th version, right?).

    I only tried the 700RB, and I liked that head very much.

    Can a 4x10" cab be used with the 400RB?
    Anyone got any experience with that?

    (I am also considering Ashdown MAG... because it's cheaper :))
  15. K-Funk


    Sep 24, 2007
    Auburn Hills, MI
    I have an 800RB.... that thing's pretty close to perfect!
  16. 4Mal

    4Mal Supporting Member

    Jun 2, 2002
    Columbia River Gorge
    long time GK fan here. I'm have a 1001 RB II as my main out the door amp. It's great. Second one I've had. I sold the first and ran through a succession of preamp/power amp setups with Demeter, Alembic, Eden, BMax, BMaxT pres and a 2402 - I'm back to the 1001 RB II...

    Strangest thing with GK - is the number of people that find them hard to operate. I mean - look at the number of posts here with variations on "How do I get a good sound out of my new GK ? " threads - I find that freakin' weird. My experience has been more like "How do I not get a good sound out ..." - not that I really want to know mind you ... It just seems like an easy head to figure out to me... God forbid any of those folks try an Eden. They'll probably drop bass and start playing mandolin. Flute would be too complicated 'cause it has too many buttons.
  17. stflbn


    May 10, 2007
    I think the answer to that unfortunately is 'many people here have some very 'unique' and incomprehensible ideas as to what a 'good' sound is for bass'
  18. dougjwray


    Jul 20, 2005
  19. SwitchGear

    SwitchGear Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Mar 23, 2005
    I have never played a 400RB, but own a 800RB and a 700RB-ll. The latter is my fave gigging head because of it's quiet operation and is more flexible. I once owned a 1001RB-ll and that was very good also.

    I am a big fan of the Mark ll - GK heads, but the older stuff is a good choice also for the gigging bassist.
  20. dougjwray


    Jul 20, 2005
    I know what you mean. I think a lot of the confusion has to do with the fact that on models like the 700 and the 1001 you can get "dirt" in two ways: with the input knob OR with the boost knob. And then, the 400RB manual says to run the master all the way up for the cleanest sound. I can see how this could be confusing.
    But getting a good sound, period? Not hard at all.

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