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that Gallien Krueger sound... what else comes close?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by zac2944, Jul 7, 2005.


  1. zac2944

    zac2944 Supporting Member

    Dec 28, 2004
    Rochester, NY
    I'm thinking about a new amp head purchase and I really like the tone I get from my friends old 400RB. I'm looking to get an amp in the 800W-1000W range for larger gigs. Are there any other amps that have a similar sound/tone to GK? I found it very distinctive.
     
  2. popinfresh

    popinfresh

    Dec 23, 2004
    Melbourne, Aus
    Why not get a GK 1001 or 2001? They'd have the power you'd need, and the GK sound :)
     
  3. Joe P

    Joe P

    Jul 15, 2004
    Milwaukee, WI
    Distinctive is right. I like my 700RBII more all the time! I'm running it into a JBL JRX125 PA cab (2X15s + 1"-throat horn). The 700-markII is rated 480W, but it's a LOUD four-eighty - I'll tell ya' that - with punch and authority at any volume! I always run a Boss CS-3 compressor at the input - 'on' full-time. ...Approximate head settings include conture at 10:00, presence at 1:00, treble at 10:30, high-mids maxed (others may vary, but the H.M. are always cranked), low-mids slightly cut, lows slightly boosted, and the crossover high-cut on. I play a five-string, but still don't use the 'string bass' button that's there for fivers; I think that leaves it a little boomy. As for that killer growl, I run volume at 1:00 with boost maxed - remember that with the compressor my maximum signal is limited, so even with much growl and warmth, it'll never go into clipping-buzz, no matter how hard I pluck (but aaaaallmost!). I haven't really been doing this, but I set it up so that if I bypass the compressor, then my playing dynamics can run the whole spectrum between clean-and-punchy to distortion-buzz.

    Lately I've become involved with a funk/dance horn band (what a thrill, Man - but that's a different subject), and all eight of these guys are very impressed with my tone.

    ...so in-a-nutshell: Who cares what else gets close - GK is king (...but I think Hartke heads sound pretty good, and somewhat similar when you crank'em up a-ways).

    Joe
     
  4. zac2944

    zac2944 Supporting Member

    Dec 28, 2004
    Rochester, NY
    I'm using a Mesa Walkabout right now which gives me 300W @ 4 ohms. This just doesn't cut it on a large stage with guitars.

    The GK 800RB puts out 300W @ 4 ohms (low) and 100W @ 8 ohms (hi). I don't run a bi-amp set up so the I'm guessing the 100W (hi) output gets wasted. The 800RB and my Walkabout should be about the same volume; both pushing 300W @ 4 ohms.

    The 700RB will put out 480W @ 4 ohms. Not much more than my Walkabout.

    The 1001RB will put out 700W @ 4 ohms. This should be somewhat louder.

    The 2001RB will put out 1080W @ 4 ohms. This amp should be considerably louder than my Walkabout. I have read bad thing about this amp's quality here on TB.

    Is there anything else out there that has a tone comparable to the GK tone? I'd like to have some options.
     
  5. zac2944

    zac2944 Supporting Member

    Dec 28, 2004
    Rochester, NY

    If I add another amp to my line up I want it to be considerably louder than my Walkabout. I'm not sure if the 1001RB would have enough extra power to be considerably louder than the Walkabout. I have read bad things about the 2001RB on TB, quality issues. Aside from that, the 2001RB does look like a good option. I would like other options though. Is the GK tone really that exclusive?
     
  6. Joe P

    Joe P

    Jul 15, 2004
    Milwaukee, WI
    As far as I know, there were a couple serious problems with GK amps, but it was not strictly a "problem with quality", as in a bunch'a schlubs garage-shopping the things together or whatever, like just 'sloppy workmanship' or something - they were specific problems, like as-in all the failures having the same failure mode. As far as I know, the cause was found and corrected, and the amps were back to exhibiting that famous GK reliability!

    GK has a huge reputation for monster-reliability AND longevity, don't they??!

    Joe
     
  7. Joe P

    Joe P

    Jul 15, 2004
    Milwaukee, WI
    ...AAAAND the 2001' has that dedicated and optimized switchable distortion channel.

    Oh yeah.

    Joe
     
  8. Nedmundo

    Nedmundo Supporting Member

    Jan 7, 2005
    Philadelphia
    I bet the 1001RB would be quite a bit louder. See if you can find Bass Player's review -- they raved about its massive output.

    I have a 700RB-II, and the output is huge, even at eight ohms (320 watts). The output relative to the stated wattage is WAY higher on the new series of GK heads than the previous line. Even using a 1x12" cabinet, I get enough volume for small/medium gigs with the 700RB-II, and using a 4x10" I had more than enough for an outdoor show.

    BTW, I use a compressor (Aphex Punch Factory) much the same way as Joe P, and it helps.
     
  9. lo-freq

    lo-freq aka UFO

    Jan 19, 2003
    The Republic of Texas
    [Sorry for the partial side-track.]
    I'm curious about the newer *RB heads.

    I've heard they are a little bit zingy in the treble, but I don't remember what cabs the people making such comments were using.
    Comments?

    Also, how well do the GK tone controls alleviate the alleged zingy-ness?

    [I like a clean, fast tone with a lot of punch, solid low end, and smooth but articulate midrange & treble -- hence the StingRay 5, Dem 201S w/NOS tubes, and Schroeder 410 cab.]
     
  10. Bayou_Brawler

    Bayou_Brawler The most hurtful thing ever realized

    Oct 23, 2003
    Ann Arbor, MI
    i run a GK 800RB with a 1x15 and 2x10. i've never needed to turn it more than 1/4 up at any gig.
     
  11. Frank Martin

    Frank Martin Bitten by the luthiery bug...

    Oct 8, 2001
    Budapest, Hungary, EU
    That was some old 2001 RB-Is. I don't remember any issues with the II-series.

    Anyway, it's not just wattage that matters, but also cab efficiency and speaker cone suface area. Doubling the power only adds about 3 dBs
     
  12. zac2944

    zac2944 Supporting Member

    Dec 28, 2004
    Rochester, NY
    It's good to hear that quality shouldn't be an issue.

    I'm going to find a 1001 and a 2001 and try them out. If I find out anythinginteresting I will post it here.

    Thanks everyone for your input.
     
  13. wyleeboxer

    wyleeboxer Supporting Member

    Apr 28, 2005
    Orange County, CA
    I have a 2000rb and had a problem with the bridge switch after about 5 years of constent giging. The first run of these heads had the fan problem and believe the first run of the 2001rb had a problem as well, but I forget what it was? Anyway, I still love my 2000rb its my main head for everything (even with my Azola Mini bass in a 3 piece acoustic band) one reason being because of the massive headroom. I never need to crank up the volume past 2 or 3, you do need to back off most of the controls like the bottom and contour to get that old 400rb tone, otherwise the head starts to sound more Hi-fi, which it can do but I dont think it sounds so good. I do sometimes crave the tube sound however, maybe Ill put a sansamp in front of it or something, has anyone tried this?
     
  14. nysurf2772

    nysurf2772

    Jun 20, 2005
    my cheap old 400rb-iii sounds pretty nice with a sansamp in front......I think I'd need to burn a bunch more money for something that sounds as good........but if I wanted this sound, who knows what high-end amp sounds like a sansamp+gk?
     
  15. zac2944

    zac2944 Supporting Member

    Dec 28, 2004
    Rochester, NY
    That's the sound I'm after, the old 400RB tone. I just need more power.
     
  16. Joe P

    Joe P

    Jul 15, 2004
    Milwaukee, WI
    I wish you could hear my rig, Man. It absolutely slays.

    All I have to do to switch between KILLER Classic/hard rock and KILLER old-school funk is to switch between steel Boomer Rounds and nickel T.I. Jazz Flat strings on my passive Peavey Foundation 5 - I hardly even change the tone settings on the head to speak of.

    I just can't say enough about this rig, and everybody comments on the astounding tone I get. I know audio pretty well, and understand response charts just fine, and the cab is rated 3dB-down at 43Hz, and TEN-down at thirty-five - but WHAT-ever: those low notes burp out'a-there with authority, and just GRAB you by the lapels!

    Once I get a Bag End sub under there, I'll rule the woooooorrrrld!!

    Joe
     
  17. Nedmundo

    Nedmundo Supporting Member

    Jan 7, 2005
    Philadelphia
    My 700RB-II isn't zingy unless I want it to be. That could be achieved by cranking the presence and treble controls. In fact, its tone with everything flat (and presence and contour off) is much warmer and full than the previous generation, and not zingy at all. I feel I can get "old school" tones much more effectively, but modern hi-fi is on tap as well.
     
  18. Tash

    Tash

    Feb 13, 2005
    Bel Air Maryland
    I think the 2001RB uses the "old" preamp section, with a tone more like the 800RB and old 700RB, not quite the same tone as the new 700/1001RB-IIs

    I might be wrong about that though.
     
  19. just get the 2001rbp (preamp of the 2001) and get a QSC PLX power amp.

    KILLER RIG! with KILLER TONE! :bassist:
     
  20. zac2944

    zac2944 Supporting Member

    Dec 28, 2004
    Rochester, NY
    I've been thinking about it. 2001RBP ~ $450, PLX1602 ~ $700. Not bad if it gets me the tone I want. I want this to be my large rig, and the plx should do nicely.

    I have read threads on the 2001RBP. None of them get into depth on the tone. I really want the tone of an old 400RB. Maybe I should just get a old 400RB and run it into a power amp. I doubt that I'll ever be able to try the 2001RBP without buying one.