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The ridiculous Gallien-Krueger 400RB

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Chuck M, Aug 22, 2019.

  1. Chuck M

    Chuck M Supporting Member

    May 2, 2000
    San Antonio, Texas
    Someone mentioned this model of GK amp and I looked to see what was for sale and found one on Ebay listed as "not working or for parts". The seller was a charity and they said it powered up but they had no way to test it.

    I threw a bid at it and won it for $66...$88 total with shipping.

    It arrived today. The pots were dirty...some Deoxit 5 took care of that, some of the fins on the heatsink were bent...careful use of long nose pliers took care of that and it works just fine and sounds so good.

    I have some friends who still gig with the GK 400RB head and for good reason. It is reasonably powerful and sounds just great. Yeah, it is a little heavy and it won't fit in a gig bag but what an amp for less than $100.

    This one will take up residence at our rehearsal space and will power a 4 ohm SWR Goliath, jr 210 that I have that is not being used.
  2. mikeswals

    mikeswals Supporting Member

    Nov 18, 2002
    Seattle / Tacoma
    Awesome deal! I've had a few over the years, love em.
  3. garp


    Feb 7, 2009
    Connecticut USA
    Congrats! Not only did you get a killer amp, but you also: a) helped out a charity; b) prevented another landfill contribution; and c) did your part to keep the economy humming by allowing a logistics company to make a few bucks.
  4. Spirit of Ox

    Spirit of Ox Supporting Member

    Feb 2, 2012
    Chelsea Mass
    Which model is this? I have three GK 400rb heads. One is a 1989 model, one is a 1998 and the other is a 2003.
    The 98 has the fan mod and thermal circuit bypass to keep it from going into protection mode and my 03 is stock and needs that mod since it shuts off after 2 hours of hard 4ohm load playing. I also have a Backline 600 that I'm selling.
    GKs are great amps. Just the 400rb III needs a mod to keep it from protection mode. I personally like the second gen the best. They will heat up but won't shut down and the overdrive a bit nicer and warmer.
    chupacerveza likes this.
  5. Chuck M

    Chuck M Supporting Member

    May 2, 2000
    San Antonio, Texas
    Mine is the later version of the original passively cooled model....simply 400RB. The only thing I see updated on my amp from the very first ones is that mine has a detachable power cable where the first ones had the power cable that is attached to the amp.
    chupacerveza and SirMjac28 like this.
  6. Spirit of Ox

    Spirit of Ox Supporting Member

    Feb 2, 2012
    Chelsea Mass
    Ok that is still a second gen model. So yours has the Gallien Krueger in big lettering on the bottom instead of GK right? I'm actually on the lookout for one and I just saw one for 175 plus 60.00 shipping. These are great amps that are really versatile too. They don't have a real baked in sound but can go from clean and warm to grindy and edgy with the twist of some knobs. I would say the later models are generally more edgy sounding.
    chupacerveza likes this.
  7. kpc


    Apr 6, 2011
    A great deal for sure. I have the 800rb. Just great heads. There workhorses.
    chupacerveza likes this.
  8. Chuck M

    Chuck M Supporting Member

    May 2, 2000
    San Antonio, Texas
    Yes, mine has Gallien-Krueger in big letters along the bottom.
    chupacerveza and Spirit of Ox like this.
  9. Spirit of Ox

    Spirit of Ox Supporting Member

    Feb 2, 2012
    Chelsea Mass
    I think early to mid 90's model. I believe the III came out in 1997
    chupacerveza likes this.
  10. TonyP-

    TonyP- Excuse me but you have your I-IV-V in my II-V-I Gold Supporting Member

    Aug 21, 2003
    Boston Mass
    A-Designs Mike Lull GK Tsunami Cables GHS Strings RMI Basswitch Nordstrand Pickups Darkglass
    I still have a couple and record with them...Love them
    chupacerveza and DrMole like this.
  11. Samatza


    Apr 15, 2019
    Used one for 25 years with zero problems, now play a 1001RB, great amps and that was a good buy. Enjoy!
    chupacerveza likes this.
  12. walking Bass

    walking Bass Supporting Member

    May 24, 2005
    Northern California
    I bought mine new in 1987 with a 410 cabinet and it still sounds great. I've never had it shut down, but don't drive it hard either.

    Happy to hear you fixed it - too many things just get tossed. Congrats!
    chupacerveza likes this.
  13. johnson79


    Jan 8, 2010
    Lancaster, PA
    I thought $200 was a good buy for mine. I had an issue which I thought was a bad input, but it turned out one of the solder points on the input needed to be re-flowed. Works like a champ now!
    chupacerveza likes this.
  14. Lesgo

    Lesgo Supporting Member

    Jun 20, 2016
    Score of the year right here. Love mine. Building a 4 ohm 15 to get everything I can out of it.
  15. thetragichero


    Jan 4, 2019
    you can find some STEALS on nonworking older solid state amps. for some reason folks don't like to work on em.
    i scored an svt-3 pro for dirt cheap and all it needed was the tube gain pot replaced
    the really old ones (60s/70s) with hand drawn circuit boards are a thing of beauty to me
  16. Kmonk


    Oct 18, 2012
    South Shore, Massachusetts
    Endorsing Artist: Fender, Spector, Ampeg, Curt Mangan, Nordstrand Pickups, Korg , Conquest Sound
    Great deal on your part. I've always liked GK. Great sounding amps and cabs. A couple of months ago I found a 400RB 210 combo for $80. I didn't need it but I knew I could sell it for a profit or trade it for something else. I bought it, traded it for an acoustic guitar, traded the acoustic for an Epiphone Les Paul and just traded the Les Paul for this MIM Fender Lined Fretless Jazz bass.
    Wavebird, dralionux, wraub and 7 others like this.
  17. Dincrest

    Dincrest Supporting Member

    Sep 27, 2004
    New Jersey
    I'll bet that rehearsal room rig will sound fantastic. The moment I read "GK 400RB + SWR Goliath Jr" I immediately had a good gut feeling about it.

    I feel like it's a win-win all around. You helped out a charity and got a great head for a honey of a price. I love the sound of GK amps.
    rholler and chupacerveza like this.
  18. Inky13


    Nov 13, 2016
    Buffalo NY
    6DAECE97-852C-4FBB-9B7D-022D4665B876. A local school system was throwing this out.
    Hopefully, I can find it a home.
  19. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    The original 400RB is one of the greatest bass amps ever sold. They are as bulletproof as Peaveys but sound a lot better. "Heavy" is sooooo relative, when they were first introduced in the early 1980s they were considered featherweights. Still plenty around for $200 or less.
  20. groovaholic

    groovaholic The louder the better. Supporting Member

    Sep 19, 2004
    Grand Rapids, MI
    chupacerveza and Inky13 like this.

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