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Very strange....

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by songwriter21, Sep 25, 2008.

  1. songwriter21

    songwriter21 I have an obsession for wood. The musical kind. Supporting Member

    Jul 31, 2005
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Sponsored by Hipshot
    Okay, so I'm a huge gear snob, but something weird has happened.

    I recently brought my old Hartke 3500A out of retirement for band rehearsal, and it sounds worlds better than my GK1001RB-II. I've eq'd the living hell out of my GK to the point where I need 2 separate pedals to get the tone I like. My Hartke sounds insane with just the stock, on-board eq.

    The thing is, is that I got the GK to save on weight. The GK is a legendary head, and Hartke has a horrible reputation for some reason. I did some experimenting with the Hartke's eq during our practice, and all of the high-end and harmonics were THERE like never before.

    I'm going to start gigging again with the Hartke, as it's never given me a problem. Well, the transistor blew, but it's a used head. Am I crazy to now retire my GK? Was my Hartke modded by the previous owner and or just a fluke out of the factory?

    Whatever reasons there are, my Hartke sounds amazing with my G-V, yes, a Peavey bass.

    Funny, huh?
  2. I had a 3500. It sounded great but fried itself twice on me. (Power transistors) The Hartke tech said they are very sensitive to power spikes and voltage differences. This was in '93 I think. Use a good conditioner! Good Luck
  3. ccyork


    Jan 26, 2004
    the last few rehearsals, i left my GK700RB-II and Aguilar stack at home and plugged into the PA with a $29 Behringer active DI. it sounded GREAT to me. DOH!

    i guess i'm becoming an "anti-gear snob"

    i am finding that practicing is doing more for my sound than any gear

    you've prolly just become a better bass player since you retired the hartke

    keep it simple is my new motto
  4. Although I use a MarkBass now, I had a Hartke for about 10 years. When I bought it, I tried a bunch of Trace Elliot, GK, Ampeg, etc. and the Hartke was the best sounding to my taste.

    It developed a fault (volume going up and down) which after three attempts to fix kept coming back. In the end I replaced it with a power amp and a SanaAmp BDDI, then the MarkBass.

    I still have it and use it occasionally at home and still really like it.
  5. Standalone


    Jan 17, 2005
    New Haven
    "EQ'd the hell out of..."

    Sounds like you may be getting too far away from what the GK is designed to do. Try bringing it back to flat an clean, play it a while, and then re-tweak it, only less so.
  6. levis76

    levis76 Seconds from getting ba...

    Apr 14, 2007
    Metro Detroit
    Yeah, that about says it right there. The head didn't get better sounding, you did. I used to rock a 3500 and loved it. Ran it with a Hartke 4x10 and 1x15 Transporters. Low budget, low power, good presence though. Never really like the GK heads. They do sound very sterile to me.
  7. JanusZarate

    JanusZarate Low End Avenger Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 21, 2006
    Petaluma, CA, USA
    "EQ'd the living hell" out of a GK head? That's usually not a good sign about your results.

    What do your GK's settings look like right now (and I mean more the EQ - I'm talking about everything!)?
  8. songwriter21

    songwriter21 I have an obsession for wood. The musical kind. Supporting Member

    Jul 31, 2005
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Sponsored by Hipshot
    My settings go as such:

    about 10:00 on the gain (input)
    the first contour knob off
    the PRESENCE knob on max
    TREBLE up to about 10:00
    HIGH-MID up to about 5:00
    LOW-MID a little past 1:00
    BASS between 2 and 3:00

    The WOOFER I set to between 9 and 10:00
    TWEETER is flat

    Then I have a parametric Yamaha NE-1 pedal, along with some added low, low-mid and more high-mid on a Boss bass eq pedal...geesh.
  9. KPAX

    KPAX Banned

    Mar 22, 2005
    GK 700/1001RBII poor tone ...
    How many times? How many threads?
    And here come the defenses ... blaming the victims ...
    To you defenders, denial ain't a river in Egypt.

    Songwriter21, I feel for ya. I've certainly been there.
    I'll point out that the GK 800RB is a legendary head. The good GK rep is based on the 800RB.
    Players get a 700/1001RBII thinking "GK is a legendary head" and the problems begin. The frustration, the gotta have everything else around it exactly right, the constant tweaking but it never really sounds right.
    Good amps aren't like that. They're easy to get a good sound out of because they SOUND GOOD.

  10. JanusZarate

    JanusZarate Low End Avenger Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 21, 2006
    Petaluma, CA, USA
    Seriously, dude. You're not considering the context of the situation.

    My own personal GK fandom aside, I'm not coming here to "defend" GK - I'm just trying to see what the problem was, and if I could help out using my experience. Sometimes people do some silly things with the controls on these heads, and being rather knowledgeable about what these heads can do, I figured I'd give it a shot. I see it happen all the time on amps with graphic EQs, amps with multiple gain stages, etc. - so why not a brand of heads with multiple voicing controls beyond the EQ?

    If he still likes the tone of his Hartke after he's taken our advice, there's nothing wrong with that. Hartke may not be popular like Ampeg or Mesa, but it has its fans and its own sound.

    Any particular reason why you're intent on bashing this brand until you're banned from TB? It makes no sense to me.
  11. KPAX

    KPAX Banned

    Mar 22, 2005
    By all means, help the man.
    I'm not talking about his Hartke.
    BANNED??? Wow.
    Why would I be banned for sharing my experiences and opinion?

  12. JanusZarate

    JanusZarate Low End Avenger Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 21, 2006
    Petaluma, CA, USA
    Sharing experience is fine. Nothing wrong with an opinion, either. But if that were all you were doing, it wouldn't be a problem.

    You keep jumping into GK threads and declaring GK as an undeniably terrible brand. It's malicious and founded only on your personal negative experiences with GK. If you didn't generalize your experience to be "absolute truth" and deliberately seek out new threads to voice this "truth", it wouldn't be a problem.

    I jump into a lot of GK threads to provide guidance. I jump into other threads to give guidance on other heads, too. But no matter what my opinion is, I always remember to respect the opinions of others and what they prefer. I don't go running around in threads focused on other brands to declare how much I hate those products or to say how awful they are and that those users haven't "seen the light" and come over to GK.

    If I ever have to use another GK head besides my own as a backup at a gig, I can get the sound I want in just a few seconds with minimal fuss. I'm familiar enough with how to use the to know what they can and can't do well, and since the GK tone is something I happen to like, it's easy to dial in a sound I like. If others can't find a tone they like, it could be:

    - The cab doesn't work for what they're trying to do
    - They aren't familiar with how to use the controls
    - The bass really doesn't have the sound they want
    - There is some sort of serious technical issue that has nothing to do with how their gear would normally sound
    - The GK sound isn't for them

    And if it happens to be the last thing, I have no problem with that. It just never hurts to look at the forest before nitpicking at a particular tree.
  13. AnalogPackrat


    May 20, 2008
    I use the same head with an Acme Low B2 and four string active and passive Ibanez basses. What kind of tone are you looking to achieve (specific songs or youtube clips would help)? What don't you like about the sound of the GK head? I'm a bit confused that you have cut treble (7k) a little, yet you've maxed out presence (higher treble at 10k). If you are getting too much treble, turn the presence all the way down (that's where mine's set).

    Also, what cab are you using? If you're messing with the tweeter knob I would expect you've got a GK cab and are using the biamp mode with 4 conductor speakon cable, right? How do you have the crossover switches set? What about the 4/5 string switch? Boost?
  14. KPAX

    KPAX Banned

    Mar 22, 2005
    Simply not so.
    I've talked UP the 800RB and talked DOWN the 700/1001RBII and have been clear that those are the only GK products I have experience with.
    Yeah, I'm warning players that the 700/1001RBII are often difficult amps and should not be confused with the 800RB - so what?
    I'm happy you do all those fine things but these threads are soliciting observations and opinions from players who've used these products and had similar problems - that includes me and I'll give my input.

  15. JanusZarate

    JanusZarate Low End Avenger Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 21, 2006
    Petaluma, CA, USA
    But the 700RB-II and 1001RB-II are not the worst amps of all time. And you've asserted that they must be horrible and people who love them are blind to that "fact". In fact, my experience with the 800RB shows that it's not far off from their current line of heads. See the problem yet?

    Do you not see anything wrong with trying to convince everyone that the Mark II amps are complete garbage and people who like them don't know what a good amp really sounds like?

    Simple question, really. I'd ask you to re-read your previous offending posts from an objective standpoint, but I could be asking for too much.

    On a related note...

    I bought a Fender American Deluxe Jazz yesterday and used a 1001RB-II as my test amp, through a Neo 212 and Neo 410 (both GK cabs). In three seconds of tweaking... growly tone, great mids, no complaints. The guys browsing the amps near me liked what they were hearing and started asking questions about what I was using.

    Again, you have to know what you're doing to get get good results, but if you still don't like what you hear, then it's not for you. It doesn't mean it's an unquestionably poor head - clearly, I'm not alone in liking these particular amps.

    Of course, it wasn't just the GK rig. The Jazz was a key part of what they heard. But they weren't going to get their hands on the bass - it was a lefty and I was buying it. :D

    If you had said as much before, we wouldn't be arguing now. :eyebrow:

    I'm really running in circles at this point... if you still don't get what the issue is, feel free to PM me. No sense in clogging up a thread on it.
  16. JanusZarate

    JanusZarate Low End Avenger Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 21, 2006
    Petaluma, CA, USA
    Whoa. Dude, you're all over the map with those settings. What is your goal tone? These settings seem really unnatural, especially with an active bass. I've never cranked the Hi-Mids that high without disliking the result. Not to mention, you've really cranked your Bass and Presence.

    And by Tweeter being "flat", do you mean "turned off" or "12:00"?

    I can't imagine those settings sounding very good, and the EQ pedal settings would only make it worse.

    Also, what's your Boost setting? Pad switch on or off? Using the 5-String button?

    I see a LOT of problems... but without knowing what you're trying to aim for, I can only give some general suggestions on adjustments.
  17. JFace


    Apr 17, 2008
    Columbus, OH

    To the OP:
    GK EQ's are very sensitive, so even small tweaking can produce significant changes. I'd say start flat and make ever so subtle changes.

    Try comparing the hartke and GK when both are set flat, and see if there's a huge difference.
  18. JanusZarate

    JanusZarate Low End Avenger Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 21, 2006
    Petaluma, CA, USA

    And for a "flat" setting on your 1001RB-II...

    I'd suggest setting the input gain knob somewhere between 11:00 and 12:00. Set the Boost to 12:00. Use the pad if needed, but if the "clip" light isn't coming on with aggressive playing, you may not need to use it. Keep the Contour at zero, and set the Presence to zero. Set the tweeter to zero. Set all four EQ knobs at 12:00.
  19. Kael


    Dec 26, 2004
    Oklahoma City
    Hartke's have few fans on these forums, but they really are solid gear. They get needlessly maligned on here a lot. There's nothing wrong with either Hartke or GK, nor is there anything wrong with prefering one to the other.

    I'm nowhere near as famliar with GK's as others on this forum, but I'd say that if you are needing to use that dramatic of EQ with the GK, then it isn't the amp for you.

    PS: What cab are you running these heads through?
  20. sevenyearsdown

    sevenyearsdown Supporting Member

    Jan 29, 2008
    Sanborn, NY
    I've been gigging a 3500 with a power conditioner for 10 years and never had a problem. They are very versatile heads.

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