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Warwicks, Gaelin Kreugers, Hartkes & Behringers rigs

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by RiseOfTheWooten, Jan 28, 2006.

  1. I'm in the market for a bass rig so I went to the store today, they had a Hartke rig and a GK rig set up on the floor. The store guy explained that the GK is a better make, has better cab construction, and it produces a smoother round sound (not his exact words) thus it commands a higher price. The Hartke, he explains, is not as well constructed and produces a brighter rougher sound.

    So I ask him to demonstrate these sound qualities for me, he plugs in an OLP bass into the rigs and gives me a demo. Now I don't know if I'm hearing the wrong things but I thought the Hartke rig produced the smoother rounder sound, whereas the GK had a rougher, almost buzzing (or diesel-like engine rumble?) sound at the higher volume. Does that sound right to you guys? I remember a couple of years ago at another store the salesperson mentioned that the Hartke sound was better for punk and rockabilly sounds....?

    When price came into consideration, the Warwick rig was looking very affordable. But the advice given to me about the Warwick rigs is that they're mostly good for funk/slapping styles of playing.

    I can certainly afford the Behringer rigs as well but considering their business practice and quality of (or lack of) construction which I've heard so much about here, I'm not too sure if I'm going to have a look at them. They're incredibly affordable though, I may still fall back on them.

    I've read through the TB forums and read up about the amps and rigs and hoped that talking with the store people would help clear up some things for me, but I've come away a little more confused.

    When it comes down to it, I'm heading towards the Warwick rigs due to affordability. I checked the TB gear review but there isn't much info on them.

    Can you guys help me sort through this?
  2. I wouldn't worry too much about the categories the salesperson mentioned, like, that one's good for slap, that one's good for punk.

    Take your bass down there and see which one produces the sound you like when you are playing. Also consider how the rigs will sound when turned up to gig levels. The GK for instance may still be clean and articulate at high volumes where the Hartke may sound more like a buzzsaw.

    Finally research the features of the available rigs and match the sound you want up with a feature set that is in your budjet.
  3. tplyons


    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    What kind of GK was it? RB or Backline series? I've heard a few sales clowns knocking GK quality based on the Backline series, which I still believe is head and shoulders above other brands like Behringer.

    Hartke, though, was great back in the day. But IMO, the current stuff they produce is utter garbage.
  4. tadawson


    Aug 24, 2005
    Lewisville, TX
    The GK gear can get "dieseley" (for lack of a better word) if the boost control is used liberally. If you want damn loud and clean, turn down the boost . . . .

    - Tim
  5. GK stuff is great. They have a trademark sound i reckon, very clean, very growly or diesely as you put it. I currently own a GK400RB and think its great.

    I have just purchased a Warwick pro410 to go with it, but it had a vibration problem so thats off getting fixed. But apart frm that it sounds great. Its like a darker sounding Ampeg cab IMO.

    Hartke... well. The cab im currently using is a Hartke VX410, and it seemed fine to start with. Ive had it for a total of 3 months and stuff is starting to go wrong. As said above, their new stuff is pretty much rubbish. Its loud, but the tone is just not there. IMHO theyre just a more innovative Behringer... Maybe a bit higher build quality.

    Dont forget to try out different combinations too, your cab brand doesnt have to match the brand of your head.
  6. I second these folks. GK rigs can get really really piercing if not properly eq'd. With some knob tweaking I've been able to get some of the best AND worst sounds I've heard out of a bass rig. The good sounds were amazingly good though. Funny about behringer rigs. I've noticed alot of stores stocking their cabinets. When I purchased my Genz Benz cabinet, one of the store clerks told me that I'm "wasting" my money buying anything besides behringer becuase they're "just as good but cost 1/3 as much as the others." All I could do is laugh and say that I was looking to match my amp and cabinet, so I'll pass on that offer.
  7. playmybass


    Mar 28, 2004
    Tucson, Az
    Ive seen a lot of metal/hardcore band susing warwick rigs. Sounds like a meatier ampeg imo...
  8. GAS!
  9. I had previously heard a lot about certain brands of bass rigs for certain types of music and that just throws me off. Is there some truth in what they say or is it all a load of crock? I mean, I'm not going to go see a gig at the local pub and laugh that the bass player is rigged up with an 'inappropriate' brand of gear, but that's me.

    It was the GK 400RB-IV bass head, 280 watts. He wasn't knocking the GKs though, in fact he was all for them over the Hartkes.

    So it wasn't just me! My initial impression was that that diesel engine 'sound' does more for a hardrock player.

    I was considering different combinations, maybe the GK head with the Hartke 4x10 (cos they're that much cheaper) but now I see what you're saying about the Hartkes seem to reflect what the sales guy was saying about poorer cab construction.. what kind of music do you play? Do your Hartke cabs go through a bit of rough-and-tumble at your gigs? What about the Warwick you purchased, what happened there?

    Man, you guys are really turning me off the Behringers. The GK rigs - I'm hearing you guys acknowledge that growl sound but how many of you use it? It's not a feature that goes against the GK brand?

    Meatier is good!

    The way things are looking, I think I am heading towards the Warwick rig (based on price) with the GK setup coming up right behind. The GKs are a bit more expensive though and that is my main concern. Have many of you had much experience with the Warwicks?
  10. Most of us agree that the GK growl is a very good thing, and is probably what made them adored by many. I've seen many a GK rig played live and they really do sound amazing. I don't want to jump on the Behringer bashing bandwagon, because my band uses a behringer mixer and it has been wonderful. The last studio we went into had a behringer mixer which we used and the sound was fantastic. If you know how to use your gear you can get a good sound out of just about anything. I think most people's complaints is that they tend to break alot. My point was that I think it was a little strange for a sales guy at a music store to claim that the only difference among gear is price. I believe this to be untrue. I've had good experiences with behringer, but regarding their attention to detail, construction quality, and overall sound, they are not in the same league as GK or Warwick.
  11. I'm totally new to amplification and rigs, I started off with the double bass and I have a couple of basses at home which I use to play around on ProTools, so rigs are totally new to me. But I don't doubt that the GK rigs are great, they've got quite a bit of positive visibility out there.

    I agree. That's the thing I keep hearing about the Behringers - some people say they sound great and they don't regret the purchase. Others say Behringer's have questionable quality in their products and will likely break down within a few months or a year. Others totally trash Behringer for their questionable business practice which I can understand.

    But anyway that was why I think I'll check out the Warwick rig which is priced between the Behringer and GK rigs. I was previously considering the Hartkes too.
  12. Im still waiting to hear back from the shop about my cab. They rep came out and said it was either some screw holder thingos :meh: were missing, or it was the wood on the front vibrating. Theyre currently sending out the parts to try and see if it works, if not, theyre sending me a new cab :)

    I love the sound of my GKs growl. Its awsome. I think its a very versatile cab too, the EQ is great. To remove the growl you can turn down the boost control and or use the contour control to scoop your mids a little bit.

    I play heavyish, psychadelic, prog styles of music. But i learnt bass playing some funk and stuff, and i can get all these tones.

    The thing i like about the GK 400RB-IV into my Warwick, is that warwick is very meaty, mid rangish and growly, so i use the contour to scoop my mids a little bit, then boost them at the eg a bit, cut hi mids, leave treble as it is and sometimes boost the bass a little if its needed, with the boost turned up a little, and presence up a bit too for that extra something when popping/slapping. Oh man, the tone is sweet, awsome fingerstyle growl.

    You should try it in the store ;)

    If the hartke 410 cab is the VX series, stay away. When being played with a decent head, they seem to go bad. My mate who works in the music shop agrees and warned me of this too.

  13. Groovatism


    Dec 14, 2005
    The Ashdown MAG 300H is hard to beat in it's price range (commonly goes for $300US). It's very versatile, very "quiet", and has been 100% reliable in the last year and a half.

    As for cabinets, you may want to visit the site of Bill Fitzmaurice. If you have some woodworking skills and a bit of free time, you may want to consider his DIYS cabinet designs. Although some of his designs require rather advanced woodworking skill, some of his designs are faily simple, requiring very basic tools and skills. Even if you decide not to build any of them, visiting his site and forum will be very enlightening and educational. Besides all of that, Bill's just one HELLUVA great guy. :)