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What's the deal with GK?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by troutfishing, Oct 20, 2019.

  1. troutfishing


    Oct 10, 2019
    Certain amp brands seem to attract certain crowds of players (yes, I'm generalizing) e.g. SVTs and rock and punk; Markbass and jazz; Mesa and metal, but GK seems to attract a very diverse crowd, from metal to funk to jazz. What's the deal with GK?
    TonyP- likes this.
  2. Al Kraft

    Al Kraft Supporting Member

    May 2, 2016
    Northern Virginia
    I will first agree that GK appeals to a wide range of players, but I'm not sure the other examples for the other brands you mentioned are accurate generalizations. For instance, IME Mesa and Ampeg can as easily be found on a country stage as a rock stage as a metal stage. Admittedly some brands do a have a voicing or characteristic that may make it more popular for particular styles, but I own SWR, Eden, GK, Mesa, Aguilar, Bergantino and AudioKinesis equipment and all of it works fine for classic to current rock, country, bluegrass, whatever.
    DJ Bebop, red_rhino, fhm555 and 17 others like this.
  3. Samatza


    Apr 15, 2019
    GK amps are fairly versatile. I've owned an old 400RB and now a 1001RB with two 1x12 cabinets. I can pull a good range of sounds out of it with the 4 band EQ and it has heaps of power. The voicing filter which is variable on the 1001RB is great for scooping the mids. Their G.I.V.E. sort of mimics valves so it adds some warmth to the bottom.

    Compared to my Eden 550 the GK has a more raw sort of in your face tone but the fact is that it cuts through anything. The last time I used it was in a very big room with a loud drummer and it didn't break a sweat. The guys in the band commented on how solid the sound was that night.

    I've always enjoyed using that amp but these days I don't need that sort of power very often and usually I don't need an amp at all but it still comes out to play when required.
  4. marqueemoon


    Oct 8, 2019
    Can’t speak for the newer stuff, but the 800RB/400RB has a characteristic subtle growl that works well for a variety of styles. Very well voiced and musical EQ too.
  5. DavidEdenAria


    Dec 13, 2013
    On a Hill
    Own a GK 400RBIII and a GK 800RB as well as an Eden Metro and a Music Man 150....love the 800RB and it definitely has some attitude whereas the Eden Metro is a bit more tube like...this is thru the same cabinets btw.
    DJ Bebop, Arthur U. Poon and Stumbo like this.
  6. socialleper

    socialleper Bringer of doom and top shelf beer Supporting Member

    May 31, 2009
    Canyon Country, CA
    I don't really find that brands are so genre specific. It really comes down to what the bass player wants to say with their tone.
    While some brands like Orange or Fender are going to have a particular niche, the OP is right that GK is used in a lot of genres. Their amps have a pretty specific character to them, so you have to want that tone. I was pretty disappointed with their cabs but I would try there heads again. I've just never got around to buying one.
  7. crankypants


    Aug 12, 2019
    What's the deal with airline peanuts?
  8. Passinwind

    Passinwind I know nothing. Commercial User

    Dec 3, 2003
    Columbia River Gorge, WA.
    Owner/Designer &Toaster Tech Passinwind Electronics
    They're all pre-CBS, what's not to love?
    Rich48, DJ Bebop, red_rhino and 26 others like this.
  9. Slater

    Slater Leave that thing alone. Supporting Member

    Apr 17, 2000
    The Great Lakes State
    All I can think of is this being asked be Jerry Seinfeld, “What’s the deal…with GK? Who are these GK users?” :D
    DJ Bebop, red_rhino, dave64o and 10 others like this.
  10. Stumbo

    Stumbo Wherever you go, there you are. Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 11, 2008
    Song Surgeon slow downer. https://tinyurl.com/y5dcuqjg
    " I don't really find that brands are so genre specific. It really comes down to what the peanut eater wants to say with their taste.

    While some brands like Virginia or Spanish are going to have a particular niche, the OP is right that airline peanuts are used in a lot of genres. Their shells have a pretty specific character to them, so you have to want that taste. I was pretty disappointed with their almonds but I would try their peanuts again. I've just never got around to buying some." :laugh:
    DJ Bebop, Hand slap, Ellery and 6 others like this.
  11. alaskaleftybass

    alaskaleftybass Will Hanbury, Jr. Supporting Member

    Mar 21, 2012
    Sitka, Alaska
    During my glory years in the 70's and 80's I used Peavey. They gave me a nice growly tone and could really pump out a loud, aggressive sound as needed.

    I took a short hiatus during the 90s as I was working on learning IT support. In the 2000's I came out of hiatus and still used my ancient Peaveys. When I found the GK sound, I warehoused my Peaveys and moved to the GK's because they had that punchy loud in your face tone I had with the Peaveys, but they were loud, aggressive, and lightweight and modern.

    I now use a GK MB500 and a GK MB200 as backup. But I've never needed the backup! They are dead reliable. With my MB500 I can draw out any tone I need for any gig I have. The GK MB series are a wonder of modern technology. Affordable, loud, toneful, and compact. Plus they are bullet-proof. You rarely see rants about dead GK's here on Talkbass. The amps are all things to all bass players.
  12. mouthmw


    Jul 19, 2009
    I'd say Ampeg attracts a diverse crowd too, in fact any popular brand does.

    It's all personal preference. I use GK (2001RB with 410RBH or 412 NEO) because I love the powerful punchy tone, the power and the versatility.

    I use it for old school hard rock like Led Zep tribute with my P with flats, and lemme tell you there's nothing modern about that tone. Just a fantastic, old school, thumpy P with flats tone. I love it.

    On the other hand, I use it with my Stringrays as well (for RHCP tribute for example). Then it turns into a growly, punchy, aggressive beast. I love it.

    It just makes the character of any bass I put into it shine. I played other amps, and liked some more than others, but GK just feels like home now. I'd love to give an SVT all-tube through an 810 a try though. I had Ampeg 810 for a long time too, but paired it with an old crappy Kustom amp, and later with GK 700RB-II which was awesome, but never with an all-tube SVT.
  13. dave_bass5


    May 28, 2004
    London, UK.
    Ive had a GK MB800 for about 4 years. I originally got a fusion 800 but when i opened the box it was in very poor condition (badly manufacturer). Sent it straight back and got the MB800. Love the tone (although a bit bored of it now) but its the only head ive owned where i have had faults from day 1. XLR out doesn't work at all (only found this out after about 2 years though), and on a few occasions ive had to wait about 10mins before any sound, although the map is on and no warning lights are showing. Still love it though and not bashing GK as such.
  14. lowplaces

    lowplaces Got Punch ?

    Dec 20, 2015
    Louisville Kentucky
    What is the best nut for metal ?
    lizardking837 and teh-slb like this.
  15. Hex
  16. RumbleMan3


    Apr 14, 2018
    Bernard Edwards used Ampeg. And I think Jerry Barnes also uses Ampeg now too, and he also used Aguilar DB from memory. That ain’t rock music!

    Also I’ve seen aguilar used for rock and heavy music as much as it is used for pop and rnb.
    DJ Bebop and Al Kraft like this.
  17. RumbleMan3


    Apr 14, 2018
    I’ve never liked GK. I’ve tried, but I just don’t, and I fail to see the obsession others have with it either, that “GK rules all and everything else sucks”.

    It’s a harsh, unnatural sound to me. A couple times I’ve used a GK rig that a venue has provided me, I have major issues with volume or tone in the mix. Everything always sounds boosted and clipping. I play even at quiet volumes and it’s all crunchy. It seems the strong deep bass that’s a big culprit in the clipping, can’t be dialed out properly either. I tried my hardest to play around with EQ to get a nice clean tone, but it was just impossible to work with.

    And another thing, I like my high mids... this amps high mids were way too pokey and harsh.

    GK, IME, Cannot perform cleanly. Don’t know whether the amp or the cabinet was the issue, maybe both, but I’m not impressed at all.

    I don’t know the model of the cab. I remember the cab was a 4x10 though. And the head looked big, but I didn’t take any note of the model.

    Again, this was my experience. There are a lot out there who seem to like GK. That’s fine if they like it. I dont.
    wmhill likes this.
  18. Blaze Barlow

    Blaze Barlow

    Mar 8, 2018
    and its all going to depend on what type of speaker cones you play through.....when I was coming up...everybody had fender and peavey cabs..I had the fenders...one day I was in the local music shop and plugged into an 18 inch peavey speaker cab loaded with a black widow..and the sound was so awesome..and my sound perspective was right up on the cab...I wanted that sound..it was so penetrating..but I never pulled the trigger...........as a side note..I was playing through a 300 watt ss fender bass amp...at that time I was playing through a 4x12 sunn cab..but that 1x18 black widow outpunched the cab I was using..nobody was using 18 inch cones for bass back at that time in my area..today I am using ampeg cabs..and I also like the greenboy fearless..and the barefaced cabs..and I know there are other good ones too..mostly I am using combinations of 10 inch cone speakers..but like the sound of the 12's..
    DJ Bebop and alaskaleftybass like this.
  19. nnnnnn


    Oct 27, 2018
    I was just using my Mesa to play the (70s) Wonder Woman theme here in my loungeroom. Before that it was Queen, Toto, and Stevie Wonder.
    DJ Bebop likes this.
  20. cnltb


    May 28, 2005
    Good, versatile amps and grown up marketing?

    I'd still go with something else as a main amp.
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2019
    arbiterusa likes this.

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