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Guitar Musician e-zine 01/11/06
In This Issue:
| "... I think people overemphasize the importance of gear in
their search for tone. Your sound comes from how you pick and dampen the
strings, and from your attack as much as anything..."
- Eric Johnson
Two old guys are pushing their carts around Home Depot when they collide.
The first guy says to the second guy, "Sorry about that. I'm looking for my wife, and I guess I wasn't paying attention to where I was going."
The second old guy says, "That's OK. It's a coincidence. I'm looking for
my wife, too. I can't find her and I'm getting a little desperate."
The first old guy says, "Well, maybe we can help each other. What does your wife look like?
The second old guy says, "Well, she is 27 yrs old, tall, with blonde hair, blue eyes, long legs, big boobs, and she's wearing tight white shorts. What does your wife look like?"
The first old guy says, "Doesn't matter --- let's look for yours.
A Lesson For The Learning
Interested in guitar lessons? - Be sure and check out the guitar lessons offered by Andrew Koblick at Amazing Guitar
Gallien-Krueger Backline Bass Amps
Gig-ready amps with the GK sound, affordably priced
By Thurston Willmier
It's a wonderful thing when gear becomes more affordable. It also calls up such questions as "is it any good?" This was precisely my concern when given the assignment to review GK's Backline series bass amps and speakers. I have used a GK combo for years�a 700RB�and have liked it a lot. It is strong, clean, and a highly adjustable bass rig. Since the Backline models cost about half what the RB amps cost, I knew they couldn't match the RB features, but would they have the sound? GK amps have always had a character and quality that have won the respect of bass players over the years. Would the Backlines dent that reputation or build on it?
Two for the show . . .
Immediately I saw its resemblance to my 700RB combo�same rockback-style cab, same carpet covering, same 16-gauge stamped grille, same corner protectors. Only the amp face is different�definitely a GK look, clean and businesslike. They've done away with the red Backline logo, which makes it look more like an RB. It has fewer controls, a three-band EQ, and a simpler line out setup, but it is definitely a little brother of the RB.
The sound check
Though only three bands, the EQ is active and works very much like the four tone controls I'm familiar with, and the contour button was essentially the same as on my RB. I understand that many of the components used in the Backlines are the same as in the RBs.
One thing the Backline amps have that the RBs lack is a second channel for overdrive. It's not a fully independent channel, but it has gain and level knobs for dialing up any degree of distortion you want from just a bluesy touch of grit to a full-on grind. Quite a few current bands play a style that wants a degree of distortion, so it's a nice feature.
I would sum up the Backline 112 as a great-sounding, quite versatile and very portable combo with enough volume to cover smaller gigs. Compared with others in its price range, it has to be a standout. It delivers an amazing high ratio of what you get for what you pay. And it's all GK. The series also includes a 115 and a 210 with more power and several step-up features.
Next, the big gun
It's a fairly compact cab. The four tens pretty much fill it. It's just under two feet high and wide, and a full 18" deep, which is good for low-end response. It's unported, wired for 8 ohms, and the speakers rate at 100 watts each for a total of 400 watts handling. It's just what you need for a powerful head like the Backline 600.
The Backline 600 is just the head to put on top of a 410BLX or two. It is the powerhouse of the Backlines, with 300 watts. It can easily push the 410BLX or even two of them for the really big gigs. It's not just a matter of volume, although the 600 can crank up enough to shake the nails out of the floorboards. With this kind of power, you can get such clean, focused lows�the kind of sound that can punch you in the face or blow puffs of wind at you. And with this reserve power connected to four tens, the result is a very defined sound, the kind that assists your articulation and timing. It's an amp that works with the bass player striving to improve.
The Backline 600 has the same distortion channel found in the combo. I wish my RB had it. It lets you get a tone as nasty as you like it without astronomical volume. Some of us aren't playing in big coliseums regularly, and with the drive channel, you can get extreme tone at any volume.
Overall, I was quite impressed with both Backline rigs I tried. They certainly have the GK sound I am used to hearing. Both are perfectly gig capable with all the essential features you want in a working amp. And be prepared for a reverse sticker shock when you check out the prices. They are jaw-droppingly low. Now the GK sound and the power to groove is within reach of any bass player.
Features & Specs:
GUITAR Q AND A
Tuning Your Guitar For Beginners
Gavin Harrington; Sydney Australia
Hold down the 6th string 5th fret and pick that note, than play the 5th string open and tune it to match that pitch.
Hold down the 5th string 5th fret and pick that note, than play the 4th string open and tune it to match that pitch.
Hold down the 4th string 5th fret and pick that note, than play the 3rd string open and tune it to match that pitch.
Hold down the 3rd string 4th fret and pick that note, than play the 2nd string open and tune it to match that pitch.
Hold down the 2nd string 5th fret and pick that note, then play the 1st string open and tune it to match that pitch.
This method should get your guitar in tune with it self pretty close but it will take some time to fine tune (pun intended) the process.
Here are a few tips to tune with an electronic tuner:
Make sure that the battery is hooked in properly and is fresh.
Make sure that your volume knob is turned up all the way on 10 or your tuner will not pick up the sound of your guitar.
If your strings are way out of tune the tuner may not pick up the right frequency so you would want to use the section in the beginning of the DVD to get your guitar close to tune then use the built in tuner.
If you still don't have much luck with the tuning you can always bring your guitar to a local music store and ask them to tune it for you, they are always very eager to help.
Hope this helps!
Yours in Music
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