Sunday, May 22, 2011

Memory Lane: Gallien-Krueger 250ML

Hi there!

For its size, the Gallien-Krueger 250ML has to be the loudest combo amplifiers I ever owned. And it is small: 13” wide by 9” tall by 6“ deep and weighing in at only 22 pounds.

It seems like yesterday, but these amplifiers were introduced in the 1980s and were a huge hit because of their small size and high output (100 watts). They came with two 6.5-inch Pyle speakers in their aluminum cases, but also have two 16-ohm outputs if more macho speaker cabinets were needed. They

Though these amps have plenty of features, they are not a total knob farm. There are inputs on the front for the instrument, a footswitch and headphones (yay!). There were also A and B channels, as well as master volume and gain controls, and a four band EQ. For good measure GK also included kind of useless non-adjustable echo and reverb ON/OFF switches.

On the back there is a lot less going on, with extension cabinet outs, an effects loop and a direct out socket.

Gallien-Krueger got Alex Lifeson of Rush to endorse the 250ML, and that was enough to get me to buy one back in 1989 (or so). BTW, musical instrument manufacturers should pay attention to the trends and market their wares better, including getting them to top performers. It really does work…

Anyway, it was a fun amplifier for me. The 250ML had a ton of power and could destroy my hearing, and never broke down on me (or overheated and shut down). But it was kind of a one-trick pony. I only liked its clean sound channel, and the tone was way too sharp when using the internal speakers at higher volume levels.

I eventually sold it because I never needed the kind of volume potential it had, and craved the warm sound of tubes that it could never provide. I believe I replaced it with a Fender Champ, and have most always had some sort of Champ variant ever since.


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