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GK MB112 seems boomy

Discussion in 'Amps [BG]' started by Promit, Feb 3, 2014.


  1. Promit

    Promit

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2013
    This is my first "real" bass amp (ie not a 15W 1x8 learning toy) and I don't know if the problem is the amp, or my expectations, poor room acoustics, or even my poor playing ability. Basically, the GK seems quite boomy, lacking in punch, etc. It reminds me of a lower mid priced hifi sub -- powerful and room filling, but not especially precise or musical.

    I've sort of got the amp under control by rolling the bass and lo-mid EQ way back and the treble way up, but I don't know if such extreme EQ adjustments are normal. Should I be thinking about returning this amp and trying something else?
     
  2. lz4005

    lz4005

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2013
    "Boomy, lacking punch but powerful and room filling" seems a bit contradictory.

    What kind of bass are you using, with what strings? What are the volume/tone/EQ settings on the bass? Are you tuned to standard or drop Z? Are you using your fingers or a pick? What, if any, effects are you using? How high do you have the volume controls on the amp?
     
  3. jobu3

    jobu3 Artist formerly known as Big Joe Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2002
    Location:
    Scranton, PA
    Turn the contour down
     
  4. Promit

    Promit

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2013
    Any big speaker can go boooohhhhhmmmmm. There's a difference between that and punch, which is a much faster more powerful and more precise response. Think of the stereotypical "10s vs 15s" argument. Think of the crappy subwoofers idiots add to cars versus a high end home theater model. Maybe that clarifies.
    I'm still experimenting with a lot of this stuff, so what I can tell you is 4 string standard tuned Ibanez GSR200FM. Dry chain, and I'm running the amp about half way on the gain (which is about right to match up with a drum set and my guitar amps). The answers to the rest of your questions are "all of them".

    Again, I really have to emphasize that I don't know what I'm doing here -- I'm coming from the six string world. I just feel like what I'm hearing in the room is very imprecise compared to what I expect. I don't know if it's the amp, the room (which is acoustically problematic), or me (whose playing is probably problematic). I may just drag the amp into GC, line it up against a Mark Bass, and see what happens.
     
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  6. Joe Louvar

    Joe Louvar

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2011
    Location:
    Santa Rosa, CA USA
    Room acoustics has a Big influence - first, just try the amp in another room. Also, try this ~ turn the Contour OFF, Boost OFF, and set the Treble at 10 o'clock, High and Low Mid at 1 o'clock, Bass at 10 o'clock. It varies a little across models, but this should get you closer to flat more or less - and then fine tune it from there.
     
  7. 4Mal

    4Mal Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2002
    Location:
    Columbia River Gorge
    If it is the silver faced, first generation - they do that. Kinda boomy. To fix it, get some poly fill sheet - not the loose stuff - from walmart and a can of 3m sray adhesive. Using a phillips screw driver, pull the grill screws, remove the grill, pull the speaker out, note which wire attaches to which terminal on the speaker. Mark oe with a sharpie o you kowwhich goes where... Measure the interior panels, cut sheet to size, a little over size is OK. Use the spray adhesive on the cab, put the sheet in place and do this for each of the interior panels. As you do the bottom of the cab stay a couple of inches away from the opening of the port into the cab. You don't want to block that in any way.

    Give the glue a little while to setup. Say 30 min. Install the speaker - get the leads on the correct terminals! Do not overtighten the screws. It's mdf IiRC, too much force nd you can strip it. If you do, then tee nuts are the answer but your afternoon just turned to evening :)

    Once reassembled, fire it up. You will notice a litle less volume overall - the result of killing off some excess low mids... Mine sounds a ton better after doing the same thing.

    Also IIRC, later versions come with the cab's lined.
     
  8. lz4005

    lz4005

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2013
    If you think your playing might be the problem, see what it sounds like playing a recording you're really familar with through the aux in. That will remove you from the equation and should tell you if it's the room or if there is something wrong with the amp.
     
  9. Promit

    Promit

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2013
    Yeah, I forgot to mention explicitly that it's a first gen silverface. Not really sure if I want to go through the hassle of filling, I guess it depends on the cost of the fill versus what I can get from a different amp.
     
  10. eriky4003

    eriky4003

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2011
    Location:
    Ottawa, ON, Canada
    A lot of good advice here.
    Is your bass active? Does your bass have a spot for a battery? There may be a -10db switch and this may bring some of the boominess down. Another idea is to lift the cabinet off the ground. Resonance from a wood floor may be contributing to its boominess.
    Your equing instincts seem sound. I have a GK MB500 with similar eq (1:30 on low-mid and 10:30 on bass). Try to eq to your taste then see if the Contour is of any value.
    Good luck!
     
  11. NWB

    NWB

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2008
    Location:
    Kirkland, WA
    I played one of the newer MB112 combos at a GC and found the same thing. A boomy and uncontrolled low-end.

    My guess is that it's a result of no interior cabinet lining.
     
  12. therhodeo

    therhodeo

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2011
    Location:
    Owasso OK
    Poly fill should be <$10.

    Oh and make sure your amp isn't in a corner.
     
  13. blowinblue

    blowinblue Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2006
    I have one of the newer MB112-II's that you speak of and mine is not boomy nor does it have an uncontrolled low end. This is a conclusion I have arrived at after much private practice at home and numerous full band rehearsals at modest volumes. Peeking inside I can see black or very dark gray lining on the interior of the cab. Either that or the insides of the wood panels are very bumpy. LOL. If I were the OP I would try to line the inside of the box before giving up. It's a very inexpensive fix. Or return it (if possible) and purchase the series II.

    Of course, if I wanted to I could make this little guy sound like poo. I could turn up the contour knob and suck every last bit of life out of it. But I don't. And none of you should do that, either. :)

    M. M.
     
  14. 4Mal

    4Mal Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2002
    Location:
    Columbia River Gorge
    Lining the cab fixes the problem. Takes $20 or less and and hour's time... Lot's of TB'ers that have that amp do the job. It's easy and cheap. After the 'mod' you have a much better sounding little rig.

    Lining a bass cab is a basic part of tuning. Not really sure why GK didn't line the first gen amps. Definate oversite in my opinion and I am a GK fan indeed.
     
  15. stonewall

    stonewall Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2010
    Location:
    ontario,Canada
    Just curious why would you buy a cabinet when you dont like the sound of it?
     
  16. NWB

    NWB

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2008
    Location:
    Kirkland, WA
    Hmm. I wonder what was going on then?

    I definitely didn't have any contour going on. Bass cut and mids boosted a bit. It was a passive jazz bass.

    Maybe I was getting some bad room effects?
     
  17. chaosMK

    chaosMK

    Joined:
    May 26, 2005
    Location:
    Albuquerque, NM
    Disclosures:
    Hi-fi into an old tube amp
    Could be room, where you are standing in the room, and your bass (bass itself, strings) too. I am surprised you are getting a boom tone with lows and low mids dialed back.
     
  18. blowinblue

    blowinblue Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2006
    My bad. This amp has a contour button, not a knob. Which when pushed in is like a knob turned up all the way. LOL. I just pretend it's not there. And I run the four tone controls at or near noon. I have no idea why NWB got such poor results when he played through one.

    M. M.
     
  19. vince a

    vince a

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2006
    Location:
    Modesto, CA
    I had the same problem with my MB first series combo amp, and that remedy that you discovered worked fine. It might help to raise it up off of the ground - sort of de-coupling it from the floor a little! I used a plastic milk crate upside down to do that.

    I've since acquired the new series MB212-II, and I can use any amount of lower EQ without 'boominess." I highly recommend upgrading to the new II series, or continue to lower your bottom two EQ settings.

    I like the sound AND weight of the new II series . . . will also acquire the 500 watt 410 powered cabinet extension soon!
     
  20. Steve S

    Steve S

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2000
    All of the newer versions of the GK 112 are lined?
     
  21. vince a

    vince a

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2006
    Location:
    Modesto, CA
    Don't know . . . and I'm not about to take a perfectly working amp apart to find out! Contact GK . . .
     

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