GK RB / MB Question

Discussion in 'Amps [BG]' started by Jim C, Jan 23, 2014.


  1. Jim C

    Jim C Supporting Member

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    Nov 29, 2008
    Do either the MB500 / 800 sound like an RB series as far as baked in tone. Can you explain the differences?
    Can I assume that the Fusion models get farther away from the RB sound?

    As per a previous post, does the amp section from an old MB200 combo (from the 80's) sound like an RB head?
     
  2. 4Mal

    4Mal Supporting Member

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    Based on the gk 1001 rb ii and MB2-500 (A07) heads i have owned in the past, as well as a couple of 400 's of varying vintages... I would call the differences subtle until you get into the infamous 'Grind' discussion. I go for clean sounds with quick, clean punch and tight low end, so Grind is not the reason i prefer GK. The MB2, mine was the last of that series just prior to rebadging as the mB500 and adding the limiter switch... IIRC that was the real difference in those two heads, by A07 they had the tone stack sorted ... The Mb2 had the same mild scoop with everything set flat. That is a part of what I think of as the Gk sound.

    The Fusion's highs are more laid back but have a nice sheen to them, the upper mids are a little less aggressive. Overall the head feels 'softer', not compressed until it gets pushed really hard, but just less aggressive. I hadn't thought of this analogy before but a lot of what I like in the Fusion is a lot of what I liked in my old Eden WT heads...

    My rigs have generally needed very little EQ for me to get happy regardless of GK or Eden... My old Music Man tube amp prequires considerable knob twiddling for me to get happy... That would be the old Fender interactive tone stack at work I guess...
     
  3. Jerry Ziarko

    Jerry Ziarko Supporting Member

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    4Mal pretty much nailed it. I found the 1001RBII to be quite different than the old RB series, maybe it was just me. The MB's though, although having subtle differences, are definitely a very close relative. I owned a MB500 and a Fusion 500 at the same time. To be honest, it was hard to pick one over the other to bring to a gig. Two very close flavors of good IMO. If you like the tone of a 400RB, the MB series will be right up your alley.
     
  4. WingKL

    WingKL

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    May 12, 2007
    As mentioned, the RB and MB series amps have very similar preamp sections which gives the amps similar clean tones. However the power sections are different, and this is the bulk of the difference in tone between GK amps especially when pushed. The MB series will not do the classic "GK growl" as it does not "hit the rails" the same way as an RB series amp might.
     
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  6. B-string

    B-string Gold Supporting Member

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    I would have to say the differences are subtle as far as the basic "controls at noon"/"baked in" eq. The RB series offer more variables for tailoring tone and are generally more aggressive sounding. The MB series a touch more on the smooth side. Fusions are the least frequency limited and what has been said above about the highs end I also agree with.
     
  7. Jim C

    Jim C Supporting Member

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    Nov 29, 2008
    Thanks; very helpful information.
     
  8. jnewmark

    jnewmark Supporting Member

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    But do both series have the " GK Sound " ? I owned a RB700II, and a MB 200. The 200 was limited in EQ as compared with the RB700, but, I thought they both had that " tone " I associate with GK amps, mainly a more " blunt " sound, even when set flat ( whatever that means ! ). Hard to describe accurately, but, if you have ever played guitar with a 3 position toggle switch, the GK amps always sounded to me like a guitar with the switch pointed toward the neck, while other amps, like Genz Benz, had more of a middle position, a little " sweeter " tone like the middle position on a guitar. Very subjective, I know, but it's the best way for me to describe it.
     
  9. 4Mal

    4Mal Supporting Member

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    That might be because when the tone controls on a GK are set at noon, there is a slight scoop in the EQ. If you want flat you have to either drop the Bass & Treble or raise the lower and upper mids a smidge.
    That scoop gives the GK's a nice user friendly tone right out of the box...
     
  10. Jerry Ziarko

    Jerry Ziarko Supporting Member

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    No mistaking the MB series for a GK, and that includes the Fusion.
     

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