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Anyone here ever use the GK MB150 series?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Panther, Dec 9, 2004.


  1. Panther

    Panther

    Dec 9, 2004
    Nova Scotia
    Hi gang,

    I was wondering if anyone has owned or used the GK MB150 series amp. I have back problems, and my Trace Elliot 712 is too heavy (65lbs) to put into my trunk. The MB's are 24lbs, and that would make gigging much easier.

    I live in Eastern Canada, so GK amps aren't 'in stock items' meaning if I want it, I have to order it, and it is non refundable. So I'm just trying to gather as much info as possible on this before I made the plunge.

    As well, if anyone can offer an alternative, I'd be much appreciative...

    Thanks!
     
  2. basss

    basss

    Aug 27, 2001
    NYC
    I've used one for the last 12 years or so. It's very loud for its size and has a good EQ. It's great for gigs in small rooms and with an extension cab hooked up it can cover reasonably loud situations. It's the perfect amp for semi acoustic jazz gigs on upright. When pushed it tends to sound harsh but the EQ can help with this a bit. It is a small amp though and if you are playing loud rock or want huge fat bass you won't get it from this amp. I've been on the lookout for something a bit more hi-fi that is the same weight as this amp but haven't seen anything yet.
     
  3. Panther

    Panther

    Dec 9, 2004
    Nova Scotia
    Thanks Basss

    So I guess a Stingray 5 might be too much for it? I'd have to say I'd need the amp for rock/pop/slap/fingerstyles....
     

  4. Eden cxc110. street price of 650-700. 39 lbs. But I just ordered the handle and wheel kit. 39 lbs is heavier than it sounds.

    http://www.talkbass.com/forum/showpost.php?p=1773710&postcount=4
     
  5. Eric Moesle

    Eric Moesle Supporting Member

    Sep 21, 2001
    Columbus OH
    Great little amp, but it is what it is. You aren't going to pump a lot of low bass at high volumes without it breaking up. At the right volume, however, its a great little amp. Can't be beaten for portability.

    Several years ago when my "then" big rig's amp needed sent in for service, I was forced to use my little GK combo live with a blues band. Ran it through a 2x15 cab, and it performed PERFECTLY. It ran quite hot, but it never let me down for several weeks of high volume abuse. What a great little monster.
     
  6. basss

    basss

    Aug 27, 2001
    NYC
    I think the GK amp could handle any bass. It just depends on the gig. Its a small amp and it doesn't get super loud. The GK is cool because it doesn't fart out as easily as other small amps that I've tried. If you are playing loud gigs something like the Eden amp recomennded by angelopb might work better but it weighs almost twice as much.

    What style of music are you playing. How big are the venues?
     
  7. Schwinn

    Schwinn

    Dec 4, 2002
    Sarasota, FL
    What a great little monster indeed. I LOVE this amp. When you see how small it is you won't believe how loud it gets. For a loud band you will need an extention cab and the amp will get real hot (no cooling fan) but it PERFORMS like a champ. Like Eric said, it can take a lot of abuse. Owning this amp has made me a true die-hard GK fan. Great tone, you can carry it with one hand, and its loud enough on its own for small jams. GET ONE!
     
  8. Panther

    Panther

    Dec 9, 2004
    Nova Scotia
    Thanks for all of your help and information!

    To add more info, we tend to practice almost acoustically in a living room and by saying acoustically, I mean I'm plugged in low volume, drummer uses kick/snare/high-hat, guitar is acoustic. Keyboard guy is 4.5 hours away, so we don't rehearse with him.

    I expect there will be some higher volume rehearsals when time permits.

    The two gigs have been smallish, but in the past they have been larger venues.

    Here's the gig setup:

    Singer-she plays everything under the sun-guitar, harmonica, mandolin etc..depends on song..

    Keyboards-2 keyboards, so far both gigs he was ampless and went through the board/monitors

    Drummer: Not a crazy hitter, but not Peter Criss solo album-ish either

    Me: My sound can't be thin because it's me and the keyboards most of the time as far as rythym goes..
     
  9. basss

    basss

    Aug 27, 2001
    NYC
    IMO the GK should cover your smaller situations but you may need an extension cab for bigger gigs. Flite sound makes some small lightwieght cabs if portability is your main concern. You could also just plug into the PA when you need more volume.
     
  10. Aram

    Aram

    Feb 2, 2003
    New York, NY
    I have the head version (http://www.gallien-krueger.com/products_mb_hd_150S.html) on order -- should be here tomorrow. My plan is to use it with either my Schroeder 1010 or my GK Neo 112. I love the combo version, but my friend had one and it was always 'not quite loud enough' for his band, or would rattle at high volumes. I really think the problem is in cabinet, so I think the head section with an external cab is the way to go.

    I imagine with an efficient 210 (or 112), you can probably make due in a surprising number of different situations with the head. In my experience, GK's seem to have a knack for cutting through in any gig...they're just voiced right. I'll let you know my impression once I get a few gigs under my belt, but I'm not sure when that will be for this particular amp.
     
  11. MJ5150

    MJ5150 Terrific Twister

    Apr 12, 2001
    Lacey, WA
    This is a great thread. I am contemplating buying the MB200 combo with a 212 extension cab.

    Thank you for your opinions.

    -Mike
     
  12. Panther

    Panther

    Dec 9, 2004
    Nova Scotia
    I'd have to guess I am better off trying to get a lightweight, 200W head and a 'lightweight' 12-15" cabinet......to get me through most situations...

    By the way, how much for the 'head only version'???
     
  13. dont

    dont

    Jul 25, 2004
    dontwyman@lycos.com
    I second most of what has been said. The little GK is incredible for its size, has very good tone, and is easily portable. I've had one for years, and have also used it when my larger rigs weren't available and gotten good results. My only complaint was that the output transformer on my old one blew and was not repairable due to design changes in the amp and lack of availability of parts for the older version. But I bought a new one and rewired the old as an extension cab---works great.
     
  14. Aram

    Aram

    Feb 2, 2003
    New York, NY
    The head is $350 USD at Rik's Music www.riksmusic.com

    The GK Neo 112 is a great cabinet, and is surprisingly lightweight and portable. I have high hopes for this combination, actually -- it seems like it could be a good recipe. I also have a 1001RB-II that I can use if I need more headroom.

    -Aram
     
  15. Panther

    Panther

    Dec 9, 2004
    Nova Scotia
    That little GK combo might be just what the (back) doctor ordered!

    Just over 30 pounds, and lighter than a grocery order!
     
  16. luknfur

    luknfur

    Jan 14, 2004
    DIXIE
    FWIW:

    Not to rain on a parade but I was thinking about this amp in the past and in reading reviews was alarmed enough about the reliability issues to decide otherwise. Seems not to be much of that in this thread but there is fairly consistent mention of a running hot issue which tends to coincide with lack of reliability - especially with ST amps.
     
  17. Schwinn

    Schwinn

    Dec 4, 2002
    Sarasota, FL
    This amp does get hot to the touch when you push it for a long time, but I never had it go out on me, and I've pushed it like that more than a few times. Still, I typically only use it as a practice amp since I have a "big rig".
     
  18. I've never owned one, but have been warned over and over about heat-related failures, which are occasionally fatal. The one GK I've owned, a 200RCB head, died repeatedly, replacements parts weren't available, and my Dad's best efforts at a homebrew remedy were unsuccessful. I ended up selling it as a parts carcass for $50.
    My recommendation would be to check out the Acoustic Image Clarus at bobgollihur.com; they run $579 USD, are the size of a fat family Bible and weigh about as much, and the reliability and customer service are said to be great. Bob's cool too.
    You could pick up a used cabinet locally and still end up shelling out about as much as you would for a 150MB. I'd recommend Bag End, Eden CXC, Aguilar or even Flite Sound if you can find one.
     
  19. The whole top of the amp is a heatsync. Of course it's going to get hot. Most of the time people mention unreliability issues, it almost always starts with "I heard that..." or something like that. There are no reliability issues with the MB150 and the new version runs cooler and quieter.
     
  20. luknfur

    luknfur

    Jan 14, 2004
    DIXIE
    FWIW:

    Yep, mentioned it mostly to draw feedback and out of curiosity as it wasn't showing up here and it was something that I remembered from reading reviews from people that had the amp.