Competition for GK 150 MB?

Discussion in 'Amps, Mics & Pickups [DB]' started by JAS, Mar 10, 2006.

  1. JAS


    Jul 3, 2001
    Why aren't more companies making any little combos that are similar to the GK 150 MB? I mean, it seems like that is the only thing out there like that.

    Does anyone else know of anything that has that volume, weight, size, quality? Sure, its not the greatest all the time, but its practicality beats everything else out there that I know about.

    I would love try out some other amps that are similar, but it just doesn't seem like there is any competition.
  2. mje


    Aug 1, 2002
    Southeast Michigan
    Because portable UB amplification is just not a huge market. You've got GK, AI, and some of the small SWR rigs. Not many kids are dragging their parents to Guitar Center because they have a fantasy of playing upright bass with a small amp so they can be heard over the couple talking in the front row...
  3. nicklloyd

    nicklloyd Supporting Member/Luthier

    Jan 27, 2002
    Cincinnati, Ohio
  4. fdeck

    fdeck Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 20, 2004
    Madison WI
    HPF Technology LLC
    They would not even be heard over the din of Guitar Center.
  5. winston

    winston Supporting Member

    May 2, 2000
    Berkeley, CA
    The new Fender Bassman 100 looks intriguing---10" + adjustable horn, gain/master, sweepable mids and full- featured XLR (pre/post, level, ground lift) in a 25# kickback plywood cabinet for $350. No external speaker jack, not sure of input impedance. I've seen a few mixed reviews, dunno if any were from doghouse drivers. I haven't tried one yet but I've liked other Fender small SS combos, particularly the BXR25.

    I have an '87 GK 200MB and am familiar with the tone of the MB150s from hearing local players. I quite enjoy these amps until they are pushed to their limits and sound like crap. I'd also like to check out the MarkBass amps once they're available. I prefer the MB tone to the AI combos for bass--I'm not crazy about the downward-firing speaker.
  6. anonymous0726

    anonymous0726 Guest

    Nov 4, 2001
    There's that briefcase amp. Forget who makes it, but Gage carries them. Run on batteries to boot. Not very light with the battery in, though.
  7. bolo


    May 29, 2005
    Apex, NC
    I think that's a Phil Jones amp. Supposedly weighs 28 lbs., and I imagine that's without the optional battery.

    Here's a link:

    I think maybe I've seen some posts here on TB re: the Briefcase and DB, but not too many that I can recall. What does that prove? I dunno.

    I say that because I haven't seen as many posts about the EA Wizzy combos as I would have thought. It doesn't get the press it deserves for something that's so underrated. ;)

    Yeah, I know it's 44 lbs. Definitely not the same league as the GK.

    Anyway, mje already summed it up extremely well in a pithy little quote. (You like that word, pithy?)

    Seems like it's all about the money, eh? Well surprise, surprise. Sad I guess, but true.


    Durn that couple in the front row. Are they the ones who keep requesting the "Charlie Brown" song?

    Tell 'em for a $20 tip, we'll play any ol' song.
  8. nicklloyd

    nicklloyd Supporting Member/Luthier

    Jan 27, 2002
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    A recent exchange with a drunk frat boy

    FB: "Hey man, play some Frank."
    me: "Frank?.... Frank Black?"
    FB: "No, man, Frank... Sinatra."
    me: "Oh... hmm... never heard of him."
    FB: "Fvck you man." (walks off with this red bull/vodka.)

    ...back to the normally scheduled thread...
  9. anonymous0726

    anonymous0726 Guest

    Nov 4, 2001
    They're businesses for crying out loud!
  10. seamonkey


    Aug 6, 2004
    I heard GK is working on a Keyboard version of the 150 that will include a tweeter. They use to make one but it went away. I bet they up the wattage. Use some more modern electronics insides.
  11. TroyK

    TroyK Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2003
    Seattle, WA
    From my non-unsubstantial use and testing, I don't think anyone has done better than GK for size/power/price. I can see liking the AI better and I think they are probably better made and supported at this point, but sonically in a real world situation, I still prefer the GK.

    YMMV, of course. AND a million people will disagree with me and they're right too. It's a preference.

    The next great thing is right around the corner, though.

  12. Absolutely. (Maybe more like a few thousand will disagree, :p ) I understand your point, though. GK has been around a long, long time, and price wise,and to a point, durability wise they are a good choice. I love my New Focus 2R, though, it has operated perfectly in every situation I have played in so far.Time will tell. BUT- Let me just say this- in 15 years of playing in 17 different countries, in every type of power situation imaginable, my trusty WW is the only amp I've ever had that has never failed me. Ever. Now THAT's saying something.
  13. TroyK

    TroyK Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2003
    Seattle, WA
    Don't disagree with any of that. What I was really responding to, however, was gig worthy DB combo amps in that size. Seperate head and speaker systems weren't part of my equation.

    I'm on way to the world of EA and feel really good about that move, but they are bigger and more expensive. In the 12 pack sized gig worthy combo amp, there's not much. And while I think it will be unseated soon, I think the GK is still the reigning champ. There are people who are having the experience they want from Contras, but most are pairing AI heads with seperate cabs. Personally, I think the contras are great, but both them and the GKs have their limitations. I chose to stick with the limitations I knew (GK) vs investing in new limitations (Contra).

    I got tons of milage out of the GK and plan to keep it indefinitely for the portability and great tone for many, but not all applications.

  15. Ric Vice

    Ric Vice Supporting Member

    Jul 2, 2005
    Olivette, Missouri
    Nice to know that they are finally getting around to building a replacement for the old Micro Keyboard Amp, they used to build. It had a separate tweeter and they also built a powered extension speaker. I used one with my older GK Combo. Even had a technician put a tweeter defeat switch in the extension cabinet.

  16. FredH

    FredH Supporting Member

    I agree that nothing matches the GK150 in sound, durability and size/weight. I think the best thing about the GK150 is that it’s so light I can carry all my gear at once. I have seen some people using the AI heads and high-end cabs lately. They sound pretty nice.

    I’ve been pulling around my old MB200/410 this last week cause the combo is in the shop. Pain in the neck but the head/cab definitely has more presence then the combo, I hadn’t used the head in about 10 years, and I had peel off some reggae stickers.

    I’ve been shopping for a new head but since the MB200 worked so good I’ve put the head amp purchase off. Save some money for the summer.

    Love it, can’t wait to use it…
  17. armybass

    armybass Gold Supporting Member

    Jul 19, 2001
    Well I just ordered one after reading this thread and a few others. The thing that I don't think I can get from another amp is the size vs volume. Not to mention 25lbs.
  18. bolo


    May 29, 2005
    Apex, NC
    Well I thought Markbass had already been mentioned in this thread, but I guess not. So FWIW, you can see their heads, cabs, and combos at

    It seems like weight is the most important requirement to lots of folks. The Markbass Mini CMD 121P is 29 lbs, compared to 26 lbs. for the GK.

    I'm just waiting for Freddels to buy some Markbass gear and report back. ;)

    I also just thought of the Hevos amps too. At it looks like they have combo amps called the Midget 10 and a Midget 12. The website says the Midget 10 is 42 lbs. (what!?) and the Midget 12 is 35 lbs. Hm ... That doesn't sound quite right to me. Oh well.
  19. Freddels

    Freddels Musical Anarchist Supporting Member

    Apr 7, 2005
    Sutton, MA
    Don't wait for me. Besides, macmrkt already has a bunch of their stuff and has written about it.
  20. bolo


    May 29, 2005
    Apex, NC
    Yeah, I know. Just kidding.

    I think we agree macmrkt's posts and gear reviews are very well written. Excellent stuff.