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feedback on combo's TC BG 250 vs GK mb115

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by jon zee, Nov 13, 2012.

  1. jon zee

    jon zee

    Nov 10, 2012
    I'm in the market for a combo, these are the two I'm looking into for that 400 dollar range. Its not out of the picture for a 210 with more power not that I really need it but it's nice to have more POWER . I know both of this makers have top of the line hi end stuff. But don't know if they cut corner on the low end equipment. Any owners of either of these would be great to hear input or any one with lots of amp knowledge. Will be using for rehearsal and jam in with band/small gigs. Thanx, for your input. Jon
  2. Davyo

    Davyo Davyo Supporting Member

    Nov 26, 2008
    Las Vegas, Nv
    I had both the MB115 and the BG250,,,, for me the 250 just sounded muddy and could not match the killer tone of the GK MB115,,,,, I really really wanted to like the 250 because of the cool features,,, tone print and built in tuner,, but such was not the case,,,, I reluctantly returned the BG250.

  3. StrangerDanger

    StrangerDanger Neo Maxie Zoom Dweebie Supporting Member

    Jan 3, 2010
    North DFW, TX
    I dont find the the BG250 muddy at all. Middy yes, not muddy.

    I think they are both good amps. You will find several threads on both to give you an idea.

    It depends on the sound youre looking for. Some people like the baked in modern voicing of the GK stuff and some like the more vintage voicing of the TCE. I will say that if youre concerned about volume, the BG250 gets a good bit louder than the GK.

    Good Luck! I dont think you can go wrong with either and I would gig either, I just happen to prefer the TCE voicing.
  4. I’ve never used a TC BG250 - but, I love my GK MB115. I plug my Fender P bass straight into my GK MB115 and it sounds awesome and fat with bite. I love the GK sound. The GK MB115 is perfect for jams, church, and barroom size gigs - and at only 35lbs I can load in, setup, and load out in minutes (really fast).

  5. soulman969


    Oct 6, 2011
    StrangerDanger hits the nail right on the head here. Based on my personal experience with a GK MB112, an MB115 and the BG250 this is exactly what you'll find.

    I own an MB112 and when I compared the MB115 to a BG250 for a recent purchase I also found that I preferred the features and the tonality of a BG250 over that of an MB115 and it does have more punch volume wise.

    If you go to the tc electronic site you'll find an interesting technical essay on their Active Power Management design. It will provide an explanation for why they seem to squeeze a little more volume out their bass amps for a given wattage rating.

    Let me also say that he's right. You really can't go wrong with either of them. IMHO they are the two best mid powered, mid priced 1x15" combos on the market. Compare the two and choose which ever your prefer based on sound and features and you'll have a great amp.
  6. jon zee

    jon zee

    Nov 10, 2012
    Thanks for all the input its all ways hard to make up my mind. I guess I can't go wrong with either amp !
  7. jmcbade


    Aug 11, 2012
    I have a Bacchus "24" (fret) 5 String, Alder body, Rosewood fretboard bass. It uses an on board preamp. I like to play with a tone towards the bottom, where I "feel it". I love the access to that low B string. I don't play down there all the time, but I want it to "be there" when I go down there.

    So, TCE BG250 or the GK MB115 (or MB210) are all in the price range, size etc I am considering.

    So 5 string players; which will give me "that" tone?

    Opinions please?

  8. soulman969


    Oct 6, 2011
    I don't know what "that" tone means to you and by the lack of responses I'd say most of the others who play these amps are unsure as well. Here's what I can tell you.

    GKs have very distinctive sound to them that's an industry standard and has been for years. I would describe them as accentuating mid range punch and growl with a more crisp and modern tonality. They use a contour button to create a scooped mid sound if you want to alter that. The EQs are active boost and cut type of a set frequency. The is one input jack for passive basses and one for active and those gain levels are pre-set. The MB115 is a 200w amp.

    The BG250 is more old school sounding and a newer technology. It seems to push out more low mids and have a rounder bottom end. The EQs are an intelligent type boosting at one frequency or cutting at another. It also features a pre-gain control to optimize the input of whatever bass is being used along with the master volume. The "Tube Drive" can be used to add tube like tonality to the mix and the Tone Print feature allows you to store an onboard effect of your choice and add it to the mix. It's a 250w amp.

    Of the two the BG250 appears to have more output and bottom end punch with my basses which are both 4 strings.

    I'm not gonna throw the MB 210 into the mix because I haven't compared it to these others. It's also a 500w combo and significantly more money than the other two.

    Hope this helps.
  9. jmcbade


    Aug 11, 2012

    First, thank you for taking the time to reply. I know that "sound" can be a little like "wine tasting". In many respects, it's a perception thing. We all got these different "ears" when we were made :)

    I am in Japan right now so my opportunities to try both a GK and a TC are limited in that so far, I haven't found a TC to play.

    That being said, I did get to play a GK MB115 (MK-1) in a couple different stores. I think I could qualify my impressions like this: If the GK was the only amp I could get, I would be very happy with it. As far as my concerns about the "low end" tone, the GK had it with no issues I could hear. I know what you mean by a "round bass" tone and it was "enough" for me with the GK. The tone had plenty of bottom and had a wonderful "clarity" to it. This is what single coil / single coil stacked pickups are about right?

    Something I really liked hearing when I tested this amp with my Bacchus "24" (fret) 5 String, was that unlike my old Ampeg SVT 115 combo, (weighs like a million pounds - feels like - use a hand truck with it), I could make use of every and all settings on my bass effectively. Rather than weighting everything to the low end, I could get something useful out of all the settings on my bass. Even switching from active ~ passive, I was getting really nice musical tone out of my bass. Yeah, I was very very impressed. I fell in love with my instrument all the more! Isn't that what it's about?

    Now, would I like a BG250 more? I wouldn't know (yet).

    I have seen a few more postings with the BG250 having some issue that required a replacement. I have seen I think? none, (doesn't mean that they never fail but...) for a GK amp.

    I did write the company and their amps are assembled and tested, in the US, and the TC is assembled in China. That says something to me.

    I also asked about the differences in the MB 115-II and they are 90~95% the same amp with a few nice changes:

    Enclosure changes, circular port now, no more metal grill, just a wooden backed grill cloth, rotated the direct out to make more room for the release button on an XLR, DI has a Pre/Post switch now, the "chain out" (that does not support an un-powered extension cabinet - (unless you get the MB 210-II), one jack with a switch rather than two jacks to accommodate passive/active basses. It's an esthetic thing, but I like the black enclosure and control panel a lot.

    I also asked specifically, and both models use switch mode power supplies. Interesting to me because as one who travels between US and Japan, that means "one amp".

    My experience with pre-sales was really good. Answered all my questions very specifically - he actually read my email carefully! That was refreshing. And, he sent me a manual for the MK-II upon request.

    I think I could easily just buy the GK and be very happy at this point. It has a sound I like, and I feel it would be more reliable. If I need "effects" or a tuner, I'll just use one of my pedals. I have more confidence in the US assembled and tested quality.

    I'll be sure to write my own personal review when the deal is done.

    Happy playing all!
  10. I've owned the GK MB115 for almost three years. I've never really fallen in love with it. The horn hisses, so I can't use it. I'm told this is common. Why build it if it can't be used? The tone - it's all over the place. I've never really found a punchy or warm tone that I consistently like. And I have both active & passive basses. Right now, it's being shipped to NY (from Fla) for its second warranty repair. It just quits working from time to time. Grate rattles. It's just too quirky and problematic for me. Also, not really loud enough, even for practices, when there is a drum or a couple of guitars involved. I expected more from GK. I actually preferred the sound of a used Behringer 400 and a 4x10 cab that I picked up for $250 on Craigslist. That thing was a tank. No problems. Simple. Great tone. Go figure.:rollno:
  11. jmcbade


    Aug 11, 2012
    Well, I did end up purchasing the GK, but I waited and got the US assembled version. I have been playing it for a few months now so here are my impressions.

    No grill rattle because, it's cloth now.

    The Horn can be a bit bright, but it doesn't "hiss", it's just more than you need with some basses. I have a Alder body 5 string with Jazz PUs and still, I usually use the horn. I just don't push

    The EQ section has been slightly re-voiced maybe, but it feels different to me than the older model. It might be a slight change in the cabinet. I don't know, but I am able to get the tone I want easily. I am really impressed with the flexibility the EQ provides. I usually like the contour mode for my bass.

    For the places I play, there is enough power there to deal with the rooms and the other various people I play with. If I need more, I just plug into the house with the DI.

    I use this amp for some other instruments as well for just some clean power. Very versatile for things other than bass. No, I use a Fender Deluxe Reverb for my electric guitars :)

    Only one little nigly; the cabinet paint will scuff or chip if you bang it on anything very hard. I had my wife make a heavy cloth cover for it and that seems to be adequate protection with just a little care in navigating it about.

    If I had the extra money, I think I would have liked the 2 x 12 just bait better, but it would be way overkill for my little budget.

    I like this amp a lot. Does what I wanted, expected and so far, no issues. I am glad they decided to assemble these and test them in the US. Good for the product, good for the economy. Worth the the very few extra bucks.