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GALLIEN-KRUEGER Amp Question.....

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by DPG003, Jan 14, 2013.

  1. DPG003


    Oct 15, 2011
    A friend let me borrow his GK MBS III combo. I've never played through a GK amp before and I really dug the punchy tone it had.

    I play a Lakland Skyline 55-02 with Bart PU's. Right now I have an Ampeg PF500 & a GB Shuttle 9.2 that I run into two GB Neox 112T cabs.

    I tried to duplicate the same tone on the Ampeg and Shuttle but I couldn't really capture it. I was wondering which GK amp head might sound the closest to the MBS III? Thanks

  2. You sure about the model number?? Never heard of that one.
  3. MB150S maybe?
  4. dannylectro

    dannylectro Supporting Member

    Aug 2, 2010
    Yonkers, NY
    ^^ What he said.

    GK's are noted for a nice punchy, growly midrange, and a lovely scooped sound, if you so desire. Big fat transistors, and relatively primitive electronics give these amps, especially the 80's 800RB and 400RB models, a uniquely warm solid-state sound.

    The MB150S, an amp loved by upright players, is basically a lower power GK 400RB, with a limiter circuit, formatted as a combo through an odd, all metal 1 X 12 cab. It's very cool, and quite powerful for a really, really small amp.
  5. DPG003


    Oct 15, 2011
    B-String you are correct it is the MB150S-III. Sorry about that. Compared to my Shuttle 9.2 it definitely produces a warmer tone which I really like and seems to be a bit punchier than my PF500.

    Sounds like from what I have read most of the GK's are punchy. Which GK head produces the warmest tone? I've been reading a bit about the 700RB-II and the MB500/Fusion500. Any thoughts on which might be a better choice?
  6. 1958Bassman


    Oct 20, 2007
    All of the RB models have a low cut, mid cut and high cut, so you can get a warm sound from any of them without moving the treble or high mid control from the middle position. If you don't need a lot of power, the 400RB/II/III/IV would be a good choice. If you need more, the 700RB or 800RB in the various versions would work. Te tone controls are: Low- centered at 60Hz, Low-Mid- centered at 250Hz, Mid- centered at 1KHz and Treble- centered at 4KHz.

    Contrary to the comment that the electronics are "relatively primitive", I would say that the circuits are somewhat basic, but not primitive. Bob Gallien and Rich Krueger are engineers who worked at Hewlett-Packard and their amps were specifically designed for their application. The intent for their bass amps was/is to be punchy, powerful and good-sounding. The fact that people still recommend their amps bears this out and I haven't seen many comments about the old models sounding bad.
  7. To me, the 80's 400RB is the closest to a more powerful sounding MB150S....I own both. The cab/speaker becomes part of the sound of the lil combo to my ears....anyway, as stated, I think the 700RB is a bit further away ( I also own it and really like it though).

    Of the available new models, the MB500 to me is pretty good similarity although way more powerful which can be good and bad when trrying to match the sound of the lil combo "working " a bit. I also own that one, and find it to be the best compromoise between the old and new, and I like the contour knob on the MB500 vs the newer combos or even the ol beloved 400RB
  8. steve_rolfeca

    steve_rolfeca Supporting Member

    I Have an MB800. With the bass at 11 o'clock, the mids and upper mids at 1, and the treble set to between 9 and noon to taste, it sounds just about exactly half way between a Shuttle and a Streamliner's clean tones. Punch for days and still very clear, but warm, and not clanky or harsh at all.

    For what you describe, I would say MB500/MB Fusion, or if you need more power, there's always the MB800, and the upcoming MB Fusion 800.

    FYI, it's not often mentioned, but the MB800 is not just a louder MB500. It has a discreet FET preamp instead of chips, giving it a sweeter, more open top end than the MB200 and MB500.

    The 700RB-II is something of a different animal, having a fair amount of breakup available via the boost circuit.
  9. DPG003


    Oct 15, 2011
    Garagebassman you mentioned that the 700RB was "a bit further away" in sound. In what way. Also How does the 700RB and MB500 compare. I would be using the head with two GB Neox 112T cabs. Is the 700RB the same as the
  10. spacebassed


    Jan 31, 2009
    I'll echo what's already been said in that the 400rb is the closest to the MB150s, however they did make a head version of that amp - I believe it was called the MBE. That being said I wouldn't recommend tracking one down as those early 90's MB's had a design flaw that caused the power supplies to fail - I have three of them, all with that same issue. It turned me off to Gallien Krueger - kind of a bummer since I really liked the sound of those little amps.