Gallien Krueger Combo vs MarkBass Combo

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by _Obra_, Jan 27, 2020.

  1. Gallien Krueger Combo

  2. MarkBass Combo

  1. _Obra_


    Feb 22, 2011
    EU Wannabe
    Considering sound, power, weight, look, ease of use, price (power-weight-price ratio) and Your experience in all the previous, what would be Your answer on a question from above?

    Gallien Krueger Combo or MarkBass Combo ?
    alanloomis1980 likes this.
  2. Kro

    Kro Supporting Member

    May 7, 2003
    New Jersey
    Which models are you looking at specifically?

    I mean, you did say that looks are fair game, so it might not matter, but I thought I'd ask. :p
  3. Al Kraft

    Al Kraft Supporting Member

    May 2, 2016
    Northern Virginia
    My personal choice would lean towards GK. However, IME GK and Markbass gear are voiced differently, so your tone goals might tend to make the decision easy for you. I have nothing against Markbass gear and have played a number of diffeent Markbass set-ups on gigs. GK equipment typically just has a sound and feel I like a bit better.
    jchrisk1 and 1960jbass like this.
  4. _Obra_


    Feb 22, 2011
    EU Wannabe
    I couldn't agree more :)
    daddycool69 and Al Kraft like this.
  5. _Obra_


    Feb 22, 2011
    EU Wannabe
    I did not specify a model. It doesn't matter. Compare either the models with similar power, similar speakers combination or similar size...
  6. bhendrix


    May 2, 2009
    Atlanta, GA
    Another vote for the GK! I just can't stand "neon yellow" :eek:
  7. Count Bassie

    Count Bassie Supporting Member

    Jun 10, 2006
    Smithfield, RI
    I've always joked that the Markbass presentation looks like a sneaker display.
    That said (lol), I've also thought it sounded a little "plastic", inorganic. Recently I traded my mid-sized, pretty gorgeous sounding power/pre head and a sweet cab for a GK MB212, the older series. The GK is light, and pushes enough sound to handle all my gigs so far. Though smallish compared to other rigs I've toted around, the sound is really good, and I can get some of that "Hitting the Rails" thing out of it. It can take some pushing, and with an HPF in front of it, it is very present in the band's mix.

    My next head will likely be a GK also.
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2020
    Obrad Lacarac likes this.
  8. Bassdirty


    Jul 23, 2010
    I chose Markbass, but Im spending your money. ;)

    Looks like the new GK combos are selling at Markbass prices.. so theres that.
    I do not love the "GK sound". Yea, it can be dialed out, but straight out the box its a lil to hi-fi clackety for me.
    Not what I would consider warm I guess.
    (I've owned GK 700 & 1001 RBII in the past),


    SJan3, CallMeAl and Count Bassie like this.
  9. Count Bassie

    Count Bassie Supporting Member

    Jun 10, 2006
    Smithfield, RI
    As you say, it can be tweaked for a range of tones. Most amplification offerings do tend to have some "baked-in" flavor, and most of then can be tweaked to make it disappear- at least to a significant degree. Markbass too I suppose.
    Hey, you gotta have something...
  10. Gigas444


    Jul 30, 2018
    Pernate - Italy
    I was in the exact same situation 1 month ago, I chose a Markbass mini CMD 121 P; talking about "gigging combos" I don't think you can compare the GK MB112/115 with MB mini cmd 121/151, because Markbass wins hands down, the only comparison which made sense to me during my "new amp hunting period" was between the following:
    - GK MB212 II was very loud and aggressive (which is something i'm searching in an amp), but I found it too "hi-fi" for my taste, it's bigger and heavier (of course since this is a 2X12 and MB a 1X12)
    - Markbass is a little less loud and aggressive, but warmer (it seems, to my ears, this amp colors the sound a little less than GK, which is something i like) and I found it's easier for me to deal with its EQ, and the weight of the mini CMD can't be beaten, it's 26 lbs/12 kg!

    Anyway, it's up to your preferences in tone, because talking about portability Markbass is a winner, on reliability I think both are the same, IMHO I can just repeat the most "abused" advise on Talkbass (but still the best): "try them both!"
    good luck with your search!
    SJan3, Count Bassie and CallMeAl like this.
  11. gigetto


    Sep 25, 2019
    I voted MarkBass because....not for that is italian and i'm too but for the facts that here in my country Gallien Krueger nowadays is not a large diffusion. In every guitar shop of little-medium-large dimension you find MarkBass more than others (are expensive too...) and not with same capillarity GK.

    Here we find Peavey TC Electronics, Hartke, less GK....

    I've a little combo 801 Micromark and it is astonishing, Phil Jones director competitor here is not well distributed.
    SJan3, Count Bassie and CallMeAl like this.
  12. CallMeAl


    Dec 2, 2016
    Ithaca Ny
    Me too! Just arrived this week

    My choice was swayed by some backline experiences. I got to use a Mark CMD 121, Mark 102 and a GK MB 500 + mark 121 cab.

    the marks sounded amazing, both from the stage and audience. GK head sounded good too, but it was a little bright and clanky set flat, had to do some tweaking to get it where I like.

    Based on TB reviews alone, I would have gone GK. They’re definitely a fave around here, and described as versatile. And I kept reading Mark was clean and sterile

    I did demo a GK Mb 112 and it was a cool amp. I’m sure I would have been happy with a GK amp. But I took a leap of faith based on backline alone (didn’t even get to demo in store!) I like the Markbass flat, no filters. Sounds amazing this way, clear and punchy. Nice to know I have the flexibility of the knobs, but also that I like the Mark sound, and I choose wisely.

    This all coming from a 20 year Ampeg and Fender user
  13. Gigas444


    Jul 30, 2018
    Pernate - Italy
    hello fellow Pbasser, I use to play P basses most of the time too, good choice!
    try the eq which i use on Markbass:
    Low at 01:00
    Mid low at 11:00
    Mid high: 01:00
    High at 02:00
    with no filters at all, for me this way it has a killer, defined, fat and punchy sound without the "mud" feeling, i could not ask for more!
  14. sonosamas


    May 1, 2020
    I don't have the ear for tone that other posters may have, but I think I can see the MB warmth vs GK hifi sound people talk about for the organic tone. Honestly, I think the voice difference isn't a deal-breaker. Both are pleasing acceptable voices and I've been able to get what I was looking from both brands. Of course, it comes down to individual taste and what the music calls for.

    I think both are great, but I pick GK for kinda petty reasons (since everything is fair game lol):

    - GK rhino-liner cab exterior beats Markbass lint-grabber carpet

    - Some (not all) Markbass combos have the controls facing the front; GK controls face the top, which I prefer for how I situate myself. Easier to access the way I run things.

    - The bright yellow face on most of the front-facing Markbass combos is a little ostentatious... purely cosmetic, but I said I was going to be petty :)

    - The bright blue light on some Markbass combos is like a laser beam! If the controls face the front, this can be distracting to the audience and not jive with the general ambiance. Again -- 1st world problem -- but I'm deliberately being nit-picky.

    - GK's voicing filters on the Legacy and Fusion lines are pretty useful IMO. Like quick-change presets to put you in the ballpark for certain tones. You can get similar results by turning the EQ knobs, but flipping a switch is a nice touch. Not all the Markbass combos have filters like this. Some of the Marcus Miller branded combos have similar buttons, but they don't cover the range of options that are standard on the new GK heads/combos.

    - GK mute switch is SO easy to access! Markbass is on the back (at least for the combos that I've owned/used). I like being able to mute, audition a tone through my IEMs plugged into the headphone jack, silently rehearse my part in between songs, then unmute and jam! Markbass can do the same, but you have to reach around to the back of the unit, fumble around in the dark to find the button, maybe accidentally adjust other settings, and you can't verify whether you're muted by just glancing down to see if the mute light is on. While this has nothing to do with tone, this is actually one of my favorite GK features.

    - GK has an overdrive setting. I don't use it much, but it's another baked-in addition not present on every Markbass.

    - GK combos have universal 120v-220v power. Meaning I can travel overseas (I move around for work) and seamlessly transition to local power without crazy adapters and converters. Only a small handful of Markbass combos have universal power.

    Whew, after saying all that... I have a great time with my Markbass CMD 101. It's a great combo. But given everything I mentioned above, I wish GK would make a Legacy 110 that is as small and light as the CMD 101 with all of the features of the new Legacy combos. And I'm more inclined to go with GK in the future.
  15. MB

    SJan3 likes this.
  16. 1960jbass

    1960jbass Supporting Member

    Mar 28, 2013
    Berwick, PA
    I've had MB and GK. Don't like the MB tone, plus I had a lot of hiss with my 121 combo. Much easier (for me) to dial up a pleasing tone with GK.
    CallMeAl likes this.
  17. jeff7bass

    jeff7bass Inactive

    Apr 9, 2009
    GK is ahead 19-9 but most people posting pick the MB so here I go. I'll pick the GK hands down probably because I never heard a Markbass that sounded very good. They're just kind of there. I know some newer models have better attack, but IMO you can get the MB tone by doing one of these three things;
    Throwing a blanket over the GK.
    Player softer....
    EQing the great tones out of the GK's midrange.
    jchrisk1, CallMeAl and sonosamas like this.
  18. CallMeAl


    Dec 2, 2016
    Ithaca Ny
    Bit of a zombie resurrection here... I wonder if @Obrad Lacarac ever bought one of these two amps... :whistle:
    sonosamas likes this.
  19. _Obra_


    Feb 22, 2011
    EU Wannabe
    Oh man, I've had a lot of them, and are You?
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