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Gallien Krueger MB-150E III and Bag End

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by drjdegan, Sep 22, 2008.

  1. drjdegan


    Sep 15, 2008
    I am considering a MB-150E III head. And would like to get some feedback from users out in TB land.

    I am specifically talking about the head, not the combo.

    I have been running two Bag End S15Ds with a 1984 GK400RB (love the sound, and more than enough power for my needs). However, the amp is now acting funny (static noise and cutting out).

    It has been to the tech, however since it is intermittent problem, all he did was solder the connection joints and give it back to me.

    I have an 800RB but to my ears it sounds quite different than the 400RB (even though it is suppose to be the same preamp, go figure?!?!).

    So I would love to hear any info available about the GK MB-150E III head.
  2. Nice sounding head, but really low power.

    GK has a new 500 watt micro head, but most of the GKer's are posting that it's more similar to the newer 700 and 1001 heads (i.e., fatter and less growly) than to the classic 400/800 type tone.

    While not exactly the same, I would recommend checking out the GB Shuttle 6.0 and the Markbass F1. They both have a bit of that upper mid presence that produces a bit of grind in the tone, and would be massively louder and more full sounding with that Bag End stack than the 150 watt MB150E head.
  3. ghiadub

    ghiadub Supporting Member

    Jan 17, 2006
    Auburn, CA
    I have the S15s and a GK MB200. It does not sound exactly like the MB150 but very close. I have the combo and you can defreat the speaker which is nice as it can only take a 4ohm load. The combo is the exact same head as the head alone and it makes a great practice amp.

    For my use, it kills. It is loud enough for most gigs at 150 watts plus the line out sound is very good. If you only really need the amp and speakers for a stage monitor (you go thru the board anyway) it would be fine for most anything except loud rock or metal IMO.

    I have used it for a sabbath tribute band with good results.
  4. drjdegan


    Sep 15, 2008
    i was on the mb500 thread for a while, but the DOAs and the "tone" has me a little shy.

    it is new, so it is going to have bugs in it that i do not want to deal with. i will also never use 500 watts. My 800rb is two loud for 98% of my gigs. i am going up against a 30 watt guitar amp , a trombone and some keys. i am more worried about tone, and flexibility.

    i have the genz-benz neo-pak (that i am going to sell). i find that the tube preamp colors my bb3000 too much for my liking (maybe i am just picky).
  5. That 150E might do the trick then. It's a shame they don't include the boost control on the 's' model, but that's key to getting more growl out of that head.

    I'm not a huge fan of the Shuttle myself, but it is a nice piece of gear. If there is any way for you to try the F1, you might dig it. It isn't really voiced like the GK, but it does have the ability to really drive the growl through the cab. It has much more low end than the Shuttle, is significantly louder (I know that's not really important to you), and has an aggressive but much less 'colored' tone profile.

    That being said, as long as you don't need big volume, the 150 is cool. I just find that any sort of digging into the E string results in the low end pretty much disappearing (due to the low power and the natural compression of that amp when its driven beyond its limits).
  6. drjdegan


    Sep 15, 2008
    What size room do you play the S15Ds in with the MB200?

    I used a 100 watt marshall solid state integrated bass head for 11 years http://www.talkbass.com/forum/images/smilies/colors/smile.gif. When it finally went Kaputt, I joined the watt war and went from a fender BXR 200 (Piece of crap that fried 3 speakers) to old fender bassman tube amps (bassman 50, 70 and 100). A peavey alpha bass.

    But then I my ears changed and I started wanting something a little like i use to have with my Marshall 100W.

    I bought a slew of Yorkville combos (I didn't like the preamp, and the cabs seemed to strain/chirp under the the strain of the bassier notes).http://www.talkbass.com/forum/images/smilies/colors/confused.gif

    Had an ampeg B2R
    the speaker eater...

    I had a roland DB500 - good but not me, hated the 12".

    I eventually stumbled into the GKs (i remembered had a friend in high school that used a GK200 in a single 15 and it sounded awesome).

    So I bought the GK 400RB, and the 800RB (i rarely if ever use).
    I read alot about Genz-Benz and took a swing at the Neo-pak (Like mentioned earlier, i like a less colored sound) .

    Now I want a newer version of the 400RB.

    When it comes to watts, if it is an efficient 150 watts, it will sound pretty loud.

    70dB compared to 73dB is twice as loud
    70dB to 76dB is four times as loud.

    Like I stated, tone is more important than volume
  7. 62bass


    Apr 3, 2005
    It's an honest 150 watts. But it seems to me that you probably want more. I have the MB150S combo. I have driven it fairly loud but never to the point where the power amp is clipping. The amp might overheat if driven wide open for a long period. The new 400 RBs have a fan, so less worries there. But give it a try. If the amp is always running too hot then you know you need more power. You can trade the 150 for something bigger.

    Myself, I think it's just a little on the dodgy side.
  8. fdeck

    fdeck Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 20, 2004
    Madison WI
    HPF Technology LLC
    First things first, the static noise and intermittent problem may be flakey effects loop jacks. Try inserting a regular cable into the effects loop and seeing if the problem goes away.
  9. drjdegan


    Sep 15, 2008
    even if i am not using the effects loop???

    it also makes this "static" noise when i push the voicing buttons.
    it seems to go away when i send a low "E" signal through.
    it is just weird?
  10. rag


    Mar 24, 2003
    Robert A. Gallien, President Gallien-Krueger
    The return jack has a switch that can become intermittent with age. You can test this by plugging a cable directly from the send jack to the return jack, which will bypass the switch. If the problem goes away you can use it like that or have the return jack replaced. With age switches and pots get dirty and the connections become unreliable and noisy, at some point the amp will need a lot of work to put it back into shape. If you are going to get a different amp I strongly suggest you play before you pay. You sound like an articulate player and will know when itÂ’s right.
  11. 62bass


    Apr 3, 2005
    Yes, that is the first thing to do. See if you can get the 400RB back to being reliable. The effects loop jacks are a good place to start. I had that same problem, which drove me nuts trying to find it, on my GK400RB. Difficult to find because it only happened on gigs when the amp started warming up after the first couple songs. I finally found it by plugging a short instrument cable between the effects "send and "receive". This was a common problem with that GK and several other makes of amps.
  12. drjdegan


    Sep 15, 2008
    You all are great!
    I have been pulling my hair out for a couple of years now trying to find out the problem with this amp :crying:

    I will try the send-return problem tonight.

    I may have to make a trip to the music store in the DC-Baltimore area to check out alternatives if this is a no go.

    I should have posted 2 years ago.

  13. Freddels

    Freddels Musical Anarchist

    Apr 7, 2005
    Sutton, MA
    or you could just buy another used 400RB since you really like the sound of that amp. :)
  14. 62bass


    Apr 3, 2005
    Another good idea. Around this part of Canada though, they're hard to find in private sales. And in the music stores even the beat up ones are selling at a premium price.

    It certainly is a popular amp and is used by a lot of pro musicians who just go out and do their business and never post on forums.

    When I sold mine it was snapped up in a matter of hours.
  15. audiorep2

    audiorep2 Supporting Member

    Apr 25, 2004
    Nova Scotia, Canada
    I tried a new set-up tonight at a gig.
    Dance hall, 400 or so people.
    60s-70s dance music.

    I bought 2 Ampeg SVT15E cabs.
    Powered one with a 66 Fender Showman.
    The other one with my GK MB150 III.
    I left the internal speaker on, and tilted the combo up to act as a monitor.

    YIKES !!!
    Tonight I brought a 1968 Ric 4001, and a 1969
    Ampeg Dan Armstrong.

    LOUD, and cut through everything !

  16. HeavyDuty

    HeavyDuty Supporting Curmudgeon Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 26, 2000
    Suburban Chicago, IL
  17. drjdegan


    Sep 15, 2008
    There is something else major wrong with the GK400RB.
    There is a low level static "squish-static" in the background that is getting more pronounced than ever before.:crying::bawl:

    I am going to have my tech guy look at it again.

    When using older equipment, always have a backup!;)

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