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Gallien-Krueger MB2-500

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by deekay911, Sep 16, 2008.

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  1. thejohnkim


    Sep 30, 2003
    Def looking forward to the reviews of this unit. I've tried the Shuttle 6.0 and LMII amps, and while they convinced me that these new micro amps have the power to replace my 1200 watt amp reasonably well, i'm still looking for a sound i enjoy as much as my DB659. doesn't have to be the same, just has to be as satisfying enough in the 'rawk' sense. so far each of the amps i've tried get me there 90% of the way. maybe this amp will get me closer. and i love how its shorter than the other amps.

    the Master-B knob is SOOOOOOOOO clutch for GK to give to us. now THERE is a feature i find useful. matched volumes but with more 'rawk'??? Yes please!!!

    maybe i'll hit up the 14th st GC sometime soon.
  2. BillyRay

    BillyRay Supporting Member

    Jan 20, 2008
    Is it as warm as the old 400RB ? I have one and it is wooly, warm and so musical with the boost @ 1:00 and a p-bass with flats or old rounds.

    I might have to pick one up when they fall out of favour due to the NEW UBER EXTRA thing hits the market.

    On the other hand, on a typical gig, my 400 RB doesn't even get hot or just warm and Wenesday night I was providing FOH and only had the gain/master around 9:00 :) I'm scared about 400+ watts if my 400RB only produces 200...
  3. silky smoove

    silky smoove

    May 19, 2004
    Seattle, WA
    If I like mine enough when it shows up there might be a cheap 2001RB in the classifieds as well... Somehow I doubt the MB2-500 will topple GK's giant, but there's still hope for those of us wanting a lighter head, and those of you wanting an absolute behemoth of an amp :p
  4. 62bass


    Apr 3, 2005
  5. Played one at GC today. 4x10 goldline cab. Sounded amazing. Familiar in that great GK way, but a little different. Good take on a classic sound. Need to hear more.
  6. pmcd


    Feb 22, 2006
    Just brought home a MB2-500 from Guitar Denter.

    Played it for an hour or so through my Epifani UL410. I am VERY impressed with the initial test run. Feels like a similar level of headroom to a LMII with a much more "focused" GK sound(imagine that). I don't work tonight so I won't get a chance to gig with it til' tomorrow.

    As a previous owner of both a LMII and a Shuttle 6.0, who found both heads to have their strong and weak points for my tastes, this head is (so far) a real breath of fresh air. The real test will be on a gig tomorrow with no FOH support.

    BTW, the sales-dude at GC matched the $499 RMC-Audio price with no questions asked.
  7. Smallequestrian

    Smallequestrian Rock and/or Roll Supporting Member

    Jul 6, 2004
    New Jersey
    I picked up one at GC tonight, need to test it vs. the Little Mark too see what its like with my rig. Based on a brief run through on a Markbass 4x10 in the store vs. the Little Mark, the GK seems to have more going on in the low end, and I couldn't seem to dial it out. There is a lot of heft to the sound. It should make an interesting comparison to the Little Mark.

    I will be taking it over to my practice space with a friend tomorrow and I will report on my thoughts. I want to like this amp, but so far based on the quick comparison in the store, I think the LMK is more of a fit for me.
  8. keyboardguy

    keyboardguy Supporting Member

    May 11, 2005
    Hi all,,
    Went to the GK site and could not find the MB2-500 Manual (PDF).

    Anyone have a link to it?

  9. mrniceguy715


    May 2, 2006
    I played it thru an acme 410 tonight. it was an 8 ohm cab too so wasnt getting near the juice its used to but it sounded massive. I was in a guitar center and it drew a crowd. Too bad nobody wanted to buy my cab but someone did give me the number to call them lol
  10. MikeyB


    Aug 16, 2006
    Sykesville, MD
    I demo'd 2 of these units at local GCs yesterday.

    I can't do a LMII comparison because I'm not familiar enough with the amp. Also, the GCs were very busy and somewhat loud and I didn't have my own bass. But I can speak to the quality/aesthetics and first impressions:

    * Looks: Shape, and general layout is very attractive. But I don't like the sparkly thing. Although, you can't notice it from even 2 feet away as has been mentioned. I just wish they had done a nice brushed finish and possibly a two-tone deal for that central oval. Overall, I dig it. I'd enjoy having it perched on my cab!

    * Lettering: Too small and the quality of it was a little suspect - looks like it might be able to rub off as someone has mentioned, but that's conjecture. Will be difficult reading on a dim stage. Of course, if it becomes your main head you'll just know where everything is (maybe?).

    * Knobs: Could be sturdier, ala the GK SHuttle (which are nice knobs!) but seemed just sturdy enough.

    * Boost problem on 1st demo unit: When I clicked in the Boost, the Master-B knob had no affect on the volume. I concluded that it was set at max or near-max, but the knob was not controlling it. Yes, the knob was firmly attached to the pot - not like a set screw was loose or anything. Oddly enough, the store said they just received it that morning, and I was demo'ing it at 12:30. I know one other unit arrived DOA, and I suspect this one arrived with a faulty Boost. :rolleyes:

    Ok.... I went to GC to demo Stingrays and Sterlings. The MB2-500 was just a bonus. So my goal was to see how the punchy, growly, aggressive MusicMan basses would sound through this rig. In a word, Grrreat! :bassist::D Obviously, with the basses I had, I can't say how transparent this head is (and I wasn't concerned with that myself) but it was definitely transmitting all the punch, growl, and aggressiveness from the basses I had. Very enjoyable! To me, it had the grit and clarity and punch I was looking for. But remember, I have about 15mins experience with the LMII.

    If subsequent reviews are looking good and I'm still happy after a more comprehensive demo, I can see getting one of these.

  11. keyboardguy

    keyboardguy Supporting Member

    May 11, 2005
    Ordered the MB2-500 from RMC Audio for $499. They are out of stock, and hope to have more 'in a few weeks'.


    Anyone find the manual online yet?

  12. Coelho


    May 10, 2006
    Astoria, NY
    went to GC in queens today, they have one there, but it was not working. It powers on, but no sound.
    How reliable are these...
  13. bertbassplayer

    bertbassplayer Supporting Member

    Jul 7, 2000
    Dallas/Ft. Worth, TX
    I just came back from GC with one, sounds really nice with my Henry 8x8. They price matched RMC.
  14. I just played one at GC through a GK neo 115 and I'm sold. I'll be selling my 1001RB-II sometime and getting one of these.
  15. jokerjkny


    Jan 19, 2002
    NY / NJ / PHL
    cmon mang,

    its the queens gc. heck, i wont touch anything at that best buy down northern either.
  16. Smallequestrian

    Smallequestrian Rock and/or Roll Supporting Member

    Jul 6, 2004
    New Jersey
    So I did a comparison between the GK and the Little Mark this afternoon with Kindness.

    The test rig: Two Mesa Powerhouse 1x12's, one Skjold Lion's Pride P5 and one Bongo 4HS. Both heads set flat to begin with. The Mesa's are
    fairly even sounding cabs with a slight push in the mids. I have been playing and gigging this rig for 6 months (a new record for me!), so I am very familiar with it.

    First we plugged the GK in. First impression is that it sounds pretty nice. Nothing that stands out as being particularly offensive, tons of low end, lots of headroom. Dialing in the grind with the boost was pretty easy and useful. I wasn't overwhelmed by the sound but at the same time I wasn't annoyed by it either.

    Then we plugged in the Little Mark. Whoa Nelly! a big difference in clarity. The Skjold sounds clear and defined in comparison to the previous amp. Headroom seems similar. But basically the GK seems to have a lot more low end when set flat.

    So, the next thing to do is see if I can dial the low end out of the GK to clean up the sound to be more like the LMK. Even with the low set to 9 o'clock there was still a lot more bass going on with the GK.

    On the flip side I could dial in the low end on the LMK to sound more like the GK, but honestly wouldn't find that setting very useful for my application.

    Conclusion: The GK is a nice amp with some great features. I really like the headphone amp and the footswitchable boost function. There is nothing inherently wrong with the GK, but nothing that is screaming "keep me" either. If you have a cab that is shy on the low end, you might find this very appealing. The form factor is great and it seems to be well made. I would definitely suggest you try this against the Little Mark before you buy as you will definitely have a preference. I was really wanting to like this more than my Little Mark especially for the benefit of the extra features, but it looks like I will have to wait until Markbass revamps their lineup as neither the GK nor the Genz Benz has proven to be a better fit for me.

    *to add one more thing, I am not experienced with GK's regular stuff enough to comment on how they compare to the more traditional heads.

  17. My god that head must have some intense low end. Most describe the LMII as having a ton of ooomph down low versus most of the other micro heads (Genz, Eden, etc.). If the GK has THAT much going on down low, I'm not sure that would be a good thing.

    However, I've read reviews of the GKNeo cabs as being very mid present and punchy, with a somewhat attenuated low end. I wonder if this head was voiced to match up optimally with those particular cabs. Just guessing there.
  18. RBASS930

    RBASS930 Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 26, 2005
    New York
    Most heads I tried with the Schroeder 1212L I pretty much left flat and fought to get the low end right. Now with the MB2-500, it's almost as if it was made for this cab ( for my goals). I don't know if that is good or bad, and I won't really be able to tell until I try it with other cabs, but I'm very happy right now. It also seems that the sound and tone evens/smooths out as you crank it...... and man does this get loud! Jamming with a drummer, keys, and guitarist ( no vocals) last night was a very pleasant experience.
  19. Buzz


    Feb 3, 2004
    Metro Detroit
    I have found that the GK/Musicman combination is a perfect match too.
  20. Smallequestrian

    Smallequestrian Rock and/or Roll Supporting Member

    Jul 6, 2004
    New Jersey
    I have read that about the LMII as well, but I have been playing one for so long (almost 2 years) that the low end seems perfectly normal to me. So the low end of the GK definitely was not a good thing for me :smug:

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