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GK 150MBE solution

Discussion in 'Amps, Mics & Pickups [DB]' started by carved czech, Apr 25, 2006.

  1. After long time of sound testing I would like to share my good experience with this setup:

    Underwood pup (both elements on) + old Fishman Acoustic Bass preamp/10MOhms Input Impedance/(on max volume,half bass,half treble) running into the Return Input (on GK150MBE) + old first model GK 150MBE. So I am not using the GK internal preamp section at all.
    By the Master Volume on GK combo ( usually on 9 O´clock is enough) I can control the whole sound (GK line out signal level to the mix console too!). The sound I get is very woody and natural,no scratchy. I think there is a good matching of the input impedance of Fishman Pre with the Return Input of GK.
    This setup works for me well almost in every situation (jazz trio, big bands).
  2. musicman5string

    musicman5string Banned

    Jan 17, 2006
    Hmm....others have also recomended the Fishman preamp; I think I might try your solution.

    Any chance of getting before and after sound clips?
  3. pierre


    Jun 3, 2005
    Médoc FRANCE
    But I'm trying to sell my GK 150MBE. In my experience the sound was not at all natural even with a Fishman Platinum Probass as preamp in the return input . It was with a Realist p/u and when I need just a little more power than "11" the sound become awful.
    So I change for a for the Acoustic Image. Much better sound, much more natural and much more powerfull. But in noising situation not enough power. So I'm now looking for an extension.

    I know the experience of everyone is different. Just my opinion with my own doublebass and p/u. Because for me it was very deceptive, in regard of a lot of good critics of this GK
  4. musicman5string

    musicman5string Banned

    Jan 17, 2006
    or maybe I won't try that solution........
  5. Bird-O-nator


    May 20, 2006
    I have experienced the same problem that Pierre talked about - after about 11 o clock, the sound goes to muffy distortion - happened last night. I using a Rick Turner pickup through a Raven labs pre (the beige one) into the GK. Any suggestions out there?
  6. fdeck

    fdeck Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 20, 2004
    Madison WI
    HPF Technology LLC
    Try the stereo aux input instead of the effects return. I think the aux input bypasses the "boost," which is a distortion effect.
  7. bassame


    Mar 25, 2004
    Brooklyn NY
    I have never been able to get a good sound using the effects return input on the GK, no matter what pre-amp I try. Its like the GK pre-amp is tuned perfectly for its own power stage, so I just plug the preamp into the GK preamp and cut all the tone controls on the GK and use the controls on the preamp.
  8. fdeck

    fdeck Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 20, 2004
    Madison WI
    HPF Technology LLC
    It's true that the GK preamp is not flat.
  9. Bird-O-nator


    May 20, 2006
    Thanks fdeck - I'll try the aux input scenario. I didn't know the Boost was more a distortion - I guess that's what provides the perceived loudness. Thanks again.
  10. snowdan


    Feb 27, 2006

    you can hear better what the boost is doing when you feed some music from cd into the input.

    it's quite obvious then.

    but still i like the boost for BG to some extent.
  11. After purchased GK 200MB and reconed the speaker, I recently sold my 150MBE,´cause I had enough time to compare both. 200MB is definately the winner. Now I can play my Underwood pu directly through 200MB´s input (without any external preamp running into Return input like I had to with MBE, to get better sound) with EQ flat, filters, compressor off, and my sound is O.K. ;)
  12. musicman5string

    musicman5string Banned

    Jan 17, 2006
    I tried this today; I got the Fishman Pro Bass Platinum PreAmp and tried runnng it as a preamp into the GK's head, and then into the effects return.

    Sounds better in the effects return bipassing the GK's eq....but is there a $170 difference in tone between that and running my Underwood straight into the GK?

    Probably not; I'm trying the Fishman on a gig this week, 1 set that way, 1 set underwood straight. If I don't hear a real difference, I'm returning the preamp and getting the Full Circle.

    On a side note:
    The Realist sucks, plain and simple. I've been trying to like it for months now because I like David so much , but forget it; it distorts into the amp at low volume and is way to freakin hot recorded direct. The funny thing is that it sounds better that the original version of the realist.:meh:

    I'm trying not to have to go and get an AICoda and an AMT mic, but that's probably inevitable.....
  13. mje


    Aug 1, 2002
    Southeast Michigan
    That's interesting; in some experiments with a sample of Realists I found a wide range in sensitivity. A few were much hotter than others, and distorted very quickly.
  14. jgbass

    jgbass Guest

    Dec 17, 2003
    I played the Realist pickup through an older GK MB150 at an audition and there was horrible distortion. The owner of the amp also uses a Realiist pick up and never has this distortion problem. We too thought it might have something to do with differing sensitivity of the pickups, but both of our pickups are only months old. On another note, he had to replace his Realist after a couple of years. I think it might have something to do with the pressure of the bridge on the pickup over an extended period of time that causes a decrease in sensitivity.

    But, I play the Realist through my old MB200 and it sounds great.
  15. musicman5string

    musicman5string Banned

    Jan 17, 2006
    The original Realist I had from 2000 eventually changed tone over time into something lessthan great. I got the new version in March and now it distorts. Blah.
  16. shwashwa


    Aug 30, 2003
    what's the difference in realist versions? i have an old version (2001) that was on my bass for maybe a week that i may be willing to unload.
  17. musicman5string

    musicman5string Banned

    Jan 17, 2006
    The new one is way hotter and sounds more "electric" than the previous one.
  18. Ric Vice

    Ric Vice Supporting Member

    Jul 2, 2005
    Olivette, Missouri
    We had a long thread last year that I can't locate anymore where we discussed Realist falure after about two years. A employee from David Gage actually replied to the posts and
    was very frank about this issue. The pressure on the bridge of some basses causes the Realist to "fail' after about two years.
    So you're absolutely right about you're friend's bass. But on basses that have lower pressure on the bridge, Realists can last a great deal longer.

  19. musicman5string

    musicman5string Banned

    Jan 17, 2006

    So I tried the Fishman pre with the underwood and GK last night on a duo gig with a guitarist. Granted, I played pretty low volume; just enough of a boost to be on his level, but I thought the results were good; I got several nice compliments on my sound from some other bass players, and the guitarist really liked it. So for now, I'll try this set up for a while to see how it is in different situations, and this way I don't have to spend any more money for a while.:D
    While this may not be the optimum solution, for now it is an improvement that I can live with.

    my 2cents...
  20. Honestly said: for a long time I used my Underwood upside down (by MISTAKE,just to have the output connector faced to my my right hand) ,with its second-ending element on E side of the bridge. Fishman preamp helped me keep the sound smoother. Now, after purchased an (new)old GK 200MB and reversed my Underwood (ending element on G side), I can play directly to my amp, without any external preamp, having THE sound. I admit, that is the different solution, than in my original thread...

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