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GK MB(F)800 v. Aguilar TH500 volume

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Zanzibar Delgado, Mar 28, 2014.

  1. Zanzibar Delgado

    Zanzibar Delgado Supporting Member

    I recently bought a GK MB Fusion 800 and although I really do like it, I'm beginning to get convinced that the TH500 is the sound for me. I'm hesitant to lose any headroom, however, as I play in an extremely loud instrumental rock/fusion band, competing against a guitarist with a 100-watt tube head and a 4x12 cab. I've heard that the TH350 and the MB500 use the same power module; is that true for the TH500 and MB800 as well? If so, is one still louder than the other?

    I'm playing a fretless Zon Sonus Custom 6 through a Mesa PH212 8-ohm cab if that makes any difference. I'm going to add another 2x12 at some point, but for now all I could really afford to do is trade heads.

    Thanks for any advice.
  2. Jim C

    Jim C Spector#496:More curves than Sophia + better sound Supporting Member

    Nov 29, 2008
    The 300 watt difference will not be nearly as great as adding more speakers.
    It's like saying an SVT doesn't have enough power which it doesn't with a 1x15 but kills with an 8x10.
    FWIW, I thought the TH 500 had tons of power.
  3. The MB800 hammers very, very hard. I love the TH500, and it also hammers hard. But, with an 8ohm 212, the MB800 will definitely hit harder and be more full and deep in the low end.

    I would consider getting a Tonehammer pedal to place between your bass and amp. That will give you the kick of the MB800 at 8ohms, and when engaged, that fat, warm, punchy, organic Tonehammer tone. It will be a better DI also.
    bass nitro likes this.
  4. The MB800 and TH500 do in fact share the same ICEpower module. The way they compress and limit the signals when they hit the max rated power is a little different but I would say on the gig your not going to be losing so much noticeable power buy going with the TH500 vs the MB800.

    Naturally the GK may seem louder because of the mid content vs the TH's lows but if EQ'd similar I suspect the difference wouldn't be much.
  5. Bassist30

    Bassist30 Supporting Member

    Mar 19, 2004
    Great idea.
  6. Britbonic

    Britbonic Supporting Member

    Jun 20, 2002
    San Francisco, CA
    That's exactly the setup I have. In fact, you can connect the TH pedal directly into the power amp section of the GK MB800 and bypass the GK preamp. I can't decide which I like better. Often so many other variables in a gig situation - cab, room, bass - hard to tell.

    I've heard that they share output modules so would be interesting to do a side by side comparison using TH pedal and GK power amp section to see.
  7. It is hard to do an apples to apples power module comparison when plugging into the effects return, since each amp has lots of proprietary circuitry post effects return. In addition, the output of the external preamp pedal might not be as optimally matched to the input sensitivity/impedance, etc. of the effects return input.

    Both amps are 'first in class' for sure, and I'm totally impressed with the output of both lines of amps (well, not so much the GK500 series, but the TH500/350, and the GK 800. I have A-B'd them directly, and while I greatly prefer the TH500, the GK800, for whatever reason, has more absolute max volume and low end extension.

    With a good 4ohm 212 or 410, kind of a moot point. With an 8ohm 212, the OP might notice a difference in uncompressed low end and absolule clean volume.

    IMO and IME. Seems like the Tonehammer pedal would be the simplest and least costly solution.
  8. Zanzibar Delgado

    Zanzibar Delgado Supporting Member

    Thanks for the info, guys. I'll try to track a used one down, even though Aguilar gear seems to have strangely high resale value.

    Also, is the AGS circuit usable in a live context as a sort of dirt channel? I remember hearing mixed things.
  9. Britbonic

    Britbonic Supporting Member

    Jun 20, 2002
    San Francisco, CA
    On the pedal or the head? On the pedal, the answer is "it depends". It's not really designed to be a 2 channel pedal where you have your regular clean settings and kick in the AGS to get more dirt. You can, however, use it like a stomp box with the AGS engaged such that there's some dirt dialed in.
  10. jreynolds2159

    jreynolds2159 Gold Supporting Member

    Oct 10, 2012
    Burlington, NC
    Endorsing Artist: Schroeder Cabinets, GK Endorser.
    If your only using 1-8ohm cabinet with the MB 800, your not getting 800 watts, closer to 500. If you add another 8ohm cab or just get a really nice 4 ohm cab (like a Schroeder 1212) you won't believe what a difference that makes. The same effect will happen with the 500 head, if your only using an 8ohm cab, your under-powering your rig.
  11. Zanzibar Delgado

    Zanzibar Delgado Supporting Member

    I'm quite aware of this (and stated my intention of getting another Mesa cab in the OP), but thanks anyway lol
  12. jreynolds2159

    jreynolds2159 Gold Supporting Member

    Oct 10, 2012
    Burlington, NC
    Endorsing Artist: Schroeder Cabinets, GK Endorser.
    Well yeah, but did you know that the ancient Pyramids were built wrong?
  13. obimark


    Sep 1, 2011
    Why does your guitarist need a 4x12 cabinet? Where are you all playing that needs that loud of a guitar?

  14. 5StringPocket

    5StringPocket Supporting Member

    Jan 11, 2006
    Love those commercials...
  15. ::::BASSIST::::

    ::::BASSIST:::: Progress Not Perfection.

    Sep 2, 2004
    Vancouver, BC Canada
    Just thought I'd throw in my .02...

    I owned the mb800 and the th pedal (put thru a QSC 2402). Both sound good. Its really just different flavours of good. However, with my fEARfuls I find the gk sound can get a nice creamy vibe that I could not quite get with the tone hammer.

    Now I am using a mb200 as preamp into a Crest 2.0 and get that gk tone with a very loud power section that will make most cabs cry for mercy (2000w at 4 ohms). I don't use all that wattage but its nice to know I will never reach the limit of my amp.
    puff father likes this.