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GK MB Fusion 500 Review

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Bongofour, Dec 5, 2010.

  1. Bongofour


    Sep 5, 2010
    Here goes;

    Last night I gigged my new GK MB Fusion 500 for the first time. ,ran it through my MB 4x10 standard. Bit O' tweeter on like I likes it.
    Played with my main bass (MM Bongofour). Full PA support.

    All settings at 12 o'clock. -14 Db pad pressed. I gravitated towards using my boost knob on my bass just a touch. It was very, very nice. I had the limiter on, contour switch at 800Hz, presence off, deep switch off. This resulted in an almost Tony Levin type tone. I focused mainly on using channel "A" in order to familiarize myself with this amp first time out. I did however use channel "B" for one song which was "My own worst enemy" by Lit. This resulted in the grind that is supposed to be associated with this channel. Very good indeed.
    Throughout the entire night, I did not need to fiddle with any of the controls/EQ!
    All colorations came from my Bongo. Very easy and likeable tone from the start.
    Gain "A" was at 12 O'clock, master"A" was at about 12:30. Plenty lound and concise.
    After the first set, i listened in on the fan. It was relatively noiseless. Although not silent. The amp still remained room temp to the touch. At the end of the night, the amp was warm to the touch well within reason. I love the orange-ish glow from the tubes.
    While performing "California Girls" by The lovely Katy Perry, I got to test a bit of the GK's slap sound. Again, very nice. Snappy and well defined highs. Present lows with thumb downstrokes. I was not looking to hear anything. No struggle at all. This was a medium-large venue gig.
    Compared to my GB Shuttle 9, the voicing is definately different. Seems to have a more defined mid range.
    Overall, I absolutely fell in love with the GK. I purchased it as a "back-up". It is an amazing piece of gear. Worth the money for sure.
    I can travel with both amps in one medium sized roller back pack. This also includes all cables, my wireless system, and other knick knacks.
    I will probably end up doing the bratty thing, and taking out whichever amp I feel that night!!!
    More to come as I use it more.
  2. Darn. GAS. I have the Fusion 550 and love it. But anything that makes my roadcase lighter would be appreciated and very cool!

    Thanks! :)
  3. Never got to try the MB Fusion 500 but if it is anything like the MB 500, it will be a great amp.
  4. Bearwolf


    Dec 21, 2007
    Houston Texas
    I've been considering feeding my G.A.S. appetite by getting either the mbfusion or the fusion 550. I'm currently using a mb115 and wouldnt mind a little more power and functionality. How much or rather what it the main difference between the 550 and the mb500 fusion other than biamp'ing on the 550, low and high boost switches? I've done a little reading on them, but dont see what all makes the 550 so much more expensive over the mb fusion??
  5. Bongofour


    Sep 5, 2010

    In my preliminary experience with the MB Fusion, I do not see the need to enlarge my rig with anything other than the MBF500 and my 4X10.
    It was plenty loud and articulate with proper tweaking, albeit the tweaking was minimal.
  6. tubaman2


    Nov 18, 2010
    I'm a little late to the party, but I was wondering if you are able to get a nice natural tubey growl/warmth/edge without it being too much. I'm sure you can get it pretty distorted, but does it do just a little bit of growl well?
  7. willsellout

    willsellout Supporting Member

    Aug 13, 2002
    Key West, FL
    I don't think the MB Fusion holds a candle to what the Fusion 550 delivers. It's a great head, but it's not nearly as dynamic and versatile. The Fusion 550 is an amazing head. But yes, it is big.
  8. Igotsoul4u


    Nov 3, 2011
    anymore thoughts on the Fusion head? I am stuck without being able to try one. I really liked the MB500 but feel like I gotta give the fusion a go before deciding.
  9. Tunaman


    Dec 26, 2004
    Good review man, appreciate u taking the time
  10. scottfeldstein

    scottfeldstein Supporting Member

    Jun 20, 2011
    West Bend, Wisconsin
    The Fusion 500 is the only regret I have about purchasing the terrific little MB500: I could have ponied up for some tubular preampishness, but didn't.

    Thanks for taking the time to review it!
  11. HMZ

    HMZ Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2003
    I have to check this amp out!
  12. This has been my main gigging amp for 3 years now. No need for a drive pedal, just crank the gain. A keeper.
    TomB likes this.
  13. My 500F is a new release (May 2015) and both A and B channels can be clean or dirty. I have read comments here about channel A being clean and B being tubey, but on mine they are the same.
  14. TomB

    TomB Supporting Member

    Aug 24, 2007
    I believe this is true. I set mine to run that way: lower gain on A (11:00) than B (1:00) with matching master volumes, but it could be the reverse if I chose. I kick in the B channel for boost / OD. I think the MBF800 is set up to run as you suggest, but that's just from my reading on here, not from experience. When you talk about the 500F are you talking about an MB Fusion or the big brother Fusion amp?
  15. jdwilliams


    May 16, 2010
    Las Vegas NV
    I have had both the 550 and the MB Fusion 800... the 800's low end did not compare. the Fusion 550 sound is quite a bit fuller IMO.
    99Z3 and goran like this.
  16. mam1862

    mam1862 Supporting Member

    Nov 10, 2008
    Northfield, Ohio
    Great amp. Enjoy.
  17. My amp is the GK 500 Fusion amp. I followed the suggestion of a fellow TBer and got a bag for a concealed weapon to hold it. The bag also holds the speakon cable, foot pedal and cable, tuner with short cable, power cord, and other short connecting do-dads. I set the bag on the MB212 II cab, which is on coasters, and toss my Warwick/bag over my back (like a back-pack) and off I go. Love it!
  18. dean owens

    dean owens

    Sep 23, 2008
    pittsboro, nc
    Where is the DI on the MB Fusion?

    On the MB500 I had it was before the MV. This meant that my channels had to be very similar or there was a drastic volume increase at the board. How do I know? Because one time I had volume A at 10 o'clock or so and volume B at about 3 o'clock. I used the MV's to give equal volumes out of my cabs. But later when I kicked on channel B I saw the sound guy freaking out a bit and later asked what was going on. He said that all of a sudden my bass got really loud. From then on I never used channel B.
  19. What you are talking about is one of those 'known issues' that has only one way to be solved - use a mic. All three of the GK fusion amps have the same issue - when the gain and/or master volume dials are different by more than a little bit, the two will send two entirely different levels via the DI to the sound board. If you want to really get all you can out of them, you have to mic your cab. Problem is a nice mic will run between $300-$500. The answer your question, the DI level comes from immediately after the EQ area but before the master level controls for A and B. Anything you change on the EQ will go into the DI, but the levels can be really far apart.
  20. dean owens

    dean owens

    Sep 23, 2008
    pittsboro, nc
    Thanks. I didn't know if they had somehow fixed that issue with the MB Fusions. It's really a shame. I would have used the other "channel" if the volume to the DI would have been constant. Oh well.