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GK MB150 appreciation thread!

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by barroso, Nov 8, 2002.

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  1. barroso


    Aug 16, 2000
    i love this little amp and i think that i will own one when raised enough money.


    this thread is meant as a summary of your ideas, experiences and comments on this little old revolutionary bass combo.

    thanks for being here!
  2. Bard2dbone


    Aug 4, 2002
    Arlington TX
    I got one to be a home practice amp back when I was leaving my refrigerator-sized rig set up at the keyboard players house except for when we had a gig.

    We took to all leaving our good stuff set up at his place and having much smaller rigs to practice on at home. Then, if we had a gig we would load everything into the truck at once at be ready to go. (Complaining all the while about being our own roadies)

    At home I just had a 1x12 guitar amp I used for writing songs so I got a little bass practice amp as well.

    Jump forward several years: I never use the big rig anymore. I have used the head amd treble cabinet, but not the low-end cab for probably eight years. Mostly I take the GK, my Acoustic B4, the Acoustic 2x10 and spread them as far apart as space and cables allow. Strangely enough, they sound great that way! I'm thinking I'm gonna get a Genz-Benz GBE 500h to replace the B4. And I am either going to use a pair of Avatars (C115 and C112) or go with a Bag End 15 and a Nahas 12. That way I can use one of them as an extension speaker for the GK or use all of them together like I do now.
  3. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    I've seen loads of Jazz Double Bass players using then as a way to re-inforce their sound and they do work very well in a small "acoustic" group. Each week for the last 4 or 5 years I will go along to my local Jazz club and the DB player wil be using one of these - but I have never seen a BG player using one.

    I have found for bass guitar they are too trebly, scratchy - not a flat response and there is not enough bass or warmth for me. I have done a side by side comparison and I find the Eden Traveler plus a small high quality cab like the EA ones to be much better for BG - more bass and warmth to the sound. Just as portable as well!
  4. Bass-only

    Bass-only Supporting Member

    Oct 9, 2001
    I've used these little G-K combos in my wedding band (for the country club gigs) for many years!

    I have the mic stand adapter and I put the cab right in my back for these gigs. I can get everything, including a "hot spot" type monitor, mic stand, amp stand and all needed cords into one of those larger suitcases with the pull-up handle and wheels. With the tux in one hand, the bass in the bag (over my shoulder), I can walk into some gigs in one trip!

    I think (for the size and weight) that they are awesome! Use one with a Bergantino HT112 extension cab and you'll be amazed what you can achieve!
  5. jondog


    Mar 14, 2002
    NYC metro area
    How much is the mic stand adapter? Does anyone have a line on a used one?

    I've posted about my GK 200MB elsewhere on TB, so I won't go into all the details. Here's the nutshell version.

    Tons of I/O options
    Will drive extension speaker
    Best sound/volume in an amp it's size

    Repaired twice
    Can't compete w/ avg. drummer & guitar amp -- works best as a personal monitor -- people on the other side of the stage probably won't hear it
  6. basss

    basss Supporting Member

    Aug 27, 2001
    I love mine. Its great for jazz gigs. I find I can get a decent BG sound with some EQ tweaking. I actually like it better for BG than for URB. The URB sounds good through it at low volumes but it can sound very boxy and nasal at higher volumes. I have the MBE with the parimetric midrange- it's very flexible. I used it with a 1x12 extension cab with a moderately loud 6 piece R&B band. It did the job-barely.
  7. LarryJ

    LarryJ banned

    Dec 12, 1999
    Encino, CA (LA)
    Let me tell ya sumthin....

    This unit---(sob, sob) is Bob Gallien's masterwork-
    It must be written on his tombstone:
    "He gave the World the MB-150S & E"
    People who know will leave bouquets!!

    Ok enuff silliness-
    Gentlemen, I have a 150S & connect it to a Genz-Benz GB-12T 1x12 w/ a tweeter.
    The little G-K sits right on top the G-B, amp 24 lbs;
    cab-36 pounds.
    Gain at 12 O'Clock
    Bass at 3
    Treble about 10
    Low/High Mids about 11
    Contour at 1/2
    Hi Boost about 1/4
    ... Through an active Sterling(my eq there is top-secret)
    You cannot believe what this sounds like-
    SVT? Goliath w/900? Eden whatever?
    Better Better Better!
    OK I'm sorry for babbling-
    Great amp with a GREAT sound-Buy one, add an extension cab- Dude!
  8. I've got one.
    I use it mainly for upright, with a 1x12 Bag End extension if needed for jazz gigs. For country/rockabilly I use it as a monitor for me and the drummer, and run a line out to my Trace Elliot head (have an Eden WT400 on order) and SWR 4x8 cab. I could use the GK with the 4x8, but I like to keep them seperate so that my onstage sound can be controlled quite apart from the audience sound.
    I'm not a huge fan of it for BG, except for rehearsals.
  9. PhatBasstard

    PhatBasstard Spector Dissector Supporting Member

    Feb 3, 2002
    Las Vegas, NV.
    Back in the mid 80s when these things first came out I bought one used (for a ridiculously low price).

    Now the old ones were supposedly only 100watts. I could get tons of volume out of that thing (with or without my extension 15 cab) and even my low B wouldn't make that little 12 fart. Unfortunately, that amp took a very bad fall and I still mourn its loss.

    I bought one of the current models a few years ago (the one with chorus, compression, etc.). Thinking this one is 150watts, it should be even better, right?

    Wrong! It would fart even when not pushed as hard as the old one and when run near its wattage limit (loud but still clean), with or without an extension cab, the power amp section would shut down after about 15 minutes (the lineout to the P.A. still worked) so I'd have no speakers. It would be quite warm and I'd have to let it cool for awhile before it would come back.

    Took it back to the dealer (thinking there was a problem). Went through 2 more with no change. Highly dissapointing.
  10. jondog


    Mar 14, 2002
    NYC metro area
    Mine is from 1987. It has a compressor (ok), 4 band eq (very good), and chorus (great!).

    Bummer about the fall. Mine has vibrated off the extension cab numerous times. To be fair, that's user error, so to clarify my CONS column above, one of the repairs was probably due to heavy gigging and foolish abuse. The second repair, replacing the speaker surround, seems to be GK's responsibility.
  11. Matthias


    May 30, 2000
    Vienna, Austria
    I just love my MB150E.

    It's true that it sounds boxy with flat EQ at low to moderate volume, but with the parametric EQ this can be avoided easily. At high volume this mid hump helps to cut through and in the band mix it sounds nothing but great.

    I use it for practicing at home with earphones and at the rehearsals of one of my rock bands (not too quiet drummer, 2 guitars, piano and organ, percussion) and it does a great job there.

    The other day our guitarist was kneeling in front of the amp, staring at it. When I asked him if something was wrong, he replied 'I just can't believe how good this little thingie sounds'....

    BTW I always run it at it's limit, you can almost fry an egg on it but it never failed (and does not fart out).

    Only problem: with the limiter on, if any other device at the same power circuit is switched on or off it makes a very loud pop and hisses terribly. If you turn off the limiter and than on again it's gone. Strange...

    One last word: Of course you can't really compare it with a serious rig volumewise. Even my 400W amp with 212cab just blows it away. Not to speak of the 1200W w/ 115+410 rig of my cousin I plugged in yesterday... But for the size and weight (24lbs!!) it's truly amazing!!

    Was that enough appreciation? ;)

  12. LarryJ

    LarryJ banned

    Dec 12, 1999
    Encino, CA (LA)
    Funny thing about G-K:
    I've heard several stories about their product going down; equally as many about their reliability.
    Now personally, I've had a 400-RBIII that was gigged regularly with a Hartke 2x10XL-Never a problem-never-maybe somewhat limited in headroom, but that's fixed by going to the 700 or 1000 RB! It's what it is!!
    My 150S has been amazing- (no problems whatsoever)-I could not believe it
    when I first used it with my 'Benz cab- still get a kick out of blowing players mind when I haul it in as a top in the gigbag-After we play I CONSTANTLY
    hear: "Man, that thing really puts out!!" I love it-
    Now I would not imply that this rig has the headroom of a bigger unit, like my Mesa, but really for what it is, absolutely amazing. I bring it rather than rely on backline at rehearsal studios, and it's saved my ass a few times, & got me the gig I believe, while other bass player "candidates"
    sounded like crap through the studio's thrashed
    Now I understand that they made a head-only version-Sweet! Too bad it's n/a-almost bought one used, sorry I did not-That would be cool to have the sound in that package & pair it with an Aggie or Bergie, or Epifani-think Walter Woods-like.
    As far as G-K qc- I've tried to reach them by phone, and it can be miserable-Fortunately I needed only an accessory, but if I had a problem, I would be seething-
    I know that G-K is adressing this, or trying to, as evidenced by Trip's presence on TB-
    So props G-K
    By the way, I listened to some of your stuff-
    I'm trying to think I'm a good player, dammit!
  13. Tsal


    Jan 28, 2000
    Finland, EU
    Now, would the MB150 be loud enough to drive any moderate rock band if it's coupled with the extension speaker designed for it, that's what I would like to know.
  14. Matthias


    May 30, 2000
    Vienna, Austria
    It depends very much on how loud the band is.
    It's just enough for one of my bands, but too weak for the other one. Both are pop-rock.
    BTW I use it with a home-made 112 cab which is louder than the G-K cab.

  15. LarryJ

    LarryJ banned

    Dec 12, 1999
    Encino, CA (LA)
    Tsai, it's hard to say-
    (almost said hard to tsay-forgive me!)
    With an extension cab, you've got 150 fet watts into 4 ohms, which is pretty loud, but headroom is an issue, as the bass NEEDS to cut through the mix-not be buried or subdued.
    Depends on your status of moderate rock-
    I use mine on the job in smaller clubs, playing
    R&B, approaching rock n' roll-whatever labels we use!
    We get some LOUD on, and with my cab it cuts it.
    But on a larger stage, in a bigger venue, when you need to break loose, its 200-tube watt Mesa for me.
    SO- rehearsals-definetly
    recording, yep
    small venues; jazz combos, etc-Oh yeh
    Rock- depends
    Remember this is a mighty mite-not a giant-killer!
    GREAT amp regardless!
  16. I have an MB-150E which I love. It broke down on me once, but I had it fixed, and had all the ECOs done, and now I use it according to what I need for a gig. There were some problems with the earlier ones, and there are some quite easy fixes which I won't go into here (see other threads on this subject). I've been to two performances in the past 6 months which blew me away - Ron Carter at the Regatta Bar, in Cambridge, and John Repucci at a local watering-hole here in Nashua - two bassists whose tone and technique I admire greatly, and guess which amp each of them was using? RC was using his 150 through a large speaker cab on a chair, and JR was using his 150 straight - in the interval I checked out the settings JR was using, and was amazed to find that all the tone controls were at 12 o'clock. I suppose the tone really is all in the fingers.

    - Wil

    PS: If anyone's interested in the fixes/ECOs for the 150, drop me a note (Jacksons are OK, but Franklins much better...)
  17. basss

    basss Supporting Member

    Aug 27, 2001
    John Repucci is a badass! I studied with him while I was at Berklee. Very nice guy and one of the most muscial cats I've met. Nice to see his name mentioned.
  18. PhatBasstard

    PhatBasstard Spector Dissector Supporting Member

    Feb 3, 2002
    Las Vegas, NV.
    1987. Is yours the older 100watt version?

    As far as the GK reliability question: I also had a RB800 for about 5 years in the late 80s to early 90s. I loved the tone but it went down 4 times :eek: :mad: . I fixed it one final time and sold it. Bought a Hartke 7000 in 93. Haven't had one problem (9 years at 6 nights a week :D ).
  19. LarryJ

    LarryJ banned

    Dec 12, 1999
    Encino, CA (LA)
    Seeing as I used my MB at rehearsal this afternoon
    (with 1x12 extension) ,thought I might mention:
    The BOSS LMB-3 Bass Limiter/Enhancer does a
    nice job with this rig IMO.
    It gives the signal a nice boost, and allows compression as well as a "roundness" from the "enhance" knob on the pedal.
    Kind of like giving a steroid shot to this set-up-
    Might want to explore this if you have this or any other rig you like to play around with.
  20. jondog


    Mar 14, 2002
    NYC metro area
    1987. Is yours the older 100watt version?

    Yes, the 200MB does 100w at 4 ohms. I think it might only be 75w when the internal speaker is used alone.

    They make a cool gigbag for these. I use a hardcase w/ wheels, and it's still smaller than every other amp.

    There's an old one on ebay right now.

    Mine is the series II, so I've got a few extra things like dry XLR out and master volume.

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