1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  

GK MB150 vs Acoustic Image Coda

Discussion in 'Amps, Mics & Pickups [DB]' started by Gregmak, Nov 6, 2013.


  1. Gregmak

    Gregmak

    Oct 1, 2009
    Larnaca, Cyprus
    Hi guys,

    I will be buying an amp for the first time for my double bass and I'm a little confused what to buy. Even worse I live in Cyprus so there is no way for me to try amps here with my bass as nothing is available.

    So after a lot of searching I see a lot of people using these amps. The one benefit I see on paper about the Acoustic Image Coda is that it handles 2 inputs, and both have a mic xlr input with phantom power. I find that a huge plus!

    I would like to use my mic (atm350) instead of a transducer, however I have no experience with mic's on an amp, so not sure how well it would work. I just want to have the best possible natural sound of my double bass.

    The benefit of the GK MB150 is that it's half the price...700 euro vs 1500 euro. Also none of the other acoustic image amps are available at reasonable prices (Incl. shipping) at the online stores im looking at.

    Any help greatly appreciated guys.
     
  2. If I could choose between the GK MB-150 and the Genz Benz Shuttle 3.0-10T I would always choose the Genz Benz. There are a few last ones available at some dealers.
    Do a web search for "Genz Benz Shuttle 3.0-10T".
     
  3. sevenyearsdown

    sevenyearsdown Supporting Member

    Jan 29, 2008
    Sanborn, NY
    I own both a GB Shuttle 3.0-10T combo, and a GK MB150. I used to run the ATM Pro-35 for my amplified setup. I also built a few condenser mics similar to the radio shack thing people post about here.

    Honestly either amp will work just fine if you are using a preamp in between the mic and amp. The draw back is going to be getting volume/gain vs. feedback. While the tone from the mic is superior to a pickup, I eventually went back to a pickup because of this. It helps that I found a pickup that I really like.

    The only thing negative I can say about the GK is that it is not as transparent as my GB. It takes a little more effort to EQ at least for me. They do sound surprisingly loud for their rated wattage though.

    Anyway you go, you are going to run into the age old problem of being able to get enough volume before feeding back because of the condenser. If you are playing small indoor gigs, it might not be an issue.
     
  4. Greg Clinkingbeard

    Greg Clinkingbeard

    Apr 4, 2005
    Kansas City area
    KC Strings
    The most important factor in getting a good amplified sound is the player. Next comes the bass. Speaking from experience, I struggled with my amplified sound and kept looking at the amp when I should have worked on my technique. I've owned the GK and AI combos as well a various heads, cabinets and mics. I prefer my current Clarus setup with either the Acme or Crazy 8 cabinet, but the GK combo gets it done.
    If I'm off the mark, please forgive.
     
  5. TroyK

    TroyK Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2003
    Seattle, WA
    I've owned both,

    The AI is more modern and I think does things like mic input, dual channels and usually weight better than the GK, though I find the shape a little awkward to carry and it times didn't think it was more portable than the GK. Still, they are a bit lighter.

    In a perfect setting either one sounded very good. Neither amp (in my experience) predictably scales up very gracefully. Both worked on big stages and rooms for me at times, but other times, I couldn't get them to work without a lot of fiddling and usually some giving up on the sound I really wanted. Generally, I though the GK was more versital in dynamic settings. It's possible that the AI had the ability in those same circumstances, but with the downfiring speaker, there are a lot of variables that I found myself wrestling with. In the end, I frequently wasn't happy with the sound.

    Depending on what you play and where, it's hard to say. They are both good products for us. The second channel on the AI was great. I had singers sit in on it and it doubled as a PA, certainly for making announcements in medium/small rooms, that's a fantastic feature. I shared one AI combo with an electric piano one night. Amazing. The GK can't do that.

    But, if you don't need those things, for 2x the cost, I don't know. The GK is at least as good at the simple task of being a bass amp.
     
  6. Ric Vice

    Ric Vice Supporting Member

    Jul 2, 2005
    Olivette, Missouri
    +1 Gallien Kruegers MBS has the most Double Bass friendly
    EQ IME, I think it would find that for most gigs it would serve
    you well. If you go with the Acoustic Image, you would do well
    to get the new series 4+ Claris Head. I would use it with a different
    cabinet. They have added separate low and high midrange controls.

    Ric
     
  7. Gregmak

    Gregmak

    Oct 1, 2009
    Larnaca, Cyprus
    Hi guys,

    Thanks for your replies. First, let me just clarify that the amp is for indoor small bar gigs only. Up until now I have been playing most of my gigs acoustic, and sometimes going on a PA with mic. I have tried different amps from friends here but none of them sounded good, amps likes ashdown, eden, SWR.

    I have hardly any experience with amps, which is why I don't want to make a mistake and throw in 1500 euro for the AI if I can get a good sound out of the GK. Though I would have to spend some extra cash on getting a pre-amp too for the GK since I don't own one.

    The amp is going to be there for a slight volume boost of my acoustic sound, so I can hear better. When it gets noisy in a bar I struggle hearing my bass.

    Like I said the problem is I can't try the amps as they are not available in my country. Also I have been looking at thomann.com and the only AI I can find is the coda.

    At the end I think the GK + pre-amp would cost me almost as much as the AI coda, and would have to carry 2 pieces and wires instead of 1. I'm just wondering sound-wise how superior is the AI from the GK, if it is any superior at all.

    Thanks again everyone.
     
  8. TroyK

    TroyK Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2003
    Seattle, WA
    Strictly sonically, I don't think the AI is better at all. It might be better at some times, but the GK will be better at others. I kept my GK for 10 years and my AI for only 1.

    But they are both fine amps.
     
  9. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    I had both, the GK is gone. I hear plenty of guys getting killer sounds with the GK but it didn't work for me.

    So I guess it comes down to taste and (maybe) what pickup you are using.

    As far as using mikes with amps: FEEDBACK :help:
     
  10. Don Sibley

    Don Sibley

    Jun 27, 2005
    Fort Worth, TX
    If you just want to use a condenser mic you're better off getting a simple powered PA like the Yamaha DXR8 and a good preamp like the EDB-2 from Headway. You'll get more volume and a more accurate reproduction of your bass for less money. You might even be able to find these in Cyprus.

    I've tried using several mics with the GK combo all to no avail.
     
  11. Gregmak

    Gregmak

    Oct 1, 2009
    Larnaca, Cyprus
    @Don

    I didn't think about that at all. That sounds like a good idea. But that combo would work with mic only right? If I am forced to use a pickup at a gig it will sound like potatoes..

    So reading from most comments mostly everyone is happy with the GK, I guess I might go with that since its half the price. I will try out this powered speaker/mic combo too see how that works.

    Thank you everyone for your advice.
     
  12. The Headway preamp has a piezo and a mic input, so you can use both (even at the same time).

    If you use a speaker stand for the powered speaker you might be able to use a mic without feedback. I'm happy with the old Audio Technica ATM-35, the ATM-350 and Pro might be similar. I use a DPA 4099B mount with it that could be purchased seperately.

    If you won't like the Genz Benz Shuttle 3.0-10T, I would go the powered speaker route (but it might be more expensive than the Genz Benz).
     
  13. Don Sibley

    Don Sibley

    Jun 27, 2005
    Fort Worth, TX
    I tested the powered speaker with a piezo and it sounds fine. The Headeay does a great job with piezos. Never tried blending but I know others on this forum are happy doing so.

    Here in the US a new PA speaker is a fraction of the cost of a GK and you can find them used all day. Not sure what the Headeay costs in Cyprus. You could start with a cheap little 2-channel mixer for proof of concept knowing that the EDB-2 will be far superior.
     
  14. Greg Clinkingbeard

    Greg Clinkingbeard

    Apr 4, 2005
    Kansas City area
    KC Strings
    IIRC, you can run a preamp into the return input of the GK and essentially have a two channel amp.
     
  15. Gregmak

    Gregmak

    Oct 1, 2009
    Larnaca, Cyprus
    I have a little mixer with phantom power so I can use that for the mic to try out some speakers.

    Gonna head at a store this week, and try out some different speakers, from Mackie and DB Tech, but can't find Yamaha.

    Ideally, what should the frequency response be on these speakers? I saw the DB Tech ones go to 67-20khz. I feel like 67hz wouldn't be enough to cover those deep lows but I am not sure. The Yamaha DXR 8 goes down to 57hz.

    Btw the piezo that I use is Rev Solo II, and I remember once I ran it through a mixer into a PA system and it sounded terrible. The atm350 mic sounds really good with my bass, those can't turn it up much if the drums are next to me.
     
  16. Ric Vice

    Ric Vice Supporting Member

    Jul 2, 2005
    Olivette, Missouri
    +1 Having a speaker that goes all the way down to reproduce the fundamental of the E String isn't necessarily a good thing, especially in a particularly boomy room. I think most of what we hear down there is actually, the octave harmonic above the fundamental anyway. I like the fact that the Mackie has an actual pre amp with three bands of EQ, that way you don't have to buy something like the Headway EDB-2 right out of the chute. The Yamaha does seem like the best bang frequency wise, for the buck, and you can order one on trial from GC to test it out. My QSC K8 sounds very good.

    Ric
     
  17. Don Sibley

    Don Sibley

    Jun 27, 2005
    Fort Worth, TX
    Sage advice from Ric as usual. I wouldn't worry with specs, just try out some rigs and see what clicks.
     
  18. I once tried a good bass sound with a digital mixer and reduced the bass frequencies around 80 to 100 Hz, maybe only 6db/oct but could have been 12dB/oct., so a bit lower might be better.
    The Genz Benz Shuttle 3.0-10T has a lower frequency of 56 Hz, the -8T of 58 Hz.
    I think around 60 Hz should be OK, 67 Hz may work too, if the volume drop is not too steep. You need to test it anyway.
     
  19. Personally I find the Acoustic Image amps to sound very "quacky." Just my $0.02.
     
    Steve Boisen likes this.
  20. TroyK

    TroyK Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2003
    Seattle, WA
    I'm kind of with you. Very good equipment, but there's a tone that is not right for me most of the time. I'm sure the same can be said (and has been) about the GK, but that's my impression. The bottom line is the it's a pain in the ass to amplify our instruments, period.

    Using a mic is a different world, I don't have input there, but I see some good advice going around in that regard as well.
     

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.