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GK MB150s. Still worth it?

Discussion in 'Amps, Mics & Pickups [DB]' started by DuluthDank, May 5, 2019.


  1. I found a used one in good condition for 350 dollars shipped. Still a good amp for double bass, even though its based on a 30 plus year old model?
     
    Last edited: May 9, 2019
    Greg Clinkingbeard likes this.
  2. Keyser Soze

    Keyser Soze Supporting Member

    I've got a GK 200MB, the fossil you reference. It still comes in handy, does a great job. I used it on a one-trip load in gig with great success recently.
     
    DuluthDank likes this.
  3. lurk

    lurk

    Dec 2, 2009
    For that price grab it. If you've got more $, there's better options. I've made a lot of money (for me) with that amp.
     
    Zbysek and salcott like this.
  4. Ric Vice

    Ric Vice Supporting Member

    Jul 2, 2005
    Olivette, Missouri
    As long as it's in good working order and not to beat up I'd say yes. My take is that eventually, in the not to distant future, GK will stop making the Metal Cabinet MBS line. They've already discontinued
    the MBE's For the present you can still get a new one.
     
  5. Greg Clinkingbeard

    Greg Clinkingbeard Commercial User

    Apr 4, 2005
    Kansas City area
    Black Dog Bass Works
    I don’t think there is a better small combo on the market. They are reliable and generally get a good sound on both upright and electric. On a given gig, there might be better options, but the metal box will get it done. My 25 year old combo is still going strong.
     
    Joedog, Jaromir, Dabndug and 2 others like this.
  6. Ric Vice

    Ric Vice Supporting Member

    Jul 2, 2005
    Olivette, Missouri
    While I agree that the longevety and simplicity of the MBS is really good. I don't think I'd spend the $839.00 they cost retail for a new one. Just my take.
    Fender Rumbles sound pretty dang good. Just my take of course. It's unfortunate that Mesa Boogie discontinued the Walkabout Scout.
     
    Greg Clinkingbeard likes this.
  7. Funny you mention the Fender Rumbles, as i'd be replacing a rumble 40 with the GK. I think the Rumble 40 is extremely under rated as a practice and small gig amp. I've tried to replace it before with a much more expensive amp (Genz Benz Shuttle) and ended up returning the expensive ones after doing a direct comparison. That's not to say that the Rumble was objectively better, but after Fender hit it so far out of the park with that 200 dollar unit, the returns really seemed to diminish on the more expensive combo. In the end this is more of of a needless GAS move, like so many others, as the Rumble is totally fine. I guess I'm hoping the GK might be a bit more transparent and detailed with my Rev Solo - Fishman pro platinum signal chain...but in a good, not sterile way. I also like the more sophisticated EQ and the option to use an effects return. We'll see, as it's on the way! 350 shipped. At least i should be able to flip it for my money back if I don't like it.
     
    Last edited: May 6, 2019
    Joedog likes this.
  8. dannylectro

    dannylectro Supporting Member

    Aug 2, 2010
    Atlanta, GA
    Love mine, still use it regularly for small rooms and acoustic shows. It’s been going strong for like 30 years. Ish.
     
    Winoman likes this.
  9. TroyK

    TroyK Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2003
    Seattle, WA
    I had one for years and wouldn't hesitate to pay $350 if it's fully functional and that was my budget.

    When it sounds good, it sounds very good. In tough rooms, I lacked the ability to dial in a good sound sometimes. What really pushed me to move on though is that it isn't really very light by today's standards. It was revolutionary for it's day, but you can easily get lighter amps now with similar output power. But probably not for $350
     
    Jeff Bonny and Ric Vice like this.
  10. Jeff Bonny

    Jeff Bonny

    Nov 20, 2000
    Vancouver, BC
    Love the things. $350 in good working condition? Yes.

    Looking for an old 200MB head. Far superior in terms of repairability to the 150MB head (which I’ve got and need to fix the input jack on).
     
    DuluthDank likes this.
  11. Ric Vice

    Ric Vice Supporting Member

    Jul 2, 2005
    Olivette, Missouri
    The Head only version of the 200MB
    was called the 200RCB I actually own one, but it’s on permanent loan to a bassist who just can’t afford a newer amp. It’s also pretty large, because the transformer assembly that sits in the bottom of the speaker cabnet has to go up into the head’s enclosure. Aditionally it doesn’t sound as good with a different speaker cabinet. You could go with a GK MBX cabinet but the head won’t match with the top of the cab. It’s a 80 watt RMS head so these are just some things to consider.
     
    Last edited: May 7, 2019
    Jeff Bonny likes this.
  12. Jeff Bonny

    Jeff Bonny

    Nov 20, 2000
    Vancouver, BC
    Thanks Ric. I just assumed I’d be very similar to the 150 head only that’s worked well for me with just about every bass and cab. I’ll just get mine fixed.
     
  13. I'd to get it. I have a 200MB, which is better. It may not be the your #1 amp, but, it is great piece of gear to have. They sound great with extension speakers! My 200MB with an upshot is an outstanding sound!
    My main rig now is a Clarus 1 with the upshot, but, I'd never part with my GK.
     
    Fat bob and Jeff Bonny like this.
  14. Zbysek

    Zbysek

    Mar 23, 2017
    Czech Republic
    I was using this combo from 1998 till 2008. Hundreds gigs. Did very good job.

    If it's in a good working condition it'll serve you well.

    But there are better choices on the market these days...
     
  15. Greg Clinkingbeard

    Greg Clinkingbeard Commercial User

    Apr 4, 2005
    Kansas City area
    Black Dog Bass Works
    A fine young local player was recently searching for a nice amp and getting a lot of advice.
    At the beginning of his quest, he was leaning towards an AI Combo. Guys were pushing the MarkBass 12” combo. I loaned him a few things, including my GK which he dismissed as ‘just OK’.
    Well, he ended up buying a new GK MB150S and based on the report of the drummer I played with last night, loves it.
    That drummer prefers the sound of that amp. Somehow it just sounds good on the bandstand.

    Edit: I used my MB Nano, small 10” cab and my ‘A’ bass. The drummer gave me a look that said, ‘why didn’t you bring the Kay and GK?’, and I think he might have been right. What sounds good at home might not BE right.
     
    Last edited: May 9, 2019
    DuluthDank likes this.
  16. TheDirtyLowDown

    TheDirtyLowDown

    Mar 8, 2014
    I have an old, much-used MB150S plus the extension cab. I used it for EUB (and practices where I had to travel to someone's house) and I was very very happy with the sound I got from it, and the quality of the DI out. I don't use it anymore, and should probably sell it, but I know that as soon as I do, I'll want it back, and I can't replace it for the price I could sell it for...

    So, that's my long-winded recommendation; it's a good deal for that price, IMHO.
     
    DuluthDank likes this.
  17. Jeff Bonny

    Jeff Bonny

    Nov 20, 2000
    Vancouver, BC
    The best small room sound I’ve heard was from an Underwood straight into an MB150. It’s not loud enough for what I do these days but those amps have stood the test of time for good reason. Even though I don’t need it if one came my way for cheap I’d be on it in s heartbeat.
     
    Fat bob, Ric Vice and DuluthDank like this.
  18. That has been my experience with GK in general so far, especially with electric bass. They don't sound as pleasing as a lot of other amps out of a mix, but somehow sit right and make sense when the rest of the band joins in. My Fender Rumble is retired to home practice duty for being the reverse. Sounds great in the living room, though!
     
    Jeff Bonny likes this.
  19. It's impressive how well it's stood the test of time according to these accounts. Class D and neo speakers weren't being used yet, and they somehow managed to engineer a solution to the size and weight problem using 80's technology that is still viable today. Whoever worked in their development team at the time deserves kudos.
     
  20. Ric Vice

    Ric Vice Supporting Member

    Jul 2, 2005
    Olivette, Missouri
    While I’m not certain wheather Gallien Krueger will continue building the MBS, it’s a different technology than the 200MB. Rich Gallien designed both amps, but the 200 MB is a analog amp with a mini power transformer. It’s limitations are how much power it can produce (80 watts RMS) . GK had a 200 watt amp (the 400 RB) that was similar but was housed in a bigger box.
     
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

     
    Jan 18, 2021

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