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GK MB200- How can it be so powerful??

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by obimark, Jun 22, 2014.

  1. obimark


    Sep 1, 2011
    Ok- just played a medium sized-to big venue with my MIGHTY GK MB200 head into (2) 210 cabinets, vertical stacked and OMG- this little puppy blew the doors off-I got asked to turn down and was only on GAIN (Volume) 6!!
    Magic, magic and growl tone for days with my Carvin Sb4000 JB.
    Kubicki440 likes this.
  2. 5port


    Oct 14, 2009
    LI,new yawk
    MB200 has a lot of perceived volume. I never go past 5 on the volume as more power is not available after that IMO. It has a big fat bottom end that stays relatively clear...only thing limited is the headroom. The 200 loves multiple drivers so a vertical 4-10 stack should work well.
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2014
  3. obimark


    Sep 1, 2011
    I agree there isn't much change after the 8' o Clock Gain/Volume setting. To my ear at least that is where it peaks, which is not atypical of many amps I have played, where the final stages of the volume have little effect. Man the tone on this thing as well! I love it.
  4. Bob C

    Bob C

    Mar 26, 2000
    Duluth, MN
    I think it's a great head too. What cabinets were you using?
  5. I say magic. What elsecould it be? This little amp is my all-around backup, headphone amp, straight to DI, utilitarian tool kit. Great buy, and loud enough to make it in a band situation. I play GK NEO410 cabs, and would like to hear it with an 810.
  6. jonesn4bass

    jonesn4bass Supporting Member

    Jun 2, 2009
    Granville, Ma
    couldn't agree more. I traded out my Carvin B1500 for an MB500. Weights about a 10th of the Carvin and keeps up with the band JUST fine!
  7. I haven't seen a schematic, but from using mine I guess it must have a well implemented limiter, so that when you're pushing the amp it squashes the dynamics before you hear ugly sounding clipping. I wonder if it's also using some sort of HPF to use the available power more effectively? Has anyone run an RTA on one to investigate this?
  8. LoveThatBass


    Jun 28, 2004
    The amp is not the only factor. The speaker's sensitivity plays a large roll also.
  9. jnewmark

    jnewmark Just wanna play the groove. Supporting Member

    Aug 31, 2006
    Stax 1966
    Third St. Cigar Records staff musician.
    More speakers, more volume. I tried it into an 8 ohm, single driver cab for rehearsal and could barely hear it. Then tried it in a 4 ohm, 212/horn cab loaded with 3012HO's and the difference was night and day.
    DannyBob and CL400Peavey like this.
  10. +1 to this. The cab will make a huge difference.
    DannyBob likes this.
  11. obimark


    Sep 1, 2011
    I am using a SWR GolIght 210 and a Markbass Traveler 210. Stacked vertically. Great load-in as these are both basically one-hand carries for the cabinets, and the MB200 fits in my gig bag pocket.
  12. Agreed, speaker choice makes a massive difference to the useful volume you can get from a given amp. Though I've noticed when comparing the MB200 to other amps using the same speaker cab that it does have very good perceived loudness for its power rating, and it might be interesting to discuss why. I think the limiter has a lot to do with it, though there may be other tricks going on.
  13. tombowlus

    tombowlus If it sounds good, it is good Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 3, 2003
    North central Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    Bob Gallien definitely does a great job when it comes to how to handle the situation where you are pushing an amp very close to clipping. I know that in the RB series heads, they are designed to actually go all the way to maximum output (past the rails, even), with no limiting. But, if they are putting out full power for more than, like 10 milliseconds, then the output section shuts off. This protects against an outright short scenario. His thoughts are that you do want to protect against amp failure/damage situations, but if you get too aggressive with your limiting prior to the amp hitting the rails, you are loosing potential headroom.

    With regard to the class-D MB series - like the MB200 - I am not sure what specific limiting technique is being used (though I don't think you can push these class-D heads past the rails, like you can the RB series). However, knowing GK's overall approach of trying to get as much output as possible, I am guessing that it is not what you would call aggressive limiting/compression.

    I do agree that the MB200 is a very loud little head, but the total cone surface area is probably the biggest factor, here.
  14. Stevorebob

    Stevorebob Well... I Am Here, Aren't I? Supporting Member

    Sep 29, 2011
    Los Angeles
    +1. It's the magic. An incredibly valuable piece of equipment, the MB200.
    michael_t likes this.
  15. RustyAxe


    Jul 8, 2008
    I use mine with a GB STL-8T cab ... perfect for the acoustic duo gigs I've been doing. If I need more I can mic the cab (sounds great, too!). That entire "rig" (with cables) weighs less than 13 lbs!
  16. daveman50

    daveman50 Supporting Member

    Feb 24, 2007
    Westchester County NY
    I have the same "rig." I get looks of confusion followed by amazement at what it can put out. :)
  17. I'm rockin' an MB112 combo now and am impressed with it. I do kinda wish I would have gotten the head looking back on it, just for the sake of flexibility.
  18. basscooker

    basscooker Commercial User

    Apr 11, 2010
    cincy ky
    Owner, ChopShopAmps
    FYI the git center used pages have 4 of these listed at assorted locations for 189.99-199.99. If you can walk in to one of these stores, that's a sweet deal.
  19. Mostly it's the fact that volume is non linear with power. 400w is only a smidgen louder than 200w applied to same cab, and only if the cab can handle all of the 400w.
  20. When I was looking for a replacement for my basic Fender Rumble 15 for my practice amp about a year and a half ago, I was seriously considering the GK MB112 combo. But I ended up with the MB200 and a pair of headset instead (ATH-M50) because I happen to live in a rented townhouse where I need to be able to practice my bass without bothering my neighbors or the rest of my family.

    Little did I know this tiny little thing would turn out to be a much better investment than I ever expected it to be! All I need now is a decent cab or two to turn it into a gig-worthy rig!

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