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GK MB200 or Carvin BX250

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by 77PBass, Mar 1, 2014.

  1. 77PBass

    77PBass Banned

    Dec 5, 2007
    I am looking at these for grab and go, bass case practice/coffee house gig amp. I'll be using it with a Berg AE112.

    Any opinions?
  2. 5port


    Oct 14, 2009
    LI,new yawk
    I own the MB200 and a Carvin BX1500 (similar tone stack to the BX250).

    I love the form factor of the MB200 (1 rack space), the power and the tone. Easy to dial in your tone, very versatile. I believe it has the best tone of the MB series. Will match very well in a single driver situation although I've also used it to power a 2X15 and a 4X10 with no problem. Also used it at a large show powering a backline 6X10. Sounded huge. Classic GK sound. I keep mine in a binocular case and take it to all the gigs.

    The BX250 is classic Carvin. That is to say it is transparent in tone and will not color your instrument. Many tone choices with the tone stack provided. It will do a new school tone better than old school. It is a two rack space height so not as compact, not nearly as attractive IMO. More controls available on the front panel (including pre/post DI). 50W more power out at 4 ohms.

    MB200 at 8 ohms = 140W

    BX250 at 8 ohms = 200W

    The MB200 will deff growl under the right conditions where the BX250 will not. My choice would be the MB200.
  3. 4Mal

    4Mal Supporting Member

    Jun 2, 2002
    Columbia River Gorge
    I have a ton on gigs on my mb200. Love it.
  4. ::::BASSIST::::

    ::::BASSIST:::: Progress Not Perfection.

    Sep 2, 2004
    Vancouver, BC Canada
    I'm familiar with both amps. The carvin will sound closer to flat if that is what you are going for. That said, I love the gkmb200. I keep flipping them and then buying again because it sounds so good at such a nice size. I am currently using my 4th (!) one as a pre-amp for my Crest 2.0 prolite and its sounds tremendous.
  5. Bob C

    Bob C

    Mar 26, 2000
    Duluth, MN
    I have no hands-on experience with the Carvin. But both heads have a good rep and tons of features and watts for the money,

    I was very pleasantly surprised by the GK when I tried it out at Guitar Center recently. It is TINY in size, but had a big round full sound through the GK NEO 410 it was hooked up to. Very basic, straightforward tone controls.

    The GK does not operate at 2 ohms. Not an issue if you'll only be using the one cab anyway.
  6. 77PBass

    77PBass Banned

    Dec 5, 2007
    Thanks for the good information. I should have mentioned my gig amp is a black face Mesa Walkabout. I have been playing a Rob Allen Deep 5 and a '60s JB. I tend toward a darker, classic tone.
  7. DWBass

    DWBass The Funkfather

    GK MB200 owner here. That little thing sounds huge with my 2 Neo112's. I was actually looking to buy the TC but it never came up for sale here. Saw a MB200 f/s and grabbed it. Love the sound of that thing. That is the sound I've been missing. I own a Markbass LMIII and a Genz Benz 6.0. Both sound good but the GK gives me my sound. Looking for a MB500 now!
  8. jeff7bass


    Apr 9, 2009
    The Carvin for power and EQ flexibility. It's not as colored as the GK and has a very good Compressor built-in. The DRIVE control adds nice rich harmonics.
  9. 77PBass

    77PBass Banned

    Dec 5, 2007
    How does the MB200 color the sound? I like the form factor but if the sound is a scooped mid type sound, it may be a deal breaker.
  10. emblymouse

    emblymouse Supporting Member

    Jan 22, 2006
    Lakland Artist Endorser
    I went with the Carvin. I briefly had an MB 200 and I was afraid the knobs would fall off. Sounded good though.
  11. dougjwray


    Jul 20, 2005
    When I use mine, I usually start with the contour off, the treble and bass rolled off a bit, and the high and low mids up some. Without doing this, it is pretty scooped... but the EQ is powerful enough to easily overcome it.
    I think they are tremendous amps.
  12. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
  13. +1 MB200
  14. Technicality


    Feb 10, 2011
    I just picked up an MB200. From what I've seen playing with it so far, the power amp seems fairly transparent (at lowish volume at least). The EQ definitely colours the sound a bit, but its fairly subtle to my ears. If you put the contour switch on though the sound becomes very scooped.

    Here's a super quick recording from the direct out made using my G&L L2000 bass so you can hear it yourself. All the knobs are at 12 O'Clock apart from the volume, which I tweaked so the raw volume and post EQ volume were the same:


    The order they play is: Pre EQ, Post EQ, Pre EQ, Post EQ with contour switch on.

    Its also worth noting that there is an post preamp aux in, so if you wanted to connect a different preamp up to the power section you could.
  15. 77PBass

    77PBass Banned

    Dec 5, 2007
    Thanks Technicality. This is why I love TB. This is a useful demonstration of the MB200. The contour switch really sucks out the mids and give you that Tal Wilkenfeld sound that I dislike immensely.

    Anyone have a Carvin BX250 to do a similar sound clip?
  16. 5port


    Oct 14, 2009
    LI,new yawk

    Why not order both and return the one you don't like? Carvin has free shipping right now, so does MF.
  17. 77PBass

    77PBass Banned

    Dec 5, 2007
    Not exactly the same thing as it was recorded through the 15" speaker rather than direct which introduces coloration from the speaker and the mic.

    I will say the demo showed the BX250 to be a transparent amplifier.
  18. My ampeg pf 350 has now become the "spare".... the lil gk is crazy. ...may have to get a fusion 500
  19. DWBass

    DWBass The Funkfather

    I personally like the sound of the GK with the Contour switch on. It's great for slapping. If I need more roundness in a setting, I just turn it off.
  20. 77PBass

    77PBass Banned

    Dec 5, 2007
    Agree, that is the slap sound.

    You know what is great? As I am typing this there is an add for an MB200 at the top of the page. Talk Music Group uses a very efficient ad placement network.