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GK MB210-ll/210MBE ll arrived today

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Mr. Fabulous, Jan 15, 2013.

  1. Mr. Fabulous

    Mr. Fabulous

    Sep 13, 2007
    Hello TBs, I’m frequent lurker here, not a poster. But since I get a lot of good info here, I thought I’d share my happy GK family and the latest additions that arrived today:


    The stack on the right is the new MB210-II/210MBE II, which sort of looks like the monolith from 2001 with GK logos on it. I dig the clean look. This is replacing the 1001RB/210 and RBH115 on the left. I’ve had that older stack for over ten years, and I was ready for something easier to move around. The old 210 combo was over 80lbs and the 115 was 75. The MB210 is 35lbs and the MBE is 30, which combined, weigh less than the combo. My back and shoulders feel better already.

    Construction-wise, the old stuff was built like a tank and has held up well with its rat fur. The new combo and cab are thinner but have a solid feel to them. The tolex covering is an improvement to me. I put covers on my gear, and I expect it’ll wear fine as long as it doesn’t fall out of the back of the car.

    There was an epic thread a while back on the lack of bracing & dampening in the MB series. People were dismantling cabs and such. Apparently, GK changed the bracing over time to make the cabs stiffer. Well guess what? Both these cabs have dampening in them too. If you look closely at the photograph, you can see it through the ports. It’s white stuff that looks to be on the back and sides. I’m not able to compare these cabs with and without dampening, but the golden ear types say it should be an improvement. It all sounds good to me after the second beer . . .

    Speaking of sound, here are some first impressions. Comparing the combos with essentially the same eq/volume settings, the MB210 has a fuller low end than the older 210, which I had to add a little bass EQ. The new model seems fine at noon. The older 210 has more of an aggressive midrange bark to it. But this is pretty subtle, and right away I’m able to eq the mids on the new combo to get what I want - which is some GK growl on that Victor Bailey Jazz Bass with infield flats on it. My gain settings are typically about 1 or 1:30 at each gain stage. I don’t do too much with the EQ settings. I don’t seem to need the contour on the new combo; I had it set in the range of 12 to 2 on the old one.

    I live in a town where there aren’t that many large venues; we play a lot places with 100-150 capacity, and the old 210 has been fine there. I’m usually playing in a rock and blues quartet that can be quite loud at times, though we work on our dynamics quite a bit. I would bring the 115 for the rare large venue or outdoor situations. I haven’t gigged with the new MB210 as it just arrived few hours ago, but a quick comparison with the older combo tells me it will handle everything I do just fine. At maximum volume, the older combo might be a bit louder than the new combo, but I’m not ready yet to max out the new one. I never played at the max volume of the old combo anyway. The overall volume of MB210 with 210MBE extension cab added is comparable to the older 210/115 stack, and to my ears sounds better.

    I had considered MB212 to replace the entire old stack but figured that since I used the 210 about 85% of the time, there was no need. I also figured that a 212 alone might not match up volume-wise to the 210/115 and therefore might require me to get a powered extension for some occasions. That would be more $$ and more weight. After hearing these, there’s no need. One added bonus: I’m a bit vertically challenged, but I can carry the cabs upright with the handle on the top; the 212 is three inches taller, and I might be dragging it a bit if I carried it.

    Overall, I been a GK fan for years, and these new additions fall right into place with where I’m at. I can’t wait to play them out soon. Ciao.
  2. Davyo

    Davyo Davyo Supporting Member

    Nov 26, 2008
    Las Vegas, Nv
    Thanks for posting,,,,, I just got the new GK MB115 series ll last month (as pictured below)and am pretty happy with it so far.

    You mentioned the tolex on the new GK gear you just got,, actually its not tolex,,, its a spray on finish, which I quite prefure over the tolex or rat fur.

    Were did ya get your MB210/MBE210 from,,, I have been waiting for them but didnt think they were to be released until next week.

    I already sold my first generation MB210, MBE115, MB212 and MB115 to get the new combos,, yea,, I kind of a GK junkie as well,,, I still have my MB112, GK heads MB200 and MB500 and my Neo 410 cab that is listed here on the classifieds.

    Anyhow,, congrads on the new GK gear,, looks great !!!!!

    Make sure to post back after you have used it on a gig.


    My new GK MB115 series ll, I got last month
  3. gmarcus

    gmarcus Supporting Member

    Apr 4, 2003
    I'm still rockin' Davyo's old MB212. You can see it peaking out behind me in my Avatar. It has never let me down and is louder than I will ever need with my moderately loud band. We played a 170 seat theater and it was barely on half. I sat in with a louder rock band outside without PA support and it was maxed out, but kept up with good sound for the one set we played.
  4. Thornton Davis

    Thornton Davis Supporting Member

    Dec 11, 1999
    I'm on the verge of ordering a MB410-II & MBP410-II. This will give me the flexibility of a single 500 watt 410 combo or a 1000 watt 810 when combined.
    Just waiting to see what's new at NAMM before doing so.

  5. Davyo

    Davyo Davyo Supporting Member

    Nov 26, 2008
    Las Vegas, Nv
    Hey Marcus,,,,, glad to see my old MB212 still has a good and loving home and is still going strong,,, I do miss that combo I sold you :)

    I'm wantin to buy the series ll MB212 but just picked up a new SVT Ampeg bass rig for the bigger gigs so I'm not sure if I still have a need for a MB212,,,,but I still want one,,,, dammm,,,, what to do.

  6. gmarcus

    gmarcus Supporting Member

    Apr 4, 2003
  7. MBP212 to chain from your MB115 II? Just a thought :)
  8. Mr. Fabulous

    Mr. Fabulous

    Sep 13, 2007
    Played this new rig at a gig last Friday. It definitely benefits from being broken in a bit and then driven. :bassist: Let me elaborate.

    This is a regular gig for us in one of the smaller venues in our town. In the past, I would bring my 210 combo only. This time I brought both the new combo & extension, just in case. Connected up both and had each gain stage just past noon. For the first 3-4 tunes, I couldn't quite get the EQ dialed in. The setup was plenty loud but seemed to lack punch. A bit boomy too. But over the course of the first set, things improved and by the end of the first set, I had gotten a good sound with pretty minimal eq adjustments.

    Second set, I decided to disconnect the extension and drive the combo a bit more. Gain settings at each stage were about 1:30 - 2:00. Suddenly lots of punch and the rig gave me exactly what I was looking for: lots of growl and punch with a full low end. Standing directly in front produced a nice breeze. I think the rig just needed to be broken in, and in this small venue, the combo plus extension was just too much. I think the two together would work well in a larger/outdoor venue where the amp can be driven quite a bit. On future gigs, I'll look at driving the first two gain stages in the 2:00 range and see if I can maintain the punch at lower volumes by adjusting the master.

    I only got one negative thing to say about this new combo at this point. The direct out on this unit is defective. Unusably noisy, despite trying it with several preamps/mixing board, cables, different buildings, etc. Its obviously a short somewhere that either did not get caught at the factory or developed during shipping, etc. So its going to get exchanged for one that doesn't have a problem. GK direct outs are usually very good, and I expect the DI on these amps not be an exception. A word to the wise though, if you take delivery of any new amp, make sure you check everything out.

    Except for the DI hiccup, I am completely satisfied with this rig and can highly recommend it.
  9. Awesome! Except for the DI, strange.