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GK MB212 gig reviews

Discussion in 'Amps, Mics & Pickups [DB]' started by Studiodawg, Nov 1, 2010.


  1. Studiodawg

    Studiodawg

    Oct 25, 2007
    So I get my GK MB212 on Friday afternoon via FedEx, at the same time I'm replacing my bridge and strings on my Upton SuperSwing...and fitting my K&K BassMax pickup...plugged into my Fishman Platinum Bass Pro DI...tested rig in my living room. Everything worked. I had a gig at the local brew pub in a couple hours, so I decided to use the MB212 instead of any other available rigs...Being a little scared of rattles and other gremlins that people have discussed on this Forum, I decided I needed to find out immediately for myself whether this combo id gig-worthy or overpriced trash...as I hoped, the combo seemed to have enough power and clarity in a rather crowded & rowdy venue (Halloween festivities). I ran the gain "lean" and the master "hot". The following night I used the combo at my weekly pub gig and it sounded fine and it was at lower settings due to less rowdy people. I'm running the Fishman in the passive input because it sounds better than in the active input. I plan on setting the gain "hot" and the master "lean" as an experiment asap. So far, the GK is cutting it in the "real world" and Saturday night my daughter carried the GK MB212 out to my van;)...37lbs.
     
  2. Gearhead43

    Gearhead43

    Nov 25, 2007
    NorCal
    I have been gigging an MB115 for almost a year now - and I mean alot of gigs. I just use an HPF-Pre in front most of the time.

    I love the tone I get from this amp - sounds the same as other GKs I've used for double bass. It also has the tightest sounding 15 I've ever heard in a combo. The 200 watts must be conservatively rated because this is a loud little sucker.

    I play Roots music, honky tonk, western swing, etc - and it has kept up just great with a variety of different sized bands from very quiet to somewhat rowdy volumes. I am a fan of the GK overall tone for DB - it seems to have nice clarity in the upper mids, even if you scoop some mids to attenuate the nasal piezo honk.

    I think that for the average beer-budget semi-pro player like myself, these MB combos are great relatively inexpensive option. They may not be better than the boutique DB amps, but sound far better for DB, even without a pre, than most bass guitar amps. The standard 1Mohm input impedance helps for that.

    They also have a 200 watt MB112 now which might be a better small Jazz oriented amp - cheap too.

    The MB210 has been call "too boomy" by alot of folks, but if you use a hi-pass (low-cut) filter on a preamp that could be remedied.

    I have been very happy with my MB115 for DB and electric bass gigs.
     
  3. richbassboy

    richbassboy

    Feb 11, 2010
    Out of curiousity how is the mb212 combo holding up? I had nothing but trouble with 3 of them, GK has been great with their warranty but can't beleive the problems i have with mine.
     
  4. Studiodawg

    Studiodawg

    Oct 25, 2007
    We'll find out tonight! The MB212 has been in my van since Saturday night and the temperature's been ~25 degrees the whole time. I'll move the amp into the venue, set PA up while I let the amp acclimates (warm up)...it's been fine, sounds good and has been kind to my body cuz of its light weight.
     
  5. Studiodawg

    Studiodawg

    Oct 25, 2007
    The rig was flawless.
     
  6. tdub0199

    tdub0199

    Mar 4, 2010
    Atlanta, Ga.
    cool, that helps me make my decision to pull the trigger on a GK MB combo...
     
  7. Perhaps this is a question that's tough to answer but are these GK MB combos more "hi-fi" sounding or can they achieve a tubey warmth? I know they're digital so I would expect a lack of tube-like warmth but I suppose that could be remedied with a SansAmp BDDI.
     
  8. Studiodawg

    Studiodawg

    Oct 25, 2007
    I suppose it's quasi-tubey G.I.V.E. technology that Bob Gallien incorporates...
     
  9. Gearhead43

    Gearhead43

    Nov 25, 2007
    NorCal
    While I do like a bit of the Sansamp "tubey" quality for taming piezo pickup honk - I think the GK amps sound more natural and clearer sounding in a band mix without it.

    I've found that any slight aggressiveness in the GK tone while testing the amp out solo just makes the bass sit in the overall band mix without getting muddied up and lost.

    I like the tone of my GK gear for upright bass with no other devices in the signal chain - except for the HPF-Pre because it has very little noticeable effect on the tonal quality.
     
  10. Dr.JBass

    Dr.JBass

    Nov 2, 2006
    "I plan on setting the gain "hot" and the master "lean" as an experiment asap."

    I've found that running the gain hot and the master lower gives a lot more growl and edge to the tone. I adjust the gain to get as much growl as I want and then use the master to control the overall volume, and the beauty of it is that the master does not change the tone as you turn it up.
     
  11. Studiodawg

    Studiodawg

    Oct 25, 2007
    After using the amp for a while, I've been running Master up (3/4 to full) and Gain ~1/4 and do all my adjusting with my Fishman Platinum DI.
     
  12. Dr.JBass

    Dr.JBass

    Nov 2, 2006
    Cool! how many gigs have you played so far with this combo?
     
  13. Studiodawg

    Studiodawg

    Oct 25, 2007
    I have played 40 gigs since October 28 with the MB212.
     
  14. Dr.JBass

    Dr.JBass

    Nov 2, 2006
    Wow, that's pretty good. And no issues or problems?
     
  15. Studiodawg

    Studiodawg

    Oct 25, 2007
    no issues or problems...it's a little commando amp...stays in the minivan 24/7 when not gigging in the Great White North...
     
  16. Dr.JBass

    Dr.JBass

    Nov 2, 2006
    Gotta love that!
     
  17. mvs13

    mvs13

    Jan 10, 2010
    Brooklyn, NY
    Oof... Like a fool, I nabbed one of these for cheap without sussing out that it does not come with an external speaker jack! Has anyone come up with a DIY remedy for powering another cab with this amp? Lemme have it... Thanks!
     
  18. GrowlerBox

    GrowlerBox

    Feb 10, 2010
    Nude Zealand
    Is this one of the series for which G-K makes the powered extension speakers ....?
     
  19. mvs13

    mvs13

    Jan 10, 2010
    Brooklyn, NY
    Well... I never sorted out the extension cab thing but after a frustrating/ panicked hour or so, I figured I ought to share my experience...

    I'm used to running a 2x12 and a 1x15 with a GK 700RBII so I was pretty bummed to find out before a gig last night that there's no line out on the MB212. I undid the screws on the 'head' section of the combo and then thought better of messing with the guts before I'd even given the amp a chance in a live setting. I could not believe how light and cheap the amp section felt. When I was trying to remount the amp section, I broke off one of the threaded pieces spot-welded to the chassis that one of the screws is intended to connect to. Arrrgh.

    While I had it apart, I had heard the amp fuzzing out a little so I decided to make sure the speakers were in good shape. I didn't see any screws on the grill at first, so I thought it may just be attached with velcro. I tugged on one corner of the screen... and totally bent the grill and pulled one of the screws out of the wood. ARRRGH.

    I unscrewed the grill, bent it back to the correct shape, pulled the speakers and both looked fine, if cheap. The wood is SO THIN on these-- 1/4 inch ply? Something was rattling in the cab, tho, so I pulled it out-- the dust cover from the tweeter had come off. ARRRRGH!!!

    I never use tweeters so I just pulled the cover out of the cab and 'filed it.' Eventually got the grill back on tho I had to put a couple extra screws in to hold it in place as I couldn't get the screw I had yanked out to rethread, even after sticking a couple of wooden matches in the hole. Remounted the amp section with an oversize bolt that I got to 'thread' in the soft metal of the chassis.

    I left for the gig without breaking anything else on the amp but had about ZERO confidence in it to 1) not blow up 2) not fall apart in a totally cartoonish manner 3) be anywhere loud enough without totally blowing out.

    Annnnd... the amp totally killed it. We are two guitars/ bass/ drums and our drummer is a veteran hardcore drummer and really wails. Amp sounded fantastic and I really could not believe how much volume was coming from that little box. I got mine used for less than $300.

    So... no, this is not the build quality we're used to of 3/4 ply, folded steel, etc. But I got my gear into the club in one trip instead of four. For the money/ weight/ size, this sounds INCREDIBLE. I can't imagine getting more bang for the buck. If this thing holds up, I am gonna absolutely love it.
     

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