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GK MB212 Harshness. Normal?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by TDee, Feb 26, 2013.

  1. TDee


    Feb 22, 2013
    Northern Kentucky
    I had been using a friend's MB115 as a practice amp with my band, and decided to buy an MB212 for myself to have something a little louder for small/medium gigs. I found one used and it sounded good at first, or maybe I just didn't notice it. Now though, it seems like it has gotten very harsh sounding and overly bright, even with the horn off. If I so much as touch the strings near the pickups you can hear it loudly through the amp. The MB115, using the same bass, sounds very warm and smooth and does not project the finger noise near the pickups like the MB212. I've rolled back the highs and high-mids a little and it has helped, but it gets a little bland sounding when I do.

    I guess I'm just wondering if any one else has had a similar experience with theirs. Are all of the MB212s bright and harsh? It's out of warranty, so I'm trying to figure out if it's the amps "normal" sound or if I need to take it in for repairs.
  2. vince a

    vince a

    Jun 13, 2006
    Modesto, CA
    Late response: I have this combo amp . . . had to dial all the eq knobs back to around 9:00 or less with the contour off. It sounded OK, but I wanted more . . . something that sounds more like my larger and heavier Eden(not affiliated) rig. I installed the Eden WTDI pedal between the bass and the combo amp, and all I can say is 'wow!' Totally different amp. I had to turn all the eq's to the left, and then use the gin, volume, compressor, and tone controls form the Eden pedal(between $125 to $150). Once you get the WTDI dialed in . . . you will be amazed! I get quite a few bassists asking me about my sound . . . I highly recommend adding this to your MB212 . . . BTW, to answer your question, mine was not harsh (before I added the pedal).
  3. TDee


    Feb 22, 2013
    Northern Kentucky
    Thanks for the reply. I found a WTDI locally on Craigslist for a nice price. I think I might try it out.

    I think I found my problem though. It was a combination of things. The pickups on my bass are either too high, or very hot. Rolling back the volume quite a bit mellowed out the sound, (Duh). And when the ratio knob on my LMB-3 was turned past noon, it picked up a lot of finger noise from my picking hand. Rolling that back to about 11 and adjusting the volume on my bass has helped a lot. Simple solution really. It's just weird that I hadn't noticed it before. I find it interesting that so many people dislike the contour button. I find that it adds a nice "boom" and fullness to my bass. It can muddy the tone a little, but the amp just doesn't sound very thick enough without it.
  4. The drivers need to be broken in, give it about 20 or 30 hours with the gain and volume about half and they will open up just fine.
  5. TDee


    Feb 22, 2013
    Northern Kentucky
    That makes sense for this amp. I purchased it second hand and the guy had never gigged with it and rarely played it at stage volumes. I've only gigged with it twice, other than that it sits in my closet waiting for the next gig. I use an MB115 weekly at practice so that would explain why it sounds so smooth comparatively. Guess I should start practicing with the MB212 a little more.
  6. They (G-K 12's) smooth out as they break in, but up close won't sound completely smooth. Step out from the cab (like where band mates or audience will be) and they are buttery smooth with the low carrying out better. That low end butter doesn't die off as much. That is trade off I enjoy, not as good as a personal monitor but an amazing performance cab.
  7. 5StringPocket

    5StringPocket Supporting Member

    Jan 11, 2006
    You might want to remove one of the 12" drivers and see if there is a layer of dampening material inside or it's just a bare box. If just a bare box, line the sides and back with 1.5" mattress topper foam. It will smooth out that harshness and tighten up the low end focus a bit. This would be an inexpensive and worthwhile fix. Harsh shouldn't be normal.
  8. TDee


    Feb 22, 2013
    Northern Kentucky
    Ok, so I know this is an old thread, but last weekend I blew one of the speakers in my mb212. The voice coil fried and the cone froze up. I just replaced them with a pair of Eminence 12lfa's. All I can say is "wow!" I had been trying to get a good tone out of this combo for a year now, buying all kinds of pedals and trying different EQ settings. It had just been thin, weak, and harsh. The new eminence speakers are exactly what I had hoped for originally from this combo. Sure, they add a lot of weight, but that's an easy trade off for a usable tone!!
  9. bass1351


    Mar 6, 2012
    This. I don't know what happened, but my speakers started to fart out even in low volumes... Slapped in eminence beta 12a-2 speakers.. now its a beast running at 4 ohms! I use it with ashdown spyder 550 head. It can handle the amp very well. Sure there is more weight now, but still it is pretty light.

    Edit: Thread was about combo amp... I have mbe212 cabinet, but i think its pretty much the same dimensions.

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