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GK MB500, MarkBass, Carvin BX500 - My experience

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by MostlyBass, Jun 2, 2014.

  1. MostlyBass

    MostlyBass Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2002
    Oak Park, IL
    I've been a fan and supported of my Carvin BX500 for a while until tiny problems kept adding up. It is a nice head at a good price with lots of eq options. Although I haven't had the ribbon cable issues that most people do I did clean them anyways.

    I bought it two years ago and I remember exchanging it a few months later although I don't recall why. Anyway - it gives small pop when shutting down. I sent it back to Carvin and they said no issue. But it's exactly the same where my MarkBass and now GK are silent when powering off. And a few weeks ago one of the speakon outputs started cutting in and out. So now it's relegated to #2.

    So... On a bit of a whim, I ordered a GK MB500. Got it last Wednesday and gigged it Friday night. I'm VERY pleased. I like the simpler eq - which despite looking similar to the MarkBass I used to own, the eq seems much more useful. The amp is really punchy, loud, and just sounds great. It gave me a really powerful bass sound with very little knob turning. Although I could get a similar sound from the Carvin, it just took a lot of work to get it and the GK seemed to have a better sound for my low B.

    I had a MarkBass LMII (with the Jeff Berlin combo but I removed the head and had a top made for it) but sold it recently. The MarkBass was always reliable and polite but it always sounded to bottom heavy. It was VERY clean sounding though, but I just couldn't bond with it.

    To me the MarkBass seemed "reggae"
    the Carvin "rock" (not as punchy as I'd like but there are lots of eq options)
    and the GK - not sure yet but seems quite versatile despite its simple layout.

    Rock on!
  2. Thanks for the review.

    As a current owner of MB200 looking to upgrade to MB500, it's always good to read positive comments like this one. I particularly like the part about "simpler but more useful eq".
    derylgallant likes this.
  3. MostlyBass

    MostlyBass Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2002
    Oak Park, IL
    I'm really impressed with it. It has a very clean sound that sounds more open and useful than the MarkBass. And I like have two speakon outputs.
  4. Nice review. Yes, the GK and Carvin are quite brighter right out of the box and set 'neutral' (i.e., WAY more upper midrange response baked in to the GK, and more mid/upper mid than deep bass ratio with the Carvin) than the relatively flat LMII/III. You would have to cut the upper mids and treble to 'flatten out' the GK. Of course, 'flat' is not particularly meaningful in bass backline amplication.

    +1 That the GK low mid EQ is much more useful than the low mid control on the LMII/III. Lets you 'dial in the fat' nicely!

  5. Bob C

    Bob C

    Mar 26, 2000
    Duluth, MN
    A while back, I auditioned a handful of heads and combos at Guitar Center. The MB200 was the one that gave me the most "useable sound" in the shortest amount of time.

    What cabinets are you using?
  6. MostlyBass

    MostlyBass Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2002
    Oak Park, IL
    I play through a Greenboy Bassic15 and the GK just sounds great through it. I do have to give credit to the MarkBass for reliability. I never had an issue with it and sounds guys like the very clean DI.
  7. MostlyBass

    MostlyBass Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2002
    Oak Park, IL
    And I just ordered a Bassic12 :)
  8. Nice. That brightness of the GK just makes that 15 (can't remember if it is a Faital or a 3015) sound great. Nice warm, organic 'crunch' up top, and nice punchy low end. That is a KILLER rig. That cab can probably handle the MB800 at 8ohms if you need more volume and want it even a bit more aggressive. Enjoy!
  9. MostlyBass

    MostlyBass Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2002
    Oak Park, IL
    I chose the Faital and love it. I think it's rated for a continues 400 watts at 8ohm. The cab is amazing but it did take me a while to learn how to eq it. It likes a lot of low and handles it well!
  10. MostlyBass

    MostlyBass Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2002
    Oak Park, IL
    Some pics:
    Bass+Cab.JPG PT1.JPG

    Attached Files:

    • GK+.JPG
      File size:
      182.1 KB
  11. MostlyBass

    MostlyBass Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2002
    Oak Park, IL
    The Bassic12 I ordered has matching specs.
  12. Awesome. That Faital 15 is beautiful, and as you found out, can handle a nice bump in the lows from the amp

    Oak Park, IL! Love it there. Old drummer buddy of mine, Bill Bunkers, has lived there for years. Beautiful place to live!
  13. MostlyBass

    MostlyBass Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2002
    Oak Park, IL
    Right on about the Faital. And yep - I've been in Oak Park since 2001 and love it here! Lots of musicians here and being right next to Chicago and the highway is great.
  14. scottfeldstein

    scottfeldstein Supporting Member

    Jun 20, 2011
    West Bend, Wisconsin
    I let my MB500 off it's chain yesterday on a large, outdoor stage. Master at 3 o'clock, Gain all the way up to noon. All going into my 212 and 210 cabs. Beautiful.
    MostlyBass likes this.
  15. derylgallant

    derylgallant Bassist from Prince Edward Island, Canada

    Aug 1, 2005
    Charlottetown, PEI
    I use the GK Neo 112 with it... I originally had the Neo 210 tiltback but I am way happier with the 112 .... it's fatter and warmer and LIGHTER!! I use the MB500 and the Neo 112 for all of my gigs small/medium sized rooms and it does well as a stage monitor for larger gigs ( not arena of course haha ) ... I play upright and fretless/fretted electrics... it has such a nice punch!

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