GK MB500 / Still a great little D class ?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by hsp-sandiego, Dec 10, 2017.

  1. hsp-sandiego


    Oct 22, 2014
    San Diego
    Shut down my funk and dance variety group a year ago and sold all of my gear. Looking for a nice little head to get back up and running (re-boot). I was running a Carvin BX500 with two GK 112 neo cabs and it worked nicely for a backline setup.

    I played a GK MB500 head at a Guitar Center and thought it had a ton of snap and punch. While quite a few years dated, is this still a great little head to purchase?

    Upcoming work will be more jazz fusion (real book) along with Christian worship team (melodic) - also backline priority.

    thanks for any insight,
  2. McG

    McG Goat Hill Gamblers

    Oct 6, 2010
    Costa Mesa, CA
    A GK MB500 has been my main gigging head for the last two years. We play a mix of acoustic/electric rock, folk, country and blues (even a little surf). I've been very happy with it. Plenty of power for a four piece with drums and very versatile in dialing in a range of tones.
  3. Wicked G

    Wicked G

    Jan 19, 2017
    Hell Paso Texas
    If you think it's a great little head, then it's a great little head. All that matters is what you think since you are the one who is going to be buying it. I don't know how many times I have purchased the next latest and greatest amps recommended by many on here only to find that they still don't hold a candle next to my TCE RH750.

    Now I have purchased some really fine heads from Genz Benz, GK and Ashdown but I have also purchased some that didn't even last 2 months with me because they just didn't quite have what I was looking for or were more hype than anything else. So in other words, if you like the MB500 go out and buy it. It is a very loud, clear and punchy amplifier and GK is known for their great CS if you happen to need it.
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  4. Marko 1

    Marko 1 Supporting Member

    Mar 9, 2009
    N.E. Ohio
    I was happy with mine, only put maybe 50 (full four-set) gigs on it, but it performed admirably and sounded great. I went to another (larger) head just for more features.
  5. It's a great head! I used one for 3 years with zero problems. I switched to a Traynor tube head and passed the MB500 on to a bass player friend at a great price. I'm sure he will get plenty of use out of it, too.
  6. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    That's my exact progression. I use the GK with 2 12s (Revsound) playing jazz, blues, modern country and rock. Very happy. The eq is very responsive.
    Spidey2112 likes this.
  7. hsp-sandiego


    Oct 22, 2014
    San Diego
    Excellent - thanks for the replies guys. Does $300 for a used clean MB500 seem about right?
  8. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Inactive

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    A kid at my church bought one from a TBer a few months back. That little sucker sounds great and feels so light it's as though there are no guts in there. It's an impressive little head.
  9. MrLenny1


    Jan 17, 2009
    New England
    I bought one used for $300 two years ago.
    Sounds great, no issues and use it on rock gigs.
    Spidey2112 likes this.
  10. deste


    Sep 14, 2009
    Bologna, Italy, Europe
    Endorsing Artist: GullanskyLab pickups
    I really like it.
    Flat response, very clean. Versatile: punchy in GK style, but can also be soft.
    Loud enough for most live situations (I use a GK Neo 112), and for 4 years now is my only giggin'amp.
    Give it a try, if you like it it's a very good and reliable head.
    Spidey2112 and hsp-sandiego like this.
  11. Spidey2112


    Aug 3, 2016
    + infinity for the GK MB500 (purchased within these hallowed halls, I might add, from an awesome TB'er) coupled with 2 GK Neo 212 II's... I'm still replacing shot glasses, after my first test run... `$300 sounds about right, these days...
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2017
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  12. I love my little MB500. I've been using it with a rock/cover band for the last year paired with 2 GK 210 cabs. Always get compliments over my tone.
    Spidey2112 and hsp-sandiego like this.
  13. Al Kraft

    Al Kraft Supporting Member

    May 2, 2016
    Northern Virginia
    I've had good luck with my MB500 and found it to be both reliable and honestly rated power-wise. I think a new one is around $530 (street price), so $300 for one in good shape seems reasonable to me.
    hsp-sandiego likes this.
  14. Kro


    May 7, 2003
    New Jersey
    One of the things that I admire most about GK is the fact that they don’t have huge product turnover. Sure they’ve had a couple duds in their long history, but overall, they design a product well from the start making use of their extensive experience, support it like crazy, and let it live a long productive life.

    If anything, the “danger zone” for a product to prove itself is within the first few years of it being on the market. The fact that the MB-500 has made it out of that stage and is on what could presumably be considered the older side of its product life-cycle is actually a pretty great achievement IMO. I wouldn’t have any worries about it if you like the way it sounded.
    Plectrum72, Spidey2112 and Al Kraft like this.
  15. 5Bass5


    Apr 13, 2011
    I owned one of these. Loved it, only sold it because I acquired a rack mounted GK bass head.

    If it's in good condition, I personally would snatch it for $300!
    Al Kraft likes this.
  16. shoot-r


    May 26, 2007

    I've a G.K. MB2-500 that I carry as a back-up amp.

    (Bought it used. Gave $250.00 for it and a carrying case.)

    It's been a small and light weight "piece of mind", that so far has not been needed.

    Only negatives I've encountered with it, and the reason it's been regulated to a back-up head.
    I used it once at a large stage, outdoor job with FOH in a LOUD outlaw country band just to see how it'd do.
    Running the MB-500 into two, 8 ohm, 210 cabinets stacked as a vertical 410.
    It's limiter (?), was constantly kicking in resulting in a unpleasant sound that finally started cutting out for 20 to 30 seconds before coming back up.

    I have since tried a G.K. MB-800 and it did not have this limiting going on at VERY loud settings.

    I'd suggest your finding a used G.K. MB-800 for a good price.
    The 800's extra 300 watts seems to keep the "D" heads much happier when used loud.
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2017
  17. Berniez40

    Berniez40 Supporting Member

    Jun 7, 2014
    DFW Area Texas
    Hard piece of kit to beat for $300.00
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  18. Kro


    May 7, 2003
    New Jersey
    Same, though it was also my primary amp for a good number of years. It did need to see a bench once or twice in that time-frame, though GK took very good care of me. The MB-500 is that model's evolution, and has some notable improvements (like a limiter) that would make me even more confident in it.
  19. If it is in good shape that is a very good price IMHO.
    I owned one a while back. Great little amp.
  20. I have owned GK-500, GK-800, and GK-800F. Never had a problem with the GK-500 limiting and I pushed it really hard.
    I currently play a Mesa D-800.
    For me, the Mesa sounds better and is built better than any of the GK amps at about the same price as a used GK-800F.
    shoot-r likes this.