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GK MB500 with Epifani UL2 110?

Discussion in 'Amps, Mics & Pickups [DB]' started by bassmith, Nov 20, 2010.

  1. bassmith


    Feb 26, 2002
    New York, NY
    I'm considering pairing (i.e., buying) a GK MB500 with an Epifani UL2 110 cabinet to boost the volume of my bass for small gigs. The Epi cab is rated 250 watts WRMS@8 ohms (with a 500 watt peak.). The GK is rated 350 watts @8 ohms (and 500 watts @ 4 ohms). At 8 ohms each, will I be overdriving the 250 watt cabinet with a 350 amp?

    I've also thought about using the MB200 (with 140 watts @ 8 Ohms) with the Epi but that combination strikes me as underpowered (140 watts driving a 250 watt cab).

    I've also considered pairing the MB500 with the Epi UL2 12 (350 watts @8 ohms) for a better amp-cab impedence match, but the added weight and size of the cab (and the additonal cost) make me hesitate here. Thanks.

    All thought and suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
  2. robgrow

    robgrow Supporting Member

    May 1, 2004
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    I recently heard an excellent local bassist using this exact setup. Sounded very good indeed, but I think it was mostly the player.

    I wouldn't worry about power ratings too much. For years now I have been using an EA Wizzy M cab, which has a power handling rating of 200 watts, with a Walter Woods amp rated at 450 watts and haven't had any problems at all. As long as you use power wisely and don't drive the amp into distortion, you should be OK. If you do hear distortion, back off.

    Awhile back there were some very positive comments around here about the original Epifani UL110 for DB. As I recall the UL112 wasn't as well liked for DB as the 110.
  3. Ric Vice

    Ric Vice Supporting Member

    Jul 2, 2005
    Olivette, Missouri
    As Bob mentioned above, most of the heads we use have more power than the cabinet is rated for. I use a Walter Woods Ultra (Rated at 1000 watts) into a Euphonic Audio VL 208 (Reate at 400 Watts) and have never had any problems because frankly with a upright you'll hit feeback way before you're pushing the cabinet. So follow Bobs rule, if it distorts back off.

    I think if I were choosing betwee the two I'd go with the MB500 because it's got more power and additional tone shaping controls.

    Yeah that cabinet is heavier than the VL 208, and I would think feedback would be a definite issue with that much speaker surface. Take a look at the thread on the Audio Kenisis Thunderchild. It only weighs 34 lbs, sounds great with both instruments and runs at 4 ohms.


  4. bassmith


    Feb 26, 2002
    New York, NY
    Thanks, Rob and Ric. Your comments are very helpful.
  5. I believe it's potentially more harmful to a cabinet to use a low powered amp than a high powered one.

    You might have to push a low powered amp into clipping to get the volume, while the high powered amp would be clean at the same level. Clipped signals overheat the voice coils in speakers quickly, so you can fry a speaker easier with a low power amp, up to a point.
  6. Ric Vice

    Ric Vice Supporting Member

    Jul 2, 2005
    Olivette, Missouri
    Wow, now that's pretty interesting. Didn't know that one. I know that you could push an Ampeg B-15 and it would distort, but if I understant it correctly tube amps work very differently when they go into distortion than the digital micro amps we use now.

  7. FYI.. this is a myth that is not true. There is no such thing as 'underpowering' a cabinet. Many, many EE's and audio engineers have posted about this myth over on the EB side of the site.

    Drivers aren't hurt by 'distortion'. HOWEVER, if you have a cab with a tweeter, an overdriven distorted signal (whether on purpose or not) can fry a tweeter type compression driver in a cab like the Epifani UL210, which has no tweeter protection circuit.

    Other than that, overpowering can damage drivers, not underpowering.

    Also, the power rating of a cab is just a loose guideline regarding thermal damage of a driver, and can pretty much be ignored. The vast majority of speakers will 'fart out' due to excursion limits (xmax and all that stuff) LONG before the voice coil will fry. So, to the OP, if you just use your ears, regardless of power, and just turn down when the cab either starts to sound bad or you near noticable compression (i.e., the low end starting to 'pulse and quash' at very high volumes), you will be good to go!

    Edit: To the OP: If you are going with the little MB200, get the 4ohm version of the 210UL. With the MB500, the 8ohm would work fine, and allow you to add another cab down the road.
  8. bassmith


    Feb 26, 2002
    New York, NY
    Thanks to everyone. There are very helpful comments.
  9. I misread your original post... you are talking about the little UL110 (not the 210 as I thought). The little MB200 would be PERFECT for that cab, and the 100 or so watts should drive it nicely. Again, the power rating of a cab has NOTHING to do with what the cab needs, or how loud it will get per watt, but rather is a loose guideline of maximum power. Unless you wanted the extra features of the MB500 (which you probably don't, since it is primarily a variable scoop and a 'distortion/grind/boost' control, then the MB200 will be perfect for that 8ohm 110UL.

    For the 112UL, the additional power of the MB500 would be 'useable' by that cab, and would be a killer small rig that would even handle some EB gigs at moderate volume. The MB200 would be fine with that cab also if you didn't need the headroom and volume of the additional wattage.
  10. CrazyZeke


    Dec 29, 2009
    Eastern WV (DC suburbs)
    Endorsing Artist - Phil Jones Bass
    I own and use this amp regularly driving a EA Wizzy 10. I really like the classic GK tone shaping and the absolute ease of use. BTW, the overdrive boost is not applicable for me, seeing how I want a clear - not muddy - tone on URB. I aslo use Full Cirlcel PUs and have had good success with this combination for my small to medium sized settings and club gigs. The price is hard to beat and it weighs less than 4 lbs! Talk about ease of use!! It's the closest thing to plug-and-play with quick tweeking of the sound for the room that I've run across.

    Also, I ve never had an issue with "underpowering" the cabinet. I totally agree with the previous statements that as long as you don't OVERDRIVE the unit, this unit should work with the cabinets you mentioned. I've always worried more of overdriving an amp with the accompanying distrortion and clipping myself.

    I don't endorse this equipment, but if they wanna make me an offer.... :D

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