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GK MB500

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by jazzbass1967, May 8, 2011.

  1. I'm thinking of selling my old SWR SM400 to buy a new GK MB500 to go along with me GK Neo 212 cabs. Has anyone had experience with this head? I'd like to hear some reviews.

  2. kpc


    Apr 6, 2011
    Just got in from a gig....I own the gk mb500 with the mbe 410 and it's all you could ask for and more...nice thick low end with all the edge you want. I also own the mb212. 500wts of great sound. I highly recommend any new gk products.....:bassist:
  3. thanks for the opinion. any others want to offer anything?
  4. ajpaul59


    Apr 22, 2011
    South Jersey
    I've been playing one for 6 months now. Fantastic amp. I play in a Beatles band and use the mb500 along with assorted old and new cabs, Hofner, Ibanez, and even an old EKO solidbody shortscale (which I love btw). I get the range of tone I need throughoutthe catalog, it pushes any cab combo i throw at it. Great lightweight amp...
  5. tombowlus

    tombowlus If it sounds good, it is good Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 3, 2003
    Fremont, Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    I'm a huge fan of the MB500, and it should pair up fantastically with your Neo212's.
  6. Bassdirty


    Jul 23, 2010
    Hmmm..is that a new head?..


    I hear they're great, you won't be dissapointed with that 212 setup.
    I think if you did some searching around, you'll find that I'm speaking truth.;)
  7. southpawpa


    Feb 16, 2011
    I'm looking forward to my MB500 arriving.
    Just bought one from a fellow TB'er.
    Hopefully it shows up in time for my regular Thursday gig next week.
    I leave a cab at the venue so rolling in with a 5 & 6 in a double gig bag with the head in its pouch will be sweet
  8. rpsands


    Jul 6, 2007
    Phoenix, AZ
    Used it for a while, great amp all around.
  9. Gtrslngr


    Jul 10, 2007
    I purchased one of these shortly after they came out. I never had any serious issues but GK replaced mine a couple of times to get me updated due to early design changes. I still love this little amp as much now as I did 2 years ago. I am not currently gigging with it due to church provided GK amp, but I crank it into 3 10's several times a week with one of my beloved 5 strings until wifeypoo says its settle down time dear....:hyper:
  10. 4Mal

    4Mal Supporting Member

    Jun 2, 2002
    Columbia River Gorge
    I have the mb2-500 A07 which is basically the same amp. It's great, just great. I'm thinking of adding either the 200 or the 112 combo as well.
  11. rojo412

    rojo412 MARK IT ZERO! Supporting Member

    Feb 26, 2000
    Cleveland, OH.
    I got one used from TB as well and love the darn thing! It's an awesome little amp with plenty of cajones!!!

    If I had to gripe about anything on the amp, it'd be the lack of rack solutions, as well as a sort of sensitive input to high output instruments.

    The rack ears that they make for it seem to be out of production. I've also had a lot of trouble with finding the proper screws to thread into the sides. I was planning on making some ears, but haven't had any success with the screws.

    And if you have a high-output bass (18v electronics or hot pickups), the "clip" light goes on a lot.

    To shoot those gripes down, though:

    It would fit on a rack shelf for $25 instead of $40 for the (extinct) ears.

    It has an active pad that does just fine to quiet a beast of a bass.

    Get one. Love it.
  12. Jepus


    Apr 1, 2004
    I'm GASing after this amp so bad at the moment!
  13. JonnyAngle

    JonnyAngle Dropping Acid Pedal Etching .com Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 24, 2008
    Maple Grove, MN
    I have a MM Sterling and I baerely clip it.
  14. rag


    Mar 24, 2003
    Robert A. Gallien, President Gallien-Krueger
    We have stock on the MB-Fusion rack kit 304-0673-A. It is the same only black.
  15. rojo412

    rojo412 MARK IT ZERO! Supporting Member

    Feb 26, 2000
    Cleveland, OH.
    Ooh?!? Where do I order one?
  16. And I

    And I

    Feb 19, 2009
    Witchtown, MA
    There's a "store" on GK's web site where you can probably buy the rack kit.

    For reviews, check here.

    I had an MB2-500 that i loved, until it broke down... But after my repair shop couldn't fix it, GK replaced it with a brand new MB500 for only $150. not bad.

    this is a great little amp, and it pairs well with my two neo 112s. seems to me to be very well balanced, though maybe a little bit too crispy on the highs for my liking. i keep the tweeters turned down a few DB and roll the treble knob down a bit and it's all good. the contour knob makes it quite versatile. turn it up and you're "modern" and "scooped". turn it down and it's 1967. ;)

  17. crijan

    crijan Supporting Member

    Jul 6, 2005
    Dallas, Texas
    Endorsing: JH Audio IEMs
    I play the MB500 through two GK Neo212-II's. It rocks. The MB500 replaced a Little Mark II as my "backup" head, but it has quickly bumped my 800RB to become my primary amp.
  18. southpawpa


    Feb 16, 2011
    Got mine off the big brown truck today from a TB member.
    I just really can't believe how light it is. My Kustom G410H cab sort of lives at the club I play every Thursday so ive only been able to play through my SWR Big Ben so far which will certainly exaggerate the lows.

    I mainly play a J style 6er w passive pickups & an aftermarket Bartollini preamp with the tone rolled back a good bit, both pick ups even & rolled back a little.

    This little guy has a seriously flexible & sensitive eq, no shortage of bottom and some serious output.
    My liquor cabinet was rattling like crazy when I opened up the volume a good bit.
    The boost option is pretty nice as I'm used to a single channel head (SWR 350x).
    Having a 2nd, more aggressive, brighter voice available for some songs / passages will be welcomed.

    I'll report back more in a bit. I've got 6 or 7 gigs over the next 2 weeks to break her in & find my preffered voice.
  19. southpawpa


    Feb 16, 2011
    Played the 1st gig with my MB500 Thursday night.

    Rig was a passive 6 string J style bass w/ a Bart preamp
    (installed to boost all frequencies evenly. No external adjustment), MB500 & an Epifani 6x10 that a TB buddy of mine just got & left @ the venue for me too check out..
    I usually run light compression but didn't that night so I could hear the pure sound of the amp.

    The band is a loud but not face melting loud trio playing Dion to Kings of Leon, American Girl to American Idiot type stuff w/ some old school funk in between.

    Vocals, acoustic guitar & kick were ran to the PA while electric guitar & bass amps fed the room unmic'd.
    Room capacity is about 500. I had all the volume I could need for this situation and then some. Plenty of low & an overall full, nicely articulated tone with out being clicky or clangy.

    I play finger style & I'm not a slapper so I tend to go for a tone somewhere between vintage & modern leaning a bit more towards the clean vintage side but with the extended range of a 6.
    The MB500 does indeed seem at home with either or any in between vintage or modern tone.
    Very flexible & efficiently voiced EQ section on this head.
    The Contour control is useful to quickly go from old school to new school with one knob twist. Just gotta watch not to turn it up too high as over scooping will rob you of important midrange content, volume, & you will disappear in the mix.

    I've heard others complain about it being too bright.
    I do tend to turn tweeters down most of the way anyway as I'm not a fan of clicky clack, but I had no trouble quickly tweaking my home settings to find a balanced tone at gig volume.

    There seems to be an enormous amount of low end available on this little beast. I can see how I'd have too watch the bass knob with my Kustom G410H cab which has enormous volume & more deep low end than most 410s I've played.
    Through the Epifani, I had the bass knob just past noon which was still pretty powerful.

    Before sound check w the master down, I decided to see at what point the pre gain would clip. I smacked the crap out of the low B & E strings & even with the pre gain 3/4 up, no clip light. Through out the gig my pre & master volume settings were 12:30 & 3 O'clock.

    I was minorly concerned about it hopping around on the cab & falling off since it's so light so I took the precaution of using a bungee cord over the head attached the the cab's handles.

    All in all I'm thrilled with this purchase in form & function & if remains reliable, I may pick up another one.

    Quote from guitarist / singer "Is that a new compressor? Where's your head?"

    It's a keeper.
  20. MrLenny1


    Jan 17, 2009
    I agree with rojo 412 about the mini heads with lack of decent racking options.
    I have contacted SKB about whether they will offer a nice small rack for these
    new mini heads and they said no current plans.
    You would think that GK, Eden ,Genz Benz and the rest would push this issue.
    There is new material available lately that could be used for racks and still be lightweight.
    Maybe TB'ers can lead the push on this.
    Hey Tom Bowlus, you've got some influence! I'm talking too much, I need a gig.