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Hard Decision! TC BG250 or GK MB115II??

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by mmbongo, Mar 8, 2013.

  1. mmbongo

    mmbongo Five Time World Champion Supporting Member

    Aug 5, 2009
    Man this is a toughie for me. I need a smallish, light, powerful combo amp that will handle smaller gigs. I'd love to hear from anyone who has used/owned/tried/broken both.

    First of all, these are the ONLY two amps I am considering. I can get 18 months financing on either of these at Sweetwater which will help ease the burden of paying for it :) The other amps they have for 18mo. do not fit my needs at all.

    My main concern is the sound quality, and the speaker quality. There are others, but these are the main qualities.

    Both are roughly the same size and weight.
    Both are within $50 of each other.
    Both are within 50 watts of each other.

    I love both companies. I have many TC pedals and I love everything they do. Then again, I've used GK amps for years, and my big rig is 100% GK and I love it.

    On the TC, I could care less about Toneprints, built in tuners, or anything like that. I have a pedalboard full of effects, and it has a tuner on it.

    Does the GK use an Eminence made speaker like their other cabinets? Any details on the speaker that TC uses?

    I was leaning 100% TC, but the more I look at the GK the more I like:

    GK has a tweeter cutoff switch (did not even see a level control or switch for the TC tweeter).

    GK has an output to drive one of their powered external cabs, which is of no concern at this point...but could be in the future. Did not see any way to drive any type of external cab with TC.

    TC has that extra 50 watts. Could come in handy and make a difference, or does it?

    TC seems to have a more interesting/versatile EQ section.

    Anything I missed?
  2. I considered the exact same amps. I researched and asked basically the same question. I ended up doing an a/b of the two and chose the TC. I will say that there is one toneprint that I run; spectracomp. It provides very nice compression.... even, just like they advertise. The tubedrive tube emulation is also nice. It isn't a toneprint. The amp is transparent.... as in, it doesn't seem to color too much. I personally like the eq. Some don't. I think it's easy and intuitive. In my experience, the TC is louder than the GK. It's a little powerhouse of an amp. The GK is expandable with the powered cabs, but they're more expensive than buying a second amp. Ultimately, that's what I did. I bought a second BG250. I run one clean and one wet/dirty. When I need the extra kick I hit them both.
  3. mmbongo

    mmbongo Five Time World Champion Supporting Member

    Aug 5, 2009
    Great info there, and good point about just buying another amp instead of a GK powered cabinet, if it even comes to that.

    Also good info about the compressor toneprint, as a compressor would be one of the few pedals I would take with me to a small gig so that may eliminate having to do that. Tubedrive sounds interesting, too.

    Looks like TC for me unless somebody gives me a reason not to do it!
  4. You need to hear both for yourself. Myself I like the more un-touched sound and response of the G-K. I don't care for over-processed signals though?

    G-K makes their own speakers at the G-K factory, not a spec'ed Eminence or any other manufacturer.
  5. Kingbreaker


    Feb 12, 2013
    I demoed a TC and an MB115 (I think an older model) recently.

    The TC sounded good but lacked high end - the treble EQ knob seemed to do nothing at all (with a bog-standard MIM P-bass I was using.)

    The MB sounded great all the way around. also, the fact that extension cabs are supported was a big +.
  6. Davyo

    Davyo Davyo Supporting Member

    Nov 26, 2008
    Las Vegas, Nv
    I owned both,,,, after side by side comparisons at home and in rehearsals with my band,,, the BG250 got sent back to the store.

    For me the GK MB115 was the clear winner.

    The BG250 just has muddy dull boring tone,,,, with the GK you can dial in just about any tone you desire.

  7. lbbc


    Sep 25, 2007
    Seaford , DE
    I bought the TC for my son. The toneprint is a valuable tool for him....he has experimented with many of the effects. He plays a 5er in a metal band and the tone is perfect for his application. I also play bass and although the tone is a little "muddy" for my taste (I like a brighter "in your face" tone), it's perfect in a band setting...at least my son's band.
  8. It's funny to me that some say the TC lacks highs and is muddy. I'm all over the neck with tapping and chordal work.... also harmonics and Everything is clear to me. The tweeter kicks in when you hit its range. I play with an active setup and am told that makes a difference. The comments I've received is how full my sound is.... It's all subjective, though. Different ears hear different things.
  9. mmbongo

    mmbongo Five Time World Champion Supporting Member

    Aug 5, 2009
    Seems to be a split right down the middle on these amps :)
  10. Yep. Hence you have to try them ;)
  11. mmbongo

    mmbongo Five Time World Champion Supporting Member

    Aug 5, 2009
    Just wish that were possible. I just can't justify buying both and wasting 50 or 60 bucks sending 1 of them back.
  12. Flip a coin? It will be tough to go far wrong with either. You may find later you liked the one you didn't get more or your coin made the right choice. Opinions on line can't decide what your ears would like to hear. :)
  13. 4-string


    Jul 23, 2006
    I can only comment on the GK, as I had a MB115. Two in fact, both were returned due to issues.

    And that was a shame, because they sounded great while they worked. I believe production has been moved to the US since then, so hopefully quality has improved.

    Pros: light weight, loud, great tone IMO, simple yet very efficient EQ

    Cons: on/off switch for the horn, nothing in between. I miss the tweeter if it's turned off, but on was a bit too much. Same with the contour switch, only on/off. On is completely useless to my ear, but a tad can be cool for the right applications. Mine also had that stupid reversed XLR for the DI, you needed some kind of tool to get it out. Would guess that is sorted now.

    After returning two, I gave up on them personally. QC issues is probably not the case anymore, then these are great for the price IMO.
  14. GBassNorth


    Dec 23, 2006
    I tried both and didn't buy either. I got the GK MB210 combo. It had better specs overall and carried a punch that the 115 GK didn't have without any significant loss on the low end. As others have noted, the TC seemed muddy to me.
    I've had my GK combo for about a year now and no problems whatsoever. It pairs great with my Spectors on full growl or smooth jazz and even gets that upright tone for my Kala ubass. It's very versatile and only weighs about 30 pounds. It will also take a 115 extension cab for those venues where a loud 210 just isn't enough.
  15. mmbongo

    mmbongo Five Time World Champion Supporting Member

    Aug 5, 2009
    Dang that one does look nice, but I just can't swing the $700 for it. $450 is my max.
  16. ABravado


    Jul 7, 2010
    I've got the BG250 and I do like it a lot but for me the winning features are the tuner, the tube drive and the Toneprint. All of which you said weren't important to you. For smaller gigs or medium size venues with decent foh it gets the job done and it makes load-in and out a breeze. I can bring a bass, a couple cables and the TC Switch-3 and I have everything I need (I am not an effects guy). That is where I see the value in the BG250. If you have a pedalboard that you will be using I think you are missing out on 50% of the value of that amp. I have played both and I think they both sound good. Different but good. If you love the sound of one over another then of course get that one but if you are just comparing features if I were you the expandibility of the GK would make it a no brainer.
  17. Yes all G-K production moved back to California, USA on 01/01/2012 for the MB series, cabs and speaker production. The RB series and Fusion 550 series never left California.

    The DI connector has been flipped to make removal easier.
  18. mmbongo

    mmbongo Five Time World Champion Supporting Member

    Aug 5, 2009
    Hmmm....where are the TC amps made?
  19. Pretty certain they are not assembled in the USA if that is what you were asking?

    TC is part of a multi division corporation. G-K singularly owned by one man, Robert A Gallien.
  20. China, I believe.

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