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How much drive does the GK MB800 have?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by andyjanson, Mar 29, 2015.

  1. andyjanson


    Oct 28, 2013
    Hi all,

    In the interests of streamlining my gig set up, I'm looking to grab an MB800 and rack it along with a Line 6 G90 wireless. My main drive pedal at the moment is a darkglass B7K, but I'm wondering if I could downsize my entire rig into a 3U rack (amp, wireless + drawer for bits). So, does the MB800 have enough gain on tap to give me a bit of growl? I don't need a mega gainy sound, just something in the vein of Nolly from periphery.

    Also if not, does anyone have any pointers for how I could implement my pedals into this setup? I only use a tuner and the B7K so I was thinking G90 into the pedals (possibly in a rack drawer?) then into the amp - has anyone tried something like this? How do you 'rack' the pedals?

    Thanks in advance guys!
  2. NKBassman

    NKBassman Lvl 10 Nerd Supporting Member

    Jun 16, 2009
    Winnipeg, MB, Canada
    IMO the MB800 doesn't really do drive. It excels at huge headroom cleans. You'd be best keeping the B7k for driven tones.
    Munjibunga and PWV like this.
  3. Rack drawers seem like a great idea at first blush. In reality my 2U rack drawers each weighed more than my lead sled power amp. I still have them unused stored in my garage.
    andrew likes this.
  4. andyjanson


    Oct 28, 2013
    I see. Do the RB heads do any better?

    Ahh maaaan. Yea that's a shame.
  5. NKBassman

    NKBassman Lvl 10 Nerd Supporting Member

    Jun 16, 2009
    Winnipeg, MB, Canada
    Could say re. the RBs, but the MB Fusions should be a little better.
  6. andyjanson


    Oct 28, 2013
    Thanks man, shall do some searching. I've also just stumbled across the Orange OB1 heads which look promising - does anyone know if these are any good for modern techy metal?
  7. Jim Carr

    Jim Carr Dr. Jim Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2006
    Denton, TX or Kailua, HI
    fEARful Kool-Aid dispensing liberal academic card-carrying union member Musicians Local 72-147
    Yes, but my MB800 has a "B" channel in the pre-amp for distortion. From page 8 of the GK mb800 manual:

    "Gain B/ Level B: Turning up the Gain B control will add a little growl to your tone by adding a small amount of ever order harmonic distortion. This is an unmistakable GK trade mark sound that you will surely grow to appreciate. Raising the Boost while lowering Level B will add more growl while keeping the sound level the same..."

    Yes, it can do overdriven sounds, though as NKBassman said, it excels at "huge headroom cleans." Probably cleans the kitchen, too! :smug:

    I agree the Fusion is a better choice for "drive."
  8. fclefgeoff

    fclefgeoff Supporting Member

    Jan 3, 2002
    You could easily run your B7K in the effects loop return of the MB800 and have the best of both worlds. Dirt from Darkglass and power from the GK.
    tombowlus and Plucky The Bassist like this.
  9. NKBassman

    NKBassman Lvl 10 Nerd Supporting Member

    Jun 16, 2009
    Winnipeg, MB, Canada
    MB807k ;)
    fclefgeoff likes this.
  10. Mystic Michael

    Mystic Michael Hip No Ties

    Apr 1, 2004
    New York, NY
    Yes. If you're after that classic GK "hitting the rails" thing, an RB is what you want. Best bet would be to consider an 700RB-II - if you'll be playing at anything resembling sane volume levels.

    For truly high-decibel, deafening levels of volume, you might be able to hit the rails on a 1001RB-II. But you wouldn't want to stand right in front of the cab(s) without ear protection.

    tombowlus likes this.
  11. Jim C

    Jim C Is that what you meant to play or is this jazz? Supporting Member

    Nov 29, 2008
    Bethesda, MD
    Having both an RB400 and a MB800 I can say that:
    They are not the same
    The RB is warmer and has a different growl
    The MB800 has a ton of umpf
    The B channel gets darker and growls in a different way and not as much as the RB

    All this assuming the same volume level meaning the MB is juts idling
    The MB has huge punch that I don't get from an RB no matter what the power / not necessarily better but different
  12. friendlybass


    Jul 19, 2012
    Played the 550 fusion at a church this last weekend and it had some nice grit available, the mb800 does advertise it and it sounds alright. You could run a simple boost pedal in front to push it a little harder if you wanted, same is true for the mb fusion.
  13. strictlybass_ic

    strictlybass_ic Mediocrity is a journey

    Jan 9, 2014
    Northern Indiana
    I have an MB500 and an MB800. The 500 has much more gain to offer IMO with the "boost" channel. The 800 is two channels of very very clean. Even with the gain maxed out it's only a mildly overdriven tone (again, IMO).
  14. AciDBatH666


    Feb 13, 2008
    Lafayette, LA
    If you want to get more grit out of it, boost the gain and lower the master volume. I did that and found my MB800 Fusion to give a nice growl. But most of my tone comes from a B7K as well, so I just run the A gain @ 9:00. Part of the reason I got the higher wattage was because I use pedals for most of my tone, so I wanted the head to be able to push clean headroom at higher volumes.
    The lower wattage versions of the heads get that "ride the rails" GK growl better since you can turn them up higher without pushing so many watts.
  15. Pudge Fish

    Pudge Fish

    Aug 6, 2013
    If you want grit, I'd say Orange is the way. I have the GK MB Fusion 800 and Orange Terror Bass 1000. GK=Clean, Orange=Orange! I've been a GK nut for a while, but I've decided I like the cabs better than amps. I'm replacing the MB Fusion with a Tone Hammer just to try out some different flavor. My vote is for Orange, but it's not as versatile as the GK, just different. Some people claim you can't get much of a clean signal from the Terror Bass. While I disagree, it's a very gain-friendly amp.
  16. Mystic Michael

    Mystic Michael Hip No Ties

    Apr 1, 2004
    New York, NY
    The lower wattage, Class H RB-series amp heads, that is...

  17. Keep pedals as your friends. :)
  18. NKBassman

    NKBassman Lvl 10 Nerd Supporting Member

    Jun 16, 2009
    Winnipeg, MB, Canada
    I've toyed with the Channel B on my MB800 a little, and I agree it's very subtle.

    I also didn't care for the character of the Channel B drive very much on its own, but I haven't really tried it in the mix. I'll try it tonight.
  19. andyjanson


    Oct 28, 2013
    Thank for the replies all, very helpful. Think I'm going to go with the MB500/800 as I want to keep things light and find a way to implement my pitchblack tuner and B7K into the rack...Ideally in a drawer of some kind, but if they're really heavy I may have to settle for a shelf. Will Velcro alone secure them on the shelf? I'm thinking Bass - Line 6 Relay G55 (racked) - pitchblack tuner - B7K - MB800. Also thinking of somehow fitting a power strip on the inside of the rack so I only have one power cable instead of 3, anyone done that?
  20. obimark


    Sep 1, 2011
    I love the "growl" O/D channel B on my Mb500- just right, not too much. (it is not "fuzz" , if you want that you will need a pedal) I just cut the master volume down if I don't need that much volume.

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