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I need help! The GK MB200 or MB500......

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by johnnycat42, May 19, 2012.


  1. johnnycat42

    johnnycat42

    Feb 27, 2007
    Denver, CO
    Long time no speak! I have been living in Paris, France. I owned both the GK MB200 and MB500 before I moved here a few years back.

    I loved the MB500 in the year I had it in Austin before I moved. I had just got the new MB200 when I moved to Paris. Never was able play it with the speaker before I sold it due to my playing situation here.

    I am coming back to the USA in the next six months and will be able to hook into my 4 ohm TC Electronic 212 again. :)

    I am 40 years old now and will try to play in a band that probably plays out a total of 10-15 times total a year. Maybe more if it is ever really due to the band being requested. Don't care really.

    I don't play heavy rock or in super loud rock bands.

    Can I get by with the MB200? It seems that some people seem to think it is batter sounding anyway.

    I know the MB500's are more than strong enough but I am not sure I need that much power if the MB200's have enough to stay loud enough to play with a standard good drummer.

    Help me figure out which one I should get!!!!! Help!!!!:help:
     
  2. Depends on the size of rooms you will be playing. Do you have the option of PA support? If so then I think the MB200 will be fine, especially since you will be running a 4 ohm cabinet. I use mine with a single 8 ohm 15" cabinet for rehearsals and usually never put the volume above 10 o'clock.
     
  3. 4Mal

    4Mal Supporting Member

    Jun 2, 2002
    Columbia River Gorge
    I have both heads. The MB500 is probably the safer bet as you are unlikely to run out of headroom. The MB200 I have in a 1x10 combo cab that I had built for me. I usually run it with a second matching 1x10. I could get by most nights with that setup but outside, on a casual sit in with a louder band, I would take the MB500 just in case...

    Fwiw, I am a GK fan. Have been since the early 80's. I can say stright away that the MB200 is not a better sounding head. That thought is just plain wishful thinking on someone's part. Both heads sound incredibly similar with the 200 being a little less open, or perhaps it is slightly more compressed. To me, they both sound like GK!

    The contour on the 200 is more or less useless as it is on or off. On is way too much so for me, off is just right. The variable contour on the 500 is actually useful.

    The DI's on both are great.

    In my musical settings, I do a lot of acoustic support work. Dreadnaughts and mandolins with pickups, percussion that is mic'ed. We do the old MTV Classics 'unplugged'. Lot's of harmony singing, low stage volumes. Blistering loud through the mains if necessary. Bass is in the PA almost always. I carry the MB200 setup at least 90% of the time.

    In other words, they are both great amps and it really depends on how loud you need to be. For no PA support, backyard parties kinda thing, you can't go wrong with the 500...
     
    swamp_bass and Mike A like this.
  4. Kitsapbass

    Kitsapbass What key is this?

    May 26, 2005
    Bremerton, WA
    I'm kind of in the same boat myself...except I'm vacilating between the MB800, MB500 and the Fusion MB...
     
  5. 4Mal

    4Mal Supporting Member

    Jun 2, 2002
    Columbia River Gorge
    If i used the MB 500 more, I'd be on the Fusion like white on rice... I had their big tube head in a backline for a date last summer and while i didn't have that much time with it, I dug what I was hearing.

    The MB Fusion is still on my list of amps to try when I can.

    I also really have no desire to stand in front of anything louder than the 500 as well. yMMV of course...
     
  6. Kitsapbass

    Kitsapbass What key is this?

    May 26, 2005
    Bremerton, WA
    Me too - unfortunately the guitarist I work with plays at about jet engine spl....
     
  7. johnnycat42

    johnnycat42

    Feb 27, 2007
    Denver, CO
    I appreciate these opinions so far. I am still right in the middle on my decision between the two. I thought they both would work fine most of the time. But yes, I do worry that I could possibly have an outdoor situation at some point that I might need the additional power. I am not in a band anyway at the moment but plan to play again when I return.

    I remember the MB500 having more power than I ever needed. That can be a good thing as I never needed more.

    However, I have been reading allot on the MB200 on Talkbass recently. I owned it before but never played it in a band or loudly since I live in smaller places in Paris.

    But it still seems that allot of folks have been using the MB200 as their main bass amps now.

    It made me think that I might be able to get by with it. Since I am not planning on playing as much as I used to when I get home.

    Practice once a week and play out once month would probably be OK for me.

    Thanks for all the good advice so far guys.
     
  8. Kitsapbass

    Kitsapbass What key is this?

    May 26, 2005
    Bremerton, WA
    I'd go MB500 myself. You have 2 speaker outputs, with the MB200 you have 1. More wattage and headroom too.
     
  9. ::::BASSIST::::

    ::::BASSIST:::: Progress Not Perfection.

    Sep 2, 2004
    Vancouver, BC Canada
    I have owned both. Definitely the mb500 IMO.
     
    Mike A likes this.
  10. RoadRanger

    RoadRanger Supporting Member

    Feb 18, 2004
    NE CT
    I have an MB200 through their 4 ohm 212MBE and it's plenty loud enough to require earplugs - dunno why you'd want more but hey, they say that sanity is overrated so do what you want ;) .
     
    Bassmunnky and mdjuszyn like this.
  11. Jim C

    Jim C I believe in the trilogy; Fender, Stingray, + G&L Supporting Member

    Nov 29, 2008
    Bethesda, MD
    It all depends on how much headroom you want, how clean or bass heavy your tone is, and how effecient your current or future cabs will be.
    Considering the small difference in price I think the 500 is the obvious amp for a rock musician whether you need the power now or not. The 200 will be useless in the future should your needs change.
    Purely IMO/IME
     
    bolophonic likes this.
  12. johnnycat42

    johnnycat42

    Feb 27, 2007
    Denver, CO
    Thanks for the opinions so far folks. Anyone else think I should go for the loudest option?
     
  13. Mystic Michael

    Mystic Michael Hip No Ties

    Apr 1, 2004
    New York, NY
    This is indeed the crux of the matter, so far as I can see. And you said it yourself: you might be able to "get by" with the MB200.

    Is that your overall purpose, musically speaking? To just "get by"?

    The MB500 has more than twice as much power, has a more powerful & flexible EQ section, has double the number of Speakon outputs, and is only modestly more expensive. Forget about whether you would ever "need" that much power. "Need" comes in various forms - only one of which is headroom, i.e. excess power beyond what's needed for optimum volume, used to optimize the quality of the sound.

    How could this question be anything other than a no-brainer? :eyebrow:

    MM
     
  14. jay loren

    jay loren Supporting Member

    Apr 9, 2011
    PA/NJ
    Yes, and, like others have pointed out, you also get a few more tone shaping options which is really nice if you need to adjust your tone quickly.
     
  15. RoadRanger

    RoadRanger Supporting Member

    Feb 18, 2004
    NE CT
    They don't sound the same - you can't get the MB200 tone with the MB500...
     
  16. BassMonstrum

    BassMonstrum

    Mar 7, 2008
    I just got home from a gig where I used the MB500 through a GK NEO212 cab (8 ohm), and it slayed! We have a saying in our band; it's better to have more than you need, than not have enough. I had the gain at 12 o'clock and the master at 9. Managed to cut through two guitarists, a loud drummer, two singers and a piano-player.
     
    Mike A likes this.
  17. Marko 1

    Marko 1

    Mar 9, 2009
    N.E. Ohio
    I played many a gig with the MB500 and the cheaper 212MBE (4-ohm) cab…

    The cab ended up needing more internal bracing, but the head definitely delivers.
     
  18. Jim C

    Jim C I believe in the trilogy; Fender, Stingray, + G&L Supporting Member

    Nov 29, 2008
    Bethesda, MD
    Didn't know that; how are they different?
     
  19. RoadRanger

    RoadRanger Supporting Member

    Feb 18, 2004
    NE CT
    Read through the MB200 threads here...
     
  20. Marko 1

    Marko 1

    Mar 9, 2009
    N.E. Ohio
    I haven’t read it, but I’m not sure that would be proof of what you’re suggesting.

    In any case, I have an MB500 and I have feeling most people who like GK can find a “tone” they like, and the extra horsepower may be valuable to many.
     
    NG51 likes this.

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