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Is the MB800 37% better than the MB500?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Jim C, Mar 30, 2014.

  1. Jim C

    Jim C Spector#496:More curves than Sophia + better sound

    Nov 29, 2008
    Fist gig with my brand new MB500 last night; I really like this head and the way it sits in the mix. The Ampegs will take a break this spring as this amp just works better with this band.

    This particular head has a bad mute switch and will be returned; the question:

    Is it worth another $150 for the MB800?
    The 500 had enough power and is a bargain but I am concerned about the tiny pushbutton switches which are toggle type on the 800.

    Big question is will I even notice a difference in the 300 extra watts and is it worth it?

  2. bobicidal

    bobicidal Supporting Member

    Mar 28, 2013
    San Jose, CA
    You might want to take a closer look at the differences as there are more than you listed
  3. Jim C

    Jim C Spector#496:More curves than Sophia + better sound

    Nov 29, 2008
    I see the 800 uses FET's instead of OP amps and that the knobs are lighted but not sure if there is more I missed.
    Is the B channel of the 800 similar to the boost channel of the 500?
  4. I would say yes. I play an mbfusion (500) which I love, but would pony up for the 800 if I had to do it again.

    Aside from the headroom increase (particularly at 8ohms), the 800 watt versions have quite a few nice small touches that make them worth the price of entry. I think the mb800 is GK's best value micro, period.
  5. Mystic Michael

    Mystic Michael Hip No Ties

    Apr 1, 2004
    New York, NY
    I own both. But if I didn't own either one and was planning to buy just one, it would be the MB800 for sure. It would be well worth the price difference to me.

  6. JGR

    JGR The "G" is for Gustav Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jun 29, 2006
    President, CEO, CFO, CIO, Chief Engineer, Technician, Janitor - Reiner Amplification
    IMO, absolutely. You can never have too much headroom. And the GKs actually meet their specs which is cool.
    Mystic Michael likes this.
  7. ::::BASSIST::::

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

    Sep 2, 2004
    Vancouver, BC Canada
    Definitely the mb800. I've owned both and even excluding the power difference, the mb800 has much more going on than the mb500.
    Mystic Michael likes this.
  8. Jim C

    Jim C Spector#496:More curves than Sophia + better sound

    Nov 29, 2008
    Thanks for this advice
    Is setting the input volume higher say on the B channel of the 800 the same as using the boost knob on the 500?

    The reason I ask is that with the 500, 11:00 on the boost knob sounds different than just running the input up higher with no boost. Slight EQ change as well.
  9. xbud


    Nov 9, 2012
    Southwestern, PA
    I used my MB800 and 412NEO today for the first time , and I can tell you there is no need for more power than this setup. I am jamming with two guitarists that have full stacks and an extremely heavy handed drummer and I didnt take the MB800 past 11:00 on the volume dial. It was the same for the input gain A as well. It blew me away how loud this setup is. Tons of compliments.

  10. Bob C

    Bob C

    Mar 26, 2000
    Duluth, MN
    Some useful info here. I've been waffling, but am really leaning toward an MB800 purchase soon.

    Jim C, what cabs are you using?
  11. Jim C

    Jim C Spector#496:More curves than Sophia + better sound

    Nov 29, 2008
    Dr. Bass (I bought used)
    2x12 Delta speakers with a tweeter.