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LMII versus GK MB2 500 ???

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by ::::BASSIST::::, Oct 1, 2008.

  1. ::::BASSIST::::

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

    Sep 2, 2004
    Vancouver, BC Canada
    Has anyone done a comparison of these two amps yet?

    I confess that I am not familiar with the GK sound. However, I do love my LMII. I just sold my shuttle 6.0 partly because, after some gigging with it, I realized it just didnt have the power (with the eq settings I liked) that the LMII does. Also, I am definitely an ss fan and like a warm, clean tone.

    What are the differences between these two amps tonally?
  2. Eublet


    Jul 28, 2006
    I hope to make a comparison soon. Everything I am hearing is that the MB2 is a bit on the bass-heavy side, and is lacking the signature GK growl in the mids unless heavily EQ'ed.
  3. kirkm24


    Jan 1, 2007
    Columbus, Ohio
    The GK's signature tone is a growl. Not necessarily like overdrive just a growly tone from it's focused midrange. The MB500 is supposed to be pretty bass heavy which, judging by what you like as per your clips and bass choice might suit your needs pretty well. I have not played the 500 yet but have played the other GK amps. If you've ever heard Jaco play over the bridge pickup that is the kind of tone that a GK is voiced for.
  4. NorCal Dog

    NorCal Dog

    Nov 28, 2005

    dumped my LMII & went to a 1001RB-II, ( best move i've made in quite a while imho )

    but i'm totally wanting to hear more about the MB-2
  5. Freddels

    Freddels Musical Anarchist

    Apr 7, 2005
    Sutton, MA
    What do you mean by "heavily EQ'ed?"

    Bob Gallien himself suggested some settings which were basically Bass at noon and all 3 mids set at 1 o'clock. I believe he said that would get the classic 400RB tone.

    Everyone that hasn't seemed to like the MB[SUP]2[/SUP] so far have been those that prefer other amps but wanted to try it. Those that regularly use GK amps seem to like it. I'm not surprised by that.
  6. I tried the GK MB II and loved it. I am a long time GK fan and user. But I love my LM II better. It has more clarity than the GK MB II. The GK was a bit heavy on the bass side. But I solved that when I lowered the over all bass on the head. And I also held into consideration that I was playing through an SVT 410 HLF. The GK MB II is amazing for its size. And I like it features better than the LM II. The GK MB II has a mute feature for tuning or changing basses where the LM II does not. The GK MB II has a headphone jack where the LM II does not. And the GK MB II has footswitchable distortion channel where the LM II does not. Also the GK MB II is 350 watts @ 8 ohms where the LM II is 300 @ 8 ohms.

    So with that in mind I am going to G.C. today to buy a GK MB II. I have 2 gigs this weekend and I am going to put it through it's paces. I will post on Sunday and let everyone know how it performed.
  7. Eublet


    Jul 28, 2006
    I hope it has the GK tone when I try it. I've always loved the sound of GK and will probably pickup an MB2 if it has the power and tone.
  8. Well I got it in my hands and I have to say I am very impressed with it so far. I can't believe technology today. How they could make a bass amp so small and so loud is beyond me but I love it. All those years of heavy heads and cabs are coming to end for this bass player. The big test will be this weekend. I have one gig in which I am going to go through the P.A. so I am going to use it with my 8 ohm Avatar Neo 410. On the other gig I will not be going through the P.A. so I am going to bring my B.C. 115 and Avatar Neo 410 and run it at 4 ohms. Keep you posted.
  9. CapnSev


    Aug 19, 2006
    Coeur d'Alene
    Funny you should ask, because I spent a good two hours A/Bing these two amps just the other day. Here's my thoughts.

    The MB2-500:

    I loved the size, and the construction (from what I could tell) is top notch. Beats the LMII in features, I still can't figure out what the hell Markbass was thinking with no mute or pre/post switch. The tone was awesome, however it was definitely colored. Any bass I plugged in still had that hint of the GK sound (which I'm not knocking). The boost was nice, it sounded like any other GK's drive. Footswitchable is a big plus too. My biggest beef with the amp is that is was really bassy and boomy (this is coming out of my Bag End cabs too mind you). Dialing back the bass knob a lot helped, but brought out some clank too. I couldn't help but think that GK made it bassy on purpose to get it to thicken up. GK does win points for being American for sure, I know that it would be taken good care of should any problems arise. That gets major points in my book.

    The Little Mark II:

    There's enough on TB already about this amp, so I'll make it quick. It is super transparent and super clean. If you have a crappy bass, this amp will let you know. My beef with this one is stated above - no mute and no pre/post switch. Um, duh. It's not as small as the GK either, which isn't a huge deal because it still fits in my gigbag, but smaller would just be sooo cool :D.

    Ultimately, I am the proud new owner of a Little Mark II. Here's the summary:

    - I can't get the GK totally transparent, but I can color the LMII with effects if I have to, to get my own flavor.

    - I love the sound of my bass plugged straight in, and that's it. The LMII will get me that.

    - GK was too boomy in the end.

    - I love my Bag Ends, and they love the LMII. The VLE works wonders on my S15XD by itself, and I will use that cab alone often. MY S15LD (other cab) will add more than enough low end and volume when I need it.

    - I thought the LMII was louder (again, with my cabs).

    If there's something else that you want to ask, go for it - I spent a hard two hours waffling back-and-forth between these two amps. It was a hard, hard decision.
  10. tallboybass

    tallboybass Supporting Member

    Feb 25, 2003
    Tulsa, Oklahoma
    I used GK amps for over 20 years and the setting he suggested is nowhere near the 400RB sound. I love the look, the weight, the features, the power & the price. If it will do something close to the GK sound I'll keep it. So far, it's not in the same universe IMO.

    To me, the MB² feels even stronger than the LMII power-wise. It packs a real wallop with the master barely turned on. For you guys who like a big bass sound this unit should be the shizz.
  11. CH Design

    CH Design Supporting Member

    Apr 25, 2007
    Ottawa, ON
    Has anyone tried the GK MB2-500 through a Schroeder yet? I recently switched from a Shuttle 6.0 to an F1 and it made a world of difference. The F1 has a much stronger and tighter bottom end through my Mini's (I am guessing a LMII would sound much the same way). I would really like to know if the GK MB2-500 would add even more low end to the tone. I think the voicing of the Schroeder cabs would probably help the MB2-500 from sounding too boomy and muddy like some people have posted. I would be willing to bet that they were playing through much larger cabs that have a lot of output down low.
  12. CapnSev


    Aug 19, 2006
    Coeur d'Alene
    Your Shros are pretty close to my BEs when it comes to voicing, with probably a little less bottom. I never thought I'd say my cabs were too boomy, but the GK was capable of making them too boomy.
  13. CapnSev


    Aug 19, 2006
    Coeur d'Alene
    I thought so too, but rolling off the bass to match the LMII's flat settings, the LMII beat the GK in headroom. I think the big bass of the GK makes it seem relatively loud to the ear, but to me it sounded like most of the volume was in the bass end. Granted it wasn't by much, but I'd say I had the LMII's master on 2 o' clock, while the GK was at 3:30, with both gains set just underneath clipping. That was about all the volume I could take from either without my head exploding.
  14. tallboybass

    tallboybass Supporting Member

    Feb 25, 2003
    Tulsa, Oklahoma
    What settings would you use on the GK to get the closest to the LMII set flat? (I feel like the LMII set flat really IS pretty darn flat.)

    Thanks, Alan
  15. CapnSev


    Aug 19, 2006
    Coeur d'Alene
    Oh man - Let's see if I remember... I know I had the bass rolled off, to about 10:30 maybe? I also had the high mids boosted slightly. After that, I'm not really sure.

    It wasn't exactly Markbass tone (it still had it's own flavor no matter what), but it was close enough for comparison to my ears. It would probably be different EQ with different cabs as well.

    Sorry - that was probably worthless :scowl:
  16. tallboybass

    tallboybass Supporting Member

    Feb 25, 2003
    Tulsa, Oklahoma
    Nah, not worthless. I'm glad to hear anyone's settings cuz I'm feeling kinda cornfused about this amp. The last time I tried to "get a GK sound" I ended up at: Bass 9:00, Low Mids 2:00, High Mids 3:00, Highs 3:00. No Contour, Boost about Noon. It feels like we're fighting the natural voicing of this amp to make it work in the real world......the opposite of what usually happens with a GK.
  17. Eublet


    Jul 28, 2006
    If that's true, then I would agree. While the GK tone might not be everyone's tone, it has always seemed to get the job done right out of the box for me. Not too bass heavy with plenty of mid grind. I hope they didn't stray too far from that formula.
  18. CapnSev


    Aug 19, 2006
    Coeur d'Alene
    Yeah - That's kind of why I went LMII. I really like transparency, and I didn't want to risk having to re-do the GKs EQ at every gig/rehearsal. I basically don't want to fight with my amp.

    (Again, it was a really close call though.)
  19. Rshafer


    Dec 21, 2007
    I've also spent over two hours on two different occasions at GC trying out the MB2 and the LMII and F1. I play a 1001RBII and my opinion is that the MB2 is not in the same league as the larger GK. I really want to like this amp being an avid GK user, but for these micro amps I am leaning towards MarkBass too.

    As a whole, I think the the mb2 versus a 1001RB is kind of like comparing the sound and performance of a suped up 4 or 6 cylinder versus a V8. Both can sound like a hotrod, and go 100 miles an hour, but the V8 does it with such ease.

    I too found the MB2 to be boomy on the low side and then overly edgy, brittle, on the top side compared to the 1001rb and the LMII. This is still after turning the EQ knobs.

    I tried both the MB2 and the LMII with both eight and 4 ohm cabs. By far they both sound better with a 4 ohm load.

    I tried both with a GK neo 410, the MB2 just doesn't have enough power at 8 ohms to make this cab sound good to my ears. Really was lacking compared to the way the 1001rb will drive one.

    Tried other BLX cabs using two 410's for a 4 ohm load, still not like the 1001rb.

    Best comparison was using a MarkBass 610, the ported one, with both the LMII and and MB2. this made things pretty close between the two but I though the LMII was a little more managable and had more versatility using both a fender P bass and Stingray.

    Anyway, rambling now my 2 cents. My point is, I wouldn't trade my 1001RBII for the new micro, and I would lean towards markbass if I wanted to get a small packaged head.
  20. silky smoove

    silky smoove Supporting Member

    May 19, 2004
    Seattle, WA
    No it doesn't. The 2001RB and 2001RBP have footswitchable distortion, the MB2-500 does not. I own a 2001RB and an MB2-500, so I'm set :smug:

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