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Markbass, GK, Acoustic; A Comparison

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by ThisisCraigP, Oct 21, 2010.

  1. Hopefully this post will help out someone.

    Last Monday I decided to take a trip to everyone musicians favorite store-Guitar Center (sarcasm), to do some serious comparisons of bass cabs they have there.

    Not surprisingly the just had Markbass, Acoustic, and GK. First I tested out a GK MB210. Firstly, HOLY CROW!, it's a freakin' light amp! Fellow TBer's were right about that, but how did it sound?

    To give you an idea of my tone think deep, round, full, no treble, flatwounds. I try my best to emulate Familyman (The Wailers bassist). Of course no basses there had flats, or were in tune, but I successfully got a Fender P into standard tuning.

    I was impressed by GK's MB210. I pushed it loud enough to where it would be heard in a band situation and it didn't fart out or anything. I had the horn off, so I can't comment on the quality of that. However, I felt like the lows were missing somewhat, so I plugged into a LMIII that was connected to a Markbass Traveler 210.

    The Markbass Traveler 210 is also crazy light. I think it handled itself more gracefully louder the the GK, but just by a little bit. On both of these cabs I didn't hear any rattling, so that's another good thing.

    Next I tried a Markbass Traveler 1X15. This cab disappointed me a lot. It sounded great at a low volume but it just couldn't handle the bass at high volumes. I really expected more. If trebly bass is your thing I would recommend this cab. It didn't sound like the speaker the blow FWIT.

    Next I tried the Markbass NY 1X15. This cab met and exceeded my expectations. It sounded fantastic. Deep, round, full bass! If I already wasn't going to buy a Orange OBC115 then I woulda picked up this bad boy. It was also very light. Anyone who's in the market for lightweight cabs should also look into MB's offerings, not just GK.

    Then I tried out some Acoustic's. A B200, and their neo 210. The B200 speaker was blown so I told the GC salesperson. The neo 210 was alright. Sorta boxy, hollow sounding. It definitely didn't impress me as much as the GK 210. I used to own a B100, and after 2 (maybe 3), farty, crackling, speakers I gave up on it and got a much better rig. But at low pratice volumes it was great.

    If I had to purchase a 210 that day GK would have gotten my money. Overall it's a very good, light amp.

    As for 15's, the MB NY1X15 would have gotten it. The GK MB115 wasn't there so I couldn't test it. The Traveler 115 must be made of fail or something.

    Hope someone here thought that was interesting lol.

  2. Waspinators


    Jul 22, 2007
    South Florida
    Thanks for the side-by-side; pretty disheartening that a Markbass 1x15 didn't pump out a good low end. If you ever try out the GK MB115, compare it with the 210. I'm considering the MB115 when I have some extra bucks but I've heard comments that the 210 actually gives a better low end.
  3. Yes, I found your comparisons interesting.
    I just bought a used GK MB115 a few days ago and it sounds great! This is my first encounter with GK. Very deep bass response, I'm impressed.
    I got my VT pedal yesterday and it made the MB115 sound even bigger!
    I actually just sold my Markbass LM2 last week which I pair with a
    Markbass traveller 121H cab so I could try out some new gear.

    I find the GK to be less midrangey than the Markbass products. All Markbass products I've tried tend to have a strong mid-range focus which I think helps you get heard in a band setting. IMO the GK has a deeper low end but the highs can get a little brittle so I back off on the treble control and disengage the contour. Haven't tried the GK live yet but I will on Saturday at a small venue.
    The Markbass LM2 + 121H cab sounded huge in an outdoor gig without PA support, LM2 volume at only 1 o'clock! We ran out of channels on the mixer so I had to turn up my rig. The rest of the band was lined in including the drummer! Notes ring loud and true on the Markbass. I'll have to use the DI out on the GK for bigger gigs.
  4. +1 nice report.

    Just FYI, there are a number of different Markbass cab lines, and the VERY small Travelor cabs are definitely a bit constrained in the low end when pushed. I don't particularly recommend these, and don't like the piezo tweeters too much either. Some of their other cabs are quite nice, and of course, the heads are to die for if you want it even and clean and warm, and aren't that interested in an goosed type tone out of the box.
  5. nutdog

    nutdog when I'm a good dog they sometimes throw me a bone Supporting Member

    Feb 19, 2009
    in the dog house
    I think it bears mentioning the GK115 won't drive an extension cab, which is a negative IMO. But you gotta love it when you one hand it.
  6. Waspinators


    Jul 22, 2007
    South Florida
    I've heard of some folks actually running two MB115 combos at the same time for the bigger gigs, wonder how good that goes over? If anyone's tried that, a report would be interesting.
  7. FromTheBassMent

    FromTheBassMent Those who can, play bass.

    Jan 19, 2010
    Providence, RI
    Well, the MB Traveler 151 didn't pump out good low end. But the MB New York 151 (different series) is another thing altogether. It's at the tippy-top of my GAS list... it's the perfect extension for my CMD 121P for larger venues. That setup (500w combo with 1 12" plus 1 15") can get freakishly loud, but I really like the addition of the NY 151 mostly because it rounds out the lows. Plus, running the amp at 4 ohms simply sounds better to my ears... the dynamic range strikes me as improved, and the sound is overall more open and airy.

    Dang, gotta get one of those. $680 though... eeeesh.
  8. SanDiegoHarry

    SanDiegoHarry Banned Supporting Member

    Aug 11, 2008
    San Diego, CA
    I have found that MB heads sound better with non-MB cabs... Same with GK.

    Acoustic? Meh. Entry level gear.

    But thanks for the research!
  9. Yeah Acoustics' definitely beginner gear. If the MB NY 151 was $500 some dollars I probably would have bought it. But with Humbucker Music offering the Orange OBC115 for $600 I just couldn't.
  10. pedro


    Apr 5, 2000
    Madison, WI.
    I have the OBC115 and its a great cab. It sounds wonderful with both my Ampeg V4b or Orange head. But it is heavy (the cab and head). In recent times I gigged with my GK700RB and a MarkBass 210 and was quite pleased with the results. Loud good thump and very easy to move.

    My son took the rig so I went with a TC450 classic and the RS210. Great tone just wish the 210 was a tad lighter.

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