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My Gallien- Kruger MB115 just died

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by MakoMan, Sep 10, 2012.

  1. MakoMan


    Oct 17, 2011
    Well, I'd heard about all the MB200 and MB115s with problems, but you never think it will happen to you :rollno:
    Today I fired up my GK MB115 and it was dead. Light goes red and then blue as usual but no sound comes out. When you shut it down and play a note at the same time it will make a brief note before it shuts down. But while it is on... nothing...
    Bought this amp used but in perfect condition from a fellow TB'er. Although I've had it 3 months, I'll bet I haven't played through it more than 5-6 hours. But as a used amp... no warranty.
    If anyone has any suggestions they would be greatly appreciated!
  2. JonnyAngle

    JonnyAngle Dropping Acid Pedal Etching .com Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 24, 2008
    Maple Grove, MN
    Can you take the driver out and check the speaker connections? Try a different outlet might be bad wiring in your house, apt, condo, flat etc.
  3. packhowitzer

    packhowitzer 155mm of pure destruction

    Apr 20, 2011
    Any idea what year it is? Mine is a 2011 and I use it every week at church. it performs flawlessly. Granted it is in a fairly comfy environment- no smoke, no load ins, I'm the only one that touches it. But I think there were some problems with older models.
  4. MakoMan


    Oct 17, 2011
    I'm pretty sure it is a 2011 model. I keep mine unplugged, in a smoke free room and under a cover I had made 100% of the time when not in use, so it definitely has not been mishandled. Worked fine the last time I used it, although that was over a month ago. It's never plugged in, so no chance of a power surge damaging it..
    I'll take it to a tech this week and see if they have an idea.
  5. MakoMan


    Oct 17, 2011
    My next amp will be a Fender Rumble. Never had a problem with one.
    Purchased one new and one almost new GK amps in the past year and both crapped out less than 6 months after I got them with hardly any playing time on them.
    I have definitely learned my lesson on Gallien-Krueger products :rollno::eyebrow:
  6. MakoMan


    Oct 17, 2011
    Did speak to the previous owner and found out the amp was purchased new this year.
    Unfortunately no original bill of sale and it was purchased online.
    Will keep looking to see if there is any chance it can be fixed under warranty but not too optimistic.
  7. I understand your frustration but instead of complaining about how much you think GK sucks on an online forum, why not contact them directly and see what they can do. I would start by PMing Robert Gallien directly since he is a TB member.
  8. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    When a lemon unit fails early in it's life (known in the electronics biz as "infant mortality") it's actually a good thing, better than a ticking time bomb on stage, eh :help:

    Were both MIChina?

    I've never had issues with USA built GKs, the original 400 and 800RB heads are bulletproof. As soon as I took my MB115 out of the box, I could tell it wasn't built to the same standard...as the price would suggest.
  9. BawanaRik


    Mar 6, 2012
    New Jersey
    Smell the amp. Does it have that smell of dead amp? Kinda of a rank burning smell. If not calm down. Clean all your solderless connections. Check the power cable. You do have a VOM, right? Check the voltage coming out of the outlet. With the VOM, not a fork.

    And check your instrument cable. Most amp problems aren't amp problems. I bought my Super Redhead off a guy that said the speakers were blown. I showed him it was the instrument cable he was using that was bad. He didn't believe me. I bought the amp and got a deal. Still have it and love it.
  10. BawanaRik


    Mar 6, 2012
    New Jersey
    Also after re-reading your post I would clean the power switch, AFTER YOU UNPLUG THE AMP!

    Repeat. Unplug the amp.
  11. Yerf Dog

    Yerf Dog

    Jun 29, 2009
    Carol Stream, IL
    My first bass amp was a Fender Rumble... which crapped out within a couple of days of purchase.

    My GK MB212 has been solid since 2009 and it gets a lot of travel time.

    You never know.
  12. MakoMan


    Oct 17, 2011
    Sorry man... but I did not join TB to get free service work from company owners who post here. I can easily afford my toys and to pay for repairs when needed (which fortunately is very seldom). I already received a replacement MB200 under warranty through a local store, which I sold off because I lost faith in the model. That one I had bought new and it didn`t last two months.
    I really hate to say anything bad about a company, but I have totally had it with GK. I`m 0 for 2 this year with the only two GK amps I have ever purchased. I will see if this unit can be fixed but if so I will be selling it the minute I get it back.
    Whether it is covered under warranty or not, unreliability is not something I want in an amplifier. I have NEVER had a problem with an amp before, so two from new units from the same company in one year - particularly after reading threads about other failures - is more than enough for me to just say lesson learned.
    Sorry if GK fans don`t like me dissing the company, but that is my experience with Gallien-Krueger and I am just being honest about it. Two amps this year... two useless units... not exactly confidence inspiring. Next time when I read threads about buzzing and breaking amps from a company I will believe them.
  13. MakoMan


    Oct 17, 2011
    Both were indeed Chinese made, but that is no excuse. If Chinese Squier basses crapped out that regularly I could guarantee I would never upgrade to an American Fender.
  14. MakoMan


    Oct 17, 2011
    It does not have a burning smell. All of the connections you mention I checked. I tried 4 different instrument cables and all are fine. There is absolutely nothing wrong with the outlet.
    I will keep trying, including cleaning the power switch as suggested. Appreciate the info.
    If I do get it working though I can guarantee it will be the quickest sale I ever make. Someone is going to get a heck of a deal locally on a like new GK amp if I can get this sucker to come back to life. Not very optimistic though.
  15. If this had happened to me I would want GK to know I wasn't a happy customer! They should at least have the opportunity to make things right for you.
  16. MakoMan


    Oct 17, 2011
    I will certainly be contacting GK. I am hoping that because of the serial number and manufacture date on the amp it will still fall within the warranty period. But not holding my breath.
    I am certainly not impressed with the quality of GK's products however and would not buy another.
  17. jeff7bass


    Apr 9, 2009
    It’s a class D thing, not just a GK thing. Everybody has had problems but it’s difficult to gauge the extent (per manufacturer) without hard data.
    That being said, some companies move a lot more amps than others, so a bad batch may be in the hundreds or even thousands for those who move large quantities.
    There may be some level of “gambling” when it comes to parts (to keep costs down) and when you lose the gamble, many units (and buyers) suffer.
    Even Glockenlang is selling class D amps now. It would be interesting to know if they have alleviated most of the problems. When you spend that kind of dough you expect it.
    They might sell one unit for every 1000 GK sells though so like I said, without hard data to calculate fail rate, fail type (weighted), etc…, we’re basically in the dark.

  18. BassmanPaul

    BassmanPaul Gold Supporting Member

    Aug 25, 2007
    Toronto Ontario Canada
    If the amp has an FX loop try linking the send and return with an instrument cable.
  19. mpace


    Nov 6, 2010
    I feel your pain man- my mb115 started buzzing this year and it turned out to be loose parts and wire issues. When I contacted GK I did not get an apologetic lets make it right tone, I got - take it to your local auth dealer with receipt and they can bill for repair- when I replied that there was no dealer in my state (CT) they said to take it to a reputable repair shop and they can submit (written pretty much like my post-zero empathy, and yes that means alot and doesn't cost a thing)- of course what mom and pop will do that out of the blue? Long story short I paid 120 to fix it because that is still less than buying a smaller amp. But this my last GK product- just for the whole experience and the poor customer service. I should also say that I do have a 700rb with the 410 and have not had an issue. I love the GK tone and what really drew me to them in the first place was what I heard about quality- Anyway, I as well will go back to Fender in the future and my old bxr 100 covered for practice while the MB115 was away and that amp has been through hell and back (almost 20 years!).... Just waiting for a smaller amp with a better tone than the rumble, never liked the sound of that series.
  20. ABSOLUTELY NOT a Class D thing. Where does this stuff come from.

    Class D and SMPS has been around forever. I've been gigging class D bass amps since the 80's. There is no documentation or even anecdotal evidence that there is a 'reliability problem' with class D amps that is any different that other topologies.

    That being said, there are some companies (and GK seems to be one of them... remember the 7 or 8 'fixes' that had to be done on the MB500 revisions, and the continuing issues on the MB200, and the 1001RB issue, etc., etc., etc.) that seems to have much higher failure rates (class D or Class G in their heavier amps) than other companies, given the massive numbers of problem posts on this thread, compared to other high volume selling brands.

    Their service seems good, and they do seem to eventually work out the glitches. My interpretation of all these GK issues is that it seems they use their customers to beta test their products. Since they eventually seem to figure things out, it seems there is an product testing issue in their R&D process to me. Who knows.

    Edit: The other thing that kind of throws up a red flag for me with this company is that they miss promised introduction dates time and time again, but even when the product comes out months (sometimes many months) after the targeted intro date, there seems to be 'growing pains' on the production line time and time again. Again, something not quite right it seems to me in the transition between R&D and production. It would be interesting to know what is going on there.
    mpacey likes this.