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New (black grill) vs. "old" (gray metal grill) GK MB series combos?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by TimBosby, Feb 11, 2013.

  1. TimBosby

    TimBosby Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 19, 2004
    Omaha, NE, USA
    I'm thinking about picking up a GK MB 210. I previously owned a GK MB115 (grey metal grill version) and it rocked. But I'm thinking of an MB 210 for a backup to my Streamliner 900/Schroeder rig for gigging.

    I'm not a fan of lugging multiple amps/cabs to gigs so I'd probably never use an extension cab, but I'm wondering why the "new" black cloth grill version of the MB210 (or any of the MB combo series) is 350 watts versus the old gray metal MB210 which was 500 watts. Has anyone compared the two? Will I miss those 150 watts? Have there been other improvements to the new black cloth versions or was it just the appearance that was changed? I'd appreciate any input. Love the MB line. I'm used to a Hughes and Kettner 400-watt combo which is a complete tone and volume monster but it's 64 lbs and I'd like to go lighter (it's for sale if anyone wants a beast of a combo and doesn't mind weight - I'm throwing in a free cart to roll it around.)

  2. rdcowan


    Aug 13, 2009
    Central Texas
    I've got the new MB115 and from what GK has told me they new ones are identical except for appearance. I thought the MB210 was 350watts alone and 500watts with extension speaker.
  3. basss

    basss Supporting Member

    Aug 27, 2001
    I think I remember someone posting that the new models have more bracing and damping inside the cabs for improved performance. I could be wrong about that though
  4. TimBosby

    TimBosby Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 19, 2004
    Omaha, NE, USA
    Maybe I'm wrong. I thought the old MB210s were 500 watts on their own.
    The new ones I thought are 350 watts but 500 watts with the extension cab.
    Can someone clarify?
  5. The old and new MB210's are 350 watts with the internal speakers only, with a 8 ohm extension cab they are 500 watts. The new black grill (rev II) combos have the DI connector rotated for easier access and now have a "Chain out" to drive the new powered extension cabs (MBP series). All the black series II's are only made in the G-K California factory.
  6. I just purchased the MB210 II and I think it is great! But I do have a question....If I need to replace a speaker, how does the grill come off?
  7. Mr. Fabulous

    Mr. Fabulous

    Sep 13, 2007
  8. BassIsFun17


    Jan 16, 2006
  9. TimBosby

    TimBosby Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 19, 2004
    Omaha, NE, USA
    Thanks everyone, this has been valuable. I need at least 500 watts so I may keep my Hughes and Kettner (which is 400w but sounds AMAZING) or look at the new GK MB212 combos.
  10. Davyo

    Davyo Davyo Supporting Member

    Nov 26, 2008
    Las Vegas, Nv
    I had the older MB210 with the MBE115 ext cab (total of 500 watts),,, as mentioned before, the newer MB210 and the older MB210 are both identical "wattage wise",,,,350 watts stand alone and 500 watts with an ext cab.

    I'm trying to avoid the 2 cabinet thing as well, so I pre-ordered the newest GK MB212,,,, if all goes as planned Sweetwater says I should be getting the new MB212 delivered late next week.

    Already have the new MB115 series ll combo for the smaller gigs.

    I owned and loved all the first gen MB combos but sold them to get the new models,,, my first gen MB212 was one of my favorites,,,, hope the new MB212 is at least as good or even better than the first gen MB212.

  11. Stev187

    Stev187 Peavey MegaBass Club!

    Jan 11, 2011
    Toledo, OH
    I've been looking for a place to chime in with my experience on this and also ask a question. Question first:

    Q. Anybody else having issues with the new black coated GK cabs? They are super cool looking, but my first-gen tolex cabs are holding up better to heavier use. A shot of Armor All on that stuff and it looks good as new. The new black coating chips fairly easily.

    1) For the past couple of years, my main gigging rig has been a first-generation MB210+115MBE rig. I love that thing. Works great in any room. This thread mentions the 350 watts without the ext cab, but the MB210 alone is plenty loud. The ext cab lets you move more air. I almost always take them both because it's so easy: they both fit in the trunk of my Chevy Impala, and I can carry them both in one trip.

    As a long-term user, I have noticed that you need to take out a screwdriver and tighten everything down once in a while (maybe every few months). The light metal grille dents in easily, but it's also easy to bend it back. If you remove the grille and push it down with a flat board, it goes right back into shape. When you know how to EQ that MB500 amp (that's the amp inside) it's a great gigging head. So there is my high mileage review on these things. I bought them used, I gig the heck out of them, and they're awesome.

    2) My drummer loves my rig and wanted to buy one for his house (both he and his kid play bass). So now I don't even need to lug something to practice! He bought the MB500 and a pair of 210MBEII cabs. So his rig is nearly identical to mine except it's a matched pair of 210s, the head is separate, and the cabs are the newer black ones. It's a great rig. My impressions from using that (I did a bar gig on it last night):

    --from a straight-up working perspective, the rig is nearly identical to mine. It might have a more uniform tone because the cabs are matched, but in a bar band setting, this is not noticeable.

    --the head is nice; it's so light that I thought it might rattle off the top. It doesn't. We were cranking it last night, and that little micro head didn't budge.

    --the cabs have a nice look on stage. They really disappear--it's a completely different look. The cloth grill is cool and not as fragile as you might imagine.

    --the duratex-type coating is not very durable. My drummer has only moved these a handful of times and there are little chips on the edges. The coating is not very forgiving if you catch a door jamb or trunk lid. He's really picky about stuff like that, so this is troubling to him.


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