Dismiss Notice

Psst... Ready to join TalkBass and start posting, make new friends, sell your gear, and more?  Register your free account in 30 seconds.

Opinions on GK MB150E

Discussion in 'Amps, Mics & Pickups [DB]' started by musicman5string, Jan 20, 2006.


  1. musicman5string

    musicman5string Banned

    Jan 17, 2006
    I've been using this little combo for 10 years now. Sometimes sounds great, sometimes not so great. In small rooms where I don't need much volume, it's perfect. In larger rooms when I'm playing with a loud group....look out!:help:
    The thing I love about it is it's size, weight, and the padded carrying bag.:)
    BTW, I'm using Underwood and Realist pickups.

    Todd Coolman once was telling me how the amp itself it really good, but the stock speaker they put in it sucks. So he replaced his with an EV. We did a side by side comparison of his amp to mine; I didn't notice that much of a difference, to be honest....maybe his was a little warmer or clearer sounding, but the EV also added another 20 lbs. to the amp.:bawl:

    Anyway, I suppose I would continue to use it; it's never malfunctioned on me.
    Any thoughts?
     
  2. My experience is exactly the same as yours. It's a great little combo amp unless you have to play really loud, like with a big band as I sometimes do. I also use an Underwood pickup. A few things I've done to squeeze out a LITTLE more volume are:

    --use a preamp/equalizer (the Fishman Platinum Pro EQ model)
    --use a stand (I think it's called QuickLock) to get it up off the floor.

    Even at that, it's not loud enough for very loud situations. Limitations of a small amp, I guess. The only solutions I know of, for very loud situations, are either to get a more powerful (and likely much heavier) amp, or use an EUB.
     
  3. basss

    basss

    Aug 27, 2001
    NYC
    I used one as my main gigging amp for about 10 years and agree with what has been said about it. Recently I switched to a Flite cab loaded with a neo speaker and an AI Focus. The Flite weighs less that the GK and has a more full range sound and better power handling and the Focus fits in the bass bag.
     
  4. glivanos

    glivanos Supporting Member

    Jun 24, 2005
    Philadelphia Area
    I played a bass with a Realist Pick-up/GK 150 combination last nite and found the same experience. I believe that combination is is limited to stage volume application. There is a direct line out though on the GK 150 that you can use to feed to a house PA if it is available for more volume.
     
  5. TroyK

    TroyK Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2003
    Seattle, WA
    I've been using one with a Realist for about 3 years now. I've A/B'ed it with a friends AI Combo. I generally like it. Sometimes, usually involving big room and loud drummer, I don't like it as much. I guess I would clarify that for jazz, that limitation is pretty high. I played in an auditorim once with it on a chair and 6 or 7 people in the band and it was great. Then I went out into the audience and listenned to someone else with a different, similar sized band play through it and it sounded great.

    I saw Dave Holland use one with a 4x10 extension in a big room with his band.

    So there are limits, but they are pretty high. There are nights, when I can't seem to get it to sound right, but I've had that experience with other amps and I've heard most people with most amps commisorate in a similar way about them.

    There are surely better ones on the market, but I've never regreted the $450 I spent on mine used. Even if I replaced it some day, I can't see every letting it go. It's too practical.
     
  6. TroyK

    TroyK Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2003
    Seattle, WA
    I've been using one with a Realist for about 3 years now. I've A/B'ed it with a friends AI Combo. I generally like it. Sometimes, usually involving big room and loud drummer, I don't like it as much. I guess I would clarify that for jazz, that limitation is pretty high. I played in an auditorim once with it on a chair and 6 or 7 people in the band and it was great. Then I went out into the audience and listenned to someone else with a different, similar sized band play through it and it sounded great.

    I saw Dave Holland use one with a 4x10 extension in a big room with his band.

    So there are limits, but they are pretty high. There are nights, when I can't seem to get it to sound right, but I've had that experience with other amps and I've heard most people with most amps commisorate in a similar way about them.

    There are surely better ones on the market, but I've never regreted the $450 I spent on mine used. Even if I replaced it some day, I can't see every letting it go. It's too practical. The guy that I bought it from has expressed remorse over selling it, though.
     
  7. I bought my GK MB150E about seven years ago. I also have an AI Clarus II (Series 2)and a Raezers Edge Bass-10. I've used the Clarus/Bass-10 almost exclusively for the past three years, but in the past two months, I've started using the little GK again - I used it for two gigs earlier this week, and it really sounded great! It was just the sound I was looking for. I think these things go in cycles, and I'm sure I'll keep coming back to it. I also have the ext cab which matches the GK150, and together they really are impressive. One thing to watch with the MB150 series is that the effects out/in and the input sockets can be flakey, and if not cleaned can cause problems where the amp seems to be cutting out. There are also some ECOs which GK recommend doing to the older amps. I love the amp - it's so darned small, I can almost carry it under one arm!

    FWIW -

    - Wil
     
  8. Basss -- which Flite cab do you use, what size speaker does it have?
     
  9. I've got the older 200MB version, and I think it sounds great. I use it on its own for quieter gigs, but have had good success on larger gigs by adding a second small cab.
     
  10. basss

    basss

    Aug 27, 2001
    NYC
    It's a custom sized 112 + horn cab. They were very cool about building the cab to my specs. I got the largest size cab that would be comfortable in a shoulder bag and made sure it would work with the speaker I used. I can carry the cab over my shoulder and the amp in my bass bag which makes midtown gigs much less painful.
     
  11. fdeck

    fdeck Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 20, 2004
    Madison WI
    HPF Technology LLC
    I agree with "limitations of a small amp." Given the MB150E is a small sealed box, your options for driver upgrades are limited. What I suggest is modeling any candidate driver using the free WinISD program, and setting the box volume to the measured volume of the MB150E box. So far I have not found a commercial driver that does not result in an annoying midrange hump.

    In my opinion, the MB150E driver is actually a high quality driver. Eminence does not make low-quality drivers. Physics is physics. The MB150E driver has to be a custom unit in order to sound good within the tight space constraints.

    I built a 1x15 extension in a small sealed box. It sounds great with the MB150E combo driving it. And it is loud. Eventually I bought a GK Backline 600 head to use with the 1x15, but I still plan to use the combo for 80% of my gigs.
     
  12. Phil Smith

    Phil Smith Mr Sumisu 2 U

    May 30, 2000
    Peoples Republic of Brooklyn
    Creator of: iGigBook for Android/iOS
    If you want more sound from the combo you'll need another cabinet, to stay light go with the 112MBX which will make a difference in volume as a matter of fact any second cab of the same ohmage will.
     
  13. nicklloyd

    nicklloyd Supporting Member/Luthier

    Jan 27, 2002
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    The GK 10" extension cab works quite nice for more volume, or if you use an eletric bass sometimes. Two lightweight cabs is still easier to haul around than a heavy wood cabinet.

    I always run a line out from the amp to the p.a., unless it is a very small venue.
     
  14. Aleph5

    Aleph5

    Feb 24, 2004
    Tennessee
    Same here. A muscular Parts Express woofer in a sealed cabinet that used to be a ported Sunn Sonic cabinet back when it housed a JBL D130F. I haven't played in loud bands for a long time, but I feel this rig would hold up well against most rigs that would see such duty.
     
  15. Aleph5

    Aleph5

    Feb 24, 2004
    Tennessee
    But don't you have problems if your mix in the P.A. is fed to the monitors? That's a recipe for disaster in every instance I've been in. I always have to walk up to a mike and embarrassingly ask the sound guy (sternly) to take me out of the monitors. Otherwise my tone is dead as a door nail.

    I've never figured out whether it's a phase/interference thing with my strings, my amp, or what.
     
  16. fdeck

    fdeck Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 20, 2004
    Madison WI
    HPF Technology LLC
    Your choice of woofer? Mine is an Eminence 151311 that is sold by Madisound in their "pro audio" price sheet.
     
  17. nicklloyd

    nicklloyd Supporting Member/Luthier

    Jan 27, 2002
    Cincinnati, Ohio

    I'm using a Realist...

    I have the soundguy put a little in the monitor... it hasn't been a problem. The line is running effects send->direct box->board->house. The tone is quite acceptable, and I use guts and try to get a more traditional sound...

    hmm...
     
  18. I had a 150 E for years. I think its sole redeeming qualities are its low weight and small size. I never cared for its sound which at best was passable. I sold it and got an AI Contra when I discovered them. It weighs a little more but has a padded bag and sounds 1000X better. The new Contras will be much lighter.
     
  19. Aleph5

    Aleph5

    Feb 24, 2004
    Tennessee
    Mine's Parts Express' own "Dayton" branded "Series II" woofer here. It's really a home woofer, but it's got power handling and excursion specs that rock! It models as being about 3dB down near 40Hz in my almost 3 cu. ft. Sunn cabinet. The mtg holes matched up and I just covered up the port with a sheet of plywood. There's no crossover, but the blend w/ my GK just running both in parallel is pretty decent.

    I can't find your Eminence listed--Madisound doesn't seem to carry them anymore, but they sure have every range covered. I have another old Sunn cabinet w/ factory Eminence drvrs and I think my hi fi speakers might use their woofers too.