1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
     
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

Question for GK MB500 Owners

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Jeff K, Dec 14, 2017.


  1. Jeff K

    Jeff K Supporting Member

    Jul 9, 2005
    Memphis, TN
    Just curious about something you guys/gals might be able to help me with. On the Gallien Krueger MB500, do you recommend "traditional" use of the "Gain" and "Volume" controls? What I mean is this:

    For years and years when finding my optimal settings on a new amp, I've always turned both "Gain" and "Volume" down completely. Then, while playing a string on my bass like I normally would, I would gradually increase the "Gain" knob until the "Clip" light started coming on. Then I'd back the "Gain" knob off just a bit, and THEN increase the "Volume" knob until I get the desired volume.

    But with the Aguilar Tonehammer 500, some of the guys said that they get the best tone out of it by diming the "Master Volume", and using the "Gain" as essentially their volume knob.

    So I guess I'm wondering whether you guys who have the MB500 have tried it both ways; and if so, do you have a preference. Also, is the "non-traditional" approach (diming the Volume and then using the Gain for volume control) harmful to the head? I'd appreciate your thoughts. Thanks...
     
  2. Kro

    Kro Supporting Member

    May 7, 2003
    New Jersey
    I have tried both ways on my MB2-500 - which is the predecessor to the MB-500.

    The manual for that amp actually recommended setting the master at 3:00 and then using gain for general volume adjustments, but at least for my particular amp, it actually seemed to run slightly noisier when I had it set up that way. Not sure why, and I know there are arguments why it shouldn't, but it did.

    I also used the method that you described above as well, with setting gain just under clipping (by ear), and then using master for volume adjustments. This works predictably and well.

    When it all comes down to it, I don't really think there's a wrong way to be honest - experiment, and see what you like. :thumbsup:
     
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2017
    Spidey2112, Al Kraft and Jeff K like this.
  3. Jeff K

    Jeff K Supporting Member

    Jul 9, 2005
    Memphis, TN
    Cool. Thanks for the input and suggestions, Kro. Appreciate you taking the time to reply...
     
  4. Kro

    Kro Supporting Member

    May 7, 2003
    New Jersey
    I edited my post to remove that last bit, as I was thinking about it this morning, it pertained more to my RBs that also include an additional persistent gain stage via the boost. Given that it isn't switchable, I find that it functions a little different for RBs that it does for the MB units like yours.

    With that being said, I just wanted to make one additional note in response to this sentence:

    In my post I noted that whenever I go the route of setting gain to just under preamp clipping I use my ears - the reason for this is that the clip light on most, if not all GK amps, is placed in the circuit before the initial "gain" or "volume" stage - so that their level has no impact on initial input clipping (that the clip light indicates) whatsoever. The only control on the amp that does affect the clip light is the pad.
     
    Jeff K likes this.
  5. Jeff K

    Jeff K Supporting Member

    Jul 9, 2005
    Memphis, TN
    Thanks again! I don't actually have the amp yet, but should get it next week. I'll play around with it and see how I like it.
     
  6. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    Connecticut
    Read the manual. It suggests the gain at three o'clock and using the master to control volume. I've found that a little hot for my tastes.
     
    Jeff K likes this.
  7. Kro

    Kro Supporting Member

    May 7, 2003
    New Jersey
    I'm pretty certain it's the other way around...

    From the manual:

    "5. Level and Master Volume Settings:
    Set the Master Volume to 3 o’clock. Turn the Input Volume knob up as you play to the desired output level."

    I'd think that for most basses a gain of 3:00 would be deep into preamp clipping territory, and pretty undesirable. YMMV.
     
    Jeff K and tkonbass like this.
  8. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    Connecticut
    Yup, sorry. I'm at work, my manual isn't. That's what I meant.
     
    Jeff K likes this.