Small power considering GK's MB200

Discussion in 'Amps, Mics & Pickups [DB]' started by pmad_bass, Jul 15, 2013.

  1. pmad_bass

    pmad_bass Supporting Member

    Oct 24, 2004
    Hi all. I'm looking into getting a (very) micro amp for my crazy 8. The amp would be used exclusivly to power that cabinet (alone) and would be used for gigs/rehearsals in which not a whole lot of power is required. GK's MB200 is very attractive, as it weighs in at 2 lbs and is only 7-3/4" W x 8" D x 1-3/4" H. While I'm intrested in a micro amp that better suited for acoustic bass than the MB200, it may be hard to beat it's compact size.

    A high quality head only unit that is not larger than the MB200 physical deminsions would be a major interest, as I could use my Headway pre and either carry the head in my bass bag or perhaps attach it to the Crazy 8 in some way.

    Thanks in advance.

  2. A Genz Benz Shuttle 3.0?

    Only one channel but semi-parametric mids. I like it for my double bass. 185W/8Ohms or 300W/4Ohms (minimum load).

    An EA Doubler (2 channels)?
  3. kwd


    Jun 26, 2003
    silicon valley
    I have an MB200 that I use with an Eden 10" cabinet. I am happy with the convenience and sound. The thread title implies you want something to use as a power amp, perhaps using your Headway exclusively for tone shaping. The MB200 doesn't have a preamp bypass input. If you're really want something like that, you might be happier with the SWR lightweight power amp. That would allow you to leverage your Headway's tone shaping.

    I like simple and the MB200 suits me just fine for now. Many might find it's EQ section to be inadequate. As always, YRMV.
  4. There is an AUX IN on the MB200 which should bypass the pre amp.
    Unfortunately it is for a 3.5mm, not a 6.3mm plug. So not the best connection, but it might do the job.

    The Genz Benz Shuttle 3.0 has a effect loop, the effect return can be used to bypass the built-in preamp, but then the regular input could not be used in parallel. There is a line in too, and that can be used (with a low impedance output device in front like a preamp) like a second parallel channel. This works fine for my active bass guitar, but I have to turn down the volume at the bass guitar if I don't use it because the mute switch is for the internal preamp only.
    It also has a line/mic and a ground lift switch for the direct out, a tuner output and an autoswitching power supply that the MB200 misses and deliver 100W more.
    It is also more expensive of course. I'm still happy that I bought it.
  5. seang15


    Aug 28, 2008
    Cary NC
    You describe the MB200 to a T!!
  6. Turnaround

    Turnaround Commercial User

    May 6, 2004
    Toronto Canada
    Independent Instrument Technician
    You might check Demeter's Minnie 800. Small, light, 800 watts. Great fidelity. Fits in my bass bag.
  7. BHBassman


    Jan 5, 2013
    I used my GKMB200 with a Markbass Traveler 210P cab & the Fishman PPEQ-Underwood PU
    for a major concert with a BB & Sym.Orch -Sinatra tribute.
    Also a Jazz trio, & quintet concert.
    Great sound.
    Needed the Fishman for my Bass.
  8. pmad_bass

    pmad_bass Supporting Member

    Oct 24, 2004
    Demeter's Minnie 800 sounds like more than what I really need watt-wise....but I'm sure it is very high end. This is very appealing, in that it provides me with options. Weighing this against the MB200 at the moment. I have a I already have an amp that delivers high end sound/higher. May opt for the MB200 as it seems that its size can't be beat. I could always opt to do or not do the Headdway, therefy making it a much more portable option thatn the Headway/Minni combo. I have to say that I don't love my MB150 for acoustic. IMHO it is 'OK' for acoustic....better for electric for sure. I have contemplated getting the Monique pre (for electic). Which makes the Minni attractive. Of course I need the Monique like I need a hole in the head at the moment. But we all know hos GAS pangs go. :)
  9. Don Sibley

    Don Sibley

    Jun 27, 2005
    Fort Worth, TX
    If you want to get an idea what the MB200 will sound like into your Crazy 8, disengage the internal speaker on your MBS and plug the 8 into the external jack. Should give you a pretty good idea. Not as much power but quite similar tonally I believe. I think you will be pleasantly surprised.
  10. pmad_bass

    pmad_bass Supporting Member

    Oct 24, 2004
    Welp....pulled the trigger on the MB200 yesterday. :)
  11. And? What do you think?
  12. pmad_bass

    pmad_bass Supporting Member

    Oct 24, 2004
    Well... I initially tried it with my Fendt, old Realist (I really need to go Full Circle!) and a Crazy 8 cab in a low volume/no drum rehearsal. At that time/setting, I was fairly underwhelmed by the volume output, as I had to crank it pretty far. Far further than I would have thought, as I don't recall needing the much (volume knob) on the MB150. Surely an impdednce issue of some sort I'm guessing. Haven't messed with it too much further but I might try the Headway with it this Sat at a quartet rehearsal. The size/prtability can't be beat.

  13. Greg Clinkingbeard

    Greg Clinkingbeard Commercial User

    Apr 4, 2005
    Kansas City area
    Black Dog Bass Works
    My thoughts as well. The GK sounds nice enough but sounds small.
  14. MR PC

    MR PC Inactive

    Dec 1, 2007
    Frankly, you should look for something with more power/headroom than the GK. If size is the issue, then maybe you wouldn't be interested in a stand alone lightweight power amp such as a light weight QSC, ect. Lots of great lightweight power amps these days, but again if size is the deciding factor, your choices might be limited to bass heads.
  15. fdeck

    fdeck Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 20, 2004
    Madison WI
    HPF Technology LLC
    The MB200 has a "scooped" voicing that might be problematic for upright bass use, especially with a Crazy 8. It might be worth trying it again, dialed flat:

    While flat voicing isn't the be-all and end-all, I think it represents a better starting point when getting a new rig going for DB use. The loud infrasonic thump produced by the piezo, compounded by the scooped voicing, may be driving the MB200 into limiting mode before producing a lot of volume.

    In theory, the MB200 should be able to push a Crazy8 pretty darn close to its practical limits.
  16. Don Sibley

    Don Sibley

    Jun 27, 2005
    Fort Worth, TX
    Not sure why I made this assumption but I was so off on this comparison. I tried the MB500 with my Big E and was horrified at the sound. It is voiced very differently than the amp in the MB150S.
  17. Greg Clinkingbeard

    Greg Clinkingbeard Commercial User

    Apr 4, 2005
    Kansas City area
    Black Dog Bass Works
    I used the MB200 with the metal extension cabinet and thought it sounded better than the MB150S. However, I haven't liked it driving any other cabinet and only keep it around as a backup; not sure why. The Clarus, although rated the same sounds like at least twice the amp.

    One thing the Crazy 8 needs is a HPF to cut the low end which is one reason I use the Clarus. The Fdeck wonderbox is mandatory when using the GK with that cabinet.
  18. Ric Vice

    Ric Vice Supporting Member

    Jul 2, 2005
    Olivette, Missouri
    Since Walter's amps are rated at 8 ohms, they're more powerful than almost all of the micro amps, especially if you own an Ultra. All the newer amps use 4 ohms to show their rated power.

    I tried one out at Guitar Center here in St. Louis. It sure is small, personally I thought it would only work for really intimate gigs with a duo, maybe a quite trio. I liked how it sounded, and the EQ is very easy to use.

    The older 200MB's sounded the best with upright, but the MBS sounds pretty good, I had a MBE and didn't care for the midrange voicing of the pre amp. Part of the MB150's sound is the result of it's unusual cabinet and different kind of 12" speaker. But for what it is it works pretty well.

  19. MR PC

    MR PC Inactive

    Dec 1, 2007
    I didn't see that you already have a Walter Woods amp. Why aren't you using the WW? Doesn't that have a power amp in that you could use with the Headway? Have you tried that yet?
  20. pmad_bass

    pmad_bass Supporting Member

    Oct 24, 2004
    The Woods surely has the power. I did finally use the MB 200/Crazy 8 and
    the Headway. The situation was playing Free Jazz with
    Guitar/Tenor/Drums....with whom I had not previously played. We were in
    a small basement and I was behind the amp/speaker just slightly.

    My initial observation is that I'm still underwhelmed by the output
    capabilities of the MB200. To me my MB150 combo is so much more capable.
    My sound was clear and all....just the volume level wasn't there. If I
    had pushed the MB150 to that level, it would have been way too loud and
    there surely would have been feedback issues.

    I have to remember to state that I did get this with the intention of
    seeing if it was viable as a small amp (i.e. one trip from car to venue)
    for lower volume gigs. That said, even though I would have liked to have
    been a little louder, my sound was fairly clear and natural...though I
    think I may have been over driving the GK head at times. Not sure but
    will need to see where/what was distorting. The guys at the session
    asked if I could turn up (which I did, a little)....but usually, when it
    gets to that point, the more you (i.e. the bassist) turns up, the louder
    the rest of the group plays anyway. Would have been better to have
    replied, "Can you guys come down some?" I think this amp will work well
    for the low volume gigs but will grab a bigger amp/cab if I think I need
    cut more.