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Talk me out of a GK MB 800

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Big Benner, Oct 15, 2013.

  1. Hi all,

    I've recently rented a GK 1001RB-II while I sort out a broken amp situation and OMG!!!! What a fantastic amp! Why have I not tried GK before?

    I might be in the market for a new amp so I'm looking into the MB 800 instead of the 1001RB-II mainly due to it's compact size & weight.

    Questions though:

    - has anyone had any problems or concerns with these amps?

    - I would imagine it would have an almost identical tone to the 1001RB-II, correct?

    - How do you get the "Boost" tone out it?

    I'm playing a Music Man Sting Ray 5 through a Traynor 2x10 NEO 8ohm speaker cab and plan to get another Traynor 8 ohm (either a 1x15" or another 2x10") shortly.

    The only thing that is holding me back is that I have really enjoyed using a Floor Monitor combo bass amp for the past couple of years (a Traynor 300T 2x8"),....... and the thought of the Markbass CMD 102P intriguise me but the price and that I can't fully test it out.


    Thanks in advance.
  2. The MB series is deeper sounding and be careful with the MB800 it is a real powerhouse (can be a speaker killer). Burst power tested almost 700 watts at 8 ohms and over 1,000 watts at 4 ohms.
  3. MarTONEbass


    Jun 19, 2009
    Norton, MA
    Can't help you! And I can't answer your questions, but I got an MB800 a few weeks ago and I'm so in love I upgraded my practice amp to an MB115 II. In the last few years I've owned 3 Genz heads, 4 Markbass heads, a Mesa M9 and on. The MB800 just sounds right to me!
  4. Plucky The Bassist

    Plucky The Bassist ZOMG! I'm back from the dead! Supporting Member

    Jul 30, 2010
    Houston, TX
    Just buy it, you won't regret it lol

    It's been a while since I played through a 1001RB-II, but the MB's have plenty of low-end and volume. IIRC, you can get a footswitch which will let you use a clean and boost channel on the amp, so you can get some extra hairy tone on demand without having to fiddle with the knobs ;)
  5. 1960jbass


    Mar 28, 2013
    Berwick, PA
    Why not spend the extra and get a Fusion?? More tonal controls and a tube preamp!! I have the MB Fusion 500 and love it!!
  6. Talk you out of it? No way! But be careful with all that power though! Speakers will melt, I have done it...but I DID have fun doin it!:D
  7. gpx1200


    Apr 24, 2013
    spencer mass
    can't talk you out of it, tracking says mine will be here Friday but then I already have an rb700II wich ill be keeping as well. the trade off is with the rb's you have the biamp option with the neo cabs and a few other brands but the mb has the switchable a/b gain channels and more clean headroom but no separate horn amp, though I have found I can get the same tones with or without using the biamp setup, it's most usefull when using a lot of boost because the highs don't go threw the boost circuit on biamp mode so the distortion doesn't kill the horns.
    or you can go nut's and get the best of bolth worlds with the rb2001 1000w, boost and seprate distortion channel and biamp system that shuts off the horns when the distortion chanel is on
  8. IPYF


    Mar 31, 2011
    I'll keep my 1001. The overdrive on the MB800 sounded corny to me when I tried it and I couldn't think of a time where I'd seriously use it. I'd miss my Boost, Woofer and Presence knobs too. I'm sure all the tones are on there on the MB800 if you know where to look but I see no reason to swap to it other than the portability and my back isn't that shot yet.
  9. Doug Parent

    Doug Parent Supporting Member

    May 31, 2004
    San Diego, Ca.
    Dealer Nordstrand Pickups.
    By all means if the 1001RBII is working that well no reason to change it's an awesome beast and not at all a back breaker. If I was starting from scratch though, the GK MB800 is stupid light and stupid loud and sounds great. A 1001RB though, it will never be......
  10. To run a couple of 2x10 you don't need an 800w amp.
  11. I owned a 700rb(-IV?)and MB-2/500(IIRC)... LOVED the 700(NO complaints), didn't care for the 500(way underpowered). Based upon my experience w/D-class or micros(the MB-800 is micro, correct?), I'd be wary. I'd also not expect the MB-800 to sound identical to the 1001RB... try before you buy would be my advice. Let us know how it goes
  12. tombowlus

    tombowlus If it sounds good, it is good Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 3, 2003
    North central Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    I definitely won't talk you out of this one. The MB800 is an amazing amp, and one of my personal faves. GK never ceases to amaze me when I play through their gear - especially when comparing GK gear with similar products from other manufacturers.

    If you prefer the added harmonic content and "sonic texture" of tubes, the MB Fusion 800 might be your ticket (though to be honest, the 500-watt version is going to be enough for most folks, in reality). By comparison, the MB500/800 are a bit more solid and focused, but the differences are subtle.
  13. 1. Unless you are needing a huge amount of head room I suggest you go with the MB500 or MBfusion. Either will have more than enough power to bring your 210 well past its limits.

    2. Go with a matching 8 Ohm 210.
  14. Dave W

    Dave W

    Mar 1, 2007
    White Plains
    For the most part. Both have a huge amount of headroom and will stay cleaner for longer. Do you remember if you had the 4/5 String button engaged or not?

    There are two channels, one normal and one boost. You just press in the Master B or use the footswitch to switch over to the boost channel.

    With that said, the boost channel gets you close to the tone of the RB series heads, but it's not exactly the same due to the different power sections. IME, they are close enough in a live environment.
  15. Itzayana


    Aug 15, 2012
    Oakland Ca
    I use an MB800 with an Avatar 4x10 and it really sounds great.
    The neo 4x10 is rated at 1000w. Amazing definition and clarity with this rig.
    Miles of headroom.
  16. 1000w of thermal power rating, which adds up to bupkiss in mechanical power handling.

    A MB800 has more than enough power at 8 Ohms to turn four full range 10's and the cabs around them into a pile of ash.
  17. packhowitzer

    packhowitzer 155mm of pure destruction

    Apr 20, 2011
    I LOVE LOVE LOVE my mb800. the eq is very musical (a little goes a long way- just set it near noon on all bands and tweak with care). the power is phenomenal, and the price was perfect. AND it's assembled here in the US.

    My only concern- and it's fairly minor- is that I'm not sure that any of the internal components are really serviceable by a tech. I have a feeling that if there is a problem with it and it's under warranty that GK will simply attempt to replace it. and if it's out of warranty- well.... good luck with that. It seems more like a piece of electronics than a traditional piece of MI gear.

    A GK head like the 700RB or 1001RB with their traditional internal components seem like they might be repairable if you are out on the road and have a failure.

    Of course on the other hand- the MB800 is so small and light, it can be likely protected more than a typical lead-sled that just gets tossed in the back of the truck with the rest of the gear. I know I treat my MB800 more like I would a laptop or something.

    I have no reason to think that my MB800 is anything less than robust- it is literally the amp i've been waiting 20 years for. It produces exactly the sound i've always heard in my head and if I'd had it ten years ago, I'd still be touring and gigging. But it does seem to fall into the ever growing list of items we as consumers obtain that used to be serviceable and now are merely disposable. That is strictly my opinion and I'd love to hear from some of the smart guys if they care to weigh in.

    buy this amp.
  18. Itzayana


    Aug 15, 2012
    Oakland Ca
    I hear you. I don't think that I have ever turned the MB800 up above 11 o'clock.
    I also have an MB500 and use that for a B2x10 8ohm rig.
    The MB500 with the B4x10 4ohm just doesn't sound as good to me as the MB800.
    If the MB800 fusion was available at the time purchased I would likely have gone for it. As it is I use a Tech21 BDDI with the MB amps and that IMO sounds pretty darn good.

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