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TC Elec BH550 vs GK MB500

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Resonance129, Jan 15, 2017.


  1. Resonance129

    Resonance129

    Feb 15, 2011
    Georgia
    I think I've narrowed my decision on my next amp on these 2 amps:
    TC Electronic BH550 or the GK MB500

    I like quite a few features about them both, but I'm not sure which to pull the trigger on.
    The TC Elec has simple controls and is the same brand of the cab I bought. I like the TonePrint feature, even though I'm not huge on effects and I already have a nice multi-effects pedal (ZOOM MS60-B). PLUS, it's got 50w more than the GK.
    But I really like the fact that the GK has 2 outputs for parallel cab hookup. The TC has only one and I don't think there's a way to create a parallel connection through 2 cabs without a second amp output (right?)

    Either way, I suppose I'm just looking for opinions on the 2 amps from anyone with experience using either or both. Which one would you go with?
     
  2. blubass

    blubass

    Aug 3, 2007
    Modesto Ca
    Current: Blackstar, DR strings, Nady. Previous endorsements with: GK, Rotosound, Ernie Ball, Cleartone, EMG, Dean, Dava Picks, Rebel Straps, Dickies
    Well, I can tell you the GK will out power the TCE, no problem. That 50 watts is nothing, and moreover, TCE has already had some issues with their wattage ratings, much of which can be dredged up here on TB so I won't beat a long-dead horse.

    Power isn't everything though, so looking at tone, I find the 2 band mid section on the GK to be more useful, and the lows "seemed" slightly tighter using the same cab, though I admit that was a very subjective analysis.

    Since you already own a TCE cab, you may find they accompany eachother very well.
     
    lakefx, Aqualung60 and G RICH 5 like this.
  3. buldog5151bass

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

    Oct 22, 2003
    Connecticut
    I have the GK, and am happy with it. Plenty of power and very responsive EQ.
     
    Aqualung60 and G RICH 5 like this.
  4. Resonance129

    Resonance129

    Feb 15, 2011
    Georgia

    Good to know.
    Any info on being able to create a parallel connection using an amp with only one output jack? I'm pretty positive the 2x12 will be plenty for what I'm currently doing, but if I DO decide wo purchase another one, I'll want to run them on the same amp in parallel, and with only one output, I don't know that that's possible without some type of adapter or something like that.
     
  5. honeyiscool

    honeyiscool

    Jan 28, 2011
    San Diego, CA
    For God's sakes, BH550 does not have wattage rating issues. It will not be overpowered by any comparable 500W-ish Class D amplifier. And since it has 4-band EQ with low-mid and high-mid controls, I don't know why it'd be harder to dial in than a comparable GK. In fact, I find it infinitely easier to dial in a tone on a TC than on other amps because it makes a lot of the decisions for you. Instead of giving you infinitely many push pulls or contour controls or knobs whose functions often seem to work against other EQ knobs, the TC intelligently shifts EQ frequencies around so that you can go from classic to modern easily and doesn't leave you with tone that doesn't make sense.

    Anyway it's really tiring talking about the BH550/800 when people bring up problems they've had with other TC amps that have nothing to do with those amps.
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2017
    CTBassGuy, Inara, jeff7bass and 2 others like this.
  6. honeyiscool

    honeyiscool

    Jan 28, 2011
    San Diego, CA
    I have never met a bass cabinet that doesn't have at least two different jacks. You hook up one to the amp. One to another cab.
     
  7. babsobass

    babsobass

    Jan 10, 2009
    Milwaukee, WI
    If your cab has two jacks you can daisy chain another cab to it. The cabs will be in parallel and, assuming they are 8ohm cabs, will present a 4ohm load to the amp. If not, then you could create a speaker "breakout" box. Not sure if anything like that is available commercially.
     
  8. honeyiscool

    honeyiscool

    Jan 28, 2011
    San Diego, CA
    OP says he/she has a TC cab. These all have daisy chain jacks.
     
  9. Resonance129

    Resonance129

    Feb 15, 2011
    Georgia
    Yeah, the cab I got has 2 inputs, but I've read before that sending connections from "amp -> cab-> cab" makes the connection series instead of parallel. I was under the impression the only way to get a parallel connection is to go from an amp with 2 outputs and send one cable from each amp output to each cab.
    What you're saying is that going from the one amp output to the first cab, then from that cab to the next cab will give me a parallel connection?
     
  10. honeyiscool

    honeyiscool

    Jan 28, 2011
    San Diego, CA
    Whoever told you that didn't know what the hell they were talking about. There might be some custom made cab out there that has its jacks in series, but any retail cab out there has the jacks in parallel.
     
  11. blubass

    blubass

    Aug 3, 2007
    Modesto Ca
    Current: Blackstar, DR strings, Nady. Previous endorsements with: GK, Rotosound, Ernie Ball, Cleartone, EMG, Dean, Dava Picks, Rebel Straps, Dickies
    I posted information pertaining to the company, and not the specific model. It is pertinent information for the OP, whom may or may not want as much information as possible about the products asked about.

    The other information I posted was based on as much information I could gather after first hand playing time with both amps in question, and was based solely on my opinions and experiences.

    If something is too tiring for you, then you have the option to ignore it. My goal here is to provide as much useful information about the products and companies in question. There is no bias or fan boy loyalist attitude involved.
     
    smogg, Aqualung60 and AlexanderB like this.
  12. Resonance129

    Resonance129

    Feb 15, 2011
    Georgia
    Good to know. I've been looking for a better explanation of how all that works but can't seem to find much info. I'm just now beginning to understand impedance and whatnot...
    Thanks for the input.
     
  13. honeyiscool

    honeyiscool

    Jan 28, 2011
    San Diego, CA
    So you played the GK MB500 against the BH550 and actually found that the 500 outpowers the 550? You're talking about the BH550, the micro head that came out in 2015? Not the similarly named but wattage-challenged BH500 which has very little to do with this discussion?

    Here's what I don't get. So people had a problem with a line of TC amps that had a curiously flawed way of determining wattage. That was a fiasco and they evidentially learned from that because BH550 and BH800 have none of those problems and compare very favorably wattage wise to similarly rated micro Class D amps. They sound great, too. So what are you even accomplishing by rehashing old BH500/RH450/RH750 information that simply doesn't apply to newer products?
     
  14. blubass

    blubass

    Aug 3, 2007
    Modesto Ca
    Current: Blackstar, DR strings, Nady. Previous endorsements with: GK, Rotosound, Ernie Ball, Cleartone, EMG, Dean, Dava Picks, Rebel Straps, Dickies
    I accomplish nothing. You're looking at this defensively, so you seem to think I have some personal end goal to attain in this. Again, and for the 2nd time, information available to the OP is the goal. I couldn't care less how you feel about what happened with the wattage thing, and I also did not interject my opinion about it, which really isn't important. The way a company does or doesn't deal with situations is a valid sales point for certain people. This is where the pertinent information comes into play. What the OP does with the information is his business and his alone. I'm done talking about this, and apologies to the OP for muddling up your thread. Best of luck with your decision!
     
    jassthebass likes this.
  15. joel406

    joel406

    Dec 27, 2013
    Florida
    Lets face it. Both amps will get you there.TC or GK. It's what sounds good to you that matters. But the fact is most GK micros are on the under rated side wattage wise. I use the GK MB800 and have tons of head room. And with GK you get that growl that no other amp has. And the controls are very very easy to use. You will find when adjusting them that less is more when it comes to the GK class d's.

    Play what you like. Love what you play.

    I been using GK since the 1980's and I'll never use anything else.
     
  16. eb0248

    eb0248 Supporting Member

    Feb 1, 2011
    Wellington, FL
    I'm of the same opinion; I have the BH800, love it. heard all the stuff about wattage ratings on other TC gear when I bought this last year, it seems as though people knee-jerk the info now about all things TC. Still waiting to hear an independent word about the BH800 specifically. Sure, it's good to know as much info on an item/company as possible, but I love mine, sounds great. BTW, once you get the hang of it, the TonePrint thing is pretty cool.
     
    Sav'nBass likes this.
  17. honeyiscool

    honeyiscool

    Jan 28, 2011
    San Diego, CA
    The BH550 is my studio/rehearsal/backup amp, and the BH800 is my primary gigging amp. I honestly can't say I've ever faced a situation where I felt that I was even pushing the BH800 hard, and I've used the BH550 for gigs a few times and never thought I needed 250 extra watts. I just decided, when I was shopping, just spend the little extra and get the BH800, since I found a good deal on the BH800. And then when it came time to get a second amp, I just got a BH550 instead.

    I think the TC wattage scandal is worth knowing for one basic reason: it might be one of the reasons why it seems really easy to find BH550 or BH800 priced very attractively, whether new or used. It might be because some people are staying away from TC amps, but it's worth knowing that you shouldn't have to pay full sticker price for them. I bought my BH800 for $428 and BH550 for $350. These are incredible prices for the quality of amps I got. You just don't see deals like this on other amps of the same caliber. Hell, I sold my Aguilar TH500 for $549 and it sold very quickly, I probably could have gotten more for it. I don't miss my TH500 one bit, I'm so happy with the TC BH550/800. So yep, try to get the best price possible on the TC BH550 and don't just buy the full price because you might really save a lot.

    There's a post on one of the threads here where a couple of users have compared a BH800 with a Mesa D800 and found them to perform similarly, with some favoring the BH800. And nobody questions the wattage handling of the Mesa D800, so I think informally, that BH800 passes. There's just not a lot of talk about either of these amps, but they're really great.
     
    waynobass and Sav'nBass like this.
  18. eb0248

    eb0248 Supporting Member

    Feb 1, 2011
    Wellington, FL

    +1 I got a steal on my BH800 new last year, which I chalked up to folks being gun-shy about the other amp's numbers. I think people should be as informed as possible, but try to take all of it in the correct context. BTW, if I didn't buy the TC, I was seriously looking at the TH500.
     
  19. honeyiscool

    honeyiscool

    Jan 28, 2011
    San Diego, CA
    (Doesn't everyone seriously consider the TH500 at some point in their lives?)

    Yeah, I'm fine with knowing about the wattage scandal in as much as save money on the BH550/800 because of market conditions, but I just get annoyed when people mention it like it somehow affects the wattage of the BH550/800. I understand that the more I talk up the BH550/800, the less likely it is that I can continue to buy at these prices, but I really like these amps and hope they actually sell a few of them. Honestly, I don't know if they sell at all.

    I actually bought the BH800 to be a second amp because I was gigging a Rumble combo at the time and wanted to go to a head-portable cab setup. I had a TH500 in the studio at the time w/ relatively ponderous cabs and though it sounded good enough most of the time, I always did feel like the controls weren't intuitive enough. My thing about an amp is that if I have a tone and it's almost there, I should be able to quickly get to where it's perfect, and with the TH500, I was fighting the controls pretty often. But then I tried using the BH800 with the same setup, and I was floored by how intuitively I could go from "meh" to "good" to "great." I'm always this way with amplifiers. For me, the most important thing is not about how great they sound in perfect conditions. It's about how quickly I can get from A to B using the controls. How will I feel on the worst stage gigging this amp? That's the question I ask.

    That's when I decided, to hell with the TH500, and bought a BH550 to replace it. Have not regretted this decision.
     
    Eckie and eb0248 like this.
  20. Gizmot

    Gizmot

    Mar 22, 2009
    Nashville area
    I don't own either a TC or a GK, but I've tried both of these amps and I don't think its even a fair fight: the GK sounds much fatter and smoother and it has mire dynamics.
     

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