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Gallien-Krueger Micro-Bass Combo? (24 lbs!)


MartinJ

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I'm really looking at this combo (MB150S-112), which features 150W into a 12" speaker, and only weighs 24 pounds! The speaker can be turned off so that it can function as an amp only, driving 2 8-ohm external cabinets.

 

I'm thinking (and my back agrees) that this would be PERFECT for playing friends in a living room and in small cafes. IF I ever need to play bigger venues, I could simply add some external cabinets.

 

The only downside seems to the be price ($720 from musiciansfriend.com).

 

Does anyone know about this combo? Any opinions or experiences?

 

Thanks!

 

G-K Web info for MB150S-112

C.V.: Snowboarder (1983-), Bass Owner (1996-), Chemistry Teacher (1997-) & Serious Bass Student (2003-)
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I've heard it's a wonderful, lightweight combo. I have not played one, and have generally not been impressed with the tone I manage from GK amps (however, that's me -- lotsa folks really dig GK). I also have the sense that these MB combos are a different flavor than stuff like the RB heads and combos.

 

DaveBrownBass (a.k.a., DBB) uses one and digs it. Maybe he'll chime in with some specifics about why he digs it.

 

Peace.

spreadluv

 

Fanboy? Why, yes! Nordstrand Pickups and Guitars.

Messiaen knew how to parlay the funk.

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Thanks for thinking of me, Sweets!

 

Yep...I use this amp a LOT! Actually, I use it's twin, the MB150E...the differences are, add a chorus, add 2 DI, Add a stereo through, add a bit more tone control. Actually, my 150E has too MANY tone controls!

 

These amps also have what could be called a "GK" dial (the 150S just has a GK button) Activate it, and you get that bright, edgy GK tone. Without it, you get a more "normal" sounding amp.

 

I've never used it with a 5 string, and I doubt the speaker has enough excursion to really handle a low b.

 

This is my second, the first was stolen. As you can see, I replaced it with what I lost.

 

On Monday, I played an outdoor jazz gig, guitar, elec. piano and sax. I used an URB and put the amp kinda behind and below it..no feedback, and enough sound to keep up...in a Jazz setting, all musicians MUST hear the bass well.

 

Today, I will take it to church and use it as my monitor...use the DI and play in a 2000 seat auditorium. DI is quiet and sounds good. I've actually used this amp at the same church live...it worked, but, of course, wasn't driving!

 

Many URB professionls have riders specifying either this amp or the Polytone on stage.

 

The power is rated at 90 watts with internal speaker, 150 with extension cabs. Remember, 150 watts is not really very much in a driving rock situation.

 

As far as dependability, the GK has had this line for over 20 years. They are INCREDIBLY sturdy, a strong steel jacket covers everything. The ridged heat sink on top really holds dust and is hard to clean, so it has a "road-tested" look. My first one, which was 15 years old, lost a speaker (my brother had loaned it out to a hard rocker...and he played it so hard the paper tore loose!) I pulled it out and had it reconed...and taking apart this little fellow is a CHORE! Lots of screws, twists, turns. Add to that the fact that the entire amp has gaskets and a rubber cement between every steel plate (eliminates the internal vibration) and you can see how tough that job was. When I put it back together, it had a bad hum...took it to the shop, where they did some $50 job to the power supply (I think I messed up a wire.) Worked spectacularly, until it was stolen.

 

I had a tech tell me that every 10 years or so, the amp should be serviced to put in a fresh set of gaskets, but my old one wasn't rattling after 15 years, and of course, my new one is only 2 years old.

 

You have to know what you need in an amp, before you buy one. If I were playing balls-out rock, whether in a living room or a stadium without using the DI, this doesn't work.

 

In my situations, this amp is perfect. I have used it successfully:

 

 

  • with a symphony orchestra and added rhythm section..
  • with a bluegrass band, sometimes add a drummer, in churches. I used it in this setting in an outdoor concert in park, but the sound people took a line out. In a resturant with a jazz trio.
  • In several different orchestra pits, where the music should never overpower the singers.

 

Anytime the bass needs a presence, but doesn't need a punch...this amp does the job.

"Let's raise the level of this conversation" -- Jeremy Cohen, in the Picasso Thread.

 

Still spendin' that political capital far faster than I can earn it...stretched way out on a limb here and looking for a better interest rate.

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I have the 150S. It is a great little amp, everyone that hears it is surprised by its power and tone. They see the small amp and are amazed that such a small package can be so effective. The 150S has a direct out and a ton of tone control, including a nice voicing filter system. It has a low midrange and a high midrange control, along with the standard bass and treble controls. It has a limiter control, jacks for an fx loop, and a headphone jack. The back of the head has an internal speaker off button and 2 external speaker out jacks, it also has a line out jack that is post limiter. As mentioned in the previous post it is bullet proof and can handle almost any playing situation except hard driving (loud) rock and roll. The portability is well worth the price. If you can find a used one it's worth checking out, they are built so tough that used does not mean as much as it does with a lot of other equipment. Good luck. :thu:

DUKBUT

"If you wish to better understand seemingly incomprehensible things, help another to better understand."

Dalai Lama

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Thanks, SW, DBB & DB!

 

The combo seems interesting, but SOMEtimes we get into a let's-see-how-loud-we-can-be mode when playing pop stuff or in Blues jams. It sorta sounds like this wouldn't handle this very well, even in a very small venue. Correct assumption?

 

However, if I PLANNED on being loud, couldn't I simply turn off the internal speaker and hook up some external cab that could handle this?

C.V.: Snowboarder (1983-), Bass Owner (1996-), Chemistry Teacher (1997-) & Serious Bass Student (2003-)
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...and to further load up this choice, I just received a quote from riksmusic.com on the GK MB150S-112 @ $599. Yikes, GAS may be flaring up...
C.V.: Snowboarder (1983-), Bass Owner (1996-), Chemistry Teacher (1997-) & Serious Bass Student (2003-)
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Well, if you are in a "lets-see-how-loud-we-can-be" situation, you will be the limiting factor..assuming everybody plays music instead of noise.

 

You don't have to switch off the internal speaker...there are several configs in the owners manual, including adding outboard cabs with the internal.

 

I don't think there is any kind of crossover in play at that point, but I don't think its a prob.

 

Actually, I did hook this up to an external cab, a Fender 1x15 and the power of this thing was pretty good.

 

Pretty good price for that amp...kinda makes me distrust the seller...is it a return, refurb or demo?

"Let's raise the level of this conversation" -- Jeremy Cohen, in the Picasso Thread.

 

Still spendin' that political capital far faster than I can earn it...stretched way out on a limb here and looking for a better interest rate.

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Originally posted by davebrownbass:

...

Pretty good price for that amp...kinda makes me distrust the seller...is it a return, refurb or demo?

It's supposed to be brand new. I hadn't heard of Rik's Music before, but the web page seems legit enough (BBB seal of approval). That price includes FREE shipping, to boot.

 

If I can get the go-ahead from my dear spouse, I might just order this from them. If I do, I'll let everyone know how this worked out.

C.V.: Snowboarder (1983-), Bass Owner (1996-), Chemistry Teacher (1997-) & Serious Bass Student (2003-)
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  • 5 months later...

I JUST GOT A LOANER ON THE MB150 AND THE THING KICKED ASS IN A CLASSIC 3 PC BAND.iT IS USED AT 450.i WILL TRADE IN MY CRATE BX-100 FOR THE DIFF.i FOUND AT RIKS MUSIC A SISTER EXTENSION CAB FOR $269.i WILL GET IT fRI.24LBS FOR THE 150MB ABD 12LBS FOR THE EXT SPR=36LBS @150WATTS??

i WILL LET YOU KNOW HOW PRACTICE GOES.

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ya think you can turn off your Caps Lock? :evil:
http://www.briantimpe.com/images/LDL/dots/blue.JPGhttp://www.briantimpe.com/images/LDL/dots/black.JPGhttp://www.briantimpe.com/images/LDL/dots/fuscia.JPGhttp://www.briantimpe.com/images/LDL/dots/grey.JPGhttp://www.briantimpe.com/images/LDL/dots/orange.JPGhttp://www.briantimpe.com/images/LDL/dots/purple.JPGhttp://www.briantimpe.com/images/LDL/dots/red.JPGhttp://www.briantimpe.com/images/LDL/dots/yellow.JPG
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I have the same model Dave has. Its a great amp and as mentioned not a high volume bone crunching rock bass amp.

 

I played the amp last night at rehearsal with a 6 pc band using an active bass and it was perfect. Great tone and nice full sound - I was actually suprised myself.

 

I almost sold it a few weeks ago and I am glad I did not.

 

I recently replaced the speaker - I ordered the replacement directly from GK @ $80.00. Huge difference. The old speakers suspension dried out and the folks at GK said it would make more $$ sense to put new speaker in.

www.danielprine.com

 

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I must admit to never having heard that particular little combo, but my opinion on GK gear is that I absolutely LOVE their amps, and really dislike their speaker cabs.

 

I have a GK1001RB. It only weighs 18 lbs, puts out 540 watts into 4 ohms, and is as clean and punchy as amps get. Can you say HEADROOM?!

 

:thu:

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I used to own a GK MB150 and I have to say that it is one of the best little amps if you double (bass guitar, URB) because It made my POS upright come to life. I've always loved the tone (sorry, SW) but it's not a loud, R&R type. It had a real problem, though. It would just cut out in the middle of gigs! Nobody seemed to be able to fix it. I sold it years ago in favor of more power and less problems. Then, a few years ago, I bought an RB400 and It was more powerful, but...the same problem happened with it cutting out and distorting. Great, great tone, but I'm at -2 for reliability. Opinions vary....

 

P.S. my SWR 4004 head is an unbreakable monster.

"Study, study, study...or BONK BONK bad kids!"
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I bought an MB-150 new in 1993. Always loved the tone for upright (and electric bass in lower volume settings). Mine too had a nasty habit of dying in the middle of a gig. Had in the shop 3 or 4 times within the first 3 years I owned it. Back in about 1998 or '99 I heard a rumour that GK had devloped a transformer or power board upgrade kit which addressed some design flaw possibly related to the high rate of failure of my amp. Sure enough, I took it to the factory in San Jose, had them install the upgrade (I paid for labor, GK covered the parts) and it has worked well ever since. I've heard that later versions of the MB-150 didn't suffer from the same design flaw.

For the last 3 years I've been touring with the same old GK and an Eminence EUB. The GK just refuses to die, even after countless airline flights, multiple tumbles, and several thorough rain/beer/whiskey soakings. It has enough power on its own nicely fill a small or medium size room -- its throw belies the small size of the amp. It has enough power to drive 2x10 or 4x10 extension cab.

 

I'll probably get another one when this one finally gives up the ghost.

Spankin' the plank all the way to the bank!

 

JoeKyleJr.com

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Just when I was feeling like the worlds most stupid consumer, for not buying this amp. I noticed the list price in Australia; $2600. My car is only worth $7000 (4 years old, 80kW, and very portable). So, if you pay lots of money, and are content with a quiet rig, you can get one that is really easy to lug around -- once you've sold your car to buy it! I suppose that I would have a different attitude if I played professionally (or well). It seems like a lot of money for a little convenience c.f. a 2x10" and a small rack.
A man is not usually called upon to have an opinion of his own talents at all; he can very well go on improving them to the best of his ability without deciding on his own precise niche in the temple of Fame. -- C.S.Lewis
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Thanks for that info, Joe. I'm glad to hear that GK has fixed this problem. I would think that they shoud fix the existing defect in their older amps entirely for free, since the failure was on their part. I still have that RB400-maybe I'll have it fixed. I wonder if they have made the upgrade kit available to local music techs??
"Study, study, study...or BONK BONK bad kids!"
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I just came back from practice with the extension bottom.The sound was magnificant.The amp goes to 150 from 90watts.Big diff in head room for the tone adjmnts.The used amp speaker had a buzz when I took it on a loaner for a spin so I told the dealer that the next day.I saw 57 P's posting on sending it to gk for a new spkr.I will use the box the sxt cab came in and ship it there myself.The dealer said he would deduct it from the price after I trade the crate bx-100 (85 lbs-beast).He wants $449-orig at riks new $949.Well worth the money.The drummer can't believe hw light it is.I git two padded gig bags for it as well from riks.The bottom was $269-12lbs! 12" eminence.I wanted to put JBL's in the amp ,but ttoo much already.
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