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423659 000000000

Gallien-Krueger MB500 500W Ultra Light Bass Amp Head   

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Weighing in at fewer than 4 lb. and taking up less than one rackspace, the MB500 delivers 500W of signature GK tone in a sleek, compact, modern head....Read More

Available 12-14-2016

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OVERVIEW

500W of thunder that easily fit in your gig bag.

Weighing in at fewer than 4 lb. and taking up less than one rackspace, the MB500 delivers 500W of signature GK tone in a sleek, compact, modern head. Boasting GK's legendary 4-band active EQ and contour control, the MB500 lets you tweak your tone to perfection before hitting the digital power section.

In addition to its generous tone-shaping capabilities, the preamp section has a footswitchable boost channel with independent volume control to dial in just the right amount of grind and level boost when needed.

The MB500 is stage- and studio-ready with an XLR direct out with pre-/post-EQ selector and ground lift. Also offers a tuner out with mute, FX loop, headphone/line out, and dual Speakon outputs.

FEATURES
  • 500W @ 4 ohms, 350W @ 8 ohms
  • 4-band active EQ with contour switch
  • Footswitchable boost channel
  • Effects loop
  • Tuner out with mute
  • -10dB pad for active instruments
  • XLR out with pre-/post- EQ and ground lift switch
  • Two Speakon outputs
  • Headphone/line out
  • Footswitch included
SPECIFICATIONS

MB500 500W Ultra Light Bass Amp Head

  • 4 lb.
    Width: 10-3/4"
    Depth: 8-1/2"
    Height: 1-3/4"
Reviews
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Review Snapshot

by PowerReviews
Gallien-KruegerMB500 500W Ultra Light Bass Amp Head
 
4.8

(based on 36 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (31)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (3)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (1)

94%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Excellent sound (17)
  • Portable (17)
  • Good power output (16)
  • Easy to use (15)
  • Warm / comfy (12)

Cons

No Cons

Best Uses

  • Performances (17)
  • Outdoor events / games (11)
  • Home studio (6)
  • Professional recording (6)
  • Amateur recording (3)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Experienced (13), Professional musician (7)

Most Liked Positive Review

 

The GK sound in 5lbs

So far so good. The GK MB500 sounds great, but it took some experimenting to get the tone I wanted, and I had to read the manual.

The first time...Read complete review

So far so good. The GK MB500 sounds great, but it took some experimenting to get the tone I wanted, and I had to read the manual.

The first time I played it during practice, I played it through my practice speaker, an old single 15 cab. I was having a difficult time getting the tone I wanted with my Sting Ray. Lots of low-end, but there was no high end from my G string. I switched to my P-Bass, and things got better. Then I read the manual and tried some of the suggested settings. From there, I started playing around with different controls to get different tones.

Last night I played live through my Avatar 15" bottom and it sounded it great! It pushed air, with little effort. I was able to get the GK growl along with a punched up low end for blues/rock at a small outdoor event.

As I said, you need to experiment with the tone controls and start with some of the suggested settings in the manual.

Here's the best thing about this amp. It fits in your gig-bag.

VS

Most Liked Negative Review

 

Too pricey for the performance

These days, it seems like you pay premiums for 1) brand name, 2) light weight, or 3) exceptional performance. For me (everybody has their own opinion) this amp scores on...Read complete review

These days, it seems like you pay premiums for 1) brand name, 2) light weight, or 3) exceptional performance. For me (everybody has their own opinion) this amp scores on the first 2...not so much on the third. But hey, they say 2 outa 3 ain't bad.
The compressor was OK...just not variable and a little too squashed for me. With the 4-band EQ, I couldn't get a tight, low-end punch without getting boomy, and the contour didn't seem to help at all. I returned it and continue to look at alternatives.
I play a 5-string Carvin fretted bass, with a humbucker at the bridge and single coil in the middle. Was a little less boomy when I split the humbucker. I also tried my Carvin 5-string fretless with J-bass set-up (2 singles) , and results were similar. Some may discount my review because of the brand, but I've always had great sound from my Carvin's with other amps.

Reviewed by 36 customers

Displaying reviews 1-10

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5.0

awesome!!

By MaddisonGray

from san jose, ca

About Me Professional Musician

Pros

  • Easy To Use
  • Excellent Sound
  • Good Warmth
  • Portable
  • Powerful

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Performances
    • Professional Recording

    Comments about Gallien-Krueger MB500 500W Ultra Light Bass Amp Head:

    It is a phenominal basshead. The most difficult part was to find the right cab for it...

    (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

     
    5.0

    All Good

    By CB

    from Portsmouth NH

    About Me Experienced

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

    • Easy To Use
    • Excellent Sound
    • Good Warmth
    • Portable
    • Powerful

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Anywhere you gotta climb stairs for a gig!
      • Events
      • Performances

      Comments about Gallien-Krueger MB500 500W Ultra Light Bass Amp Head:

      I am downsizing from an SWR combo 15 and bought the MB 500 for its portability and power. I am still learning my war around this cool little amp, but it sure is powerful feeding my soon-to-be-replaced 4x10 cab. The boost function it provides is a bit confusing. So far I have not been able to get the "G&K growl" sound described in the owner's manual, but that might be due to pilot error. I do know it will be a pleasure to slip this amp into a shoulder bag and carry it into my next practice session!

      (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

       
      5.0

      Gallien Kruger products are well made in the U.S.

      By els011

      from Petaluma, California

      About Me Experienced

      Ask me a question

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Affordable
      • Easy To Use
      • Excellent Sound
      • Portable
      • Powerful

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • Events
        • Performances

        Comments about Gallien-Krueger MB500 500W Ultra Light Bass Amp Head:

        I upgraded from my Gallien Kruger Backline 600 300 watt amp to the GK MB 500. Musician's Friend offered this amp at a very good promotional offer. This amp is only 3.5 lbs, and sounds very good through my Gallien Kruger 4x10 Neo bass cabinet. The cabinet comes in around 44 lbs. My joke as a bass player was that a guitar player shows up to the gig with his guitar in one hand and an amp in the other, while the bass player shows up with his bass and a hand truck to move his bass rig. Not the case anymore with these fine sounding Gallien Kruger bass products.
        This amp requires a speakon cable adapter (into the rear of the amp) to use the 1/4 jack cable for the speaker cabinet. This was an additional expense at a local stereo store. They should include an adapter with the amp. Still a good deal though.

        (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

         
        5.0

        Awesome amp!!!Very pleased with this unit.

        By Ronnie

        from Riverview,Florida

        About Me Experienced

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • Easy To Use
        • Excellent Sound
        • Good Warmth
        • Portable
        • Powerful

        Cons

          Best Uses

          • I have only used this unit once at rehearsal
          • Professional Recording

          Comments about Gallien-Krueger MB500 500W Ultra Light Bass Amp Head:

          Still experimenting with the different sounds I can get out of this little creature.

          (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

           
          5.0

          Tiny package, big GK sound!

          By geowis

          from Hopewell, NJ

          About Me Experienced

          Pros

          • Easy To Use
          • Excellent Sound
          • Good Warmth
          • Portable
          • Powerful

          Cons

            Best Uses

            • Events
            • Home Studio
            • Performances

            Comments about Gallien-Krueger MB500 500W Ultra Light Bass Amp Head:

            After years of tube failures at the worst possible time. I've discovered "old school" in a tiny package. I purchased the GK MB200 for my home studio while my MarkBass TTE 500 was in for repairs. I was so blown away with what GK delivered in an amp the size of a small book that I had to take the MB 500 plunge. Like the MB 200, add a little contour, cut the hi slightly and boost the low-mid to 1 o'clock and I have tone for days.

            When my MarkBass TTE 500 returns, it's going up for sale as the MB 500 is now my go-to amp.

            By the way, the MB 200 is the loudest mini I've ever encountered. It has no problem with my 300 seat church. GK, you roc​k!

            (0 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

             
            1.0

            Thought it was a good fit.

            By Bogartist

            from Bemus Point, NY

            About Me Experienced

            Comments about Gallien-Krueger MB500 500W Ultra Light Bass Amp Head:

            I ordered this head because it was in my price range, portable, and had the power I needed. When it arrived, plugged it in using a speakon adapter with my 1/4 "speaker cable. I got nothing when I plugged into my 1 x 15 Ampeg cabinet (8 ohms) or my 4 x 10 Hartke cab (8 ohms). I called MF and they recommended I buy a speakon to 1/4" speaker cable. I did and it worked for abot a week or so and then nothing again(Power light came on but no sound). Sent it back, got a new one, and it worked for about 3 weeks and then nothing(same problem). Mind you, I only used it for band practice in a stable environment and it did not travel to any gigs. Liked everything about it when it worked. Looking for a new amp head. Buy the extended warranty if you take a chance on it.

            (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

             
            5.0

            Clean power, great tone

            By JKS

            from Vermont

            About Me Experienced

            Pros

            • Easy To Use
            • Excellent Sound
            • Great tone
            • Portable
            • Powerful

            Cons

            • Have Not Found Any Yet

            Best Uses

            • Amateur Recording
            • Blowing Windows Out
            • Events
            • Home Studio
            • Performances
            • Professional Recording

            Comments about Gallien-Krueger MB500 500W Ultra Light Bass Amp Head:

            I love this little power house. Crisp clean uncolored tone to GK signature grit. And enough power to blow the windows right out of your house. Hard to believe its only a few pounds. This is my second GK purchase. These guys never cease to amaze me.

            (3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

             
            5.0

            One of the best in the market today !

            By Fendok

            from Guaynabo, PR

            About Me Experienced

            Pros

            • Amazing And Reliable
            • Excellent Sound
            • Good Warmth
            • Portable
            • Powerful

            Cons

            • None

            Best Uses

            • Events
            • Home Studio
            • Performances
            • Professional Recording

            Comments about Gallien-Krueger MB500 500W Ultra Light Bass Amp Head:

            One of the best amps I have found. Powerfull, all the features of the 1001RB except the Bi-Amp capability in such small package......Amazing !!!!!!!!......and Yeah sounds great too !!!!!!!!!!!!!!
            I personaly recomend this brand to every bassist I meet. I,ve use in church and fill every corner with presence !!!.........we don't have a subwoofer and I'ts not miked !!!!!!

            (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

             
            5.0

            I like it

            By Al

            from New Orleans

            About Me Professional Musician

            Pros

            • Easy To Use
            • Excellent Sound
            • Good Warmth
            • Portable
            • Powerful
            • Small And Lightweight

            Cons

              Best Uses

              • Home Studio
              • One Nighters
              • Performances

              Comments about Gallien-Krueger MB500 500W Ultra Light Bass Amp Head:

              I've only used it on 3 gigs and so far I'm happy with this amp. Since this is my 3rd GK, I'm quite familiar with using the four band EQ to dial in the exact sound I want. The contour knob is very useful and the Master B section allows me to get the amp to sound like it would at a loud volume when actually playing at a low volume. It has plenty of power and headroom. I'm happy so far.

              (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

               
              5.0

              Incredible!

              By Basemann Biff

              from Western New York

              About Me Experienced

              Pros

              • Easy To Use
              • Excellent Sound
              • Portable
              • Powerful

              Cons

                Best Uses

                • Performances

                Comments about Gallien-Krueger MB500 500W Ultra Light Bass Amp Head:

                As an old-school bassist who was convinced that a rig had to weigh as much as a small car, I couldn't believe that a 4 pound amp could put out so much sound! I have happily found that downsizing doesn't mean sacrificing power, tone, or reliability. Coupling this unit to a 15" cabinet and my Fender Hot Rod Precision bass, gives me everything I need for my various live projects. From coffee houses to concert stages, this amp is it!

                Displaying reviews 1-10

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