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Gallien-Krueger MB800 800W Ultralight Bass Amp Head

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Continuing the evolution of the MB Series, the MB800 bass amp head from Gallien-Kreuger features incredible output, increased functionality, and a co...Click To Read More About This Product

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OVERVIEW

800 watts of pure GK power and tone in a five-pound head!

Continuing the evolution of the MB Series, the MB800 bass amp head from Gallien-Kreuger features incredible output, increased functionality, and a completely discreet FET-driven preamp. With 800 massive "GK watts" of power, the MB800 can handle even the largest venues without breaking a sweat, and at 5 lb., neither will your roadie!

All of the MB800's controls are lit to indicate the current operating status, including input clip, tuning mute, Gain A, Gain B/Level-B, power amp clipping, limiter enable, and EQ/Contour settings. The same FET technology used to create the legendary boost (G.I.V.E.) circuit found in all GK amplifiers for over 30 years is used in every stage of the MB800 preamp. Using FET devices to drive the GK four-band active EQ, Contour, and Gain allows the MB800 to transition seamlessly from a full, warm, clean tone to full-on GK growl.

FEATURES
  • 800W @ 4 ohms, 500W @ 8 ohms
  • Discreet FET preamp
  • Push-activated Gain A/B and limiter defeat
  • -10dB pad
  • 4-band active EQ with variable contour
  • Effects loop and tuner mute
  • XLR out, pre/post EQ
  • Defeatable limiter
  • Two Speakon outputs
  • Headphone/line output
SPECIFICATIONS
  • 10-3/4"W x 1-3/4"H x 8-1/2"D
  • 5 lb.
Reviews
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Review Snapshot

by PowerReviews
Gallien-KruegerMB800 800W Ultralight Bass Amp Head
 
4.6

(based on 16 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (12)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (3)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (1)

92%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Easy to use (12)
  • Excellent sound (12)
  • Portable (12)
  • Good power output (11)
  • Warm / comfy (7)

Cons

No Cons

Best Uses

  • Performances (10)
  • Outdoor events / games (7)
  • Amateur recording (4)
  • Home studio (4)
  • Professional recording (4)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Experienced (7), Professional musician (6)

Most Liked Positive Review

 

Big sound, small package

If it was rack mounted and weighed 50lb, this thing would still be impressive. Just heavy enough to not dance around on top of my cabs.

Massive low end, easily...Read complete review

If it was rack mounted and weighed 50lb, this thing would still be impressive. Just heavy enough to not dance around on top of my cabs.

Massive low end, easily sculpted w/4 band EQ. Huge punch and headroom, benches at over 1000 watts, and never gets hot. Doesn't cut out when slammed hard, like some micros (cough Ampeg cough). Fans run occasionally when the amp is idle, but don't intrude on the gig, even during acoustic sets. Lighted knobs are a nice touch on a dark stage.

Typical G-K "grind" with controls at noon, but nix the contour, back the treble off a bunch, push hi and lo mids slightly and roll off a hint of bass, and it's ruler-flat. The King Of Clean, less wooly and fizzy compared to the 700RB and 1001RB. Hi-fi in a good way, yet it can still do fat, old-school studio tones.

G-K should get more credit for the discrete-component FET preamp in this one. Sounds less solid-state than the MB200 and MB500, and for the first time in years, I don't miss a tube front end. About the only thing it doesn't cover, is tube distortion. Lots of pedals for that, of course.

DI isn't quite at plush-sounding as my Genz Benz Streamliner 900, but still excellent. I was skeptical of the auto ground lift at first, but it works well in halls with noisy AC.

It would be nice if the construction screamed quality like my Genz, but in decades of playing out, no-one has ever asked to fondle my amp, so what does it matter?

VS

Most Liked Negative Review

 

Disappointed

I have appreciated the tone and versatility/quality of Gallien Krueger gear for many years. I was very disappointed in the MB800. The faceplate was molded weird and had flaws I would not expect...Read complete review

I have appreciated the tone and versatility/quality of Gallien Krueger gear for many years. I was very disappointed in the MB800. The faceplate was molded weird and had flaws I would not expect from a QC'd product sold to customers. After turning the amp on, I heard loud whining from ceiling fans in the room. Basically the amp is not well sheilded and picked up any noisy electical device near it. Finally, it was warm in the room and the fans kicked in to cool the amp. They were VERY noisy to the point where I would have trouble hold a telephone conversation in the same room. I do not believe this amp was defective and therefore the issues were all weaknessess in the design (challenges of making a Class D amp). I would look elsewhere, possible Mark Bass and see if they have similar issues with their gear. It's comparably priced, so it's an alternative I am looking at.

Reviewed by 16 customers

Displaying reviews 1-16

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(27 of 27 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Big sound, small package

By Too Old To Mention

from London, Ontario, Canada

About Me Experienced

Pros

  • Clean Headroom
  • Easy To Use
  • Excellent Sound
  • Flexible Eq
  • Good Warmth
  • Portable
  • Powerful

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Events
    • Performances

    Comments about Gallien-Krueger MB800 800W Ultralight Bass Amp Head:

    If it was rack mounted and weighed 50lb, this thing would still be impressive. Just heavy enough to not dance around on top of my cabs.

    Massive low end, easily sculpted w/4 band EQ. Huge punch and headroom, benches at over 1000 watts, and never gets hot. Doesn't cut out when slammed hard, like some micros (cough Ampeg cough). Fans run occasionally when the amp is idle, but don't intrude on the gig, even during acoustic sets. Lighted knobs are a nice touch on a dark stage.

    Typical G-K "grind" with controls at noon, but nix the contour, back the treble off a bunch, push hi and lo mids slightly and roll off a hint of bass, and it's ruler-flat. The King Of Clean, less wooly and fizzy compared to the 700RB and 1001RB. Hi-fi in a good way, yet it can still do fat, old-school studio tones.

    G-K should get more credit for the discrete-component FET preamp in this one. Sounds less solid-state than the MB200 and MB500, and for the first time in years, I don't miss a tube front end. About the only thing it doesn't cover, is tube distortion. Lots of pedals for that, of course.

    DI isn't quite at plush-sounding as my Genz Benz Streamliner 900, but still excellent. I was skeptical of the auto ground lift at first, but it works well in halls with noisy AC.

    It would be nice if the construction screamed quality like my Genz, but in decades of playing out, no-one has ever asked to fondle my amp, so what does it matter?

    (23 of 23 customers found this review helpful)

     
    5.0

    What an incredible amp!

    By Pack Howitzer

    from atlanta

    See all my reviews

    Comments about Gallien-Krueger MB800 800W Ultralight Bass Amp Head:

    This is the amp that I have been waiting for for twenty years. It is almost impossible to get a bad sound out of it. It brings other gear to life that I had pretty much written off as not sounding good. It is so effing LOUD, too. I could play any gig with this amp. It sounds louder than both my Ampeg SVT 4pro and my Ampeg SVT 2pro. Those are both great heads, but they are heavy and take quite a bit of fiddling to get good sounds out of. This head is not like that. Plug it in, set the EQs to noon and go to town. You will need to tweak the eq and contour a bit as you play, but not much. remember GK uses an active EQ that is very sensitive- if you crank the bass, cut all the mids, and boost the treble, it's gonna sound crappy. I wish I'd had this amp all through my playing career my back would be so much better for it. Buy this amp. You will not regret it.
    This thing doesn't have a ton of features. No built in compressor or effects or antything, but like most of GKs products, it doesn't need them.
    This thing feels pretty well made, but it does only weigh 5 lbs. So I think if you treat it like any other electronic device (like a laptop or a tablet), it ought to be fine. But don't think of it as another cabinet or big solid-state head to be chucked in the back of a truck. It isn't designed like that and probably wouldn't hold up to that type of treatment.
    This is a PHENOMENAL value. It is easily the loudest, cleanest head I have every played through. I could have bought 2 for what I paid for my ampegs head and still had money left over!

    (22 of 23 customers found this review helpful)

     
    5.0

    MB800 Review by Fish of 3upFront

    By josh fisher

    from Santa Cruz CA 831

    Comments about Gallien-Krueger MB800 800W Ultralight Bass Amp Head:

    Overall, I like it so far, and only the test of time will tell. I was using an OLD Marshall amp from 85, for 13 YEARS takeing it in to the shop 1 time in that period, 5.5 years ago! So thats the real test!!! Road time! We took a break from shows after winning the battle of the bands in Santa Cruz, to focus and record our 4th studio album, and its allmost done! Back to touring next year!! Lets see how it pans out... Hope this helped.

    Fish
    3upFront
    Just got this little guy and holy crap, its got some power behind it!!! Super light weight too. 800 watts is plenty for a touring musician like myself. I have a decible level meter in my rackmount setup, and the line out works great for that, and it doubles for a headphone out, sweet. Mute switch=+!!! clip/-10db switch=+, if you flip it to clip, theres a cool l.e.d. that flickers and intensifies with the power of your playing, and if your like me, and beat the heck out of your bass and expect a proper response from your amp its very useful, you get the full power and little to no distortion depending on the quality of your speakers, if you flip it to -10db, you can crank the amp up to 11 and it wont muddy up. I play with my master at "3oclock" and gain at "9oclock", so I get the absolute cleanest sound and tone and most power going in, with out distorting or hurting the amp. The second chanel is nice, and gets growly, but for my taste its not like a true distortion pedal, but very useful for when you need a clean boost, or a little bit of fuzz on your clean signal, and comes with the foot switch. You need to get speakon cables to run the wires to your cab, depending on the type of input you have on the speaker cab, you need speakon to speakon or to 1/4". The only reason for a 9/10 is because it dosant have a level knob for the DI, but theres a post/pre, and the manual made it sound like one option dosant effect the output volume, just stage, but im not sure yet, because I just got it last night and practiced on it for 2.5 hours, but after our first show coming up on the 6th of Jan, we shall see if it goes to a 10! I play through an older marshall 2x15 cab and it sounds FAT and FAST! I bet it would sound great with 8x10 or both together! I prefer 2x15 vs 8x10, I just need to upgrade the speakers so they can handle 1000 watts, these are rated 600watts @ 4ohm. I play a gibson thunderbird as well, talk about fat tone!!
    So far so good, seems to be sturdy. Bummed that "its designed in USA and built in China".
    Right in the middle as far as $$$ to WEIGHT to Power! my big thing is light weight.

    In MY opinion tubes are over-rated, and mainly, have to be replaced, and when your on the road, and money is tight, and people drive like crap, thats not an option.

    (21 of 21 customers found this review helpful)

     
    5.0

    A lot of guts in a small package!

    By ajpaul

    from Highland, NY

    About Me Experienced

    Pros

    • Easy To Use
    • Excellent Sound
    • Good Warmth
    • Light weight package
    • Portable
    • Powerful

    Cons

    • Too light

    Best Uses

    • Performances
    • Small and large venues

    Comments about Gallien-Krueger MB800 800W Ultralight Bass Amp Head:

    Wow, just as I read in earlier reviews, this micro amp has stronger bass and overall power output than my previously used GK 1001. Still getting used to it. It is a very nice piece and saves 13 lbs in my rig!

    (20 of 23 customers found this review helpful)

     
    4.0

    good and loud

    By Michael Miller

    from Massachusetts

    Comments about Gallien-Krueger MB800 800W Ultralight Bass Amp Head:

    I bought the Gallien-Krueger MB800 to be a replacement for a great amp (a Euphonic Audio iAmp 500) that seemed to be stressed when I was playing some particularly loud gigs. The EA started to do this thing where it would just go silent for a few seconds when I was playing very loud (think full round earth-shaking bass outdoors). Having your sound disappear suddenly can be kind of disconcerting. So, I figured I needed a backup for the loud times.

    I have not gigged yet with the MB800 but I can tell you that it sounds great. The EA has really fabulous tone, and is totally silent when you aren't playing (no hum, no buzzing) - so my standards are pretty high. The MB800 met the challenge - buzzless, hummless, great tone. I have cranked it up at home (into a Euphonic Audio NL-210, imo the world's greatest speaker) and it sings - LOUDLY!

    I have one beef with this amp: when its fan turns on, it is not quiet. It is actually fairly loud. To be fair, in any kind of a loud environment - a bar for example - you would probably never notice it. Also, it does not turn on until the amp heats up. But, after an hour of the amp sitting doing nothing the fan turns on for maybe five minutes and it is quite audible in a quiet space. I am planning to keep using the EA amp for gigs where silence matters and the MB800 for gigs where it doesn't.

    (16 of 16 customers found this review helpful)

     
    5.0

    IT'S WONDERFUL

    By Junior

    from PUERTO RICO,US.

    About Me Professional Musician

    See all my reviews

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

    • Easy To Use
    • Excellent Sound

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Professional Recording

      Comments about Gallien-Krueger MB800 800W Ultralight Bass Amp Head:

      SIMPLY IT IS THE BEST THING THAT I HAVE BOUGHT IN Years.

      (14 of 14 customers found this review helpful)

       
      4.0

      MB800 Big Sound

      By Rockabilly Bass 1

      from Michigan, USA

      About Me Experienced

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

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

      Cons

      • No Ground Lift On The Xlr

      Best Uses

        Comments about Gallien-Krueger MB800 800W Ultralight Bass Amp Head:

        This is an incredible sounding LOUD amp and the small size makes it super easy to transport. I have not noticed the fans being excessively loud as some reviewers have noted. The only problem honestly with the amp is there is NO ground lift switch for the XLR out. The manual says there is one and even has a picture describing it's function but the amp doesn't have it. If you're plugging into a PA you will typically need a ground lift switch for the XLR out or you will get buzz. Other than that this head is very nice. Sounds just as loud as the GK 1001-RBII but MUCH lighter.

        (12 of 12 customers found this review helpful)

         
        5.0

        Still lugging' that 30 lb head ?

        By NHBC Praise Band

        from Vallejo, Ca

        About Me Professional Musician

        Pros

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

        Cons

        • None

        Best Uses

        • Events
        • Performances

        Comments about Gallien-Krueger MB800 800W Ultralight Bass Amp Head:

        For optimum performance use the GK 4-conductor Speakon
        cable into a GK 410MBE 4 ohm cab. And with a Rock & Roller RR12 cart,
        you make one (1) trip from the van to the stage.

        (9 of 9 customers found this review helpful)

         
        5.0

        More than you need.

        By TCCares

        from Pittsburgh, PA

        About Me Experienced

        See all my reviews

        Ask me a question

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • Easy To Use
        • Excellent Sound
        • Portable
        • Powerful

        Cons

        • Limited Functions

        Best Uses

        • Amateur Recording
        • Events
        • Home Studio
        • Performances
        • Professional Recording

        Comments about Gallien-Krueger MB800 800W Ultralight Bass Amp Head:

        This amp is just great, it has more power than you are going to really need, it puts out more than it advertises. I play this through a GK 412NEO cabinet and could not be happier with my sound. There is a little fuzz when the gain is up but it is to be expected from all the bass amps I have heard lately. The fan is louder than other amps as well, but even in a low practice setting your only going to hear it when you stop playing, no different than a traditional power amp.

        (5 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

         
        5.0

        Great loud light weight head

        By 4stringmofo

        from Long Island, NY

        About Me Experienced

        Pros

        • Easy To Use
        • Excellent Sound
        • Portable
        • Powerful

        Cons

        • No Mute On The Footswitch

        Best Uses

        • Events
        • Home Studio
        • Performances
        • Professional Recording

        Comments about Gallien-Krueger MB800 800W Ultralight Bass Amp Head:

        Great amp, especially for the price. I was looking for a head to give me a very bright clear punchy midrange sound. Wasn't interested in fat warm tone that brands like ampeg are known for. This amp fits the bill perfectly. Was skeptical of its size and weight (I transport it in my gig bag) but its been great. Only negative I've found is that the footswitch it comes with to toggle between gain channels doesn't have a tuner mute switch on it. You have to go to the head to mute the amp which isn't convienient when youre on stage. Seems like it would have been a simple, easy thing to include.
        Besides that little qualm it sounds great in all my different projects from heavy metal to classic rock/alternative to funk and blues. I have it paired with a SWR Goliath 410 and an Avatar 115 and the sound is massive. Great product.
        Also, GK's customer service is top notch. Called before buying and they were extremely helpful talking tech of amp to cab connections and specs.

        (5 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

         
        5.0

        POWERFUL

        By KFLO

        from Chicago, IL

        About Me Professional Musician

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • Easy To Use
        • Excellent Sound
        • Portable
        • Powerful

        Cons

          Best Uses

          • Events
          • Performances

          Comments about Gallien-Krueger MB800 800W Ultralight Bass Amp Head:

          I bought this about 3 weeks ago, and so far, I am incredibly impressed. I don't own a car, and I transit everywhere, so portability is paramount. I'm running it through a MarkBass 2x12, 4 ohm cab, so I'm running at the full 800W. This thing KICKS! I've played some loud bars, and never had to go above 2:00 or so. Plenty of headroom, simple controls, and great GK tone (if you're into that sort of thing, which I definitely am). There is (confusingly) not a ground lift on the Direct Out, even though it's listed in the manual, but it's not a huge stumbling block. Everything else is well thought out, with sensible EQ controls, straightforward interface, and most importantly, tone for days. Honestly, I may have even overbought, as 500W might have suited me just fine, but no regrets...love everything so far.

          (3 of 32 customers found this review helpful)

           
          1.0

          Disappointed

          By Marginmonster

          from Tustin, CA

          About Me Professional Musician

          See all my reviews

          Pros

          • Portable

          Cons

          • Poor Sound Quality

          Best Uses

          • Performances

          Comments about Gallien-Krueger MB800 800W Ultralight Bass Amp Head:

          I have appreciated the tone and versatility/quality of Gallien Krueger gear for many years. I was very disappointed in the MB800. The faceplate was molded weird and had flaws I would not expect from a QC'd product sold to customers. After turning the amp on, I heard loud whining from ceiling fans in the room. Basically the amp is not well sheilded and picked up any noisy electical device near it. Finally, it was warm in the room and the fans kicked in to cool the amp. They were VERY noisy to the point where I would have trouble hold a telephone conversation in the same room. I do not believe this amp was defective and therefore the issues were all weaknessess in the design (challenges of making a Class D amp). I would look elsewhere, possible Mark Bass and see if they have similar issues with their gear. It's comparably priced, so it's an alternative I am looking at.

          (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

           
          4.0

          Great Bang for the buck!

          By Bassplayer105

          from New Hampshire

          About Me Professional Musician

          See all my reviews

          Pros

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

          Cons

          • Loud High End Hiss

          Best Uses

            Comments about Gallien-Krueger MB800 800W Ultralight Bass Amp Head:

            Amp is great!
            Flat EQ and the tone is amazing!
            Only thing I noticed right away was the high end hiss coming from my tweeter.
            Called a friend that is endorsed by GK and asked him if this was typical and he said yes.
            So is it a little annoying? yes,
            is it going to keep me from using the head?
            No Way!

            (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

             
            5.0

            Definite Buy

            By Skeeter McGee

            from Des Moines, Iowa

            About Me Experienced

            Pros

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

            Cons

              Best Uses

              • Amateur Recording
              • Events
              • Home Studio
              • Performances
              • Professional Recording

              Comments about Gallien-Krueger MB800 800W Ultralight Bass Amp Head:

              I purchased the MB 800 after several months of research. I had been using a GK 1001RB 2x10 Combo and wanted to go more portable. I first matched the MB 800 with a GK 4x10 Neo cabinet and was amazed with the quality and fullness of the sound and ability to shape the tone for different styles. I play a mixture of music in several bands to include Rock, Blues, Alternative, Punk, and a little country. The A/B footswitch allows me to add gain during guitar and bass solos and then switch back during verses and choruses. After playing through a couple months of shows and rehearsals my band members are thoroughly impressed with the sound quality of the MB 800 and comment after each show on the quality and depth of sound from such a small amp. I have recently purchased a GK Neo 2x12 cabinet and the MB 800 sounds even better with the 2x12 than with the 4x10, the only thing better is stacking the two for amazing sound. My next purchase is going to be the MB 800 Fusion. This will allow me utilize the fusion as my primary and have the MB 800 as my backup without breaking my back or bank account.

               
              5.0

              Excellent amp with massive, clean power in a tiny package

              By Vancouvermatt

              from Vancouver, BC

              About Me Experienced

              Pros

              • Easy To Use
              • Excellent Sound
              • Portable
              • Powerful

              Cons

                Best Uses

                • Amateur Recording
                • Events
                • Home Studio
                • Performances

                Comments about Gallien-Krueger MB800 800W Ultralight Bass Amp Head:

                I had a Gallien-Krueger 800RB that I loved, but got tired of lugging around, and I replaced it with this 5 pound monster. I can't tell if the sound is any different, but the MB800 has more features (mute switch, 2 speakon outputs, etc), in a far smaller footprint. I would highly recommend this amplifier. Don't be fooled by its compact size!
                I've used it with an Orange SP212 Isobaric Chamber cabinet, which sounded a bit boomy and muddy for my liking, and a GK 4x10 cabinet, as well as an Ampeg SVT-410HE cabinet, and both 4x10s sounded insanely good. Maybe I just prefer the punchiness of 10s.
                Used it onstage in hard rock gigs and at rehearsals for two years, and never had an issue with it. Best solid state amp you can get for the money, in my opinion.

                 
                5.0

                Powerful and classy

                By Billy B.

                from Burlington,Vt

                About Me Professional Musician

                Verified Buyer

                Pros

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

                Cons

                  Best Uses

                  • Amateur Recording
                  • Performances

                  Comments about Gallien-Krueger MB800 800W Ultralight Bass Amp Head:

                  Everything is great about this amp. I was pleasantly surprise by the beautiful appearance and overwhelmed by its power ! So portable as well. I have used many Eden's, 70s SVT's and the like. This amp is as warm as any of those without tube hassles. I would bet know set of ears could tell the difference between this solid state amp and a tube amp. Once you dial it in, it really sounds like a tube amp. When I was first starting my career I used a GK 400 RB. Now I am back to GK and very glad to be using their products again. They have come along way. Hopefully it has the durability to meet and exceed my demands as a professional.

                  Displaying reviews 1-16

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