A Closer Look At The Gallien-Krueger MB115-II Bass Combo

 

As an industry leading manufacturer, the name Gallien-Krueger is well-known in the music equipment world, especially among bass players. Founded in 1968 by Bob Gallien, the Stockton, California-based company has built a well-earned reputation for their high-quality amplifiers and accessories. We recently took a good look at a few of their fantastic amp heads -- the MB200, RB1001-II, and Fusion 550. Today, we're taking one of their popular combos for a spin -- the GK MB115-II.

The Features

The MB series itself was built to offer great performance while remaining lightweight yet durable. And once you actually spend some time with the MB115-II, you'll see that GK delivered in spades. First off, it comes in at a mere 35 lbs. -- that's insanely light for a bass combo. Light enough that most of us shouldn't have any trouble lugging it off the van and onto the stage (or even up a flight of stairs) without any additional help.

Build-wise, the MB115-II features a premium Tolex exterior covering, a black cloth grille, corner metal bracings and the well known GK insignia on the top left corner. And while its lightness might give you the impression that it's on the fragile side, I never had the impression that it was anything less than a solidly-built combo, able to last years of abuse.

As far as features as concerned, the MB115-II features 200W of power, making it a great combo for players looking for a portable friendly amp that can still deliver plenty of sound. And just in case you ever do need to kick things up, the MB115-II can be attached to the Gallien-Krueger MB112MBX (or any other MBP powered extension cab) for even more sonic potential. You can dial in your sound through the MB115-II’s 4-band active EQ controls and the included Contour On/Off toggle. It also features an XLR Direct Out, AUX in, and headphone output, making it a very versatile bass combo perfect for the stage, home practice session or the studio.

mb115ii_lGallien-Krueger MB115-II Bass Combo @ $525.00

The newest addition to GK’s legendary MicroBass Series delivers a big sound from a light compact package. A longtime favorite of the biggest session artists in the industry, GK’s MicroBass remains the standard for high-quality compact bass amplification in and out of the studio. Used alone or with the 112MBX extension cabinet, this little powerhouse delivers a surprisingly large and articulate sound.

 

The Sound

Don’t let its small size fool you -- the Gallien-Krueger MB115-II bass combo packs plenty of wall-rattling potential in that little package. With 200 watts of power, the MB115-II packs more than enough potential sound for a practice room or recording studio. It will also get you through small gigs with ease. And depending on the room acoustics and sound levels of the rest of the band, medium-sized gigs are an option as well. And as mentioned above, the MB115-II ability to connect to an extension cab is a handy alternative in the case of bigger venues.

As far as tone goes, the MB115-II features plenty of versatility. From clean, articulate tones to a big bass-heavy sound with a bit of that signature GK growl, this combo delivers. The four EQ knobs work great, allowing you dial in the precise tonal response for your setup. I did, however, have a bit of trouble getting the right balance with brighter tones in the beginning, but spending a few extra minutes messing around with settings and understanding the amp's intricacies took care of it. Overall, there are enough possible sounds inside the MB115-II to satisfy nearly all bass players.

Aside from the awesome tone, the other big takeaway from my time with the MB115-II was just how quiet it is. When on idle, the amp is dead silent and during use, there was virtually no noise -- all signs of a great bass amp.

Final Thoughts ...

If you’re looking for a portable-friendly bass combo amp that packs plenty of power and versatility without breaking the bank, the Gallien-Krueger MB115-II is a perfect choice. While it might not have some of the extra bells and whistles of GK's pricier options, it covers all of the essentials and more than enough power to for gigs, practice sessions, and the studio. Overall, it's definitely a winner.

Leave a Reply