While searching for music gadgets here at the Summer NAMM conference in Nashville TN, I was reminded of one of the bright stars that garnered “Best In Show” rating from the winter version of this bi-annual conference. While the MB 800 has been anticipated since its announcement last winter, I heard today that the item is planned to ship within the next 4-6 weeks, and possibly as early as August 15th.
What is the Gallien Krueger MB 800 you ask? It is 800 watts of bass amplification housed in a 4.9 pound case. Let me just say that again…800 watts in a 4.9 pound case. As someone with vivid memories of carrying fragile and heavy tube laden amp heads to-and-fro, I find this form factor impressive. And it sounds good too. I coaxed GK Sales Manager Jason Finley into playing it a bit, so I could capture a few sounds.
Now for the tech specs:
• 800 watts @ 4 ohms or 500 watts @ 8 ohms
• Discreet FET preamp
• Push activated Gain A/B and limiter defeat
• 10dB pad
• Four band active EQ w/variable contour
• Effects loop & tuner mute
• XLR out, pre/post EQ
• Defeatable limiter
• Two speakon outputs
• Headphone/line output
• 4.9 lbs.
While FET (Field-effect Transistor) pre-amps are fairly well documented, just what exactly is a “discreet” FET? Let me first say that I’ve seen it spelled as both “discreet” and “discrete” but it has something to do with a smaller component footprint and also warmer, less digital tones with “tube-like” characteristics. According to Gallien Krueger, it’s the first amp they have built with this architecture.
In any event, if you are looking to downsize your amp head and upsize your power output, this little guy could be your answer.
I hope to get my hands on one sometime soon.