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MarkBass Whats all the fuss?


jar546

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have been "hearing" and "seeing" information about how great the MarkBass stuff is. I know it is lighter and smaller but what is all the fuss? What about tone, quality, durability, etc.?

 

What type of genre is best for the MarkBass stuff?

 

I don't want to hear about other stuff but preferably from those who have and use MarkBass. How did it compare to what you were using? I would love to have some of these questions answered.

 

"The more I learn, the more I realize how much I don't know" by Me
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Nope. Polka disco.

 

MarkBass stuff would be suitable for multiple genres. You can get a fair range of tone from their gear. For the classic rock/vintage crowd they now have an all-tube head and some sealed cabs (think: Ampeg SVT cabs).

 

Flemtone uses a MarkBass head and cab. BenLoy recently picked up a MarkBass head. They've both started threads about them.

 

My sense about the heads is that they are tonally flexible, covering vintage through modern tones. They tend to have a 4-band EQ, which is my personal preference, because I like being able to control the upper and lower mids separately. The lay-out is very intuitive, making tone tweaking straightforward.

 

Capasso and I played some MarkBass stuff at GC this past winter, and we found that we could get some big low end if desired, but also had the ability to sculpt some pronounced mids that cut through (beat down some g****r wanker nearby with our rippin' bass midrange).

 

Peace.

--SW

 

spreadluv

 

Fanboy? Why, yes! Nordstrand Pickups and Guitars.

Messiaen knew how to parlay the funk.

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Hey Jeff,

 

All the fuss is about the SOUND. I own a Mark Bass Little Mark II head. And before that I was using a GK head. The first reason I went in search of a new head was I wanted more power for playing larger rooms. I initially was looking at a more powerful GK and was about to get one along with a new cabinet. Anyway, I saw a Mark Bass setup with the above mentioned head and a 2x10 Mark Bass cab along with a 1x15 Mark Bass cab. My first impression was that the MB setup was more "professional" sounding and more refined. Then with a couple of changes in EQ I could nail that tight, round, snappy sound I was use to with my GK. But I could also get that laid back, smooth sound like Jeff Berlin gets (he uses MB). Well, I had to have it. It's small, light, doesn't heat up and just sounds so good. Currently I am using a Fender Geddy Lee Jazz bass into the MB Little Mark II into an SWR 4x10 cab. The first time I used my head was at a gig out of town and it performed flawlessly and never broke a sweat - just pumped out big bass sounds. It's incredibly easy to start with. Just set the EQ levels to 12:00 and then there is a VLE and VLF EQ shelf that lets you dial in a more round high end or more snap, and a bass/high boost with mid cut respectively. What MB says is that with the main EQ set to 12 and the VLE and VLF off, it's your bass sound through the cabinet and I couldn't agree more. To me it is very, very musical and easy to control. There is a 1/4" and speakon output, an effects loop, a tuner out and a direct out. To me, it's everything I need in an amp and up to this point it has worked flawlessly. I'd say that's all the fuss!

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Well first off there isn't any such thing as a amp for Jazz, or an amp for Blues or an amp for Rock. A well built versatile amp should be able to generate the tones for any type of gig. Some are louder than others and some are easier to move around.

 

It's to soon to tell about durability of Markbass gear. It seems to be well built but it's a long way to Italy for a quick fix.

 

So basically it's lighter and smaller, and the flavor of the month over on the other bass site.

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It's to soon to tell about durability of Markbass gear. It seems to be well built but it's a long way to Italy for a quick fix.

 

 

Presumably they have service guys in America, too. I've never had to send an Ibanez bass to Japan, or a Hughes and Ketner amp to Germany, aren't local service people wonderful?

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Well, I did not buy Mark Bass and regret it. Every time I plugged into MB I have been happy.

I rehearse at a place where I use a SA450 with a 4x10 and I get a deep round sound with everything flat and the tweeter well throttled.

The SA 450 is powerful enough for competing against a '66 Super Reverb, generally well rounded, can have nasty mids if you use the eq (that I keep flat).

It is generally open, round and sweet, but does not sound as if you had a mattress in front of the speakers, like an Ashdown Evo I tried.

You can get an idea from a sample of last rehearseal (http://www.proxybar.net/listing/Blues-2007-11-19/). Try for example "Look what you've done". I use the neck pickup soloed and tone wide open in all these songs.

My bass is a custom Liucas, all mahogany with a pure mahogany neck (no rosewood fingerboard) and two custom alnico V single coils and no batteries. The guy that builds it builds everything, inlcuding the bridge (http://www.liucas.com/).

I bought this bass at "noi bassisti" a meeting that was featured on BP last year and when I fell in love it was plugged into a Mark Bass 15", a Jsff Berlin signature I believe. What a great sound for everything, from deep round blues to fast runs close to the bridge, to slapping.

I have been playing in a lot of rehearseal rooms and I have good memories of two heads: the Little Mark (with a Yamaha 4x10) and Hartke 3500. They have something in common in tonal quality in my opinion, but the Mark is sweeter.

I was in love with the Mark mini 12" combo, but bought Yamaha to save some 150 Euros. In retrospect I think that the light combo would have been much lighter to carry around and still punchy enough for the places I play.

I bought a Yamaha head that had a nice review in BP (BBT-500H) with a 2x10, but it lasted a couple of months - enough for me to buy it - then disappeared from Yamaha catalog.

I hate owning something that has been phased out long before my warranty expired.

The BBT is similar to the Little Mark in that it is too light and powerful class D, but it's digital and digitally driven class D is deprecated (I am not sure if the signal is converted to drive the last stage with an analogue signal.). The Little Mark is totally analogue.

If you are technically inclined or have an audiophile past here are two interesting references. It appears that in hifi land class D is well reputed for its tube like roundness, but maybe not so performant on high frequencies, that are no concern for our instrument.

http://www.audioholics.com/education/amplifier-technology/the-truth-about-digital-class-d-amplifiers

This article shows that distortion might be severe at full volume, but this might be a problem for hifi. I cannot tell how much distortion I have at high volume: never been beyond 6. I hear distortion only when I use an overdriven amp model

http://www.eetimes.com/op/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=162600298

 

-- Michele Costabile (http://proxybar.net)
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  • 8 months later...

Today I was at Guitard Center minding my own business and a Markbass 104HR followed me home. By "minding my own business" I of course mean that I went to Guitard Center with my Rogue 5 and a rack that contained a Stewart World 1.6 power amp and the Aguilar DB 680 preamp that I recently acquired.

 

It sounds full, huge, and thunderous. I was planning on getting an Ampeg 410HE but this Markbass cab actually sounded better. A bit more low end response and a much more satisfying tweeter.

 

Yay new gear.

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How come you don't have like tons of gear for sale in the classifieds. I know you said your girl was cool but I bet she has a limit somewhere.

 

Congrats on yet another new purchase.

 

I am going to go play out of my humble $330 dollar probably 5th hand rig now.

 

If you feel bad for me, feel free to send me your Alembic :)

How do you sign a computer screen?

 

 

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How come you don't have like tons of gear for sale in the classifieds. I know you said your girl was cool but I bet she has a limit somewhere.

 

Congrats on yet another new purchase.

 

I am going to go play out of my humble $330 dollar probably 5th hand rig now.

 

If you feel bad for me, feel free to send me your Alembic :)

 

He bought her a big ring to quiet her down :D

 

www.myspace.com/davidbassportugal

 

"And then the magical unicorn will come prancing down the rainbow and we'll all join hands for a rousing chorus of Kumbaya." - by davio

 

 

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How come you don't have like tons of gear for sale in the classifieds. I know you said your girl was cool but I bet she has a limit somewhere.

 

Congrats on yet another new purchase.

 

I am going to go play out of my humble $330 dollar probably 5th hand rig now.

 

If you feel bad for me, feel free to send me your Alembic :)

 

He bought her a big ring to quiet her down :D

 

Like throwin' a sardine to a seal - works for a few minutes but then they lose focus and you need another sardine.

 

I think Bump should array all his equipment at his wedding reception for us forumites to play with.

"He is to music what Stevie Wonder is to photography." getz76

 

I have nothing nice to say so . . .

 

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My thought is with BDfM - it's too soon to tell how the equipment will hold up long term, and how the support will work here in the US. I'm not in a position to know much, but I haven't heard of problems (I have heard of issues with Epifani's stuff and Ampeg/Vietnam). Our own guys that have MB love it.

 

I don't know if it was cheaper when it first came out - lots of equipment (including Fender) has seen price bumps in the last two years.

 

MB must feel good about what's happening, because I see that the line keeps expanding.

 

I tried that little tiny thing recently (with 2 6"s) and it was pretty incredible. It's going to give Phil Jones (who sells through GC's main competitor - Sam Ash) a run because it's lighter. As Willie mentioned, I enjoyed the MB experience. I suspect that the heads are selling well, but the cabs sounded great also - probably a good match for any bass head.

 

Selling through a major retailer will make a huge difference (if MB can keep the quality and quantity up). Acoustic Image and Euphonic Audio are two examples of companies that sell in a much smaller network and don't have the recognition (or general availability) that MB has. With all of these guys, you just can't believe the weight when you pick up a head.

 

Jar - go and see for yourself.

You are right that they are the popular flavor just now, but it seems the "fad" is lasting long enough to be real.

 

Tom

www.stoneflyrocks.com

Acoustic Color

 

Be practical as well as generous in your ideals. Keep your eyes on the stars and keep your feet on the ground. - Theodore Roosevelt

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MB has been around in Europe a while longer than in the US, I think. And I haven't heard of any issues with reliability - it's still not really been long enough to tell though.

 

Over here, I think they're still cheaper then AI or similar ultra-light heads.

 

I've been impressed when I've heard or played them.

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Gig report: Wow. I loved every second of the gig last night. Even that really god awful Ab that I played in the second pre-chorus of "Like A Virgin" that was supposed to be an Eb.

 

This cab sounds really good. Nice phat low end, quick response, and tons of definition. Two thumbs way up.

 

Re: Markbass heads. I'm not very impressed with their heads. Tonally they just don't do anything that impresses me. They sound kind of bland.

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Re: Markbass heads. I'm not very impressed with their heads. Tonally they just don't do anything that impresses me. They sound kind of bland.

 

Each to their own.

 

I love my F1, the portability, the sound and the simplicity.

 

In any case I'd like to have the guys who tried my MB at the lowdown to bring their thoughts.

 

 

www.myspace.com/davidbassportugal

 

"And then the magical unicorn will come prancing down the rainbow and we'll all join hands for a rousing chorus of Kumbaya." - by davio

 

 

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Quality gear makers don't lie about the output power of their products.

 

Well, maybe "lie" is a bit strong. I think many gear manufacturers, "quality" and not, report specs that could differ from real world experience. This is why I use specs only as a starting point for evaluating gear. Ears follow. ;-}

 

400W? 500W? Is it loud enough for my gig? The latter question is what I care most about.

 

Peace.

--s-uu

 

spreadluv

 

Fanboy? Why, yes! Nordstrand Pickups and Guitars.

Messiaen knew how to parlay the funk.

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I've tried the stuff at the local GC. The 10" speakers at first frightened me because I've not seen 10's move that much but the stuff sounds phenominal! I was tempted to get a MarkBass head until I ran into my used Eden WT-330 with a price tag I couldn't pass up. If you're looking into a Markbass, go for it! I don't think you will regret it.

Lydian mode? The only mode I know has the words "pie ala" in front of it.

http://www.myspace.com/theeldoradosband

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No manufacturer makes gear that floats everyone's boat.

 

Peace.

--s-uu

 

Truer words were never spoken. Or written in this case.

 

I tried out some MarkBass gear. I thought that I gave it an honest assessment. Personally, I felt that the gear I tried out was a bit mid-rangey and didn't suit my sound. I found something else that did.

 

I think the buzz regarding MarkBass is that they're offering near-boutique gear at mass retail. Neodynium driver eqipped cabs are still something that bass players are just beginning to embrace, along with lightweight, high powered amps. They're also exclusively at Guitar Center, which is the biggest musical instrument retailer in the U.S. And they're offering said gear at reasonable prices.

 

We can post all of the specs and reviews in the world about individual pieces of gear. Some of those opinions carry greater weight than others. But when it gets down to it, you have to use your own ears and figure out what sounds best to you and/or fits your budget.

Obligatory Social Media Link

"My concern is, and I have to, uh, check with my accountant, that this might bump me into a higher, uh, tax..."

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I've been very happy with my MarkBass SD800 for about a year now, but sadly last month it decided to stop working and start blowing fuses instead. :(

 

After troubleshooting with different cabs and cables and determining that the head is indeed mysteriously blowing fuses as soon as it's switched on no matter the setup or fuse rating, I contacted MarkBass and they told me to take it back to Guitar Center where I bought it for repair or replacement. I'll let you guys know if my experience is positive.

 

Thank god I still have my GK 800RB as a backup...

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Yes - this will be interesting. I could argue that Ben stresses electronics by playing through generators in the rain in NYC, above vibrating subways amidst amazing traffic. That it went bad doesn't shock me. I look to see how this plays out.

 

Ben - you've got plenty of backup around here. But that 800 is solid.

 

Tom

www.stoneflyrocks.com

Acoustic Color

 

Be practical as well as generous in your ideals. Keep your eyes on the stars and keep your feet on the ground. - Theodore Roosevelt

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  • 3 weeks later...

I've tinkered with a Mini CMD 121P and a MiniMark (1x12 combo and 2x6 briefcase) at Guitar Hell a few times (that's the only reason I've gone the last few times...which I space out as much as possible...how many more way can I express my dissatisfaction with that place) and am seriously considering one of them to replace my worthless never-sees-the-light-of-day-but-I-might-be-forced-to-use-it-in-public-soon combo. I've started playing with a geriatric 15 piece big band and the briefcase sounds crazy good with my upright. That still blows my mind when I think about it. I couldn't stand the Phil Jones model some years back but I'm quite taken with this one.

 

It's going to take a few more visits to decide between the two though because I'm sure I'll use it in more than just the one setting and I think the 1x12 would be a bit more versatile.

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I've played a few at my local GC, combos and heads w/cabs. They sound like a bass amp. I can't see why anyone would have a problem with them if they were paired with the right cab. The only question I have about them is long term durability.

Always remember that you are unique. Just like everyone else.

 

 

 

 

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