Markbass Little Mark II or III vs Carvin bx500
Okay guys I am going to go at the vs. in different direction. I want to know if you have owned one of the above amps why you sold it. Looking for a head for my birthday and I think I have narrowed down to these 2 or 3. The little marks used about the same as the Carvin new but there are a lot of the MB's out there used. Very few Carvins. Does this mean that Markbass is that popular or GC is doing a really good job of pushing them? I know Carvin a west coast and internet deal so I am taking that into consideration. Of course very little YouTube videos for both heads on tone. I have played thru a Little Mark III and loved the punchiness. Can't find a Carvin and I live in the Midwest. I guess I want to know what made move on from either one. Thanks!
I bought a Little Mark but then I sold it to get a BX500. The Little Mark sounded good, but not good enough for me to justify the premium price. IMO, I can get very similar tones out of the BX500 with better EQ options. This is coming from someone who loves Markbass products (I play two Markbass cabs in my current rig).
FYI, I am currently selling my BX500 in the Classifieds because I needed something with more power for my current band. Feel free to PM if interested or if you have any more questions about the two amps.
I currently own both. The Carvin is very versatile and is my main amp. The MarkBass has been relegated to backup.
Both have been reliable.
Some little features that make a difference:
Can do 2ohms
Massive eq flexibility
DI has selectable pre / post
Less knobs to fiddle with
I've owned a Mak Bass LMII and currently own a Mark Bass Big Bang. I purchased the Big Bang to replace a Thunder Funk TB-550B, which was purchased to replace a Genz Benz SM 9.2.
The Big Bang is one of the best amps that I've ever owned. Great sound flat and lots of available EQ to help out in venues with acoustic issues. Awesome sounding head pnone section too.
I've played through the Carvin BX500 at a GTG 2 years in a row and quite frankly it just didn't move me either way. The MB heads are much warmer sound (IMO) which is where I'm at. The Carvin might be a good slap amp though because it did have some fairly nice high end. I'd just prefer the reliability of a MB head over the Carvin.
If you're wanting to purchase used you might also check out the Genz Benz 9.0, 9.2 and SM 9.2 amps. They have a tone some where between the MB and Carvin heads and sell used at decent prices too.
Okay 2 votes for Carvin, one Markbass, and one idiot at GC. Called a GC that had a used LMii for sell @$400. Other stores have the LMiii for $400 so I want to see what the justification was. I quote " The LMii is 600 watts and LMiii is 500 watts. Love it when you know more then the salesman. It seems that the Carvin is making more sense though the warranty time period bothers me. I know I read on TB somewhere that the had problems with Markbass being serviced during the warranty period because of parts having to come from Italy. So in the end maybe it is chalk. Thank you guys for your input I just want to make the right decision the first time. I do know that I love the sound of Markbass Cabs. Don't know what else to look at for cabs so open to suggestions here too.
Big Bang vs. Carvin BX500
I've owned both the Carvin BX500 and the MB Big Bang. The Carvin has great tone and is a good bargin but I must say that the Big Bang is the king of this comparison, louder, warmer and overall more pleasing to the ear. (IMO)
Got my LMIII 3 weeks ago. Very happy with it. Only complaints are the lack of an input pad for my very active basses, no mute button. Its very transparent and punchy. Wish it was just a smidge more growly.
I have heard from an owner that the BX500 has a long-term ribbon cable reliability problem. Is this still true?
The ribbon cable thing is really nothing. I've been gigging with my Carvin for years and no problems. If there is, open the head, spray some Deoxit on the cable connection, and your done.
The Markbass heads are great and so is the Carvin. Some say the Carvin doesn't do thick and warm but that's not my experience. It does it but it takes some odd adjustments, compared to more traditional amps, to get there. That being said the Markbass has a great sound and it's easy to dial in modern-to-old school rather quickly using their filter knobs.
The Carvin is cheap and can be returned within a 10 day period so my recommendation is to buy one, compare it to the Markbass, and pick the one you like. I'm a Carvin fanboy but I really like Markbass and GK. Competition in a free market is good for consumers because it makes the manufacturers try harder.
Owned both. The BX500 is a decent head and as others have pointed out is a little more versatile and can do 2 ohms. I used the carvin twice and got rid of it. Just left me cold. But still an excellent amp especially for the price.
The Markbass head I like a little more. The only ones I really liked were the F1 and the SD800. The F1 is a sweet little amp. The LM series sound pretty good, a little warm to my ears but seem to be easier to get a good sound out of. So I'd lean toward Markbass.
If you can go play a markbass (should be easy if you are near a Guitar Center) Check one out and see if you like it. If you really like it I would go for that, if you think it sounds too warm or dark I'd probably go for the Carvin.
All of that being said, if I was in the market for a light amp in the range I think the GK MB500 is pretty hard to beat.
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