Mark Bass for upright

Discussion in 'Amps, Mics & Pickups [DB]' started by Mgaisbacher, Dec 16, 2012.


  1. Mgaisbacher

    Mgaisbacher Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2012
    Location:
    Boston
    I have a markbass combo amp that I have been using for my upright and it's pretty good but sometimes it is too muddy even with the bass rolled all the way off. The D and G string usually sounds fine but the E just sounds like low frequency noise sometimes. If I turn the highs up I get to much finger noise (if that makes any sense). I was wondering if anyone else had any experience with this and of so if they figured out how to get a more even/natural sound from a mark bass amp. And just for reference I have a Khor plywood bass and I'm using a rev solo pickup.
     
  2. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

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    Disclosures:
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
    Maybe e-mail Marco Panascia? He posts here as jazzbass72 and is a Markbass endorser.
     
  3. GrowlerBox

    GrowlerBox

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2010
    Location:
    Nude Zealand
    I use a Markbass F1 head, different from the LM II or III in their combos, but what it shares with them is a 500 kOhm input impedance, and a lack of various double bass-friendly controls like a high-pass filter and phase switch, to name a couple.

    The 4-band EQ is actually relatively good for DB, and the VPF control is useful for dialling out some of the "honky" mid-range from your piezo. I believe that Markbass cabinets are also quite mid present; don't be afraid to cut some of the mid-range.

    The other "problems" are easily solved with the addition of an fdeck HPF-Pre, whichever series you like. They are referenced about every second post on the Amps forum here, and there are a couple of mega-threads, so no shortage of information and well-deserved praise. With that addition, the Markbass becomes a very usable amp for DB, in my opinion. In brief, the box provides a 10 MOhm input impedance (far, FAR better for a piezo pickup than 500 kOhm), a high-pass filter to block the "rumble" that serves only to damage your speaker, and a phase switch to help with feedback issues. Depending on the model, it may also have a volume trim pot, capacity for external power supply, and maybe another whistle or bell. All that in a cigarette-pack sized box, and priced far lower than it could be.

    You need one.

    (I have no affiliation with the designer/builder other than as one of many very satisfied users).
     
  4. Adagio

    Adagio

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2011
    Location:
    Quebec City
    What's your amp exactly? I have played a lot of mark bass and found that the speaker radius makes a huge difference with these amps. The best I played was a 4x6 mixed with a 1x15, but the 15 by itself lacks definition IMO. I also agree that you need a device to match impedence and HPF such as the fdeck, EDB1, etc...
     
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  6. Mgaisbacher

    Mgaisbacher Supporting Member

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  7. Adagio

    Adagio

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2011
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    I tried the same cab with a headway EDB1 into a lil mark III head and it sounded really good. I'd say it's my second favorite markbass for DB, just after the 4x6. I don't know much about the head in this combo, but I wouldn't rely solely on this. Depending of what is your PU, you might want a good acoustic preamp with impedence matching in front of your combo.
     
  8. Ric Vice

    Ric Vice Supporting Member

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    Jul 2, 2005
    Location:
    Olivette, Missouri
    Plywood basses can be a little different with a pickup than a bass with a solid top. I think the your first investment should be the FDeck because it's a very transparent box that doesn't color the sound with it's own EQ, raises the input impedance that helps with tone quality, and you can use the Low Cut filter to roll off some of the low

    bass. Since it improves the sound before it hits the Markbass EQ section. I'm really hoping that the new Markbass Big Bang has a warmer sound than either the F1 or F500 did. I really liked the amp for BG but not so much for DB. We'll just have to wait until February to hear it.

    Ric
     
  9. Mgaisbacher

    Mgaisbacher Supporting Member

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    Oct 18, 2012
    Location:
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    Thanks, I will look into these. I just ordered a new bass a few days ago so I think I may wait till I get that and see if I like the sound better through my amp before I buy anything else but thank you for all the help.
     
  10. PaulKing

    PaulKing

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2004
    Location:
    London, UK
    I play my (plywood) basses through a CMD121P, same as yours except for the tweeter.

    I use an Underwood pickup, into Fishman ProPlat Preamp (although i also use a wireless, which gets around the piezo pickup impedance issue).

    I run the Fishman gain and volume both at around 12:00, also the gain on the Markbass at around 12:00 ... that gives me more volume control than i could ever need at the Master ... I rarely play above halfway, even with loud drummer, guitar and piano.

    I take out some of the bottom end using the Fishman Depth control at around 10:00 (as suggested in earlier post)

    I usually cut a bid of bass with the Fishman EQ, and cut the central mid range a bit too. I use the Markbass VPF filter at about 9-10 oclock to cut the mid-range honk, but otherwise run the amp's EQ pretty flat.

    I love the sound of this thing ... can fill reasonably large bar-venues with focussed, tight, gut-shaking clarity.

    And with an extension cab it's all the volume I can ever want.


    I've tried an RSII before, and the fit is really important.
    You sure it's in right? You might want to try loosening it, repositioning it, tightening it with a shim, flipping it the other way up ... can all bring clarity to your signal.

    Underwood is much more forgiving ... slide it in, it sounds good.
     
  11. Mgaisbacher

    Mgaisbacher Supporting Member

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    Oct 18, 2012
    Location:
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    Yeah I think I need to mess with the fit a little also. The only thing that seems to be a problem is since it is made out of wood the fit also changes with the weather. I had it fitting fine during the summer and once the weather started to change it was almost falling out, I use a reed to make up for the space, I'm thinking it maybe to tight now though. And also what dose the VPF and VLF do?
     
  12. RenanDias

    RenanDias

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2012
    Location:
    Sao Paulo, Brazil
    I am having much more luck with my RSII since I set it a little looser, my amp is a small combo David Eden EGRW264 . Now I'm having more clarity, less feedback, less boomy, more puch, almost a microphone sound.
    Yesterday I did a recording with it and no mic, only the pickup signal: man what a sound! The engineer couldn't believe that sound was coming through a piezo pickup, neither I was believing. It had somewhat middy sound, like Pat Metheny 90's, but since it was a guitar trio of contemporary jazz and samba, it fit in the mix.
     
  13. GrowlerBox

    GrowlerBox

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    Feb 10, 2010
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    Nude Zealand
    VPF (variable pass filter) is essentially a mid-range cut centred at around 350 Hz, the depth and "width" (i.e. Q) of the cut increasing as the dial is turned. There is also a degree of bass and treble boost as the dial is turned. Classically described as "slap tone" on BG, it's quite useful for taming some of the piezo and speaker middiness, especially if you have a HPF to reduce the extra low-end.

    VLE (vintage loudspeaker emulation) is basically a shelving treble cut -- the depth of cut is more or less constant, but the frequency at which the cut starts is controlled by the dial (up = cut-point moves towards bass end of the spectrum).

    Hope that helps.
     
  14. Don Sibley

    Don Sibley Supporting Member

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    I've found that my LMK works well with the Realist. Not so much with the Ehlund. That pickup seems to need a flatter response.
     
  15. Ric Vice

    Ric Vice Supporting Member

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    Jul 2, 2005
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    Olivette, Missouri
    Badong,
    The Ehrlund Pre has a ruler flat response, it works wonders with the pickup.

    Ric
     
  16. TheBass

    TheBass

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2004
    Location:
    Cologne, Germany
    I run my 5Str. EUB (Balsereit custom build with Balsereit piezo PU) through a MB 121p combo. All EQ settings are flat, despite VPF turned up half ways to 12:00 position. I A-B'd the sound from the MB 121p to the direct sound I get from the EUB via headphone (AKG K-701) in order to get the most "natural" sound from the MB 121p. When the bass gets a bit boomy in some locations I additionally roll off the bass on the EQ.
     
  17. Lloyd on bass

    Lloyd on bass

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2007
    The bass and mid bass up and down, everything else all the way off .
     
  18. GrowlerBox

    GrowlerBox

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    Feb 10, 2010
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    I would submit that's pretty specific for your setup -- that would be all mud for me.
     
  19. bruegger

    bruegger

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2006
    Location:
    Minneapolis
    I just picked up the Ehrlund (with preamp) this week. Was cautiously optimistic but am blown away. It's a game changer for me. Only used on a couple gigs this week: one with LMII head + Bergantino 12" cab; the other using Markbass CMD121P. On both gigs I was able to get the best sound by running from the Ehrlund preamp into the Markbass effects return bypassing the Markbass preamp. So, no EQ tweaks, but I like being able to avoid that.

    Based on the sound I got last night using the CMD121P combo, I might benefit by also running through a HPF like the Fdeck. I don't imagine there would be any issues of running through both the Ehrlund pre into the Fdeck into the effects return, although a little redundant with multiple volume controls. If the Ehrlund mates nicely with just the Fdeck, I could simplify. My other option would be to get a URB-centric head like an AI Clarus that has a built in HPF.

    Any similar experiences, especially with the Ehrlund pre and/or Fdeck with Markbass?
     
  20. MostlyBass

    MostlyBass Supporting Member

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    Mar 3, 2002
    Location:
    Oak Park, IL
    If I was doing more upright gigs I'd get the Fdeck. I have a micro thumpinator and it makes a big improvement on my carved bass.
     
  21. Don Sibley

    Don Sibley Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2005
    Location:
    Fort Worth, TX
    I'm beginning to believe that the tonal issues I'm having are a result of my GK Neo210 more than the MB LMKII since my EA iAmp Pro has a similar sound thru that cab. It will be a while before I can try a different cab.
     

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