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Markbass cabs: the conclusive thread!

Discussion in 'Amps [BG]' started by sratas, Feb 23, 2008.


  1. sratas

    sratas

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2007
    Location:
    Parma, Italy
    The thing that forced me to start another Markbass thread is the general disagreement about the qualities of MB cabs. In fact there is a sort of "black hole" between two radically opposite positions. The specialized press, including the various magazines coming from every part of the world, acclaiming MB cabs as one of the best builded and sounding stuff available, and a general good match of MB amps (easy to predict...). On the other site there are forum rumors and TB general trend to under-rate MB cabs. I find that many bass players out there are using or planning to use a MB head (good reputation) coupled with a Berg or a epifani cab. The majority of these folks don't even consider to give a try to a MB cab, without even contemplating the possibility of a full MB rig. this apparent contradiction to me is not easily explanable. Moreover I have noticed that this kind of apparent non-sense becomes even more strange when we consider the general TB appreciation of Markbass combos, 1x12, 2x10, 1x15, 3x10. These combos are loaded with the very same speakers used for cabs, the same materials, and the general shape and dimensions of the combo cabs are almost the same as the separated cabs. For example, the CMD 102 P combo has the same building and contructing features than the STD 102 HF cab, except for the tweeter, more high-quality on the cab. Same thing when comparing the CMD 121 H combo and cab, the CMD 151 P and corresponding cab and so on...my dubt is that at TB could be a sort of favourable general trend and disposition toward MB amps and the very same, but opposite thing when considering MB cabs. I beg your perdon in advance for my english, I don't know how to explain my thoughts in a more polite or pleasant way, but I think that the concept is clear: I feel the need of neutral, non-fashion, sincere opinions that can put light on this problem. Please give your contribution. Please also don't defend your purchase only because it has been truly expensive,or any other non valuable opinion. :bassist:
     
  2. Askia

    Askia

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2006
    Yeah, I like your thoughts!
    So, let me start sharing my experiences! I have the traveler 121H cab, I'm using it with an LMK, head. The overall experience is this:
    It sounds good from distance, what means, that from close it's middy throaty sounding, really not so nice to hear. Of course becouse of the same reason, you here it well, you can't tell, you don't hear what you play. It gets really loud, in a pub, where there was P.A. the sound technician took the bass out from the P.A. becouse it was loud enough, to handle the situation, and he said it sounded good.
    So somehow, there is a strange skizofren situation, that in solo, or from close, angled on you it doesn't sound good, but it's good in the mix. Hmmm...:confused:
     
  3. sratas

    sratas

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2007
    Location:
    Parma, Italy
    what you state is what I have read somewhere. In this thread/opinion/rewiew (I don't understand) someone said that when playing alone and for practice or other non-stage purposes, the rig may sound sterile and not so funny, but things may change in more complex outfits or on stage, where the power and clarity seems to cut, or blend, in a pleasant way. I personally own a MB rig with a STD104HF cab and I play in a little room with a 6 members band (the room measures 14 x14 feet) and two idiot guitarist (I'm a guitarist too, so I can talk bad about guitarists). In this environment, regarding the room size, this cab is not so great, as perceived by a close distance. But I tried to move away from it and the sound changed almost completely, more open, wore full-range, less boomy and definately blending well with the other sounds. I even tried to put the cab in different points of the room, and again, the perceived tone varied greatly. Angling the cab upwards (about 40 ° !!!) made a huge improvement because of a better perception of highs. my opinion is that, at least my cab, the STD104HF, with the two large bass ports on the front, has been built to deliver the best in large spaces and at a considerable distance, for example concert stages or venues. I have not gigged in venues or concerts yet, but I'm quite sure that that the MB aim of creating a cab that will work without PA support is the main reason of such a kind of behavior...IMO :bassist:
     
  4. PWRL

    PWRL

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2006
    Location:
    Yonder
    I have the TA 501 head with the 106 HF cab. I like the cab just as well as I like the amp. It has a pretty huge bass response, yet it is very bright and articulate. No muddiness at all. Plus, it's so light that I can get that thing in and out of my car by myself, which requires me to lift the entire thing, and I have a bad back. This lightness does not negatively affect the tone whatsoever. I've been through a bunch of cabs and this one is absolutely a keeper. Plus, I like the yellow cones. They remind me of a big ol' squid tentacle or something.
    The whole rig is very portable and very loud. I have two half-stacks to keep up with and this rig does it better than any other combination I've used.
     
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  6. sratas

    sratas

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2007
    Location:
    Parma, Italy
    you carry the 106 HF alone? and you want to convince me that you have back problems??? apart from jokes, you suggest, in an indirect way and maybe without insight, what I consider being one of the biggest reason of the bad reputation: the yellow drivers...maybe I'm wrong, maybe I'm rough, not polite, BUT, IMO, there is a serious possibility that someone could not favour the whole thing because of a perceived bad appearance...it is not casual that in starting this thread I have not mentioned the colour. I think that we all, are musicians, bass players. A musician SHOULD judge a certain gear by means of many factors, but the most important one has to be the sound. the least, obviously, the colour...a painter uses his eyes, a musician uses his ears! Having said that, I will appreciate EVERY, EVERY, bad opinion about MB cabs, but only with a good musical reason. Best to have an opinion coming from everyone that USE these cabs in various situations. It could be great if the opinion comes with the specification of the bass used and any other detail.
    Post-note: I'm a medical doctor, so, please, don't lift that light refrigerator alone, your bandmates are there also to help you! :hyper:
     
  7. fenderhutz

    fenderhutz Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2007
    Location:
    Harpers Ferry WV
    I played the 810 Classic cab last week at the Guitar Center in Rockville MD. I used the SD800 amp with it. It seems to be a little smaller than any other 810 I have seen. Lighter of course. I can't say I didn't like the sound, it wasn't my sound though. It was priced at 1449 which in my opinion is too steep for that cab. I did not like the "racing" stripes on the lining of the cab, but I did like what looked to be the spray on rubber tough liner (or what seemed to be). Other than looking like a gym locker at Golds Gym (color scheme and size) it wasn't that bad. I wouldn't buy it, but it might be good for someone.
     
  8. GassieBall

    GassieBall

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2006
    I own both Epifani and Markbass cabs, albeit they are different sizes. I've said this several times in other threads where Markbass cabs are spoken of poorly:

    Markbass cabs don't sound impressive alone. They sound middy, sometimes nasally, and lack a high end sparkle. However, in the mix they really cut through and sit perfectly in a pocket between the drums and the guitar. Just imagine how you often EQ a bass when you mix a song down on the computer.

    On the otherhand, my Epifani's sound wonderful solo. Clear, articulate, with a shimmer, more scooped. I have to EQ in the lowmids to be able to punch through in a live situation.

    Unfortunately, people cannot really try Markbass cabs in a live situation at Guitar Center in the United States, therefore the cabs are not given a very good reputation here.
     
    bassomane likes this.
  9. GassieBall

    GassieBall

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2006
    Calling on PETER MURRAY!!!

    Peter, is what I described above just the way these cabs happened to turn out, or was that a design goal of the Markbass cabs?
     
  10. sratas

    sratas

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2007
    Location:
    Parma, Italy
    apart from sound, the appearance to me is like a CATERPILLAR. You know, that kind of black-yellow machines used to move the ground, to build a house, the fundamentals...striking link, do you agree? no jokes, for me the SD800-classic 810 could not be a good match, I feel that a tube head could be better while the most modern sound coming from the MB world (F1, SD800) could perform well paired with a STD cab with the primary goal to obtain a contemporary hi-fi clarity. maybe a classic 300 accomodates better with the natural propensity of a 810 in order to produce a warm old-school sound. But mine are only suppositions since I have never played trough that kind of gear personally.
     
  11. GassieBall

    GassieBall

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2006
    Sratas,

    If you want that "contemporary hi-fi clarity" then I would not suggest Markbass cabs, even though I love them.

    Well, I also have a Bongo. I guess I care more about how things sound than how things look.

    Of course, this is JMHO.
     
  12. sratas

    sratas

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2007
    Location:
    Parma, Italy
    I totally agree with you. I was just aswering to fenderhutz who tried a SD800 + 810...if you read my previous reply I say I don't care colour or other appearance things. ONLY sound matters for me...the Caterpillar was only for joke and for those who citated the colour or the yellow piping...I like MB cabs, and like a traditional sound vibe. More, I like to engage the VLE at about 12:00 to achieve my sound...go figure!!!


     
  13. USAJO

    USAJO

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2005
    I don't understand your point. Are you saying that because many people like the Markbass heads and many of those same people don't like the cabs they are somehow misguided or there is a conspiracy of some sort?
    Or are you asking why if people like the Markbass combo's then it should follow they like a Markbass head with a similar Markbass cabinet?
    Here's my take, Markbass entered the market at a considerably lower price point and thus all those who can't afford the Thunderfunks,Epifani's and other top name gear clamored to it. It's human nature to want to stroke yourself when you make a purchase and justify your decision. It would be like me saying my Fender 62 RI Jazz is as good as the Lakland USA Joe Osbourne I sold and I saved $1,000.00 too. In my opinion it isn't and I would never claim it is. The 62 RI just fits my budget better.
    I think we owe Markbass a huge ovation though. By entering in the market at a low price point it has forced Genz-Benz, Epifani and others to come up with a product to compete. Markbass owned the low price, lightweight market. Now they don't and we will see which gear people end up with.
    Didn't Bergantino insist they would not do the neo speaker thing? (am I confusing Bergantino with another brand?) I feel that the success alone all the other manufacturers have had selling the lightweight cabs forced Bergantino to do the same just as head makers had to put a product out to compete with the less expensive Markbass gear. These are all good things and we all don't have to chose the same gear to be "right", we can simply just prefer one over the other.
     
  14. sratas

    sratas

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2007
    Location:
    Parma, Italy
    I was saying basic things. I'm noticing that many, say, many bass players at TB LIKE, or even LOVE MB combos. For me, it is un-logic that so many guys out there seem to not like the head+cab solution that, in substance, is almost identical to the combo configuration...also I simply report a constant at TB, the great majority of MB owers, likes the heads and doesn't like the cabs, or, simply, not consider the MB cabs and prefer other brands. I'm a simple-minded man, sorry for this,. I'm also a relatively newbie in the bass world and i'm trying to understand why many people out there does not like MB or has preferred other brands (very often Berg or Epifani) . It has to be a musical reason. No conspiracy, for sure, and I'm not so in love with a brand, MB for example, to defend it or promote it. I just want to know musical reasons for the general appreciation of other brand's cabs. Why? It is so difficult to understand? I own a MB head and I want to know if my gear can improve with another cab, other than the std 104 that i'm currently using. I'm not prone to consider superficial opinions based on colour or on the charme belonging to a boutique manufacturer and so on. I just wanted to know why I found, in the previous weeks of surfing TB, that the most part that are currently using MB heads, are coupling them with other brand cabs. I must confess that I also have a sort of feeling that some brands are more "trendy" on TB. Also find that GAS syndrome is in "free running mode" and, as obvious, this is correlated with more trendy brands.

    QUOTE=USAJO;5352923]I don't understand your point. Are you saying that because many people like the Markbass heads and many of those same people don't like the cabs they are somehow misguided or there is a conspiracy of some sort?
    Or are you asking why if people like the Markbass combo's then it should follow they like a Markbass head with a similar Markbass cabinet?
    Here's my take, Markbass entered the market at a considerably lower price point and thus all those who can't afford the Thunderfunks,Epifani's and other top name gear clamored to it. It's human nature to want to stroke yourself when you make a purchase and justify your decision. It would be like me saying my Fender 62 RI Jazz is as good as the Lakland USA Joe Osbourne I sold and I saved $1,000.00 too. In my opinion it isn't and I would never claim it is. The 62 RI just fits my budget better.
    I think we owe Markbass a huge ovation though. By entering in the market at a low price point it has forced Genz-Benz, Epifani and others to come up with a product to compete. Markbass owned the low price, lightweight market. Now they don't and we will see which gear people end up with.
    Didn't Bergantino insist they would not do the neo speaker thing? (am I confusing Bergantino with another brand?) I feel that the success alone all the other manufacturers have had selling the lightweight cabs forced Bergantino to do the same just as head makers had to put a product out to compete with the less expensive Markbass gear. These are all good things and we all don't have to chose the same gear to be "right", we can simply just prefer one over the other.[/QUOTE]
     
  15. Kenny Allyn

    Kenny Allyn

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2006
    Location:
    Memphis
    One fundemental difference as I see it, is that the combo market is a different one than seperates.

    As a total package it may be a fine choice, best overall speaker package and head combination. When you consider seperates you look to fill a custom need and/or working on an evolving system. The human nature as individuals is also to try to come up with your own sound by mixing and matching.

    I can't really comment on my likes and dislikes RE: other speakers on the market, but I will say that had I thought that MB and all of the other manufacturers got it totally all right, I would have never ventured into that market. How a speaker system works and sounds for you in any given situation is a highly personal and subjective thing.


    :) ... I do find the MB LM II works well with all of the speakers I've tried it with.
     
  16. sratas

    sratas

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2007
    Location:
    Parma, Italy
    dear Kenny Allyn,
    very interesting considerations about marketing targets and human nature...I agree that separates fit better those of us constantly in search for their "tone in the head" and make experiments much easy. This could be a very convincing opinion of the difference between the two markets and on the fact that many prefer mixed brands configuration at a certain point of their search.
     
  17. chadds

    chadds

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2000
    If the cabs sounded just amazing then I would still be turned off by the yellow coneage. When SWR went to the chrome grills I was a little put off because I play some gigs where there aren't any bikers. The subdued hue of the GIIs and early GIIIs was appropriate everywhere. You could play a raunchy kick a&& bar on Sat. night and a wedding on Sunday.
    Appearance is important if it is a requirement of the gig. Someone suggested taking some plywood and screwing four tennis ball halves to it for a home brew Gramma Pad. I couldn't possibly use something like that where I play, sometimes.

    It really is possible, as with Aguilar for the amps to be a completely different taste/flavor/design/implementation from their cabs.

    I really appreciate the mature tone of this thread by the way.
     
  18. GassieBall

    GassieBall

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2006
    I think that says a lot about the tone you like. VLE at 12 on a 104HF will sound very "old school" thumpy and I think pretty much very little is coming out of the tweets.

    But someone else might say, I like to engage the VPF at about 12:00 to achieve his sound.

    I dunno. I think it just depends on your taste and your type of music. VLE = Motown to me. VPF = slap, aggressive rock.
     
  19. PWRL

    PWRL

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2006
    Location:
    Yonder
    You are neither rough, nor impolite. I play a stock 77 Rickenbacker 4001 and a Fender Jazz through it, and it does both those instruments quite well, I think. I have no lack of low end on either of those, not even with the Rick, which has never had the bass filter cap on the treble PU bypassed. Granted, a lot of that has to do with the amp itself, but the point is that I like using this cab with that head and those basses. It moves a lot of air, and projects very well.

    My bandmates do help me carry it. I use every opportunity to wrangle somebody into helping me lug my gear around! :) I just used that example for illustrative purposes.
    Of course you should take all opinions into account, positive and negative alike. Right now, I'm fairly certain more people buy Markbass amps than they do cabs. I'm sure they have very good reasons why. The somewhat alien appearance of the the yellow drivers can very much throw people off. I myself like the comparatively outlandish appearance of their cabs. In fact, when I first got it, that was the first thing my bandmates mentioned. I did mention it on purpose because it does seem to me that appearance is most likely one of the reasons people don't use their cabs with their amps. And, I think, it's human nature to be turned off by appearance. People are simply less likely to try out gear they consider ugly, or at least more likely to pass it over.
    It could also be that people simply like other cabs better. I'm not sure. But I like mine, not only for the looks and the sound but also for the fact that nobody else around here has one, and sometimes I have to take time out to be frivolous like that.:bassist:
     
  20. GassieBall

    GassieBall

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2006
    LOL,

    Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Personally, I don't like the look of Ric's. Doesn't mean I don't respect them. I'd also rather have a BMW than a Mercedes. But since I have neither... it's all a matter of preference.

    [​IMG]
     
  21. chadds

    chadds

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2000
    Nice bass real nice bass. I'd play it, but not through yellow cones.:) I could play it at a high society gig. That would be tasteful. The cones, no.
    Real nice bass!
     

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