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Markbass CMD JB Players School vs the other guys

Discussion in 'Amps [BG]' started by Ash Jazz, Dec 27, 2013.

  1. Ash Jazz

    Ash Jazz

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    So I went to GC to try the the Markbass CMD JB amp. I already have a 4x10 & etc. I need something more portable but it still needs to be able to keep up with a drummer for rehearsals and what not.

    Anyway I have about $650 to blow max. Err, that didn't sound right. I have $650 to spend, period. I was pretty happy there was a Markbass combo that I could actually afford. And it was nice in pretty much every way....except that I play a lot of rock, blues, pop, etc and this thing just didn't rumble like it's less expensive competitors.

    GC didn't have the BG250 115 on hand but they did have the 112 and that thing produced a greater percieved volume. The Markbass had a very nice round tone with lots of single note definition. If I wanted my bass lines to sound like they were being played on a classical instrument like a cello then this thing would be it...and thats not a criticism. It did what it did very well, I just couldn't seem to get a big rock sound out of it. The BG250 112 seemed much louder. Of course the rumble is probably coming out of a port and not really an audible pitch but that effect of feeling the note is essential in certain styles of music, styles I often play. Plus I missed the tweeter. I didn't think that would matter to me but apparently it does. I do need to try playing around with the filter knobs a little more though.

    The others I tried were the Ampeg BA115 (I think, there was no tag on it) and the GK MB115 (I think, it didn't have a tag either).

    The Ampeg sounded great and it was very versitile with it's character selector. I really enjoyed playing this thing but it was way heavy compared to the others. It really doesn't fit in the ultra light catagory.

    The GK was good. It had a balsy tone, was very loud, and incredibly low weight. Definitely a practical purchase. Some how I had trouble loving it though. It was great but somehow failed to really excite me. Sorry, it's more of a general feeling than a practical rationalization. If I play it tomorrow it might be the best thing ever.

    I was bummed they didn't have a bg250 115 around. I've heard so much about it and the 112 was really cool. It was impressively loud and extremely versitile tone wise. I've pretty much convinced myself I should get one of the 115's.

    Somehow I'm still disappointed I wasn't as blown away as I hoped to be with the Markbass. Maybe I'll try it out again tomorrow, and the next day, and the day after until I'm mystically transformed by that Markbass mojo.

    This got me thinking what I want out of my tone. I recently heard a guy on youtube, Scott Devine. THATS THE TONE I'M AFTER!!! He will tell you it's mostly his hands, and he's probably right, but I doubt I can buy his rig for $650 anyway. (If you're listening Scott, thats $650 for the head and both cabs!...PM me!)

    Maybe I'll just build my own rig. I'll garbage pick an old tube TV chasis, load up a kickass speaker, and blow peoples minds! "Dude, thats totally rad, were can I get one of those?!!!" It'll be the start of the next great trend....Neotrashrockabilly. See what you started Markbass?! It's all your fault!
  2. Freddels

    Freddels Musical Anarchist Supporting Member

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    I've tried that combo and thought it sounded pretty good. It reminds me of the Jeff Berlin combo as it doesn't have a tweeter. However, I don't know how it would hold up in a loud band setting b/c of the reduced wattage.

    What tone of Scott's do you like? The P bass?

    Scott does use a Markbass head with Vanderkley cabs but not sure that's the tone you're hearing on his youtube vids (I think he goes direct for those).
  3. Ash Jazz

    Ash Jazz

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    I have an update; I just watched a video review of the Markbass and the guy was explaining the vle and vpf controls. I think playing with those are quite possibly the key to getting the best results out of the amp. I'm going to go give it a whirl tonight.

    The video of Scotts I saw, he was talking about getting good tone. Thats what attracted me to the video. He may have been using a Markbass head with the two cabs you mention as well as a Jazz style bass. Or, as you said, more likely he was going direct. He has many videos out there but I didn't know about him before today and could only give a quick listen to a couple. I'm looking forward to watching more.

  4. Freddels

    Freddels Musical Anarchist Supporting Member

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    The VLE is like a passive tone control on a bass. The VPF boosts the lows and highs and cuts the mids (think slapper). I usually leave the VPF at zero.

    I don't know what other cabs would be similar to the Vanderkley's. Avatar cabs really sound good with the Markbass amp. Baer cabs might be similar to the Vanderkley's but I'm just guessing. I'm sure others would be able to give you more suggestions.
  5. Ash Jazz

    Ash Jazz

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    Thanks Fred!

    I was going considering having LDS make me a cab, assuming I could afford it, and I still might. I even went so far as to send the guy an email. At the time I only had about $300 to spend but realized I need to buck up to get something decent so I've been selling stuff, putting a little more aside, collecting pop cans, pan handling, robbing trains...etc.

    I want it all; great tone, small size and weight, massive volume, the red carpet, smoking hot groupies, paparazzi, adoring fans throwing themselves at my feet (better change my socks)...

    My guess is the Baer stuff is way way way outside my spending cap, $600-ish. Sure looks nice though. I haven't heard it but it looks like finely crafted stuff. Like great instruments, they are a thing of great beauty and instrinsic value in and of themselves before you ever play the first note. I wonder if they would take a Hartke in on trade!?! A straight up swap, mine for theirs?
  6. Freddels

    Freddels Musical Anarchist Supporting Member

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    Yeah, the Baer stuff is too expensive for me too.
    The Markbass 102HF cab is really a good sounding cab that matches up with the amp quite well.
  7. Russell L

    Russell L

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    Take a look at Barefacedbass.com, especially the Big Baby 2. Not cheap, but holy cow!
  8. Freddels

    Freddels Musical Anarchist Supporting Member

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    Another cab that sounds great with the Markbass amp (and other amps) is the Genz 212 Neo. If you can find a used one (since they're out of production) it would be a great cab to use.
  9. Ash Jazz

    Ash Jazz

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    At barefaced we're not just putting speakers in a box...we're making tons of money doing it!
  10. Freddels

    Freddels Musical Anarchist Supporting Member

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    In usual TB fashion, I think we've all assumed that you already have the MB amp. After re-reading the OP, I'm thinking that you might be limited in what you can get in a lightweight combo for that amount of $$. Definitely go try that MB combo again (just not sure on the volume though). See if they have an Ampeg PF350 and PF115 or PF210 to try.
  11. Ash Jazz

    Ash Jazz

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    I have seen those, they look great.

    My primary amp right now is a Hartke HA5500. I have to say that for as generic as that thing is...it's a really good amplifier. It's just that head in a box with a tuner and the 4.5xl cab are just too much to carry around anymore. Call me a wimp but I pass up opportunities because I don't feel like schepping that stuff.

    I plan on keeping it but I need something easier to carry and toss in a hatch. The Markbass CMD JB seemed like a high quality, reasonably priced option...and maybe it still is. I think the VLE knob was rolled off so it sounded like an old Motown recording. I'm going to check it out again this afternoon.

    I still think the BG250 will get louder. I just tend to think, and I may be wrong, that the Markbass will still light up ten years from now. The TC stuff is great but that piece is a budget buy...a real good budget buy. I'm just a little concerned about it's potential longevity after a fair amount of abuse.
  12. Ash Jazz

    Ash Jazz

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    That is true, I'm leaving for GC in a couple minutes and will try all again and look for that other Ampeg stuff.

    I wonder how that Markbass CMD JB will work with an extension cab?
  13. Freddels

    Freddels Musical Anarchist Supporting Member

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    That Hartke amp will be around for a long time. I've heard players use them and they sounded very good.

    At a local GC, I tried out one of the Acoustic combos (I think it was the 200 with a 15" speaker) and I was quite surprised as to how good it sounded. Of course, they had it priced way higher than it's priced on MF.
  14. Ash Jazz

    Ash Jazz

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    I'm buying the markbass. It was better this time...so was the gk though!
  15. jeff7bass

    jeff7bass

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    If the speaker/cab portion of the Markbass combo can handle most of it's 150 watts, it could be worth the asking price. I'm thinking BASS knob around 2/3rds up and volume about 3/4's up. If it's not breaking up with these settings, it's pretty good.

    I usually put the BASS knob just past 50 percent when I push the volume anywhere near half, then dial in more low mids to cut through the mix and reduce stress on the combo.

    Still at that price, the Carvin B515 comes with a BX500 head built-in and costs around the same as the 150w Markbass. I would grab one of those Genz Benz Contour 500 combos NOW while their going for 350 bucks. Can't beat it. DO IT!!!

    :bassist:
  16. BassmanPaul

    BassmanPaul Gold Supporting Member

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    It gets boring after a while and then you turn to booze and drugs and throw it all away!! :D
  17. Ash Jazz

    Ash Jazz

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    oh maaaaaaaan!!! It's too late! why didn't you stop me?!!

    The speaker is rated for 200 watts.


    I went to a different gc across town. It's amazing how different these amps sounded in a slightly different setting. The Markbass actually sounded bright. The GK sounded stellar. They still didn't have a gb250.

    They all sounded loud. I'll be playing it with a drummer tomorrow night. That will be the proof.
  18. Ash Jazz

    Ash Jazz

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    It's all part of the ride!!!
  19. Ash Jazz

    Ash Jazz

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    I'm really glad I got the Markbass. It held it's own with a loud drummer and sounded spectacular. Amazing for a 34lb amp.
  20. Ash Jazz

    Ash Jazz

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    So I returned it and got the CMD 151p Jeff berlin. It was twice as much $ but in the end I was concerned the Players School amp wouldn't cut it in a noisy bar. I still think it is a great amp and I hope Markbass sells a ton of them...but I needed something louder. I did try adding a second cab to the Players School amp and it didn't really make much of a difference.

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