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mesa walkabout vs markbass little mark tube vs tc electronic rh 450

Discussion in 'Amps [BG]' started by Mr. BassmanPT, Jan 23, 2013.

  1. Mr. BassmanPT

    Mr. BassmanPT

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    i am considering both models at this time.

    my goal is to have a lighter amplifier to use with a mesa powerhouse 112 at 8ohm with the possibility to upgrade with another 112 for a total of 4 ohm.

    i already know the flaws of the mesa (at least to me).

    no mute/standby
    no speakon
    master control affect the DI level

    the markbass seems to have all those flaws addressed but soundwise, how do those heads compare?

    i really like the tone of the mesa but i never tried a markbass little mark tube so i do not know what to expect from it.

    can you give me some help?

    regards
  2. RickenBoogie

    RickenBoogie

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    You should play them both. I know for me, there's no doubt. The WA tone is my perfect and ideal sound. YMMV, so, with all due respect, go play one and see what YOU think.
  3. Mr. BassmanPT

    Mr. BassmanPT

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    not available over here, that is why i am asking.

    also, if i go with mesa, i am also not sure if i should just buy the head to use with my powerhouse or buy the combo version instead.
  4. KJung

    KJung Supporting Member

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    Not sure what is available to you. I see you have Jaco and Willis as your influences. That means (to me) a nice controlled low end, the ability to dial up the low mids, and no need for a sizzly top end.

    The Walkabout is quite amazing. It is relatively low powered, but fat and wide and tubey, with a lot of impact of that tube loaded front end. I had the combo for a while, and actually liked the tighter/brighter voicing of the Powerhouse 112 myself, so that is one recommendation if you go with the Walkabout. I've found the ever increasing price of the Walkabout to be getting to the point of diminishing returns, and the lack of speakons is simply ridiculous at this point, given the many 'updates' that head has gotten over the last decade or so that it has been available. NICE head though... very tubey, big down low, and it can grind a bit.

    The LMTube (I gigged an LMII for years... very similar) is very clean but still warm. The tube IMO has limited impact (it is a simple little hardwired in minitube that does not impact the tone/voltage like the dual 12AX7's in the Walkabout. Also, FYI, the mute control on the LMTube is poorly executed... push/pull on a relatively 'loose' feeling master volume. GREAT sounding head if you like it relatively flat, even, and 'clean without noticeable distortion'. The biggest issue I have with the LM series of amps is that very high centered low mid control (almost 400hz). Hard to dial in the burp and mid complexity that fretless work needs (IMO).

    If you are looking for an amp that has the features you are looking for (well designed mute, speakons) and lots of ability to burp with complex mids, I really like the Aguilar TH500 (which I believe is what Willis uses now). If those are available, you will get a very lightweight unit that is louder than the Walkabout, a bit tighter, and with a very nice filter called the 'drive' control that rolls off deep low end and upper treble at the same time. I actually find the very powerful semi-parametric mid control matches up pretty well to the EQ power of the multipe semi-parametric mid controls of the Walkabout, and far exceeds the Markbass LM tone stack.

    If you want it very clean and accurate, but still warm, the TecAmp Puma500 is relatively similar to the LMTube (clean and warm) with a much better low mid control, and of course, it is an EU brand, which might helps (as is the Markbass).

    All good stuff though, but if you want that Willis sort of warm, uber articulate fretless tone, the TH500 is hard to beat if it is available in your region.
  5. Mystic Michael

    Mystic Michael Hip No Ties Supporting Member

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    You forgot one: The Walkabout is also relatively low-powered. :meh:

    If I'm not mistaken, that amp puts out only 165 watts @ 8 ohms - scarcely providing any challenge at all (to say nothing of headroom) to the mighty Powerhouse cab. Even pushing 300 watts @ 4 ohms is hardly enough to even warm up a pair of Powerhouse 1x12s.

    IMHO, the Walkabout is probably best suited for a relatively high-efficiency 4-ohm cab. Are you sure you've really thought this out thoroughly? :eyebrow:

    MM
  6. KJung

    KJung Supporting Member

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    I find the Walkabout pretty loud for its wattage, and the OP mentions that he will possibly add a second cab later. I think some of these other heads will outperform the Walkabout at 4ohms, but the 8ohm performance of the Walkabout is suprisingly impressive when I had one. Also, the PowerHouse 112 is relatively efficient... pretty loud per watt to my ear.
  7. Mr. BassmanPT

    Mr. BassmanPT

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    kjung, good advice you given me. thanks for that. i have not considered Aguilar until you said it and this definitely is to consider as well as TC Electronic.

    with this i have spread to transistor realm and it is OK. My goal is to have a good sounding head and above all, light, yet capable of.... lets say 300W.

    i know what you say about the mute of markbass but better having it that way than not having it at all. and yes, i cannot understand why the mesa does not have mute and speakon but that is the way it is haha

    mystic michael, yes. i have considered that and it is fine, i prefer to have 2 12 at 4 ohm than 1 12 at 4 ohm
  8. KJung

    KJung Supporting Member

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    The Aguilar is 'tubey' sounding in its own way, and in some ways, moreso than the LMTube, even though the LMTube has a tube in it (albeit a very small version of a preamp tube that doesn't seem to do that much).

    Again, all good stuff... hard to go wrong with the heads you are considering. Aesthetically, both the Walkabout and the TH500 will look great on that Powerhouse cab also.
  9. Mr. BassmanPT

    Mr. BassmanPT

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    yes, i know what you mean. i am still more inclined to the walkabout though, the only downsides are the ones i mentioned (and the price also haha) but i really like the way it sounds. i posted this so i could evaluate my options more accurately

    i will keep making my research, if you have more to say go ahead and post it :)
  10. KJung

    KJung Supporting Member

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    Hard to go wrong with the Walkabout, especially with Mesa cabs.

    Regarding the mute switch, there are now a BUNCH of 'true bypass' pedal tuners available that work wonderfully as mute switches for tuning, while not messing with the top end of your tone like some of the old pedal tuners. The 'Pitch Black', the small TC Electronics model, the wonderful Sonic Turbotuner, etc. That kind of takes the mute switch off the table.

    I would recommend trying the Aguilar TH500 (especially given the influences you have in your profile). Four pounds, mute switch, speakons, and it WUMPS. Simple front end that is very powerful, and really allows a lot of control of the all important midrange.

    Good luck on the search!
  11. Mr. BassmanPT

    Mr. BassmanPT

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    yes, i also thought of using the pitchblack as a mute switch with the walkabout.. :)

    i just emailed a retailer for those heads, mesa, markbass, aguilar and tc electronic to see if they can have them for me to try side by side.. lets see what they can get..
  12. KJung

    KJung Supporting Member

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    The TC heads are pretty cool. LOTS of bells and whistles... programmable storage, etc., etc. They have a bit of compression built into their tone, but are very mid present and warm. Just not as big down low as the other heads. I would HIGHLY recommend the RH750 over the RH450.... more control of the top end and a bit more open tone.

    Post up when you make your decision!
  13. Mr. BassmanPT

    Mr. BassmanPT

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    i thought the RH750 only had more of the same when compared to the RH450...
  14. KJung

    KJung Supporting Member

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    The RH450 is purposefully attenuated in the deep bass and upper treble to kind of emulate the sound of a classic sealed mutli 10 cab like a 'fridge'. The RH750 has an extra control that allows you to expand the top end treble response for a more open, modern tone. The low end is still the same. Nice to have the option IMO.
  15. Mr. BassmanPT

    Mr. BassmanPT

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    i see. i am reading on the tc head and it really has everything.
  16. KJung

    KJung Supporting Member

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    It is a very different sounding head due to the very advanced 'tube emulation' type circuitry they use, and the relatively low absolute power (which was a big source of drama a while back). They use lots of internal compression, hi passing and DSP (digital signal processing) to make a very loud amp that behaves like a tube amp being pushed hard. That voicing ended up getting a bit old for me, but it is a first rate piece of gear, and the features are amazing.
  17. kasbrey

    kasbrey

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    A closer comparison for the Walkabout would be the Markbass TTE 500.

    I really love this amp. It does everything tonally that my LM11 can do but with bags of tube character, a killer one knob tube compressor and an excellent tubey DI.

    I find it can be as quick or quicker than the LM11 for attack but still has all the feel of an all tube amp and has a tube colour control that really thickens up the sound in a band mix.

    All the features some may think missing are insignificant when you hear the tone.
  18. KJung

    KJung Supporting Member

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    Always wanted to try that head. Very impressive looking, and most who try it love it! Definitely the Markbass head to check out if you want as much 'tube' tone as possible it seems.
  19. kasbrey

    kasbrey

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    The only drawback I can find with the TTE is the input pad button is too easy to switch on accidentally.
    I've learnt though that if the tone is anything less than awesome I must have caught the button!
    I have a feeling that some bassists trying it in the store may be underwhelmed with the sound if they don't realise the pad is engaged.
  20. KJung

    KJung Supporting Member

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    A similar thing happens with the other Markbass heads, in that some set the filters to noon, thinking that is flat, and then post that the heads are 'dark and flubby':p

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