Same LMIII in Markbass combo?

Discussion in 'Amps [BG]' started by B String, Nov 16, 2012.


  1. B String

    B String Supporting Member

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    Apr 11, 2002
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    Los Angeles
    Just wondering if Markbass uses the same LMIII head in the combo's as they sell as the LMIII head. The combo head seems to be the same, but it has so much limiting on it.
    Maybe that's why they say you can't used the combo head on its own, out of the combo. Just wondering.
  2. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

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    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    They are the exact same heads. The reason they say you can't use the combo head out of the combo is because they don't have a cover on top. The "cover" is the wood of the cab. However, I have known people who took them out and built their own cover. Unfortunately it voids the warranty but it can still be done.

    Frankly, I have no earthly idea why they do that to their combo customers. Just make it so it pulls out when you just want to use the head. Thing weighs 6 lbs. Is that so hard to do?
  3. LayDownABoogie

    LayDownABoogie

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    Jan 3, 2012
    What a smashing idea ! I think I might do this. Mine is out of warranty anyway.

    Built their own cover how and with what? out of interest.
  4. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

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    Sheet aluminum.
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  6. B String

    B String Supporting Member

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    After my first 121P combo was out of warranty I took the head out of my combo. Very easy.
    I measured the size of the opening, (not the whole top) had a guy cut out a piece of aluminum the sam thickness as the rest of the top. Affixed it with double stick tape. Worked well.
    I could leave it in the box or slide it out in about a minute.

    Back to topic... My new 121P combo, with the LMIII head in it really feels like it has even more limiting than the LMII. As much as this works perfectly with the combo, I wouldn't want to use it out of the combo with that much limiting. Or maybe no one else has had the same experience.
  7. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

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    I don't know, dude. The LMII and III sound the same to me, but I guess anything's possible.
  8. B String

    B String Supporting Member

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    That's why I'm asking if the combo heads are tweaked a little.
  9. KJung

    KJung Supporting Member

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    My guess is that you are hearing power compression of the driver with that single 12 in that little box
  10. B String

    B String Supporting Member

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    I'm not talking about really hitting the volume, more just digging in or especially slapping, even at low volume but with intention.
    Its actually one of the things I like about the 121P combo. I can make it sound like its working hard while still at a moderate volume.

    Again, I may very well be wrong here but I'm thinking its kind of like when Genz Benz made the 6.0 head in their combo a bit attenuated in the lows so guys wouldn't blow the speakers in the little combo's. Only that's how they sold it even out of the combo. I'm thinking maybe Markbass only tweaks the combo heads, which might be why they say not to take the combo heads out of the box, even though it looks exactly like a regular LMIII with a square hole in the middle of the top.
  11. KJung

    KJung Supporting Member

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    I'm pretty sure that is not the case. One of the things that makes that little combo sound so good is the amazingly full, deep, low end. The bad news is, a single 12 that is tuned that way in that little box will give up the ghost on those strong transient peaks of slapping, etc. Actually, the Genz design of eliminating the deep low end of that earlier Shuttle combo resulted in a somewhat thin, brittle tone (IMO), but surprising volume with not that much compression, since the head wasn't pumping lows into that little box. There is no free lunch, only design decisons.

    Also, remember (per your comment about 'not at full power) that the knob position of the master gives you NO indication of the power being put out by the amp. All the master volume knob does is reduce the gain going into the power amp, hence controlling volume. You can easily drive an amp to full power and limiting (or clipping) with the master set quite low with the huge transient spike you get when slapping (even with good controlled technique like yours). That will result in a small, low tuned single driver to compress like heck on those transients.

    Unfortunately, those of us that use the slap technique at all, or those who like to really dig in but still stay relatively clean, need about double the rig of those who have a more polite technique, or who play only fingerstyle, to achieve the same non-compressed maximum volume using all those different playing styles.

    That little combo can cover an amazing variety of gigs, at surprising volume... until (like most other small rigs other than a really good 210 or a 'super 12') you slap at high volume or really digging in.

    Finally, like many combo's, the reason MB indicates you shouldn't take the head out of the combo is that it does not have a top on it.

    IME!
  12. Russell L

    Russell L

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    My 121H combo's speaker will clank ifI slap with any lows boosted at all. So, be careful.
  13. B String

    B String Supporting Member

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    K...I hate it when you're right. And you're probably right about this. The 121P is an unusually great design in my opinion as I've stated so many time on TB. Putting a 300 watt head in such a small combo makes the lows as tight, punchy, and low as they can be. The limiting I'm hearing may just be, as you say, the box compression, not the head compression.

    The thing is, it doesn't sound bad when it does compress. And again, putting it next to a wall or in a corner gives you a little low end help. I think my question is answered.

    By the way, the combo amp, when slipped out of the box, looks the same as a regular LMII or III with about a 7x7 opening on the top. Easy to cover it, WHICH I AM NOT ADVOCATING! Just sayin.
  14. KJung

    KJung Supporting Member

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    I really like that little combo a lot, and if used appropriately (i.e., small gigs, rehearsals, etc.) it is one of the tops on the market to my ear. As posted above, the tuning and components of that cab are a positive (really fat, full tone at moderate volumes) and a negative (ugly things happen when you push it).

    To your point, the LMII/III WILL compress a bit more than some other head when pushed to its abolute limits due to the more 'hard limiting design' versus the 'power management design' of some other heads. But, with a decent, appropriately sized, relatively efficient 4ohm cab, your ears will be bleeding by the time you get there!

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