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Ampeg VS Markbass reliability

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by ThatBassistDude, Jan 3, 2012.

  1. :help: Ok, so I have recently been replacing my rig. I traded my old bassman 215 for an Ampeg 410HLF, and sold my peavey XR600. Now im on to the heads. Im torn between the Ampeg SVT450h and the Markbass TTE-500. I tried out the Markbass at GC the other day, and it sounded great. I like it, but im not sure if it would fit in with my style of band (hard rock, blues rock) or it would be tough enough to withstand a lot of traveling with a crazy bunch of bandmates and crew. :smug: Now to the Ampeg. I havent got the chance to try one for myself yet, but i have seen videos and read reviews on it. I like it too, and common, Ampeg is the staple for rock n roll bass amps. Which do you guys think would be best suited for my situation. THANKS
  2. Hapa


    Apr 21, 2011
    Tustin, CA
    Markbass stuff is good on abuse but bad on power fluctuations, every single guitar center I have been to has had at least one markbass mainly the Mo' Mark down (powers up but wont make sound) on the floor, it could be a grounding issue but I am not an engineer . Haven't heard much about the SVT450h about any reliability issues, only tonal preferences.
  3. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    In all fairness, you can't judge reliability by floor models. Floor models get really abused. And the Markbass head either just came out so it's a little early to comment on its reliability. Generally their stuff is reliable, as is the Ampeg stuff, but any amp can break. What counts for me is how it's handled if something goes wrong, and Ampeg's CS is great while Markbass' warranty policies have been very inconsistent in America. I hear it's getting better, but to be honest, my experience with their CS 3 years ago was not great. I eventually got my repair taken care of but it took way longer than it should have to replace a speaker.
  4. Mulebagger


    Dec 12, 2007
    poppin in the corn belt
    Endorsing Artist: Zon Guitars, Tsunami Cables, DR Strings, GK
    I had 3 markbass combos and two of them crapped out on me and the 2x10 couldn't hang with a drummer without the speakers looking like the cones were going to fly out of the baskets.

    I love my LMIII head though. Sounds great and has been perfectly fine.

    I've had average luck with my Ampeg stuff. I think with so many products made by both companies, there are bound to be lemons here and there.

    I guess either one should be durable enough if you treat them with sensibility and reasonable care.

    Good luck on your decision
  5. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    The speakers are actually supposed to look like that ;) They're neos with a good amount of cone travel. Looks scary but is perfectly harmless unless you run them past the point where they start farting out.
  6. Tim1


    Sep 9, 2005
    New Zealand
    Two of my favourite heads - Markbass and Ampeg. I currently own both and find both to be equally reliable in that neither have ever caused me any problems. I have to say that if I was to have just one it would be the Ampeg.
  7. Freddels

    Freddels Musical Anarchist

    Apr 7, 2005
    Sutton, MA
    I have an Ampeg 7 Pro and the Markbass CMD102P combo (LMKIII head) and I have had no problems with either of them. Both sound very good.
  8. That speaker movement is a little worrisome until you understand it's normal, but I have loved my Berlin combo since 1st listen.

    I was looking for a Ampeg B-15 priced reasonably when I 1st discovered and played the Markbass, and to my ears it's the closest thing out there to the B-15. This was before the recent versions of the Ampeg were released. Haven't played those yet and don't know if I would have bought instead if available at the time, so pleased with the Berlin.

    Still want to add a 2nd cab to get the full capability of the LMIII, though I don't really need any more volume.
  9. jmattbassplaya

    jmattbassplaya Looking for a gig around East Islip, NY!

    Jan 13, 2008
    Both brands are perfectly reliable, but, as always, lemons can and will get through the cracks from time to time.

    Between the two heads I really don't know which I'd choose. I am personally not a fan of that particular Ampeg head (I think it's one of their worse ones), but the Markbass head is also very new and it hasn't made its rounds on the market yet. I'd say you should check out the Markbass LMIII, Markbass F1, Ampeg Pro7, and Ampeg PF500. All of them are great heads that have their own unique flavor, as well as pros and cons.

    If it matters, I own an SVT-CL, Pro7, and the LMIII.
  10. Yep. The 7 pro will rock for days past the 450H.
    Nothing wrong with Mark Bass stuff either.
    I had 2 HR115 cabs, & those drivers do move a lot & handle it well. The TTE500 is, by all accounts a great amp, & superb for rock.
    I'd still go for Ampeg's SVT 7 PRO tho. :)
  11. Basically Bob

    Basically Bob Supporting Member

    Aug 24, 2008
    Ontario, Canada
    ... Interesting thread. My Markbass F1 is with an authorized MB service tech, right now. (This guy does a lot of work for some of the large retailers in SW Ontario)

    When I dropped it off, I asked him if he does much work on Markbass gear. His reply was "nope, I have only seen a couple of them, they are built really well."

    Also to note is that I emailed Peter Murray for assistance and he replied very quickly.

    No complaints from me, at all.
  12. Russell L

    Russell L

    Mar 5, 2011
    Cayce, SC
    Markbass Little Mark III head, Traveler 151P cab, and CMD 121H combo here. Nary a porblem with the amps. The only weird things have been that the speaker in the 121H combo runs out of excursion easily when the bottom gets thick, and the tweet in the 151P cab doesn't seem to work. But, that's ok, the 121H combo is for sale, and I'm playing with a more old school tone that doesn't need the tweet. My basic rig, using the LMIII head and 151P cab amounts to the Jeff Berlin combo, only in modular form. Sounds absolutely fabulous, I mean it. I think Markbass 15s handle lows better than their 12s. Not frequency-wise, but volume-wise without bottomingout.

    markbass stuff is really good stuff, IMO. And so is Ampeg. Which is more reliable? Who knows. I'd guess they are about equal.
  13. My experience with both brands is both are plenty reliable. Ampeg's better customer service would give it the edge for me if I had to choose but I own and play both brands.
  14. Swizzledoop

    Swizzledoop Supporting Member

    Oct 10, 2007
    I've had my LMII since 2007 and it has always delivered and in no way ever let me down. Powers up every time and sounds great in a variety of locations.
  15. Even tho I like Ampeg tone more myself, the LMII I owned for a few years, performed flawlessly. As have all the Ampeg gear I've owned too
  16. jaredfoster


    Dec 21, 2007
    The TTE500 sound has nothing in common with the typical MarkBass sound, even with the tube-ish Mark Basses. It's more something of it's own. I really wasn't into the MB sound and all the smaller/tinier subject but the TTE made me instantly want one. Before I was using a old Acoustic220 and a old GK400RB-II for years.

    I use it for rockabilly, garage, surf...it fit's perfect for all kind of oldscholl stuff. The only thing I am changing depending on band/style is the cab. I have a 15 for surf, a 2/12 for (electrified) rockabilly and the same in small as 1/12 for small venues, soul, singer/songwriter stuff...
  17. I play both (Markbass CMD121P) and an Ampeg rig (Svt4Pro - Heritage CL and 8X10).

    I bought the MB (seems like) in 2006 or 7 and have never had one problem with the little guy - use it mainly for rehearsals.

    The 4Pro was from the last year they were built here in the US and , of course the Heritage line just came out a couple of years ago. Never had a problem with any of the Ampeg stuff and it gets played quite a bit.

    Couldn't be happier with either product!
  18. I think both brands are pretty reliable, so it's really up to what sound you like.
  19. JimmyThunder

    JimmyThunder Supporting Member

    Feb 19, 2008
    New Hampshire
    Love my LMIII, never had a problem.
    Liked a lot my Ampeg BA115 (for what it was), never had a problem.
  20. 88persuader


    Aug 5, 2007
    I have a MB tube 800 head and a MB CMD102P combo amp. I run the head at 4 OHMs into a 4 ohm 4X10 Carvin cab. Sounded great, lots of tone and balls. I now use that just for rehearsal. Gigging I'm running the little 2X10 MB CMD102P combo and I'm feeding my bass and two keyboards into it via a 16 channel Carvin mixer. (I'm also the keyboard player in my band and yes i'm a Carvin fan). I'm playing cover rock with a loud drummer and two guitarists both running Marshals and the CMD102P is actually keeping up with them as a great stage fill. Sounds rich and loud, as a matter of fact they often ask me to turn down so they can turn me up in the house system. I run directly into the house from the mixer so the "bass" amp is strictky my stage fill. It does an amazing job for it's size and weight and the keys (including left hand synth bass) sound great through it as well. I think it's amazing, it SHOULDN'T be as good as it is.

    I use to run an Ampeg PROV head bridged at 1350WTS into a 4X10 Ampeg cab. sounded great but the head actually ended up being repaired and the tech told me that Ampeg was owned by Crate and the head was not designed well! That it was a CRATE design not an "Ampeg" design, just the Ampeg name. ... And sound! (This was around 4 years ago) So as far as reliability is concerned, if you go by MY experience Markbass is far more reliable than Ampeg and much lighter. (Only problem is MB is expensive but IMO you get what you pay for.)

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