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Bought a used Little Mark II

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by BillMason, Sep 5, 2008.

  1. BillMason

    BillMason Supporting Member

    Mar 6, 2007
    It just arrived today from fellow Canadian TB'er sargebaker (I can't believe you shipped it Tuesday and it arrived today!).

    I'm really looking forward to giving it a try out tonight at band practice, and if I like it, will have to flip my GK 700RB-II. If not, I'll have to flip the LMII.

    Two things I am a little leary about: one is that I've read that the balanced XLR output's level is controlled by the input gain knob, and the second is that there is no mute switch. I've used these features on my G-K countless times, so I might really miss them. Is there any way to add something else in the amp->PA signal chain to allow me to have separate level control over the PA input signal?

    Of course, if the tone is to die for, nothing else matters. :)

    Wish me luck! I'll post results back here at my earliest opportunity.
  2. Chris Ramlar

    Chris Ramlar

    Feb 8, 2006
    looking foward for your reviews, I plan to buy one of those in the near future
  3. ::::BASSIST::::

    ::::BASSIST:::: Progress Not Perfection.

    Sep 2, 2004
    Vancouver, BC Canada
    Re the XLR output also known as the DI... there is a very easy mod made in the amp. You just have to pull the jumper off and slide it back on another component. Literally takes 2 seconds. Do a search thru the markbass mega threads. there are diagrams that show you exactly what to do. It is very easy. The hardest part is taking off the lid.

    After you do this mod you will have your DI as PRE eq rather than POST which is how it is set at the factory. PRE DI will allow you to change all your settings without effecting the DI. I agree that not having a mute sucks. I use a korg pitchblack tuner/mute pedal and it works very nicely. You have to tune anyway, right? :p
  4. BillMason

    BillMason Supporting Member

    Mar 6, 2007
    Hmmmm... but I'll still have to control the level using the Gain knob, right?
  5. ::::BASSIST::::

    ::::BASSIST:::: Progress Not Perfection.

    Sep 2, 2004
    Vancouver, BC Canada
    If you are talking about adjusting the output volume of the DI/xlr on the LMII, I don't think you can change it. Not so sure about that though.

  6. berssedc


    Sep 4, 2008
    Yeah definately let me know how the comparison works out. This would answer all of my questsions. Please tell me how the lows are on the Mark Bass LM II in comparison
  7. Jeff Scott

    Jeff Scott Rickenbacker guru.......... Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2006
    The input gain control still affects to level to the DI out. I set the input gain usually to straight up as a good reference for when I need to turn it down, such as when I change basses or to mute the signalwhen not using my volume pedal, and then I adjust my overall stage volume with the master control. For tuning, I run my Stroboflip out of the tuner out on my Ernie Ball VP Jr. pedal.
  8. bongomania

    bongomania Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    Jeff, do yourself a favor and find a better loop for the tuner. Those EB pedals suck tone massively when used in that manner, especially if you're using a passive bass.
  9. ::::BASSIST::::

    ::::BASSIST:::: Progress Not Perfection.

    Sep 2, 2004
    Vancouver, BC Canada
    That's good to know. I wasnt aware you could adjust the DI output.
  10. blmeier7


    May 7, 2006
    Amarillo, TX
    I too had the LMII and GK 700 at the same time and kept going back and forth on which amp to keep. I ended up keeping the LMII because it fit my playing style a little better. They are both great amps. The GK set flat is a little thinner in the mids than the LMII. The GK has a little more growl and aggressiveness which is nice sometimes. The punch and thickness of the LMII along with the small size and weight caused me to make it my main amp. I really wish MarkBass would put a mute button on these though.
  11. DanielleMuscato


    Jun 19, 2004
    Columbia, Missouri, USA
    Endorsing Artist, Schroeder Cabinets
    I also have a used LMII. No mute switch; DI out level is controlled by the regular gain knob (no separate DI output level). Also, the direct out is *post* EQ, which is really frustrating if your cab doesn't have exactly the same tonal characteristics as the PA system :rollno: Apparently it's a relatively easy fix if you know what you're doing, but it voids the warranty. You can also send it to Markbass in Italy, and they can change it to pre-EQ.

    However, I got a great deal on mine, and they are so absurdly light and convenient that I love mine nonetheless.

    Edit: I should have read the other posts in this thread before responding, LOL... looks like this has been covered. Bassist, I used a (supplied) Korg Pitch Black tuner pedal the other day at a session and was impressed with it. I might have to pick one up to use along with my Markbass... Right now, the tuner I use is built into my Line6 Bass POD xt Live, which I don't bring when going through my Line6, or my Boss TU-12H needle tuner, which, although accurate, doesn't have a mute function. Is there anything you don't like about the Korg pedal?

    Now back to your regularly scheduled thread...
  12. ::::BASSIST::::

    ::::BASSIST:::: Progress Not Perfection.

    Sep 2, 2004
    Vancouver, BC Canada
    Again the switch from POST to PRE eq is *very* easy to do. No reason to send it to Italy. :)
  13. boing


    Feb 15, 2004
    WNC, USA
    Is there a rationale for having the DI level controlled by the gain knob? The other DI-equipped amps I've used were either pre-gain at a fixed level, or had a separate level knob. The post gain set-up seems to complicate things for a head that's clearly aimed at live gigging...?
  14. this is not helping my LMII gas!

    cant wait to hear the results
  15. jmain

    jmain Oo, Uhn't uh, Yes! Supporting Member

    Apr 23, 2005
    Alexandria, VA
    Mute switch would be good and jumper can be moved to "post". I've left mine to pre. Barely off center on everything, and if I am, then it is minor and will translate to house.

    Killer amp.
  16. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    I leave mine on post because I like a 5k rolloff and I'd rather the soundman not have access to freqs higher than that.
  17. ZonGuy


    Sep 2, 2007
    +1 Exactamente. You can look at the soundman innocently and say "NO, the signal only goes post". I want the tone I hear in my monitor to be the tone the audience hears.
  18. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD Supporting Member

    Feb 20, 2005
    Syracuse NY
    Endorsing artist: Dingwall Guitars
    I too like this. As a reggae player, I'm constantly fighting sound men so they don't give me high end in the mix.

    I don't have any problem with using the pre for the XLR output, If you're getting too hot a signal at the board just bring it down a bit and crank up your master a touch and I can't seem to notice a meaningful difference in my stage tone.
  19. No offense - but some sound men have their heads up their A**.

    I agree it is nice to maintain some control over your sound and have the option to boost it some. There have been times when the stage volume was great - but the Bass is too low in the mix out front. Still being able to tweak you sound is nice. I like to sound check out in front so I can hear the mix for myself.
  20. BillMason

    BillMason Supporting Member

    Mar 6, 2007
    Ok, so here's what I found out in a nutshell. I actually prefer my G-K over the LMII.

    I played half of our two hour band practice with the LMII, and initially set it up according to the instructions in the manual: leave everything flat, play as hard as you can while increasing the gain until it starts to clip, and then back off the gain slightly. I set the VLE between 9:00 and 10:00, and the VPL or whatever it is to off. I plugged straight into it - my bass is a Fender 2008 nAS P bass, and my cab is an older Avatar 112 (the one that is 500 watts at 4 Ohms). I found the tone to be really honky, so I dialed off the low mids to about 9:00-10:00, and still found it to be *very* honky. I also found the sound to be kind of mushy, slightly distorted but not in what I would call a pleasant way, not exactly like a solid state overdrive, but sort of. So I tried it with my Tech 21 VT Bass pedal plugged into the Effects return, and it sounded better, but was still not getting me off. I also tried it with the VT Bass plugged into the regular input with unity gain, and I had results very similar to just the bass going directly into the LMII. I tried several VLE & VPL settings each time, and was unable to get something that worked for me.

    After the first hour, I swapped out the LMII and tried my G-K again, first with the VT Bass (same settings) plugged into the effects return. For some reason, the slight distortion from the VT Bass pedal just sounded more pleasant, a little cleaner, like it wasn't trying so hard, a little more defined and less flabby, with that pleasant emulation of tube compression that this pedal is known for. Then I plugged the VT Bass into the input, and after some playing and fiddling with the EQ, was able to get a real ballsy sound out of this combination.

    I'm not convinced that my unsatisfactory experience can't just be chalked up to a difference between what I am used to versus something new - I've experienced that before when I went from a Yorkville Bassmaster 200 (the old blue ugly boat anchor) to a Peavey Max 450 - so I'm not going to give up on it yet. I'll try some more playing around with it tonight and see what I come up with.

    The other thought that occurred to me is that Fenderhutz always used to hate the LMII until he tried one through a different cabinet, after which he totally recanted. I don't plan on replacing my cabinet though, so I'll have to be pleased with it through this cab before I am convinced.

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