Dead head, to fix or replace? LMK II

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Matthew Morter, Jan 24, 2023.

  1. Matthew Morter

    Matthew Morter

    Apr 6, 2022
    Any thoughts are appreciated!

    So, I have a Markbass Littlemark II that I bought new from guitar center a long time ago, manufacture date says 2007 but I feel like it was a year or two after that that I purchased it, and it is broken. About seven years ago I let a friend borrow it and he gave it back to me broken, I won’t start on that… but he said he didn’t do anything abnormal with it, but he wasn’t the most experienced bassist either. It blew a fuse when turning on, and then wouldn’t turn on at all, and I have just kept it since then. About a year ago I realized it came with a spare fuse, so I though OMG maybe I can fix it, but the same exact thing happened with the new fuse, all knobs were turned down and the fuse blew right when powering on the head. Does anyone have experience with this or does anyone have any advice as to whether it is worth it to get it fixed or should I just scrap it and get something new?

    back then I had a Markbass 1x15 cab with it and I loved the sound I got from it and miss it dearly. I currently only have an Ampeg Rocketbass 1x10 60 watt amp. That is not cutting it and I don’t really like the sound I am realizing. I have to really fight with the knobs and pedals to get the boomy bass along with crisp highs sound that I want. I like fat dancy bass lines sometimes, but I also like percussive slap bass at other times, and I remember the Markbass could do it, well along with my MXR bass DI with the bass boost thing, but I still have that.

    I am open to looking into other brands if anyone has suggestions! I live in an apartment so small size and weight is important, but I think I need at least a 1x15 or 2x10 and 300 to 500 watts
     
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  2. CallMeAl

    CallMeAl

    Dec 2, 2016
    Ithaca Ny
    I had a Combo Head that wasn’t working properly, wouldn’t come up to full volume. The authorized tech I got a hold of quoted me $400 I think for repairs, basically said don’t bother it’s not worth it. So I got a LMIII and never looked back! (I considered switching brands but always liked the Markbass so I gave em a second chance.)

    But, you should probably do your due diligence and call around…
    Mark Bass Repair Service Center, Mark Acoustic Repair Service Center
     
  3. Well for starters the other guy did do something but didn't realize it. Maybe he plugged/unplugged the speaker cable with the amp turned on. Whatever...water under the bridge.

    Having the spare fuse blow is serious. Perhaps not serious in an expensive way, but at least serious in how diagnosing the problem should proceed. A qualified repair tech should have the proper equipment to be able to not only repair the amp but to do so in a manner that may avoid additional damage.

    If you can get it to a Markbass certified shop, they may have access to parts that are not available to an independent shop. They also may be more familiar with the causes of this problem in your particular amp.

    I'd start with contacting Markbass and seeing what they suggest. They can probably direct you to a certified shop. Given the nature of the problem (blowing fuses) this is IMHO your best option for a place to start.
     
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  4. agedhorse

    agedhorse Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 12, 2006
    Davis, CA (USA)
    Development Engineer-Mesa Boogie, Development Engineer-Genzler (pedals), Product Support-Genz Benz
    These are amps best serviced by a MarkBass authorized service shop. When there are problems in the power supply, they are problems unique to their specific SMPS architecture.
     
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  5. Matthew Morter

    Matthew Morter

    Apr 6, 2022
    Ah, sounds like the consensus is to take it to a professional. I did look at the list of Markbass authorized service centers on vstservice.com and called the two in my area. The one in Tacoma said I could bring it down and he could take a look and hopefully fix it for under $500. The one in Seattle, where I live said he can try but it wouldn’t be worth it, something like the main power board(I just made that up)would need to be replaced and they don’t make those for this model anymore, I don’t remember what he said exactly, but he goes “you should just get a fender, they sound good too and can actually be serviced” lol. I thought that was pretty funny, I do love fender basses btw, but not so much the bass amps.
     
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  6. Sounds sketchy that a true Markbass repair guy would recommend a Fender.

    Even more sketchy that they don’t make a power supply for what has been their most popular best selling model in their history. (The Littlemark heads & combos in what 3 or 4 generations now)
     
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  7. agedhorse

    agedhorse Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 12, 2006
    Davis, CA (USA)
    Development Engineer-Mesa Boogie, Development Engineer-Genzler (pedals), Product Support-Genz Benz
    There may not be parts available for some of the older heads with the SMPS. There are a fair number of components for earlier SMPS architectures that have been discontinued in recent years, or are custom and the original vendor is no longer able to supply them. Since this amp was built in 2007 (per the OP), it is in fact quite possible.
     
  8. Ask about a repair quote. This would be a fee charged to diagnose, but not fix. Then ask if they waive the repair quote if you have the repairs done.
     
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  9. SJan3

    SJan3 Supporting Member

    Dec 8, 2010
    Ct.
    You can usually find NEW Littlemark IVs for appx. $550 on SALE. I'd go that route before I dropped close to that on a 16 yr old amp.
    Perhaps they've made some improvements over the years and you'll have a warranty.
     
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  10. Has anyone fitted a Little Mark IV head into an older Gen combo- ie.: the Jeff Berlin combo?
     
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  11. I’m a Markbass user (got two of ‘em) and if you gig with it I’ll advise you to replace the Littlemark II with a current amp. As agedhorse pointed out some components are no longer manufactured so no matter how much you like the amp, one day it may fail in an unfixable way. As you have found, a repair can be as costly as a new head and the new amp warranty is better. One of mine is a 2007 Made in Italy that I’ll use at home but not at gigs or jams. I’m not relying on those old power supply boards being available for 16+ year old amps because the technology of switching power supplies has advanced in that time.
     
  12. SJan3

    SJan3 Supporting Member

    Dec 8, 2010
    Ct.
    I believe the dimensions are the same.
     
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  13. SJan3

    SJan3 Supporting Member

    Dec 8, 2010
    Ct.
    LittleMark IV
    DIMENSIONS AND WEIGHT
    HEIGHT: 2 rack units (3.27 in. / 83 mm)
    WIDTH: 10.87 in. / 27.6 cm (19 in. / 48.3 cm with optional rack ears)
    DEPTH: 9.84 in. / 25 cm
    WEIGHT: 5.4 lbs / 2.450 kg
     
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  14. Matthew Morter

    Matthew Morter

    Apr 6, 2022
    He sounded like he personally didn’t have a good relationship with Markbass honestly, he said he doesn’t get any support from them for parts and he was a pretty gruff older dude. It seems like he is technically authorized by Markbass for repair since he is listed on the official repair site for the US, but he doesn’t like doing it lol. The other place I talked to was much more positive, but an extra 30 min to an hour drive lol.
     
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  15. Matthew Morter

    Matthew Morter

    Apr 6, 2022
    I gotta say I do like the fact that my old one is made in Italy, but I will have to settle nowadays. I think I heard that all of them are assembled in Indonesia now, is that right? I used to feel cool and pretentious saying, here is my American fender, and my German Warwick, and my Italian Markbass lolol
     
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  16. SJan3

    SJan3 Supporting Member

    Dec 8, 2010
    Ct.
    The MB58R is made in Italy, if we ever get to see one. That said, all my Indonesian MarkBass gear has been very reliable.
     
  17. Matthew Morter

    Matthew Morter

    Apr 6, 2022
    That’s good to know they haven’t decreased in quality over the years.
     
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  18. Thegreatzambini

    Thegreatzambini

    Aug 25, 2022
    LOL
     
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  19. Matthew Morter

    Matthew Morter

    Apr 6, 2022
    :)
     
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  20. My two Markbass amps, which are both from late 2000s, failed on me around the same time 7-8 months ago. F1 started having volume drops a minute after turning the amp on, and the combo head from CMD 121P (which is an LMII) stopped altogether from turning on. LMII was an easy fix; I do not know what was done exactly but a good tech took care of it quickly. F1 is still on the bench as they are trying to fix it at the component level, so most probably it is garbage.

    MB in Italy asked me to ship it to them for a cheap fix but going through all the customs issues would make it impossible for me to have it shipped back and forth.

    So, going for a new one might be the most feasible alternative at this point...
     
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