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DI on markbass tube 800

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by srslots81, Mar 8, 2013.

  1. srslots81


    May 29, 2012
    Anyone have experience with using the DI on the Tube 800 at a gig without having a cab? Is it a high quality DI? Also thinking about the GB streamliner900 or a Aguilar TH500. Thanks!
  2. If you are talking about a nice, buffered, pre EQ DI, these all work well and all sound pretty much the same (i.e., a neutral pass through from your bass to the board.

    In post EQ mode, they replicate the VERY different tonality of those three amps:

    Aguilar 500.... mid complex, big low end, organic top end, with always a touch of 'roughness' to the midrange (i.e., warmth). Not a lot of sparkle up top

    Markbass LM800Tube... not much impact of the tube. Very bright up top, big down low, very clean.

    Streamliner... super fat low end, VERY tubey (really does a good job of emulating the treble response of some all tube amps out there... very sweet. Very relaxed midrange... more wide and deep than punchy and tight.

    I am not a bit fan of the LMTube800... 'sterile' to my ear. The Streamliner can be a bit of 'too much of a good thing' for some, and IMO benefits from a cab that an 'all tube amp' would also benefit from... i.e., a sort of 'sealed 10' sort of voicing to bump up the mids and tighten the low end.

    The TH500 also benefits from a 'tight and a bit bright' cab, and is currently my favorite 'P Bass' head... fat, punchy, grunty, etc.

    Again, pre EQ, the DI's all sound like a good, high quality active/buffered DI. If you are looking for a post EQ sort of send, if you dig the amp, you will dig the DI. For high level studio work, not sure about the noise floors on theses, and you would be better off with a stand alone DI. (same thing if you are never going to use a cab... just get a JDI or a Countryman, or if you are looking for EQ and warmth, a VT pedal or Sadowsky pre, or the Tonehammer pedal, IMO).
  3. srslots81


    May 29, 2012
    Thanks for the response that is really helpful. Ideally I will always have a cab to pair it with but gigging in NYC some venues have zero backline. Those would be the rare instances where I need to just use the DI and nothing else. The places we practice all have cabs and most venues have cabs as well. The DI is insurance! I would also be using my Diamond Bass Compressor and JHS Low Drive. Can the 500 watts of the Aguilar keep up with 2 loud guitars and a heavy hitting rock drummer?
  4. The LMT800 is my main gigging rig - I use a variety of cabs, including an Eden 410 and 210, or a Yamaha 110 cab I recently acquired. I typically prefer a smaller stage volume and send the LMT DI to the front of house for the bulk of the room sound (depending on venue of course). I've always found it to work very well.

    Btw, if you are having trouble getting past the "sterility" of the LMT, I suggest at least trying the following settings which I typically find myself coming back to:

    Gain: set fairly high, just below where the blue clipping light comes on
    Preamp Mix about 1:00 (slightly more of the tube pre than the SS-only)
    VLE about 10:00-12:00 (depending mainly on treble output of cabinet)
    VPF about 10:00
    EQ: largely flat (12:00) with some slight compensation for room

    As you might guess, I rely on the mix and filters (VLE/VPF) for tone more than the EQ, which is not something I have typically done with other amps in the past, but for MB gear I find is the way to go - use the EQ for finer adjustments from situation to situation. YMMV of course, these are just suggestions based on my own experience.
  5. Sounds like a PERFECT job for a Radial JDI or other small, high quality DI.

    Yes, the Aguilar TH500 is very conservatively rated. VERY loud head, and assuming you have a cab(s) large enough (good 410 or a couple of 15's or whatever) running at 4ohms, it will kick quite hard. It is a bit 'chewy' sounding, which I like a lot with my P Bass. If you are looking for Marcus Miller modern tone or whatever, probably not the right head. For 'meat and potato' holding down the low end and slotting in a mix in a pop/rock setting, fantastic for me.

    Here's a quick little clip of my TH350 (I own the TH500 also) with a P Bass with roundwounds and a nice little Bergantino AE210 cab (if you have decent phones, the sound quality is pretty good, and it might give you a data point regarding the inherent fat tone of that head). It would work quite nicely as a DI also, since it is based on the ToneHammer preamp pedal, which is meant as a sort of 'sans amp' thing when you want to add some meat to your tone going right into a board.

  6. srslots81


    May 29, 2012
    I've heard great things about the JDI, would just like to minimize my purchases since I know I want my own head anyway. The clip is nice, and is definitely a solid P tone. This isn't the greatest recording, but it is close to the tone I like to get, and similar dynamics of my band:

    I just don't want a massive stack! I've seen them live a lot, and recently he has been using a massic 8x10 old school fender rig.
  7. Dig it... yes, round, fat and warm, but still with some nice note definition, and a bit of upper mid grind when digging in. Funny after all the years with a modern bass or J bass with stainless steel rounds, I am not interested in anything but a nice passive P with broken in nickels:D

    I think the TH500 would VERY well for you, both driving a cab, and acting as a DI. Read some of the 'tone control' posts, since the EQ is a little less intuitive than you would think. LOTS of sounds in that little amp, mostly great, some not so much!

    You would most likely not dig the LMTube800 (although the post above regarding filter/EQ settings is a good one). Too modern in general for that vibe, and the front end does not 'give/break-up' at all, like the TH500 or Streamliner. The Streamliner900 is great, but more 'smooth and wide' that 'grunty and punchy'. I also like that the Aguilar has no tubes. VERY solid unit, super lightweight, and built like a tank. Runs cool as heck, and slams hard. And, if something goes wrong, you can get the owner on the phone!
  8. srslots81


    May 29, 2012
    Not gonna lie, being able to walk to the Aguilar HQ's is more appealing than having to deal with markbass authorized service centers that have to coordinate with Italy!
  9. If the voicing works for you, always a bit easier slog if something goes wrong to be local and/or at least being able to deal quickly with the actual parent company. The Markbass stuff is solid though, and I still dig it a lot. The F500 is still in rotation as a gigging head, after years and years of use!

    Dig the Aguilar with the P though! And given your interest in stand-alone DI, that head is based on Aguilars 'Tone Hammer' stand alone DI preamp/pedal. Bonus!

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