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Digital amps = noisy? Anyone know if Markbass combos are analog?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by TimBosby, Mar 9, 2013.


  1. TimBosby

    TimBosby Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 19, 2004
    Omaha, NE, USA
    I just got a GK MB 212 and it's kinda noisy.
    Not noisy like the Carvin MB115 I had was (crackling with radio signals)... but just sort of a whooshy background noise.... and very loud single cycle hum on my J basses...

    My friend Dave said that it might just be that digital amps are noisy with active basses. I've never had this problem with any of my older amps and my Genz Benz Streamliner is perfectly quiet.

    So I dunno if I am going to keep the MB212...Musician's Friend gave me a killer deal but I can still send it back (eating the cost of shipping, oh well.)

    I was considering a Markbass 210... lower wattage but it does tilt back which I like. Some people say Markbass makes great heads but crummy cabs/combos. Other people love them unconditionally. The 210 tiltback (CMD 102P) seems to get consistently good reviews.

    Thoughts? Am I just crazy?

    I need a lightweight analog combo...300 watts or more! :D
     
  2. Do you mean "class D"? If so your streamliner is also such an amp.
     
  3. PDGood

    PDGood Supporting Member

    Sep 19, 2010
    Nashville, TN
    How old is the house/apartment you are living in? Does it have a grounded circuit? That makes a difference. I've learned that my house does not - even though the wall jacks are three prong type - if you take them off and look inside there is no ground wire. Everything sounds noisy in my house. The same gear in a grounded system (which is what everything should be these days) sounds wonderful.
     
  4. TimBosby

    TimBosby Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 19, 2004
    Omaha, NE, USA
    I think so, yeah. And I figured the Streamliner was too...but for some reason my Streamliner 900 into a Schroeder 1210 is not noisy. :meh:

    I recently sold a Hughes and Kettner 400 watt combo (several years old) that was dead quiet, but just heavier than I wanted.

    I also have a little 100 watt Phil Jones Bass Cub that is tiny (13 lbs) and dead quiet.
     
  5. TimBosby

    TimBosby Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 19, 2004
    Omaha, NE, USA
    My house was built in '89. Everything is dead quiet for the most part. I've never suffered from the noisy amp syndrome that my friend's houses and apartments seem to suffer from.

    The amp is certainly not un-useable. I just have played similar high powered combos and heads that are dead quiet in the same spot in the same room. While I'm thinking my Streamliner 900/Schroeder 1210 rig is perfect for my louder gigs, I'd like a "middle of the road" (300-500w) combo for medium gigs. After trying a TC 250-watt combo, a Carvin MB115, a GK MB115, a GKMB212, and a Hughes & Kettner Quantum 421 all in the same spot in the same room with multiple basses (active and passive), the only two that were suitably quiet were the GK MB115 (older silver one) and the Hughes and Kettner. Unfortunately I sold both. The GKMB115 I sold because it was only 200 watts and the Hughes I sold because it was 64 lbs and I'd prefer something 50 lbs or less (preferably 40ish or less)


     
  6. Sounds like you received a defective unit, maybe why the deal was so good (or possible damage in shipping)? If under warranty contact them for repair.
     
  7. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol Supporting Member

    I think it has nothing to do with amps being "digital" but with frequency response.
    You want something that behaves as a typical bass amp, ie severely cutting highs, as opposed to a modern, transparent amp, aka a glorified PA.
    The Streamliner falls into this category, for this reason hum doesn't stand out too much.
     
  8. fdeck

    fdeck Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 20, 2004
    Madison WI
    HPF Technology LLC
    There's no technical reason why a switchmode amp should be more noisy than a conventional amp. It all boils down to the particular design. AFAIK there was a production run of MB200 heads that had some hum associated with the wiring of the 1/8" aux input jack on the rear panel. The work-around for those amps is to plug something into the jack. I got my MB200 used, and honestly didn't even want to spend the few bucks to mail it back to GK for service, so I used a piece of a roofing nail cut down to an appropriate length. With that measure in place, the amp is as quiet as any other that I've owned.
     
  9. TimBosby

    TimBosby Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 19, 2004
    Omaha, NE, USA
    Hmm. Not defective, I'm sure it's fine. But just probably not fine for me.
    A shame too 'cause the silver-grill GK MB115 was quiet.

    I wonder about the Ibanez Promethean series?
    I'd love something kick-back/tilt-back.
     
  10. TimBosby

    TimBosby Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 19, 2004
    Omaha, NE, USA
    The Ibanez Promethean P5115K 15" 500 Watt bass combo sounds like EXACTLY what I need.
    500 watts, tilt back, under $700.

    But I'm almost positive it's class D (which may mean noise) and I cannot find the weight anywhere online for the life of me.
     
  11. john m

    john m Supporting Member

    Jan 15, 2006
    Unless your house has knob and tube wiring, the third prong should be "bonded" to the box in the wall, then the ground continuity is maintained by the jacket of the BX (armored) cable. This is for safety sake.

    An open equipment ground to an amp, although dangerous, will not cause noise. Ground loops (more than one path to earth) often do cause 60 cycle hum.
     
  12. tbirdsp

    tbirdsp

    Sep 18, 2012
    Omaha, NE
  13. xk49w

    xk49w

    Apr 13, 2008
    Is there noise with nothing plugged in and all controls set to minimum?
     
  14. nutdog

    nutdog when I'm a good dog they sometimes throw me a bone

    Feb 19, 2009
    in the dog house
    Not sure what you exactly mean by "but just sort of a whooshy background noise.... and very loud single cycle hum on my J basses" but is it something like this?



    That is the MB210 combo. Quite a hiss with the tweeter engaged.
     
  15. TimBosby

    TimBosby Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 19, 2004
    Omaha, NE, USA
    Sure is. Just that whooshy amp noise. Not terribly loud, but it's there.

    Nutdog, it's kinda like that, only it's not tweeter hiss, because it does the same thing with the tweeter on and off - no change - and even with every single knob turned all the way down, it still does it. :meh:

     
  16. nutdog

    nutdog when I'm a good dog they sometimes throw me a bone

    Feb 19, 2009
    in the dog house
    My 210 is quiet without the tweet. Makes me think yours may have a defect.
     
  17. With no instrument cable plugged in the amp should be quiet, maybe a slight hiss with all controls up. AC line noise could be an issue if there is no noise at another location. We had a laptop power supply make a floor vocal harmonizer unusable.

    Try a different circuit in the building? A line filter ("conditioner") may help with AC line noise.
     
  18. TimBosby

    TimBosby Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 19, 2004
    Omaha, NE, USA
    Maybe I should ask Musician's Friend to pay return shipping if it's defective. :meh:
     
  19. JimmyM

    JimmyM

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Do you crank the treble?
     
  20. agedhorse

    agedhorse Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 12, 2006
    Davis, CA (USA)
    Development Engineer-Mesa, Product Support-Genz Benz
    There is no reason at all for a properly designed amp of ANY class to be noisy. Either you have a defective amp, a problem elsewhere in your rig, or an ac power wiring fault (such as the ground connected to neutral outside of the main service bond, or the ground and neutral reversed.)
     

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