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Do I need a bigger amp? Markbass question

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Jasonbass32, Jul 31, 2012.

  1. Jasonbass32


    Jul 9, 2012
    I recently tried out and tested about 5 different combinations of Markbass cabinets before I finally decided and purchased 2 of the Travelver 102P cabs. I stacked them vertically as suggested and the sound is great. I am powering them with a LittleMark II which results in 250 watts per cab (each cab is 8 ohms). Each cab is rated at 400 watts. It seems like I have to really push the amp (gain around noon and master around 11:00 to get the stage volume I needed for my past gig). I previously used the Little Mark II to drive a 2 x 12 Hartke cab (2200 pro, 4 ohms) and I rarely, if ever, turned the master up past 9:00 to 10:00. Maybe I need more power to push the 2 cabs. Since I upgraded the cabs, I was considering upgrading the amp as well, maybe the 800 watt tube Markbass head; not sure.

    What Markbass amp would you guys recommend to push the 2 traveller 102P's I have.

  2. nitromullet


    Mar 29, 2012
    Seattle, WA
    Sorry, I don't have the answer to your question, but you might have an answer to mine...

    I have the exact same setup as you, minus one 102p cab. A single 102p with a LMII isn't very loud IMO, and I'm considering adding second one or just looking into different (probably bigger) options. Does adding the second 102p make a big difference?
  3. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups

    Sorry for yelling ;) but knob settings are 100% immaterial. Some amps give it up early on the dial, some don't, and anything from gain setting to how hot your bass is will affect it.
  4. You are still at less than half of what's available on the master. The real question you should be asking is does the rig sound good. Seems like you've still got some room to get louder if you need to, so take knob position out of the equation.

    So... Does it sound good?
  5. Jasonbass32


    Jul 9, 2012
    I actually prefer the sound I get when using just the 1 cab, which I use on smaller gigs. 2 cabs makes a difference in volume but for some reason I don't like the overall sound as much. Stacked horizontally the sound is very bassy, stacked vertically is clearer and better for hearing yourself. I played the 410 at GC today and thought it sounded better then my rig. I went with 2 x 210's to be scalable and more portable. Overall, as much as I love my LM Ii, I am not in love with any of the markbass cabs I tested out. I do want to try out the markbass 112h cab at some point.
  6. 4StringShooter

    4StringShooter Banned

    Jun 26, 2011
    London, Ontario, Canada
    GBX Member #1
    If it helps at all, when I ran my SVT CL, I used to set the Gain at 7. That way, I didnt really have to turn up the Master past 5.
    The volume on the Bass itself was set "as needed" for volume.
  7. Jasonbass32


    Jul 9, 2012
    I know above I said the sound is great but it's probably more like really good. Maybe I just expected a little more for what I spent. That's why I was thinking maybe I needed a little more power.
  8. Bassamatic

    Bassamatic keepin' the beat since the 60's Supporting Member

    For lowest system noise - gain should be set as high as possible before clipping. Mine runs usually around 3 o'clock on my MB amp. You have a lot of level left.
  9. nitromullet


    Mar 29, 2012
    Seattle, WA
    Thanks for the feedback. I do know there are others on TB that aren't huge fans of Markbass cabinets, and most prefer the ones with the horn instead of the peizo tweeter. Then again, all the cabs with the horn are generally bigger than those with the peizo.

    The Aguilar GS 112 gets pretty positive feedback on here as well, and might be worth checking out if you're looking to 12 inchers. I was actually considering one of these before I got my 102p, but I wasn't able to find one locally to hear. Markbass shopping is nice because you can listen to almost all of their cabinets at any GC.
  10. The sound is bassy with the flat stack because your ears aren't down at your knees. You may like to reduce some high mids and treble from your vertical stack to get it to sound more like the single.
  11. newbold


    Sep 21, 2008
    You've gone from pushing power through 2 drivers to 4. I'd expect nothing less(/more) from most gear out there. If it sounds great and you can get your desired volume then you're good 2 go, bud.

    When you're feeling that the head is chugging along at 3 o'clock then revisit this thread.

    At that point you might just want to get a new head so you can use your LM2 as a backup when it's back from repair.
  12. BogeyBass


    Sep 14, 2010
    You would only need more power if you were unable to reach the level you need to reach.

    Seems like you can so what is the worry?

    10" speakers have much less sensitivity than 12's or 15's

    a 2x10 on a good day might hit 94 to 96dB
    so a 4x10 would only do 98dB
    So yes they are a little power hungry

    some single 15's can do 98 to 99dB no problem.
    so a pair would be closer to actual 101dB even 103 for some.

    markbass 101 dB rating on the traveler is a absolute lie.

    But yes a single high power 2x12 at 98 to 99dB can keep up with a 4x10 no problem.

    depending on how loud you wanna be 3 to 4dB of sensitivity can save up to 80 to 150 watts of needed power.

    spending well over 1000 bucks for the Marky cabs,
    the expensive Genz Benz look like good buy, get lucky can find them used.

    500 watts is more than enough power, speakers with better sensitivity can help out, otherwise if you can get loud enough, have a nice matching rig...why worry? rock on.
  13. Jasonbass32


    Jul 9, 2012
    Thanks for all the feeedback. I think I am going to try out a little mark 800 tube on my set up and see how it compares to the little mark 2.
  14. MarTONEbass


    Jun 19, 2009
    Norton, MA
    I might get flamed for this, but IMHO and IME the LMT 800 sounds like an @$$ on fire. Way tubby in the low end an difficult to wrangle, you may be surprised how different it is from the LMII. You might try the 800 watt non-tube model.
  15. No flame, but I'll humbly disagree - I went from a LMIII to the LMTube800 (mainly to have dual inputs with individual gain dials as I run keyboards through it as well) and have been very, very happy with it. I generally stay pretty close to the solid-state preamp (about 8:00-9:00 on the preamp mix dial), with the VLE up around 11:00-12:00, the VPF nearly off, and the Bass eq down slightly. It does have LOTS of low end, so keeping the VPF and Bass down is often necessary - depending on the room.
  16. MarkA

    MarkA In the doghouse. Supporting Member

    Sep 26, 2008
    Try putting a single 2x10 on top of a table or chair. I suspect that it will sound different to you than when set on the floor. You might find some EQ adjustment per Downunderwonder's suggestion helpful. I echo JimmyM's comment about the knobs, as well. I own an CMD121P (the little combo with the 12" + piezo) and have used it both as a combo and once or twice disconnected the internal speaker and used it to drive external cabs. I have not pushed it to clipping in either setting, but I understand that, when it does clip, it will be obvious and ugly. If it clips like my GK MB200 does (which I did clip, on one occsion, while driving a big cab at a loud jam), you'll have no problem telling that it's happening.

    Is anything in the behavior of the cabs or the head (aside from having to turn it up higher) causing you to think you're nearing the limits of either? If you need more juice, you might try a used Markbass SD800 -- people have commented on a hole in the midrange with some cabs with that head, but I never had any problems with the one I used to own (never tried it with the Markbass cabs, though). It is a monster, too -- never had that one near clipping. An SD1200 is more power, and supposedly voiced tighter than the 800, but pricey new. Didn't like the Tube 800 in the store, but that doesn't mean too much. Some people love them.

    As for the piezo tweeter -- I love the sound of my combo *most of the time* but there are some rooms/acoustics which, I feel, show the limits of the piezo. I'd like to hear it with a horn and compare.

    EDIT: Didn't specifically dislike the Tube 800 in the store so much as feel the tube didn't do much -- again, though, this was a quick try in a noisy store.
  17. Biggbass


    Dec 14, 2011
    Planet Earth
    i add a 15 inch cab to my 2x10 when I need more. works great.
  18. derrico1

    derrico1 Supporting Member

    Apr 12, 2005
    Charlottesville, VA
    Which is to say that your new cabs are now the bottleneck in your rig. Are the speakers starting to reach their limits (compressing or even distorting) with the LMII? If so, pushing even more power through them with a bigger head won't get you anything but repair bills.

    If your rig were unable to reach gig volume, more--or more efficient--speakers would be the answer.

    As Jimmy delicately observes, the position of the amp's gain & master volume knobs can't be used to calculate output power. More than that, though, if the LMII is getting you to gig volume, the position of its knobs seems like a non-problem.
  19. Bradass


    Oct 17, 2011
    Tallahassee, FL
    Also no flame, to each his own, but I strongly disagree. The tube in the LMT800 is pretty tiny anyways, I A/Bed the LM800 and the tube version I eventually bought and I didn't perceive much of a difference at all in the lower register, just a little added crunch to the high-mids when I dig in. My rig definitely can get boomy but a little cut of the lows on my bass's EQ and that's solved.

    I will say the OP will probably have some luck if he goes to the 800, in either version. That extra wattage makes a world of difference IMO, and if he's doing 2 8-ohm cabs, that's pulling the full 800 watts. Very nice...
  20. kraigo


    Jun 21, 2007
    Minneapolis, MN
    Going from 500 watts to 800 watts won't buy you much of an actual volume increase.


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