1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  

EBS TD650 vs. Markbass LMII

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by deBont Amps, Mar 13, 2008.

  1. deBont Amps

    deBont Amps Commercial User

    Apr 10, 2007
    deBont Amps
    This might seem an ought comparison, but here goes anyway...
    The thing is, I own an EBS TD650. Great amp and all, but I'm really looking into my sound and changing stuff around these past couple of weeks (and many posts already on TB :p).

    The EBS is a great amp, great sound and fantastic features,...BUT;
    I would like better and sweeter mids and it sometimes sounds a bit too 'Marcus Miller' (with all respect, cause I think he's great). Almost sterile clean and scooped mid. I rarely slap, never use the tube in the pre-amp, never use the brite-control, almost never use the drive and don't run it through 2ohm like it is really supposed to so I only get about 400 to 450 watts. So it's basicly a very expensive amp that is only half used!
    I hear great things about the Markbass LMII. Specially with the Epifani UL410 which I'm considering.

    But how do they compare? Can you compare them at all? Are they even in the same league (Markbass is a third of the price of the EBS)? Is it worth it to sell the EBS and spend the 'leftover money' on e.g. an Epifani cab (which are expensive in Holland)? Any info is very welcome.

    P.S. I play a Lakland JO4
  2. I used to own a TD650, and now use a variety of MB heads. As you say, the TD650 is a great head, but if you are running it at 4ohms, the LMII will be significantly louder (primarily due to the more even mid voicing, but also it has a touch more headroom), punchier, and have a lot of the high treble 'Marcus' sizzle that many of us love with the EBS TD650 and HD350. This high treble sizzle can be easily controlled by the wonderful passive treble roll-off control (the VLE).

    The main advantage of the TD650 is the drive control, which has tube and SS modes, in case you want some distortion in your tone, and it has a GREAT limiter/compressor on-board, and a first class DI.

    The Markbass LMII is about 1/4 the size, has more power into 4ohms, much more powerful tone controls (the variable contour filter VPF is very usable versus the too extreme 'on/off' contour switch with the EBS heads), and I greatly prefer the two nicely voiced mid controls (low and high) to the single semi-parametric mid.

    The downside of the LMII is the DI is only switchable pre to post EQ internally, and some have had compatibility problems with certain boards. I have mine set to pre EQ, and have not had a problem running to a variety of boards, but I would still call the DI in the LMII a weakness.

    Also, the LMII will not run safely at 2ohms, and the TD650 is really designed to run at 2ohms, and from what I understand, kicks pretty darn well at that impedance.

    I love a bright tone, and do move toward a Marcus type tone on certain gigs when I use my Celinder, and the LMII (and F1) delivers. It's a wonderful match with the Epifani 310UL or a 4ohm 410UL, or the 2 x 112UL stack.

    IMO! I'd make the swap in a big way since you don't use the 2ohm capability or the drive control anyway.. the LMII sounds very good with J Bass type instruments to my ear.

    Edit: If he doesn't show up here, TBer Vic made a similar change from an EBS HD350 to an LMII... so PM him for his thoughts also.
  3. bugbass


    Apr 8, 2004
    I used to own a TD650 too, and as KJung says the 650 has some nice features, but IMO the LMII is a better amp when it comes to tone, volume(in 8/4 ohms)veight and price. I will never look back
  4. deBont Amps

    deBont Amps Commercial User

    Apr 10, 2007
    deBont Amps
    I was kinda hoping you would reply ;). I've read some great posts/reviews/replies concerning the type of gear and sound I seem to like as well (you also replied to one of my first posts in my new 'tone' quest).
    I hear you when it comes to the compressor and DI. I think they're very good and usefull. On the other hand, with the money I earn with selling the 650, I can buy a new Markbass LMII, secondhand EBS compressor stompbox and separate DI!
    I'm not going to miss the drivecontrol. I like a cleaner sound. I'm not very keen on the 'Miller sizzle', but that might have to do with the tweeters in my EBS Neo cabs (plus it can be controlled you tell me).
    But all that aside, you really had me at Headroom. That is one thing I miss most in my current setup.

    Looks like I'm already talking myself into bying one :p. I'll PM Vic to be sure as you suggested.
  5. Cool! Remember, I still think your volume and low end issue are those two small cabs, so both the LMII with a larger 4ohm cab AND the TD650 with a larger 4ohm cab is going to give you more oomph.

    However, I do find the LMII to sound louder given it's nice even mid voicing and tight low end, so I think you will dig it. It's in the same 'tone universe' as the EBSTD650 to my ear, but better in many ways if you are using a single 4ohm cab or smaller 8 ohms cabs.

  6. deBont Amps

    deBont Amps Commercial User

    Apr 10, 2007
    deBont Amps
    That's very reassuring. Thanks

    The smaller cabs are definitely the main issue and the reason I started the whole -"do I actually like my sound that much?"- thing :D.
    But by selling the TD650, I can afford a Epifani 4x10, which cost about $2000,- here in Holland!
    Two questions remain;
    1. Is the Markbass LMK the same, tone-wise, as the LMII
    2. You talked about the ground lift NOT being present on the balanced line-out. But on the markbass site, it shows one on the back. Does this mean there are different versions ('cause LM stands for Little Mark right :eyebrow::confused:??)
  7. Tony G

    Tony G

    Jan 20, 2006
    Yes, LMII stands for Little Mark II around here. The LMII shown on the website does have a ground lift switch on the back. I can't remember if there is one on the back of my LMII as I've never had a need to use it yet (if it is there), but I'll look tonight. Maybe Ken was mistaken?

    EDIT: Just checked mine at home, and yes there is the ground lift switch as shown in the picture on the markbass site.
  8. My mistake... never had to use it... forgot it was there! I fixed my post. Thanks.
  9. deBont Amps

    deBont Amps Commercial User

    Apr 10, 2007
    deBont Amps
    Well,... I couldn't help myself and bought a LMII today...
    Didn't have a whole lot of time today to test and listen, but first impressions are fantastic. MY GOD this thing is loud!!! I couldn't sit close in front of my EBS neo 112 and 110 with the master volume at only 9 o'clock. It's punchie, has great mids and doesn't have the harsh highs that I dislike in my TD650. But again, these are first impressions.

    I still have my TD650, so I will A-B them the next couple of days and, offcourse, post my findings here on TB.

    P.S. The absence of external switches for the pre/post EQ line-out and parrallel/serial effects loop is probably VERY easy to overcome with some minor technical modifications.
  10. Rob Mancini

    Rob Mancini Guest

    Feb 26, 2008
    Good call! I love my LM2. Best solid state head on the market IMHO. On the other hand, I haven't tried the Shuttle or Thunderfunk yet, but I will in 5 years when I'm in the market for another SS amp ;)
  11. Cool! Many of us just love the Markbass stuff. I have the instructions for the very simple internal jumper adjustments to change the DI to pre EQ or to change the effects loop status... no tools needed other than a screw driver to take the top off.

    PM your email if you would like me to send the PDF file with the instructions and diagram.

  12. Slaymus

    Slaymus Supporting Member

    Jan 23, 2004
    Thread revival !

    I went friday to a local music store, looking for a clean sounding amp.
    So there was a TD660 and an LMTube.
    The Markbass was a LOT louder and punchier at 8 and 4 ohms.
    The overall sound was also warmer than the EBS. I was very impressed by this head.
    the effect of the tube was only noticeable when blend 100%
    and with the input gain set high. The sound was a little bit more compressed and with the gain set higher, I could get a nice little breakup. So, a very subtle effect and I would greatly prefer the flexibility of effect pedals for these kind of tone shaping.

    However, I couldn't get the hi end shimmer, like 10K+ of the EBS
    with the Markbass, wich was really the only advantage of the ESB.

    NOTE : There was two 2X10 4ohms cabinet (for a 2ohms 410)
    The cabs were mismatch (markbass and eden), so the sound was not very balanced, BUT, the EBS really came alive : it was as punchy and loud as the Markbass, with the very high end shimmer, sizzle (10k+). Very nice, but worth 2000$ compared to the 800$ Markbass ? For myself, no !! And it's not very flexible to have a head that only open up at 2 ohms.

    Would the F1 and F500 could get a just little more 10k+ sizzle, zing than the LMTube (LMIII) ?

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.