Experience with Mark III bass head

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by sixstringbass, Sep 26, 2005.

  1. Is the mark III bass head a good quality bass amp head? I found one for real cheap.
  2. If it works, which it probably does, it's usually a good buy. The old Peaveys are rugged and reliable. You may need to spray some cleaner/lube into the pots if they crackle, but otherwise it'll rumble for years.

    If there are problems, they're easy to diagnose and easy to fix, Peavey has the schematics available and parts are cheap. Peavey customer service has been superb on the rare occassion I've had to contact them.
  3. urje


    Sep 13, 2005
    i've had one for a few years, very reliable indeed. loud enough too, and goes down to 2ohms iirc. i just didn't like the sound too much.
  4. To hijack this thread: what's the difference between the III and IV? I really like the IV and from what I know: the IV has some more power and a bright switch..


    Peaveys are reliable, good, strong and loud. The tone however needs to be 'yours'.
  5. The III & IV are the same power output, and very similar in most respects. They are both two channel amps, but they use slightly different approaches in how they let you plug in and do channel switching with the footswitch (if you have one). Also, each channel has switches for bright and eq assign. The III uses mini toggle switches while the IV uses push/push "chicklet" switches. Beyond that, very close. I've got a IV.
  6. I had the Mark III, but it was different from what's described above. It was 1 channel, 150 watts, 7-band graphic EQ with hi and lo shelving, pre and post gain... effects loop, that was about it. Pretty basic, but it was very dependable and lasted me about 5 years (it was at least 10 years old when I bought it).
  7. pickles

    pickles Supporting Member

    Mar 23, 2000
    Ventura, CA
    Thats the kind I had for years and years as well. Dropped it, kocked it over, played it in the rain, you name it, it just kept pumping. At 150 watts its not really enough power to keep up with a drum kit unless you've got the worlds most effiecient cab. Sounds fine, just basic solid state sound.
  8. Joey Jo Jo & Pickles,

    The 150 watt Mark III you're thinking of was the early '90s model, that was part of the then current Mark III, VI, and VIII series. The original Mark III "Bass" model amp was from the late seventies into the early '80s, and was a descendant of the original "Bass" model from the very early seventies that had two channels and a 6-band rotary eq section and "slope" control (I just saw a band recently whose bass player was still using one of these!). I had one of the early '90s model Mark IIIs, as well as a Mark VIII XP. I do still have my very good condition Mark IV as well, which is a very good sounding, versatile, and quiet amp, although kinda large for its output. If anyone's interested, there's a music store in LaPorte, IN called Roxy Music, that has a good condition Mark IV for sale, at least as of two weeks ago.
  9. Yes, I have one of the Series 400 "the Bass" models with the 6 band EQ, 2 channels, fuzz/distortion, and slope. Nice and still going strong, though a tad underpowered by today's standards, and like you said a bit heavy and big for its relatively modest 210 watt output (into 2 ohms).
  10. I think that could be considered the "Mark II" (there was one "Bass" model before it, with very basic cosmetics). I had one of those (briefly) in the early '80s, although I was always having trouble with it.

    When the first Mark III "Bass" was introduced, besides the updated look and slider-type six band eq, the output changed (thankfully) to 210 watts RMS at 4 ohms, and a whopping 300 watts at 2 ohms, quite impressive for the times (and was the same power section in the ever-favorite Combo 300 and a few of the PA heads as well). Only thing that bested that in Peavey's line was the F800B, which I think was a 400 watt head. Those are quite rare, I think. I've never seen one being used anywhere. They competed with amps like the Sunn Coliseum and an Acoustic model (maybe the 320?).
  11. orskard


    Mar 17, 2004
    ive got the IV, i bough it off ebay for 210 bucks. Its broken now since snow got all over it at a gig on the way in. Did something to the insides. Didnt work for a good 5 months. Plugged it in a week or two ago and if i plug in to the effects loop in, it works fine, the instrument input A is a little fuzzy. So it seems to be fixing it self, maybe in another 5 months it will be fine again. I really like that thing. It was a beast. Seemed like it was overly big. Wider than my skb rack and pretty heavey too. For its age, being made in 81 if i can recall, this amp is a real good first amp. I got mine because i wanted something that was a workhouse, and a cheap workhouse.

    Sad part is, the show before it died, i finally after 2 years got THE sound. Then it fried, or what ever it did.

    I ran it into a delta avatar 2x10. 4 ohms
  12. I've got the schematics and owners manual for mine, as well as the earlier variation. Both are labelled "the Bass" (and on the back of the amp both say Series 400). The first variation, (on the schematics labelled as version A), didn't have the channel-switching inputs and the slope knob was on the left side. My version is Version B on their schematic. The power amps were identical, rated 210 watts into 2 ohms, the only difference was in the preamp section with the provisions on the later model for Channel Switching.

    The Peavey site doesn't list a Mark II in their Manuals search engine, but they do have mine under "The Bass". However, my faded brain cells have a vague recollection of maybe, just maybe, seeing an amp like mine labelled as a Mark II--maybe overseas??

    I'd like to see a schematic for the Mark III version to see how they got their higher power rating.

    p.s. Mine's been solid as a rock, maybe 15 years ago I changed the output transistors, otherwise it's been very reliable. I carry it as a backup amp.

  13. Amps don't fix themselves....why don't you spend a few dollars and take it to an amp tech? They are reasonable heads for the money, so even if it costs $100 to fix it'd be worth it IMHO.