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Field Report - Markbass 104HF - MB500 Fusion - Tone Hammer 500

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Killed_by_Death, Dec 28, 2015.

  1. Killed_by_Death

    Killed_by_Death Snaggletooth Inactive

    I drove through the fog and rain to GC and Sam Ash tonight.

    First I plugged in the MB500 Fusion that I returned to them last week.
    It sounded fine, so I'm guessing it's COLD state is why it sounded FUBAR in my house last week.
    I took it straight from the UPS depot to my Markbass 2x10, and it was distorted all to hell, even with the gain low.

    Anyway, I couldn't get it to go gritty hardly at all on the Markbass 104HF (4x10).
    I realized that when I thought the MarkBass head there didn't have grit, it wasn't the head, but the cabinet.
    If you want a cabinet that will not break up easily, that's your huckleberry!

    Took the GK over to some Acoustic Neo cabinets, and plugged it into a 2x10, turned off the tweeter and started mucking around with the settings on the amp.
    It was ok, definitely broke up better on the Acoustic, but still sounded kind of farty like SS does.

    Then I went over to Sam Ash and their Tone Hammer 500 was plugged into an Aguilar cabinet.
    I turned the tweeter off, and started fooling with it. It sounded GREAT!

    I was about to record a clip of it, when some dude started wailing on a guitar near me, so that didn't happen.

    I wish I could have taken the Aguilar cab to GC and see if it makes the GK sound any better.
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2016
    Mr_O'B and RoadRanger like this.
  2. bassdrummer

    bassdrummer Supporting Member

    Jul 3, 2006
    Visalia, California
    I've been reading your posts and following your quest for tone...I recall from a couple of your posts that you recently had your ears professionally cleaned out, and then you noticed a harsher tone from your rig. I remember after I had my doctor clean out my ears that everything sounded abnormally harsh for a while. Driving home I was startled by the sound of my shirt collar rubbing against the headrest as I turned my head to look over my shoulder. Sounded like someone was sitting behind me ripping Velcro apart! This weird phenomenon gradually went away and things started sounding normal again. Maybe something similar happened for you...who knows. Maybe it's some sort of auditory processing adjustment that we go through when suddenly all this new range of frequencies come flooding in through our newly cleaned out ear canals...and our brains have to recalibrate how to interpret this new range of auditory data, especially in the higher frequencies....so you might perceive a particular tone from an amp and cab as too harsh, too bright, too tinny, too aggressive, etc. But then maybe after a while that same amp and cab might not sound anywhere near as bad as it seemed to before...might even sound good, or great. I hope you find the right amp and cab for your needs. My experience has been mainly with GK gear....I am really happy with my MB Fusion 800 and NEO 212-II. I have also owned and loved the MB200 and MB Fusion 500. I only wish I hadn't sold them, but I needed the cash at the time. Hope you don't give up on GK!
    Killed_by_Death likes this.
  3. Killed_by_Death

    Killed_by_Death Snaggletooth Inactive

    I really thought the MB500 Fusion would be the answer, tube preamp and SS power. I even ran my tube amp's pre into the MB500 and got good results.
    The GK is actually too loud for my needs. Just barely cracked open at GC today it was pretty loud through a 2x10.
    The Tone Hammer is obviously not as loud.

    The sensory perception thing reminded me of how Anne Rice describes the transition from human to vampire. Her vampires have extra sensory perception.
    I am back to normal now, but things are still louder. I was even noticing on the drive tonight that I don't need to turn the volume up on the stereo as loud as I used to.
  4. bassdrummer

    bassdrummer Supporting Member

    Jul 3, 2006
    Visalia, California
    Glad to "hear" that things are back to normal now! Vampires...:roflmao: that's awesome. When I had my ears cleaned out I wasn't playing bass much, but was mainly playing drums. Ouch....the harsh hi hat....thank God for earplugs.

    So are you sold on the Aguilar TH and cab?
  5. mouthmw


    Jul 19, 2009
    Give up on those sissy micro amps man, you've got Lemmy on your profile pic for gods sake!
    Grab a real amp, big iron.
    Down_Low and Jim C like this.
  6. Killed_by_Death

    Killed_by_Death Snaggletooth Inactive

    I will do that, if you're going to pay for it!
    NigelD and mouthmw like this.
  7. Nightman

    Nightman If it ain't low, it's got to go! Supporting Member

    Jun 3, 2013
    Atlanta, GA
    I am a church musician and for the past two years or so I've been playing my various basses through a GK MB800 Fusion (previously used my boat anchor Hartke 3500) and the sound was great! But I bought the Aguilar 500 Tone Hammer as a backup head and played it today at service and all I got were complements from folks on the sound, and because of the music selection I played my Lakland with flats (the less expensive bass I own that I was going to sell)! Of course, further experiences with the Tone Hammer are due with the other basses, but for the venue I play in this is the bass amp.
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2016
    Killed_by_Death likes this.
  8. Jim C

    Jim C I believe in the trilogy; Fender, Stingray, + G&L Supporting Member

    Nov 29, 2008
    Bethesda, MD
    I had a TH500 and currently have a GB SM9.2.
    For me, 2 very different sounding amps
    No question that if you’re looking for grit, the TH is the right direction IMO.
    Killed_by_Death likes this.
  9. Mr_O'B


    Feb 22, 2015

    Super Freak, I give you big props for pursuing your dream rig! Keep the demos and reviews coming!
    swamp_bass and Killed_by_Death like this.
  10. Slpbass81


    Dec 16, 2010
    Orlando, FL
    Endorsing: GHS Strings
    I wonder how the Mesa subway compares to the th500 and gk800 fusion
  11. Killed_by_Death

    Killed_by_Death Snaggletooth Inactive

    I didn't really consider the Mesa, because it's twice the size, and almost twice the weight.
    alaskaleftybass likes this.
  12. swamp_bass

    swamp_bass I love it when a groove comes together

    Nov 20, 2013
    North Cackalacky
    You're approaching this with patience and determination, which is the way to get what you want and not end up with regrets and having to sell/buy all over again down the road. It's been interesting following your journey; keep us posted and happy hunting, Sir.
  13. TMARK


    Jan 10, 2012
    Richmond VA
    The D800 is the same size as the TH500. A pound more in weight.
  14. Killed_by_Death

    Killed_by_Death Snaggletooth Inactive

    Do they make a D350 that's the same size as the TH350?
  15. TMARK


    Jan 10, 2012
    Richmond VA
    Is this rhetorical? If not, I don't think so. Wasn't it about the TH500? I thought that was what you were responding too.
  16. alaskaleftybass

    alaskaleftybass Will Hanbury, Jr. Supporting Member

    Mar 21, 2012
    Sitka, Alaska
    I appreciate your reviews. Although I'm still playing live, I'm kind of in your boat that I'm not needing something that powerful like I used to. But I do want the power in those rare outdoor shows or larger rooms. Have you had a chance to compare the MB500 vs. the MB500 Fusion? Thank you for the comment on the Mesa. That helped me eliminate it from my list. Some people have compared the difference between the TH and MB's is the TH amps are more Fenderish, old school, where the MB's are more "modern" whatever that is. I think I understand. What do you think?

    By the way, I bought an AudioKineses H1203 from @DukeLeJeune and it's an incredible piece of equipment. I used a GK MB200 and the H1203 at a loud club last weekend with a full band and that little cab held its own! 25 pounds of pure monster tone! So now I'm on a similar quest for the right head for the cab. I am leaning towards GK.

    Killed_by_Death likes this.
  17. BigDanT

    BigDanT Supporting Member

    Aug 26, 2011
    Which H&K head is it you've got there? Nice rig by the way.
    Killed_by_Death likes this.
  18. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

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