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First thoughts - iAMP300 v. LMII

Discussion in 'Amps, Mics & Pickups [DB]' started by macmrkt, Jun 21, 2007.


  1. macmrkt

    macmrkt Inactive

    Dec 4, 2002
    Had a chance to try the iAMP300 and the Markbass LMII heads using the Wizzy 10 as the reference cabinet. Used both DB (Cleveland/FC) and BG (Alembic 5). Just playing solo, but in a good sized lively room. Not much difference on BG but on DB...

    The iAMP300 had a fuller, darker, more acoustic and true tone on DB than the LMII. I like the LMII tone, but it's not a true one to my bass. Kind of electric sounding. Live band testing definately warranted. But if the results hold up...

    Hmmm....The LMII, till now, was my favorite DB head. Better by a tad to my ears (and using different cabinets many moons ago) than other great heads by WW and AI. And going into this trial, I expected the LMII to come out on top again. But I think this little 2 pound friend might set a new DB benchmark for me.
     
  2. ????? IAmp300 or Micro 300.

    I've seen a IAmp200 and IAmp350, not a IAmp300?????????
     
  3. Ric Vice

    Ric Vice Supporting Member

    Jul 2, 2005
    Olivette, Missouri
    I think that Martin is describing the Micro 300. The iAMP 350 is a different beast since it (I believe ) was a analog amplifier. Lots of folks
    actually prefer the sound of that amp to the newer 500's and 800's.

    Ric
     
  4. Wilbyman

    Wilbyman

    Sep 10, 2003
    Parkersburg, WV
    So Mac, would you say you prefer the hum of the Micro to the hiss of the LMII or vice versa? :p
     
  5. macmrkt

    macmrkt Inactive

    Dec 4, 2002
    I am referring to the Micro...
     
  6. tombowlus

    tombowlus If it sounds good, it is good Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 3, 2003
    North central Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    That sounds like a question someone from the Dharma Initiative would ask. :p
     
  7. macmrkt

    macmrkt Inactive

    Dec 4, 2002
    As Rasneesh Baba Bowlus once said, "I prefer the sound of one hand slapping."
     
  8. Melvin7822

    Melvin7822 Supporting Member

    May 11, 2004
    Broomfield, CO
    Does the LM II really throw a hissy fit?
     
  9. fdeck

    fdeck Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 20, 2004
    Madison WI
    HPF Technology LLC
    So... which one are you going to sell... checking the Classifieds...
     
  10. Hello again from EB land. It would not surprise me that heads designed to be more 'flat' would work a little better with DB. The LMII really shines with EB and a large 4ohm cab. While the tone to me is very transparant (i.e., it's very open, wide, and clean sounding), it's not particularly 'flat', if that makes any sense. It is capable of stunning volume, huge lows, and very, very sizzly treble if you want it... that's not the optimal profile I think of when considering a good DB sound, although with those powerful filters and EQ, I bet it can sound good with some cabs and instruments.

    I would not think a little Wizzy10 would really show what the LMII can do, since the LMII's primary strengths to me are a surprising low end ooomph, and a beautiful, crisp but still musical top end (i.e., 4K and up), and some quite aggressive mid growl when the amp is pushed.

    Regarding noise, for all practical purposes, the LMII is very, very quiet. However, if you have a cab with a tweeter, you can notice some very low level noise (a soft hiss) that is inherent in the power amp if you put your ear right up to the tweet (independent of the volume of the amp.. i.e., the hiss does not get louder as you turn it up). As soon as you get the amp to even low playing volumes, the signal to noise ratio is wonderful. However, given the capability of this amp the throw out a lot of high end, if you disengage the vintage speaker emulation circuit, crank the treble, and have a cab with an aggressive horn type tweeter... well, hiss you will hear:D

    Edit: I feel for you guys on the DB side regarding amplification. I remember bringing my Focus II to Ric Vice's house to A/B with a couple of different Walters. While the Focus ended up not being my thing on EB, it always was a solid performer... warm and mellow and organic. When we hooked up Ric's DB with Realist pickup, it was pure mud... no defintion, nothing above 1K, sloppy, slow... yuck. However, his particular bass with the Walter Woods and Realist is magic to my ears... articulate, woody, warm, but with lot's of crisp definition. Heads do interact with EB's.. with some working better than others with certain EB voicings... but MAN, I don't think I've ever experienced anything like that!!!! I can see where it would be very hard to develop general ratings and descriptions of amplification (heads and cabs) over here, since the instruments and pickups sound so massively different from one another and seem to strongly interact for the positive or negative with different amplification rigs. I guess when you then roll in all the impedance issues with DB pickups... whew!
     
  11. drurb

    drurb Oracle, Ancient Order of Rass Hattur; Mem. #1, EPC

    Apr 17, 2004
    You've hit the nail on the head, my friend! macmrkt was using a FC pickup. Now, the input impedance on a LM II is 0.5 Mohm and on the Micro 300, I suspect it is, at least 1 Mohm (anybody know the spec?). The difference in input impedances alone could account for a substantial portion of the sonic differences reported. The other interaction that must be taken into account is between the particular speaker, in this case the Wizzy 10, and the amplifier. How the reactive speaker load interacts with the output stages of the amp can also affect tonal character. Finally, I am aware of (but dismayed by) the fact that some manufacturers do, indeed, "voice" their amps. This all makes it very difficult to generalize across different setups. It is, however, the case that the dominant "voice" is almost always the speaker system. It's been that way since the dawn of hi-fi. One can expect the acoustic signature of the Wizzy 10 (or any other cab, for that matter) to shine through across a multitude of setups.
     
  12. Wilbyman

    Wilbyman

    Sep 10, 2003
    Parkersburg, WV
    LOL, nice...
     
  13. tombowlus

    tombowlus If it sounds good, it is good Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 3, 2003
    North central Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    This is one reason why I really like the Summit TD-100 as part of a DB rig. That variable input impedance knob is da bomb! :cool:
     
  14. drurb

    drurb Oracle, Ancient Order of Rass Hattur; Mem. #1, EPC

    Apr 17, 2004
    I've wondered about that. With a piezo pickup, once you get the impedance over 1 Mohm, it hardly seems to matter. I'd like to hear more more about your experience with variable impedance.
     
  15. tombowlus

    tombowlus If it sounds good, it is good Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 3, 2003
    North central Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    Well, the differences certainly more prevalent at the extreme settings, but even in the middle seetings, if you sweep it as you play, it does subtly change the tone. We are not talking major changes, but rather more minor adjustments to the character of the tone. Nevertheless, at the Belchfest, we all found it to be a very useful and addictive tone control.

    Tom.
     
  16. fdeck

    fdeck Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 20, 2004
    Madison WI
    HPF Technology LLC
    A variable impedance knob would function like a variable frequency high pass filter, with a 6 dB/octave slope.
     
  17. drurb

    drurb Oracle, Ancient Order of Rass Hattur; Mem. #1, EPC

    Apr 17, 2004

    Indeed, but once the impedance is high enough to place the high-pass cutoff low enough (i.e., below the lowest frequencies produced by the bass), then there will be no meaningful change produced by increasing it further-- except to admit those pesky infrasonics. Yes?
     
  18. FWIW, at the aformentioned Belchfest, changing the input impedence on the Summit unit also affected the highs. Presence and/or brittleness varied greatly with changes to that knob. It may have been the way the circuit was made or whatever, but it was doing more than a high pass.
     
  19. drurb

    drurb Oracle, Ancient Order of Rass Hattur; Mem. #1, EPC

    Apr 17, 2004
    As fdeck mentioned, the knob would act as a variable high-pass filter. Depending upon the particulars, such changes could affect how you perceive the remaining high frequencies.
     
  20. fdeck

    fdeck Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 20, 2004
    Madison WI
    HPF Technology LLC
    True. And I would rather have a steeper cutoff for the infrasonics.

    One thing is, unlike a purposely designed high pass filter is that the variable impedance knob doesn't have a calibrated frequency scale unless you know the exact capacitance of the pickup.
     
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

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    Jan 24, 2021

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