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Focus vs Markbass LM II

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by B String, Mar 28, 2006.


  1. B String

    B String Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2002
    Los Angeles
    Has anyone done a head to head review with the Focus
    and the Markbass LM II yet? These are close to the same
    weight and power. Do they sound similar? I'm not so sure
    the Focus is as good an electric bass amp as it is for
    upright bass.
    Anyone check out these two heads????
     
  2. pondus

    pondus

    Mar 28, 2006
    I just bought an LM II last Friday. Fits in my laptop bag just perfectly with all the cables, and I love biking with it along with my gig bag. Don't know what Focus is, but at $600, what could possibly be wrong with the LM II ?
     
  3. Wilbyman

    Wilbyman

    Sep 10, 2003
    Parkersburg, WV
    Bueller....Bueller....Bueller...
     
  4. I tried the Markbass LMK about half a year ago. This one is more colored than the Focus. Some like it, some don't.
    Because I do quite some upright together with the build-in effects of the Focus I chose the latter without trying. Here in Europe it's hard to get hold on AI.
    So now I got the Focus 2R series III for about three months. The funny thing is that lately I only play my BG's. For these instruments the Focus is perfect to my taste. Much power on the low end. A bit thin on the high end. But this is easily corrected with the eq and my Aural Exciter 204.
    Now I ordered the Schroeder 1212 light cabinet. Can't wait ..... :hyper:
     
  5. dave_bass5

    dave_bass5

    May 28, 2004
    London, UK.
    I cant comment on the Focus (my girlfriend has a Ford Focus ;-) but i have just traded in my ABM for a MB SA450. i found the MB to be very clear sounding compared to the ABM. it was like taking the wool out of my ears. i play it through a 1210 and its a very nice, solid sound with loads of bottom.
    I have some live recordings of me playing my Jazz through the rig if you want to hear them. just drop me an email address
     
  6. macmrkt

    macmrkt Banned

    Dec 4, 2002
    I had the Focus I and have several of the new Markbass head. I also did a demo last month of the new Focus with my Markbass LMII. The Focus is warmer and more colored. The Markbass is more nuetral. I prefer the Markbass sound by a good margin as it lets me really hear my bass (and I like what my basses sound like!) That doesn't mean the Focus is bad, it's one of the best heads out there. The Markbass also feels better built, is considerably more powerful in the real world, and of course, is less money. My comments apply to DB and BG.
     
  7. Wilbyman

    Wilbyman

    Sep 10, 2003
    Parkersburg, WV
    I kind of like that warm articulate Focus sound. I'm kind of weird though. Would you say either one sounds sweeter or more refined?

    W
     
  8. macmrkt

    macmrkt Banned

    Dec 4, 2002
    I thought the couple of WW heads I had were actually sweeter and more refined than the Focus. Then I tried the Markbass and finally felt I'd 'arrived'. I now hear my bass without any added color. That also means that all the detail, richness and nuance come through clearly, both of the instrument and my playing.
     
  9. dave_bass5

    dave_bass5

    May 28, 2004
    London, UK.
    +1000000

    Only problem i now have is that i have to play better ;-(
     
  10. B String

    B String Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2002
    Los Angeles
    I'm also interested in tone shaping. The Focus has none.
    If you turn the bass knob, it gets a bit darker but not
    much booty. Can the Markbass get some booty going
    like the Eden etc? Do the tone knobs really work or are
    they more subtle like the Focus? I would probably get an
    Eden if I could get the clarity from it. Its harder to get it
    through the mix, but I do love being able to dail in some
    big thick booty on the Eden. Thats some of what I'm
    looking for with the Markbass LM II. Anyone??
     
  11. macmrkt

    macmrkt Banned

    Dec 4, 2002
    I use my Markbass heads flat. But I did fool with the VPF and VLE controls and they made a noticeable and interesting change...pretty much what their website says to expect.
     
  12. B String

    B String Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2002
    Los Angeles
    Have you ever turned any of the tone knobs just to see
    what they do? On most amps I've owned, if you give the
    bass knob (for instance) a turn, there can be a large effect
    on the sound. With the Focus, you really need to love the
    amp flat because the tone controls don't do too much. Still,
    a very nice amp, maybe not so much for pop music. The
    Markbass seems like a similar type amp and I don't want to
    end up with the same thing I have now, with little tonal
    flexablility. I thought there were more of these amps out
    being used already.
     
  13. macmrkt

    macmrkt Banned

    Dec 4, 2002
    Never really turned the knobs. I've been running only BG lately so if I need an adjustment, I've been using the active controls inside the bass. My next gig is Monday - I'll try the controls then.
     
  14. B String

    B String Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2002
    Los Angeles
    Thanks much. I'll be waiting right here for your musical
    opinion.
     
  15. kasbrey

    kasbrey

    Aug 23, 2002
    Northampton UK
    Unlike any other bass amp I've tried, when you turn up an EQ control on the LM11 it doesn't adversely effect the rest of the sound. When you add bass it doesn't seem to detract from the mids or highs and still remains tight and focussed.
    That said it still sounds perfect flat with just a little rolled off the VLE and VPF.
    Maybe the above only applies because I have the Markbass cabs too.....
     
  16. The tone controls on mine make a difference, however; I usually run it flat with just a little of the VLE.
     
  17. emjazz

    emjazz Supporting Member

    Feb 23, 2003
    Brooklyn, NY
    Now.....if we could just get these things in the States....I even checked the one place in Canada that has them and they were out of what I wanted (the SA450).
     
  18. There are many shops in Canada that sell Markbass.
     
  19. Turlu

    Turlu Supporting Member

    Sep 11, 2000
    Ottawa, Ontario CANADA
    I know of two shops in Canada.

    www.clubbass.ca in Toronto ( speak to Dave, he is awesome !!! )
    www.lauzonmusic.com in Ottawa( speak to Dave or Matt, great guys too !!! )
     
  20. emjazz

    emjazz Supporting Member

    Feb 23, 2003
    Brooklyn, NY
    Club Bass is the one that is out of the SA450.
     

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