For portability: Rumble 40 vs. Micromark 801?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by odrive, Jul 14, 2021.

  1. odrive


    Jan 30, 2017
    I'm looking for the smallest, lightest one-hand combo for coffee shops, art galleries, and receptions. Quiet background music only, no drums, just jazz guitar and bass. It must weigh less than 20 pounds, as I have difficult back issues and travel by taxi or rideshare.

    Is the Micromark worth $300 more to save a few pounds and 2,000 cubic inches? Can that tiny amp fill a coffee shop or art gallery lobby?

    Soundwise, I'm partial to Fender, as I've owned a few. The only Markbass I've tried was years ago, a JB 1x15 combo, which was just OK. The Micromark is not available locally, meaning I'd have to order online and cross my fingers. It's already the max I'd care to spend for these occasional gigs, so I'm leaning toward the Rumble 40 even though it seems bulky for its speaker size and power rating.
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2021
  2. Nick von Nick

    Nick von Nick Supporting Member

    Oct 29, 2014
    Markbass amps definitely have a baked-in warmth, but if that's your thing - and it is certainly mine - I would recommend the Micromark. I have been using mine for 7-8 years now as a practice amp, monitor, living room, and small gig amp with no problems (including guitar/bass duos to fill a medium-sized lounge).

    It can get reasonably loud, though it will need some help if you're going to be playing with a lot of folks. That said, I've used mine at loud, obnoxious punk gigs where I can DI into the grainy house system for the grit while keeping the clarity close by as a monitor.

    Keep in mind that you can use the shape of a room to your advantage with the Micromark. I've angled mine up, down, out, and about to direct the sound in all manners. It's size/shape make this an easy hack.

    And yes, it is ridiculously light. I can probably toss mine above my head and catch it without any fear of the inertia.

    I know little about the Rumbles, but I am a fan of the Fender tonestack as well, so that's something too.

    Anywho, that's my $0.02.
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  3. odrive


    Jan 30, 2017
    Thanks for the info! This above is good to hear. I might not mind spending that extra 3 bills, as I'd probably forget about it while enjoying such portability.
    SJan3 likes this.
  4. basss

    basss Supporting Member

    Aug 27, 2001
    Phil Jones double four. I've compared it to the micromark and prefer the sound and traditional eq of the Phil Jones.
  5. odrive


    Jan 30, 2017
    Wow, that Phil Jones is tiny! I had the original Briefcase many years ago and felt the sound was way too pristine. It was clinically clean and kind of spiky on the highs despite no horn. Does the Double Four have any warmth? And can it really fill a room with people chatting? It looks unbeatable for size and weight, so I'm adding to my list of contenders.
    iagtrplyr likes this.
  6. jeff7bass

    jeff7bass Inactive

    Apr 9, 2009
    My friend has the Rumble 40 and it's quite good. Get's plenty loud too. I just can't see paying that much more for the Markbass.
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  7. basss

    basss Supporting Member

    Aug 27, 2001
    I used the double four a lot on acoustic jazz and background music gigs mostly on upright bass. It's not going to fill a room with low end but will easily put out enough sound to balance with other acoustic instruments. It's got a warm sound that didn't sound thin in most rooms.
    jallenbass and odrive like this.
  8. GoesThump


    Jul 13, 2007
    You might also wish to consider a Traynor SB106. It is much smaller than the Rumble 40, and about the same weight. It is also about $100 cheaper than the Micromark 801.

    I have both the Rumble 40 & the 106 & can dial up similar (clean) tones on both. The Rumble can do a bunch of tones the SB can't w/overdrive, etc, but for basic clean tones either will do the job for your stated purpose.

    Murch and odrive like this.
  9. BobDeRosa

    BobDeRosa Supporting Member Commercial User

    May 16, 2012
    Finger Lakes area of New York State
    Owner, Tritone Jazz Fantasy Camps
    I own both and based on your needs, I would go with the Rumble (18 lbs), especially since you like the sound. The MB (12 lbs., I think) is louder, believe it or not, but you almost need to use a preamp with it to get a pleasing tone.

    But let me complicate your life a little more. If you're playing background music, you're going to be drowned out by crowd chatter and the Rumble 40 might not cut it. You might not be able to hear yourself. The Rumble 100 might be a more versatile solution, and it's 22 lbs.
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  10. arbiterusa


    Sep 24, 2015
    Like Bob, I would suggest the Rumble 100 as it’s not that much bigger or heavier and it would deal very nicely with a packed gallery environment. Those can get louder than you’d think, sometimes.
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2021
  11. odrive


    Jan 30, 2017
    Thanks, guys. I looked at the Rumble 100 as well. I really want to stay under 20 pounds with minimal bulk (remember, difficult low back issues). Besides the amp, I'd be lugging an instrument and a cable/misc bag.

    Regarding a preamp with the Markbass, both of my axes have active EMG pickups (onboard preamps). Would that cut it, or might I need an additional outboard preamp?

    As for the sound of the Rumble, I'm not totally sure I'd like it. Just speculating based on a couple of other Fender combos I've had. Most recently was a 1x10 Fender Bassman 25 from the early 2000s. Kinda hissy but nice tone. And too heavy for my needs now.
  12. KJMO


    Feb 6, 2015
    I'm going to be candid even though I may offend, or at least have lots of people disagree.

    I like the sound of the Markbass, but it is definitely not very loud at all. I have a powered studio monitor that is seriously just as loud when I plug my bass straight into it.

    The Fender is louder. But, I think it sounds really muddy, and am super not a fan. I think even the demos on Fenders site sound pretty bad. It is a great value though (light, fairly loud, inexpensive).

    For the same as the markbass, I like the GK MB110 better, or even the Hartke KB, but that's just an opinion, of course.
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  13. staurosjohn

    staurosjohn My (Adopted) Daughter Supporting Member

    I, sometimes, use my 801 to power a Markbass 12” cab… ‘mini-stack’ ;)
    You, too, cld do *this* if needed ;) (of course - doesn’t lend itself to portability :D)


    And - have used, just, the 801 for some church services (w/e-drums, etc.)
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2021
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  14. SJan3


    Dec 8, 2010
    Onboard preamp will certainly help.
  15. G-Dog

    G-Dog What a fun place! Supporting Member

    I've played my Rumble Studio 40 (same as regular 40, but with modeling firmware) with up to two dozen simultaneous acoustic instruments and didn't even have to turn it up to halfway. It is more than plenty at my Bluegrass jams with multiple fiddles, guitars, mandolins, banjos and one dobro. Can't go wrong.

    But, for ultimate portability, and a real tubey vibe, the 9.9 lb. 50-watt Vox VX50BA is amazing! I ordered it after successful back surgery expecting to send it back after recovery, if not immediately. That was almost 3 years ago and I still love it! I used it a month ago at my first "post-covid" Bluegrass jam (with only 4-5 other instruments). I thought its "nutube technolgy" was just hype, but it really acts and sounds like a tube amp! Not really as versatile tonewise as the regular Rumble 40 (much less the Studio), but almost half the weight and slightly more power (though a smaller speaker)!! Worthy of your consideration.

    Last edited: Jul 14, 2021
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  16. RichSnyder

    RichSnyder Columbia, MD Supporting Member

    Jun 19, 2003
    The Rumble 40 isn't a bad amp. It's not huge sounding, but you're not looking for huge. I played a friend's son's Rumble 40 at a practice and it worked perfectly fine with guitars and drums / vocals but we weren't going for volume. The guitars could have drowned me easily if so desired. I might look at the Rumble Studio 40 if I were looking for a smaller combo. If 20 lbs isn't a hard limit, Genzler has some combos that sound bigger than they look, but may be overkill for your needs. I would also look at Phil Jones' offerings and if you don't mind bumping the budget up, I'd look at an Acme 110 or a Barefaced One10T and a Markbass Nano head.
    SJan3 likes this.
  17. Jeff Scott

    Jeff Scott Rickenbacker guru..........

    Apr 11, 2006
    Out there!
    I've not tried a Micromark, or even the 2-8 version of the Minimark, but my older 2-6 Minimark has always sounded great with a variety of basses in many different gig situations. Everyone who has heard it was quite surprised by the tone and available volume, when needed, from it.

    It is right at 20 lb. and it very compact.

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  18. MIMike


    Jan 1, 2013
    West MI
    I use a Rumble 40 for exactly what you described. Some gigs include a keyboard/ vocalist along with the guitar. I gig both upright and electric and it has been plenty of amp for my needs.
    odrive likes this.
  19. mark107


    Jul 10, 2009
    I've owned one of these for well over ten years. I use it every single day at home, and have used it at countless small gigs as well. I also own the 801, which is very very good, but no where near good sounding as the 2x6. But it fits in my suitcase and I have flown with it in a suitcase with lots of clothes many times, and well under the 50lb limit. My daughter owned the Rumble 40 for a while, and it loses big time in the tone and low-end department compared to the Markbass 2x6. It sounds fine, but no contest really. I did own the MB 2x8 for a couple of weeks. It was a step up from the 2x6 of course, but size and weight-wise was getting too close to my 2-10 plus a small head rigs, so I didn't see the point. The great thing about the 2x6 is how compact and light it is, yet it sounds like a real bass amp, not a small practice amp. Too bad they stopped making them.

    A HUGE advantage to the Markbass amps mentioned here is that you can pop them on top of another cabinet and plug them in. I once did a loud blues gig with the 2x6 on top of my SWR 4x10 Goliath cabinet, with the MB 2x6 powering the whole thing. While it clearly did not have the punchy headroom of one of my 500w heads, it definitely cut the gig. A Rumble cannot do that trick, there is no extension speaker output jack option. So to me, the small MB amps are the clear choice.
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  20. slap2much

    slap2much Supporting Member

    Apr 4, 2004
    I had a Rumble 40 and swapped out the stock speaker for an Eminence Basslite 2010 (in the Rumble Club thread there’s lots more detail on adding dampening material, changing ports etc., I mainly just took the stock speaker out and put the Basslite in), dropped a pound or two plus was able to increase volume to where I could play with a quiet-to-medium volume kit. Helped with mids too.
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