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LH1000 vs Mesa Big Block 750 vs Mesa M9 Carbine

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Whitbass, May 7, 2010.

  1. Whitbass


    Jan 22, 2010
    Hello feller TBers

    I am curious if anyone has experience with regard to Hartke LH1000 vs Mesa Big Block 750 or Mesa M9 Carbine or Genx Benz Shuttle 12.0, or really any other similar heads with which you have experience vs any of the above. Also, if you have experience with any of these heads vs Markbass models??
    Please feel free to chime in if you have experience or comments with regard to any of the above.........
    I give the LH1000 a listen once, but I don't know that I give it a fair trial at the time, not really understanding the tone stack at the time I tried it.......

    Currently, I am using the LMII with Berg AE410, and considering other options for heads, like something with a tube pre....
    not that the LMII is a bad head at all, and really continues to amaze me for what it is, and being all SS...

    but looking for something that will deliver a rich, creamy, focused, punchy, smooth tone......
    prefer something that's not too shy in the low mid area......
    plenty of power is a plus

    I like a good value (who doesn't right?), but don't necessarily have to take the cheapest route........tone matters the most........
    again, please feel free to chime in if you have experience or comments with regard to any of the above.........or anything else you feel useful or applicable

    my kindest thanks!! ;)
  2. Crabby


    Dec 22, 2004
    Well I own an LMIII, a Big Block, an M9 Carbine and have played through the LH500 which is the same amp with less power so I should be able to give you my impressions. The Hartke amp is very simple and good for what it is but is not in the same league tonewise as the Mesa gear.

    The LMIII is a great head and an industry standard for a reason. Its small, relatively warm, loud and easy to make sound good.

    Now the Mesa gear is in a whole other category. The M9 Carbine is just an amazingly loud punchy and articulate amp. The response time is so fast that the notes just seem to explode out of your bass with so much punch that it feels like you can play faster with less effort. Its a bright amp and I find I have to tame the highs and boost the mids a tad but its only 25 pounds and provides the biggest sounding 900 watts at 4 ohms I have ever heard.

    If you are looking for warm tubey goodness, the Big Block really is a gem of an amp. It has 4 pre amp tubes and its so thick and warm sounding but can still be super clean if needed. The main channel can get quite gritty by cranking the input but the second overdrive channel goes from grit to an all out shred tone. Best sounding bass overdrive bar none! i rarely use overdrive but have been so impressed with this amp's warmth. Its very mid focussed and simple to dial in a rich creamy tone that cuts through a band mix with ease.

    The Big Block is not as loud or punchy as the M9 but the M9 is simply insane. The Big Block puts out 540 watts at 4 ohms and I had no trouble at all ripping people's faces off running through my Mesa 412 cab. Through a pair of 115 cabs, this amp is simply sublime!

    The Big Block's 540 watts sounds a lot bigger then the LMIII's 500 watts because the Mesa amps have such a fat detailed tone that the LMIII tends to sound a little two dimensional or thin in comparison. The trade off is of course, the Mesa amps are full size. The Big Block weighs about 30 pounds which really is not that bad.

    I love my Mesa amps and really like the LMIII. Between the Carbine and the Big Block, you would have to be looking for either a very warm thick old school tone or a super punchy modern (and freakin loud) tone that still has some tubey goodness. Can't go wrong either way!
  3. Whitbass


    Jan 22, 2010
    Very, very nice information, thank you!!
    I have tried out the Big Block, M9, and Fusion 550, vs the LMII briefly, but need more time to really absorb what I was hearing...
    are there any recommended tube emulators, etc that would fatten up the LMII considerably??
  4. Crabby


    Dec 22, 2004
    The VT Bass pedal would be the best option by Tech21. It sounds really good and is affordable. Wont be the same vibe as the Mesa gear but will sound very good.
  5. babebambi


    Jan 7, 2008
    you may want to try an Eden WT (not the WTX)
  6. uaudio


    Apr 11, 2008
    I've only owned a Big Block and agree with Crabby's post. It's a great amp.
  7. lomo

    lomo passionate hack Supporting Member

    Apr 15, 2006
    If you're talking tube tone, the 750 has it in spades and the
    M9 is a totally different animal. It has a tube in the pre but is really all about articulate mids with gobs of power and the added compressor and eq features. It is Mr Clean compared to the warmer 750. Apples and oranges, even though both are great Mesa heads.
  8. Matt Dean

    Matt Dean Supporting Member

    Jan 2, 2007
    SF (North) Bay Area
    You might consider the M-Pulse 600... clean tube tone!
  9. Crabby


    Dec 22, 2004
    Any Mesa is a total win!
  10. Whitbass


    Jan 22, 2010
    good information from everyone....much thanks!!!

    I guess, like when you describe the Big Block and the M9; I guess I am after thick punchy modern tone without a lot of sizzle.........maybe tube is ultimately the answer...............I will have to give the Mesa's and the Eden a listen again........

    ....................for those that have give the LH500 or LH1000 a good listen vs the LMII or LMIII, can you please expand some on the differences you hear...........???

    is the Hartke LH series thicker and warmer, yet punchy and detailed without being harsh, all the way up into the upper registers, and is it plenty loud vs the LM II or LMIII??

    just want to better understand the tonal character of the LH series (based on your experiences) vs LM II/III amps.......?
    thus far, you folks have been awesome and very helpful and I greatly appreciate it.....

    I do plan to listen to all these amps and others again in more detail when I can.......I guess though more ears and hearing experience and opinions of others is really nice........
    of course, it comes down to each person's preference......but at the same time, we also have some fine folks that brought us Talkbass......and some fine TBers too :D:D
  11. Syncamorea


    Feb 8, 2011
    Here's a "me too" on the M9 comments. I run mine through a 6x10 at home and have a 1x15 to lug around. That single 15 does warm it up a tad but it's still pretty bright and punchy.

    I like the compressor on the Carbine and the EQ range. It's probably a common thing to do but I set up the tone control knobs as a sort of base tone, then use the graphic EQ to dip the upper mids and high end and slightly boost the lows to fatten it up. I also set the graphic up with a little net gain so not only is it warmer, but it kicks harder when I'm fantacizing that it's my big rock star moment.

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