Little Mark Vintage vs Little Mark Tube

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Jorgealb91, Jun 9, 2020.

  1. Jorgealb91


    May 5, 2018
    I have been trying to find the difference between these amps, but I haven't been able to find anything on it.

    Is the Little Mark Vintage like an Upgrade to the Mark Tube, or are they completely different beasts?

    If so, why do you like one over the other?

    What are the pros of each of them and what are the cons?

    From what I understand, the Little Mark Tube can be SS and/or use the Tube, while the Vintage is purely a tube preamp. And that's all I can gather in order to compare them.

    Also I see that many artists use the Little Mark Tube, and I haven't found one who uses the Vintage live. Maybe it's because it's a "newer product".

    I know they state in their website who uses their products, but for example, they say Joe Dart uses the Vintage, but I've seen only the Little Mark Tube 800 on his and Vulfpeck's videos.

    BTW, i'm not interested in buying any of them yet hahah, just an itch i've had for a while in order to understand the differences between them, and why one would be better than the other in certain situations.
    Zbysek likes this.
  2. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Yamaha, Ampeg, Line 6, EMG
    I can't tell you about sonic differences since I haven't played through an LM Vintage, but I can see that the LM Vintage has a real preamp tube whereas the LM Tube has a little tiny mini-tube that has to be soldered into the circuit. If I used Markbass, I'd be more interested in trying out the Vintage based on the preamp tube type alone. On the other hand, none of the LM series amps I've played sound a whole lot different from each other. But when I have the choice of tube vs no tube or mini-tube, I always go tube.
  3. Acoustic356


    Jul 3, 2014
    I have had a lot of Markbass Amps and sold them all. The LM Vintage is the First one that I like.

    For starters, it is a part of their Gold Line where the use gold in the connections.

    Here is what I like about it:
    • The tone stack is right. I rarely have to dial in anything, just select Old, Mid scooped or Flat and it just works.
      • It is like having 3 different amps as the EQ in each is voiced differently or at least responds differently
    • The limiter knob magically impacts the response of the speakers... making it feel loose or tight
    • It has some thump that I haven’t gotten from other MB heads
    I like it
    Luchadorconan likes this.
  4. Liko


    Mar 30, 2007
    DFW Metro
    The LM Tube is pretty much exactly that; they took the LM III, added a tube preamp circuit with a blend between the SS and Tube preamp gain stages, and that's the LM Tube. The only other additional feature over an LMIII is a second, balanced input, which for XLR supports phantom power supply to run a preamp or a condenser element.

    The LM Vintage has a few more changes from the LMIII. The first version ("D1" or just "LM Vintage") replaces the Little Mark's famous VLE and VPF controls with a 3-way voicing rotary switch; you get "Flat", "Scoop" and "Old" modes that do a similar job as the older EQ filters, but are less flexible. This head also includes a limiter control you can tune along with the gain, either to prevent tube breakup while compressing volume, or to limit the amount of breakup heard at the loudest dynamics.

    The LM Vintage D2 has a slightly different feature set. No scoop voicing; you get "flat" and "old" in a simple two-way switch. If you want to scoop your tone, you can do it with the D2's semi-parametric midrange controls, which allow you to control the center frequency of the low and high mids (MB's signature VPF is a mid-scoop centered around 380Hz). You also get a footswitchable Boost control, which can add additional gain either as a clean boost to punch out from the mix or to add dirt in the preamp, depending on other gain/volume settings. The boost and mid frequency controls take up the space used for Line Level control, the rotary voicing and the limiter; the first is now directly related to total preamp gain (Gain + Boost), while second and third get two-way switches; the limiter is now "on/off", with a preset threshold just prior to tube breakup.
  5. The LM Tube 800 and the regular LM 800 sounded mostly the same to me; maybe a tiny bit more warmth and compression with the mini-tube, but not enough that you'd hear it as any different at stage volume. The Little Mark Vintage has an actual proper tube in the preamp, and you can hear it at any volume, especially if you put the voicing switch on the "Old" setting.
  6. Acoustic356


    Jul 3, 2014
    I prefer the ability to select Flat/Scooped/Vintage over having the VPF and VLE knobs. Without the guess work, when each of these is selected the STARTING POINT for the EQ changes.
  7. Luchadorconan


    Dec 31, 2014
    I had the Mark Tube years ago. I liked it, but not enough to keep it. I got the Little Mark Vintage a week ago and love it. In my opinion, it has the best balance between clarity and tone I've heard in a bass head. There are styles and bass lines that sound better with a particular head, but to my ears everything that comes out of it sounds awesome. It seems to be the bass head for folks that didn't think they like Markbass. I had written them off, but this head is the one.
    SJan3 likes this.
  8. Acoustic356


    Jul 3, 2014
    This video explains it all... this was my #1 until I got a Demeter amp... IMHO, the MB LMV is set just like the switches on the Demeter, except the Demeter is a little more present.

    Stranger Danger and Flaky Tuna like this.
  9. gillento


    Oct 15, 2005
    Luxembourg, Europe
    Nordstrand pickups
    Did anyone manage to swap the tube in the D2?
    The space for the tube is rather cramped and the is a lid on top of the tube.