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LMII and SA450

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by iamthebassplayr, Sep 18, 2008.

  1. Done a few searches and not getting quite what I am after, but if someone finds a thread, throw it my way!

    I've been going back and forth between these two heads for a bit now and want to get the TB opinion.

    Everyone loves the Little Mark II, but the lack of a pre/post DI is such a big one for me... The SA450 has the pre/post DI as well as parametric Mid controls..

    Only reason I haven't gone for the SA450 yet is that "fear of the unknown"

    Now a whole lot of reviews on here for it, a few, but not many...

    I read on some other site that someone said set Flat, both of these amps sound different... which struck me as odd, since they use the same analog power source, where as the SD800 uses digital which explains the slight differences in tone.

    Anyone on Talkbass play through a Little Mark II and SA450 and find they sound different flat? I've played through a Little Mark II and loved the tone, but mid control +pre/post DI would make it almost too good to be true... (almost...:smug:)

    Thanks guys and gals.
  2. esoxhntr

    esoxhntr Supporting Member

    Jun 21, 2007
    Markham, Ontario
    Hi Kevin,

    I tend to think they sound a little bit different, it's been a while since I've played both but I liked the SA450 a bit better - less electronic sounding to me.
  3. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    I find the differences tonally to be miniscule at best. I always thought of the 450 as a more deluxe LMII. If you need those extra features and you like the LMII, I think you'd be totally happy with the 450.
  4. Thanks guys...

    Why didn't the just put a pre/post button on the Little Mark II :crying:

    But now I just need to find a guitar center near here with an SA450.. Last time I checked neither of the ones I go to had one in stock...
  5. Tim1


    Sep 9, 2005
    New Zealand
    I have the SA450, love it, but would be equally happy with the LMII. Since I basically play with the EQ flat the parametric does not get used, but that said I have experimented with it and it is very user friendly (if you follow my drift). One purely aesthetic point to consider- if you intend using a rack - to my eyes it looks heaps smarter in my SKB 2 space rack than would the LMII and it still remains a very light package.
  6. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    And add another $75 to the price? No thank you. I like it post better anyway. I usually leave it flat except VLE at 9 or 10 o'clock, so nobody gets upset with me leaving it post.
  7. ::::BASSIST::::

    ::::BASSIST:::: Progress Not Perfection.

    Sep 2, 2004
    Vancouver, BC Canada
    I've tried both and didnt notice much, if any, difference. Since GC has the 30 day return policy maybe buy both, do some extensive A/Bing and make your choice... then post your conclusion here so we can all learn something. :)

    If the extra size and weight of the 450 doesnt bother you, I'd go for the 450. Even if you dont touch the eq, the adjustable DI is worth it alone IMO.
  8. DanGouge


    May 25, 2000
    I love my 450, I think it sounds fairly similar to the LMII.
  9. 51m0n


    Jun 30, 2005
    Spent a long time with both in the shop before settling on the 450.

    IMO they are as near identical as you could get, the difference is certainly just because of the extra eq in the eq section (different electronics does mean different tone, however slight).

    There was no winner tone-wise for me.

    I just wanted the extra features.

    At a gig I defy anyone to tell which one is whichin a blind test.
  10. +1 to all the above. They sound close enough to be, for all practicle purposes, identical.

    Remember, the LMII can very easily be changed for pre to post DI by simply moving an internal jumper. However, if you go back and forth between pre and post regularly, then the SA450 would be the ticket.
  11. KPJ


    Oct 2, 2001
    Methuen, MA USA
    Good timing on the post. I have been considering getting a second/backup head to have in addition to my Shuttle 6.0. I have read the comparisons between the Shuttle and Little Mark quite a bit and have been intrigued by the possibility of owning both. I have checked out the LMII at GC on a few occasions and have been generally impressed with it, but I have only been able to play it through the MarkBass cabs. I stumbled upon Music123 and was about to order a LMII until I saw the SA450 and thought that the extra features could be beneficial to me. I prefer adjustable mid-frequencies. So, with Music123's $100 off coupon, 45 day return policy and the Bill Me Later payment option, I have a low risk opportunity to demo the SA450 through my Bag End 210 and SWR Henry 8x8. Upshot is I end up with two pro-quality heads that can cover any situation, downside, I have to ship back the SA450 for credit.

  12. Cool! Let us know what you think. Again, the LMII versus SA450 is all about giving up a little bit of small size for a few more features. I always tell TBers that if you are going to rack mount the amp, the SA450 is a no brainer. If you are going to use a bag, then even though the SA450 is still paper-light, you just need to weigh the benefit of very small size versus a little larger size to get the more fully featured DI and the semi-parametric mids. The basic tone and volume are identical.
  13. mani


    Apr 23, 2006
    I strongly suspect the LMII has a jumper to switch pre/post in there where the SA450's switch picks up from. Could be a simple fix for you maybe?
  14. KPJ


    Oct 2, 2001
    Methuen, MA USA
    Thanks, Ken, I will!

    The amps that I have been looking at for backup would all end up being mounted in a rack bag, I wasn't necessarily looking for a lightweight backup, so the SA450 just might do the trick.
  15. +1 As long as you are going to mount the amp in a rack or rack bag, there really isn't any downside (other than the slightly higher cost) of going with the SA450 over the LMII. They are close to the same weight.
  16. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    It does, and there is a thread on here that shows a pic of it.
  17. Sufenta

    Sufenta Trudging The Happy Road of Destiny

    Mar 14, 2002
    The Signpost Up Ahead.
    The LMII is essentially a smaller, less-features version of the SA450. They sound very similar IMO. You might want to consider comparing either the LMII or SA450 with the TA501 which has a tube pre, compressor, pre/post switch, footswitchable mute and eq bypass. Running both flat, especially in a band setting I can't tell much of any tone difference between my LMII and TA501, but turning up the compressor on the TA501 has a very noticeable effect. If you need the larger eq, the TA503 has that plus dual inputs and a little more weight. Hard to go wrong with any of the MB heads.
  18. eff-clef

    eff-clef Supporting Member

    May 6, 2007
    The SA450 only weighs about a pound more(7.5 lbs.), and is a much better size for racking. It comes with the rack ears. I own and love my SA450. I bought and returned the LMII because they couldn't provide me with the rack ears at that time. Also, I like the flexability of the SA450(line level control, pre/post switch, semi-parametric mids.) But I think they sound the same. I bought mine from Club bass in Canada. It was unavailable in the U.S.A. at the time.
  19. JayAmel

    JayAmel Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2002
    Carcassonne, France
    I remember a/bing an LMII and an SA450, both running flat : no real difference that should be hearable in a mix. Maybe a little warmer on the SA450.

    I was stupid enough to let my Markbass rig go a few months ago (well I didn't like the 2x10 + 1x15 cab config), I'm back soon, and probably get an SA450 instead of the LMII I had.

    The reason why is that having more subtle capacities on low mids and hi mids due to the semi-parametrics, _might_ be useful to me now and then (I used to run the LMII flat just because I didn't like to tweak on the fixed frequencies setup on it).

    The pre/post switch on the DI is a good feature, but I don't have the actual need of it (I go DI between effects and amp, then I link the signal to the amp).

    But although these extra features on the SA450 instead of the LMII are not _normally_ really useful to me, they might be sometimes, so it's a good thing they're there (well at least when I'll have the SA450).
  20. Petebass


    Dec 22, 2002
    QLD Australia
    Huh? Sometimes i wonder why people will distort the truth just so they can appear to be the big boy on campus with mythical magical ears.

    I've A/B'd them in the store and I can't agree with whoever told you this. This guy would probably listen to two LMII's and proclaim that one sounds different to the other!

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