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Mark bass 2 ohm?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by bassobsessed, Feb 23, 2008.

  1. bassobsessed


    Dec 20, 2007
    I know it would void the warranty. What I'm interested in knowing is if anyone out there has inadvertantly or otherwise hooked their LM II or other Mark head up to a pair of 4 ohm cabs, or a 3 woofer cab, and if they had any trouble from this.

    I'm thinking of picking up an LM II, and for loud gigs I use a 3x15" cab with a nominal 3 ohm impedance (reads more like 2.6) that I really love. I'd imagine being ss and all it should work, at least for the 40 min maximum sets we get around here. Thoughts?
  2. fenderhutz

    fenderhutz Supporting Member

    Jan 28, 2007
    Harpers Ferry WV
    I don't think since the amp is rated at 2ohm, the transformer would prematurely exit the amp.
  3. bassobsessed


    Dec 20, 2007
    According to their site all Mark bass heads have minimum 4 ohm impedance? Is this not correct?
  4. fenderhutz

    fenderhutz Supporting Member

    Jan 28, 2007
    Harpers Ferry WV
    Yup, 4ohm,8ohm,16ohm etc.
  5. ::::BASSIST::::

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

    Sep 2, 2004
    Vancouver, BC Canada
    I wouldnt do it. They specifically say on their website 4 ohm only.
  6. envika


    Nov 27, 2007
    Bronx, NY
    What's the difference, sound- and functionwise, between the different impedances?
  7. fretster

    fretster Advanced Beginner Supporting Member

    Nov 27, 2005
    Moraga, California
    If you are looking for SMALL, the EA micro300 is happy to drive 2ohms, or even less. The watts per pound and watts per cubic inch on this are astounding. Rated 300 watts into 4 ohm. No published spec into 2, but they support it at 2. Weighs 2.5 lbs. About the size of 2 VHS tapes stacked.

    I've played a few gigs now with it driving a pair or 4 ohm cabs. Granted they are all in the EA family, but still, 2 hours straight and the case was just barely warm.
  8. With SS amps, the lower the impedence, the higher the output power
  9. fenderhutz

    fenderhutz Supporting Member

    Jan 28, 2007
    Harpers Ferry WV

    Just don't go lower than the rated ohm load. :)
  10. envika


    Nov 27, 2007
    Bronx, NY
    But I can have, say, an 8 ohm amp and a 16 ohm cab?
  11. Yup :)

    If your talking about SS amps, it isnt an "8 ohm amp". It would have a minimum load of 8 ohms is what your meaning. But yeah, in that case, you could. If you were to use an 8 ohm cab, your amp would be working at its safest (given) limits. With a 16 ohm cab, you'd be able to get about half the max power out of the amp.
  12. bassobsessed


    Dec 20, 2007
    Thanks for all the replies. Obviously, the good advice is not to do it. But I specifically asked if anyone had direct experience with this - given the amount of gear heads on this site it seems like someone would have tried, say an epifani 3x10" with one of these heads or something. Also wondering if Mark bass may be too conservative in the 4 ohm rating or if there's something inherent about the design that keeps it from handling lower impedance

    I actually have a micro 300 that I'm contemplating trading towards the Little Mark II - the EA is great, there's just something intangible about the Mark bass sound that floats my boat a little better
  13. Lia_G


    Oct 27, 2005
    The Epifani UL310 is a 5.6 ohm cab. It works great with the Little Mark II, from what I hear.

    The Markbass amps are all specifically designed for a minimum 4 ohm load, so yes, to quote you: "there's something inherent about the design that keeps it from handling lower impedance."

    I don't think you'll find anyone who's tried these amps at 2 ohms, because people know it wasn't designed for that, and nobody wants to fry their $600 (or more) amp.

    If you want a lightweight amp that will run extremely well at 2 ohms, try to find a closeout or used Genz Benz NeoPak. If it's not marked "2 ohm minimum" on the back, Genz will upgrade it for 2 ohm operation for free. Other than that, the Acoustic Image heads run fine at 2 ohms, if you like their tone. But I would really avoid trying the Markbasses at less than their designed minimum impedance.

    Good luck
  14. If you connect a cabinet to a SS amp that is less than the amps minimum ohm-age, you WILL eventually destroy the amp. Minimum means what it says.

  15. Turnaround

    Turnaround Commercial User

    May 6, 2004
    Toronto Canada
    Independent Instrument Technician, and Contractor to Club Bass and Guitar - Toronto
    I used the LMII with a pair of cabinets that were below 4 ohms briefly. I wondered why the amp kept shutting down. Once I discovered the paired cabs were less than 4 ohms, it became obvious why the amp shut down. Markbass confirmed that this is a safety feature of their amp - it will shut down if the impedence drops too low. Once I switched to proper 8 ohm cabs, the amp behaved beautifully.

    So my advice is don't even try to drive a load less than 4 ohms with the LMII.
  16. Stromrider


    Feb 16, 2008
    CT, USA
    Dropping the load impedance from 4ohm to 2ohm won't increase the power output much, if at all because the amp can only put out so much current. If its lowest rated impedance is 4ohms, don't go below that. If you do you will stress the output transistors and the transformer because of increased heat inside the case. Big ole' boat anchor amps could handle two ohm loads because they had big transformers, heatsinks and enough SOA in the output stage to weld with. These mini-amps are designed to the bare minimum to cut space usage and weight.

    The moral is, don't do it, but if you do watch how hot the heatsinks and transformer get.

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