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Mark Bass Reliability

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by portpc, Jul 8, 2020.

  1. Dealing with a major case of GAS, Not fighting it, doing some window shopping for the time being.
    The MM model combo with the 3X10 array is calling to me..

    I've met a few players who while they love their Mark Bass gear have had issue with it & getting them repaired was an ordeal.

    Curious if this was an exception to normally great gear or is it something a lot of players experience?..
    nuage420b and BluesWalker like this.
  2. Funky Ghost

    Funky Ghost Translucently Groovy

    I've had mine (MarkBass Jeff Berlin Combo w/ NYC 115 cab) since 2009 and it's been nothing but flawless. Please understand that it's never left my home. I bought it used from a TB member and they had gigged it before I bought it, however it is built well with durable corner protection and a decent locking system to keep stacks where they should be.

    FWIW I also use a plethora of pedals with it and it sounds great with or without them.

    I hope this helps ( is there really help when GAS calls? ?!? Ok, I'm an enabler - I admit it )
    Turlu, nuage420b and SJan3 like this.
  3. Fender4Me

    Fender4Me Supporting Member

    Ive owned 5 Markbass amps and the only issue I ever had was a tweeter going open in one of them. No big deal for me as I rarely used the tweeter on that particular amp.
    The one that I have been the least satisfied with is the JB Players School 15 combo that I use to practice with. Im not a fan of the Little Mark Blackline 250 amp.
  4. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Markbass amps are generally reliable, but I haven't heard much good come from those who have needed repairs. There's like one shop for all of America to get them repaired.
  5. geowis

    geowis Supporting Member

    Dec 31, 2011
    Hopewell, NJ
    I've owned one Markbass head, the TTE 500. I loved the tube tone in a lightweight package. But, when the power section died when the amp was 4 months old I tried to contact Markbass to no avail. I ended up taking it to a repair shop just outside of Phili, he diagnosed the failed power sections, we waited a few weeks for the part that was dead on arrival. The total turnaround was 3 months and cost me 60% of what the amp costs new.

    The only other amp issue I've ever had was the DI in my GK MB200 died. Fortunately, my Peterson Stomp Classic tuner has a DI, the day was saved. I've now switched to an amp brand, which in my opinion is the most reliable, even though I like the tone of a few others better.
  6. SJan3

    SJan3 Supporting Member

    Dec 8, 2010
    Keep in mind, it's typically those who have had an issue who tend to broadcast the event. I'm sure this holds true for any brand of equipment.
    That said, my Markbass amp has been dead reliable over the last 11 years. I would not part with it unless it gave up the ghost.
    As I just sold my Tonehammer 500, I'm considering a second Markbass amp.
    I like em.
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2020
  7. DWBass

    DWBass The Funkfather Supporting Member

    I've owned 3 total Markbass amps. 2 I still own. No issues in the time I've owned any of them.
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2020
    adams83 and SJan3 like this.
  8. Papuzzo


    Dec 11, 2017
    Milan, Italy
    I see old Markbass gear in the local rehearsal spaces that just keeps going night after night under the most tortuous conditions. It's not uncommon to see old Little Mark II heads still going strong in these spaces.
    adams83, superblues and SJan3 like this.
  9. agedhorse

    agedhorse Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 12, 2006
    Davis, CA (USA)
    Development Engineer-Mesa, Product Support-Genz Benz
    From what I have seen, it's a pretty good shop.
  10. What brand is that?
  11. arbiterusa


    Sep 24, 2015
    San Diego, CA
    Had two of the heads for thee years. No issues whatsoever. Kinda wish I'd kept the LM800. Endless headroom.
    SJan3 likes this.
  12. CoffeeLove

    CoffeeLove Supporting Member

    I have a Little Mark Tube 800 that crapped out on me, and due to the symptoms (not constant) the official repair tech in California said it would cost $350 to repair it, and used they are only around $400. Fortunately, I spoke with AgedHorse and he suggested a couple possible fixes, and sure enough one worked. It is still broken technically, but now operates consistently with a work around.

    All that said, I will not buy another Markbass head, but that is just me. I am sure there are plenty of people that feel differently.

    Best wishes
    pbass888 likes this.
  13. pbass888

    pbass888 Supporting Member

    Jul 8, 2009
    I have had 4 Markbass products but switched To something else after a death of a Little Mark II head at a wedding gig in New York in 2019. I happened to have a mark bass combo so I subbed it out . I love the sound but that event put me off buying new products . They sound great for sure and I still use the Markbass 12 inch cabinets.

    best of luck
    Funky Ghost likes this.
  14. BluesWalker


    Jun 17, 2008
    San Diego
    I have owned MB amps and cabinets. I never had a problem except the time in 2008 I dropped a LMII onto a concrete floor. It was repaired but took a long time and cost half the cost of a new LMIII.
  15. nuage420b

    nuage420b Supporting Member

    Dec 7, 2014
    I purchased a 102p and traded it in for the 103 a month later. Then slapped myself for not getting the 103 in the first place! Get it! It's amazing.

    Attached Files:

    alaskaleftybass likes this.
  16. Az4stringer

    Az4stringer Supporting Member

    Jun 27, 2018
    Tucson, AZ
    My main bass amp is a Little Mark Tube 800. I have gigged non-stop with it since 2014 and have no issues.
    adams83, SJan3 and nuage420b like this.
  17. Spectre Gunner

    Spectre Gunner Supporting Member

    Jun 8, 2016
    Tampa, Florida
    Customer service is often an overlooked aspect when buying new or used gear of any sort. I've learned the hard way that customer service is important too. I've bought some very expensive audiophile gear over the years only to find out the hard way that repair service can be very important and that sh#t can break.

    I've had some expensive gear break only to find out that parts are no longer available because the company went out of business or that it was made in Norway and you have to deal with overseas support and hope the company is still in business and willing to ship a replacement part. Never mind the U.S. Customs challenges. After learning the hard way, local customer service and support now impact my buying decisions more than ever.
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2020
    superiorpine and pbass888 like this.
  18. funkinbottom

    funkinbottom Supporting Member

    Apr 23, 2006
    Northern CA.
    I've had a little mark ll for quite some time now. My
    main gigging amp, never an issue.
    knumbskull, westrock and SJan3 like this.
  19. Bebo2020


    Apr 2, 2020
    Excellent amps, have 2 so far, not a single issue with any of them. The Jeff Berlin combo is a workhorse.
    Funky Ghost and SJan3 like this.
  20. SJan3

    SJan3 Supporting Member

    Dec 8, 2010
    So, if it was a LM II, it had to be at least 10+ years old when it died..
    Cost was probably around $400 NEW
    divided by 10=$40 a year÷12=$3.33 a month÷ 30= 11¢ a day
    Not bad

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