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Markbass CMD 121P Combo - Talk me out of it

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by WoodyG3, Jul 26, 2007.

  1. WoodyG3


    May 6, 2003
    Colorado, USA
    I've been looking for a super light combo amp since my back needs a little help. I play coffee houses, open mic nights, church and occasional larger gigs. The larger gigs always have PA support, so I don't need much volume. What I DO want is great tone. I'd like the ability to have a warm, vintage tone, but also a clear, uncolored tone.

    I gave the Markbass CMD 121P combo a try today. I was very impressed. It seemed to be able to give me quite a variety of tones, and it has more than enough power and volume for my needs. I can add an extention speaker to it, and it has an effects loop if I decide I can't live without my Sansamp BDDI. The thing is, I think I might be able to forgo the Sansamp with this Markbass since I seem to be able to get a nice, warm tone for this amp. I has a DI out, too, which is pretty important for me.

    I'm using a Carvin BRX 112 right now, and it is a great little amp. It's about twice the weight of the Markbass, though. Both amps run around 300 watts at 8 ohms. The Carvin has the advantage of being able to go down to 2 ohms. As I said, though, I don't need much volume, and I want to keep things compact, light and simple. I doubt I'll run an extention speaker on either amp.

    So with all that being said, talk me out of the Markbass 12" combo if you can. :D
  2. andertone

    andertone Supporting Member

    Mar 22, 2000
    Southwest USA

    I auditioned the MB LMII at Guitar Center, but I brought my
    Epifani T112 and was able to A/B it with the Markbass
    Combo you are interested in.

    The Epifani cabinet blew the Markbass combo out of the water,
    not even close. Much better low end response, and the Epifani
    tweeter is much more musical than the piezo the MB offers.

    Find a used Epi UL112 and don't look back, gives you much
    more flexibility should you decide to add another 8 ohm cabinet
    and take advantage of the full 500 watts the LMII offers

    Phil Anderson
  3. ChocolateTV


    Sep 23, 2006
    From what you've said, it sounds perfect for your needs. Why would you want to be talked out of it? ;)
  4. RickenBoogie


    Jul 22, 2007
    Dallas, TX
    May I suggest Mesa's Walkabout Scout. It's light, powerful, and the warmest tone I've ever heard out of a hybrid amp. It also is removeable from it's combo, 1x12, or 1x15, and can stand alone as a head, driving 2 8 ohm cabs. A little pricey, sure, but very versatile, with an outstanding semi parametric eq section, and all the features you'd expect from a top notch bass amp. It's also 300 watts, but sounds louder than my previous 500 watt Ampeg BA500. Check one out if you can, they still have a few at GC, even though GC has quit selling Mesa amps. Good luck.
  5. WoodyG3


    May 6, 2003
    Colorado, USA
    I hear what you are saying, but I really want a combo, not separate components. I know that Epifani cabs sound great!

    So, nice try, but you didn't talk me out of the Markbass. Not yet, anyway...:D
  6. BassyBill

    BassyBill The smooth moderator... Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2005
    West Midlands UK
    The only thing I'd suggest would be making sure you try the 210 combo alongside the 112. Still light, but you might find you like the tone even more. I did.

    Sorry if that doesn't really help. :D
  7. Wilbyman


    Sep 10, 2003
    Parkersburg, WV
    The 121P is an amazing little box. I just got one and am really stoked on it. The Epifani T112 is a biggish, heavy box which may put out more "let's see how much low end we can get out of this". However, I routinely use an Epi UL112 and the 121P somehow puts out more low end despite appearing to be half the size. I played a medium volume jazz quartet gig with it on Monday and it had power to spare, and I never felt like I was pushing a small box to do something it wasn't capable of. It just sounded big, tight and clean.

    I was a hater on the LMII, but I love this combo.
  8. B String

    B String Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2002
    Los Angeles
    Actually, the Walkabout has 150 watts into 8ohms. The
    121p has 300 watts into 8ohms. The 121p weighs about
    29lbs. Thw Walkabout weighs about 54lbs. The Mesa is
    bigger too. I think our boy is talking about small and light.
    As small and light and powerful as the Walkabout is, its
    almost twice the weight, half the power, and bigger than
    the Markbass 121p. Tone is left for another discussion
    based on opinion.
  9. WoodyG3


    May 6, 2003
    Colorado, USA
    Well, nobody was able to talk me out of it, so I went and got the Markbass CMD 121P today. :D I played around with it for 2-3 hours, and spent a good amount of time A/B testing between it and my Carvin BRX112. They are similar amps in many ways. So far, the Markbass seems a little clearer and warmer in tone. It's weight is about 60% of the Carvin's. I'm going to rehearsal for a church gig tomorrow, then I'll play in church on Sunday. This isn't the kind of music I play most frequently, but it will still give me a good feel for how this amp performs. I'll let you know what I think.
  10. I'm really interested to hear how you get on with this Woody, I am pretty sure I will be getting a 121P since trying one in Edinburgh when I was exploring the city (music shops!) before a recent gig. Unfortunately I didn't have the funds at the time. Now that I do, and I've started looking, but no-one stocks Mark Bass near where I live and I'm starting to think 'was it REALLY that good?'

    I hope it lives up to your expectations, because it seemed to fit my bill when I tried it. I remember being in the shop and thinking that it couldn't possibly be as loud as it seemed! It's difficult to see how these things are when you're trying them in isolation - you really need to try it out in a live band situation.

    I await your next posts eagerly!
  11. B String

    B String Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2002
    Los Angeles
    I used a 121p combo last night for the first time. I was using
    my upright bass at the gig. It worked VERY well. The
    soundman said the DI was great, and that the bass sounded
    warm, woody, and punchy in the house. At home and in the
    store, the combo seemed to handle a b string just fine.
    Not a cheap amp but I think it just might be worth the cash.
  12. Wilbyman


    Sep 10, 2003
    Parkersburg, WV
    Bravo bassman!!! So lessee, did you make enough last night to cover your amp? :bassist:
  13. B String

    B String Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2002
    Los Angeles
    There was a guy I once worked with who said. "The less
    notes I play, the more money I make"

    I don't think I made very much money last night..............
  14. SteveC

    SteveC Moderator Staff Member

    Nov 12, 2004
    North Dakota
    I played one this week. Went back twice. It sounds really good, is loud (kept up to a death-speed-shredder at GC) and light. I decided against it as I need a little more than I thought it could do. If I knew I'd have a sub with the PA at every gig, I may have bought it. Since I don't, I'm sticking with my 212 Neo cab and head.

    It sounds like it might work for you. Combo's are nice. I have tried to make one work for me and it just doesn't - at least at this point.
  15. Wilbyman


    Sep 10, 2003
    Parkersburg, WV
    I actually do get paid by the note...there is a monkey who sits on top of my amp with an abacus and counts them all up. It's pretty trippy to watch. There is also an adjustment for all the notes I play above the 5th fret. Cool.
  16. B String

    B String Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2002
    Los Angeles
    After using the 121p mini combo for a few weeks now,
    My impressions are this. I'm not a big fan of the MB boxes
    but I think this combo is well matched. It gets louder than
    puppy snot. I think the reason for this is having so much
    headroom in a very small combo. It stays clean even with
    the volume up. It can really open up the sound when you
    add some sort of external eq. (Boss geb-7)
    This combo is probably going to take the place of my
    Workingmans 10, GK200mb, Focus/UL110 and Focus/HT112.
    The Focus/HT112 is still a better sounding match for upright
    bass, but for gigs that aren't as critical the 121p will work
    just fine. I'm going to try the combo with an extension
    speaker but it might be tough to find a speaker that works
    well with the MB 12 thats in the box now. Most boxes I have
    sound totally different, but I'll give it a try. All in all, a great combo amp.
  17. basss

    basss Supporting Member

    Aug 27, 2001
    Would you say this combo 'sounds big' when you turn it up? Or is it more of a loud but small-box sound?
  18. Bass-only

    Bass-only Supporting Member

    Oct 9, 2001
    I've been using this lovely little Markbass combo for maybe 3 months now. I'm using it in a "wedding band" but the stage volume gets up to "upper moderate" levels. I usually place it on a chair, angled up a me. When I used to do this with my G-K MB150 combo, I'd lose all bottom end.

    Got to tell ya - this little (less than 30-pound) amp really kicks out the volume and low end! My band can't believe the sound (and low end) from this cab.

    I played a gig a few weeks ago where one of our amps crapped out, so guitar bass and drums weren't mic'd. The amp was incredible, even 20' from the stage - the sax player (who walks out to check the levels on a few songs) had me turn DOWN! I had the master at (maybe) 9:00.

    I still have (3) EBS neo 112 cabs (and a few other heads, including a LMII) that I use for outside gigs, but this little combo more than gets me through 90% of our gigs.

    Note - I just played through a 121P (and a 210 combo) at the local GC and the speakers were SPENT! My guess is a bunch of 5-stringing, "not happy until your ears are bleeding" bassists tried out this gear and wasted it!

    Dollar for dollar, size for size - this is the best and loudest sounding combo I've come across. For comparison, I've recently owned an EBS DROME combo, a Mesa 112 Scout combo and a G-K MB150 combo.The Markbass the the (hands down) winner.

    Another thing - pair this combo up with a another 112 or 212 cab and watch out!

    Gee - can you tell I like this combo????? :confused:
  19. B String

    B String Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2002
    Los Angeles
    There are obvious constraints placed on such a small box.
    However, for its size and weight, its very impressive. I use
    a Boss eq pedal with it, and that definately opens the
    sound up. I play five string and have been amazed at how
    well it handles a low C.
  20. WoodyG3


    May 6, 2003
    Colorado, USA
    Well, so far I've used mine for a gig, a rehearsal, and a couple of open mic nights. I'd say that there is none of the typical boxy sound you hear from so many combos. It certainly doesn't sound like an 8x10 cab, but it does have a more or less "big" sound.

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