1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  

Markbass F500 vs. 2 ohm stable micro/super-light heads

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Kwesi, Dec 7, 2011.

  1. Changed title to get input on more possible options.

    So I just got a pair of awesome Carvin V210Ts. Originally, I had planned to run one at a time and just have the 2nd for the purpose of flexibility but I like these things so much that I'm thinking about just liquidating my current rig (F500 + AE410. Yes, they sound that good) and going with something 2 ohm stable so I can just run these however I want. The whole thing is still up in the air and it's not like the BX500 is particularly pricey so I might just hang onto everything, haha. Either way, I'd like to know how the F500 compares to the BX500, tonally. Your thoughts would be appreciated.


    Ruled out:

    Carvin BX500 - doesn't seem to have the tone I'm after.
    Genz-Benz ShuttleMax - big, expensive.
  2. jnewmark

    jnewmark Just wanna play the groove. Supporting Member

    Aug 31, 2006
    Stax 1966
    Third St. Cigar Records staff musician.
    The BX500 has so much tonal flexibility that you can get that tone if you want. I've owned both, and now own the larger BX1500. Never ran the 500 at 2 ohms though.
  3. For this simple man, the Carvin had too many knobs and controls. I'm using a MB LM2 right now and like it's tone a little better than the Carvin. Only an opinion.
  4. jnewmark

    jnewmark Just wanna play the groove. Supporting Member

    Aug 31, 2006
    Stax 1966
    Third St. Cigar Records staff musician.
    Believe me, I'm with you there. I owned one of the shuttle max amps for a brief time, and the controls were too much, especially if you used both channels. But the Carvin controls seem almost intuitive, and are laid out in such a way that, at least for me, I could navigate the front panel with no problems. Right now, on my BX1500, I'm mostly using the graphic eq, and a little bit of compression. Lots of options with these Carvin amps, but you don't have to use all of them to get a good tone.
  5. Lync


    Apr 13, 2004
    The Carvin is great and most of the controls are unnecessary. I basically use the compression on 9 o'clock and the bass between 2-4 (depending on volume). Drive at noon or a bit more if I want to be somewhat dirty. That is it. I don't use the graphic eq or the mid adjustments.
  6. Just talking tone here, folks, not control scheme preferences. If I thought it had too many knobs I wouldn't be looking at it now would I :D?
  7. B String

    B String Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2002
    Los Angeles
    I had one of the early BX500's. Using it with an Epi UL310, we
    alternated (on the gig) between a Markbass F1 set flat and the BX500. I was playing a Fender am dlx J V.

    The F1 set flat sounded great with the UL310. (most heads do) We got the Carvin to sound about as good, but it took a
    ton of eqing. As I recall, there was a big upper mid spike at around 1500-2000hz that made the Carvin sound harsh and unpleasant. Again, we were able to use a lot of the BX500 eq to get it to sound about as good as the F1 set flat.

    The BX500 also had more noise than the FI. Less noise when I
    switched the graphic eq off. I would have liked the option of turning the parametric eq off for less noise.
  8. GrowlerBox


    Feb 10, 2010
    Nude Zealand
    More noise than the F1? Ouch! That is my one complaint about my F1 at least (perhaps I have a dud) -- I have to switch my tweeters off to use it.
  9. Dang, that kinda sucks. I guess it's out of the running then. I have to boost everything on my F500 to about 2 o'clock to get it to sound perfect so the BX500 probably isn't for me. I wish there were more options for 2 ohm stable feather-weight/micro heads.
  10. GrowlerBox


    Feb 10, 2010
    Nude Zealand
    Euphonic Audio?
  11. I hear they have a super clean studio monitor-like sound which isn't really what I'm looking for. My F500 is about as clean as I want to go. It'd be great if I could get my hands on one though. I've thought about a Ashdown Little Giant 1000 as well but they're hard to come across and, with my current cabs, I'm not big on the orange, lol.
  12. Thundar

    Thundar Living in sin at the Holiday Inn

  13. Cost too much and I'm not too big a fan of Genz-Benz Shuttles
  14. grass132456


    Sep 12, 2011
    Just got the BX500 a week ago and it's tone is pretty awesome. There might be a bit too much knob because I am still in search for a clean, punchy, rumbley tone. I turn the drive all the way up, bass around noon, low-mid 3 o'clock, and treble at 9'o'clock. The graphic eq is quite nice to shape your tone too.
  15. GrowlerBox


    Feb 10, 2010
    Nude Zealand
    That's what she said.

    Sorry. Just couldn't help myself. It's a weakness, I know.
  16. smgleitch


    May 19, 2009
    Napoleon, OH
    I have owned both the BX500 and the F1 (basically same head as the F500) and currently play the F1. For me it has a better tone and much easier to get what I want out of it. I was surprised how much I liked the carvin when I had it, but at the same time I do not regret selling it for the F1. JMHO
  17. Doug Parent

    Doug Parent Supporting Member

    May 31, 2004
    San Diego, Ca.
    Dealer Nordstrand Pickups.
    The BX500 is knob twiddling fest compared to the F-1, just my two cents. The Carvin is loud, but it was frustrating for me, personally. The F-1 has the punch and note density and focus the BX500 WISH it had. The BX500 seems to have an airey low end that does not work for me. I think it's the power amp section.
  18. stflbn


    May 10, 2007
    I did not feel that the BX500 I had possessed near the grunt, punch and clarity that my F500 has. Without bumping up frequencies on the Carvin at least to Find that tone.

    The F500's 4-band is flexibility enough for me, and I love what the F500 does tonally, or 'doesn't' do to my basses tone maybe.
  19. Vintage Guy

    Vintage Guy Supporting Member

    Feb 26, 2008
    I have one of each of these heads right now in my quest for eternal tone. I find I like the BX500 better,and not because I am a total Carvin amp freak. I take a different bass every time I play out,and usually leave the Carvin at one setting and adjust my bass eq to get the sound I want. I always use an active bass. The Mark Bass to me takes a lot of tweaking,and I never seem to get it right. Both heads have been tried out through my Carvin Cabinets or the Markbass cabinets,so it's not the speakers. This is my 3rd MB head. Just a simple explanation of my feelings.
  20. Interesting that we all have such different approaches. Zillions of posts regarding the relative 'flatness' of the LMII and F1, and how many (including me) pretty much run that amps 'neutral' out of the box, which sounds pretty close to my bass through my Cafe Walter and a good set of phones (depending on the cab, of course), and that most radically EQ the Carvin, which can be muscled into a 'relatively neutral' tone platform with all the EQ power it has.

    The Carvin seems like such a good deal, and given its 2ohm operation, seems like a safe bet to try and have in the stable for '2ohm micro needs'. Of course, I would plan cab purchases a little better myself so I was never put in the 'need 2ohm operation', but that is just IMO,

    Interesting also on the mixed comments on F1/F500 noise. I gigged an F1 for quite a while, and now have two F500's (one stays at a remote location). All three are on the quiet side of the noise continuum, with a very low level high frequency hiss that does not increase with the volume of the amp. However, enough TBers have posted about noise that I wonder if there was a problem batch or something. In general, both the LMII/III and the F1/F500 are quiet, and about as 'neutral' out of the box as any head I've ever played. IMO!.

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.