Markbass Little Mark Black Line 250 vs Ampeg Porta Flex PF350

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by marekgaw197, Aug 10, 2020.

  1. Markbass Little Mark Black Line 250

    5 vote(s)
  2. Ampeg Porta Flex PF350

    2 vote(s)
  1. marekgaw197


    Jun 22, 2011
    I just sold my TC Electronic BG250 and I'm looking for something with a thicker sound to go well with my 78' Yamaha Pulser P-Bass.
    As for now, I will be using only at home, so being small is a huge plus for me.
    At this point I found 2 heads:
    Markbass Little Mark Black Line 250
    Ampeg Porta Flex PF350

    What do you guys think about those 2 amps? Any experience - good or bad?
    Is is worth paying extra buck for the Ampeg, as it is slightly more expensive (around 50$).

    I would also like to ask about the cabinet I'm considering - Ashdown Mi10 as I found it on a bargain and it is as compact as it gets. Anyone has / had one of those?
  2. I have the MB BL250 as a practice amp at home and have been very happy with it. I have used it with an Ampeg Heritage 410 HLF and a Mesa Subway 115. I don't play with distortion, or tons of effects. I'm even sparing with my EQ usage. I just play quality 4 or 5 string active basses and and tweak onboard EQ as I play from song-to-song/style-to-style. I don't really look to nail anyone else's tone, per se, but just get sounds that I like. The lil MarkBass has been fine in that regard. I don't really use the VPF or VLE much, but having played with them for poops n giggles, they definitely perform as advertised, imho. I think they would do well for someone looking for a quick solution to emulate different genres or vintage tone profiles. I will say that this amp does NOT introduce pleasant overdriven sounds. Clipping is VERY harsh. If the pretty blue clip light blinks more than just a little bit every now and then, I pull the gain down and add master volume. Again, for my needs, not an issue. I HAVE played with an Ampeg Scrambler and a DarkGlass Duality fuzz pedal in front, and it was fine then. It takes outboard drive very well. As long as you don't want dirt from the amp itself, it's a great choice. I'd characterize it as a pretty honest and clean amp, with a mild tendency to warmth. It can get downright fat and thick a little low eq boost. I haven't seen a frequency response graph on the thing, but that's my gut. It's very responsive to EQ modifications, so you can make it as bright and glassy as you want... it just doesn't start out that way.

    Plenty of power on tap. I can set the house to shaking with either cab (Ampeg is 4ohm, Mesa is 8ohm) and still have plenty of room to go on the master. Also, it has a very low noise floor. You can give it a lot of gain and it stays quiet and hiss-free. Operation is quiet. It has a fan, but I've never noticed it running. The only sound it makes is a little click during power-up, a couple seconds after you turn it on. Once you hear that, you're off to the races!

    I have not tried a PF350, so I have no comparisons for you there. I've had an older Ampeg head with the 5 way tone switch, and if you like those quick tone-setting options, I'd say the PF may be a better choice for you. Also, I would hope that Ampeg has engineering a more pleasing drive/grit out of their preamp than MarkBass did with the BL250 (of course, the design goals were likely different for the 2 amps!)

    What are your goals, is the real question I'd pose. Do you want the head to be an all-in-one tone solution for you, to include some drive? If so, I would choose the Ampeg, just based on reviews and posts about it. If you get your grit upstream, or don't want grit at all, I really like the MB and have been very happy with it for a couple years.

    Full disclosure, I AM contemplating selling my MB BL250, but not because it's deficient... I'm just in love with Mesa since getting my Subway 115, and am working towards an all-Mesa rig. I didn't vote in the poll because I don't think one choice is "better" than the other.... they're just different, and each is suited for a different goal. They're both quality amps, it's about finding the one that you think matches what you're looking for. Best of luck!
  3. jeff7bass

    jeff7bass Inactive

    Apr 9, 2009
    Lesfunk likes this.
  4. Lesfunk

    Lesfunk Bootlegger guitars : S.I.T. Strings Supporting Member

    Apr 5, 2007
    Florida USA
    +1 on the peavey

    I had the previous version and it really was an excellent amp

    (I play Markbass btw)
    jeff7bass likes this.
  5. jeff7bass

    jeff7bass Inactive

    Apr 9, 2009
    It's only 70 bucks more than the Markbass for over twice the power. Great features also. IMO Markbass amps are a bit overpriced.
  6. Lesfunk

    Lesfunk Bootlegger guitars : S.I.T. Strings Supporting Member

    Apr 5, 2007
    Florida USA
    The minimax directly competes with the actual Little Mark III at a fraction of the price.
    jeff7bass likes this.
  7. marekgaw197


    Jun 22, 2011
    jeff7bass likes this.
  8. DWBass

    DWBass The Funkfather

    I own the Markbass. Best used with a 4ohm load unless your band is really quiet. I gigged it for a year straight into a 4ohm Eden 2x12. I have since gotten it's big brother (LMIII) but I bring it as a backup to every gig (well, I did. no gigs since March).
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