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Markbass LM II under headphones?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by zippydog, Feb 16, 2008.

  1. zippydog

    zippydog Supporting Member

    Dec 28, 2006
    Hey Guys,

    I play a Stingray 5 HH. I just picked up a used Little Mark II from a fellow TB'er to replace separate preamp and amp rig. Suffice it to say that I won't miss any of the old rig - the LM II sounds just fantastic with my 210/tweeter cab! Just love it.

    That said, I was listening to/practicing with the LM II's D.I. out tonight through my Mackie 12 ch. and into headphones. Sounded far less rich than through the cabinet and far brighter than the bass was solo when sent direct into the mixer. Sound was thin and very trebel-ey. I had all of the tone controls on the bass and LM II at or very near 12:00, so I'm confuzzled about why the sound would be that different?? (BTW, I don't think its the headphones, I'm using $300+ Sennheisers).

    Anybody else tried this and have you heard similar? (Great, warm live sound, much more top end heavy through the D.I.?) I'm going to take the LM II to my church gig tomorrow morning and will try the D.I. out to the house system to see if its any different there.

    What have you heard?

    BTW - on a related note, I A/B'd between the "direct out" and "tuner out" through two equally set channels on my mixer tonight. It appears that the "tuner" is a straight pass-through from the input, while the "direct out" is post-front panel adjustments to the LM II. You might have already known that (I've read about it in these boards before), but...in the spirit of sharing...there you go.

    Would be interested in other headphone practicing experiences and all tone shaping advice.

    Thanks all!
  2. All the tone controls at 12:00? Does that include the filters too? That could be part of the problem. Those controls are flat a 0.
  3. figuredbass

    figuredbass Supporting Member

    Jul 11, 2007
    NYC vicinity
    Rhythm5 is right - the filter controls should be turned all the way down to 0 for them to be flat. Assuming that the filters were turned all the way down, if the tuner out sounded reasonably full but the DI output sounded thin and trebly, you may be experiencing an impedance mismatch between the LMII DI output and the Mackie input. Several posters have also reported experiencing this problem, with similar symptoms. Though Markbass denies that there is an issue with the DI on this amp, the "thin DI sound" problem that some have been reporting does not appear to be nearly as common in other amps, if at all. Unfortunately, if you experience this through the church's house system the only practical workaround at present is to use an external direct box instead of the LMII's DI. Whether or not this problem is experienced can vary with the type of mixer being used because of the varying input impedances of different mixers.

    You are correct that the tuner out is a straight, un-EQ'd signal, where the DI out is post tone controls and filters at it's factory setting.
  4. Askia


    Feb 24, 2006
    I have LMK-the 2 channel version of LMII, and I've met with the same "thin DI sound" issue as well. I haven't modified it, -though some guys did on talkbass forums, and say that the problem was solved- just bought a cheap A.R.T passive D.I., made an XLR-jack cable, so I'm going out from LMK DI to the A.R.T DI, and then to Mixer, and since that I don't have problem.
  5. zippydog

    zippydog Supporting Member

    Dec 28, 2006
    Guys, I think I may have solved my issues here!! :D

    I did some more reading on this last night and found that impedance mis-matching was usually the cause of this thin sound "symptom". I also read that the DI out of the LM II needed to be at line level.

    I did two things, both worked. First, let me be clear that all tone settings on the LM II were 12:00 and filters were totally off when all this got started. Here's what worked:

    1. I checked the back of my Mackie and the phantom power for the mic inputs had somehow been turned on. Not sure how or why, I only use the board for line-level use. Turning off the phantom power fixed the tone problem. As soon as I turned it off, you could hear the tone fade back in. Turning on the phantom power got the reverse effect...tone just sliced in two and became brittle and thin.

    2. I took the DI XLR output and converted to 1/4" in on the Mackie and trimmed back the gain on the mixer. Same result - excellent tone. To my ears, however, the XLR input sounded a bit more clear and full.

    You will notice that both options above had EVERYTHING to do with the Mackie and NOTHIHG to do with the LM II. :p In either setup above, tone and filters both work great and my bass sounds fantastic in the cans.

    Sorry if this may have been a bit of a fire drill, but hopefully others will learn from my experiences here.

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