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Markbass LM III - Later...adding a compressor and/or tube pre.

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by mastersrhythm, Oct 23, 2009.


  1. mastersrhythm

    mastersrhythm

    Aug 28, 2006
    MastersRhythm
    Hello! I just purchased the Markbass LM III. It should be at my door in a couple of days. I’m looking to add a compressor and maybe a tube pre for the grit when I need it. So, I have a few questions for the knowledgeable.
    1) When using a compressor I like to compress before the EQ. Can’t tell from the online documentation if the effects loop is before or after the onboard EQ. The question is really where in the chain should I put it, output of compressor to the input of the amp or in the effects loop.
    2) For the tube preamp, I guess the same question applies…where in the chain do I put this as well?
    3) Also, would it even be safe to go from the preamp or even compressor to the input of the amp?

    Thanks in advance guys!!
     
  2. rpsands

    rpsands

    Jul 6, 2007
    Phoenix, AZ
    Most FX loops are post-eq - basically a preamp out and poweramp in.

    Compressors are totally safe to send to the front of the amp as long as you get instrument level output. Most pedals will work fine for this.
     
  3. mastersrhythm

    mastersrhythm

    Aug 28, 2006
    MastersRhythm
    Very cool! Thanks!

    BTW...do you or anyone else here have a brand/model recomendation of a tube-pre (for a bit of grit) and a compressor for playing live?
     
  4. rpsands

    rpsands

    Jul 6, 2007
    Phoenix, AZ
    I use a BBE Opto comp for compression. I would not recommend a tube pre in front of an LMII - either you want distortion or you don't. I'd get a VT bass pedal if you want tubey grit or distortion and skip the tube stuff.

    Compressor won't give you grit really. It's primarily for evening out your dynamic volume a little and/or removing peaks from the signal.
     
  5. silky smoove

    silky smoove Supporting Member

    May 19, 2004
    Seattle, WA
    Off-topic: You really like to EQ after compression? Wow... I'm glad it works for you, but I've never found a combination of EQ and compression that worked well when you attempted to EQ a compressed signal.

    On-topic: I briefly ran an ART Tube MP Studio into the effects loop of my LMTube and it behaved just fine. I tried running it into the front end of the amp and it behaved just fine there as well. I doubt you'll have a problem in either location, but you might notice some tonal differences. Give both a try to see which you like better and just go with it.
     
  6. rpsands

    rpsands

    Jul 6, 2007
    Phoenix, AZ
    I always eq after compression and it works fine, smooths out the dynamics either way. I should really try running the opto through the FX loop sometime but meh, more cables :)
     
  7. I know you just ordered the LMIII, and it is a GREAT head. It's been on of my favorites for years now (the LMII anyway... same thing), but I like it primarily for its simplicity, its great tone right out of the box, its totally clean but warm inherent voicing, etc.

    IF I was one who wanted some 'grit' in my tone on occasion, and also used compression as one of my primary tools when playing live, the TC RH450 has that all built in. It is quite a bit more expensive than the LMIII, but probably about the same price as the LMIII + compressor+VT pedal or whatever (maybe even less).

    I can get my RH450 to sound pretty similar to my LMII with all that stuff turned off, and the compression and 'tube emulation' is DARN good (along with a very nice built in tuner). If anything, it is a bit louder than the LMII/III, and is about the same size and a few pounds more.

    I'm not really trying to talk you out of the LMIII, but if you are one who wants these bells and whistles, and they have a return policy, you might consider the RH450.

    IMO, and just FYI.
     
  8. rpsands

    rpsands

    Jul 6, 2007
    Phoenix, AZ
    A vt bass and an opto comp would set you back around 210 bucks. LMIII + pedals..810 bucks. RH450...1000 bucks.
     
  9. I thought a decent compressor and the VT would be more like $400 or so.

    Anyway, it just depends if you want everything in one box or not. I've typically HATED on board compression and these 'tube drive' knobs on amps, but the TC thing is in a different class. Again, with all that stuff turned off, it is somewhat similar to the LMIII, and the LMIII therefore is still the best deal on the planet. However, all the programmable functions, tuner, tube tone, three band compressor, etc. etc. is pretty impressive all crammed in that one box.

    Again, just FYI. And, regarding price, you would probably want the foot controller and case, which would take the entire price up to around $1,100 retail.
     
  10. mastersrhythm

    mastersrhythm

    Aug 28, 2006
    MastersRhythm
    I will look into those pedals now!!

    Thanks a bunch!!
     
  11. Many are using a VT pedal in front of the LMII/III with great success.
     
  12. mastersrhythm

    mastersrhythm

    Aug 28, 2006
    MastersRhythm
    BTW...I mispoke/mis-typed. I do compress after EQ. Don't know why the heck I wrote that.
    So, by what rpsands states I should be good. "Most FX loops are post-eq - basically a preamp out and poweramp in."
     
  13. mastersrhythm

    mastersrhythm

    Aug 28, 2006
    MastersRhythm
    Looking at both pedals on youtube now... You guys rock!!!

    And it is good to know that running in the loop or on the front end would be OK. I will just try both to see what sounds best.
     
  14. mastersrhythm

    mastersrhythm

    Aug 28, 2006
    MastersRhythm
    too funny/coincidental. I think the guy who is doing this video is running through Markbass gear. Can't understand a word though...:) Does anyone speak German? :)




    Wait... I think it is Warwick
     
  15. naturalkinds

    naturalkinds

    Jan 22, 2009
    Savannah, GA
    Pretty common to do in most recording settings, at least. Think about recording vocals, for example. Quite ordinary to compress at the recording stage, partially to safeguard against clipping, and then EQ the signal in the mixing stage. I don't see what this would be so different for bass.
     
  16. rpsands

    rpsands

    Jul 6, 2007
    Phoenix, AZ
    I can tell you from experience the BBE Opto comp is a very, very high quality comp for the money. I had mine upgraded by a tech and it still came out well under a hundred bucks.
     
  17. +1 I've heard good things about those units. I'm also one that, for bass, feels compression is best applied 'pre everything', to control the peaks when slapping etc. before they create havok on the input stage, the EQ, etc., etc. A pedal works very well for that, between the bass and the amp.
     
  18. Eublet

    Eublet

    Jul 28, 2006
    I used a VT occasionally with a LMII. Not a bad setup. You have to be careful with it because it will really scoop your mids when it's EQ is set flat, and it has a very shrill top end. You can dial that back a good bit, so it will work just fine.

    As for cost, the VT will run you $150, and a decent compressor will be $100 minimum. The BBE Opto is good, but it's a VERY smooth sounding compressor, and not necessarily punchy. Great for fingerstyle, rather so-so for slap. The EBS Multi-comp is very punchy, but it will run you $200. The drawback to both these compressors is that you can't control the threshold at all, and the input gain is limited. The Maxon CF-9 Pro+ is even better because it fixes all this, but it runs around $250. So taxes and all you are looking at around $300 to $450 for two pedals.

    I've owned all those compressors, and they work great. Anything cheaper than $100 is probably not going to please you, or will be built too cheaply to last.

    I second Ken's suggestion. Unless you are just absolutely sold on the LMIII, the RH450 is the way to go if you want all these things. The Tubetone control sounds better than the VT IMO. The compressor sounds better than any pedal, and you'll also get a built-in tuner and the ability to store 3 custom settings in memory for instant recall. You can add a footswitch later to control all of that if you want, and it even has a tuner read-out on it, along with a mute switch which the LMIII does not have.

    Of course if you want pedals since they are separate and can be combined with any other gear, than that is a plus on it's own and you are heading in the right direction!
     
  19. silky smoove

    silky smoove Supporting Member

    May 19, 2004
    Seattle, WA
    It's always been a recipe for adding noise in my experience. I'm speaking of a live setting. I've never tried it in the studio.
     
  20. Eublet

    Eublet

    Jul 28, 2006
    Excellent point! Managing pedals requires fighting some noise, and compressors and overdrive pedals are two of the most notorious for noise.
     

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