Markbass LM Tube alternative (2 inputs, 1 XLR, phantom)

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by kai2002, Jul 23, 2013.

  1. kai2002


    Feb 10, 2013
    Hey guys,

    I'm a double bass and electric bass player. Currently, I'm playing a Markbass LM 800 head. I'm pretty happy with this amp. As I'm moving from Europe/London to the States, I can't bring it and need to sell it (transport, voltage) and need to buy a new one in the US. I want one that is suitable for both electric and double bass.

    On double bass, I use a DPA-4099 condensor mic (needs phantom power, btw: great mic!!) and a Realist PU. For this purpose, the LM Tube is great as it has 2 inputs, one of them is an XLR with switchable phantom power.

    I wanted to know: does anybody of you guys know of another amp that has these features (2 inputs, with 1 XLR, phantom power ...) and is still lightwight and portable? Thanks so much!

  2. kai2002


    Feb 10, 2013
    PS: both channels should have an own gain knob, one EQ section for both is fine ...
  3. Not sure about phantom power (been a while since I investigated the specs), but the current Acoustic Image Clarus would be the closest current production amp. Two combo jack inputs and two fully featured channels. Very nice, warm, smooth sounding amps, built with the DB/EB doubler in mind.
  4. PS Just checked the on-line manual... both channels have switchable phantom power (if I understood the manual correctly). So, this should be perfect for you. A bit 'warmer and fatter' sounding than the LMTube800, but a great company, nice warm, even tone, switchable voltage, and some of the best service and support in the business.

    As a bonus, a nice notch filter for feedback control, and also a built in hi pass filter to remove the boom of a DB if needed. I find the addition of the digital effects unfortunate (i.e., the vast majority of bassists wouldn't use them), but other than that, perfect amp for your needs.
  5. kai2002


    Feb 10, 2013
    The clarus looks pretty good. Need to test it soundwise. I played some AI image amps in the past, they were pretty good sounding. I plan to use the amp for loud electric gigs as well. Anybody has some experience with this amp? Can he handle it?
  6. I gigged the earlier Focus model (similar sound and power). Plenty loud. However, the tonality is much warmer, rounder and more relaxed up top than the 800 series Markbass amps (which I've also owned). The EQ is quite subtle... the amp 'sounds like it sounds', with the EQ being more to adjust to voicing of the amp to the room.

    I find the AI power (and the Markbass power) very honestly rated. I think you would experience a tonal difference more than an absolute volume difference.

    If you have a good 4ohm 212 or 410 or a 2 x 112 gig, that head should be able to handle pretty much any gig short of stupid loud (i.e., Marshall stacks, etc.).

    As far as I know, this is the only all in one bass amp in production that has the features you want. The TecAmp Bonafide has dual channels (it actually has stereo capability), but no XLR. So, the option there would be to buy some sort of Fishman pre for you mic to feed the second channel and power it. Those are the only two amps I can think of at the moment that would mostly meet your needs, with the AI being the better choice regarding features. (Edit: Of course, the Walter Woods has dual channels also, but no XLR nor phantom power, and no DI. I don't really recommend the Walter's any more due to service and support issues and absolute cost, but they are still great, classic amps).