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Markbass LM Tube vs LMIII

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by anton72, Oct 24, 2013.

  1. Markbass users, has anybody used LM Tube amp and how do you find it vs LMIII ? Is it real Tube in or just emulator?
  2. In either case, both those amps have solid state power sections. That doesnt mean they dont sound good, but neither is an all tube amp.
  3. TonyP-

    TonyP- Excuse me but you have your I-IV-V in my II-V-I Gold Supporting Member

    Aug 21, 2003
    Boston Mass
    A-Designs Mike Lull GK Tsunami Cables GHS Strings RMI Basswitch Nordstrand Pickups Darkglass
    The Little Mark Tube features a single 6205 miniature tube.

    I'm a big fan of the LM heads but I have never A/B-ed these heads.
    I'm running a couple of LMII (the other version of the LMIII) with thousands of hours and hundreds of gigs with no issue.
  4. The tube has virtually no impact on the tone to me. You do get some additional features with the LMTube... volume on the combo jack input and a push/pull mute on the master. However, especially since the LMIII is so warm, unless those features are important to you, it is not worth the extra money IMO and IME.
  5. That's exactly what my thoughts are...Thank you, I'd rather stay with LMIII or F1. I checked both recently and still can't decide which to buy. I have two proposals at same price for used LMIII and F1 now...sigh...such choice is always hard.
  6. dthomp1231


    Mar 13, 2009
    I have the LMIII and love it. I actually went from a mid 90's Ampeg SVT CL all tube head to this. I obviously wanted to drop the weight, but I really didnt sacrifice a lot in my tone. Love the amp and it pairs well with my my ampeg 410HLF. hits the lows real well
  7. Both are great. The LMIII is a class A/B amp and the F1 is a class D (which explains the size difference). The F1 is just a bit 'tighter and brighter'. The F1 features are identical to the older LMII... in other words, the DI is set 'post' at the factory with no level control. The LMIII adds a 'pre/post' switch with a DI level. That alone would most likely push me towards the LMIII.

    Since the F1 is discontinued (replaced by the Big Bang), and since the LMIII has the nice fully featured DI, the LMIII would be my choice. Warm, clean and plenty loud for most. GREAT 'neutral but warm' platform for overdrive pedals like the VT or Tonehammer also.
  8. I'm now also leaning towards LMIII. I also have to decide which of them is better with the cab I already have. It's MarkBass NY604, 4x6", very nice and punchy.
  9. Although I love form-factor of F1, very compact and light. But the sound is more critical for sure...
  10. Biggbass


    Dec 14, 2011
    Planet Earth
    I A/B'd the two for a couple of hours before making a choice on which to go with. In the end I preferred the LM3. The LM3 has a warmth of tone that the other MB amps just don't have. But it doesn't lose any punch. Turned out to be the right decision..for me.
  11. I've had my LMIII for 3 weeks and I really like it. Its super clean, punchy, and transparent. I asked the salesman at GC why he wasn't pushing the tube 800, and he told me straight up "its a gimmic". FWIW.
  12. Ric Vice

    Ric Vice Supporting Member

    Jul 2, 2005
    Olivette, Missouri
    Since the F1's and F500's were discontinued, there not readily available in the U.S. so if you've located one, I'd give the F1 serious consideration, as they aren't as easy to find. My favorite, was Ken's F500 because of it's EQ section. I also found the Big Bang, to be a wonderful amp and very lightweight. I don't think you could go wrong with the F1, F500, LMIII, or the Big Bang. I concur with my brethren about a single tube in the pre amp. It's never impressed me, I've heard solid state amplifiers that emulate and reproduce tube warmth quite accurately. Just my opinion, of course, opinions may vary, as they often will.

  13. JxBass

    JxBass Supporting Member

    Aug 5, 2008
    I owned an MBII for quite awhile. I tried out an LM tube and after an A/B found the tube influence to be so minimal that I returned it and stuck with the trusty LMII.
  14. But if they are the same price (I found two offers at good price), which one would you take? If LMTube is the same LMIII+some extras I'd take LMTube, right? Unless their amps are different...
  15. Take a pass on the LM tube, seriously. It sounds okay up close but there is just something not quite right about that preamp.
  16. OK, that's different, thank you. As I am familiar with LMIII I just wanted to know can it be beaten by LM tube or F1. As I can see now LMIII is still a leader in their heads line.
  17. I have the LM tube 800. I made recordings of the solid state and the tube settings and A/B-ed them. I could find no difference while running it clean. I even compared the waveforms in soundforge. I didn't get into the dirty settings but really, it just breaks up rather than creams.
    Don't get me wrong. Its a great amp. Just not particularly "tubey".
  18. I have the LMT800 and find the tube channel to have warmer mids. I typically prefer to dial in a bit more of the SS channel and I'll hear the deep lows come into the mix that way.

    There's a difference to my ear but it's subtle for sure. Kinda like the tube in SWR gear, it's subtle but there.
  19. MotorCityWest


    Aug 25, 2013
    I agree with this. I owned the LMIII & LM Tube 800. I found the sweet spot around 1 or 2 oclock on the ss/tube dial, which was about 2/3 tube. Subtle, but noticeable. More so at higher volumes.

    Same price, I would go tube. You can always dial it back or off, but why not have the option at same price.
  20. B String

    B String Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2002
    Los Angeles
    For some reason the F1, F500 heads have much more headroom than the LM series at the same rated power. I could never use my LMII with my Epi UL210. Nowhere near enough oomph, but the F500 is fine with it.
    I still say discontinuing the F500 was not a good idea. One of the best amps Markbass has made. jmho

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