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MarkBass Ninja 102 500: My review (bassist, cover band, many basses/effects, different gigs)...

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Tricaptain, Oct 23, 2019.


  1. Tricaptain

    Tricaptain

    Sep 21, 2011
    Right Hear (...it's a pun. Use your ears!). ;D
    I'm just a user/customer that plays gigs. I am not professionally affiliated with any vendor, etc.
    Say, you guys! I'd recently purchased a MarkBass Ninja 102 500 (amp head is 300 watts at 8 ohms, 500 watts at 4 ohms).

    TLDR: It's a Little Mark III and rear-ported Traveler 102p in a vertical combo (and I seriously, seriously love it).

    Long(er) version: I got this amp sight unseen… sort of. I'd had lots of experience with Little Mark III amp (same specs as above) and the Traveler 102p (2x10) cabinets (400 watts, 8 ohms). Looking at the specs online, this amp looked like a 1-hand carry version of exactly that; LMIII head, 102p cab. I know there's a 102 250 out there as well, but given my past experience, I knew I wanted the headroom - better to have and not need, etc...

    Much to my bliss... that was pretty much correct. The ONLY difference I can think of off the top is that the LMIII has a balanced (XLR) input as well as an unbalanced (1/4") input. The Ninja does not. For me, I only need the 1/4" input anyway. That said, ***this combo DELIVERS***. If you have any experience with the LMII/III heads and the 102p cab, you know what you're getting. With it being a 1-hand carry now, it's AWESOME. It has made my gig life easier. Load-ins/outs and setup has been made even more efficient.

    On its own, it holds up REALLY well; no issues being heard with 2 guitars, drums and multiple vocals in a crowded mid-sized venue. Yes, I get PA support at almost every venue I play, which is great because the Ninja 102 500 doesn't need to be stressed too hard. However, I've also played it at loud rehearsals with similar setups, and it's most certainly audible. If I absolutely need to (which is rare, but I sometimes do anyway - especially for outdoor, self-produced gigs!), I happen to have another Traveler 102p 2x10 cabinet, resulting in a 4x10, 500 watt, 4 ohm vertical stack.

    If you know MarkBass, you know what to expect. If you LIKE MarkBass, all the more bonus! I've always been a Mesa/Boogie guy (always WILL be, too!), so my Walkabout Scout 1x12 comes out on occasion just because I love it so. I also have a Mesa D800+, which is *true brilliance* - might be my favorite amp of all time, (for ME) totally rivaling the Mesa/Boogie 400+. However, I've always loved what MarkBass does (or... doesn't do?)… To my ears, the MarkBass series isn't too colored, so the tone mostly comes from your hands, the bass, any effects, and the voices of the speakers being used. For me, I LOVE that because I can shape the tone differently. I learn so much about my playing, my basses, effects, etc. when using different amps/cabs, and the fun continues with this Ninja!

    Anyways, much more to say about this combo, but I'll stop here. Please feel free to ask questions, post your own experiences or what have you... chat freely! Let's be among the first to offer our experiences on this combo and hopefully help others wanting to know about it.

    Disclaimer: I'm a multi-instrumentalist (dabble in drums, 6-string guitar and vocals), but PRIMARILY a bassist. Started in the very early 90s, I like (and play) multiple genres. Active cover band musician with some vocal ability. You mileage WILL always vary - speaking solely from my personal opinions and experiences. Conversation is ENCOURAGED! Please share thoughts/ideas, and please correct me on anything I may be erroneous on. Cheers!
     
    lordradish likes this.
  2. mexicant

    mexicant

    Aug 28, 2012
    Mid Michigan,USA
    20191002_163130.jpg I'm with you on the mesa/ markbass gear!
     
    Heavy Blue and Tricaptain like this.
  3. Tricaptain

    Tricaptain

    Sep 21, 2011
    Right Hear (...it's a pun. Use your ears!). ;D
    I'm just a user/customer that plays gigs. I am not professionally affiliated with any vendor, etc.
    Dude, NIIICE!!! Ya, don't get me wrong - I really love many different amp/cab configurations from different manufacturers... ALL have been an awesome part of the continued tone journey, but MarkBass and Mesa... on their on, and actually mixed/matched together have gotten me some AWESOME results.

    This HAS been done before, but I'd also swapped out my Walkabout Scout 1x12 head with a Little Mark III... NOT because I liked the sound of the LMIII better (it's just different), but it was simply an experiment in weight reduction. I also replaced the 300 watt 4 ohm speaker with a 400 watt 8 ohm speaker (directly from oen of my Mesa Ultralite 1x12 cabs)... REALLY cool result! I was able to stack the walkabout with another 8 ohm cab, and it was just a really cool time. I'd recently reassembled the Walkabout to its original configuration. Seriously, still legendary.

    Shout out to Sire Basses as well - nice pic, man - cheers!
     
    mexicant likes this.
  4. Tricaptain

    Tricaptain

    Sep 21, 2011
    Right Hear (...it's a pun. Use your ears!). ;D
    I'm just a user/customer that plays gigs. I am not professionally affiliated with any vendor, etc.
    Sup, peeps! Just another follow up... had another gig with the MarkBass Ninja 102 500. This thing is seriously becoming my favorite setup... WHAT a joy. One carry, walk in, plug, and GO!

    ...oh, wait... everyone else is still setting up...

    *Approaches nearby Server...*

    "...Hey, how ARE you? Question! Do they server tater tots here? Thanks to my MarkBass Ninja 102 500, I've got some down time before soundcheck!..."

    MarkBass.
    Giving bassist back their time to eat, the world over.

    (No, this is not a real ad, and I'm not endorse by anyone. I'm a total clown, but am QUITE serious about how cool this amp is.)
    :p

    Cheers, you guys!
    :D
     
  5. lordradish

    lordradish Supporting Member

    Jul 20, 2006
    Vermont
    Hey, PM'd you on this, wondering how this handles a low B. That's crucial.
     
    Tricaptain likes this.
  6. LiquidMidnight

    LiquidMidnight

    Dec 25, 2000
    I like Markbass cabs but have never really been in love with their amps. But I do dig the Ninja.
     
  7. Tricaptain

    Tricaptain

    Sep 21, 2011
    Right Hear (...it's a pun. Use your ears!). ;D
    I'm just a user/customer that plays gigs. I am not professionally affiliated with any vendor, etc.
    Sup, you guys! Hope all’s great! Just another post to say that the Ninja is *still* super awesome, and Happy Holidays!

    Cheers, you guys!
     
    lordradish likes this.

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