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Markbass power rating

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by mouthmw, Jan 24, 2012.


  1. mouthmw

    mouthmw

    Jul 19, 2009
    Croatia
    How is the usual 500W Markbass power rating?
    Powerful and loud enough for most gigs?
    I read some people describe their power amp as "anemic" sounding and that there's not enough power for transients.

    What does that mean exactly? Do you hit the limiter too soon?
    I'm wondering if their 500W is enough to power my 412 cab.

    GK 700RB II with its 480W was loud enough, so I take it MB should be loud enough too?
     
  2. KJung

    KJung Supporting Member

    It is an honestly rated 500 watts. Through a relatively efficient 410 or 212, it would be enough for virtually any gig (by that I mean it would keep up easily with a loud, unmic'd drummer, which of course is as loud as you would ever need to be).

    If you are a weekend warrior playing with a bunch of guys with Marshalls and no sense of dynamics or volume, you might need more:p

    The limiting of the Markbass amps will cause them to compress (i.e., not get any louder and lose a bit of low end) when you reach their limit. This is more noticable when really pushing a small 8ohm cab than a large 4ohm cab.

    IMO, and years of IME on this one.
     
  3. Double Agent

    Double Agent Supporting Member

    Mar 10, 2006
    Lakeland, FL
    I agree with KJung's post above. For the last 2 years now, I have been using a LM2 hooked up to 2 Epifani PS112s to play several different projects with a wide range of styles and volumes. I've never had to turn the master higher than 1:00, but it usually lives between 11:00-12:00 on the master volume and that is plenty of volume for 95% of my gigs.

    I would definitely plan on using either two 8-ohm cabs or one 4-ohm cab. I only have the small cabs, so I can't say if it would do well with a standalone 8-ohm 4x10, but for my situation, I think having the two smaller cabs (1x12, 2x10, etc.) is ideal. I use one cab for practice/rehearsal and both for gigs.
     
  4. mouthmw

    mouthmw

    Jul 19, 2009
    Croatia
    Nice! Sounds like it would do well with a single 4 ohm 412 cab then!
     
  5. KJung

    KJung Supporting Member

    Should be fine. GK amps are known to be loud per watt. An F1 would keep up with the GK700RB pretty nicely, but the tone will be more even, less deep low end, and a much more natural, more even top end. That GK tone is cool (not my thing) and you won't get that exact thing in any other amp.

    If you really love the GK thing, but just want smaller, the GK MB line of heads are pretty cool. The MB500 would be the closest in tone IMO to your 700, and is even smaller and lighter than the F1. Of course, the MB800 would bury your 700.

    I love the warm, even, neutral tone of the Markbass heads.... the warm, organic tone of the LMIII and the tighter, brighter, more 'modern' tone of the F1 and F500. But, they don't sound like GK's.

    A Genz Shuttle 9.2 would sit right between the Markbass voicing (even, smooth, flat, neutral) and the super goosed GK voicing, and would EASILY keep up with your 700. It is also featherweight and tiny.

    Lots of good stuff out there in the mini amp market! Quite frankly, with that very large cab, the GK MB800 or the Genz Shuttle 9.2 would be my choice.
     
  6. mouthmw

    mouthmw

    Jul 19, 2009
    Croatia
    Actually, I want a different tone from my GK, and have an offer for a Markbass R500.
    The warm organic more vintage like tone is what drew me to that head, because I'm hoping to warm up the GK NEO 412 cab which seems to be quite transparent.
    I'm looking for a bit of a change from what I've got now :)
     
  7. KJung

    KJung Supporting Member

    You should dig it then. I have not played that particular Markbass head, but it has gotten good reviews for being warm and fat sounding.
     
  8. theretheyare

    theretheyare

    Sep 4, 2010
    Brooklyn, NY
    Endorsing: Arkham Vacuum Tube Amplification
    Hmmm...in a store I yesterday A/B ed a new Markbass 800w and an old busted GK rb800 over the same ampeg box with my fretless Linc bass with TI flats, and honestly, no matter what I tried with the settings, I couldn't keep the Markbass from coloring heavily, up to farting out in the low end at average settings/volumes, when pushed hard attack-wise, fingerstyle. The RB800 (a measly 300w at 4Ohm) held its low end character much better in these sudden dynamic changes, kept up volume wise, and therefore with that bass and style clearly won on punch, bass tone rendering and all-over clarity. Would the ShuttleMax 6 or 12 work for me? (given that I have 4Ohm Low B2 cabs at home)
     
  9. KJung

    KJung Supporting Member

    I have A/B'd the GK 800RB with the LMII many times, and can't imagine what you were hearing. My guess is, the cab you were using couldn't handle the MUCH bigger low end compared to the 800RB.

    It is impossible for the Markbass heads to 'fart out'. The limiting system will result in them gently compressing (i.e., losing low end, kind of like when you have a compressor limiter turned up quite a bit) and then stop getting louder. If you heard farting, that came from the drivers, and it would not surprise me if the output of the 800 watt Markbass would destroy some cabs when pushed.

    Also, there is significant user error among those trying the Markbass heads for the first time (since most Guitar Center employees are clueless). The 'flat' setting of the MB heads is EQ at noon and TONE FILTERS OFF. If you set those tone filters both to noon, you will get a muddy, dull mess that will also pump massive low end into a cab and pretty much destroy the drivers.

    Edit: Just saw you have Acme's. I have a Fullrange. Yes, the big low end and power of the Markbass 800 series can push those drivers right to the plate. Not a good match-up. Also, if you really push it, you can blow through the Markbass limiting and get some mild distortion (only with the Acme's). The Shuttle Max12.2 (for two 4ohm cabs) has a more dynamic limiting system which sounds smooth and musical when you hit the rails, and more importantly, a more controlled (i.e., not as deep) low end with some nice high passing that will help keep those Acme drivers in check better than the more wide open low end of the Markbass 800 series. The 800RB has even less going on down low, and that midrange response works pretty well with the Acmes'.
     
  10. theretheyare

    theretheyare

    Sep 4, 2010
    Brooklyn, NY
    Endorsing: Arkham Vacuum Tube Amplification
    Thanks for your detailded comment! if I may take a little bit more of your time: that does make sense what you say about the MB-because when I tried a LMIII 500W the other day (through 2x10 Markbass cab and not playing my own bass) I was really pleasantly surprised at the quality of the low end. Would you say the old GK RB800 works well with a 4 Ohm ACME? Seems a little underpowered, in terms pure numbers, but that heavy transformer might make up for it (also, I am dedicated 4 stringer, don't do lower than E)? I am still thinking about Genz benz ShuttleMAX 12 as the end-all solution (portable, can drive either 1, or 2 ACME cabs, or my home built 16Ohm lightweight 1x10), but I have trouble finding 1 to try out...
     
  11. KJung

    KJung Supporting Member

    I gigged an 800 and 400rb way back in the day. Very impressive heads, even to this day.

    I again think the perceived 'power' of those heads is at least partially due to a very controlled (i.e., rolled off) low end. It takes much fewer watts to pump out a mid voiced tone with a goosed upper mid response than a very wide even response. So, put another way, the 800RB seems matched reasonbly well to the Acme's, since they will suck an amp with a deep low end dry. Very power hungry cabs. And, it is kind of strange yin yang in that the Acme's are tuned to go very low, but if you put a very deep signal into them, those drivers can really hit the plate, cone crease and everything else.

    So, most have good luck using a relatively high powered amp combined with a high pass filter removing the deep bass. The GK kind of has that vibe built in. The power is a bit low, but an 800RB into a single Acme B210 at 4ohms can sound pretty darn good.

    I have very good luck with the Genz high powered stuff with my Acme Fullrange (which has the same quirks as the original B210, etc.). The limiting is very musical on the Genz amps, so when you hit the rails, they still sound good, and they have very nice high passing built in... so more low end capability than the 800RB, but very controlled, and not a tone of energy being put out under 40 hz. The 12.2 would be a GREAT option with two 4ohm B210's. It has a variable LF boost that will slowly bring up the volume of the 35-60hz frequencies, so you can kind of find the sweet spot between deep and full and farting out.

    Highly recommended with the Acme cabs. I'm using a Streamliner with my 4ohm Fullrange, and it sounds very good... super fat and tubey. The Max 12.2 can get more punchy and bright if you want it to.

    IMO and IME!
     
  12. KJung

    KJung Supporting Member

    To the OP... sorry for the Acme OT. The Acme cabs are unique, and none of this discussion really impacts you with that high efficiency 412.
     
  13. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD Supporting Member

    Feb 20, 2005
    Seweracuse, NY
    This is almost always the crux of the biscuit when it comes to complaints about Markbass heads being too bassy, mid scooped, muddy or undefined. At noon these filters are coloring the sound to an extreme.
     
  14. theretheyare

    theretheyare

    Sep 4, 2010
    Brooklyn, NY
    Endorsing: Arkham Vacuum Tube Amplification
    Ah I see-that was indeed in 1) GC 2) cluesless store clerk 3) clueless me
     
  15. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD Supporting Member

    Feb 20, 2005
    Seweracuse, NY
    What Markbass should do is spin those potentiometers around so that the all the way counter clockwise "Off" setting puts the pointer on the knob at noon. Then when they're in the showroom and everything is at noon they'll be off. Since the useable sweep on those knobs is really no more than 180 degrees anyway, there's a hope that most people wouldn't turn them past the 6 o'clock setting. :)
     
  16. KJung

    KJung Supporting Member

    Happens a lot. Very poor training of most of the employees at guitar center, and everything at noon is kind of a logical start point if you aren't familiar. The filters are marked pretty clearly, but on a sort cab, you would have to bend over and look closely, which I know I wouldn't have done either.

    Hopefully, you will get to try it again sometime.
     
  17. I own and gig with MB LM3, SA450 and F500 heads. I most often use them thru a Berg HT112ER+EX stack. When I reach the max output of the digital power amp F500 it limits really hard, putting the brakes on the output (if you know what I mean) whereas the limiting on the analogue power amp LM3 and SA450 is less severe IME.

    The first time it happened with the F500 I thought something was wrong, but I'd just reached its limit. If you really want to go mega loud with a class D head I think it wise to go for something like the SD1200 ($$$$$) which should have more headroom and use appropriate cabs ( a 410 minimum).
     
  18. With my MarkBass CMD121 + 2x10 cab, they band usually tells me to take it down if I go beyond 3-4 on the volume.
     
  19. Dave W

    Dave W Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2007
    White Plains
    I gigged a LMII into a pair of Aggie GS112's on a regular basis in a loud metal band. 2 guitars, keys, and a hard hitting drummer. I never had an issue keeping up volume wise, and I once got told at a gig that there was too much bass.
     
  20. B String

    B String Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2002
    Los Angeles
    Hey K.
    What about the new Tecamp Puma's? I went back to talk to the Tecamp people. The owner (forgot his name) said there was an error in the show catalog. The Puma 900 is 600 watts @ 8ohms, 900 @ 4ohms. When I asked about the difference in tone from the old Puma's he said it sounds the same, with a tiny bit less deep lows, but more punch in the lows-low mids.
     

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