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Markbass vs Genz Benz

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Chrisk-K, Nov 24, 2010.

  1. Chrisk-K


    Jan 20, 2010
    Maryland, USA
  2. Both are pretty nice. That particular Markbass combo, with the larger cab and true compression driver is killer (I don't recommend the little 112 combo with that horrible piezo tweeter).

    The Markbass will be much deeper, fuller and louder than the Genz combo you are considering. The apples to apples comparison would be the Genz Shuttle 6/12 combo, which is very nice.

    However, the 3/10 versus that higher end 112 combo driven by the LMIII... that is a nobrainer to me, Markbass all the way. If you were again considering the 6/12 Genz Combo, then performance would be similar, and IMO the Genz would come up even, and for you, maybe a touch ahead due to the tube preamp being able to get at least touch gritty (your mild overdrive).

    IMO and IME!
  3. Lee Barker

    Lee Barker Labor of evident value satisfies the soul.

    Oct 25, 2005
    Redmond, Oregon
    owner, Barker Musical Instruments, maker of the Barker Bass, No Longer In Production.
    I have the utmost respect for Ken's post: He is very knowledgeable, equally articulate, and to be trusted.

    Given his post against mine, I'd believe his first.

    I owned a CMD121P.
    I currently own a Shuttle 6.0 with the 112, and a 3.0 which I play through an Accugroove Tri112.

    I loved the portability of the Markbass. It seemed of very high quality. But I just could not get out of it what I wanted, tonewise, given even moderate volume requirements. Perhaps there was something amiss inside, but I could not have described it--there was nothing anomalous that I could identify. I put it down to my inability to come up with the right knob-fiddling result.

    The GBs, however, seem entirely intuitive to me, and I get out of both of them a highly satisfactory sound which, if the grandkids end up twirling a knob or several, I am able to refind easily.

    There are so many advocates of both units you are considering--people whom I know and respect, in many cases--that I probably should invest in some therapy to get past this gravel patch in my amplifier-owning life.

    My apologies for this pointless musing. But I do feel a lot better about myself now, and I look forward to more information from better-focused posters.

    As they say in music, you should take this post up an octave and then leave it out.
  4. Chrisk-K


    Jan 20, 2010
    Maryland, USA
    Thanks for the info. I can buy the Genz right now. To buy the Markbass, I'd have to save more or sell something.

    Would the true compression driver allow me not to use a seperate compressor pedal? If so, I'll return a newly purchased Opto Stomp to move closer to the Markbass.

    Edited to add: I prefer the classic look of the Genz.
  5. I own the Genz Benz 3.0-10 (among other Genz Benzes) and I own an LM II as well, but not a MarkBass combo. I wouldn't disagree with Ken, but I will point out that the removable head feature of the Genz Benz is very handy if you want to use a bigger cab rather than a combo, and it also has a great DI. So while the MarkBass as a combo might be preferable in some respects, for greater flexibility if you play bigger gigs I would choose the Genz Benz. It would help you to A/B both, however, as I find their tonal options quite different (both good, just different options on each).
  6. Funny, I was playing a Genz Benz last night at a jam and had a hard time getting any tone out from it compared with my MarkBass setup back home. Suspect it all has to do with getting familiar with the systems even if I swear by the MarkBass VLE and VPF filters by which I could key in a vintage tube-like sound.
  7. Chrisk-K


    Jan 20, 2010
    Maryland, USA
    The Markbass combo is a LMII + a NYC 12" cab, I believe.
  8. Someone more expert than I am can chime in, but I'm pretty sure the answer is "no," as two types of compression are referred to. I believe that to compress your signal, you need a compressor pedal.
  9. Compression driver is just a name for a higher quality tweeter (versus the cheap piezo's in the smaller Markbass combo's). So, it has nothing to do with a compressor, its just a technical name for a tweeter that, I guess, actually has a diaphragm or whatever. So, no issue with your compressor.

    Well, the 'saving money' puts a different wrinkle in it. You should add the Shuttle 6/12 to your list, since I would guess that would be about the same price as the Markbass combo, and would have similar performance, and the 'look' that you like.

    That being said, if you are really only going to use this combo for 'at home practice', then spending more money is kind of a waste. The 3/10 Shuttle sounds very nice, and for use as a small practice amp, it will exceed your expectations IMO.

    Take the plunge!
  10. Chrisk-K


    Jan 20, 2010
    Maryland, USA
    The Shuttle 6/12 costs $250 more than the MB CMD121H. My wife told me to stay below $1,000!!!

    I hope to test-drive the 3/10 and 121H on the weekend (Does GC have them?) to make a decision. One more thing I'd like to know is whether the Genz can produce a mildly overdriven tone. I know that the MarkBass VLE and VPF filters can achieve that. Thanks!
  11. Actually, neither of these can. This Shuttle (the 3) is the only model that does not have a tube in the pre. However, even the Shuttle 6 stays pretty darn clean through its range.

    The Markbass is TOTALLY clean all the time. FYI, the VPF filter is basically a 'contour/enhance' type control that widens the low and high end and scoops the mids.. a kind of 'slap style' control. The VLE is cool, and reduces treble and eventually mids as you turn it up, and it will make the amp sound more old school. However, it will not add distortion.

    Musician's Friend usually has a 15% off sale on Thanksgiving weekend, and they have a 60 day 'try it and return' extended trial policy going for the Holidays. So, you might be able to use that to get the price of any of this stuff down.

    I'm not a 'grind' guy, so not sure what lower price combo would get you there. I know the Mesa Walkabout Scout will do that very warm, tubey tone with a nice gentle break-up, but I think that is over your price by a few hundred dollars.

    I know that a lot of guys use a Sansamp VT pedal in front of the Markbass heads to get that nice Ampeg-like grind when they need it. I'm sure that would work in front of the little Genz amp also. I would think that if you bought the Genz 3/10 and the VT pedal on Friday from Musicians' Friend, you would still be under your price target.

    Good luck!
  12. Chrisk-K


    Jan 20, 2010
    Maryland, USA
    I'll go with a Genz 3/10 and buy a bass overdrive pedal or an Aguilar Preamp!
  13. That will do the trick I think.
  14. SteveC

    SteveC Moderator Staff Member

    Nov 12, 2004
    North Dakota
    Get the Shuttle 3.0-10T. Great little amp. I almost prefer it to my Shuttle 6.0-12T combo. I am anxious to try the Shuttle 9.0 with an Uber Quad.
  15. bherman

    bherman Supporting Member

    Apr 30, 2009
    Grand Junction, CO
    I'm one of those guys using a sansamp VT in front of a MarkIII head (with an Aguilar cabinet) and that combo will give you the slight od effect you are looking for. By itself, the LM is a tad too clean for my tastes, but the VT really brings out the sound that I wanted.
  16. Mr.Bassie720


    Feb 5, 2005
    Washington DC,Silver Spring,MD
    Endorsing Artist: Spector Basses
    Another vote for Genz. Although I do not use The model being discussed, I do use a Genz Neopak with a VT pedal. In a few words.. Versatile, modular, reliable, simple, fantastic. Outstanding customer service as well. The VT pedal would add about $125.00 to $150.00. But well worth it. All of course in my opinion and experience.
  17. Chrisk-K


    Jan 20, 2010
    Maryland, USA
    I owned a VT and didn't like it. It was not for me. I'm sure I can find a gentle OD pedal.

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