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Mesa or Markbass?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by dikger, Apr 9, 2010.

  1. I'm looking for a little help here. I'm replacing my "B" rig. The old GK RB 400 is starting to crap out. She has provided me with many years of faithful service. Dielma? I have been auditioning new gear, and have narrowed my propects down to two. The Markbass Tube 800 or Mesa M6 Carbine. They both sound really good to my ear, but some outside opinions and reviews would be greatly welcome. I played the M6 through a Mesa 212 cab that they matched the head with. The Markbass through a 410. To me, they both sounded really good. Each posessed a little something the other missed. Opinions?
    Thanks, Rich
  2. Groovin


    May 25, 2006
    Wash, D.C.
    I'll start by saying I'm totally biased but I would go with the Mesa.

    To me, the punch and fullness the Mesa provides is head and shoulders above what MB does. However, if your looking for more of a blues/rock thing I'd go MB. The filters can really add a lot. YMMV

    I'm sure I'll get crucified for saying it but to my ear, I just don't like the MB amps.
  3. Bassist Jay

    Bassist Jay

    Dec 28, 2009
    Sterling, CO.
    Endorsed by K.B. Guitars, Nordstrand Audio Pickups, Von York Strings and Gallien-Krueger Amps.
    Mesa hands down! Best amps and cabinets that I have ever played through. Plus my experience with their customer service has been top notch!
  4. RickenBoogie


    Jul 22, 2007
    Dallas, TX
    Yup, this wouldn't even be a little bit of a choice here for me, it's Mesa all the way. I find Markbass amps to be a bit "lacking" to my ears, where the Mesa is full, rich, and punchy as all get out. And, Mesa's wattage ratings are the real deal. Paired with a Powerhouse 212, or 2, would make big bass sounds in ANY room.
  5. gre107


    Dec 25, 2005
    MarkBass all the way! And I'm biased too!
  6. im biased to markbass but your comparing chalk and cheese
  7. Jeff Scott

    Jeff Scott Rickenbacker guru.......... Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2006
    I am enamored with my Markbass F1 but agree regarding customer service; in that respect, Mesa all the way.
  8. meatwad


    Apr 9, 2008
    Smallville, USA
  9. Richard G

    Richard G

    Jun 16, 2009
    im loving my markbass little mark 2:cool:

    (if u use a mark bass as a preamp connecting it to a boogie is it a marka boogie)
    i actually tried some boogies at the boogie store in hollywood .....not my thing, didnt get me that slamming punch that i liked but their cabs are very decent imo

    My Markbass made my Fender basses sing like never before especially my jaguar bass stock, made me want to keep switching my fenders back and forth ...my gibson les paul bass sounded thunderous ...i went from many years on each amp from peavey 2channel with eq to a Gk 400rb to a swr sm900 and found it easier to get a good cut through punchier tone quicker with my markbass but its what your looking for personally.
  10. there are a lot of Markbass lovers on here so I wont be too harsh but last time I spent an afternoon in GC the mark bass really stood out. As the most awful souding amp in there.
    I would get a GK before I'd even think of a Markbass. And I would get a Mesa before I got a GK. The Mesa tone is of course more tubey, the Markbass seems like you need to have a perfect bass with brand new strings for it to sound good. Oh wait, I had a BFR stingray with new strings and it still sounded flat and boring. Maybe it gets better at volume?
  11. jmattbassplaya

    jmattbassplaya Looking for a gig around East Islip, NY!

    Jan 13, 2008
    Never been impressed by Mesa. Love me some Markbass though!
  12. lomo

    lomo passionate hack Supporting Member

    Apr 15, 2006
    I have flipped and tried a bunch of gear (including LM2 and GB Shuttle 9) , but the only 2 heads that my guitarists really noticed in a positive way were an Orange AD200B and mesa M9, and I agree with them. I love the Markbass and GB heads, but the Markbass is long gone, the Shuttle 9 is for when I'm lazy and the Mesa WA and M9 get all the love. If at all humanly possible I'd try mesa and the MarkB side by side with the same cab, as i did with my M9 and Shuttle 9. For me that was a real ear opener :)
  13. Neither. The last two times I visited a music store (different ones both times) I was plugged into first a Markbass LM then yesterday, a Mesa Carbine 6. I don't know whether it was because I was playing at low volume, or because the EQ was set flat, but neither appealed to me. They both sounded, kinda hi-fi or something. I can't really explain it, but my Ashdown 5:15 100 watt combo appeals to me more. Maybe it's also because I played through a 2X10 + 4X10 with the LM and a 4X10 with the Mesa. No 15's.
  14. gillento


    Oct 15, 2005
    Luxembourg, Europe
    Nordstrand pickups
    Is weight a decision factor?

    I had a Mesa M6 and a Markbass SA450.
    To me, the mesa had a certain thing going in the mids that irritated me. It more difficult to eq than the MB. But is IS louder!

    For my taste the M6 has an inherent "loud rock" voicing, that I did not care for.

    The MB is a lot more refined sounding and more flexible to eq.

    In the end I was asking myself if I like the dominant Mesa good enough to keep it. But I went for the MB!
  15. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    love markbass but the tube 800 isn't a fave of mine. i prefer their class ab amps like the lm3 or lm tube. still, it's a great sounding amp, just not my thing. no experience with the carbine, but very few people say they dislike it.
  16. Mike Shevlin

    Mike Shevlin

    Feb 16, 2005
    Las Vegas
    I just tried a MB SD1200 at the Vegas GC ~ it was spectacular, like a turbo F1. There was a Mesa M6 next to it & I compared the two~ no comparison IMHO. The SD1200 is the new 'tough guy' in the MB family. It's not just a louder SD800~ it's a different beast, and it's hungry.
  17. Very cool! An F500 with almost three times the power... that would make it the best amp on the market IMO, and better EQ power than the M6, 1/3rd the weight, 2/3rds the size and price.... cool!:bassist:
  18. mgauge


    Dec 21, 2009
    Chicago, IL
    What a tough call!!!!! Ive tried both and really like them both....

    But Im a loyal Aguilar fan, so Ive only tried both in stores...

    Markbass is thumping, but lack a little high end..

    Mesa rocks out, but is it versatile enough???

    TOUGH choice.....I dont know which Id pick...

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