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my GK vs Markbass shoot-out,,,, pictures/thoughts/opinions

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Davyo, Mar 5, 2013.

  1. Davyo

    Davyo Davyo Supporting Member

    Nov 26, 2008
    Las Vegas, Nv
    So I just picked up a new Markbass CMD102p and the a new GK MB212 (both purchased in the last week) and I also brought along my month old GK MB115 to do a little shoot-out at my drummers studio.

    As expected the GK 200 watt MB115 is no match for the 500 watt GK MB212 but with that being said the MB115 really did very well compared to the Mark and the MB212,,,, the MB115 is a killer little combo that would do fine for a smallish to small med size gig with no problem.

    The real contest was going to be between the CMD102p and the MB212,,,,, I really went into this thinking the Mark was going to be the winner but I quickly found out that was not the case.

    It ended up not even being much of a contest,, the GK MB212 totally blew away the Mark combo,,, the tone, the headroom, the tightness of the sound, the volume and the sheer wall shaking abilities all went to the GK.

    And I'm not bashing Markbass at all,,,, the CMD102p is a great combo just as long as you don't sit it next to the MB212 and compare them side by side.

    During part of the comparison my heavy handed drummer pounded away and to my surprise the Markbass got totally buried while the GK completely dominated the studio

    Yes, I know,,, it might not be fair to compare a 350 watt Markbass to a 500 watt GK and I did take that into consideration,,, sheer volume was not my main criteria in the contest,,, I was more focused on the tone and punch and the overall sound of each combo even at a moderate volume levels.

    For what its worth, I really wanted to love the the Markbass as the tilt back feature would come in very handy for some of the gigs and rooms I play,,, but even the coolness of the tilt back feature could not beat out the MB212 (note to GK,,, please make a tilt back MB 2x10 combo).

    Anyhow,,, these are just my opinions of course and every one has different taste in tone and all that stuff, but for me, and what I listen for in a bass rig,,, the MB212 crushed the CMD102p (which I'm returning to GC tomorrow).

    And again,,,, I'm not bashing the CMD102p,,,, it's a great combo,,, it's just not as GREAT as the GK MB212.

  2. Adam Wright

    Adam Wright Supporting Member

    Jun 6, 2002
    Mike Lull Basses, Roscoe Basses, 64 Audio IEM, SIT Strings
    to me, it's not the head that's the problem with the Markbass, it's the speakers. I had the same Markbass combo, nice features and light weight but the speakers were a total farfest when I tried to get loud and the tweeter was horrible.
  3. Tone Meister

    Tone Meister

    Dec 9, 2009
    There, someone said it. +1
  4. It would not surprise me that a 4 ohm 212 would outperform an 8ohm 210 with two relatively similarly rated heads if the primary evaluation criteria was absolute volume.

    Also, +1, the GK voicing is much 'brighter' than the Markbass voicing.

    That being said, as others above have mentioned, that particular Markbass 210 cab with the piezo tweeter and very deep voicing is not my personal idea of a good time!
  5. Russell L

    Russell L

    Mar 5, 2011
    Cayce, SC
    I don't think it was a very equal comparison. Of course the 212 would win with more watts, more cone area, and a bigger cab.

    As for Markbass cabs, my 151Ps can crush, volume-wise and for depth. I haven't tried all their cabs, though.
  6. Thornton Davis

    Thornton Davis

    Dec 11, 1999
    I discovered the samething a few years ago when I bought a new CMD102P. I really wanted the amp to sound great, but it failed me miserably. It was returned the next day.

    Now I have a new G-K MB410-II on order, with a MBP410-II to follow shortly after.

    alaskaleftybass likes this.
  7. Davyo

    Davyo Davyo Supporting Member

    Nov 26, 2008
    Las Vegas, Nv
    From all I have read on here over the years the difference between 350 watts and 500 watts is not suppose to be that noticeable so I'm not sure how unfair the comparison was,,,, 12,s vs 10,s,,,, yes, more cone area,,,, cabinet size I think are fairly equal,,, theCMD102p is a deeper fatter cab than the MB212.

    As far as Mark bass 15,s,,,,, I owned the Markbass Berlin 1x15 with the NY 1x15 ext cab for a few years and it was a great stack of doom but my GK MB210 + MBE115 also beat that Markbass setup out as well.

    For the record I also owned (for a few days) the Markbass CMD121 but quickly returned it after comparing it to my GK MB112,

    For me, I want to like the Markbass gear but the GK stuff keeps beating Mark every time when I compare the two side by side,,,,,, and I am a little bummed about it this time around as I really really wanted and needed a kickback type rig.

    alaskaleftybass likes this.
  8. Very different sounding. Nothing wrong with liking the bright, aggressive GK tone better than the warmer, fatter, more relaxed Markbass tone. That is why all this stuff exists:)

    Also, just FYI, a larger cab with drivers tuned more to the deeper low end will result in a fatter sound but lower efficiency. Combine that with less wattage, and you can get quite a difference in volume.

    Kickback... trivial. Just mount a tilt back handle on the bottom of any small cab or combo and you have the same thing.

    I'm not particularly impressed with the build quality and reliability record of the lower end GK combo stuff, but if you want 'loud per dollar', they are hard to beat.
  9. Russell L

    Russell L

    Mar 5, 2011
    Cayce, SC
    No worries. I thought maybe the 212 had a bigger cab.

    FYI, the Markbass is 300w, not 350w. I can hear a large difference in spl when using two of my speakers, going from 300w to 500w. I think it's equal to 3db (that sound right?). No, not double, but quite noticeable. And it's not all about the watts, but also the extra displacement of adding a speaker.

    It's ok to like the GK better.
  10. I am not surprised at all. At the keyboardists I use his MarkBass rig, LM 800 tube, 410 and 115 (don't go there it is not mine). Tried one cab at a time and adjusting it many ways, sounds okay up close but that gets lost quickly when I step away.
    alaskaleftybass likes this.
  11. Russell L

    Russell L

    Mar 5, 2011
    Cayce, SC
    I've heard other guys play my LMIII head and 151P cab at the blues jam in a medium sized room (but with crummy room acoustics). Sounded great, I thought. Plenty of bottom and volume, and tight, too. Actually had to roll off some of the lows.
  12. It's not always about bottom end for all people? Especially in a band mix. :)
  13. FuManChu


    Mar 3, 2005
    I did the same thing after my CMD102P was no longer cutting it on medium sized gigs, just seemed to get burried no matter how it was eq'd. I had some outdoor festivals coming up last summer so I sold the markbass for the GKMB212. The GK performed perfectly as a monitor for those gigs, and I have used it for everygig since, I put it on an angled amp stand. The Markbass is nice, but if you need to be able to hear yourself the GK is awesome.
    alaskaleftybass likes this.
  14. Guygrooves

    Guygrooves Supporting Member

    Jan 3, 2012
    Clearwater Florida
    Yerp, I have the MarkBass stuff and honestly I only run the2x10 combo with an external cab.. a 15 or 4x10. its ok in my jam room for a light rehearsal but it's not a stand alone for live in my capacity and IMHO. Its awesome on top of another MB cab, that's where it shines! All the Gks I've tried have been crisp powerful but dry to my ears.. The markbass Stuff is much warmer in tone to me.. Can't quite compare 12's to 10's .. I WISH the MB was a 2x12 combo! Maybe that's next.. You're hard pressed to find a 2x12 Mb cab out there anymore. Still digging the Mark Stuff.. :)
  15. mystic38


    Dec 4, 2012
    Mystic CT
    It is more than fair in price... cmd102p=$899, mb212 is $799 so the markbass should be better ;)

  16. Russell L

    Russell L

    Mar 5, 2011
    Cayce, SC
    Absolutely, including me. I didn't mean it that way. I just mean that my 151P does have enough bottom, contrary to what some folks think about Markbass cabs. I usually turn the lows back to around 10:30 and still have enough, but I try to let the mids come through the mix. My LMIII sounds great with the eq like that and with the other eq knobs at noon, no filters, or maybe the VLE up some.

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