New Markbass Vintage Pre

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by Stranger Danger, Jan 20, 2020.

  1. Wow, two days and it's already here.

    I'm not an in-depth review kind of guy, but initial impressions are very positive. I only had a few minutes, so I plugged in a Streamer LX and headphones and played with voicing knob. The Flat position offers mids in abundance that I simply cannot coax out of my other preamps. The Butt position is a meatier albeit scooped tone. And the Old position is about what you'd expect: deep but not dull. I like all three, even without tweaking the EQ.

    I haven't messed with the distortion yet. The aux in isn't great--feels like the input loses a little low end. When I have more time I'll try EQing that at the source. But no one else is going to hear that, so it's no big deal.

    I'm glad I fought this one out.
    scubaduba likes this.
  2. dlb1001


    Jan 30, 2007
    I have had mine for a few weeks. I have been running it into a Rumble 500. Fattens up the bass tone, except on the Flat setting. It doesn't have much to it; in the other settings, Vintage and Scoop, it sounds fuller. The two distortion settings are sound fine but I have been running a Lucy Dreamer in front of it and I prefer the overdrive from the Lucy Dreamer over the two distortion settings.
    Haven't tried listening through headphones yet but I should, just to see how much the amp is coloring the sound.
    bonin in the boneyard likes this.
  3. JDA04OSU

    JDA04OSU Supporting Member

    Sep 9, 2016
    Columbus, OH
    Just found 1 of these used which arrived today. Haven't had a chance to tinker yet but was thinking about placement in the pedal chain... my default was going to be to place it last, then I can run its DI out into my audio interface (or to a board if playing through PA).

    Then I started wondering if anyone uses the send/return on a preamp pedal like this to loop in all other FX, in my case a compressor, a C4 synth, a delay pedal, and noise suppressor. In other words, my bass goes into the MB Vintage Pre, then the FX Send goes to synth, compressor, etc. and back into the Return on the MB preamp pedal. Then the pedal chain runs out from the MB pre via 1/4" to rig and via DI to interface/board.

    Thoughts? I really didn't find a specific convo on using the Send/Return on preamp pedals. Seems pretty reasonable overall. But would the drive on the MB pre be sent into the loop? Would that matter? Any other practical issues/limitations with this approach?
  4. Well, mine arrived today. So far I've played around a bit on my IEM setup with it. I think what surprises me the most is how absolutely ungracefully it distorts when you clip the gain. It goes from very clean to a very clicky distortion once the tube lights begin to flicker.

    This doesn't appear to be as graceful as my Sansamp. It does sound good, though. I'm still not sure about the drive control. The drive in this pedal is a bit grungy. It's can't get soft and pillowy like the Sansamp.

    I used the send-return loop to place my MXR Bass Compressor pedal. It seems to be working fine that way.

    Now if only I had a show to play...
  5. I don't have the MarkBass on my board yet, but this is how I plan to use it. It's how I currently have my Shift Line Olympic setup, and it works great. I like that the preamp is the first thing my signal hits before I add other stuff.

    This is a good question and I would assume so, but I'm not sure. It would be relatively easy to check, though.
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2021
  6. The VTDI is my main distortion, and the MarkBass is definitely different.

    But have you tried the second distortion flavor? It's still not the pillowy bloom of a SansAmp, but it's much deeper than the first flavor, and less harsh.
  7. I briefly tried the second distortion. To me it actually sounded like it had more midrange than the first, so it was grungier. Even when I changed the curve from "flat" to "old" it seemed pretty harsh.
  8. I'm not 100% sure I'm reading this right, but it looks like the effects loop is post-distortion but pre-EQ. If that's what "S/R Par" is.

    Also the drive circuit is separate from the tube and the voice selector, which explains why the voice selector doesn't mellow the distortion. The EQ will, but then you're EQing your dry signal as well.

    MarkBass Vintage Pre block diagram.jpg
    JDA04OSU likes this.
  9. Simondolanbass


    Dec 19, 2006
    Hi! Got mine three weeks ago in Montréal, l ordered in February. Just did a gig with it and I instantly be told about my good tone on the playback in streaming. I adjusted the distortion very lightly and sent it to the effect return of the Rental's Ampeg SVTIII and a Ampeg 6X10 and XLR to FOH! Really good fat sound coming out of it. I adjusted the input gain just before clipping and the tone was fat and lightly compressed.

    This week, I plugged my upright bass (full circle) into it and the sound was pleasant in my headphone to practice at home. I plan to try in with my upright bass live.

    Very nice unit. I haven't had time to used all the feature.

    One complain, when you de activate (middle foot switch) the device the sound going to the DI is mute.

    I'd Like to have also a mute on it and a tuner out.

    The effect loop is set in parallel. Somebody knows how to set the effect loop in series? I opened the back and there is nothing to be seen from the underside.
  10. Are you sure it's parallel? I didn't think it was.
  11. I don't think so. If you plug into it, it breaks the signal chain. I ran my synth pedal through it and it's definitely running in series.
  12. Simondolanbass


    Dec 19, 2006
    Weird, when I plug a wire in the send jack it is not breaking the signal. Definitely the send doesn’t break the signal on mine
  13. Unplug the send, and plug into the return... does that break the signal?
  14. Simondolanbass


    Dec 19, 2006
    No! It is really serie
  15. King David

    King David

    Dec 13, 1999
    I am having an issue with my effects loop. It does not appear to do anything. If I put a volume pedal in there, it does nothing. If I put 2 non-connected cables it does not break the sound. There appears to be no parallel effect either.
  16. King David

    King David

    Dec 13, 1999
    It sounds fantastic, but my unit is going back. I contacted support about my issue and never heard from them. In fairness, I bought mine from Guitar Center online. They shipped a used one instead of the new one that I ordered. I will probably get a new one to replace this as it sounds real nice, but I am not paying that much for something that does not work properly.
  17. King David

    King David

    Dec 13, 1999
    Literally, just got this.
    Hi David,
    thanks for writing and for choosing Markbass.
    The send/return is in parallel (dry+wet) by default, so it's normal that a volume pedal would not stop the sound if connected to the fx loop.
    Best Regards.
    bonin in the boneyard likes this.
  18. Buck Dutt

    Buck Dutt

    Aug 3, 2020
    Rome, Italy
    I've had this for a while but not used it at all with another pedal until today. I ran an envelope filter from the output of the Markbass into my amp and it sounded great, but when I put it in the effects loop (and ran the output from the Markbass into my amp) it's like I could hardly hear the envelope pedal effect at all. Is this how it's supposed to work? Is this what "parallel" means (as I really don't know what series and parallel mean in this case)? And if so, then is there anyway to change this?

    I ask because one of the main reasons I got the Markbass was to use the DI for home recording, and I'm getting a whole bunch of pedals now (Daring Edge Activator, Compressor, and the above mentioned envelope filter) that I want to run the signal through and then into the DI so I can record on my computer. If it only works like this, then it's almost useless for me (because the "parallel" effects loop seems to sound like there is almost no effect there). Is there a way to make it so that I can have the output of the Markbass go into the effects signal chain, and then finally out through the DI?
  19. King David

    King David

    Dec 13, 1999
    From what I just posted, it sounds like what you are getting is the way it is designed. I think it is a bit silly the way they did it without a way to blend the wet/dry signal (knob to blend between the two). That is just my opinion though.
    Buck Dutt likes this.
  20. Buck Dutt

    Buck Dutt

    Aug 3, 2020
    Rome, Italy
    It could be. The wet/dry thing makes sense because it sounds to me like the envelope filter comes through as if it's 50% wet 50% dry. Is that the way it could be? They have some kind of hardwired 50/50 effect blend?
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