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Problem with Markbass F1 Ltd Edition head

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Sbociol, Aug 26, 2012.

  1. Sbociol


    Feb 24, 2009
    Hi everyone :)

    I've been experiencing a pretty annoying problem with my Markbass head over the last month or so.I plug it into an Epifani UL310 II, and here are the "symptoms":

    -after about 1 hour/1 hour and a half of uninterrupted playing, the sound will start to distort
    -turning the amp off for a bit seems to solve the problem for maybe 10-20 minutes
    -if I stop playing/mute the volume for a few minutes on my bass but with the head still on, no sound will come out of it at all

    the first thing that comes to mind, especially considering point n° 2, it's that it could be an overheating problem (we've been playing with temperatures of about 35° degrees celsius/95° fahrenheit), but I really know squat about how amps operate, so it's an extremely uneducated guess.
    I've cleaned the (very small) side fan but there was barely any dirt on it.

    Thank you in advance for the support!
  2. craig.p


    Sep 28, 2008
    New Hampshire
    The fan is actually working, yes?

    If so, pop the cover and vacuum all the crud out of there. In the I.T. world we have to do this about 1x/year with servers and fan-cooled network gear that are in what we call "rough service," meaning dirt+heat+dust.
  3. Sbociol


    Feb 24, 2009
    Yes, the fan works fine, but the head it's still extremely hot when i pick it up after rehearsal, and I've cleaned the inside (even tho there was barely any crud) but to no avail.
  4. Red Planet

    Red Planet

    May 29, 2005
    Sounds like it's overheating. The usual suspects are cleaning and making sure the fan is working.

    Is it in a rack or stand alone?

    Is it under warranty?

    Unfortunately these heads are disposable if not covered under warranty due to the high cost of repairing, cool little amp none the less.
  5. Sbociol


    Feb 24, 2009
    Stand alone, and unfortunately it's not under warranty since I bought it used (Markbass amps are waaaay too pricey here in Italy)...could installing an extra fan help at all?
  6. KJung

    KJung Supporting Member

    No, these heads run all day in 100 degree heat if working properly. Something is wrong with your unit. You should have no problem contacting the company and getting a repair, given that you are in Italy.

    Great head, and very few problems reported with these. They run very cool at all times if working properly. Check in with the company and get a repair estimate.

    Good luck. Hope it is something minor. The F1 (and the F500) are my favorite heads of all time. Been gigging one or the other for years.
  7. Bassmann1968


    Feb 17, 2009
    There is something wrong for sure.
    Class-D amps don't get that hot!
    What is your load (impedance) you are using?
    Maximum load is 4 Ohm for that head!

    And yes, since you are in Italy...
  8. Sbociol


    Feb 24, 2009
    This is the cabinet I'm using: http://www.epifani.com/products/UL3_310.php
    its impedance it's 5.3 ohms, and I was ensured there were no compatibility problems with the head at the store where I bought it, and I also asked here in the Epifani Club thread for good measure and I was told the same.
  9. Bassmann1968


    Feb 17, 2009
    Yes, no problem with this cab.
    So the problem is with the head.
    Still you could try to use the head only with headphones.
    Does it heat up then as well?
  10. sratas


    Dec 15, 2007
    Parma, Italy
    yep, from my personal experience with the italian based Mb service, I suggest to call them and ask for help, they are super professional, kind and efficient, at least in Italy. At the moment I do not own a MB amp anymore, but in my personal rating their CS is awesome...ciao
  11. Sbociol


    Feb 24, 2009
    Can i run it safely without a cab?And if so, I guess I should use the Tuner Out plug?

  12. Bassmann1968


    Feb 17, 2009
    I am not that familiar with MB.
    Please refer to your manual. Normally it should be no problem
    to run this amp without a cab. Also no need for head phone.
    Just try if it heats up without anything connected, then you know
    for sure that there is a problem with the amp.
    It would also help to have that information when you call CS.
  13. sratas


    Dec 15, 2007
    Parma, Italy
    Mb heads can be used without a load attached (a cab) with no issues, at least those without a tube poweramp. maybe the only one that could suffer from that use is the Classic 300, wich is all tube.
    If used this way you should notice that the amp gets slightly warm over 1-2 hour operation but it has not to get really hot, just barely warm. Usually the amp produces heat in proportion to the power that is being used and the load attached (never go below 4 ohms for the major part of MB amps).
    usually a overheating problem triggers a protection circuit and the amp can cut out during high demanding performance. I do not know if the MB amps are built in this way, when I owned mine (2 of them) I never had any issue even in full blast summer and a 4 ohm cab with 45 ° C (sun).
    if I were you I would also check for a shorted speaker cable (try another one), or try with another cab (I'm not an expert but heard about wiring issues with some cabs, but sincerely I do not know what this problem is).
    If you already did those things the only valid advice is to call MB and have your amp controlled and serviced...ciao
  14. KJung

    KJung Supporting Member

    +1 Always best to check the 'simple stuff' first... speaker cable and cab prior to assuming it is the head. The cab shouldn't be an issue at all, but the Epi quality control is not what it used to be.... something wired wrong resulting in the cab being below 4ohms could play havoc with the F1. Probably not the case, but running the F1 hard, first using a different speaker cable, and then using a different cable and cab will help isolate the issue.

    Easy check that might save the OP some time and money.

    Again, if it is the head, probably a pretty quick, simple fix given he lives in the manufacturer's location.
  15. Sbociol


    Feb 24, 2009
    Thanks everyone, I've already tried most of the think you've mentioned, guess it's time to get in touch with the Markbass CS, I'll keep you posted.
  16. Russell L

    Russell L

    Mar 5, 2011
    Cayce, SC
    Just for reference, I've run my LMIII head in 100F-degree weather with no problems. Still just slightly warm.
  17. Sbociol


    Feb 24, 2009
    I finally got some money to send the head to MarkBass CS and they couldn't find any problem with it, they replaced the fan and that was it.
    Still haven't been able to try it tho since we just kicked the drummer from the band and we haven't rehearsed in a while.
  18. BassmanPaul

    BassmanPaul Gold Supporting Member

    Aug 25, 2007
    Toronto Ontario Canada
    The drummer did it! :D
  19. Sbociol


    Feb 24, 2009
    Lol :p

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