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rant re:frustration at checking out amps

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by revroy, Apr 15, 2015.

  1. This is just a frustration rant...

    I've been looking to add a second head to my stable. My current rig is a Genz Benz Shuttle 3.0 into a 4 ohm Acme B2. I love it. It is loud enough for current uses but I can imagine settings where I'd want/need a little more. I know that the B2 is notoriously inefficient and since it is 4 ohm, I can't add another B2... So a bigger head might be in order...

    I also have the little 8T shuttle cab that most of the time just sits in a corner. But what an amazing practice/small gig rig that makes with the 3.0 head. So another head to take the place of that 3.0 in my larger rig would allow it to slide into the saddle (literally) of the little cab. So a more powerful head would open some other options or even a second 300 wattish head to free one head for my home practice while the bigger rig stays at church (where I do about 2/3's of my playing these days)

    So, I've been watching for used GB shuttles (I know I like the way they sound with both of my cabs) but I dropped by Guitar Center with my bass yesterday to check out the Markbass heads. What a frustrating experience. I plugged into two different heads (a little mark III and a used Momark 500) with two different Markbass cabs (a new traveler 210 and a used blackline 410)... and hated both rigs. There was this midrange honk that I just couldn't dial out and I really didn't like it.

    The frustration is I don't know how much was the heads and how much was the cabs... or if it was both. In any case, it crossed Markbass off my list. I'm sure I don't want a "vintage" sound so that has crossed a couple of other brands off the list and I recently played a Fender Rumble and wasn't crazy about it either... but again how much is the cab vs. the head... Since I really haven't had a lot of experience with different bass rigs, I can't quantify those factors and at the same time, I guess that the voicing of the cab along with the voicing of the head are both HUGE factors in the end result. I'm thinking that just to be safe, I really need to stick with another shuttle...

    rant over
  2. waltdogg


    May 24, 2014
    I've read Markbass heads are extremely flat but the cabs have quite a midrange hump? I would have brought my own cab or tried the Markbass through something more tried and true. Like face first into an 8x10. Because, you know, GC has those stupid little stools for customers and they put you headfirst into tall bass cabs.
    My name is Mudd likes this.
  3. strictlybass_ic

    strictlybass_ic Mediocrity is a journey

    Jan 9, 2014
    Northern Indiana
    It sucks, but I've found the only way to figure out which gear I want is to buy it, all of it, and sell off what I don't like. It's frustrating, expensive, and time consuming, but it's the best I've got. Buy used, get as good a deal as you can, try to break even or get close when you sell it off.
  4. I am not a fan of the MarkBass amps either, but the cabs are polarizing. Either you like them or hate them. What you described was the reason I don't like the cabs at all.
    krovx, SirMjac28 and TMARK like this.
  5. johnpbass


    Feb 18, 2008
    Glen Mills, PA
    Not familiar with Markbass but a +1 to bringing your cab. IMO, a lot of the characteristic tone of several particular amp brands comes from their cabs. I've always felt that way about Eden amps, where you get that big Eden Mid-push from the XLT cabinets. The heads themselves, athough they have a lot of EQ capability, are pretty clean. Ampeg too IMO.
    99Z3 likes this.
  6. Why not contact Andy at Acme? He might be able to exchange your drivers with those suitable for an 8Ω cabinet. You could then get another 8Ω B2 and run them from your Shuttle. A pair in a vertical stack is something to experience!! :)

    Edit: BTW I have four. :D
    shawshank72 likes this.
  7. agedhorse

    agedhorse Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 12, 2006
    Davis, CA (USA)
    Development Engineer-Mesa, Product Support-Genz Benz
    Another option is to look in the classifieds here for somebody that's selling a Shuttle 6.0, 6.2, 9.0 or 9.2. That way you get something that matches up well with what you are currently happy with.
    99Z3, mbelue, HolmeBass and 1 other person like this.
  8. Raf Seibert

    Raf Seibert

    Dec 16, 2013
    Only you can solve your problem, but...

    I wonder if getting a more powerful head is the full answer to your problem. Granted, there are some cabs that simply need a lot of power to do their best. Contacting Acme would be the way to find out. However, more driver area is often the most effective approach. Clearly, you're not in a position to just add another cab. Perhaps you could trade your B2 for a cab with more area. Perversely, this may also require more power, but that would ensure you enough headroom for other situation.

  9. seamonkey


    Aug 6, 2004
    Powered subs are really coming down in price
    You can put one in the effects send/return of the GB
    Lows stay with the sub, and hi-pass is returned to the GB.
    This lets you keep all the tone and character of the GB in the upper bass through highs. The GB has more midrange power to go to the Acme since the sub now handles the lows.

    Outside the box, but if you like what you have now, sometimes just adding a sub will give you all the volume you need.
  10. thanks all for the helpful thoughts. I really wasn't looking for answers, just a soapbox to rant my frustrations. Still, there have been some helpful suggestions and the observations have helped my process.

    Clearly that is not only the easiest solution but also one that I really do like. I've been watching here and on evilbay. I missed a 6.0 last week that went on ebay for $266. Bummer.

    Yeah... it isn't, regardless of what head I get. Different speaker cabs or 2 B2's as you suggested without a new head would probably be a better solution to any volume problems but that nagging little piece of have a practice amp at home isn't addressed by that...

    So, right now, I'm leaning to another shuttle 3.0 head so I have a church rig and a home rig and then if/when I need more volume worrying about other speakers. I'm guessing with more speaker area plus higher speaker efficiency, the 3.0 would likely be all I'll need (I don't do loud rock...)
  11. derrico1

    derrico1 Supporting Member

    Apr 12, 2005
    Charlottesville, VA
    In a pinch, I've used my MarkBass LMII as a spare monitor amp; it's that flat. Big +1 to bringing the cabinet(s) you're trying to match a head to.

    If you like the Shuttle and would ideally like another B2, maybe have an eye out for one of the dual amp Shuttlemax heads?
    HolmeBass likes this.
  12. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    I used Markbass briefly, and it is most definitely the cabs. They voice them like that on purpose because it's awfully hard to fall out of a mix when you use them, but I got tired of that mid honk, too. Awfully hard to dial out, near impossible.
    shawshank72 and TMARK like this.
  13. Ramwhale


    Jan 21, 2015
    I used this method for four years and finally found and end to it, thank god....
  14. strictlybass_ic

    strictlybass_ic Mediocrity is a journey

    Jan 9, 2014
    Northern Indiana
    I'm nearing the end myself. I've got the bass, the amp, just working on finding the cab to seal the deal. :)
  15. Ramwhale


    Jan 21, 2015
    Good luck and a sincere best wishes! It's seems a harder search for bass gear because you really need to hear how it works within your band. After all, it is the bass players job to make everyone else sound good!
    revroy and B-string like this.
  16. Dogbertday

    Dogbertday Commercial User

    Jul 10, 2007
    SE Wisconsin
    Blaine Music LLC
    I can attest to the maekbas s heads being flat. I use one with an ampeg classic 112 and it's super transparent. I just happen to like the color of tone the ampeg adds, but I've played it through other cabs and it's very open sounding.
  17. spaz21387


    Feb 25, 2008
    Portland oregon
    I hate markbass heads through markbass cabs. I tried one through an ampeg 4x10 and it wasnt bad but i didnt buy it.
  18. Highroler79


    Apr 24, 2013
    Just get a Trace Elliott rig, they are unreal 2 preset tones, a 12 band EQ, hi/low compression, Tube blend and Gain/master volume. Just the 2 preset tones and Eq make them perfect for different bass, and make changing when playing live a snap.
  19. Buy a lightweight power amp, use Shuttle as preamp. Leave the power amp and cab at church, bring the Shuttle home to practice through the 8" cab. No one can easily use your rig at the church bc there's no head. Take the power or speaker cable with you if you want.

    Decent 1,000 watt amp should be under $300? All the tone you want but with lots more power. Get a stereo amp that can run 4 ohms each side and you can always add a second cab if you ever want.

    You could even set up your 8" cab as a monitor using the Acme cab facing away from you.
    seamonkey, Plectrum72 and johnpbass like this.
  20. alaskaleftybass

    alaskaleftybass Will Hanbury, Jr. Supporting Member

    Mar 21, 2012
    Sitka, Alaska
    seamonkey and JimmyM like this.

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