Think I'll go Ampless...RH450, TH350, MB Fusion, LMIII oh my.

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by scubaduba, Apr 17, 2012.

  1. scubaduba

    scubaduba Moderator Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 23, 2003
    haha! But that's what I feel like.

    I'm wanting to replace my little GK MB200 with something a little more powerful... but that's where my frustration begins. I don't know where to go next. I know I want a micro.

    I've played through everything I can get my hands on locally. Unfortunately that's not many of the micro's. So I've done the next best thing and listened to countless videos on Youtube. Searched here, and searched here some more, and read some, and read some more... you get the picture.

    My head now spins.

    Can somebody just describe each of the following in one sentence each:
    1. GK MB Fusion
    2. Genz Benz Shuttle 6.0
    3. Mark Bass LMIII
    4. TC Electronics RH450
    5. Aguilar Tonehammer 350
    6. Ampeg PF500
    7. Any others you care to add

    I just want to see how we all describe the variances of each. I suspect there will be consistencies in a few of the above.

    I'm really wanting something pretty transparent, fat, and punchy. Is there such a thing?

    Please help.
  2. Soverntear

    Soverntear Supporting Member

    Mar 17, 2008
    4. TC Electronics RH450
    Great sounding amp with lots of options, if you replace the "450" with "about 275"
  3. Russell L

    Russell L

    Mar 5, 2011
    Cayce, SC
    LMIII is the cat's pajamas, to me. It sounds great even before you turn any knobs past neutral. Many say it lets your bass sound like your bass. I agree. The VLE and VPF knobs work wonders in small doses (be careful not to boost too many lows with the VPF). I pair mine with either one, or both, of my Traveler 151P cabs for a sound that always cuts through the mix with plenty of lows to boot. It's a lightweight rig with a great sound. Tone-wise, I find the combination to be full, but with some mids that help the sound cut through. Very articulate and highly recommended.
  4. Loel

    Loel Blazin' Acadian

    Oct 31, 2004
    I would also add Ampeg pf350/500
    to round off your search.
  5. MarTONEbass

    MarTONEbass Supporting Member

    Jun 19, 2009
    Norton, MA
    Try a Carvin BX500. Clean, fat and punchy.
  6. As you can tell, everyone has different opinions as to what works for them. Truth is, any of the amps you mentioned can deliver quality tone in a portable package. I recommend going to your nearest music store and trying out some of this gear. If this is not an option for you, purchase something online. Make sure you fully understand the return policy if you're not fully satisfied with your purchase. Best of luck!
  7. scubaduba

    scubaduba Moderator Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 23, 2003
    Thanks all. Like I said I've played as many as I can. So far that's only the LMIII, PF500, MB200 for micros. That's all Guitar Center has.
  8. scubaduba

    scubaduba Moderator Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 23, 2003
    Thanks. I edited the original post and added the PF500.

    I did play through a PF500 at Guitar Center and it just felt, blah I guess. I was prepared to be blown away but just didn't feel it. Was comparing it to the LMIII from Markbass which seemed to have more "oomph" and was so balanced sounding.
  9. Might be the PF500 or it might be Ampeg more generally, but I had a PF500 for a little while recently, and I found it quite unremarkable by itself ("blah" as you say), but I played with groups in three different settings and used it on a bar gig, and it shined. I found that hitting just the right spot in the mix is where it excelled. The tone while playing with a band was complimented over and over. If I had based my decision purely on how it sounded with a band, I would have definitely kept it.

    By contrast, I felt the MB200 specifically is remarkable by itself. It's fat, it's bright, the contour switch gives you a great bedroom tone (I guess it's a great slap tone - I'm not much of a slapper). That matters less with a band. People said it sounded nice, but it was remarked on more for its size.

    IMO, if you really like the MB200, you should try to find something with a similar character, but more power.
  10. scottfeldstein

    scottfeldstein Roots and fifths and a little extra.

    Jun 20, 2011
    West Bend, Wisconsin
    1. GK MB Fusion: Just like the MB500 (which is just like your 200 but with more watts and knobs) except that it has a tube preamp stage for added warmth/grit.

    2. Genz Benz Shuttle 6.0: The only amp I have any GAS pains for.

    3. Mark Bass LMIII: A lot like the GK MB500 only yellower.

    4. TC Electronics RH450: An intriguing amp made by a company nobody trusts.

    5. Aguilar Tonehammer 350: Probably get some phat, gritty tones out of it.

    6. Ampeg PF500: Perfect for the classic rock enthusiast.

    7. Any others you care to add
  11. nostatic

    nostatic Supporting Member

    Jun 18, 2004
    central coast
    Endorsing Artist: FEA Labs
    I've owned and gigged most of those over the past year or two:

    LM Tube
    Streamliner 900
    Shuttle 9.0
    MB Fusion

    I kept the TH500/350. To my ear the best middle ground between "warm" and "articulate" with a bit of "mid forward". Not as edgy as GK, not as wooly as Streamliner or RH450, not as open as Shuttle 9.0. Totally personal preference though. I also am not a fan of either MB or TC wrt customer service (first-hand experience). Aggie and GB rule for that (GK has a decent rep as well). Ymmv.
  12. LM Bass

    LM Bass

    Jul 19, 2002
    Vancouver, BC
    TC electronic RH450

    This is a great amp, with tons of features for recording, practising and gigging.
    Very reliable and the stories of customer service (never needed it, myself) are very good. There was a "scandal" about the wattage ratings that really offended some people
    -search the threads for a really entertaining couple of days of reading. It is plenty loud.
    The amp is really useful for me.
  13. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Yamaha, Ampeg, Line 6, EMG
    Do you want to go ampless or do you want a micro? For going right to the board ampless, you don't need an amp. All you really need is a DI or preamp. Micros have DI's at the level of your Countryman or Radial active DI's, so they would be good to have if you need to use it with cabs, too, but you could also take the money you'd spend on a micro and get a much better DI or preamp.

    Anyway, haven't played them all, but so far, my vote for best micro is the SVT 7 Pro. PF500's great for the money but the 7 Pro ups the tonal level noticeably IMHO.