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Ed_S

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  1. That 1U/100W bridged LX-II looks pretty nice! You might say I have the properly low-budget version languishing under the bed; an all-tube amp on a technicality... ...and something else that doesn't get used because of how bulky and heavy it is. At least the most expensive component was probably the rack case! 🙂 Not the worst way to scratch the valve itch, mind.
  2. A mate who plays in a pretty well regarded classic rock tribute band uses that exact Hartke rig, and he always sounds great. I've had HA2000/VX410 and HA5500/ABM410t rigs in the past, playing everything from acoustic covers to death metal, and they were great all-round rigs. The only thing I can say against the Hartke HA series is the cooling fans can be a bit loud if you were planning on using the head and one of the cabs for quiet practice in the corner of the living room, but if you're going to use them to get out there and make some noise, as long as you can carry them then you'd probably be hard pressed to beat them for the money.
  3. I personally don't miss them because I always* turn them off on the amps that have them, and feel that the basic tone** of the nano is near enough the same as that starting point with them turned off. I don't think they offer a lot you couldn't replicate reasonably well with an EQ pedal, but at the same time I could fully see how they might class as a loss too far for some who particularly likes them and finds them useful on the larger amps. *The only MB amps I've actively used the filters on are the micro801 and mini802 because they don't have an EQ. **I guess I should also say that the other MB heads I've owned and am basing my 'basic tone' comment on are LM2, LM3 (Combo Head 2), LM800 and F1. I can't comment on the various tube, modular, modelling or signature variants that are out there, but I have played (although not owned) a Big Bang and that sounded how I expected it to.
  4. What follows is just my opinion etc.. but I think it's an excellent little amp head. I started trialling it alongside my others in early 2018 and found that I was using it pretty much exclusively by the start of 2019 and on until gigging as we knew it dried up. + it's light and small but doesn't feel too light or flimsy as a result + it appears to be well built and well cooled so hopefully reliable in that sense + it's plenty loud enough to play a power metal gig with decent cabs (your heft may vary, of course) + it's easy to get a useable sound from it which should work for a wide variety of clean styles + the DI sounds like an honest and decent quality representation of the output - it might not be loud enough if your cabs are inefficient, your tone very low-end-heavy, or your venue very large and your PA very small - it's got a reduced feature-set because of its size, so if it's missing something you need, then you're gonna need a bigger amp I'd say there's a Markbass sound that is essentially there in every one of their amps I've owned and used. If you generally agree but don't like that sound then I don't think the nano will be the one that changes your mind. Otherwise, I'd say give it a try!
  5. There's a Peavey VB3 on ebay which might be worth a look depending on where you're based. I went with the VB2 when I scratched the all-valve itch, but I had the option of the VB3 at the same time and thought it was a great sounding amp. As well as being a little more powerful and having more modern features, it was actually also lighter than the VB2 and I think it even had a fan so it maybe wouldn't feel as much like loading out with a collapsed star that hadn't been allowed to fully cool... but it just didn't look like my old 6505 guitar head, and that's what I really wanted, so that's what I got! If all I'd wanted was the tone, the VB3 could easily have won the head-to-head. I generally take the VB2 out to a rehearsal just for my own amusement a couple of times a year, but I practice near-silently at home with a good preamp/mixer/headphones, and I gig with the smallest, lightest head I can find at the time which is capable of the sound I want at the volume I need. For some, that may well still be an all-valve amp, but for me it's a Markbass nano 300 and my back is duly grateful 🙂
  6. Do you mean 0.05” (just shy of 1.3mm) for the saddle height grub screws? Just wonder if you might be searching for slightly the wrong measurement - there are some 0.05” hex keys on Amazon: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B000BPVW06/ Rather than a key, I got one of these drivers ages ago - also from Amazon - and it’s been really handy and much harder to lose!
  7. For years I was in the bass-->tuner-->(sans)amp way of thinking, but still made a small board to keep my wireless receiver, tuner and sansamp together alongside a cheap PSU brick from Maplins. Can't find any pictures of that, but it was an MDF special. That was fine for ages, but I was forced to re-design when we moved from changing instruments for different tunings to just using Drop pedals. I theorised that the Drop might track better on bass with a high-pass in front of it, and the addition of a grit pedal and some compression sounded like fun, so the prototype was put together: That worked well and gave rise to the finished MDF sandwich where all the power cables were hidden and some handles and feet were added: A successful board, but I eventually fancied having a proper power supply again instead of using a 1-spot, and we had a change of lead vocalist so there were sections of some newer songs that I thought might benefit from a bit of chorus or octave. I tried a few pedals out and found the ones I liked, nipped to B&Q for a shelf and some new hardware, and came back past a bike shop for a chain and breaker to make the mounts: No attempt to hide the cables this time, but I think it's still fairly neat and actually much easier to check and troubleshoot. Then I decided it wasn't quite heavy enough, so had a flight-case made for it! As much as I could perform most of the same functions with a flyrig or probably many (if not most) of the multi-fx units out there, there's something pleasing about having an old-school DIY board with individual units on it that are well spaced out so I can find them with my size 12s and literally do what they say on the tin.
  8. That’s exactly what I did with regards the feet - works well to keep things looking tidier for longer. Yup, agreed - I had the NY121 for a while and it really did make a solid rig, but for me personally the benefit of the extra cab wasn’t enough compared to the utility of the single small combo. I’ve never felt that I lacked volume on stage and always have PA support out front. Of course, if you’re going to get the NY121 maybe consider whether to put feet on the cab instead of the combo since the corners lock together to keep things stable.
  9. I've got both for different reasons. In the case of the Markbass, it was the most capable small combo I could find for playing metal, and the basic sound of a Markbass Little Mark with the EQ all set to 12 noon and both filters off fits very well with my main band. I used to have a Line 6 Studio 110 for acoustic gigs, so the CMD121p wasn't a lot bigger and covered that duty perfectly as well. In the case of the Fender, a lot of people on here were getting very excited about them and I wanted to know what all the fuss was about, and a cheap*, non-carpeted, loud combo that I didn't care too much about sounded like a useful thing for playing naff venues and gigs where you're expected to share backline. *it was cheap when I got mine - they seem to have gone up! My verdict... Markbass + it's very small and light + it sounds great at moderate volumes (like, loud.. but not LOUD) + if you like the Markbass sound, it's got that alright + if the amp section dies you can just screw another one in! - it can get a bit 'shouty' at higher volumes and the tweeter is hissy - the handles on the older ones are a bit naff (the new leather handles are nice) - it's covered in carpet and doesn't have feet so it's going to end up looking a state if you're not careful - messing around in the space under the back of the amp to plug things in is just infuriating Fender + it's light for its size + it's capable of going very loud + it sounds generally really good (the overdrive isn't for me personally...) + it has normal tolex and feet so it clears puddles of beer and wipes clean! - the cloth front isn't as sturdy as a metal one - the matching cab has side handles - why not the combo?! - the knobs and switches feel a bit cheap - at a venue with known poor electrics where the Markbass is always fine, the Fender hummed and buzzed all night So on balance if you're not going to get stunningly loud, you aren't going to be rushed to set up, you aren't playing in venues where you wipe your feet on the way out but you are pushed for space and you want the more refined option then I'd say get the Markbass. Otherwise, the Fender ticks a lot of boxes!
  10. My current main project is an originals band so we don't get massively scrutinised on the accuracy of any covers we throw into the set. Of course we try to maintain the feel of the original since that's probably why we want to cover it in the first place (we aren't politically driven and playing something just for its lyrical sentiment, for example) but it's more important that if you don't recognise the cover, you should just think it's another original that sits with the rest of the set. That generally means playing covers 'as us'. That said, I've played a few one-off covers sets before and I also spend a vast amount of time with my cans on just playing along to stuff on Spotify for fun, so I know that my primary method of learning covers is to not actually learn them at all - I just become familiar with a song by listening to it and then play what I hear. If I try to learn a part, the one guarantee is that I'll forget it in time. If I just know a song then I'll generally remember it for years (especially if I remember the lyrics) and if I've only ever played it by ear then that's all I have to do again at any point in the future. A quick listen through an agreed version as a reference for structure and then play the instrument, not the part. Of course I realise that what works for me doesn't work for everybody. In fact it all falls down gloriously even for me if I don't like the song in question, or if it's a style that I don't normally play and thus results in me drawing a blank for anything that really fits (other than maybe my bass back in its bag) but at that point if I really need to play the song in the short term then I'll just learn the part knowing full well that I'll forget it later.
  11. For £300 new I’d go with the Markbass Nano 300. I mean, I actually did - it became my main amp for gigs in 2018/19. I worked out that it sounded great and was really all I needed (and more) power-wise, so I won’t be looking for anything different to get back gigging again either. We play loud power/melodic metal and I usually end up plugging into whatever cab is on loan or belongs to the venue, so rarely have the advantage of my efficient cabs (but do sometimes end up with a massive old-school air shifting beast) and it still copes just fine with a beaten-up and generic old 4x10. I’m as GAS afflicted as the next guy so I’ve got/had other much more powerful amps and don’t feel like I’m missing out by not taking them to the majority of gigs.
  12. When I used to own a PA system I'd have some spare cables but also another power amp in the outboard rack. Needed it once as well - the main amp for the wedges popped during soundcheck at a friend's wedding. Speakers and stands had to take their chances, but one of the other guys in the band would bring a spare desk if asked. As I no longer have a PA (I hated shifting it so I sold it to force the issue!) that's now somebody else's problem, but we mostly play venues with house PA anyway. For bass, aside from the little amp that I mentioned further up, I try to have either spares or a workable plan to cover as much as I reasonably can. Things like an extra of each type of cable, a 1-spot and another wireless pack don't take up much room in my equipment bag along with the usual strings and batteries. It's just a biggish laptop bag with the amps in the padded section, so it's not an awkward carry. Then I have my spare bass in a gig-bag which is kitted out so that if it was all I had left for some mad reason, I could still go into the house PA - so that's bass, strap, cable, DI box, tuner, picks and even some disposable earplugs. It'd be an uncomfortable gig and we'd have to choose a setlist that didn't need the Drop pedal on my board, but for the sake of about £300 including the bag and all contents, I wouldn't be the reason we couldn't go on. And that's kind of the thing for me - it's much more about how I feel than what anybody else thinks. Sure, it'd be nice if a promoter thought I was acting professionally and duly appreciated it, but I'm all about feeling prepared and not being the one who lets the band down if at all possible. Yup, guilty as charged! And the other guys vary. Lead is generally prepared, but has used my spare speaker lead much more often than I ever have. Rhythm is generally unprepared and has had various on-stage issues but hasn't yet stopped a show. Drums is very particular about the upkeep of his kit and has a big roll of tape!
  13. I take a spare small amp head.. and the last pedal on my board is a Sansamp.. and I give the sound engineer their feed from a DI box sat on top of my amp rather than the DI-out on the amp itself. If my amp goes down then ideally I'd like nobody to really notice, and whether I swap it out or not should depend on how good the foldback happens to be. If my board goes down then I want to be able to just grab the end of my floor cable, jam it in the bass and be straight into my DI and amp; if the amp is down as well at that point because my power feed is out then I'm still straight into the DI. If the DI box implodes then I'll swap the cables into the amp and use that DI instead. If I turn up and find that a cab I've been promised hasn't materialised then at worst I'll soundcheck with the Sansamp straight into the desk and grumble profusely about the whole situation later! I'm certain it will sound like complete overkill to some, but every time I've witnessed an equipment failure it's caused more of a mess than I would personally like to be in the middle of whilst trying to stay in the right frame of mind to play a half decent gig. I feel much more relaxed knowing that I have some contingency plans and that if something still goes wrong then it's not for the want of trying to preempt and mitigate.
  14. Cozy Powell. Preferably on a dep gig for Rainbow somewhere in Germany in the 70s ..had I even been alive then! 🙂
  15. That's epic! I was just really pleased to be able to go and see as close to the original Diamond Head as I'd ever get, back in 2002 at the Boardwalk in Sheffield when Sean and Brian briefly got back together. Was an absolutely great show but I was seriously scratching round for anybody who'd heard of them and might be interested in going along. Saw them again supporting Megadeth in 2005 and didn't enjoy that line-up at all - they just reminded me of a pub band covering Metallica covering DH.
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