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ajerthebadger

Markbass Little Mark Tube OR Markbass Little Rocker??

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Hi,

Predicament: Which Markbass head to get?

The Markbass Little Mark Tube or the Markbass Little Mark Rocker.

Both are around the 650-700 mark, both kick out 500 watts @ 4 ohms, both have the same EQ section, both have tubes in them somewhere.

The only difference, as far as I can tell, is the way the tube 'blend' is controlled:

Little Mark Tube: 'Mix' Control from full solid state to full 'tube' sound.

Little Rocker: 'Tube Drive' Control which only controls drive......obviously.

My question is which would be 'better' overall?

Does the Rocker already have the tube sound before the drive is kicked in? Is only being able to 'drive' the tubes a problem? I know that Markbass amps are known for being warm sounding anyway.....

This is the predicament I find myself in. The obvious answer is to try them both but I have nowhere locally or within reasonable distance to try them so I'm asking you, the good people of Bass Chat, for your opinions. I know Markbass is very popular on here so I'm hoping someone can shed some light on this topic for me.

Here are the German YouTube reviews, I know they are in German but they give a good indication of the kind of sounds you can get from these bad boys:

[url="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C6iqwo828es"]MarkBass Little Mark Rocker 500[/url]


[url="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dDhTTAZjJyo&feature=related"]MarkBass Little Mark Tube[/url]

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When I tried out a fender road worn a few weeks back it was through a little rocker. I thought it was a cracking amp, but at first I wondered what the hell was wrong with it or the guitar.
Once I figured that the bass was ok and had a fiddle with the amp settings it sounded great, but only with the tube drive almost off.

I'm sure someone will be along soon with more in the way of technical help for you.

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You've got to go try them both mate, or make sure you can return it if you dint like it.

In reality, you may not use either control on either amp. But then again I wouldn't buy a Markbass amp for a vintage tone....

A better bet is the Orange Terror Bass: it's got 2 valves in the pre-amp 500 watts at either 4ohm or 8ohm, and it can do warm clean vintage tone or gritty tube drive, the only down side is the drive is a little cold and bass heavy, but I have mine set clean as a whistle always. It's also cheaper. Around £400 used but hard to come buy.

I know alex recommends those amps, but at the same time is it theright sound for you?

Another option is the SWR amplite, it's got 1 tube pre-amp is lighter than anything, and I think it does 400 at 4ohms

If I had to choose though, it'd be the littlemark tube.

Edited by Prime_BASS

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I've heard the tone in reviews for the Terror Bass and although it wasnt a thorough test the tone didnt really appeal to me.

The Markbass sound is very attractive to my ears, but I will keep my mind open to other options too.

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I have the Little Mark Tube 500 Watts and in my views it provides you the best of both worlds, in what it can give you an excellent clean sound and a very vibey vintage warm sound too. What it doesn't do is give you clip or distortion which is what the Little Rocker does very well, but the problem with the Little Rocker is that while noise and distortion is it's forte when it comes to clean smooth sounds it lacks oomph and clarirty.

The best way around, if you chose to be wanting distortion, is to use the Little Mark Tube together with a good pedal such as the Tech 21 Sansamp VT Bass, the two together make the amp widely versatile.

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IMO, the LM3 is the best, unless you really like the Rocker 'drive' sound. You can get the same effect or better with a dedicated and small pedal (which may even be used as a high quality DI).

The LMT has nice features, but the tube only adds a very very subtle difference at higher volumes.

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[quote name='Musicman20' post='949605' date='Sep 8 2010, 04:50 PM']IMO, the LM3 is the best, unless you really like the Rocker 'drive' sound. You can get the same effect or better with a dedicated and small pedal (which may even be used as a high quality DI).

The LMT has nice features, but the tube only adds a very very subtle difference at higher volumes.[/quote]

+1 Totally agree, esp about the LMT being ultra subtle

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Tried both and bought the LM Tube 500 - cracking piece of kit and I'm very pleased with it. If i were you, I'd buy the LM Tube and a pedal to give you some grit when you need it.

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I didn't try out the rocker but I can vouch for the standard tube model being very very good. The tube800 was only £50 more than the tube500, so for £700 thought it was a total bargin :)

Edited by DaveB

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When looking at the LMT bare in mind that the 800 is not just a more powerful version of the 500, they sound quite different. The 500 is with the LM II and III tone wise (warm, tubey) and the 800 is more like the SD800 (clinical and sparkly).
When I recently tried out the rocker I thought it was ok but definately feel you'd get more pleasing results and versatility with a LM II/III or tube (500) with a decent overdrive/distortion pedal in front, probably cost less too.

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argh i am in the same boat my lmII head died last night in a gig.the fan stopped working and it kept over heating,while i will get it fixed i will only ever use it as back up from now on.

i love the sound of the rocker but i cant try them out myself.i cant find a shop in ireland that has them so its off to thomann.my choice is either the LMIII or the LMR,i dont know here a massive difference in the LMT on any of the you tube stuff.

I need to order soon too as i am right in the middle of christmas party season and have a loaner for a few days .

the LMIII is 666 euro on thomann,stick on a vt bass and i think that might be the vibe,however i love the handyness of just getting some grit from the rocker if and when i need it.......any advice or reviews would be great guys !

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As a fan and user of both MB and the Terror bass.. You gotta try both. If you only want a warm vintage tone which is warm and meaty, then add more drive very it's gritty, you have too choose the TB. If you like the solid state sound of markbass and like a a blend of both the go for the MB tube. You can get all solid state lovelyness of MB then a but add of bitgrit from the tube as you blend it in to be more tube-like, but it won't go as far as the TB. I think the MB Tube is a modern tube feel rather than the TB is more vintagey

I really don't see the point of the Rocker, as the TB does it better. The TB is the closest you'll get to full valve without break your back and wallet, nothing comes close. 2 valves in the pre amp, I think is the key.

Try it both, for some the MB Tube is tubey enough, for me I prefer the TB for tube and the MB3 for solid state..

My opinion on reviews is very jaded, as we all want different things..

Also what cab are you using?

Edited by algmusic

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Agree with the above you need to try them out. Having had alot of time with my tube800 now and gigged with it I find the sound more than flexable enough. I keep the tube blend control set to 12 o clock so it has the best blend of tube and s/s. Swanbrook if you liked the LMII the tube model is gonna be similar when set to s/s but you've just got abit more flexibility.

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a kinda tubey sounding small amp.... throw the TC classic 450 in the mix. tried one in a shop, unsure what i thought of it.

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[quote name='LukeFRC' post='1059780' date='Dec 15 2010, 05:44 PM']a kinda tubey sounding small amp.... throw the TC classic 450 in the mix. tried one in a shop, unsure what i thought of it.[/quote]

In general, I don't get on with them for a tubey vibe, but I know Musicman20 loves them and many others as a good amp.

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+ a lot to trying them for yourself: there are so many other variables particular to yourself (bass, style, string attack, cab, etc, etc) that comparisons are only a very very vague guide - I side-by-side tested the Tube, Rocker, Genz Benz and TC stuff, and ended up with the TC. The Rocker I found didn't have much range of tube - kinda 0-2 gives some pretty good tubey warmness, then 2-10 was just fizz. The Tube was the reverse; so subtle it was, well, too subtle for me. Ironic that I found the best tube-preamp-type was the one without an actual tube in it...

YMMV, IMHO, etc, etc... :)

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LM2 + VT pedal does it for me.

The VT is permanently 'on', and with just a gentle nudge covers any sound I need.

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[quote name='Muzz' post='1060463' date='Dec 16 2010, 12:10 PM']+ a lot to trying them for yourself: there are so many other variables particular to yourself (bass, style, string attack, cab, etc, etc) that comparisons are only a very very vague guide - I side-by-side tested the Tube, Rocker, Genz Benz and TC stuff, and ended up with the TC. The Rocker I found didn't have much range of tube - kinda 0-2 gives some pretty good tubey warmness, then 2-10 was just fizz. The Tube was the reverse; so subtle it was, well, too subtle for me. Ironic that I found the best tube-preamp-type was the one without an actual tube in it...

YMMV, IMHO, etc, etc... :)[/quote]

Haha, that is odd! The LM3 sounds warm and like a tube amp running clean in some respects.

LMTube 'tube' is VERY subtle. I couldnt tell the difference, but I like the chassis and features.

I havent tested the Rocker, but I think Markbass are just solid at making good light clean amps, so I stick with the LM3.

The Genz Shuttle 9.0 is not at all tube like from what I heard. Very precise, zingy, clean, but the pre-tube CAN add some grind if you have a hot output.

Agreed, the best tube 'sound' is on the TC RH450 Tubetone knob. Just works, and I have no idea how they managed it. Probably similar to how great the Sansamp pedals are.

If I didnt own a Markbass amp, id go for the LM3 or F500 straight away.

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Yeah, agree about the Genz stuff - I found it quite clinical and, well, 'glassy' is something which makes no sense but seems like a word I'm after.

I do like my LMIII, it is indeed a very warm SS amp, but my quest for tubeyness* and drive has led me further to the TC. As I've mentioned before, I was nearer the sound I was after with the Sansamp and the LMIII, so much so the Sansamp was never turned off, but with the RH450 I've been able to get there with one box. Plus it has pretty lights on it**.

Given the OP was looking at two 'tube' solutions, I'd recommend trying the TC stuff as well before parting with folding.



* Not a phrase you hear every day, even on the internet, although Rule 34 possibly applies. I don't care to find out if it actually does.
** Which are a source of endless fascination for our guitard - he's like a dog in front of the TV, watching them move...

Edited by Muzz

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I wonder about the 'valve sound' people refer to, and whether we all mean the same thing. I tried an Orange Terror in a shop and it was an incredibly coloured sound to my ears, seemed to swamp the actual tone of the bass. OK if you like that kind of thing but not to my taste. I think probably my idea of the 'classic' valve tone is the one you get plugging into a decent vintage mixing desk valve preamp, perhaps driving it pretty hard but still a much subtler (and IMO very musical) warming effect. I liked the preamp on the old SWR Redhead combos a LOT for getting this kind of tone. Is the LM tube like this?

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[quote name='Musicman20' post='1061376' date='Dec 17 2010, 10:05 AM']Haha, that is odd! The LM3 sounds warm and like a tube amp running clean in some respects.

LMTube 'tube' is VERY subtle. I couldnt tell the difference, but I like the chassis and features.

I havent tested the Rocker, but I think Markbass are just solid at making good light clean amps, so I stick with the LM3.

The Genz Shuttle 9.0 is not at all tube like from what I heard. Very precise, zingy, clean, but the pre-tube CAN add some grind if you have a hot output.

Agreed, the best tube 'sound' is on the TC RH450 Tubetone knob. Just works, and I have no idea how they managed it. Probably similar to how great the Sansamp pedals are.

If I didnt own a Markbass amp, id go for the LM3 or F500 straight away.[/quote]


thats interesting.
may have to look into markbass more.
i have quite a tubey big amp and would like to sell it to get a tubey like, but a bit cleaner small amp.... markbass i think i dismissed purely because they are an ugly orange/yellow
i tried a TC classic 450 head in a shop. strange... very like a wierd copy of an SVT... but i also think it didn't like the cab i was trying it with (and then bought)

:)

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My two cents, I presently own a couple mark bass amps and a fuzion 550, have owned three other Markbass products including the Multiamp and if anyone has a rocker 500 they want to sell I will buy it. It by far is the most versitile product from a tone standpoint Markbass makes, it’s my go to for live and studio work and I could realy use a spare. If I find fault with Markbass it’s they don’t market or introduce thier product features in fact thier documentation is embarassing. Then they seems to discontinue product and maove on to another product and do the same thing???  

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