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Guest Jecklin

Markbass Nano Mark - anyone on BC own one?

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Guest Jecklin

I'm perma-skint so this isn't something I'll buy tomorrow, but I may need a bit more oomph for my new project than my double4's provide so was looking at micro amps to couple with a small cab (either a DIY job based on the 12inch build here or something Second hand)

I'm very drawn to Markbass stuff - every time I've played through a variety of their amps I've been amazed by the quality of tone and volume.

So.... does anyone on Basschat own a markbass nano mark amp?
I want to hear real world experiences please. Good and bad.

My priorities are small size and light weight as all my traveling to gigs and rehearsals is on London public transport.
these specs appeal - 1.6 kg, 20.5cm x 5.5cm x 23.5cm

I was tempted by the Blackline 250 head
but at 3.5kg, 40.0 x 36.0 x 21.0 cm it's getting on for double the size in all respects.

I know some folks will recommend the GK mb200, but I've not liked the tone (or looks) of the one I tried.

Thanks
Thomas

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I asked the same question a month ago (thread [url="http://basschat.co.uk/topic/304664-markbass-nano-mark-300-decent-volume/"]here[/url]). Bought one as a backup and it's excellent.

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Guest Jecklin

[quote name='walbassist' timestamp='1496226463' post='3309652']
I asked the same question a month ago (thread [url="http://basschat.co.uk/topic/304664-markbass-nano-mark-300-decent-volume/"]here[/url]). Bought one as a backup and it's excellent.
[/quote]

Brilliant, thank you.
Apologies I missed your thread.
I presume you've used it with your Markbass Traveler 123 cab?
That's a bit more of a serious beast than I'll be using (my dream cab is a MArkbass NY 4x6, but budget dictates otherwise.)

Cheers
Thomas

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[quote name='Jecklin' timestamp='1496226982' post='3309656']
Brilliant, thank you.
Apologies I missed your thread.
I presume you've used it with your Markbass Traveler 123 cab?
That's a bit more of a serious beast than I'll be using (my dream cab is a MArkbass NY 4x6, but budget dictates otherwise.)

Cheers
Thomas
[/quote]

Hi Thomas

A pleasure to help. Yes, the Nano into the Traveler 123 is top notch. Amazing cab, and the volume it puts out at 8 ohms is more than enough for me :)

Cheers

gareth

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if you're happy to go secondhand then the markbass F1/F500 might be worth a look, i'm running an F1 with Barefaced Midget cabs and it's a great pairing that has pretty much cured my amp GAS.

the F1/F500 is bigger than the nano 300 but thinner and lighter than the littlemark

i think i paid 250 quid for the F1 but it might have been 300. they pop up for sale fairly regularly at sensible prices.

Matt

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Guest Jecklin

Cheers Matt,

I hadn't considered an F1, but if that's their going rate second hand I'll certainly keep it as a potential.

I'm really suckered by the tiny form factor of the nano though.

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I've actually got the 250 Blackline you considered. It's a great amp and the tone with the pots set flat is terrific.

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Power output aside, the Nano and the F1 are quite different sounding amps - to my ears at least. The Nano is closer to the sound of a newer model LM3 (or Combo Head 2) where the F1 is like a particularly snappy LM800. I've never played a Black Line 250 myself, but I've gigged alongside somebody using one and it sounded closer to the LM3 than the LM800 or F1 as far as I could tell.

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[quote name='Jecklin' timestamp='1496226333' post='3309651']

I was tempted by the Blackline 250 head
but at 3.5kg, 40.0 x 36.0 x 21.0 cm it's getting on for double the size in all respects.


[/quote]

shows how lucky we are these days when 3.5kg is too heavy hehe

My LM250 Blackline in it's backpack is very portable. And I also use it with everything set flat. Gorgeous tone.

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Guest Jecklin

[quote name='bazztard' timestamp='1496814302' post='3313961']


shows how lucky we are these days when 3.5kg is too heavy hehe

My LM250 Blackline in it's backpack is very portable. And I also use it with everything set flat. Gorgeous tone.
[/quote]

I only use public transport so small size and low weight are a priority :)

I get exactly what you're saying though. Weight/size was never a factor when I was buying my first big amp 19 years ago :D

Thank you for the description of the blackline. I need to demo it against the nano.

Edited by Jecklin

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[quote name='bazztard' timestamp='1496814302' post='3313961']


shows how lucky we are these days when 3.5kg is too heavy hehe

My LM250 Blackline in it's backpack is very portable. And I also use it with everything set flat. Gorgeous tone.
[/quote]

I'm even worse, I have a Nano that I bought as a backup head but it's never left the house because I also have a GK MB200 and that's even smaller.

The Nano gets relegated to the 'needs to be sold when I can be bothered' corner because it's too big & heavy 😂

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Guest Jecklin

[quote name='molan' timestamp='1496844672' post='3314258']
I'm even worse, I have a Nano that I bought as a backup head but it's never left the house because I also have a GK MB200 and that's even smaller.

The Nano gets relegated to the 'needs to be sold when I can be bothered' corner because it's too big & heavy
[/quote]

Hi Molan, do you have any opinion on the sound of the nano? Relative volume etc etc
Cheers
Thomas

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[quote name='Jecklin' timestamp='1496856889' post='3314348']
Hi Molan, do you have any opinion on the sound of the nano? Relative volume etc etc
Cheers
Thomas
[/quote]

I'll have a blast in the morning for you :)

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[quote name='Jecklin' timestamp='1496856889' post='3314348'] Hi Molan, do you have any opinion on the sound of the nano? Relative volume etc etc Cheers Thomas [/quote]

Just tried the Nano vs MB200 vs my 'reference' Demeter (which has non-standard valves & an 800w power amp). Bass used was an NYC Sadowsky Jazz with my usual settings of slight boost to bass & treble and passive treble wide open and a Fender Custom Shop P with relatively 'hot' pickup & tone set about half way. Cab was a Bergantino CN210, 8ohm with tweeter in the mid position.

First thing to say is that the Nano feels considerably louder than than the GK at the same settings. It obviously has 50% more theoretical power but I've always felt that GK watts tend to be pretty 'loud' ones compared to some other brands. It's always tough to tell because different people set their pots to work in different ways (also the MarkBass is more flexible with both gain & master vol whereas the GK only has one gain control and a passive/active switch). Even taking this into account the Nano definitely seemed louder across the volume sweep.

Playing at home both amps were capable of shaking the windows, lol. The CN210 is reasonably sensitive at 99db but it's not the loudest cab around. It does work really well as a gigging cab though.

The Nano was fundamentally cleaner than the GK with all tone controls zeroed. In combination with the active Sadowsky and a, relatively, bright cab I found the treble a bit too much for me. However, this would probably disappear on stage and might even be useful. Could cut treble too of course. Good overall clean tone though, sounded nice to me with both basses and beginning to make the cab 'growl' once you start pushing the master vol.

The GK has a more 'muscular' and punchy tone. Definitely sounds like some low end boost hard baked into the tone circuit. This gives an increased presence and could sound louder depending on cab etc but the Nano is definitely louder overall. Again, you could play with the tone controls on the Nano to add low end or low mids. The overall tone of the GK is smoother than the Nano. Ought to work well in a classic rock setting and would probably take to slap quite well too.

The Demeter is whole different ball game and is way more expensive. Plus mine has an NOS valve in the front end that warms things up a bit when listening at home. Not sure if it makes the blindest bit of difference live but it does smooth things out for me. The 800w power stage increased volume but nowhere near what you might expect vs the 300w Nano. However it feels more controlled at really high levels. I should add that there's an internal trim pot for the gain in the Demeter that I've never touched. If I remember rightly this is set at a mid point from new so there will be more power on tap if needed - I've just never had to bother because it's easily loud enough for me.

The biggest difference with the Demeter is the overall quality of tone. Much pleasanter to listen to in a home environment at high volumes. Both the Nano & GK are getting a bit harsh at around 75% on the master gain.

In terms of feature set the GK adds an aux in and headphones out on the rear panel. Really useful for home practice or to take away on holiday etc. The Contour switch is an on/off affair & cuts mids. I really don't like this at all. Might work if you wanted to slap a lot but not for me at all.. Both GK & Nano have a 4 band tone section. The Nano doesn't have either of the classic MarkBass tone filters. Quite a few people have complained about this - especially the Vintage Loudspeaker Emulator. I must admit that I quite like the VLE controls on MB heads and find it can work really nicely to tame some of the high end brightness a lot of them have - can get a great older style sound with a passive P bass too. However, there's no real room for another knob on the control panel without making the whole thing bigger.

Both feel pretty well constructed and tough. The Nano looks classier to me with the GK looking a bit plasticky (even though it's a steel case). The GK has the metal handles which will help to protect the knobs. I don't like the cheaper looking flick switches on the GK much either but could be because I also have no use for them whatsoever, lol.

So - simple summary is that the Nano is louder and maybe a bit classier with more flexibility in tone whilst the GK adds some useful features and is a bit more muscular & rocky.

If you need small & with greater volume then I'd say the extra cost on a Nano is worth the money :)

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Guest Jecklin

[quote name='molan' timestamp='1496924705' post='3314722']


Just tried the Nano vs MB200 vs my 'reference' Demeter (which has non-standard valves & an 800w power amp). Bass used was an NYC Sadowsky Jazz with my usual settings of slight boost to bass & treble and passive treble wide open and a Fender Custom Shop P with relatively 'hot' pickup & tone set about half way. Cab was a Bergantino CN210, 8ohm with tweeter in the mid position.....

So - If you need small & with greater volume then I'd say the extra cost on a Nano is worth the money :)
[/quote]

Thank you so much for such a detailed comparison. I am sold in the nano. Now time to start saving :D

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