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Al Krow

Best amp head (500W to 1000W) you've ever owned? (Or should definitely avoid!)

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The Genzler Magellan has a very appreciative following from folk who own it - and reflected by some of the comments on this thread.

I had a chance to spend a couple of hours playing through one at a mates' house yesterday through his TecAmp 2x12 cab. What an awesome combination, and I thought my trusty little Markbass combo had more than met it's match! In comparison (A/B'd with the same bass) the Genzler and TecAmp came across[color=#282828][font=helvetica, arial, sans-serif] as much 'bigger' sounding than the MB combo. The MB AC 121 Lite Combo, with effectively a 500W LM3 head (but with added aux in and headphone out) was a little bit warmer and more coloured (no bad thing in itself - just getting down to tonal preferences in terms of "colour").[/font][/color]

[color=#282828][font=helvetica, arial, sans-serif]But pair the MB amp head with the TecAmp cab and this gets very close to Genzler clean sound with subtle tweaking i.e. slight boost to low end and a push in the upper mids. [/font][/color]

Whilst the Genzler has additional headroom at 800W, the MB at 500W has always had plenty of headroom so not really a concern. The Genzler has a great little overdrive which delivers [i]that[/i] delicious warm valve amp tone, but we were able to get to something to match via my Two Notes le Bass pedal (and then go on some with additional grit, if needed) .

I guess the clear lesson (which I suppose shouldn't have been a surprise) is that the quality of cab has a massive impact on the sound. The TecAmp would have cost new approx 3 x the price of the 121H cab in the MB Combo - so again not a surprise that it's a considerably better piece of kit.

Take aways for me:
- The Genzler Magellan is a great little amp and really good value (c £600). But from where I'm starting, it's really closely matched in what it delivers by a Markbass LM3 plus a Two Notes drive pedal (c £750 together);

- If I want to improve my sound, I need to focus on uprating my cab! So a Barefaced or a Vanderkley then?... Edited by Al Krow

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Mesa Carbine M6 no question but that could have been to do with the Vanderkley 2x10s I was using too.

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[quote name='Lozz196' timestamp='1496868735' post='3314449']
I`ve had numerous amps over the years - since joining Basschat that is. Too many to list but those I`d mention as being ones I`ve particularly liked are the Markbass Little Mark Tube, Aguilar Tonehammer, and Ashdown ABM600-EVO IV & RM-500-EVO. I`m yet to have an amp that I don`t like as I can usually find a sound I can work with from most.
[/quote]

And continuing from here I can say, having used the Ashdown ABM600 a fair bit more, it`s def my fave that I`ve had. It`s heavier than most of the other amps I`ve had, yet the sound and the sheer depth to that sound is why I`ve kept it. It pairs really well with my Sansamp Para Driver too, they just seem to work really well toether.

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I'm really enjoying my MK500 Ashdown, had an ABM500RC I wish I'd never sold. But...this is better.

I had an RM800 Evo head, was very nice and small and light.

Got a nice ABM 408 coming on Monday for the MK.

I always wanted to try an Aguilar DB750/751, and liked the Bass Terror Amps.

But I like the clear sound of the MK so far - lets the bass you've spent months picking do the talking. And the Harmonic emphasis switch pulls some mad frequencies out if you need them.

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To be honest one of the sweetest sounding Amps I've had was my Hartke HA3500.

It might just be rose tinted goggles and due to the fact that I was doing some fun gigs at the time but that paired with 6x10 Hartke speakers (a 210 and 410) I never needed anything else. I focused on my playing more than my gear.

Then I started Basschat and started to need/wanted more boutique stuff. To be fair I ended up with a Mesa 400+ which I still think is just the best sounding amp ever but the Hartke was only fractionally not as good in the environments it was being used and it was a lot lighter.

Currently have a TC BH800 which I'm using to drive an Eich Bassboard so weirdly despite using it every day I don't really know what it 'sounds' like, but it 'feels' mighty powerful for its size.

Those of you fortunate enough (!) to have seen my Bass Bash talk about the Vbass system a few years ago might have been surprised that the auditorium filling sound from my SWR 4x8 and 1x15 was delivered by a cheap 1u no name 400w a side stereo poweramp. Also one of the best sounds I've had. Still got the poweramp but it's not bridgeable so one side didn't drive the Bassboard enough.

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[quote name='Jack' timestamp='1496859560' post='3314363']
I was going to turn up and suggest the 1001-II. Best amp I've ever owned by a country mile.
[/quote]

Using GK 1001 head with my Berg HT322 and it certainly covers all basses for me.

Other smaller lightweight amps i have or used and liked GK MB series, Markbass heads and one i wish i had kept is the Genz Benz Streamliner 600 tube pre-amp. Really nice wee amp head.

Dave

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[quote name='largo' timestamp='1505582479' post='3373024']
Mesa Carbine M6 no question but that could have been to do with the Vanderkley 2x10s I was using too.
[/quote]

In that particular case it won't have been just down to the Vanderkley cab, although such a good cab is going to help for sure!

In the same way that a great amp head will either let the bass tone come through untrammelled (in the case of the really good transparent amps e.g. Glockenlang or Form Factor) or alternatively add a touch of it's own personality and magic - which is what, for me, the Mesa M6 Carbine is doing; I think the point about a great cab is that it similarly allows the amp to shine rather than putting an unwanted screen between the amp and the listener.

I can vouch that the Mesa M6 is a wonderful amp! Edited by Al Krow

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+1 for the Tecamp Puma (although we do seem to always go for the amp we're currently playing don't we?) I tried the AH500 but it was too "neutral", played Hartke for a few years, Ashdown before that, then we're off into the realms of history.... Fact was every time I tried a bass out at Bass Direct and took it home it just didn't sound as good so I eventually went back and bought the rig they were putting me through, Tecamp and Vanderkley, been a few years now and no amp GAS!

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[quote name='Defo' timestamp='1505643088' post='3373272']
+1 for the Tecamp Puma (although we do seem to always go for the amp we're currently playing don't we?) I tried the AH500 but it was too "neutral", played Hartke for a few years, Ashdown before that, then we're off into the realms of history.... Fact was every time I tried a bass out at Bass Direct and took it home it just didn't sound as good so I eventually went back and bought the rig they were putting me through, Tecamp and Vanderkley, been a few years now and no amp GAS!
[/quote]

Interested that you say you found the AH500 "neutral" (that's the Trace Elliot right?) 'cos I've been led to believe that the EICH stuff (and it's predecessor Tecamp) is also very clean / neutral, if that is how you're using the term, but you obviously like the Tecamp stuff a lot?

I am so tempted by VK cabs, and I see you have two! Have you checked out the new 210 LNT model at BD, it's a little bit more (£75 or so) than the 210 MNT but apparently has double the power handling capacity and should be able to handle pretty much anything thrown at it?

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Favourite Amps:
Orange terror bass, 1 trick pony but i like it & loud
Eden WT800 - Best reggae amp ever but had reliability problems
Carvin BX1500 - most versatile amp ever, super clean.
Markbass LMT 800 - Good amp all round.

Worst:
Behringer sh*te thing...set fire at first rehearsal
Ashdown Mag thing...bland at best
Hartke LH500...It was kind of OK but that was about it
Old Peavey that was a modern day tank equivalent - super mushy.

In the middle: currently enjoying my new Ashdown Retroglide 800W but not sure it really is 800W - intersting concept with 12 band EQ only & good core tone. Genz Benz Streamliner - was good but lacked versatility IMO- Shuttle was a tad better. Most Markbass amps have been cool but i rarely ever keep one for long with the exception of a past LMT and a Multiamp, Ampegs I've owned are OK to but the Pro 4 was way to heavy, Trace Elliot's i've found to thin sounding IMO. Hartkes are just OK for me although loved the classic HA 3500 as my first 'proper' amp. Love Eden sound but always feared the reliability since owning a temperamental WT800A.

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In terms of micro amps, the cheap as chips (€299), but sadly no longer available Kustom KXB 500 is top of my list. Kicked the Tonehammer 500, various Markbass and Puma 900 out of the park.
Have been using this baby for a couple if years and not even a hint of GAS.
I like it so much that my back up amp is also a KXB500

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Best is an aguilar DB750, worst was an ampeg svt6 pro and most disappointing was a hartke Kilo which sounded awesome in the brief periods where it worked. Sadly a flawed design coupled with the single worst customer service I've ever experienced (and I've had a few bad experiences) left me £800 out of pocket just four months after buying it brand new.

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[quote name='mrtcat' timestamp='1505736727' post='3373849']
Best is an aguilar DB750, worst was an ampeg svt6 pro and most disappointing was a hartke Kilo which sounded awesome in the brief periods where it worked. Sadly a flawed design coupled with the single worst customer service I've ever experienced (and I've had a few bad experiences) left me £800 out of pocket just four months after buying it brand new.
[/quote]

Ouch to being £800 out of pocket - sorry to hear that! The Aggie DB 750 and successor 751 have an awesome reputation (with many players preferring the older DB 750). Miles Mosley used one at the Jazz cafe (I took a pic of his rig - see attached). But the 751s are like £2,500 new! There was a 750 going recently in the FS section which I was very tempted by, but couldn't really justify the spend, but some lucky chap snapped up a (relative) bargain. Do you still own one?

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My best amp has been the one i've used for every single gig since i bought it back in 2011 - a Markbass LM3.

I went through a load of Peavey, GK and Ashdown kit before settling on one of these, and i've never looked back. Touch wood but its never had so much as a hiccup and has never let me down in six years of being gigged loud pretty regularly.

In that time i've rehearsed and gigged with provided backline that included Orange AD200, Ampeg SVT and Marshall MBA valve heads, all of which sounded awesome but are way out of my league in terms of cost and (lack of) portability.

So the Markbass is a better fit for me and what I want/need at the mo. I love mine.

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[quote name='bassbiscuits' timestamp='1505743352' post='3373923']
My best amp has been the one i've used for every single gig since i bought it back in 2011 - a Markbass LM3.
[/quote]

I suspect you won't realise just how much it gladdens my heart to hear you say that!! :) ...My MB Combo (AC 121 Lite) uses as its amp head pretty much a LM3 (albeit with additional aux in and headphone out sockets). It's been my trusted gigging amp since 2014 and has never let me down once, nor lacked headroom. As I mentioned a few posts above, I very recently paired the head with a TecAmp 2x12 cab which is, to be fair is a far better cab than the Markbass 121 cab (but that's completely to be expected given that the TecAmp would have been 3 x the price!) and it completely held its own against the highly rated Genzler Magellan 800. Edited by Al Krow

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[quote name='Al Krow' timestamp='1505743876' post='3373930']
I suspect you won't realise just how much it gladdens my heart to hear you say that!! :) ...My MB Combo (AC 121 Lite) uses as it's amp head pretty much an LM3 (albeit with additional aux in and headphone in sockets). It's been my trusted gigging amp since 2014 and has never let me down once, nor lacked headroom. As I mentioned a few posts above, I very recently paired the head with a TecAmp 2x12 cab which is, to be fair is a far better speaker than the Markbass 121 cab (but that's completely to be expected given that the TecAmp would have been 3 x the price!) and it completely held its own against the highly rated Genzler Magellan 800.
[/quote]

The LM3 is a very nice amp indeed. I've had one in combo form or head for many years now. At one point I was LM3-less and I quickly had to fix that and got another. It may not be the absolute best, but it always does a good job.

I once compared a Streamliner 900, the LM3 and a Mesa D800 side by side through the same speakers (2x or 4x TKS S112) in a rehearsal room with a loud band. The D800 felt bigger, but I didn't feel there wasn't a huge difference in volume between the LM3 and the D800. These days my favourite amp is a D800+... I love the voice and HPF controls and the amp just sounds great, but the LM3 is not going anywhere.

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Markbass evo 1 for me.

Very loud and all the sounds you need - lm3, te800, bassman, svt, gk, trace, marshall and high quality fx too. Plus 2 channels and light as a feather.

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[quote name='Al Krow' timestamp='1505739947' post='3373896']
There was a 750 going recently in the FS section which I was very tempted by, but couldn't really justify the spend, but some lucky chap snapped up a (relative) bargain. Do you still own one?
[/quote]

Funnily enough, that's mine in the FS section. I've had to hold it for now as there's a big delay on my Barefaced FR800s due to the drivers not being made yet so I need an amp to see me through a load of gigs in October. Really considering keeping it tho if I can raise funds elsewhere.

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Love love love my Eich Amps T-900. Clean sound with EQ in all the right places (for my taste). Headroom for days. I probably could have got away with buying the T-300 and saving some money but decided to treat myself.

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[quote name='bassbiscuits' timestamp='1505743352' post='3373923']
My best amp has been the one i've used for every single gig since i bought it back in 2011 - a Markbass LM3.

I went through a load of Peavey, GK and Ashdown kit before settling on one of these, and i've never looked back. Touch wood but its never had so much as a hiccup and has never let me down in six years of being gigged loud pretty regularly.

In that time i've rehearsed and gigged with provided backline that included Orange AD200, Ampeg SVT and Marshall MBA valve heads, all of which sounded awesome but are way out of my league in terms of cost and (lack of) portability.

So the Markbass is a better fit for me and what I want/need at the mo. I love mine.
[/quote]

Mine is an LM2, but my sentiments are exactly the same. A true workhorse, but with everything I need. I haven't had any (serious) amp GAS since I got it :)

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[quote name='mrtcat' timestamp='1505736727' post='3373849']
Best is an aguilar DB750, worst was an ampeg svt6 pro and most disappointing was a hartke Kilo which sounded awesome in the brief periods where it worked. Sadly a flawed design coupled with the single worst customer service I've ever experienced (and I've had a few bad experiences) left me £800 out of pocket just four months after buying it brand new.
[/quote]

And i thought i was the only one that had pathetic customer service from Hartke. My Kilo didn't work at al and returned it to Thomann but had to pay the return post and the exchange costs from Europe. Hartke did not even respond to various requests thru their website and even tried direct to the man himself and nothing there either. Totally against Hartke because of that and wouldn't touch them again.

Hartke has been my worst experience of any amp.

Dave

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[quote name='dmccombe7' timestamp='1506427697' post='3378624']


And i thought i was the only one that had pathetic customer service from Hartke. My Kilo didn't work at al and returned it to Thomann but had to pay the return post and the exchange costs from Europe. Hartke did not even respond to various requests thru their website and even tried direct to the man himself and nothing there either. Totally against Hartke because of that and wouldn't touch them again.

Hartke has been my worst experience of any amp.

Dave
[/quote]
Snap exactly the same here.
Hartke Kilo = the worst pos I have ever had the misfortune to own.
For me Hartke don't exist & Larry Hartke along with them.

The best amp I've had so far is my current GK MB800 Fusion through my Barefaced Big Baby 2.

Currently GASing for an all valve head,Ampeg or Laney. Edited by artisan

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[quote name='dmccombe7' timestamp='1506427697' post='3378624']


And i thought i was the only one that had pathetic customer service from Hartke. My Kilo didn't work at al and returned it to Thomann but had to pay the return post and the exchange costs from Europe. Hartke did not even respond to various requests thru their website and even tried direct to the man himself and nothing there either. Totally against Hartke because of that and wouldn't touch them again.

Hartke has been my worst experience of any amp.

Dave
[/quote]

I knew I wouldn't be alone in this. Absolutely atrocious service and a flawed product. I'll happily let the world know just how poor hartke really are.

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