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PJ-Bassist

New Amp GAS, but which one ?

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I've got GAS for a new amp head - my GK MB500 has been great over the past few years but I'm yearning for a change.  I've sold a number of unused pedals to fund this new desire of mine.   I have a budget of approximately £850-900, pretty generous given I'm your classic weekend warrior.

I'd been pretty set on a Markbass head but, over the past few days I thought I'd see what else is out there and boy there is a lot right now!!  
Unfortunately not many places have a broad range of heads in stock and my wife's not going to let me spend weekend after weekend going to guitar shops and playing amps so I need to draw up a bit of a short list. 

 I'd love some thoughts and recommendations from my Basschat Brethren.

I'm looking for a minimum power: 500w @ 4ohm, class D or hybrid.  I'll be pairing it with a Barefaced Super Compact, 8ohm.  In regards to music, my current band is your typical rock covers band where I play a mixture of finger style and pick. 
Personally I want to start playing more funk; my next project will definitely be in that area.  I guess that means I need something quite versatile in regards  to tone shaping.

Amps I've been looking at:

  • Mark Bass Little Mark III
  • Mark Bass Little Mark Tube
  • Aguilar AG700
  • Ampeg SVT-7Pro
  • Genzler Magellan 800

Any thoughts on the above, or other suggestions for amps I should consider?

Cheers

PJ

 

 

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Here's a cat amongst the pigeons...Thought about the Glockenklang Soul?? Delivers what you'll need - great fat sound for that Funky feel while easily covering that rocky sound ...Just about within you budget.

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32 minutes ago, TheGreek said:

Here's a cat amongst the pigeons...Thought about the Glockenklang Soul?? Delivers what you'll need - great fat sound for that Funky feel while easily covering that rocky sound ...Just about within you budget.

I confess I know very little about Glockenklang's - I'll do some research on them.

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Well imo Markbass amps work very well with Barefaced cabs, but as well as the two listed I`d also check out the Little Marcus, as the frequency settings on the eq seem to fit better with overall tone-shaping, less of a gap between the mids and highs.

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Check out the Handbox R-400.

It doesn't have a million buttons for EQ-shaping, but the core tone is so rich, you don't have to do loads with it.

 

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I've being playing Mark Bass (Combo) for a while now and they're great. If you like tubes though I would condisder the Markbass Randy Jackson (TTE500?) Great head! If I had the budget I would get that in a moment.

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58 minutes ago, Lozz196 said:

Well imo Markbass amps work very well with Barefaced cabs, but as well as the two listed I`d also check out the Little Marcus, as the frequency settings on the eq seem to fit better with overall tone-shaping, less of a gap between the mids and highs.

I've read this a lot about the little Marcus's but I'm just not sure I can live with the design of them.  I don't want a picture of some dude 😉 on my amp!!

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2 hours ago, wateroftyne said:

Check out the Handbox R-400.

It doesn't have a million buttons for EQ-shaping, but the core tone is so rich, you don't have to do loads with it.

 

That's an interesting amp - have read through a lot of the thread but not had a chance to watch any of the videos yet.  

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On 16/09/2018 at 17:48, wateroftyne said:

Check out the Handbox R-400.

It doesn't have a million buttons for EQ-shaping, but the core tone is so rich, you don't have to do loads with it.

 

So I'm quite taken with these amps after fully reading your thread and watching a number of YouTube clips.  It doesn't seem like they are producing them at present though - doesn't look like you can order via the website.  I dropped them an email, will see what comes back 

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40 minutes ago, PJ-Bassist said:

So I'm quite taken with these amps after fully reading your thread and watching a number of YouTube clips.  It doesn't seem like they are producing them at present though - doesn't look like you can order via the website.  I dropped them an email, will see what comes back 

It's always been best to mail Leszek directly - I think there's a message on the site to that effect, too 🙂

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Genzler...every time! Best amp I've owned to date and have owned most of the others the OP mentions.

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I'd add the Quilter BB800m to the list. I heard one paired with a Super Compact and it is a great combination.

My main amps are an Aguilar AG700 and a TH500. Aguilar are hard to beat when it comes to making basses sound good.

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1 minute ago, chris_b said:

I'd add the Quilter BB800m to the list. I heard one paired with a Super Compact and it is a great combination.

My main amps are an Aguilar AG700 and a TH500. Aguilar are hard to beat when it comes to making basses sound good.

For some reason I never warmed to the Tone Hammer; but the AG700 looks good.

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On 16/09/2018 at 19:04, PJ-Bassist said:

I've read this a lot about the little Marcus's but I'm just not sure I can live with the design of them.  I don't want a picture of some dude 😉 on my amp!!

I did direct comparison between several heads earlier today. LittleMark Tube 800, Little Mark 800, Little Marcus 800  Aguilar AG700, Aguilar Tonehammer, Darkglass Microtube 900. Loved the AG700 but not sure it justified around £400 more than Markbass offerings. The Darkglass had really great drive and grit if you like metal etc, but I would rarely, if ever, use that much dirt .

I too really disliked the logo of Marcus Miller on the Little Marcus 800, but at similar volume and all controls at 12 o'clock with VLE/old school and VPF/Millerizer off it seemed to have greater volume and punch than the other two Markbass amps. The mute switch is much better, and the low bass control excellent, so that is what I bought.  But do try a Quilter BB800 they are probably the best vfm head out there right now.

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I've got an AG700 plus 2 Markbass Momark amps (500w and 800w).  The Momark is a modular design and I've used these with a tube and solid state pre-amp.

There's plenty of headroom in the above for pub and larger gigs and they've worked well for me doing rock and pop covers paired with a Berg AE410.  Both the AG700 and Momarks are clean sounding amps and I've spent a bit of time trying different dirt pedals to provide drive (eventually settling on a Darkglass VMT).  The tone controls are intuitive and make it easy to dial in a good sound with either amp.  

As with anything, it's your ears and opinion that count so I would try them all before deciding if possible.  Alternatively you could possibly look for a used one that you can move on without losing much if you need to.

Edited by gazhowe
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15 hours ago, Raslee said:

Genzler...every time! Best amp I've owned to date and have owned most of the others the OP mentions.

 

2 hours ago, Musicman20 said:

I'd go for a Genzler or a Quilter in the current market. 

 

And another vote for the Genzler from me! I play similar stuff to you and it has tons of versatility through the simple tone stack, and the drive is a low gain jobbie, not a balls out distortion type circuit so you can go from funky scooped to a warm Motown vibe with just a push of a button (either on the amp or with a foot switch). More of my thoughts below;

 

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21 minutes ago, gazhowe said:

As with anything, it's your ears and opinion that count so I would try them all before deciding if possible.  Alternatively you could possibly look for a used one that you can move on without losing much if you need to.

The VMT is the one pedal I've had over the years that I regret selling.

Agreed, and I will certainly try before I buy (or at least make sure I can return something if I don't like) but I wanted to get to a short list of 2 - 3 that I could check out at a store like bass direct or the bass gallery.one morning.

These are the current front runners are:

  • Genzler Magellan 800
  • Aguilar AG700
  • Mark Bass Little Mark Tube
  • Hand Box R-400

Despite all the positive comments about the Little Mark's they are just not for me; I'm not a fan of heavily branded signature gear.
The Glockenklang's look great but the Soul's are no longer in production and the current amps are way over my budget.

8 minutes ago, Osiris said:

More of my thoughts below;

 

Thanks @Osiris - I'll read through this thread.

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Im also still undecided about which amp to buy.giving serious consideration to fender bassman amps.probably the 100t but no one seems to comment about them.

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6 hours ago, Osiris said:

 

 

And another vote for the Genzler from me! I play similar stuff to you and it has tons of versatility through the simple tone stack, and the drive is a low gain jobbie, not a balls out distortion type circuit so you can go from funky scooped to a warm Motown vibe with just a push of a button (either on the amp or with a foot switch). More of my thoughts below;

 

@Osirisjust read your Genzler review and the associated thread with the amp comparisons.  Firstly I'd like to say they are fantastically written and very informative!  I am now uber close to just saying feck it and ordering a Magellan 800!!!  

I also liked your review of the Mesa Subway.  I have the DI pedal; at home I can get some good tones out of it although I don't find it to be overly versatile and a bit sterile, it kind of just sounds how it sounds.  I've tried using it a few times at rehearsals / gigs going into the FX return of the GK head and I've had all the problems you mention in regards to over powering bass and being lost in the mix when using the voicing control!

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Cheers @PJ-Bassist. As with any new gear my advice is to always try before you but whenever possible, preferably with the rest of your own gear if you can. But this is invariably easier said than done. 

Having said that, the Magellan is an incredibly versatile amp and will produce pretty much any tone most of us are ever likely to need - That is unless you want masses of distortion in which case you'll want to run a pedal into it. But for great sounding, real world bass sounds you cannot go wrong. 

If you do bite the bullet let us know how you get on. 

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I’d also consider the Trickfish Bullhead .5K. I tried most of the amps on your list and ended up with that one, pretty simple but sounds great. Really effective/useful EQ. That said, I’d have been happy with the Magellan too. I was pretty close to buying one. I come from playing through an all valve Bassman for years. None of the solid state amps I tried sound like the Bassman but I’d didn’t really expect them too!

Edited by PapaShandy
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If you want versatility, and the ability to have two different sounds set up and switchable instantly via two channels, then the Magellan's a no-brainer. It does a really, really good warm valve tone (at least as good as anything I've played that had yer actual preamp valves in it), and a very good quick, clean tone too. Lots of authority in each note: I really liked mine. I only sold it because the band I used it in (yep, lots of covers in lots of genres) moved to In-Ears and no backline...oh, and it'll run THREE 8 ohm cabs, should you ever feel the need... 😀

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