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Friskydingo

Mark bass III and Little Marcus difference

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I tried the little Marcus on the weekend, going through a 1x12, really liked it and so many versatile tones.

Is the mark bass III much different in tone shaping and options? It seems the same, apart from one being a signature model and the vpf, vle named differently 

Also what's with the online hate in some corners of the Internet. People saying they're overpriced and the cabs sound horrible. It was better than the GM I tried! 

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The EQ centres are at different frequencies on the Marcus Miller amps. I don’t remember which ones.

The regular Little Mark centres are at 40hz, 360hz, 800hz, and 10Khz, I believe.

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31 minutes ago, songofthewind said:

The EQ centres are at different frequencies on the Marcus Miller amps. I don’t remember which ones.

The regular Little Mark centres are at 40hz, 360hz, 800hz, and 10Khz, I believe.

Yes from what I’ve read the EQ on the Little Marcus is a fair bit different- and more useable imo.

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I was advised by a well-known bass retailer when I bought my LM3, that the only benefits of the MM were, if you actually wanted to get a MM tone!

Looks like there may be a little more to it.....!😄

Edited by spongebob

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I’ve got the newer Marcus Limited and I’ve owned several Little Marks in the past.

 

The EQ on the Marcus models is far better.  No silly big gaps in it and the low end is far better controlled.

I sold all my LMs, and I’m keeping the Marcus. It’s a great amp, and very punchy indeed. I’m playing big band jazz and funk with it at the moment, with a smattering of old school rock (Queen / ELO etc) 

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I rarely stray from EQ controls at noon position on my LM heads. The EQ curves show that each control does affect quite a wide band of frequencies either side of the stated frequency. 

19975726_VLEVPF.thumb.jpg.2a302946e832e149ebb60900d7729ef3.jpg

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1 hour ago, Sparky Mark said:

I rarely stray from EQ controls at noon position on my LM heads. The EQ curves show that each control does affect quite a wide band of frequencies either side of the stated frequency. 

19975726_VLEVPF.thumb.jpg.2a302946e832e149ebb60900d7729ef3.jpg

Very useful. Thanks for this. I'm trying some heads out again tomorrow so will refer to this. 

With reference to spongebob above; I was playing all kinds of styles on the LM from maiden to duck Dunn and it sounded great. I usually stay clear of signature gear as it limits the sound I want

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19 minutes ago, Friskydingo said:

I was playing all kinds of styles on the LM from maiden to duck Dunn and it sounded great.

My experience with Markbass heads is that they are quite neutral sounding. They tend to amplify whatever goes in at the front end fairly accurately without imposing too much of a brand or signature tone as some amps do. Because of this relative accuracy they will expose both strong and weak points in your signal chain, including inconsistencies in playing technique, rather than smooth over them.

It's fairly simple to get whatever you want from them especially now that Aguilar, Ampeg, Mesa, Tech 21, etc., all produce preamp pedals to flavour the input. A selection of £100ish pedals is a more cost effective way of having several brand's basic tones available to you rather than paying £500+ for each head.

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I'm just looking for an amp which I can get a decent tone from and has enough drive (I'm leaning towards aguilar 350) 

I don't use loads of pedals (compressor always on, chorus, fuzz/gain) so versatility is nice but not essential. 

After that purchase it's looking at cabs

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When you say 'enough drive' do you mean overdrive or simply enough power?

If you are using fuzz and/or gain pedals you'd be better off with an amp that is capable of being both loud and clean (Markbass are good for this). If you want the amp itself to generate fuzz or overdrive then don't go Markbass. If you use overdrive pedals plus hi gain overdrive on the amp you will lose a lot of definition and low end.

Edited by Sparky Mark

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If it's power you want then you may be better looking at the TH500 that'll give 250 watts max into a single 8 ohm cab rather than the 175 watts max of the TH350.

The class D 500 watt Markbass heads are rated at 300 watts into 8 ohms.

Edited by Sparky Mark

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Don't have the money for a 500 but played with the 350 which could easily keep up with a drummer and 2 guitars 

Also should mention The TH350 is measured in continuous watts, which means that it is musical at 400-500 watts and peaks at 600-700 watts

I'll report back after more try outs this weekend 

Edited by Friskydingo
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I've got both though the LM3 is an earlier class AB Italian build, the LM3 is now in back up position and the MM the main.  TBH the core sound of both is very similar to my ears and both are equally usable in gigging situations - I'd be surprised if many in the audience would detect the difference.  I don't tend to stray too far from 12 on the eq either so I guess I won't notice the differences in the frequency centres too much - I generally use the 'Milleriser' or VPF filters which get me where I need to be quite easily.

The only thing I prefer on the MM over the LM3 is the mute switch (and associated visual indication); they're both great amps. 

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6 hours ago, Friskydingo said:

Don't have the money for a 500 but played with the 350 which could easily keep up with a drummer and 2 guitars 

Also should mention The TH350 is measured in continuous watts, which means that it is musical at 400-500 watts and peaks at 600-700 watts

I'll report back after more try outs this weekend 

RMS is the only half useable measure. Peak, music power, etc are pretty meaningless. Markbass are RMS.

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2 minutes ago, Sparky Mark said:

RMS is the only half useable measure. Peak, music power, etc are pretty meaningless. Markbass are RMS.

But then it all changes again when going in to a cab with various ohm and wattage 

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So an update. I went to peach guitars today and tried out the fender rumble 500, Aguilar tone hammer 350 and mark bass III.
- mark bass had enough power and loads of versatility in tone, which is great, but I found myself playing with dials trying to find a sound to settle on more than playing itself. No drive, but there are pedals for that.
- fender was the loudest by far, when I turned it on and had it at 12 o’clock I turned a few heads in the store! no trouble keeping up with a band. The overdrive channel wasn’t to my taste but it’s nice to have that option available with a footswitch selector and with some more playing with the eq, I’m sure I could dial in something I’d like; yet again pedals are available. On the clean channel There was a lot of low end at 12 o’clock position and I had to roll the bass and low-mids off a lot, to find something I prefer. The extra options of bright, contour and vintage are great functions and gave it close to the same versatility as the mark bass
- Aguilar was just as loud as the markbass and could keep up with the fender until about 2 o’clock, then I found the headroom wasn’t there. The easiest by far to dial in a tone I like. Roll off some bass and add some higher mids. Done. Although the drive is not on a separate channel, it’s a more pleasant sound than the fender, up until 3 or 4 o’clock and then starts getting more dirty than I enjoy. The -10db would be useful for home use as well as the easy access mute button.

So I’ve played the markbass and Aguilar before and they were about even. This time the Aguilar performed far better. The fender had more power and is the cheaper option and if I found one second hand or cheap enough, I’d easily pick it up.
But it’s the Aguilar for me, even with it’s less watts. I may save up for the 500 but if the 350 came up used or on sale I’d have it!

I played a squire j bass and was playing through a Laney N410 600watts 4x10, last time I played through a trace Elliott 1x15. Side note, the laney was extremely light and produced more than enough low end, even for reggae and dub! Very good cab

Any questions just ask!
chris

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28 minutes ago, Lozz196 said:

Nice reviews there, seems Aggie won handsomely.

It did, but the fender was very close and there's benefits to both. 

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To Spongebob......

They obviously never added ‘ but the way you play will also dictate the sound’. Don’t rely on a shop telling you these things.

Edited by mybass

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Don't judge loudness/power in store by the position of the volume knob. Some amps increase the volume until the knob it's at 1 o'clock or so and there's very little else above that, while others are more progressive and they may look 'less powerful' due to that. 

If you like the sound of the Aguilar best... go for it. There's not as much between 350 and 500W as you'd imagine. With the right cabs you'll most likely be ok. I sold my old LM3 (500W) to get a LMT800 (800W) thinking the extra 300W would make a big difference, and they did not, then went back to a LM3 as I liked the sound more and simply changed the cabs I was using to get the volume I needed.

 

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Mcnach, that’s what I decided on, just have to save up, find a used one or go to finance option.

Next is finding a cab, something lightweight, either 1x15 or 4x10, unfortunately the Aguilar cabs are priced way up there, so will probably be another brand

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1 hour ago, Friskydingo said:

Mcnach, that’s what I decided on, just have to save up, find a used one or go to finance option.

Next is finding a cab, something lightweight, either 1x15 or 4x10, unfortunately the Aguilar cabs are priced way up there, so will probably be another brand

 

The quest for the right cabs is the longest one for most, I think. And can be expensive! Good luck :)

I'd definitely go modular, even if it can end up costing a bit more. I prefer a couple of 210 over a single 410. They're easier to carry, and many times a single 210 does the job. When I use two, I can stack them vertically too, which means I hear them better onstage and the horizontal dispersion is better... 

I bought a heavy Peavey TX410 cab for £70 years ago. It didn't look the best, but it sounded good and did the job. It was not fun to lift it by myself out of the boot of a VW Golf back home at 3am, but it was doable. I used that until I was able to afford something better. What I'm saying is that even if your ideal solution may not be achievable immediately, there are many alternatives that will still work reasonably well until you're ready. Try as many cabs as you can meanwhile. They make a big difference.

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I’m enjoying playing the Marcus Miller amp through my MarkBass 2x12 Ninja cab...several positive comments about the sound of it from punters who have heard me playing previous MarkBass amps.

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On 08/09/2019 at 11:32, mcnach said:

 

I bought a heavy Peavey TX410 cab for £70 years ago. It didn't look the best, but it sounded good and did the job. It was not fun to lift it by myself out of the boot of a VW Golf back home at 3am, but it was doable. 

You must have been on the spinach to lift a Peavey 410 on your own 😁

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