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wildebassman

Markbass LMlll still a relevant amp?

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I once owned and played a MB LMlll, which was the newest kid on the block then... I moved on and so did the amp market. 

How do my bass brothers and sisters rate the amp today?

Is it still relevant and keeping up with the competition?

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I liked my LMIII, however loved my LMT (tube). The tube didn’t do much, but it just gave the sound a sprinkling of “life”.

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I've heard plenty of players using Markbass amps and cabs and they all sounded pretty good to me.The LM3 has gone from SS to class D and from Made in Italy to Made in China, but if a company has its ears in the right place none of that should matter. My LM2, from many years ago, was a great sounding amp. I would expect the LM3 to be the same.

And if you look around there are pro players using them too, including Joe Dart.

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Posted (edited)
11 minutes ago, chris_b said:

I've heard plenty of players using Markbass amps and cabs and they all sounded pretty good to me.The LM3 has gone from SS to class D and from Made in Italy to Made in China, but if a company has its ears in the right place none of that should matter. My LM2, from many years ago, was a great sounding amp. I would expect the LM3 to be the same.

And if you look around there are pro players using them too, including Joe Dart.

Made in China? When did that happen,  I thought it has been Indonesia for a few years now?

Edited by yorks5stringer

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Just now, yorks5stringer said:

Made in China? When did that happen,  I thought it has been Indonesia for a few years now?

If I'm wrong I apologise. I'll go with Indonesia.

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59 minutes ago, fretmeister said:

I find the Marcus Miller versions to have a more sensible EQ.

Some say it's a darker sounding amp in comparison to the LM.

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On 02/06/2020 at 13:24, wildebassman said:

I once owned and played a MB LMlll, which was the newest kid on the block then... I moved on and so did the amp market. 

How do my bass brothers and sisters rate the amp today?

Is it still relevant and keeping up with the competition?

 

It is to me. Admittedly I use mostly a Mesa D800+ these days, but I keep an LMIII and I use it at home and take it to some gigs. I have no intention of letting it go: it sounds good, it's small, light and powerful enough.

It may not have some of the bells and whistles that other amps have, but it's still a great sounding amp and the built-in VLE/VPF filters are pretty cool.

 

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On 02/06/2020 at 14:44, fretmeister said:

I find the Marcus Miller versions to have a more sensible EQ.

 

I agree. I'd prefer a Marcus Miller version if I were buying a new one, but it's not a big deal (to me).

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Posted (edited)

Just got a MM version. I am pretty sure you could achieve a similar sound with the LM3 (playing with the EQ) but I just loved the sound with the EQ at 12 o'clock so didn't look much further. It's a great one.

Nothing new here but the only sensible thing to do is to go to a shop with your own bass and give it a try. I was on my way to buy a Mesa D800, and as crazy as it sounds, I went for the MB. Just worked better with my Spector.

Needless to say that none of the hours spent comparing the tones on youtube, reading reviews on BC/TB, or even trying it with a random bass from the shop, were helpful in the end.

Long story short, MB is still relevant for thousands of bass players around the world - stil relevant for you is really up to you to decide

 

EDIT: To be clear, I am going to get the Mesa pedal preamp - not saying it did not sound amazing. Just felt like for some reason the alchemy Mesa/Spector was just a bit too much for me to use 24/7. If I was into very "aggressive" kind of musics I surely would have taken the Mesa though.

EDIT2: Since I am into talking about "competitors" the Aguilar sounded great with my bass too, just couldnt justify the extra $$ as I felt the difference was really insignificant.

 

Edited by julfam

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12 minutes ago, julfam said:

Just got a MM version. I am pretty sure you could achieve a similar sound with the LM3 (playing with the EQ) but I just loved the sound with the EQ at 12 o'clock so didn't look much further. It's a great one.

Nothing new here but the only sensible thing to do is to go to a shop with your own bass and give it a try. I was on my way to buy a Mesa D800, and as crazy as it sounds, I went for the MB. Just worked better with my Spector.

Needless to say that none of the hours spent comparing the tones on youtube, reading reviews on BC/TB, or even trying it with a random bass from the shop, were helpful in the end.

Long story short, MB is still relevant for thousands of bass players around the world - stil relevant for you is really up to you to decide

 

EDIT: To be clear, I am going to get the Mesa pedal preamp - not saying it did not sound amazing. Just felt like for some reason the alchemy Mesa/Spector was just a bit too much for me to use 24/7. If I was into very "aggressive" kind of musics I surely would have taken the Mesa though.

 

 

Interesting.

I find I can get the Mesa D800+ to sound very very similar to the LMIII if I have the voicing control set close to anticlockwise. I don't find the Mesa aggressive (although you can make it be).

A while ago I took a Streamliner 900, a D800 (not the plus) and a LMIII with 4x TKS S112 speakers that I connected in various ways, either single speakers, or a pair or two pairs when possible, to a rehearsal room with one of my bands. I fully expected the LMIII to be the weakest, but it was not at all. First of all, when it came to sheer volume, there was nothing much between the three amps. The D800 sounded a bit 'fuller', but of the three I preferred the LMIII slightly. I prefer the D800+ because it's a bit more versatile and I really like the interplay between the adjustable HPF, the voicing control and the bass EQ: full fat bass with good definition and no mud/boom. I use a pair of 4ohm Barefaced Two10, so the Mesa is my go-to amp as it can be used with a 2 ohm load (in addition to the HPF etc etc ), but the LMIII doesn't have anything to feel shy about.

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Posted (edited)

That's interesting! I might have concluded a bit too fast. As surprising as it might sounds, I found the D800 extremely rich in mids (which is normally what I look for/like) but this time slightly too much, and rather agressive.

I am also not the most patient when it comes to EQing to be fair - I tend to be the kind of guy who swap amps if not happy with the EQ at 12. Even though I did try a bit more this time 🤓

I guess the fact that the MM sounded exactly like I wanted straightaway played a huge role.

Edited by julfam
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On 02/06/2020 at 15:44, wildebassman said:

Some say it's a darker sounding amp in comparison to the LM.

I've had both but not at the same time.

I'm not convinced that's true. I think the cab would make far more difference to the top end

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I also didnt have that feeling, but I found the MM more punchy.

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19 hours ago, julfam said:

That's interesting! I might have concluded a bit too fast. As surprising as it might sounds, I found the D800 extremely rich in mids (which is normally what I look for/like) but this time slightly too much, and rather agressive.

I am also not the most patient when it comes to EQing to be fair - I tend to be the kind of guy who swap amps if not happy with the EQ at 12. Even though I did try a bit more this time 🤓

I guess the fact that the MM sounded exactly like I wanted straightaway played a huge role.

 

I'm a bit like you: I try an amp and I want it to be close to what I want with the EQ set 'neutral' (I was going to say flat, but I just mean with the knobs around the middle), so that I only need minor tweaks. If an amp needs me to cut or boost something a lot, I move on. 

The Marcus Miller MarkBass is what I wish my LMIII had been :) but it wasn't available then. Not complaining about the LMIII, but I think the MM is nicer too. 

 

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19 hours ago, julfam said:

I tend to be the kind of guy who swap amps if not happy with the EQ at 12.

 

4 minutes ago, mcnach said:

I try an amp and I want it to be close to what I want with the EQ set 'neutral' (I was going to say flat, but I just mean with the knobs around the middle), so that I only need minor tweaks. If an amp needs me to cut or boost something a lot, I move on.

Me too.

I'm a plug and play guy so extreme use of the EQ always means it's not the amp for me. If all parts of the signal chain compliment each other it requires less work to get a consistently better sound throughout different songs, bands, stages and venues.

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Posted (edited)
10 hours ago, chris_b said:

 

Me too.

I'm a plug and play guy so extreme use of the EQ always means it's not the amp for me. If all parts of the signal chain compliment each other it requires less work to get a consistently better sound throughout different songs, bands, stages and venues.

Me too, in a way that it makes me feel uneasy when I have to tweak to extremes to get my sound. I had this with a Trickfish Bullhead .5, just couldn't get my sound and clarity, I kept twisting the knobs, returned it after two days.

Now I am really curious about the MM...I have to try one out. 

Yesterday I visited Marc Vanderkley, I exchanged my 112ext for a 112mnt. We had a really good chat about cabs and amps. He is a great craftsman and friendly man. He showed me around in his cabinet and amplifier workshop, I had the chance to see how well and precise the products are made. Also we talked about the idea of launching a simpler amp with "only" 800 watts output instead of the 2x800 watts Spartan. He demonstrated one of his amps on 2 112mnt cabs, I was blown away by the sheer power, tone, and reponsivenes. That was an afternoon well spend.

Edited by wildebassman
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Posted (edited)

Definitely still happy using a LM2 and a LM3 - both Italian-made ones and quite old now. 

Had Peaveys, then Ashdown ABMs, and then a GK1001RB before settling on the Markbass stuff, and it suits me the best of the lot - a fraction of the size and weight of the others too and plenty of volume.

Running them thru a Barefaced Big Twin 2 and/or a Genz Benz 2x12 and they sound righteous...

Edited by bassbiscuits
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I am curious as to what you mean by “relevance”. I marvel at people changing their amps with the times as if it were a fashion choice. I’ve never been into fashion. Just wanted to find a voice that works and get back to practicing. There’s always going to be something better than what I have and sometimes I can actually afford them but I’ve resisted because I don’t trust myself not to get lost in GAS. My K1 was perfect for me three years ago.. it still is. That said I was shocked how much difference a new bass made but as I hadn’t bought one for 15 years it was a significant leap. If it’s not relevant to any one else... I don’t really care. 

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I absolutely love my LMIII and 102T set up, I use it far more than my Mesa Boogie set up and it always draws favourable comments at gigs, if it fails I would replace it without question (mine is the Italian built 10 anniversary set with the chrome front on both amp and cab)

 

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21 hours ago, TrevorG said:

 

I am curious as to what you mean by “relevance”. I marvel at people changing their amps with the times as if it were a fashion choice. I’ve never been into fashion. Just wanted to find a voice that works and get back to practicing. There’s always going to be something better than what I have and sometimes I can actually afford them but I’ve resisted because I don’t trust myself not to get lost in GAS.

 

+1

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Personally, I don't think any amp is irrelevant or obsolete, just horses for courses..

 

 

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I recorded some bass today into Logic using the DI on my LMIII from 2013 (one of the last Italian ones but not Class A/B).

I played a Precision and was amazed at the great sound from the DI and I even set it pre-EQ. It's not as wide sounding as my Noble or Neve but it sounded great in a different way, just like a Fender should.

It doesn't really sound as good as that through the power amp and speakers but it demonstrates how nice sounding the preamp is.

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Well, some retrospect, I sold my MB 121 combo and bought a Vanderkley 112mnt cab. After that I started looking for a new amp. Played, Mesa, Epifani, Trickfish and a MB Little Marcus. 

But...I still haven't found my new "main" amp so...I just bought a 15 anniversary LMlll, n.o.s. for a steal at Thomann, 333 euro's, because I need an amp in the mean while. 

The LMlll will stay as a back up no matter what after I have found a new main amp.

Screenshot_20200703-130917_Facebook.jpg

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