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Markbass Little Mark II vs III


TRBboy

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Hey folks! 

 

Yes I have googled this, and I've found threads on here and TB, but they all seem to go off in many tangents and not really answer the question. 😂

 

Aside from the pre/post DI switch and the line out level knob, is there actually any difference between the LM II and III? 

 

I gigged a LM II loaned by a friend tonight, and I thought it was just incredible. I can't see that it's worth spending extra on a III though if those are the only differences.

 

Thanks for any insight you can offer. 😉👍

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The LM2 will be quite old as they stopped making them around 2008. All LM2 had a class AB power amp. For three to four years of production its replacement, the LM3, also used a class AB power amp, but from around 2012 all LM3 have a class D power amp.

A good condition LM2 is an excellent amp that can be found second-hand for £200ish. 

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37 minutes ago, Sparky Mark said:

The LM2 will be quite old as they stopped making them around 2008. All LM2 had a class AB power amp. For three to four years of production its replacement, the LM3, also used a class AB power amp, but from around 2012 all LM3 have a class D power amp.

A good condition LM2 is an excellent amp that can be found second-hand for £200ish. 

Thanks Mark! Very helpful. I had always assumed (wrongly it seems) that all the markbass heads were Class D, I guess mainly because of how small/light they are. 

 

As I said, the loaner I gigged last night blew me away! Such great tone and PLENTY of power! Are they generally pretty reliable? I did have the same amp in a CMD102P (from around 2006), which sounded great and never skipped a beat in my ownership. 😉👌

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Just don't drop it.  Mine slid out of its jacket, and afterwards made intermittent wingeing noises.  My solution choice was spending more than its worth with that lot in Sheffield, or give it to a bloke in Norwich who charged me £30 to thump it with a length of 3x2 - which worked! 

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Posted (edited)

My LM2 was a great sounding amp, and then I bought my Thunderfunk, which sounded even better!!

 

If you find a good one, buy it. It doesn't have to do many gigs before it's paid for itself.

Edited by chris_b
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Your NRD thread suggests you have an LM800? If that's the case and you've borrowed an LM2 so you know what they both sound/feel like with your cab, then for my money the LM3 has broadly the basic sound of the LM2 but with a bit more of the feel of playing the LM800 - it's just a bit less rounded and a bit more responsive. If you prefer the sound of the LM2 to the LM800 then an LM3 would probably be alright. If you prefer the feel of the LM2 to the LM800 then an LM3 might not do it for you - I'd hunt for a low mileage LM2.

 

For the record I have LM2, LM3, LM800, F1 and Nano300 heads and have played them all through the same 4ohm 104HR cab in the same room with the same bass and the same band playing the same songs. That said, my opinions are entirely subjective, any comparison is still mostly unscientific and free advice is generally worth exactly what you paid for it 🙂 

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2 hours ago, TRBboy said:

Thanks Mark! Very helpful. I had always assumed (wrongly it seems) that all the markbass heads were Class D, I guess mainly because of how small/light they are. 

 

As I said, the loaner I gigged last night blew me away! Such great tone and PLENTY of power! Are they generally pretty reliable? I did have the same amp in a CMD102P (from around 2006), which sounded great and never skipped a beat in my ownership. 😉👌

You're welcome. I think that they are as reliable as any other quality brand, just be aware that a good amp may well have seen plenty of gigs in 14+ years.  If you can find a lightly used/ home studio example it could well last several more years. A repair by a Markbass authorised tech will probably cost around £200 even if they keep the parts so may not be worth doing.

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4 minutes ago, Ed_S said:

Your NRD thread suggests you have an LM800? If that's the case and you've borrowed an LM2 so you know what they both sound/feel like with your cab, then for my money the LM3 has broadly the basic sound of the LM2 but with a bit more of the feel of playing the LM800 - it's just a bit less rounded and a bit more responsive. If you prefer the sound of the LM2 to the LM800 then an LM3 would probably be alright. If you prefer the feel of the LM2 to the LM800 then an LM3 might not do it for you - I'd hunt for a low mileage LM2.

 

For the record I have LM2, LM3, LM800, F1 and Nano300 heads and have played them all through the same 4ohm 104HR cab in the same room with the same bass and the same band playing the same songs. That said, my opinions are entirely subjective, any comparison is still mostly unscientific and free advice is generally worth exactly what you paid for it 🙂 

Yes, the LM800 arrived Friday, but I don't know if it's far more power than I'll ever need, and as I bought it from a reputable vendor I have a window of opportunity to return. The LM2 seems to sound the same but obvs much cheaper. 🤷🏻‍♂️

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5 minutes ago, Sparky Mark said:

You're welcome. I think that they are as reliable as any other quality brand, just be aware that a good amp may well have seen plenty of gigs in 14+ years.  If you can find a lightly used/ home studio example it could well last several more years. A repair by a Markbass authorised tech will probably cost around £200 even if they keep the parts so may not be worth doing.

Out of interest, what is likely to go wrong over time, assuming they're looked after and not run flat out all the time? 

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Just now, TRBboy said:

Out of interest, what is likely to go wrong over time, assuming they're looked after and not run flat out all the time? 

 

Component failure on the board. The entire board has to be replaced.

 

It doesn't happen very often but when it does it gets a lot of chat because the repair is expensive compared to the cost of a new amp.

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9 minutes ago, TRBboy said:

Out of interest, what is likely to go wrong over time, assuming they're looked after and not run flat out all the time? 

Power supply seems to be a commonly reported point of failure, especially if knocked (all PCB mounted IIRC). I had an LM2 paired with a 4ohm Schroeder cab, great sound, really loud. Did it break during my ownership? Yes, but it was under warranty. Was it the power supply? Yes again.

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Just now, TRBboy said:

Yes, the LM800 arrived Friday, but I don't know if it's far more power than I'll ever need, and as I bought it from a reputable vendor I have a window of opportunity to return. The LM2 seems to sound the same but obvs much cheaper. 🤷🏻‍♂️

 

I wouldn't worry about it being more power than you need - I've never noticed any sonic benefit from driving any of the LMs hard like you might with a tube amp, so just turn the master to where you need it. If that's never above 3 then so be it.

 

Try and get the LM800 a bit louder before you decide that it sounds the same as the LM2, though, as I'd say there are some subtle differences. You might even find that you like both of them for different reasons, which is where I'm at.

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26 minutes ago, Ed_S said:

 

I wouldn't worry about it being more power than you need - I've never noticed any sonic benefit from driving any of the LMs hard like you might with a tube amp, so just turn the master to where you need it. If that's never above 3 then so be it.

 

Try and get the LM800 a bit louder before you decide that it sounds the same as the LM2, though, as I'd say there are some subtle differences. You might even find that you like both of them for different reasons, which is where I'm at.

Would the subtle differences be discernable in a band mix? I am no solo virtuoso! 😂👍

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So guys, do the newer Class D models not have the same reliability issues, RE component failure? Is the LM800 class D? 😬🤦🏻‍♂️🤷🏻‍♂️😅

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27 minutes ago, TRBboy said:

So guys, do the newer Class D models not have the same reliability issues, RE component failure? Is the LM800 class D? 😬🤦🏻‍♂️🤷🏻‍♂️😅

Ah, maybe a visit to the Class D = Diabolical thread is in order. No from me judgment BTW.


 

 

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4 minutes ago, TRBboy said:

Would the subtle differences be discernable in a band mix? I am no solo virtuoso! 😂👍

 

Not the ones we usually get on a 4 band night with 15 minute changeovers 🙄

 

My band have commented that they like to hear me playing a MB head more than various others I've taken along over the years (kinda shocked me to find they had an opinion tbh.) but they've never once taken it further than 'yellow and black car stereo is good', and they'd probably be surprised to find it's actually at least 4 different ones that they think are the same. I really want to say that yes, you can hear a slight difference in the upper-mids and highs... but sadly, on that evidence, I'd have to say it's leaning towards no, they probably all just sound like a MB in the room.

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10 minutes ago, Ed_S said:

 

Not the ones we usually get on a 4 band night with 15 minute changeovers 🙄

 

My band have commented that they like to hear me playing a MB head more than various others I've taken along over the years (kinda shocked me to find they had an opinion tbh.) but they've never once taken it further than 'yellow and black car stereo is good', and they'd probably be surprised to find it's actually at least 4 different ones that they think are the same. I really want to say that yes, you can hear a slight difference in the upper-mids and highs... but sadly, on that evidence, I'd have to say it's leaning towards no, they probably all just sound like a MB in the room.

Thanks for this, I get what you're saying. 😊👍

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, ezbass said:

Ah, maybe a visit to the Class D = Diabolical thread is in order. No from me judgment BTW.


 

 

I've just read the first few pages, and I'm not sure what the point or conclusion of the thread is 😂🙈 seems to just be conjecture and subjectivity. 

 

Ultimately, any amp can go wrong a) if its badly mistreated, or b) if a component fails. I don't really see that the liklihood of either occurring have any direct correlation to what the amp class is? 🤷🏻‍♂️

Edited by TRBboy
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1 hour ago, TRBboy said:

So guys, do the newer Class D models not have the same reliability issues, RE component failure? Is the LM800 class D? 😬🤦🏻‍♂️🤷🏻‍♂️😅

There are no Markbass reliability issues that are different to any other manufacturer. Electronics of any type will eventually fail, the same as any mechanical system. If you bought a 15 year old car you might expect more problems due to wear and tear. There's no way of knowing how well or badly an amp has been used, so cosmetic condition is probably the only available indication.

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I’ve never found Class D to be particularly unreliable.


My class A/B Eden was a complete stinky poo show that I ended up selling on after 3 repairs! Loved the sound though.

 

Class D don’t appear to be particularly easy to repair from some stories, but that’s not my own personal experience.

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, TRBboy said:

So guys, do the newer Class D models not have the same reliability issues, RE component failure? Is the LM800 class D? 😬🤦🏻‍♂️🤷🏻‍♂️😅

Oh, yes the LM800 is ckass D.

Edited by Sparky Mark
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I wouldn't get hung up about the class of the power amp. All LM heads sound very similar due to the common pre amp section. The LM2 sounds as good as any Markbass head IMO and if you can live without the adjustable DI or need massive power then it's a winner even now.

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Really interesting thread. I’m new to bass, and bought an LM3 and a 102P Traveller cab off Facebook as they were cheap and I thought they’d get the job done. They are in fact lovely amps, and I’m a bit smitten with the Mark Bass sound. My LM3 is from 01 2012, so could be either class AB or class D according to the info above. 
 

I too worry a little about reliability, but I’m just going to pick up another head as backup when one crops up. They are so small and light that it’s no burden to carry two.

 

Rob

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25 minutes ago, Sparky Mark said:

I wouldn't get hung up about the class of the power amp. All LM heads sound very similar due to the common pre amp section. The LM2 sounds as good as any Markbass head IMO and if you can live without the adjustable DI or need massive power then it's a winner even now.

Thanks man, this is exactly the conclusion I'm coming to. Its extremely rarely I need to DI, but I have my MXR Bass DI+ on my board if I want to go out before the amp. Thanks for your help 😊🙏

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