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Markbass Little Mark II vs III


TRBboy

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3 minutes ago, ossyrocks said:

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

Exactly what I'm thinking Rob! 😉👌

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Had a little mark tube 500 for 12 years, a lmIII with a slightly different preamp. Been 100% fault free, aside from needing a internal hoover every now and again. 

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Posted (edited)
13 hours ago, ossyrocks said:

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

If you can see the two aluminium heatsinks through both sets of side vent slots then you have class AB (below). If you only see one aluminium heatsink then you have class D. 

20220515_193842.jpg.2484e68ce28ebf920b830287177dbf92.jpg

Edited by Sparky Mark
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21 minutes ago, scalpy said:

Had a little mark tube 500 for 12 years, a lmIII with a slightly different preamp. Been 100% fault free, aside from needing a internal hoover every now and again. 

Thanks for this, the chap I'm borrowing this LMII has had MB amps for years, various models, and never had an issue with any 🤷🏻‍♂️

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14 hours ago, Sparky Mark said:

If you can see the two aluminium heatsinks through both sets of side vent slots then you have class AB (below). If you only see one aluminium heatsink then you have class D. 

20220515_193842.jpg.2484e68ce28ebf920b830287177dbf92.jpg

 

Ah ha! Cheers. I have two heatsinks, so class AB. Mine also says Power 600W on the back, as opposed to 550W on the latest LMIII

 

Can anyone discern a difference between the two?

 

Rob

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3 hours ago, ossyrocks said:

Can anyone discern a difference between the two?

 

 

1 hour ago, chris_b said:

I doubt it.

 

Do a few gigs at a reasonable volume and I would, personally, be quite surprised if you can't tell the difference. 

 

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7 hours ago, ossyrocks said:

 

Ah ha! Cheers. I have two heatsinks, so class AB. Mine also says Power 600W on the back, as opposed to 550W on the latest LMIII

 

Can anyone discern a difference between the two?

 

Rob

The 600 watts refers to the maximum mains input power requirement, not the amp's speaker output power. It makes sense that with class D being more efficient than class AB it would require less input power as less is being lost as heat.

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5 hours ago, peteb said:

 

 

Do a few gigs at a reasonable volume and I would, personally, be quite surprised if you can't tell the difference. 

 

 

I did many gigs with a LM3 class D (2013/14) and then I bought another that happened to be class AB (from 2009)... If there are differences they weren't obvious in a gig environment (to me!).

 

This included quite a few gigs without PA support, with a 7 piece band. I wasn't quiet.

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There's definitely a difference between how a LM2 and a class AB LM3 sound with both filters off and all EQ at noon. In my experience there's less of a difference between class AB and class D versions of the LM3. I think possible changes to the HPF, preamp board and limiter from LM2 to LM3 may be more significant than the power amp topology. 

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19 hours ago, mcnach said:

 

I did many gigs with a LM3 class D (2013/14) and then I bought another that happened to be class AB (from 2009)... If there are differences they weren't obvious in a gig environment (to me!).

 

This included quite a few gigs without PA support, with a 7 piece band. I wasn't quiet.

 

I spent a lot of money on a really nice sounding Class D amp. It sounded great in a room on its own and when I did some deps for a not particularly loud R&B band. Unfortunately, it was completely lacking when I used it with a loud rock band with keys. I had to cut my losses, sell it on and ended up getting a Handbox R-400 (Class A/B), which has been brilliant. 

 

I've had a Class A/B LM3, not to mention a couple of combos with a LM2 head, all of which had been fine on stage. 

 

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3 hours ago, peteb said:

 

I spent a lot of money on a really nice sounding Class D amp. It sounded great in a room on its own and when I did some deps for a not particularly loud R&B band. Unfortunately, it was completely lacking when I used it with a loud rock band with keys. I had to cut my losses, sell it on and ended up getting a Handbox R-400 (Class A/B), which has been brilliant. 

 

I've had a Class A/B LM3, not to mention a couple of combos with a LM2 head, all of which had been fine on stage. 

 

What class D amp did you have Pete? 

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On 15/05/2022 at 19:17, scalpy said:

Had a little mark tube 500 for 12 years, a lmIII with a slightly different preamp. Been 100% fault free, aside from needing a internal hoover every now and again. 

Good to know as I bought a LM tube 500 today. Had a few Markbass amps, including the LM tube 800 which I sold on in search of a different sound…came full circle to my favourite amp again today. 

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19 minutes ago, Raslee said:

Good to know as I bought a LM tube 500 today. Had a few Markbass amps, including the LM tube 800 which I sold on in search of a different sound…came full circle to my favourite amp again today. 

That's hopefully what I have coming end of the week to replace the LM800 😊👍

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4 minutes ago, dirtyharry said:

I have both LM2 (power A/B) and LM3 (D class). In a band setting it's almost Impossible to tell he difference between these two.

That's what I figured, thanks 😊👍

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17 hours ago, peteb said:

 

The Mesa Boogie Subway D-800. 

 

Ah okay, I've no experience of that one myself. From the Class D heads I have had, I've certainly found that they're not all created equal. The GB Shuttle 9.2 I had was powerful, and had a good eq section, but I always somehow found it lacking. It just wasn't 'present' and seemed to be lacking body. In contrast, the Aguilar AG700 I had was excellent, warm, powerful, full sounding, and just generally awesome.... Yeah I regret selling it! 😂 I found the fender rumble much the same. Both sounded great in a loud rock band, whereas the Shuttle always seemed to get a little lost. 

 

So in essence, I don't think the power amp classification creates an absolute rule on whether the amp will be good or bad in a band context, like with any class of amp it's just down to the overall design and execution, and whether it is the right amp to deliver your expectations. 

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1 hour ago, TRBboy said:

Ah okay, I've no experience of that one myself. From the Class D heads I have had, I've certainly found that they're not all created equal. The GB Shuttle 9.2 I had was powerful, and had a good eq section, but I always somehow found it lacking. It just wasn't 'present' and seemed to be lacking body. In contrast, the Aguilar AG700 I had was excellent, warm, powerful, full sounding, and just generally awesome.... Yeah I regret selling it! 😂 I found the fender rumble much the same. Both sounded great in a loud rock band, whereas the Shuttle always seemed to get a little lost. 

 

So in essence, I don't think the power amp classification creates an absolute rule on whether the amp will be good or bad in a band context, like with any class of amp it's just down to the overall design and execution, and whether it is the right amp to deliver your expectations. 

I think it's also important to know how to sculpt "your sound" with any amplifier's EQ section. I prefer a boost around 100Hz, some cut around 340Hz and a boost around 1.2 to 1.5kHz. If I can control those areas I can nearly always get a decent tone from an amp. Use your ears not your eyes; everything might end up at noon (nominally flat) but some systems (full signal chain including fingers thru to speaker cab) may need a kick in certain frequencies. I always got the impression that Shuttles were intrinsically very clean but could be EQ'd to almost any tone due to the highly flexible EQ section. I'm sure I've blamed amps for being poor in the past because I wasn't familiar with what I needed to do EQ wise.

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Posted (edited)
20 minutes ago, Sparky Mark said:

I think it's also important to know how to sculpt "your sound" with any amplifier's EQ section. I prefer a boost around 100Hz, some cut around 340Hz and a boost around 1.2 to 1.5kHz. If I can control those areas I can nearly always get a decent tone from an amp. Use your ears not your eyes; everything might end up at noon (nominally flat) but some systems (full signal chain including fingers thru to speaker cab) may need a kick in certain frequencies. I always got the impression that Shuttles were intrinsically very clean but could be EQ'd to almost any tone due to the highly flexible EQ section. I'm sure I've blamed amps for being poor in the past because I wasn't familiar with what I needed to do EQ wise.

Yeah I know what you mean, and I do just try to use my ears as much as I can. I tried all sorts with the shuttle, watched Ed Friedland's review and settings, etc. I ended up boosting the lowest mid range frequency as he did, because actually it did sound best. The versatility of the preamp wasn't the problem, and you could easily dial in a nice tone. The problem for me was that there didn't seem to be enough breadth or 'guts' to the sound. In the band mix it just got a bit lost and felt a bit 2 dimensional. 

 

As an aside, I have to say that coming back to Markbass after nearly 10 years is a beautiful thing! It's the happiest I've been with my sound for a very long time! And that GR cab just slays! 😎😜

Edited by TRBboy
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20 hours ago, peteb said:

 

The Mesa Boogie Subway D-800. 

 

I 100 per cent agree with this, and said so in the worst amp thread sometime ago.

 

I found the Subway D800 to be completely gutless, a terrible, terrible bass amp.

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1 minute ago, bagsieblue said:

I 100 per cent agree with this, and said so in the worst amp thread sometime ago.

 

I found the Subway D800 to be completely gutless, a terrible, terrible bass amp.

That really surprises me. The D800 and D800+ get almost universal praise both here and on Talkbass. 

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6 minutes ago, Sparky Mark said:

That really surprises me. The D800 and D800+ get almost universal praise both here and on Talkbass. 

Yes, the universal praise really surprises me.

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Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, TRBboy said:

Ah okay, I've no experience of that one myself. From the Class D heads I have had, I've certainly found that they're not all created equal. The GB Shuttle 9.2 I had was powerful, and had a good eq section, but I always somehow found it lacking. It just wasn't 'present' and seemed to be lacking body. In contrast, the Aguilar AG700 I had was excellent, warm, powerful, full sounding, and just generally awesome.... Yeah I regret selling it! 😂 I found the fender rumble much the same. Both sounded great in a loud rock band, whereas the Shuttle always seemed to get a little lost. 

 

So in essence, I don't think the power amp classification creates an absolute rule on whether the amp will be good or bad in a band context, like with any class of amp it's just down to the overall design and execution, and whether it is the right amp to deliver your expectations. 

 

 

3 hours ago, TRBboy said:

The versatility of the preamp wasn't the problem, and you could easily dial in a nice tone. The problem for me was that there didn't seem to be enough breadth or 'guts' to the sound. In the band mix it just got a bit lost and felt a bit 2 dimensional. 

 

I’ve played a few Class D amps over the years and I tried out a lot of them when I bought the Subway. To me, the Boogie was by far the best sounding of the Class Ds (the Aguilar AG700 would have been in second place). But in real life gigging situations, it just didn’t quite work for me.

 

As far as I’m concerned, it’s definitely the power stage rather than the preamp. I know how to EQ an amp, that isn’t the issue, it’s the response you get from the amp and as you say, the breadth or 'guts' to the sound. 

 

When I took it back to Bass Direct for them to sell for me a few months after I bought it from them, I was discussing why I was moving it on so quickly and Mark said, ‘it’s not just the sound of the amp, it’s how it delivers that sound’.

 

Edited by peteb
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Posted (edited)
48 minutes ago, peteb said:

 

 

 

I’ve played a few Class D amps over the years and I tried out a lot of them when I bought the Subway. To me, the Boogie was by far the best sounding of the Class Ds (the Aguilar AG700 would have been in second place). But in real life gigging situations, it just didn’t quite work for me.

 

As far as I’m concerned, it’s definitely the power stage rather than the preamp. I know how to EQ an amp, that isn’t the issue, it’s the response you get from the amp and as you say, the breadth or 'guts' to the sound. 

 

When I took it back to Bass Direct for them to sell for me a few months after I bought it from them, I was discussing why I was selling it on so quickly and Mark said, ‘it’s not just the sound of the amp, it’s how it delivers that sound’.

 

Is there actually a difference in the electrical signal sent to the speaker from a class D amp when compared to a class AB amp?

Edited by Sparky Mark
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