Can I connect two cabinets to my amp, and how?
You can use two 8 ohm cabinets with any Markbass head. The total ohm load then becomes 4 ohms, which means that you get more power from the amp. But be warned, you can't use Markbass amps into an ohm load lower than 4. That means you cannot use two 4 ohm cabinets, or one 4 ohm and one 8 ohm! There are two speaker outputs on every Markbass head. Simply connect one output to each cabinet. Be warned that using your amp into an ohm load lower than 4 ohms will damage your amp and will not be covered under warranty!
What do the VLE and VPF filters do?
The VLE and VPF are useful EQ filters that help you adapt your sound for different styles of music.
The VLE (Vintage Loudspeaker Emulator) is a shelf EQ that cuts a wider and wider range of high frequencies as you turn it up. Markbass amps are very clear-sounding, and this filter has the effect of drawing you into the mix more, making your sound less present. It's kind of like an "old school" knob!
The VPF (Variable Preshape Filter) boosts lows and highs, and cuts mids. Some call this kind of effect a scoop, a smiley-shape EQ, or an enhance knob. It's very effective for slap bass, pick playing, and driving eighth-note rock.
These two filters can be combined for interesting effects. But remember that they are off when they are all the way counterclockwise--we suggest you start in that position and turn the filters up gradually, one at a time, to hear and understand what they do.
Can I use my Markbass amp without connecting to a speaker cabinet?
Yes, any Markbass amp can be used as a preamp only. We recommend that when doing so, you turn off the master volume (not essential, but it's better for the amp). The gain control and/or the Line Out level control will regulate the output from the amp.
How do I set my gain and volume levels?
Here's what we suggest: set your bass volume on full, and start with the gain and master controls off. Play your bass at your hardest level, and turn up the gain until the blue clip light starts illuminating. Now back off your gain level so that it's at its highest level without clipping. You've found your optimal gain level. Now use the master control to set your desired output volume.
Can I change the effect send/return from parallel to serial?
The effects loop on Markbass amps is factory set to parallel so that your sound is not degraded as it passes through the effects, and also so that if something happens to one of your effects or batteries or cables in the effect chain, you won't lose your signal. However, if you would like to change the wiring to serial, this can be done by qualified Markbass service technicians only. Contact your local dealer or distributor for details.
Can the voltage be changed if I move to another country?
Unfortunately, due to homologation issues, the voltage may not be changed without having the amp reapproved for electrical safety. If you're just traveling internationally with your amp, we recommend using power transformers, which are generally available from backline companies and can also be purchased inexpensively.
Can I use my Markbass amp in countries with different voltages?
No! Your amp/combo was manufactured to be sold and used in the country of purchase, and is factory preset to that country's voltage. If you use it in a country with a different voltage without using a power converter, it will not work and may be seriously damaged.
Can I plug a cabinet into the Micromark tweeter output?
No! This output may only be used with a Markbass satellite tweeter. Use of other cabinets may damage your combo and is not covered under warranty.
Is this combo loud enough to use on gigs?
This is always a hard question to answer, because there are so many variables. If you're playing in a really loud band, you may find a combo to be insufficient. But many people find that the clarity and power of these combos make them suitable for all kinds of gigs, especially if they're also going through a PA. If you find you're not getting enough power from a combo, you have the option of adding an extension cab.
Are the combos lower quality than amp/cabinet combinations?
No! The combos are made using the same cutting-edge technology and top-quality components as the separate heads and cabinets. Some manufacturers treat combos as amps for beginners, but there are no corners cut here and the same quality standards apply to all of our products.
Can I remove the head from my CMD or Mini CMD Series combo, and use it as a Little Mark II / Little Mark III?
No, the combos are not designed to allow the removal of the head from these combos. For one reason, the head is without a top inside the combo, and removal will expose you to the possibility of electric shock.
Can I connect an extension cabinet to the CMD 103H combo?
This combo contains a 6 ohm cabinet, and therefore normally draws 400W from the head in the combo (making it our loudest combo!). However, if you connected a second cabinet, you would drop the impedance below the head's minimum of 4 ohms. So although there is an external speaker jack on the back of the head in the combo, please do not use it unless you disconnect the internal speakers!
Can I connect my combo to another cabinet?
Yes, the head inside the combo is exactly the same as the Little Mark II, which means that it has two speaker outputs. One of these is connected (by default) to the speaker in the combo, but you can connect another (8 ohm) cabinet to the other speaker output. This drops the ohm load to 4 ohms, giving you 500W of power.
Should I choose a front-ported or a rear-ported cabinet?
The HF (front-ported) and HR (rear-ported) models have a different character of bottom end due to the location of the ports (also called reflexes). Front-ported cabinets are physically larger, and are generally preferred on bigger stages, venues where the bass doesn't go through the PA, and in musical situations where you want big, full, round bottom end. The HR (rear-ported) models tend to have a tighter, more controlled bottom end. They tend to be preferred in situations where the bass sound is needed to be punchy and focused, with more emphasis on melody and detail, for example in pop, jazz fusion, etc. When using two cabinets, many players choose to use one HR and one HF cabinet.
Should I choose an 8 ohm or a 4 ohm cabinet?
With Markbass amps, you can use either one or two 8 ohm cabinets, but only one 4 ohm cabinet. With all of the amps (except the SD800, SD 1200, Little Mark 250 and Classic 300), using one 8 ohm cabinet will give you 300W of power, whereas two 8 ohm cabinets or one 4 ohm cabinet will give you 500W. So 8 ohm cabinets give you more versatility. But if you know you won't need or want a second cab, choosing a 4 ohm cabinet will give you the most power and volume.
What is the difference between the piezo tweeter and the horn?
The 1" HF compression driver and custom horn used in our Standard series of cabinets (and the CMD 121H combo) delivers smooth, clear highs. The piezo tweeter used in the Traveler series and the rest of the combos (except for the Jeff Berlin signature combo) is also a top-quality component but produces a different character of treble frequencies. The Jeff Berlin combo is our only combo without a tweeter, and the Micromark has an optional satellite tweeter.
How do I control the tweeter volume?
There's a tweeter level attenuator conveniently located on the side of all Markbass cabinets. This allows you to control the tweeter output as you stand in front of the cabinet, listening to the results. If the knob is all the way clockwise, no tweeter level is cut. All the way counterclockwise, the tweeter is off. This is a passive circuit and does not boost the signal sent to the tweeter. Normally the tweeter is set to the middle position.
What characterizes the 'Markbass sound'?
Markbass products are known for their clarity and loyalty to the source sound. That said, they never sound sterile. People often use words like warm, punchy, clear, honest, accurate- even aggressive. They also say that Markbass amps allow them to sound like themselves!
Can I buy a Markbass speaker or tweeter?
We do not sell spare parts. If one of your speakers or tweeters should become damaged, it will be replaced during service, and the faulty part gets returned to Markbass for analysis.
How reliable are Markbass products?
Markbass products are among the most reliable in the industry and quality is our passion. We currently have a component failure rate of only 0.6% and we are working very hard to lower this number!
What is the story of Markbass?
Markbass was founded in 2001 by Marco De Virgiliis in Italy. Marco was an electrical engineer working in the telecommunications field, and in the late 80s he decided to start making bass amps and cabinets with Sisinio Olivastri, now Senior Engineer for Markbass. They worked for several years refining their designs, trying to create products that would faithfully reproduce the sound of any instrument played through it. The first brand was called Parsek. In the late 90s, Marco entered a partnership with Ernie Ball and created a brand called Audiophile. During that period Marco pioneered the use of neodymium speakers for bass enclosures. After a couple of years Marco decided to found his own company, and Markbass was born.
The amp gets hot and shuts down.
> PROBABLE CAUSE
The amp is overheated, either as a result of inadequate ventilation or a damaged cooling system fan. When the amplifier cools down to a safe level, the amp will automatically restart.
Please verify that the fan is working properly, and that the cooling system ports are not obstructed.
The amp turn on, but there is no signal coming from the speaker/s.
> PROBABLE CAUSE
Low impedance load (minimum impedance for Markbass amp is 4 ohms), or a bad speaker cable.
Please verify the impedance of the speaker/s connected to the amp. Note that two 4 ohm cabinets, or an 8 ohm and a 4 ohm cabinet, will result in an impedance below 4 ohms.
Please check the speaker cable/s.
After checking these two things, please turn the amp off and turn it on again.
If the troubleshooting steps outlined above do not solve your problem, please contact your Markbass distributor/dealer for service information.