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Bass amplifiers Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

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 or connect one of the speaker output to the first Markbass cabinet and then link it to the second 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!

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 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 change the effect send/return from parallel to series?

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 series, this can be done by qualified Markbass service technicians only. Contact your local dealer or distributor for details.


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 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 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.


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.


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 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.

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.


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 Little Mark 800, Little Mark Tube 800, TTE 801, TTE 800, Bass Multiamp S, 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 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.

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.


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.

Can I plug a cabinet into the Micromark tweeter output?

On the first version of the Micromark the output may only be used with a Markbass satellite tweeter. Use of other cabinets may damage your combo and is not covered under warranty.
Latest version of Micromark 801 accepts either the satellite tweeter or an 8 ohms cabinet (the output says tweeter/speaker output).

Guitar amplifiers DvMark Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is the CPC and how do I use it?

CPC (Continuous Power Control) is a practical innovation developed by DV Mark which allows you to actually change the power of your amp. Often guitarists find that they have to play “too loud” to get the tone they want… but being able to change the power of the amp (incrementally all the way down to 1W) allows you to get the tone you want at whatever volume is appropriate for your gig, session or rehearsal. More power means your tone will stay clean at higher volumes. Less power means your sound will distort even at lower volumes. This works great if you have to rock out quietly!

What is the ATCS and how do I use it?

The optional ATCS (Advanced Tube Control System) interface allows users or service technicians to connect this port to the DVM Contoller (optional), and collect technical data and tube parameters from the amp. This doesn’t affect your sound, and you don’t even have to use it if you don’t want. But it’s a useful tool for helping you understand the status of your tubes, making the amp easier to maintain service.

How do I switch channels on the Bad Boy 120?

There are three ways to switch channels on the Bad Boy 120. The first is using the Bad Boy Controller—this is the most practical way to manage channel switching. If you have any mono on/off style footswitches, you can plug them into the footswitch jacks on the rear panel as an alternative. And lastly, you can change channels by pressing the channel select button on the rear panel. This scrolls through the channels in sequence. It’s not as practical as the other methods, but comes in handy when you don’t have a controller or pedals!

What makes these cabinets and combos so light?

Before DV Mark, Markbass changed bass amp history by offering customers amps, cabinets and combos that were often about half the weight of their standard counterparts. This would be a hollow achievement if the gear didn’t sound awesome… but like Markbass, DV Mark products place tone first. That said, the light weight is a huge bonus, especially appreciated by busy professionals. The speakers in the cabs and combos are neodymium (that’s the name of the super-magnetic metal in the speaker driver)—that’s one of the key weight savings. Italian poplar is a light, but durable and great sounding wood that is used for the cabs and combos. Clever design and top-quality components also help save weight.

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