So lately I've been on the hunt for a new bass rig. Naturally I went with my dream brand from when I started playing bass years ago, Markbass. I found a Little Mark II on GC's used website for 350 plus shipping so I went for it. On memorial day weekend I found myself at a GC checking out the cabs, and I was sold on the Markbass 151P and 104HF cab combination. Since the sale was going on, I decided to go ahead and pick up the 151P and come back for the 104HF, since the latter was majorly expensive at 900 dollars.

But wait...

Yesterday I spotted the Markbass CMD 102P combo on ebay and snatched it up for 750 shipped, thinking I would save myself some money. So I went to Guitar Center again today to play the combo with a few different cabs and see which one suited me best. I came to the conclusion that I needed a 4x10. In coming to that conclusion, I tried both the 104HR and the Blackline series 4x10. There was a slight difference, but not enough to warrant the price difference. My conclusion: Get a 4x10, but get a used one, and not necessarily Markbass.

So now that's all settled, right? No.

I found a great deal on two SWR Goliath III bass cabs on craigslist, so tomorrow I'm heading to pick them up. Both for 600 bucks and they're the older model cabs with better speakers, apparently.

So now I'll have:
1 Markbass Little Mark II head
1 Markbass Traveler 151P cab
1 Markbass CMD 102P combo
2 SWR Goliath III cabs

of course i wont be keeping all of these items. My credit card is seriously maxed...

Anyway, I'll be doing a shootout of everything involved and I'll be sure to give you guys a detailed write up when I'm done.

Here's the tone I'm going for:
My bass is a Ibanez SR506 with active/passive toggle and Bartolini pups.
I play in a hardcore/metalcore band which is my primary reason for amping up, so I need that 8x10 presence. You know, that shake the earth, boomy, brain rattle? Yeah, that. But I also love the tone that a 15 gives. I like to jam with a funky sound. I like jamiroquai, DMB, The Flecktones, and some weird stuff, too. Needless to say, I need something varied, but with the emphasis on metal. That's why I needed that 4x10 with the combo.
I have a feeling I will go with either both SWR cabs and the LMII, or one SWR and the traveler 15. But who knows, only time will tell.
...it was bright as the sun, but with ten times the heat
SWR amplifiers and cabinets have more punch than any other bass amp/cabinet brand I have played. Unless you are going for stadium level volume, one of those SWR Goliath 4x10 cabinets should serve you well in almost any situation.
"Maybe this world is another planet's hell?" - Aldous Huxley
I am pissed

The Markbass head came in today

I just typed for an hour about how each cab and setup sounded.

Hit "backspace"

Browser goes back

lost all text

...it was bright as the sun, but with ten times the heat
Is there a tl;dr version while you try and re-type what you were going to?
Composite Aficionado

Spector and Markbass
Okay, so after that unfortunate experience last night I had a chance to reaffirm my conclusions.

First I tried that Little Mark II with the Markbass Traveler 151p.

I love the way this thing sounds. It's not the bassiest 15 inch speaker cab out there, but what it lacks in the low end it makes up for in the mids. I love the way thins thing babbles and burps in the low mids, and it just has a full, round, and bubbly texture to it. It does lack the presence that I need to have on the stage, however. It's a combination of lacking a bit of low end and volume. The piezo tweeter does a good job of adding that "hifi" sound, but I actually like it completely off a lot of the time. Though, I would turn the tweeter on full if I were going for a clear and unmuddied tone, not that this cab is muddy. It is quite defined and tight. The tweeter is a must have for tapping, slapping, and anything that requires an extended high end. I'd say this tweeter is more clear than sizzling.

Next I tried the Goliath III.

By itself the Goliath shines in the high frequencies. Great for slap, picking, tapping, and an all around full range tone. The foster horn works wonder for those kinds of styles. Where the piezo in the Markbass was clear, the foster horn is sharp and sizzling. The low end is boomy and a tad muddy, but can shake the house down at full volume. At first I thought this cab was really lacking in the low mids, but once I turned the tweeter off all the way it definitely had a great punchy low end thump. Not as round and bubbly as the Markbass, more even across the spectrum.

Together these cabs were loud. They belt and punch through with commanding force. I really like them together, and the more I play them, the more I like them. They have that bass that shakes your whole body, feels like it's moving you. I love it.

But I love the Markbass 151p with the SWR cab even more. It's the best of both worlds minus a tiny bit of presence. It punches, it sizzles, it booms, it shakes, it rolls, and and it rumbles. The Markbass is just so much warmer in the low mids, and that's what I love.

So far, the LMII, traveler 151p, and SWR Goliath III is what I'm set on. We'll see what happens when I get that combo in.
...it was bright as the sun, but with ten times the heat
I've heard a lot of crap about Markbass cabs on Talkbass, but I have to say, they just hone in on that particular frequency that I love. So much mids.

That being said, the more I play, the more I feel like the Goliath cabs are the right choice. They have less of the roundish midsy tone that I like, but they still punch through perfectly. Once I got my EQ set (lows 5, low mids 7.5, high mids 6, high 7.5), I just sit there and play around with the filters on the Little Mark II. Putting the VLE at 10 o'clock I get almost the tone of the Markbass cab. With the VPF at 8 o'clock I get a really ideal tone for what I'm playing live at the moment, metal.

Here's what I'm really hoping for out of the combo. I want a very mid range focused and warm tone. I know that two tens wont sound the same as a fifteen, but HOPEFULLY I will still be able to get a very warm and punch tone out of it. If I am able to then I will use the combo for smaller, not so heavy, gigs; the combo and a Goliath III for mid level gigs; and for bigger gigs, or where I just need that ballsy tone of an 8x10, I will just run the head in the combo to both Goliath cabs and bypass the 2x10 in the combo. I'm fairly sure that I can do this if the speakers in the combo can be easily unplugged. I know the head is the same as a LMII, but it has no top and is not recommended for removal by Markbass because it could subject the user to electrical shock.
Does anyone have experience removing the head from a Markbass combo?

Also, I'm toying with the idea of using the combo speakers with both 4x10 cabs. I would do this by daisy chaining the 4x10 cabs together in series and connecting one of them to the remaining speaker out in the combo. This poses a few problems, however.

A) I'm not sure if the Goliath III cabs are built to be able to run in series. Most cabs that I have tried are wired to run in parallel, even while daisy chained.

B) This would create a lot of uneven power distribution. Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe that 8ohms (250 watts) would be going to the 2x10 in the combo, and another 8ohms would travel to both 4x10 cabs, resulting in each cab getting only 125 watts each.

That would be a lot of air moving, but each of the 4x10 cabs would be running very inefficiently.
...it was bright as the sun, but with ten times the heat
Last edited by c3powil at Jun 4, 2014,
I haven't had time to do a write up in the combo, but I will sometime. Here's a teaser pic for you guys, if anyone is really interested.

I would record soundclips, but all I have is my Boss Micro BR with a mono mic. Anyone up for that?
...it was bright as the sun, but with ten times the heat
Last edited by c3powil at Jun 6, 2014,