Monday, February 1, 2010


This is the AMAZING Markbass Micromark bass amp. It is a teeny tiny amp that is perfect for many practice and home recording endeavors. I got this amp in a screaming deal for far less than it retails for, and I've been amazed at the great sound and incredible volume that comes out of this 8.86" x 8.86" x 8.62" cube with a 6" speaker that weighs just under 10 lbs.

I can carry this in a shoulder bag or even in a larger carry-on sized bag. When I take business or family trips, it's easy to throw this into a shoulder bag I have containing just what I need for entertainment just about anywhere.

I have used this with my Mac laptop and Garageband software, via a usb interface, with great ease. It has a great tone, and I guess that's why I like it so much. Many jazz guitar players actually use solid state bass amps for their clarity and tone, and I've had much fun playing both a Strat and a P-90 Tele through a pocket pod on the Micromark.

Markbass is an Italian outfit making great bass amps, and I believe has now entered the guitar amp marker. The larger gigging sized amps began appearing several years ago, being famous for being ultralight, high power and great sounding. Although most are solid state (they do make tube and tube preamp models as well), it sounds a lot to me like an old Ampeg Tube Amp, sorta crossed with a vintage SWR. Sorta. Hard to describe but a great sounding amp for rock and blues.

The volume is amazingly loud for an amp of only 50 watts that is sporting a 6" speaker. As a low ability bassist, I've always liked great practice amps. In the past, I've owned a Peavey Microbass, a Roland MicroCube bass Rx and several Fender Musicmaster bass amps.

I got a deal on this amp while I was saving for the Genz-Benz Shuttle 3.0 with the 8" speaker. The GB head and cab combo weight out at about 14 lbs or so but has much more useable volume than the Micromark. And the GB has great tone. But I got the deal on the Micromark and I have to say I'm quite pleased with it.

When the family went to Rockport last year for spring break, I took it along and it was perfect for doing some bass playing in the condo without waking the sleeping family. Likewise, I took it to the Llano River fishing cabin trip Billy Ray and I took and it held it's own with Billy Ray's Roland MicroCube guitar amp.

For my drum room, where I try to play a little music every now and then on instruments other than my drums, it's perfect. Loud enough to have good tone but not so loud as to disturb the family. I'm actually thinking about taking it and a fretless Rogue bass I have to the office for a lunchtime practice rig and de-stressing device, since I've begun to eat in lunch at the office. I often can't find the time to do more than a few riffs or scales a day at the house, but at lunchtime the office is a ghost town with only one or two folks around. Close the door and no one hears this baby.

The thing that separates this amp from other small practice amps, other than the excellent tone, is the xlr out jack for running into a usb interface. You get a quality sound signal going into Garageband from a dedicated jack instead of running an out from a headphone jack.

Here's the product info from a seller:

The Markbass Micromark bass combo is an amplifier that is less than 9" in any direction. Despite only a 6" speaker, the Micromark is a practice amp with deceptively loud volume and the kind of sound quality you'd expect from a B&C speaker with Markbass electronics. Pumping out 50W of power, the Micromark amp boasts a mini-plug for attaching your CD or MP3 players, to help you master your favorite licks. The Markbass Micromark amp has a Variable Pre-shape filter for boosting lows around 35Hz and highs around 10kHz, and cutting mids at 380H-which is perfect for rockers and slap bassists alike. There's a volume control knob, headphone jack, XlR output for recording and live situations, a ground lift to eliminate hum, and a 1/4" jack tweeter out for the optional Markbass satellite tweeter.

Markbass Micromark 50W 1x6 Bass Combo Features:

-6" B&C speaker
-Mini-plug aux in (for CD or MP3 player)
-Mini-plug headphone jack
-Volume level control
-Variable Pre-shape filter
-XLR line out
-Ground lift
-Speaker off switch
-Tweeter jack for optional "sattelite" tweeter
-Grill for protecting speaker
-Handle on top for transportation
-Dual-sided fiberglass PC boards with lined perforations for high- quality solder connections
-Surface-mount components are silicon-sealed to isolate vibrations
-Computer-grade pre-assembled ribbon connector cable harnesses and ribbons for noise-free operation
-Integrated threaded posts for easy assembly/disassembly and added durability
-Rigid 2mm thick aluminium chassis for a long-lasting finish

Markbass Micromark 50W 1x6 Bass Combo Specifications:

Speaker: 1 x 6"
Tweeter: optional "sattelite tweeter, not included
Impedance: 8 ohms
Speaker power handling: 50W RMS (AES Standard)
Sensitivity: 100 db SPL
Frequency response: 70Hz to 8kHz
Crossover Frequency: 3.5kHz
Dimensions: 8.86"W x 8.86"H x 8.62"D
Weight: 9.26 lbs.

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