In their relatively short life as a manufacturer, the Italian bass amp manufacturer Markbass has come on the scene like gang busters. Founded in 2001 by Marco De Virgiliis, Markbass has been building quality yet inexpensive products from their factory in San Giovanni Teatino, Italy. From the beginning, Markbass became a new leader in the bass amp realm by offering lightweight yet powerful amps that actually sounded good. Quickly Markbass amps were showing up all over the country on various stages. Now the company is taking it up another notch with their MoMark modular bass system.
The MoMark is a customizable modular bass amp that allows the player to use a variety of different preamps, EQs, or master controls to dial in just the right sound for their particular needs. The MoMark system starts with an amp frame that you plug the various modules into for your liking. Markbass offers a variety of different frames varying from a general purpose 250-watt unit to a mighty 800-watt beast. The 250 and 500W amp frames are Class A/B and the 600 and 800W frames are Class D and are generally setup to run cabinets optimally at 4 ohms. These features can all be found on other top bass amps and show that Markbass designs their gear with the modern player in mind.
Perhaps the coolest part of the MoMark system is the ability to mix and match the various modules. You can go from the tube driven T1M preamp through the EQ42S parametric equalizer to get a classic rock grind and then switch it up to the solid state S1M pre with the EQ7G graphic EQ for another to get that crystal clean British pop sound. Even cooler is that you can mix and match as you see fit for a tonal fiesta of experimentation. Cap it all off with Markbass’s very thoughtfully designed MVVL master module and you have yourself a hoss of an amp with lots of possibilities.
For testing purposes, Markbass sent both 500 and 600 watt amp frames along with T1M, S1M, EQ42S, EQ7G, and MVVL modules. They also sent the tiny yet monstrous-sounding New York 604 bass cabinet for a total Markbass sonic solution. By the way, the New York 604 is 600 watts with four 6” speakers and a tweeter. When you first see this tiny cab you think there is no way it can thump. It is surprisingly boomy and incredibly articulate for a box that weighs hardly anything. Thank you Marco.
To put the MoMark system through its paces I planned to use it both live and on a number of recording sessions. After breaking everything out of the box and getting my bearings on the MoMark, I was ecstatic to realize that putting in modules and switching them out is a breeze. It is a simple plug-and-play system which made this bottom ender rather happy. Everything snapped easily in place and then the biggest challenge was figuring out where to start.
Being primarily a fan of tube preamps I started with the T1M preamp and EQ42S EQ module. For testing purposes I also primarily used the 600 watt frame and the MVVL master volume control throughout. With controls basically set flat I was off and running with an active five string. Right off the bat I was pleased at the warmth from the tube preamp. There was just the right hint of growl and roundness that one would expect and the parametric EQ responded nicely. Subtle tweaks were noticeable and present, which is commonly not the case with EQs on inexpensive amps. In live applications the MoMark was able to cop everything from a balls-out rock tone to a soul groover’s delight.
Changing over to the “solid state rig” composed of the S1M and EQ7G yielded just as favorable results. The sound was reminiscent of that classic ‘80s clean tone that works great for everything from modern rock and country to funk. Slappers in particular will enjoy the articulation and super clean top end of the EQ7G equalizer. In a word, the EQ7G “spanked.” FYI: If you want a hint of extra growl and attitude, use the T1M tube preamp in front of the EQ7G equalizer and turn it up. It leads way to a mountain of bassdom that rarely scaled.
All in all, there is very little to complain about with the MoMark bass amp system. Markbass’ commitment to quality runs rampant throughout without overly coloring your bass’ natural sound. No matter what combination of modules you use, you can easily find a bass tone that is useable and—more importantly—musical. This system surprisingly sounds like it should be much more expensive which these days is a major plus. If you’ve longed for a customizable bass amp rig but didn’t have the money to buy a barrage of individual components, you may want to take a look at the MoMark. It might just save your back and your wallet while delivering some thunderous tone.
you want a versatile, power-packed bass rig at a reasonable price
you need a super high-end boutique rig.
|MSRPs Amp Frame 600 $649.99, New York 604 Cab $699.99, Modules: T1M $99.99, S1M $69.99, EQ7 $89.99, EQ42S $89.99, MVVL $89.99
Markbass - momark.it