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Markbass Big Bang 500W Bass Amp Head  

Item #: 
1332174267664
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Just over a decade ago, Marco De Virgiliis started pioneering small, lightweight amps; the Markbass Little Mark heads started a new era in bass amplification, inspiring many other companies to follow ... Click To Read More About This Product

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Overview

Just over a decade ago, Marco De Virgiliis started pioneering small, lightweight amps; the Markbass Little Mark heads started a new era in bass amplification, inspiring many other companies to follow their lead.

Now, you'll be amazed that such a warm, rich and "explosive" sound comes from an amp smaller than Markbass' groundbreaking Little Mark heads! And-despite its small size-the Big Bang is packed with extra features that players have been asking for: aux in, headphone output with level control, plus mute and VLE and VPF filters with footswitch control. Other features, already appreciated by Little Mark users, include a simple and effective 4-band EQ, effects loop, and level control and pre/post EQ switch for the XLR DI output.

Features
  • 500W
  • 4-band EQ
  • Effects loop
  • Level control
  • Pre/post EQ switch for the XLR DI output
  • Headphone output with level control
  • Mute
Specifications
  • Input: Impedance 500 Kohm, max. voltage 15 Vpp
    Aux In
    Effect Return: Impedance 33 Kohm, max. voltage 10 Vpp
    Gain, Master Volume, Line Out Level and Headphone Level Controls
    Ground Lift: Switch on rear panel
    Pre/Post EQ: Switch on rear panel
    Mute: Footswitch
    Equalization: Low: Center frequency: 40 Hz; level: ±16 dB
    Low Mid: Center frequency: 360 Hz, level: ±16 dB
    High Mid: Center frequency: 800 Hz, level: ±16 dB
    High: Center frequency: 10 kHz, level: ±16 dB
    Filter Section (with footswitch)
    VPF (Variable Pre-shape Filter): center frequency 380 Hz (cut)
    VLE (Vintage Loudspeaker Emulator): frequency range 250 Hz-20 kHz (cut)
    Line Out: Balanced XLR, max. voltage 20 Vpp
    Effect Send: Unbalanced, max. voltage 20 Vpp (pre-EQ)
    Tuner Out: Unbalanced, max. voltage 2 Vpp
    Speaker Out: Speakon/1/4" combo, 1/4"
    Headphone Out
    Weight: 4.74 lb.
    Dimensions (W x H x D): 8.94" x 2.56" x 10.04"
    Output Power: 300W RMS @ 8 ohm, 500W RMS @ 4 ohm
    Power Requirement: 100/120V; 230V; 240V
    50/60Hz
Warranty

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Pro Coverage gives you added warranty protection for your new gear. Stepping in where the manufacturer's "normal wear and tear" coverage ends, our Pro Coverage program offers you upgraded coverage if your product ever fails Read More.

Pro Coverage includes
  • Accidental damage protection (new gear only)
  • Expedited repair
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  • 100% coverage for commercial use
  • Extended return period
  • Extended price protection
  • No lemon guarantee
  • Free transfer of coverage to a new owner
  • Repair costs covered for up to three years from date of purchase
  • Repair authorization-toll-free by phone or via the web
  • Customer Reviews
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Review Snapshot

by PowerReviews
MarkbassBig Bang 500W Bass Amp Head
 
4.6

(based on 12 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (8)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (3)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (0)

100%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Easy to use (7)
  • Excellent sound (7)
  • Good power output (7)
  • Portable (7)
  • Warm / comfy (5)

Cons

No Cons

Best Uses

  • Performances (7)
  • Outdoor events / games (5)
  • Home studio (4)
  • Amateur recording (3)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Experienced (4), Professional musician (4)

Most Liked Positive Review

 

A excellent-sounding, versatile head

I was saving up for the F1 or F500 when they discontinued them (Why, Markbass? Why?). From what I can gather the Big Bang is their replacement. I had also considered...Read complete review

I was saving up for the F1 or F500 when they discontinued them (Why, Markbass? Why?). From what I can gather the Big Bang is their replacement. I had also considered the LM III and the LM 800 and I'd been able to borrow or play them on gigs through a variety of cabinets. They all sound different as each has their own topology. The BB shaves inches and pounds by using a digital power amp whereas the LM III uses an analog power amp. Similarly, the LM 800 uses a higher-spec 800W digital power section. Even though the LM 800 should possess a higher theoretical headroom, I found the LM III and BB to have more than enough headroom for even the largest gigs. Plus, I found I just prefer the sound of the LM II/III and BB.

My inclusion of the EQ being a con is only for those looking for serious sculpting available in the head. If you're already familiar with other MB heads, this will come as no surprise to you but in the effort to be completely objective, this is a consideration. Even though it has four bands, it is limited up against a fully parametric EQ. I, along with many other MB users, like the flat sound of the amp. I occasionally tweak something very slightly for room or cab deficiencies but I hardly ever use it and it sounds beautiful.

I first demoed this with the NY 121 cab at Guitar Center Brooklyn and was immediately impressed. The little cab was no slouch either! Of course I saved my final word until I could play it through my cabs and on some gigs. I normally use one or two Epifani UL-112 cabs and they paired well together. The amp possesses an intoxicating immediacy. It responds with lightning quickness. Bringing up the VLE control relaxes and loosens the response and reminds me very much of an old Ampeg B-15. The VPF control lets you roll off some of the top end and warm things up.

Despite its lightning response this amp is all about warmth. They apparently spent a lot of time getting this amp to sound huge and warm and vibey and it shows. With the exception of the Aguilar Tone Hammer 500, most of the micro amps out there sound fairly technical. For me, the Tone Hammer is maybe a little TOO warm and round. I like to have that quick, modern sound when I need it and the Aguilar stuff in general doesn't really get me there.

Last week I was able to gig extensively with it, playing it on a total of twelve different shows, through many different cabs and in many different rooms and musical situations and it passed the test with flying colors. I was amazed at how cool the amp runs. Yes, the fan runs all the time but it's virtually silent. I pushed it pretty hard on an outdoor gig with two 4x10 cabs on a hot summer day and it didn't even break a sweat. The chassis was as cool as it was when I first turned it on!

Some prefer the LM II/III sound but this gets me exactly where I want to be (and with a couple extra cool features to boot!). Speaking of which, I did get to try out the headphone amp (with aux in) and I found it to be quite good. I usually take a Cafe Walter headphone amp with me on the road and while the BB might not possess the super high specs of the Cafe Walter, it is certainly adequate enough for silent practice. They did a lot of things right here and I hope they sell a lot of them. Let's just hope it doesn't go the way of the F series!

VS

Most Liked Negative Review

 

Not worth it.

First of all I don't know how this was rated so many times at 5 stars. I didn't have one of these "bad eggs" in the batch, that shut down...Read complete review

First of all I don't know how this was rated so many times at 5 stars. I didn't have one of these "bad eggs" in the batch, that shut down right when I played it. It worked fine and performed the way it should. After playing bass for 20 years, you can tell when an amp sounds like it should. This amp sounded terrible with both active and passive basses. I was fortunate to have 2 rigs set up next to eachother....I can not describe the sound. It lacked any true tone. It made my active bass sound like completely garbage (and I know all the 'experts' on here are going to try and tell me I didn't know what I was doing) A couple of the "few" features this amp has (which I bought for its simplicity) were nothing more than marketing schemes. It's a shame. I played it for 10 minutes and sent it right back. Don't take my review into consideration if you don't want to. I bought this amp BASED ON THE REVIEWS, and was let down. Then again, this was the first time taking a gamble on an unfamiliar product. Lesson learned, go with what you know! Some brands simply do not match up to others.

Reviewed by 12 customers

Displaying reviews 1-10

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(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

 
4.0

Sweet sounding amp

By ZiggyB

from Boynton Beach, FL

About Me Professional Musician

Verified Buyer

Pros

  • Easy To Use
  • Good Warmth
  • Powerful

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Amateur Recording
    • Home Studio
    • Performances

    Comments about Markbass Big Bang 500W Bass Amp Head:

    Once I got this amp hooked up and played it through MB 4x10 cab and Sire v7 lefty, it sounded amazingly nice. This is my 4th MB amp, and it is considerably warmer sounding than a Little Mark II and III.You can plug an iPod in and headphones and practice silently with this amp. It sounds clearer and cleaner than my MesaBoogie Carbine. Not to mention it only weighs 4 lbs!. Getting rack ears for this amp required ordering directly from Italy, because GC doesn't stock them. Also, MB no longer seems to make the dual footswitch you will need if you want to use the mute/effects switch. A simple toggle switch or push/pull pot would have been a simpler solution here, per favore! Otherwise it's great and it's cheaper than some other amps out there...

     
    5.0

    great amp

    By Chuyini

    from houston Texas

    About Me Experienced

    Pros

    • Excellent Sound
    • Good Warmth
    • Portable
    • Powerful

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Events
      • Performances

      Comments about Markbass Big Bang 500W Bass Amp Head:

      Its so light and so powerful, and the sound quality amazing

       
      4.0

      Powerful with plenty of headroom

      By Marco

      from Meniffee CA

      About Me Experienced

      Pros

      • Easy To Use
      • Excellent Sound
      • Portable
      • Powerful

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • Performances

        Comments about Markbass Big Bang 500W Bass Amp Head:

        Sounds great, looks great and has plenty of headroom. Very easy to use. Even sounds great with the EQ set flat

        (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

         
        4.0

        Small Head with a lot of power

        By Zachary

        from Michigan

        Comments about Markbass Big Bang 500W Bass Amp Head:

        This amp is smooth. Very deep bass response on my 5 string with an active eq. I actually had to dial the bass back to tame it. Though it was a nice amp, I did decide to return it because it wasn't the sound for me. It was great for a couple weeks but I was looking for more growl to my sound. But if you want a smooth tone, then this amp is for you.

        (4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

         
        5.0

        Great Head

        By MikeonBass

        from Wisconsin

        About Me Experienced

        Pros

        • Easy To Use
        • Excellent Sound
        • Good Warmth
        • Portable
        • Powerful
        • Really Really Nice

        Cons

          Best Uses

          • Amateur Recording
          • Events

          Comments about Markbass Big Bang 500W Bass Amp Head:

          Technology is a wonderful thing. I have a couple other portable bass heads and this thing is the best I have used so far

          (6 of 6 customers found this review helpful)

           
          5.0

          Great Bass Head!

          By Scrafe

          from Rockford, IL

          About Me Professional Musician

          Verified Buyer

          Pros

          • Easy To Use
          • Excellent Sound
          • Good Warmth
          • Portable
          • Powerful

          Cons

            Best Uses

            • Events
            • Home Studio
            • Performances
            • Professional Recording

            Comments about Markbass Big Bang 500W Bass Amp Head:

            The MarkBass Big Bang is a great sounding head. Small size and light weight but big power. This head has a good combination of punchy, hard hitting lows and mid and highs that cut through. I'm a fan of the MarkBass sound and have gigged with the SD1200, Little Mark III and Little Mark Tube 800 and I have to say this amp is my favorite. I'm using the Big Bang with a MarkBass 410 cabinet.

            Controls are sensitive and easy to dial in the sound I want. The amp sounds so good I find I'm not going back to fiddle with the knobs to find the right sound like I have with other amps. What I like best about this amp is that the lows are lower sounding and mid range and highs come through without getting harsh and you can hear details in your playing better.

            The MarkBass Big Bang is a really great amp!

            (3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

             
            5.0

            Love the Big Bang!

            By FotoBoy

            from Houston,TX

            About Me Experienced

            Verified Buyer

            Pros

            • Easy To Use
            • Excellent Sound
            • Portable

            Cons

              Best Uses

              • Performances

              Comments about Markbass Big Bang 500W Bass Amp Head:

              Had been trying to downsize...carrying big things at this age, well... I always get lined into the PA at any gig that needs it, so tried a Hartke 210C Combo,
              and just did not like the sound at all. Played the Mark Bass 2-10 combo and really liked the sound. So got this to use with my Carvin 4-10 Cab. OMG...first practice, the guys started commenting very quickly, how much better it sounded than the old Carvin head and the Hartke. Have one gig under the belt, and it was so noticeably better. I run a little compression with a pedal and voila... Very happy. Now planning on switching to one of their cabs next month. Highly recommended.

              (4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

               
              5.0

              Like The Name Says!!!

              By Jmac

              from Washington DC

              About Me Novice

              Pros

              • Easy To Use
              • Excellent Sound
              • Great tone
              • Portable
              • Powerful
              • Versatile
              • Warm

              Cons

                Best Uses

                • Amateur Recording
                • Events
                • Home Studio
                • Performances

                Comments about Markbass Big Bang 500W Bass Amp Head:

                I won't repeat what the other reviewers have said because it's all true. I do however think the EQ in conjunction with the VLE and VPF is very versatile and responsive. But what I will add is that the tone that comes from this amp is very rich at any volume, including low volume. This was important for me because I share my practice area sometimes. This was impressive to me because other amps I have owned sounded very thin at low volume. I haven't tried it with any affects, only a compressor, and it sounds great. I weighed all options when considering this amp and since I decided to go micro, my choices boiled down to GK MB Fusion, the Aguilar Tone Hammer 500 and this one. I think I made the right decision. For a digital power amp, it's tone is extremely warm. I sold all the gear I had (except my bass) to buy this amp, which I caught on sale and I'm a happy man!!!!

                (8 of 9 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                5.0

                A excellent-sounding, versatile head

                By Brad M

                from Brooklyn, NY

                About Me Professional Musician

                Pros

                • Easy To Use
                • Excellent Sound
                • Good Warmth
                • Portable
                • Powerful

                Cons

                • Limited Eq

                Best Uses

                • Events
                • Home Studio
                • Performances
                • Professional Recording

                Comments about Markbass Big Bang 500W Bass Amp Head:

                I was saving up for the F1 or F500 when they discontinued them (Why, Markbass? Why?). From what I can gather the Big Bang is their replacement. I had also considered the LM III and the LM 800 and I'd been able to borrow or play them on gigs through a variety of cabinets. They all sound different as each has their own topology. The BB shaves inches and pounds by using a digital power amp whereas the LM III uses an analog power amp. Similarly, the LM 800 uses a higher-spec 800W digital power section. Even though the LM 800 should possess a higher theoretical headroom, I found the LM III and BB to have more than enough headroom for even the largest gigs. Plus, I found I just prefer the sound of the LM II/III and BB.

                My inclusion of the EQ being a con is only for those looking for serious sculpting available in the head. If you're already familiar with other MB heads, this will come as no surprise to you but in the effort to be completely objective, this is a consideration. Even though it has four bands, it is limited up against a fully parametric EQ. I, along with many other MB users, like the flat sound of the amp. I occasionally tweak something very slightly for room or cab deficiencies but I hardly ever use it and it sounds beautiful.

                I first demoed this with the NY 121 cab at Guitar Center Brooklyn and was immediately impressed. The little cab was no slouch either! Of course I saved my final word until I could play it through my cabs and on some gigs. I normally use one or two Epifani UL-112 cabs and they paired well together. The amp possesses an intoxicating immediacy. It responds with lightning quickness. Bringing up the VLE control relaxes and loosens the response and reminds me very much of an old Ampeg B-15. The VPF control lets you roll off some of the top end and warm things up.

                Despite its lightning response this amp is all about warmth. They apparently spent a lot of time getting this amp to sound huge and warm and vibey and it shows. With the exception of the Aguilar Tone Hammer 500, most of the micro amps out there sound fairly technical. For me, the Tone Hammer is maybe a little TOO warm and round. I like to have that quick, modern sound when I need it and the Aguilar stuff in general doesn't really get me there.

                Last week I was able to gig extensively with it, playing it on a total of twelve different shows, through many different cabs and in many different rooms and musical situations and it passed the test with flying colors. I was amazed at how cool the amp runs. Yes, the fan runs all the time but it's virtually silent. I pushed it pretty hard on an outdoor gig with two 4x10 cabs on a hot summer day and it didn't even break a sweat. The chassis was as cool as it was when I first turned it on!

                Some prefer the LM II/III sound but this gets me exactly where I want to be (and with a couple extra cool features to boot!). Speaking of which, I did get to try out the headphone amp (with aux in) and I found it to be quite good. I usually take a Cafe Walter headphone amp with me on the road and while the BB might not possess the super high specs of the Cafe Walter, it is certainly adequate enough for silent practice. They did a lot of things right here and I hope they sell a lot of them. Let's just hope it doesn't go the way of the F series!

                (3 of 9 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                3.0

                Not worth it.

                By Marcus Healy

                from Cleveland, OH

                Comments about Markbass Big Bang 500W Bass Amp Head:

                First of all I don't know how this was rated so many times at 5 stars. I didn't have one of these "bad eggs" in the batch, that shut down right when I played it. It worked fine and performed the way it should. After playing bass for 20 years, you can tell when an amp sounds like it should. This amp sounded terrible with both active and passive basses. I was fortunate to have 2 rigs set up next to eachother....I can not describe the sound. It lacked any true tone. It made my active bass sound like completely garbage (and I know all the 'experts' on here are going to try and tell me I didn't know what I was doing) A couple of the "few" features this amp has (which I bought for its simplicity) were nothing more than marketing schemes. It's a shame. I played it for 10 minutes and sent it right back. Don't take my review into consideration if you don't want to. I bought this amp BASED ON THE REVIEWS, and was let down. Then again, this was the first time taking a gamble on an unfamiliar product. Lesson learned, go with what you know! Some brands simply do not match up to others.

                Displaying reviews 1-10

                Back to Top

                Previous | Next »

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