The Markbass Randy Jackson Signature TTE 500 500W Tube Bass Amp Head is best described as “Modern Vintage,” which may seem to be an oxymoron, but it sums up the unique new TTE 500 well. Current techno... Read More
The Markbass Randy Jackson Signature TTE 500 500W Tube Bass Amp Head is best described as “Modern Vintage,” which may seem to be an oxymoron, but it sums up the unique new TTE 500 well. Current technology is brought together with classic tone concepts in a head that looks and sounds vintage—but features some special adaptations of the innovations that put the Markbass on the map. The classic sound comes from an old-style tube preamp, a tube compressor, a simple 3-band passive EQ section, a “Color” filter (a tube adaptation of the famous Markbass VLE control), and an innovative Tube Technology Emulator power amp.
The question is: modern or vintage...? Randy Jackson says "Yes. Both. Finally an amp for every sound!"
Reviewed by 4 customers
Displaying reviews 1-4
I'm only a part time bass player, but I am a professional audio engineer. That said, my primary concern in getting almost any piece of gear - "how will it record". The answer in this case...not bad, but not amazing. Recording can often reveal character flaws that would otherwise be covered up by volume, space resonance, speaker resonance, and so on. I had the chance to A/B this amp with a few others in its price range. Namely a Mesa Boogie M-Pulse and an Ampeg SVT-3 and 4. What I liked: Now I really like the tone/feel of the MB TTE-500. It is really a modern vintage sound. Nice subtle presence on the treble so you can feel the overtones in just the right spot. It did this better than the other two for sure. It's sort of a matter of taste, but I think the overall tonal character of this amp would please a lot of people. The compressor is competent and I like the simplicity of the EQ. And let's not forget it looks good. The issues: This amp has a couple issues. My biggest gripe was the lack of independent volume control on the direct out which is controlled simply by the gain knob on the front. So if you want a louder DI signal you need to change your tone by driving the tube preamp harder....this in turn affects your compressor as well. Flabby bottom. At times, and not even driven hard, this amp can struggle with a 5 string. The low is there and sort of punchy, but not nearly as well defined as the higher pitched notes. I think this is the result of a an overly saturated preamp stage. Another way to put that is to say "under built". This shows up a lot more in recording, where the lows seem to become hazy. The mesa did the best at the task of making clean strong lows. Most likely due to its overbuilt preamp stage with very expensive transformers. The ampegs were middling and I would still take the MB TTE over them just because I really do like the sound character if not always the quality in a pure sense. So bottom line, I'm split on this amp. It sounds great, but can still leave you hanging from time to time. If I could own all the amps I would gig this one every week. Because it is FUN to play and I believe in gear that makes music more fun. Would I keep it in the studio, no, I wouldn't. There are better options that can do more and different things - as the TTE can be a bit one sided. But all in all, despite its flaws, I still really like it as an every day player with a sound that moves me.
I've had this amp for almost a year now and love the sound that I get from it. I was a little skeptical at first because of the high price and the fact that I have never heard of Markbass. I have owned many other name brand amps over my 45+ years of playing bass and I can truly say that after I test drove this amp at my local Guitar Center store, I have finally found the tone that I have been looking for! I have paired this amp with the RJ 15" bottom and the Markbass NY 604 on the top playing an Ernie Ball Musicman Bass. This combination sounds great whether you want a mellow, deep bass sound or a slap happy, treble driven thump or anything in between. This amp/ combination delivers. I get compliments from other musicians that this amp sounds so full on stage and gives me more than enough power to drive over the top of any guitarist. I highly recommend this amp and believe that it would sound good with just about any speaker combination. Thanks Markbass for such great products. I would highly recommend if you can afford it.
I loved this amp when I first got it. But, within 5 months, it developed a problem, with the power dropping off by about 50% while playing. I called the warranty department and they had me ship my amp to a service location. I finally got my amp back after almost three weeks. They said that since the amp was so new, they had to contact the manufacturer in Italy to try and narrow down the problem. I finally got the amp back after having to borrow one for a gig I had. Now, six weeks later, the problem has come back. I don't know if I just got a lemon or if there is a design flaw. So, now I have to go back to the warranty department again and go through the same time period once again, waiting for the amp to be repaired. This is not what I spent $$ for. I love the sound of the amp, but I cannot afford to have it be unreliable and fail during a gig or recording session. I'm waiting to see what the warranty people tell me this time.
I started off with the little Mark tube 800; the guitar center gave me a floor model to use while waiting on a new one. Then I saw the Randy Jackson signature amp I tried it out and switched amps. Both amps are great, I didn't need all the power of the little mark 800. This amp sounds great I love it. I switched from Acoustic B200H to Mark bass, soon I will upgrade my acoustic speakers to Mark bass also.
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