F500 and New York 604 win Bass Player Editor Award

June 17, 2010, midnight
Bass Player magazine has given the F500 and New York 604 their Editor Award in their July issue. Here are some highlights from the review:

“When we did our round-up of ultra-lightweight heads back in the September ’07 issue, the Markbass F1 was perhaps my favorite performer…it was the sweetest and loudest sounding. …The tone of these amps is best defined by their lush and colorful midrange, intense and immediate punch and dynamic sensitivity, and capacity for loud volumes. It’s the F500’s ability to sound both smooth and natural while not being at all slow in transient response that is perhaps its most beguiling quality. It’s a versatile head capable of a big variety of sounds, but its strong midrange made it especially nice for smooth fingerstyle….its dense harmonic content in the low-mids and beyond makes it an excellent choice for articulate techniques.”

“The tone filtering is robust, and it is indeed an upgrade over the relatively simple F1.The move to a semi-parametric midrange immediately makes the F500 a must-see for upright players, who tend to like their heads small and equipped with EQ capable of notching out unpleasant resonances or feedback. …The F500 is one of the best heads out there for a working player that needs something portable that doesn’t compromise volume and tone. Its size, robust feature-set, and musical tone make it among the best of the lightweight-amp breed.”

“The 604’s design and construction are top-notch. The poplar-ply cabinetry is extensively screwed and glued to prevent undesirable resonance and the internal bracing is solid. As a frequent one-tripper to a gig, I love Markbass’s thoughtful design, placing the lone handle on the top, rather than side-mounted handles that require a two-handed lift.It’d be easy to naively look at the 604’s small drivers and expect puny bass response or weak volume output. Not so! The 604 was one of the warmer, more bass-heavy cabs I’ve encountered of such diminutive stature. …It was, like the F500, blessed with a gorgeous and well textured midrange, so treble-attenuated fingerstylists should take note. The 604 also had very fast transient response and lock-step punchiness with uptempo styles. It also had no problem with the B string of a few active-preamp-equipped 5’ers.”

“Just like the F500, the 604 was an excellent around-town cab. The two together make for one of the most formidable small-format rigs on the market. …Slip the head in your gig bag, grab the cab with one hand and your music stand with the other, and you’ll be ready for just about anything.”

 
 

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