Bass players and guitarists are two completely different animals. Where six stringers are offered every option and opportunity on a silver platter, our four stringed friends are paid much less heed than they deserve. Mark World have consistently painted all of their products liberally with the same brush of innovation so it’s no surprise that their Markbass branded heads are the go-to beef machine for sub-conscious players everywhere.
As with its more treble-heavy counterpart, the Bass Evo 1 has a simple set of bonnet style knobs across its face. Twin three-band EQ and level controls wrangle both dirty and clean channels with familiar grace, while a flexible effects dial rounds out each rail. Before you hit the master volume there’s a little bit of genius to be had, but we’ll get to that later. Similar again to the guitar version, both channels have six presets to scroll through, populated by a greatest hits collection of bass amps from throughout the ages. You want that brand new SVT stomp? You got it. Looking for some of that 80’s solid state girth? It’s all yours. Pretty much anything from the smoothest sustainers of the 60’s to the most modern masters is covered straight out of the box.
One of the simplest and most useful features of the Evo 1 is the mix knob. Anyone who’s ever listened to Converge or recorded bass in a professional studio will know the merits of blending in the clarity and accuracy of a clean, unfettered signal over the mayhem of bucket loads of fuzz. Mark knows this as well as anyone as said mix knob proves. I just about shook my house to its foundations when I found just the right balance between a smooth, compressed, midrange clean tone teetering atop a heaving undercurrent of woof. To add further versatility to proceedings, pair the proprietary four-channel footswitch with your new rig and you have the option to boost a few decibels in the choruses as well as scroll through the preset banks should the need arise. This is where the amp becomes one of the most player-friendly in its field. Even with a direct out from the back of the head, the tonal possibilities are almost endless without opening up the Pandora’s box via USB.
If you are brave enough to do so, Mark World have been kind enough to curate a pretty tasteful menu of downloadable presets in the low-end wing of the Multiamp Community hall of fame. Again, all the stars are there but it’s the assignable effects knobs that shine here. As standard, Channel One’s effect is a fast attacking, massive reduction compressor while Channel Two swings from chorus to phaser depending upon the bank at play. However, the in-app functionality allows you to chop and change these characteristics according to your needs. Essentially, you could leave all of the channels on the same amp setting if you wanted to and simply stroll through effects like chorus, reverb, tremolo or whatever tickles your fancy if you wanted to simplify even further and dozens of amp sounds aren’t what you’re here for.
Hits and Misses
Super versatile across both channels in series or parallel
Hefty but easily tamable power profile in a super light enclosure
Tuner is a little clunky