Markbass 801 Bass Combo - live usage?

Apologies if this is covered anywhere else in this forum, but I couldn’t find it … My question relates to the Markbass 801 Bass Combo, and whether anyone has practical experience of working with it, not just as a practice amp (I’m sure it’s okay in that context), but specifically live in small venues. I have a couple of large bass amps, which are also quite heavy (20kgs/44lbs+ each), and my ageing bad back at times gives me issues in lugging such units in and out of the car. I read good things about the (extremely light- 5.2kgs/11.4lbs) 801, but I’m struggling to understand how such a tiny and light unit, with an 8" speaker, could produce a decent bottom end in even a small venue. (I play in a church band, maybe a congregation of 100, and the only other instruments are a grand piano and a cajon, with an occasional violin or flute, so I at least don’t have to compete with a drummer.) Unfortunately, there’s no music stores stocking the 801 anywhere with hundreds of miles of me, so trying one out before buying is not possible. The reviews seem glowing, but then it’s also a VERY expensive amp for a 45-Watter (here in Australia, $900), and I don’t want to waste my money. In essence, I’m prepared to pay for light weight, PROVIDED that the performance is okay. Feedback, anyone, from those who’ve used the 801 in a live situation?


Hi @alanjans!

I keep up with the gear threads pretty closely and I can’t remember anyone posting about using this amp.

I know bass gear ends up being more expensive in Australia but $900 for that amp sounds way too expensive. They go for $500 new ($350 used) in the US.

I recommend checking to see what live play reviews you can find there.

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@alanjans wouldn’t you be able to order this from a place that has a liberal return policy? Maybe you can test it and get your money back if you don’t like it?


Thanks, Eric. Believe me, all guitar gear is extremely expensive in Australia — because we’re a relatively affluent country, manufacturers load up the price! (Apple is a prime example of that.) In fact, the RRP of the 801 here is $1,050 (around $US775) … And yes, I’ve read all the reviews on TalkBass etc., and those seem positive, but I wanted to find people who’ve used one live, as opposed to gigging in their basement.


Mike, very few retailers in Australia have “a liberal return policy” — it’s not at all like the U.S. And those few who do allow returns for change-of-mind force you to pay the shipping costs, and they can be high. If you buy it, in most cases, you’re stuck with it (unless it’s faulty) … And no, I can’t order from the U.S. either — in many cases, the voltage is wrong (110V vs 240V) and, in any case, shipping from the US to Australia is extortionate. In some cases, I’ve been quoted hundreds of dollars shipping on larger items, sometimes exceeding the cost of the product being purchased.


You’re not wrong there. I’m paying up to $300 aud shipping on Harley parts but it still works out cheaper than buying here in Australia!
The draw back is the ridiculous waiting times for customs clearance, extra import fees and of course the risk of things not being what the vendor claims they are.