NKAPD (New Kick Ass Preamp Day): Mako MAK 4 pics/clip within

Ignoramus

Member
My recording gear evolves again. A couple of weeks ago, I tried a Blackstar HT5, going the cheap route and thinking 5 watts would be a really useful amount of sound. Fortunately for me, the clean channel crapped out shortly after plugging the amp in, and 5 watts is PLENTY loud (too loud for me to track while keeping Mrs. Igno happy), so back it went.

Then, I stumbled across the Mako MAK 4 preamp, this huge metal box with a shitload of chickenhead knobs. I was intrigued. I researched, I listened, and I read, and managed to find a mint condition used one last week. That last part was ridiculously dumb luck, since these just don't come up used. Ever. Oh yeah, the lifetime warranty is transferable. Score Team Ignoramus! :D

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An AMAZING piece of gear. All 4 channels are totally usable, and unlike the Engl pre, which I think has one good gain sound that works with all guitars, you really want to fiddle with the knobs on the Mako. Incredibly responsive controls, but really simple ones -- gain, bass, mids, treble. That's it.

The footswitch is included, and is connected via an ethernet cable. Brilliant idea, and so much cheaper if you need a really long cable.

Each one of my guitars sounds different with the MAK4, but each one can be tweaked to sonic sploogeville. And that's a good thing.

The Ignoramus is very happy. :D

A quick clip I did this morning with the Makoplex channel, using my Horizon with MHD Hollywood Douchebag pickups and a simple drum loop: http://dl.dropbox.com/u/1212399/makoplex take 1.mp3

Pretty sure I'll still hang on to the e530. I spent months fighting with Reaper and finally finding the right sound, and still really like it. Probably will be selling the Fireball head, though. I haven't turned it on in months, and it's just sitting there. But that's another story...
 

GuitarGuyLP

New member
Congrats on the new pre. One note about the E530 put JJs in it. The ENGL tubes are way the hell too bright!!! Then reduce the high mids, and bring up the treble...they really interact, but you can really add some nice cut with the treble higher than the high mids.

The Makoplex rocks!!!
 

Khoi

New member
yup, I played one at the FL Ampfest last summer.

Honestly one of the best high gain tones I've heard. Would totally get one if I wasn't still in school and could play loud :cry:

for the price, you really can't beat it either
 

MichaelG

Member
As has been pointed out before, don't over look the crunch channel either.... definitely not a filler channel by any means. Whack up the gain, throw a clean boost in front and you have amazing classic rock tones on that channel at bedroom volumes.

Love my MAK4.
 

Ignoramus

Member
If you're asking me that question, I'm not using any power amp. Just impulses and Reaper and my Mackie monitors. I didn't like the way the Engl mini-amp in the e530 needed completely different settings as compared to when I'm tracking. Tried it once to say I did it, and don't think I'll try it again.

If/when I get into a bigger house with my own proper man-cave, I'll be getting a power amp.
 

Ventura

Well-known member
To the OP, mega congrats :2thumbsup:

I'm a Mak4 owner and devotee as well. It's one of the finest sounding pre's out there, and man, every channel kicks serious ass. Makoplex is killer, and the Dorado, whoa, face-melting. I find I use the crunch channel a lot more than I thought I would, and the clean is - well - clean.

Enjoy it - the Mak4 has been in my repertoire for quite some time now and it's not going anywhere. It's a totally rad preamp, and regardless of cost, probably one the best out there.

Cheers,
Mo
 

Ignoramus

Member
Ventura":po2gdje0 said:
To the OP, mega congrats :2thumbsup:

I'm a Mak4 owner and devotee as well. It's one of the finest sounding pre's out there, and man, every channel kicks serious ass. Makoplex is killer, and the Dorado, whoa, face-melting. I find I use the crunch channel a lot more than I thought I would, and the clean is - well - clean.

Enjoy it - the Mak4 has been in my repertoire for quite some time now and it's not going anywhere. It's a totally rad preamp, and regardless of cost, probably one the best out there.

Cheers,
Mo


Thanks, Mo! I believe I'll have an extremely long honeymoon phase with this amazing piece of gear. I now have 4 stellar and very usable channels in one big-ass metal box.

Edit:

GuitarGuyLP":po2gdje0 said:
Congrats on the new pre. One note about the E530 put JJs in it. The ENGL tubes are way the hell too bright!!! Then reduce the high mids, and bring up the treble...they really interact, but you can really add some nice cut with the treble higher than the high mids.

The Makoplex rocks!!!

Thanks again for the tip. Have some JJs en route. :thumbsup:
 

Ventura

Well-known member
As per the JJ's, I did a big glass swap on mine and I can't remember what I ended up with, but it was something along the lines of Gold Lion ECC83s throughout, with a JAN-Philips in the clean socket, and a TAD high grade in the last buffer socket. I went through 4 hours of tube swapping, and the end result was phenomenal. There's room to play in that big black box - nice to know it's so sensitive to glass.

Make sure to send props to Andrew, he deserves the credit :thumbsup:
 
For the curious checking out this thread, this is what it does.






It should be worth noting that the tone is very subjective to the way it's powered. You won't be punished for sending it to a shitty power secton or DI but the overall sonic structure will vary HUGELY depending on what you send it into. My mesa studio preamp wasn't like that. Sounded more or less the same no matter what.
 

Ventura

Well-known member
FastRedPonyCar":1ai0xqho said:
For the curious checking out this thread, this is what it does.






It should be worth noting that the tone is very subjective to the way it's powered. You won't be punished for sending it to a shitty power secton or DI but the overall sonic structure will vary HUGELY depending on what you send it into. My mesa studio preamp wasn't like that. Sounded more or less the same no matter what.
Yep, and thanks to your YT post, it helped in my decision to get the Mak4 :thumbsup:

Great test drive man, totally great...
Mo
 

threadkiller

New member
Wow! Great demo. Your right about the power section. My clean and crunch channels sound a lot different that what you've recorded running into a fryette 2502. I also have a "bright" mod on the clean channel. It's a little bit brighter and doesn't get into overdrive as easily when you push the gain.
 
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