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Mako Mak 4 preamp 
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Joined: Fri Jan 18, 2013 6:19 pm
Posts: 1138
Price paid:
Don't remember was on a gear buying spree

Features: 9/10
4 tube channels. Clean, Crunch, Makoplex, and Dorado. Controls are gain, bass, mid, treble and volume. Cat 5 cable to connect the footswitch. Footswitch has a switch for each channel. No effects loop. Four front panel switches to change channels with out the footswitch. It defaults to dorado without the footswitch.

Sound: 9/10

Clean runs from a nice sparkly clean to a low gain overdrive. Lots of range on the eqs with this pre. I like it's ability to capture spanky clean tones, chimey warm tones, and semi dirty.

Crunch, this channel runs from a light overdrive to a completely fuzzed out type of tone. Its a slightly loose feel and reminds me of the vintage channel of a recto. It can get muddy very quickly. It has a darker tone than the clean channel. When all controls are set to noon.

Makoplex is a channel I'm on the fence about. It's a very raw sounding channel. It's sort of on the bright side and has a lot of upper mids. From the name I would assume it's supposed to be a take on a hotrodded plexi. As far as the gain knob goes, it ranges from hard rock level gain to making a 5150 look pathetic. If I had to compare it to another amp it would be closest to a laney gh series laney. My biggest issue with the design of this preamp are the last two channels go from silence to raging gain and there is basically no room between. They seem to be addressing this issue in the new models.

Dorado, this is the reason I wanted this pre. Instant death metal. It's hard to play slow on this channel. I set everything to noon and the tone that came out was the metal tone of my dreams. It has a tight low end that is perfect unboosted. It's mids sit in the right place, and more gain before noon than I could ever use. This channel is louder than the other channels. Version two will address my issue of it not being able to do lower gain. I REALLY enjoy the tone of this channel and wish it could do more than extreme metal. The mid knob really affects the tone on this channel, scooping takes all the grind out of it.

Feel, fit and finish: 10/10

Everything about this amp feels solid. Every part feels like it built to last.

Service & Reliability:9/10

I have had 0 issues with it. It seems mako has their site down as of 12/26/15, and no new updates on the facebook page. They are gearing up for the release of their new line. But it's damn near bullet proof, so I'm not worried.

Ease of use:10/10

It can't be any easier to dial in.

Overall: 8/10

It seems like this a prototype pre. The space could have been cut in half with a different layout and the gain channels could have a more usable range. That seems like it will be addressed in the version two that is only two spaces instead of four and the -/+ switches. I would buy this again if the only channels were clean and dorado with a +/- switch and an effects loop.


Sat Dec 26, 2015 9:13 am
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