Fender Marcus Miller Jazz

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by saxybill1, Apr 12, 2005.

  1. saxybill1

    saxybill1 Attorney

    Nov 9, 2004
    I have a couple of MIA fender jazz basses that I like very much, although the Laklands are my favorite. I'm thinking of purchasing a Marcus Miller (Geddy Lee jazz has been on my mind as well); however, I wanted your thoughts on the MM. Tone, playability and build quality are the characteristics I need your opinions on and I thank you in advance for your opinions.

  2. Sup Bill!!!

    I have a MM Jazz and I love it. It was my first bass when I got back into playing. It is a great bass, the neck is thin in the hand but very fast.

    The quality of my bass is just great I could not find anything out of the ordinary. Since I have this baby I have since restrung it with a set of DR Hi Beams. I am no Marcus Miller but with the DR's I can now play him in my living room! :bassist:

    The MM Jazz is a great choice, I am really glad that I have mine.

    Later stay safe!!!
    Big Ce
  3. Hmmm....good question about the Miller bass. I'm surprised it hasn't been brought up before on Talkbass.
  4. pyrohr


    Aug 28, 2001
    Pakistani compound
    Hey saxybill,
    I own a few MIA jazzes, the Marcus Miller bass and the Geddy Lee jazz! As for the Marcus bass, it is well put together. While the bass does offer lots of great tones I think the pre-amp is it's weakest link. The pre-amp is all boost and with the treble cranked it can get quite harsh, the bass knob on the other hand is quite full and thick. I did the Bartolini passive wiring mod to mine and now it play's in true passive mode and not as if the bass and treble knobs were turned down!
    Here is the Bartolini website.


    other reveiws on this bass can be found here


    Now for the Geddy Lee jazz. I put off buying this bass because I had soo many jazz basses already! I found one for $599 new and could not pass it up. The fit and finish like the Marcus Miller bass and most MIJ/CIJ basses is superb! I find nothing wrong with this bass outside of the pups having a low output. People say their basses output is normal but I'm telling you mine is low! The bass sounds great as is, I took my badassII off because I didn't want the extra sustain but an alder bodied maple necked jazz bass, the black blocks was an added bonus. I'm still sitting on the fence about changing the pups in the Geddy but as of now there is no rush. Now with my MIA CAR FSR 75R.I. jazz, my Geddy Lee jazz and my Marcus Miller jazz I pretty much got the 70's Fender thing covered! :D
  5. Hollow Man

    Hollow Man Supporting Member

    Apr 28, 2003
    Springfield, VA
    I love the way the MM's sound. The preamp isn't the strongest in the world, but I still had no trouble dialing in a great tone for thumbstyle playing.
  6. saxybill1

    saxybill1 Attorney

    Nov 9, 2004
    Thanks for your help guys. Anymore thoughts?
  7. look into KSD v70 jazz basses...pure marcus miller, whithout that horrible pickguard.....they are awesome, i played a marcus miller abouta week before i got my ksd and mine just blows it away, build quality and everything....although i was playing a japanese mm
  8. Marlat


    Sep 17, 2002
    London UK
    GIven that the pickguard and pickup cover are a couple of the key things that make a Marcus Miller bass a "Marcus Miller" and not just a standard 70's Jazz reissue, I find your statement rather amusing! :D
  9. saxybill1

    saxybill1 Attorney

    Nov 9, 2004
    Where can I review the KSD. Do you have pics?
  10. I have mine for 5 years and I love it!
    I bought a 5er F soon, but I'm still playing my Marcus, it's a great bass...

  11. vene-nemesis

    vene-nemesis Banned

    Jul 17, 2003
    Bilbao España
  12. im not sure, i scanned it out of "the larry graham and graham central station anthology" cd set

    prooves where marcus got the inspiration for his from :smug: :p
  13. How much do KSD's cost?
  14. Marlat


    Sep 17, 2002
    London UK
    Don't mean to burst your bubble, but are you sure thats a Moon?

    IIRC Larry Graham was using Fenders for a long time before he used Moon bases and that headstock abd neck / binding looks very 70's Fenderish to me.

    Also, the pickguard mod itself would have (i think) been fairly common in stalling active electronics in a Jazz back then as it would have required routing in the top mounted control cavity to get the electronics in. I would hazard a guess and say that the mod was neither LArry's or Marcus's idea, but probably some smart repair / mod guy who realised the only way to fit electronics and batteries in a 70's jazz was to do some serious routing and to cover it, its easier to use a modded pickguard.
  15. Doug Parent

    Doug Parent Supporting Member

    May 31, 2004
    San Diego, Ca.
    Dealer Nordstrand Pickups.
    while you probably have your question answered I'll toss in my response anyway. I gave a MM a cursory glance at a music store in San Diego and decided to pick it up for a test feel. The neck and playability was a total surprise. Very fast and comfy neck. I was actually stunned. I immiedately started to justify how/why I should buy that 5 stringer.
    The tone was good as well. I understand others comments regarding the pre-amp, I might be inclined to replace it if I bought that bass. To be perfectly honest, the neck was the "thing" for me on that bass. The pickguard is.......well 'nuff said.
    TMARK likes this.
  16. mark...the moons are very simular to fenders, check out princes rave un2 the yr2000 dvd...but i was told a fair while ago on here that marcus got the inspiration for his signature by larrys bass....even if some tech modded it like that, larry made it famous cos he's the only guy i know to have a jazz bass styled like that besides marcus
  17. hands5


    Jan 15, 2003
    good 'ol USA/Tampa fla.
  18. hands5


    Jan 15, 2003
    good 'ol USA/Tampa fla.
  19. catboyzee


    Jul 20, 2007
    Excellent point, and it makes perfect sense. LG played this modded Fender J Bass all through the mid-late 70s, long before Marcus Miller had Roger Sadowsky do the mods on Miller's now-famous 70s Fender Jazz in 1981. Don't know why I didn't make the connection sooner. Marcus has openly acknowledged Graham's influence on him as a bassist. Stands to reason that he would modify his bass similar to one of his biggest heroes also. Same goes for Marcus leaving the neck pickup cover on his bass, a nod to Jermaine Jackson of the Jackson 5. Side note: I recall reading in a magazine many years ago that the bass LG is playing in this pic was ultimately stolen, which eventually led to him playing and endorsing Moon basses. I would rag on how dumb it was for Fender to not sign Graham in the 1970s when funk and slapping were in their heydey, but back then the Fender execs were more interested in making money than maintaining the quality of the brand.