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Fender Marcus Miller Sig. 4 PreAmp suggestions

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by chinjazz, Aug 4, 2003.


  1. chinjazz

    chinjazz Supporting Member

    Sep 11, 2002
    Atlantic Beach, FL
    Suggestions on Marcus bass

    All, I have a Fender Marcus Signature bass (4string). Since I go back and fourth w/my MTD 535 I sometimes find the lower output on the Marcus not a punchy enough transition..
    (Too many adjustments on the bass rig)

    I'm looking for suggestions on either new pick ups or a beefier on board pre. I've got an outboard Aguilar Pre (the $179 deal) that I don't use because of convenience and the clarity just isn't right for this bass. Any thoughts out there?

    Just wanted some sort of sanity check before I ventured down the path that could be too costly.

    Thanks!

    Adam
     
  2. narud

    narud Supporting Member

    Mar 15, 2001
    santa maria,california
    does the fender have a preamp trim pot? if not, have you thought about adjusting it on the mtd to match the level of the fender?
     
  3. chinjazz

    chinjazz Supporting Member

    Sep 11, 2002
    Atlantic Beach, FL
    The fender has a preamp which was custom designed for this bass but it isn't adjustable.

    I really think it's more "Juice" and punch clarity I'm looking for.

    Thanks for the idea though..
     
  4. sheepdog

    sheepdog

    Feb 20, 2003
    Birmingham, AL
  5. sheepdog

    sheepdog

    Feb 20, 2003
    Birmingham, AL
    [​IMG]

    hope the picture works
     
  6. Mike A

    Mike A Supporting Member

    Oct 3, 2002
    Kentucky
    Adam -
    I can relate. The Marcus Miller Retro preamp is going to be my next investment. It's the same thing as the U-Retro pre, but with the active/passive switch added (as on the MM Jazz).. in addition to this, I believe the Retro pre makes the tone knobs useable in passive as well.

    Yeah, it's $300, but I couldn't imagine it not being worth the price after all I've read about John East preamps.
     
  7. sheepdog

    sheepdog

    Feb 20, 2003
    Birmingham, AL
    The main difference between the U Retro and the deluxe is the addition of a passive tone know (the single stack knob). The others are volume/blend, bass/treble, and mid/mid frequ. The switches are active/passive and passive pickup choice (both/bridge I believe).

    I have heard nothing but good about these preamps.
     
  8. BoiNtC

    BoiNtC

    Nov 25, 2002
    NYC, USA
    U-Retro (there's one with a MM plate, with a passive tone control knob) is the way to go, heard a friend's MM4 before and after, and its way better after!
     
  9. chinjazz

    chinjazz Supporting Member

    Sep 11, 2002
    Atlantic Beach, FL
    Everyone, thanks for the great info. You guys really pulled out the stops for me on this one.

    I asked the same question on the Marcus web site and got some similar feedback. Now it's down to the choices:

    J-Retro
    Aguilar OBP3
    or Sadowski

    Anyone out there looking for a barely used Aguilar DB 924? I'm just not into extra boxes. But this is a nice unit. Sheer laziness on my part.

    Thanks again!

    Adam
     
  10. narud

    narud Supporting Member

    Mar 15, 2001
    santa maria,california
    if you like the bart in your mtd, why not try an ntmb? 300 bones is a lot to put into any bass for a pre, let alone a 600 dollar bass imo. marcus' actual bass has a bart in it anyway.
     
  11. superphat

    superphat

    Sep 30, 2001
    if the volume difference is the main annoyance, and you don't really have a big problem with the way the mm bass' original sound...

    how about getting a volume pedal? it works for me.
     
  12. superphat

    superphat

    Sep 30, 2001
    narud's suggestion really makes a lot of sense to me too.
     
  13. soularis

    soularis

    Jul 3, 2003
    Illinois, USA
    I think it's Sadowsky. Why not just put the original Sadowsky on-board?
     
  14. BoiNtC

    BoiNtC

    Nov 25, 2002
    NYC, USA
    Marcus' actual bass preamp is a bart put in by Sadowsky
     
  15. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Commercial User

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    Boom Bass Cabinets, DR strings
    It's not, it's a Bart.

    Anyway... this may not be a popular suggestion but hear me out...

    Why not turn up the volume on your amp? That's free;)

    You might be surprised to find that punch doesn't have to be purchased or installed, it could be as simple as not overboosting the treble (this really makes things seem loud while doing nothing for punch) and if you're making drastic tweaks with the EQ, try moving closer to flat. I don't own one bass that can't sound punchy and the overwhelming majority of them are dead stock, even my Fenders.

    Not saying a U-Retro or other preamp may not be just what you want, personally I'd exhaust the "free" avenues first. Tone can be just as much about what you don't do as what you do do:D

    I switch between passive Jazzes, an MTD 635 and several other basses, without making any changes at the amp.

    To summarize:

    1. Turn the bass guitar volume all the way up. Don't overboost the onboard treble, that bass is naturally bright. If yours isn't, you might need new strings.

    2. Turn the amp up while having it's EQ set flat to start with. Make small adjustments. The typical smiley face EQ setting is a punch killer. There's no need to scoop mids on this (or most others IMO), the mids are very clear naturally.

    Give it a try, after all it's free;). Let us know how it works out. No offense... I'd be willing to bet money that if you handed your bass as it is to Marcus and let him play there'd be punch galore. That's my point.
     
  16. jokerjkny

    jokerjkny

    Jan 19, 2002
    NY / NJ / PA
    if you've got the moolah, definitely the U'Retro w/ Dimarzio's Ultra Jazz pickups. SIMPLY MONSTROUS slap/marcus tone. literally blows me away in my parts bass, and IMHO, nothing else comes close, except...

    if you wanna really burn your money, just get a Sadowsky Toyko JJ4. IMHO, its more on the Marcus side than Roger's usually suspects. the Toyko's preamp and pickups just seemed more voiced for the cutting, steely Marcus sound i hear on the "Ozell Tapes" CD.
     
  17. BoiNtC

    BoiNtC

    Nov 25, 2002
    NYC, USA
    oh and get an EBS head/cabinet... After hearing Marcus and Bailey live, I swear by EBS now :p
     
  18. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Commercial User

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    Boom Bass Cabinets, DR strings
    Marcus has sounded like Marcus with every rig I've heard him use;)

    But by all means buy what he uses now:D
     
  19. superphat

    superphat

    Sep 30, 2001
    i totally agree with brad... that's why i suggested a volume pedal a few posts back ;)

    it seems like these days, the answer to every other thread is to get a j-retro or u-retro. i mean, i know they are great preamps, but it seems like that's the automatic suggestion for EVERY situation...
    :confused:
     
  20. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Commercial User

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    Boom Bass Cabinets, DR strings
    Agreed. A volume pedal was the one purchase
    here that made sense to me. I should've mentioned that.