Fender Marcus Miller - the bass I need?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Niskamies, Feb 2, 2006.

  1. Niskamies


    Jan 13, 2004
    I'm looking for a bass to complement the two basses that I'm using right now - a Sadowsky MS5 and an Ibanez GWB1 Fretless. They are both active, and I'm looking for a basic alternative. I want a 4-string jazz bass.

    I'm looking for a classic jazz bass sound. The marcus miller is active, but I'm thinking of a couple of mods: changing the stock pickups and preamp, and adding a passive tone control.

    I was thinking about putting some Lindy Fralin pickups and an Aguilar OBP-1 and stacking the bass and treble pots. Then I though ot putting a passive tone on the fourth pot. What do you think of the preamp and pickup choices?

    Do you think this bass could deliver me a basic passive jazz tone, and when needed I could get a hifi-kind of tone with the preamp? I would also like a bright slap tone.

    So, do you think this bass would give me what I want?
  2. Baryonyx

    Baryonyx Banned

    Jul 11, 2005
    Marathon Man
    I was sure this bass came with both active and passive modes...

    But yes, it is indeed a very versatile bass, and it'd be the one I went for if I was buying a jazz.
  3. basste


    Oct 8, 2003
    i was dissapointed by this bass. This wasn't the better neck i play, and sound was little.. Much prefer standard jazz sound. So if you plan to change everything about electronic, perhaps you could find a Jazz with same wood as Marcus miller's one, mapple neck which suit to your comfort, and go for your changes... (don't know exactly the model but perhaps reissue 75 or reissue 77..)
  4. kobass

    kobass Supporting Member

    Nov 3, 2003
    Outside Boston
    You may want to consider a Lakland Skyline (or USA if you have the $$$) Joe Osborn with a J-Retro.
  5. sb69coupe


    Aug 9, 2004
    Raleigh NC
    Rather than the Joe Osborn, I'd say that the Darryl Jones is closer to the Marcus Miller. It has the same radius fingerboard, you can get a maple fingerboard with blocks and binding, and it has the '70's pickup spacing that puts the bridge pickup further back, giving more of the "growl". Have Lakland drop in a J-Retro and you've got a very versatile bass.
  6. kobass

    kobass Supporting Member

    Nov 3, 2003
    Outside Boston
    Yeah, I should have mentioned the DJ. (I'm not as awake as I should be-I had to get up at 3:30 AM to get my wife to the airport!) For "classic Jazz bass tone" ,

    60's= Joe Osborn
    70's= Darryl Jones

    add the J-Retro and you're there!
  7. Niskamies


    Jan 13, 2004
    But if the Lakland is quite close to a MM, which one should I pick? The point is that there is a nice MM for sale which I have my eyes on. I am just thinking that that does that bass deliver me the classic Jazz bass tone?
  8. sb69coupe


    Aug 9, 2004
    Raleigh NC
    Personally, I really didn't like the tone of the Marcus Miller. I am a fingerstyle player and I couldn't get the typical "classic jazz" tone from it. Granted, I've only played one in the local Guitar Center, and I didn't spend lots of time with it. If you're planning to yank the pickups and electronics and replace them as you've indicated, I'm sure that you can get it to sound however you desire. The body and neck were nice enough on the MM I played, and I'm sure that you could install some Fralins with a preamp bypass to give you that classic jazz passive sound.
  9. tplyons


    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    I'm unsure why you would get a Marcus Miller if you're swapping out everything that makes it a Marcus Miller. I find the preamp to be just great for what I do, and it's a very nice one, with both active and passive modes. I will admit, a passive tone control would be nice, and that's an understandable mod. But if you're looking to put all this electronic work into a bass, why start with something extra?
  10. Eilif

    Eilif Supporting Member

    Oct 1, 2001
    Go with the DJ. If you want the classic jazz tone, you want a passive bass, but the DJ aero pickups will give you a bit more range of tones. My guess is that after playing the DJ you would probably forget wanting to mod the thing. Also, the Lakland customer service can't be beat, and their consistency/and quality is usually a step over fender.
  11. If you're taking out the pickups/pre you probably don't need the MM model then.... those were designed with him in mind and there's not much alse mindblownigly different about this bass from other fenders.