1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  

i need help with sound...

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by bassist22, Sep 10, 2008.

  1. bassist22


    Mar 16, 2007
    hi guys
    i've got a warwich thumb BO and and crappy practice amp...(not usre about Watts and V...) but its one of those ones u get wen u buy like a crap bass and and amp for like $200. :(
    i play mainly jazz and funk. and i'm really digging the marcus miller sound but i'm not sure how to achieve it on my warwick... i've got DR marcus millers on but i just don't get whats wrong!
    what should i do to get his sound? what new bass amp should i get?

    is there a way i can get the same sound on every setup? maybe that BOSS EQ pedal?

  2. wizay


    Mar 5, 2008
    maybe try out the new Marcus Miller Pre?
  3. DanielleMuscato


    Jun 19, 2004
    Columbia, Missouri, USA
    Endorsing Artist, Schroeder Cabinets
    Hmm, where to start.... A Warwick Thumb is just about the polar opposite of a Marcus Miller Jazz, and frankly, strings don't matter at all if you're using a practice amp.

    Skip the EQ pedal and start saving for a good amp. That is Step #1.

    Marcus has a signature SWR preamp, and I think he also uses EBS amps.

    Fender makes a signature model Marcus Miller bass. That will get you nearly there.

    Aside from that, you kinda have to be Marcus Miller :)
  4. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    While I'm not big on blaming the equipment, I'm going to blame the amp in this case. Practice bass amps are not known for tone unless they have a good sized speaker like a 12" (or unless they cost a lot). The bass should get you in the ballpark, but I'd save up for an amp with more power and a bigger cab with a tweeter. Marcus' tone controls sound like they're set pretty close to flat with maybe a tiny rolloff on the mids sometimes, but it's full range so you need a tweeter.

    And then practice for a few years. Might not become Marcus, but you'll turn into you ;)
  5. bassist22


    Mar 16, 2007
    thanks guys lol thats great advice.
    just a question no the marcus miller preamp, can it plug into a bass amp with EQ controls?
    and on the site of the swr m2 thing, it says it is a marcus miller tube preamplifier. what does that mean? i've been seeing the work 'tube' in these forums a lot and i just don't know what it is!! :S
    will the versatility with the marcus miller preamp work on a practice amp?
    can i get the same sound using the marcus miller preamp disregards to the amp i use?
    can i get the preamp to work with just a speaker? no amp controls?
    That's a lot of questions but i think i'm gassing for one of these marcus miller preamp babies:D.
  6. DanielleMuscato


    Jun 19, 2004
    Columbia, Missouri, USA
    Endorsing Artist, Schroeder Cabinets
    Here's your basic setup for any bass rig:

    Bass (sometimes with an onboard preamplifier) --> Preamplifier --> Power amplifier --> Speaker Cab --> Mic going to snake/mixing board --> PA & monitors

    Another way to go:

    Bass (sometimes with an onboard preamp) --> Preamp/direct box --> Snake/mixing board --> PA & monitors

    A "combo" amp is so-called because it combines a preamp, power-amp, and speaker cab into one box. Your practice amp is (almost certainly) a combo, which means you already have a preamp (that's the part with the "amp controls," that is, the Bass, Mid, Treble, and Gain etc knobs, but not the Volume knob).

    That would look like this:

    Bass (sometimes with an onboard pre) --> Combo amp --> mic on speaker cone going to snake/mixer, or alternatively, line out a.k.a. direct out (if the amp has one) going to snake/mixer --> PA & monitors

    You *can* run an outboard preamp like the Marcus Miller pre into the front of an amp, but this is not a good way to do it and may damage your amp. This would really be running two preamps at once. Does your practice amp have an effects loop or Power Amp In (sometimes called a CD/MP3 input)? If so, this is where you should plug in an external preamp.

    Really, though, this would be wasted on a $200 practice amp. To even scantily appreciate the versatility, quality, and tone of that pre, you should be spending at least $500 on a cab & power-amp to go with it, ideally more like $1000+. The cab/amp is arguably and in my opinion the most important part of the signal chain when it comes to decent tone.

    With your equipment, in your shoes, I wouldn't worry too much about nailing tone - just spend your time practicing and saving for a better amp. Don't even worry about the Marcus Miller preamp right now... If you are looking to upgrade, let us know your budget, and we can help you get closer to MM's sound.

    Do you perform (or plan to)? A lot of times, clubs have provided backline amps, or they will just have you run direct. In my experience, the bass amp really serves as a stage monitor (that is, it lets you hear yourself) when playing live. Except in smaller clubs, the audience cannot hear your amp - they are hearing the bass through the PA system. In this case, it would be better to get a good DI or preamp (like the Marcus Miller one) and a bass that sounds more like MM's (any Jazz bass would be a good start over a Warwick Thumb!), the Marcus Miller signature Fender being ideal.

    Check out this thread for more info about bass versus amp:

  7. DanielleMuscato


    Jun 19, 2004
    Columbia, Missouri, USA
    Endorsing Artist, Schroeder Cabinets
    I'm just gonna plug through these:

    1. Covered in my last post
    2. Tube means that it uses vacuum tubes in its construction, rather than solid-state transistors. Tubes amp are more fragile and temperamental, and also heavier, and require regular maintenance. They sound different depending on the ambient temperature and they have to warm up first to sound their best. Tubes wear out or burn out and can be expensive to replace. Also, tube amps are more expensive in the first place. That said, a lot of people prefer them (especially guitarists, but also bassists) because they have a warm, "organic" tone with a natural "grit" (tube overdrive). When you push a tube amp hard - that is, intentionally overload the signal, not enough to hurt the amp and blow the tubes, but enough to break through the headroom - the resultant tone is very pleasing to the ear. Solid-state amps tend to sound "sterile" or "too clean," which can be desirable for bass or keyboards, usually not for guitar or harmonica, etc.

    There are things called "modeling" amps, which are solid-state, but use computer processing technology to make the amp sound like a tube amp. Some people argue that these modeling amps (for example, Line6 brand amps) do not sound as good as real tube amps. If you want tube tone but are on a budget, or have practical considerations like traveling with your amp (in other words, weight is a consideration; you can't afford to have your amp fail on you, you want many different tones available at the push of a button, without hauling many different amps), a modeling amp may be for you. I use a modeling preamp for all my studio work and about half of my live work. They are a great compromise between the simplicity & low cost of solid-state (but limited versatility & sterile tone) and the weight, high cost, and unreliability (but great tone) of tube amps.

    3. Kinda, but I would say no. You need a better amp first. That's like putting $5,000 rims on a $500 car.

    4. Kinda; poweramps don't have much effect on tone, but the cab is important (if you're not running direct), and your Warwick is still definitely the wrong bass for that. If you're talking about running this through your practice amp, no. While it's very true that tone is in your fingers, if I were trying to reproduce Marcus Miller's tone in the studio and I were in your shoes, I would rather have a $400 Schecter copy of a Jazz bass and even just a half-way decent direct box than a Warwick Thumb with Marcus Miller strings SWR Marcus Miller signature preamp, and EBS amps.

    5. No, you will need some kind of poweramp in between. A speaker cab is just a wooden box with some speaker cones in it - no power. The preamp "warms up" the tone coming from your bass and lets you manipulate it with EQ controls, etc, but is not powerful enough to drive a speaker cab. You need to "amplify" the signal (with a power amp) in order for it to work. If you are running direct (no cab), this does not apply.

    Hope this helps!
  8. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification
    The first place you should look is your bass. A Warwick is as far from a Jazz bass you can get, IMO. A jazz bass with a J-Retro or Audere pre, 70's pickup spacing (like the Geddy or the new 70s series MIMs) and you'll be very close.

    Then all you'd need is Marcus' talent, chops, taste and life experience...
  9. bassist22


    Mar 16, 2007
    ok Cool :D
    helps a lot.
    what would you guys recommend - i want a small amp/combo/preamp... which still has a bit of power but not like a massive uber $5000 rig or not a crappy practive amp either. (i just found out that mine was a 15w :( ). i'm goign to basically use this amp just to practice at home. When i do perform, in jazz bands, funk bands and music comps, i'm provided with a decent amp lots of power, but the end sound is horrible. so maybe a preamp or some sort of portable pedal?
  10. DanielleMuscato


    Jun 19, 2004
    Columbia, Missouri, USA
    Endorsing Artist, Schroeder Cabinets
    What's your budget?
  11. Stumbo

    Stumbo Wherever you go, there you are. Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 11, 2008
    Song Surgeon slow downer. https://tinyurl.com/y5dcuqjg
    Adding a pre-amp or pedal to a horrible sounding rig is not going to fix the end sound.

    You'd be better off saving your money for a high quality, light weight rig of your own that you can carry with you.

    Check out the following to see what's out there: http://www.talkbass.com/forum/showthread.php?t=442966
  12. bassist22


    Mar 16, 2007
    my budget is $500 max.

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.