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Japanese Fender Marcus Miller bass

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by lovethegrowl, Jul 8, 2014.


  1. lovethegrowl

    lovethegrowl Banned

    Oct 30, 2013
    I was looking on the internet for used Marcus Miller basses. What is compromised with the the Japanese versions. Pickups? Active electronics?
     
  2. pedroims

    pedroims

    Dec 19, 2007
    Michigan
    I have owned two MM MIJ, did not like the preamp, I read that the preamp in the MIM sounds better.
     
  3. Amplified

    Amplified

    Jan 19, 2014
    Cyberspace
  4. Marihino

    Marihino

    Mar 25, 2010
    London
    The preamp seems to be better in the MIM version, and supposedly it's the same unit as in the MIA 5-string. Also, it's 18v and has two battery compartments on the back of the bass (as opposed to the front-loaded 4 screw thing in the MIJ). Newer MIM have the Fender high mass bridge based on BadAss, since the real BA is no longer made. Also, I've seen the MIMs with both gloss and satin finished necks. The whole pickguard is one piece too, while in MIJ it had three parts. I've got a MIJ and am happy with it, the preamp has beed swapped for a Sadowsky though.
     
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2014
  5. Amplified

    Amplified

    Jan 19, 2014
    Cyberspace
    Preamps can be swooped out....
     
  6. MixBass

    MixBass

    Feb 23, 2006
    L.A. Harbor
    Co-founder. GrabAxe
    As stated, some complain about the pre. IMO it does a darn good job of the Marcus slap tone, not a great finger tone.
    All things considered it's a great bass at the used market price and an easy workaround if the pre bugs you.
     
  7. The pre is always the main complaint. They're great if you can get it for a good price.
     
  8. lovethegrowl

    lovethegrowl Banned

    Oct 30, 2013
    It turns out my MM is MIM. It's prep seems terrific!
     
  9. Driven Crane

    Driven Crane

    May 30, 2014
    So which pre is better for my MM MIJ 4?
     
  10. alembicbones

    alembicbones

    Nov 10, 2000
    Seattle, WA
    I own a MM5 and I swapped out the stock preamp for a John East Marcus Retro. The result is a really cool, flexible 5 string jazz bass. I think the Marcus Retro would work fine in the 4 string version.

    Bones
     
    Driven Crane likes this.
  11. malthumb

    malthumb

    Mar 25, 2001
    The Motor City
    OK... I'm confoosed... Weren't ALL 4-string Marcus Miller basses made in Japan until just a year or two ago when they were moved to Mexico? And, if I'm correct, all 5-string Marcus Millers have always been USA. So if that's the case, most used Marcus Millers will be MIJ. It's not a question of the the Japanese versions being compromised. The Japanese versions were THE version. Until they were moved to Mexico. I've owned three over the years....all MIJ
     
  12. Driven Crane

    Driven Crane

    May 30, 2014
    - just did some shot of the timbre...
     
  13. lovethegrowl

    lovethegrowl Banned

    Oct 30, 2013
    Mine was used in a Cedar Rapids GC, & they told me over the phone (erroneously) it was a MIJ. When I got it ($660 out the door!) it was in mint condition & made in Mexico. Finally I talked to the GC salesman who previously owned it, he confirmed it was a year old & he sold it to get an American Standard
     
  14. malthumb

    malthumb

    Mar 25, 2001
    The Motor City
    You need to hire an attorney. You just stole that bass.
     
  15. lovethegrowl

    lovethegrowl Banned

    Oct 30, 2013
    Yeah, what happened is that GC couldn't put a used item on my PayPal over the phone. It took a whole week to attempt that, & it turns out that wasn't possible is because the GC system is antiquated. So theyreduced the price & sent it to me with the understanding that I would return the bass at my local Palm Desert GC, & then immediately repurchase it there with my PayPal.

    Actually, with my trade in on my Ampeg SVT 15 EN cabinet, I put less than $500 on the PayPal for the MM bass, & won't pay any interest on it till April if its paid off then. The caveat is I spent more than 3 hours at the PD store, so it was an all day affair.
     
  16. lovethegrowl

    lovethegrowl Banned

    Oct 30, 2013
    I lucked out in several ways. Not only is there not a scratch on that bass, but the shade of ash nearly matches the maple. Most MM basses pictured have ash bodies that appear a significantly darker shade of amber than the maple neck. People nearly gasp when I pull it out of the gig bag.

    It does require a fret leveling, as it doesn't lend itself to playing with low action. I will also change out the passive pots to a volume, balance, & tone*. If there is enough room not to have to stack the active pots, that I can do myself.

    * People say those MM basses are only good for slap, as the tone woods are very bright. I practice that bass full range through my home audio's (12" Dayton) subwoofer, which rolls off much lower than any bass cabinet's speaker With a tone control I can get the same type of roll off, & I can attest that it can sound like a generic Fender Jazz bass.

    With those tone woods I have also observed that pitch discrimination is amazing. I can quickly tune that bass perfectly by ear without a digital tuner. My other 3 basses require a little digital help.
     

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