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Marcus Miller 5 String

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by alembicbones, Mar 3, 2008.

  1. alembicbones


    Nov 10, 2000
    Seattle, WA
    Hello TB Community,

    I need your help/advice. GAS is making me somewhat intrigued with the Fender Marcus Miller 5 string and I'm considering buying one. I've tried the 4 string version at my local GC and looking past the substandard setup, I really dug the tone. The 4 however just doesn't fit with my playing as much so I would need to go with the 5 string. If I buy the MM5, I likely won't be able to try it first.

    My question to you all is would it be worth my while pursuing this bass? I already own a Metro MS-5 so the controls would be very similar. The main difference to me looks to be single coils on the MM5 and hum cancelling on the Sadowsky (also the Sadowsky vs. Fender preamp).

    I'd appreciate your input.

  2. Valerus


    Aug 4, 2005
    Austin, Texas
    I've played the 4 and it is phenomenal.

    I've heard the 5 is that much better.

    Dude, go with your gut and buy it! You won't be disappointed. :D
  3. west*coast*bass

    west*coast*bass Supporting Member

    Dec 6, 2003
    Agoura Hills, CA
    I had a 5 but just sold it. It was a great bass but the more I played it, the less I liked the neck. I prefer a thinner neck with a flatter radius.
  4. albass111


    Feb 13, 2006
    Los Angeles, CA
    Being that you have an MS-5, personally I think the MM5 would be redundant. Personally I have a lot of jazzes, and I like how each one has a different flavor, but pragmatically speaking, I can do almost everything with my Ash/Maple Sad.

    FWIW, The 5string Marcus preamp sounds clearer to me than the Marcus 4. In any case, the Sadowsky is already a great bass and I think that the Sadowsky's HC's sound better for slap anyway.
  5. alembicbones


    Nov 10, 2000
    Seattle, WA
    Well I decided to take the plunge and placed my order with MF. Now the wait for the brown truck begins. Should be something like next Friday, which coincides just short of my birthday (happy b-day to me). I do like the idea of a 45 day trial period to make sure I like the bass. From what I've read, I have a feeling I will be quite happy.

  6. Valerus


    Aug 4, 2005
    Austin, Texas
    Freaking sweet man!!

    Which finish?
  7. alembicbones


    Nov 10, 2000
    Seattle, WA
    I really mulled the finish thing over but in the end decided upon the aged natural. I think it's the classic look. I really like the idea of the natural body going up against the maple board and pearloid inlays, finally offset by the big black pickguard.

    Should be very cool and a solid addition to my stable. I think I need to take a new family portrait when the MM5 arrives.

  8. johnpaulbass


    Nov 2, 2005
    I own thr 5 string..

    it's a bomb...
    if you like a bright.. punchy .. very defined 5 string fender classic tone... go for it

    very 70's but! you have the addition of active electronics..

    actually a great custom (may I say boutique?) bass for a great price...
  9. alembicbones


    Nov 10, 2000
    Seattle, WA
    I'm kind of expecting something similar to my Sadowsky but maybe with a little more vintage growl. I wonder if this bass is quite comparable to the Sadowsky UV Metro series, at 0.75 of the price.

  10. Funky Doctor

    Funky Doctor

    Aug 28, 2003
    I had a marcus 5 and it was great, especially when I swapped the preamp for an aguilar obp-1. From what I remember it was a very agressive sounding bass, which I guess would be different from your sadowsky enough to warrant it I guess. I do remember having trouble setting it up the way I liked but got there in the end. I think it is worthwhile pursuing this bass if you really want it. Who ever said you should only buy a bass if you need it...
  11. I tried two of them at the Guitar Center last year.I had my Moon JB5 with me.I had the money in my pocket and really wanted to buy one.They were set up poorly and had old strings and were really lifeless.
    I couldn't tell what they might be like when set up correctly.
    I'd love to check one out that was dialed in.
  12. jazzenfunk

    jazzenfunk Supporting Member

    Nov 12, 2006
    bay area
    Roxy, was it the GC in San jose? I too tried one there and the same thing. Horrible high action and dead strings left me somewhat underwhelmed in general. If if doesn't sound good acoustically, I move on.
  13. Yes, Scott those were the ones.One of them was tuned up about 2 wholesteps when I picked it up.Almost like someone got a hold of it and tought it was a 4 string.How can GC let that happen?
    My Moon kicked butt on those Fenders.By the way I moved the bridge pickup on my Z back to the 70s location.Huge difference!
  14. alembicbones


    Nov 10, 2000
    Seattle, WA
    Well folks, the little brown truck showed up yesterday and I took possession of an aged natural Marcus Miller 5. I know the no pics, no bass thing, and I will post pictures. However, I spent more time setting up and playing. Here are my first impressions.

    I was surprised how light and compact this bass is. Very comfortable to wear. The neck is ultra sleek and fast and I dig the finished maple fingerboard.

    Tone wise, the bass compares well with my Metro MS-5. Where the Sad is very articulate and modern sounding, this bass is more organic and aggressive. I'm not much of a slapper but this bass might get me to practice this style more. This bass delivers an amazing slap tone.

    Got to get back to work but my first impression is very positive. I will play it much more tonight.

  15. jlepre


    Nov 12, 2007
    Parsippany, NJ
    I tried the 4 in my local music store and loved the look and feel.:) The sound was very usable for my type of music which is finger pick (no slap). I too am a 5 user, so I ordered the 5 from GC. It looked amazing when I got it, so I gigged it a few times within the 30 day return period. After much anguish, I had to send it back as I couldn't justify the high price. :meh:The bass just sound so much darker than the 4 string version, and it got lost in the mix with 2 loud guitarists. The 5 just didn't have the same bright snappy sound of the 4. Too bad, I really loved the way that bass looked.
  16. T-MOST

    T-MOST Supporting Member

    Dec 10, 2004
    NJ via NYC
    I considered the MM5 for a while. It definately is a great bass but I went with the Sadowsky UV70. To me the UV70 had more "kick" and the VTC adds more control over shaping the tone. I also got it a year old and "absolutely mint" for a grand less than the regular price! :hyper: I already had one on order but this was just too sweet to pass up.
  17. Interesting observation.

    I used to GAS HARD for the MM5 but a couple of years ago, I attended a church musical and one of the bassists played one. Maybe it was EQ'd incorrectly but it was totally (and I mean TOTALLY) lost in the mix. :rollno:

    That cured me of that particular bit of GAS.
  18. hands5


    Jan 15, 2003
    good 'ol USA/Tampa fla.
    ,then if you're looking for that type of tone,then maybe you may want to look elsewere.because it's sounds NOTHING like a Sadowsky.They're not similar at all,howeverb the MM5 is a great bass except for the preamp IMHO.

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