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Marcus Miller J Bass...questions about them + general setup question....

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Grahams Groove, Jan 10, 2004.

  1. Grahams Groove

    Grahams Groove If it feels heavy, it's heavy. Supporting Member

    Apr 13, 2001
    Boulder, CO
    I just played one the other day, and I believe it'll be my next bass, but it seemed like the distance between the strings and pickguard/body was slightly smaller than that of your typical bass...

    Anyone else notice that on the MM J-Basses?

    Also, would that be an easy adjustment...to raise the bridge-saddles for the strings enough to get a bit more space between strings and body?

    Also, if I did raise the saddles, would there be any other major setup adjustments necessary...?
  2. MMiller28


    Apr 27, 2003
    using an allen wrench on the bridge saddles would do some good. i hope your not planning on buying that one from GC, they overcharge on everything.
  3. 20db pad

    20db pad

    Feb 11, 2003
    I been everywhere, man...
    None. At all.
    What you describe is a common design scheme on 70's Jazz basses. The distance between the strings and the face of the body is smaller than what is usually encountered these days or considered the norm on Fender sytle axes. This is due to the fact that these basses have a deeper neck pocket than current designs, so the neck sits lower than what many are used to.

    Raising the strings is the quick and dirty solution, but to get the space you want, it will add up to an uncomfortably high action for most players. It can be done if you're into that sort of corporal mortification, but the intonation and pickup height would have to be adjusted as well.

    Shimming the neck is also another way to get some distance. The same adjustments mentioned above would have to be made.

    Personally, I don't find the MM bass to be too bothersome in that department, but I do prefer the larger space.
  4. gfab333


    Mar 22, 2000
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    Ditto on 20db pad's comments.

    Also... Many players specifically seek out the 70's basses or reissues with the deep neck pocket for that shallow distance between the G string and the pick guard. They are typically slappers who use the string spacing to their advantage for those fast slap and pop patterns. The short distance makes it easy to play the fast stuff.

    It's really up to personal tastes. My buddies with large hands naturally don't care for it.
  5. pyrohr


    Aug 28, 2001
    Pakistani compound
    The MM bass is easy to get used to. You must remember it has a micro tilt neck so there is no need to shim.I myself would not touch this adjustment ymmv. I find the factory setup on these to be good, if they are left on the shelf they tend to bow slightly (like anything else)I find the setup no different on the MM bass than my 75RI. As a matter of fact I like the 70's neck setup the most. If the pickguard height is too high than try a thinner or maybe a one ply instead of a three ply pick guard. I have noticed a big difference when I change from the tort to the white pickguard on my natural jazz.
  6. Grahams Groove

    Grahams Groove If it feels heavy, it's heavy. Supporting Member

    Apr 13, 2001
    Boulder, CO
    well, I went and played it again tonight, and had the pickup cover for the neck pickup taken off while I was playing and that made a big difference in the feel for my hands...It looks snazzy, but I feel more comfortable without it on.

    Now my only thing is coaxing the best possible fingerstyle tone out of the bass. The slap is primo, but I was having trouble getting a little bit of the really heavy lowend (mud) out of the sound for fingerstyle...I like a pretty 'even-across-the-board' fingerstyle tone with maybe a slight bump in the low-mids (around 250-350 Hz). I also like my fingerstyle tone to be real clean without too much high-end 'twang' (if you will)...I'll need to spend some more time with the bass next time I play it and see what I can do...

    Any reccomendations on getting a standard, non-boomy fingerstyle tone from the MM Jazz? (I just think that it tended to sound a tiny bit more muddy and boomy than that of a standard jazz's fingerstyle tone)
  7. pyrohr


    Aug 28, 2001
    Pakistani compound
    Roll off the neck pup and the bass knob slightly and that should do the trick.
    I have never had that problem but then again I use a GK amp.
  8. Mike A

    Mike A

    Oct 3, 2002
    I had good results by using:
    Active mode, both pickup volumes full on, both tones set to 50%.

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