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Marcus Miller Jazz Bass with Sadowsky Preamp!

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by VinceLovesF, May 15, 2005.

  1. Hello guys,

    I have for few weeks now my "new" Marcus Miller Jazz Bass.
    I own it for 5 years now, it's one of the first models made in 1998-1999.
    I was thinking replacing the stock preamp by a sadowsky for two years now and it's finally done! :)



    The result is incredible, I bought directly from Sadowsky Guitars the preamp with Vintage Tone Control. (I HAVE to say that they were really professional, I ordered it a Thursday and received it the Monday in France!!! Who can say better??)
    I waited to go to the luthier's shop, for my other bass, to bring it....

    And the result is marvellous, the bass sings, the preamp is full of musicality, the trebles are very good, and the bass are huge. The general dynamic of the bass is increased, as well as the fact that it is more polyvalent!! I can play more things.
    I can get a Vintage Tone, the passive mode is very good, offering me a good old school sound.
    The active mode is crazy, the most powerful preamp I have....When you slap, all the windows are broken...lol! but not wrong, it is Very Very strong, the vintage tone control, while active, offers you to get many different sounds more from your bass, so your sound's spectrum is wider than ever on that bass....

    I'm 1000% satisfied by that preamp, and I recommand it to people who'd like to change the stock preamp on teh Marcus! I love that combo.

    5fingerfrenzy likes this.
  2. DavePlaysBass

    DavePlaysBass Supporting Member

    Mar 31, 2004
    What you say makes sense. I owned a Marcus Miller for a week and sent it back. I now own a Sadowsky Metro RV5. The preamp is amazing and if I had had it in the MM, I would probably still have it.

    I have seen others raving about the U-Retro in the MMs.


    MAJOR METAL The Beagle Father Supporting Member

    Now it is a real Marcus Miller bass ! :bassist:
  4. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    DR Strings
    Marcus' personal bass still has a Bartolini preamp AFAIK.


    Congrats, Vince.
  5. Thanks!
    I'm really happy...For the Bart pre Marcus has in his Jazz, I'm not searching as a sound like Marcus...Or I know which bart to take I think....

    That one has a clean sound, punch...very good!

  6. Well althpugh he has Barts if you go to his website he reccomends either a Bart or a Sadowsky
  7. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    DR Strings
    Which has what to do with this?

  8. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    DR Strings

    As old as the Bart is that Marcus has, it's probably boost only... which obviously works fine for him.
  9. MCT


    Apr 11, 2005
    I don't get it. What does a pre-amp do? And was the stock one not good enough? Please tell more I'm dying to know.
  10. What does a pre-amp do?

    The preamp help you to modify your sound, to get a rounder one, louder, etc....

    And was the stock one not good enough?

    No, the stock one was not good, no tone control (here you have one for passive mode and one for active) and the trebles were awful! (for me!).
    So a change was needed!! and it's done

  11. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    DR Strings

    Here's how I explained it to my son: Sometimes, when an amp and a bass really love each, they feel a need to...

    wrong explanation.

    Basically the preamps that we're talking about in this thread are installed inside the the bass itself. They boost the output of the pickups and also have tone controls. They can affect the overall sound of the bass and as such, changing from one to another can change the sound.
    NigelD likes this.
  12. burk48237

    burk48237 Supporting Member

    Nov 22, 2004
    Oak Park, MI
    Not only is it boost only it was "modified" and installed by Roger, which chances are makes it very similar to a Sadowsky Pre.
  13. Steve Clark

    Steve Clark

    Jan 9, 2004
    London ON
    Darn, you're making me think I should have kept my MM5 and done the same thing. That said the MM5 low B was not as good as my Metro low B. I'm not so sure that a new preamp would have fixed that.

  14. I think so, the preamp does not all!!!
    A B is coming from the construction of the bass I think, I never appreciated Fender's Bs, except on the Roscoe Beck V, that was very pleasant!!
    This one of the reason why I bought a F Bass, the B is yummm....

  15. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    DR Strings
    What are you basing this on?

    Explain how Roger modified a bartolini preamp? Was this one that they built not encased in epoxy?


    What mods did he make to it. I don't recall Roger ever saying he modified the preamp. Or Marcus.

    Just you.

    Edit: and Bass Player magazine;)
  16. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    DR Strings
    The funny think about Fender B's is that I know a bunch of folks with Fender fives that have excellent sounding B's... including myself. Sometimes B strings require a different touch, doesn't make them bad or even substandard IMO, just different.

    Sometimes all you have to do to tighten up a B is lighten up on your touch and maybe boost an onboard EQ's bass control. Works great on the Fenders I've tried.

    OTOH it is much easier to blame the bass...
  17. burk48237

    burk48237 Supporting Member

    Nov 22, 2004
    Oak Park, MI
    Brad, Just quoting the April Issue of Bass Player, "Basses,77 Fender Jazz (with a natural finish, maple neck, stock pickups, Leo Quan Badass II bridge, and Sadowsky-modified onboard Bartolini TCT preamp)" How they modified I have no clue, an electronics major, I'm not (Photography major) but thats what the mag said. I will say this much, every ash/maple metro I've played nails Marcus (tone) with very little adjustment. The frequencies Roger has chosen (boost only) seem to be the right one's to nail that tone.
  18. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    DR Strings

    And the magazine is wrong. Again. If that was April 2005 there's no excuse for it. They've been getting it wrong for a long time.

    From Marcus himself (www.marcusmiller.com)

    What modifications have you made to your Jazz Bass?
    I have a pre-amp installed in my Jazz - a Bartollini installed by Roger Sadowsky. Roger also installed a Bad-ass bridge.
    The rest of the bass is stock.

    If you're at all familiar with Bartolini preamps you'd know what a challenge it would be to "modify" one.

    As far as nailing Marcus' tone... so have just about every decent late 70's Ash Jazz I've come across... even without a preamp. It's a proven recipe.
  19. Wayner


    May 7, 2004
    Maryland, USA
    You're spot on about the late 70's ash jazzes, Brad.. MM himself has said he can get "his" tone playing various basses... I don't doubt that at all.

    I have an MM bass, and bought it because I didn't feel like spending $1500 on a vintage Fender... I switched the pots, and rewired the toggle switch for true passive/active, and it sounds much improved to me. Still not particularly thrilled with the preamp though.

    I'm sure the Sadowsky unit sounds great. I am a total preamp dumbass... what model Bartolini preamp could I use in mine, instead of a Sadowsky?
  20. The 'Sadowsky/Marcus' link always seems to be overstated in the press. As stated above, Marcus plays a pretty much stock J Bass with a stock Bartolini preamp. Roger Sadowsky basically did some set-up work for him in the early days, based on my understanding, and talking to people that have had the pleasure of meeting and talking to Marcus.

    That being said, Marcus probably sounds like Marcus no matter what he's playing! :bassist:

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