Marcus Miller V restoration

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by andysvec, Sep 27, 2022.

  1. andysvec

    andysvec Supporting Member

    Aug 15, 2004
    was Guam, now Vegas!
    So I used to own a music store while living on Guam, one of my first Fender Dealer orders in 2007 I ordered a US Marcus Miller V in vintage white for myself. I hung it on the showroom for a while and a good friend wanted to buy it, so I sold it. I remember it looking like this:


    He ended up quitting bass and gave it to a friend, whom recently gave it back to me and said it was in bad shape. I received it today, wasn't expecting this but way worse than I imagined. I know the original buyer swore by lubing up his fingerboards with olive oil to practice, thus the fingerboard and neck discoloration.

    I have disassembled it mostly today and did my first cleaning (with gloves and mask as he owned many cats). Just wanted to make a post to detail the restoration of it, not sure how to clean the fingerboard as I tried cleaning products already, I think I'm gonna have to have the neck refinished everywhere except the front of headstock. Also truss seems locked up, will get into that soon.

    Any advice is greatly appreciated on any aspects of this project! Here's the original pics of how it arrived, will add my disassembly and first cleaning pics next:

    IMG_3823.jpg IMG_3824.jpg IMG_3825.jpg IMG_3826.jpg IMG_3827.jpg IMG_3828.jpg IMG_3832.jpg IMG_3834.jpg IMG_3835.jpg
    Microbass likes this.
  2. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    Well, it needs a Brazilian wax amongst other things.

    I would fully disassemble to better gauge the true damage. A thorough cleaning wouldn't hurt...naptha is perfect and I believe others use Windex.

    Sorry, I didn't read the full post but we're on the same page.

  3. holy crap. subbed.
    andysvec and Zooberwerx like this.
  4. CoughSyrup

    CoughSyrup Supporting Member

    Jun 23, 2022
    Oh, that's beyond saving. You should dispose of it properly by sending it to me.
    andysvec likes this.
  5. Oh man! Cat hair and rancid olive oil. You prolly need a full hazmat suit and respirator. Good luck. If I was foolish enough to take this on I’d probably try Simple Green and, if needed, move up to whatever solvent wouldn’t hurt the finish like mineral spirits or lacquer thinner, assuming it’s a polyurethane finish, to get all that off. :vomit::rollno:
    andysvec likes this.
  6. Geri O

    Geri O Endorsing Artist, Mike Lull Guitars and Basses Gold Supporting Member

    Sep 6, 2013
    Florence, MS
    My gosh….

    How could anyone look at an instrument and not see its condition deteriorating in front of their very eyes.

    I was ready to fall on a stake because I forgot my beloved Lull being in my truck and letting it sit there for a couple of hours. I had gotten in from a gig and took in my music stand and iPad and was headed back to the truck when I got a phone call that distracted my attention. I was almost in bed when I remembered I hadn’t brought the bass and the small combo amp inside. I felt awful about that!….:D

    No doubt, that bass will need a LOT of work and probably a few replacement parts. But it appears doable….
    SJLee and andysvec like this.
  7. timmus

    timmus Just a Stranger Passing Through Supporting Member

    wow :atoz:
    andysvec likes this.
  8. Will_White


    Jul 1, 2011
    Salem, OR
    I think it probably got put In a closet that the cat liked and was out of sight out of mind.
    andysvec likes this.
  9. Turrible
    andysvec likes this.
  10. DWBass

    DWBass The Funkfather

    If you're feeling lazy about cleaning it yourself, send it to Johnny Lee Long in Richmond, VA. He'll have that thing looking brand spanking new.
    andysvec likes this.
  11. Mechayoshi


    Dec 7, 2015
    Sorry OP, when I clicked I wasn't.. expecting that..

    Was it kept outside?
    Steve Slate and andysvec like this.
  12. HeavyJazz

    HeavyJazz Supporting Member

    Jan 26, 2013
    Central Virginia
    Where on the Titanic was it discovered?
    Personally, I'd toss it and move on.
  13. andysvec

    andysvec Supporting Member

    Aug 15, 2004
    was Guam, now Vegas!
    I've done a preliminary cleaning and disassembly will post pics soon, looks 100times better already. Body/electronics not so bad at all, the problem is the neck. These MM necks had a tinted clear coating all around on the back and fingerboard, the olive oil has gotten under the fingerboard clear coat and stained the board along with parts of the back. Plus now the clear coat is flaking off the front, and many of the lower frets have a lot fret wear. I talked with one luthier and said that to fix the neck correctly would be to pull all the frets and refin the board/back of neck/and a refret. So I'm considering that now since I have $0 into it so far (just shipping $), truss works fine now that I let some oil sit on it for a while. post pics soon!
    kesslari and Matt Liebenau like this.
  14. MonetBass

    MonetBass ♪ Just listen ♫ Supporting Member

    Sep 15, 2006
    As others have suggested, it may be cheaper & easier at this point just to find a new neck for it. But kudos to you for tackling this!
  15. That’s probably doable. Pull the frets, hit the fretboard with a radius block and clean up what’s there then refret and refinish. My only caution if you do it yourself would be I don’t know how thick those position marker blocks are. Be careful of sanding through those.
    andysvec likes this.
  16. A refret is definitely going to be required. Personally, I'd rip them out, and get sanding, clean up of much of that as you can then hand off to luthier/tech for refret and finish.
    andysvec likes this.
  17. BassikLee

    BassikLee Commercial User

    Feb 13, 2004
    Starke, FL
    Owner: JLA Custom In Ear Monitors
    Personally, I'd look for a replacement neck. The body seems fine. That maple is stained/oil soaked under the finish. It's always going to be dark like that, and you'll likely never be able to get a finish to stick to it.
    MonetBass likes this.
  18. andysvec

    andysvec Supporting Member

    Aug 15, 2004
    was Guam, now Vegas!
    some progress, waiting back on a quote to refin/refret/plek the neck. Still need some more elbow grease on the body, all the plastic parts are soaking in cleaner have to hit them too. IMG_3982.jpg after 1.jpg IMG_3979.jpg
    Steve Slate and Will_White like this.
  19. Clark Westfield

    Clark Westfield Floyd Pepper is my mentor!

    Jan 30, 2012
    Central New Jersey
    So after receiving the bass back from your friend, did you ever bonk him on the head for neglecting your old bass?
    Steve Slate, Geri O, andysvec and 3 others like this.
  20. Sir you are a true hero taking that poor neglected thing into your care..
    No instrument should ever suffer this kind of trauma.....Cheers!

    gotta say the staining on the fretboard is kinda groovy though.....