Marcus Miller vs Geddy Lee?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by nqabassist26, Oct 4, 2006.

  1. Hey, I've been really wanting 1 of these 2 basses and just wanna hear from people who have played any of them how they sound and feel.

    Ive heard good things from both and I have no local stores anywhere to try them myself so I thought I'd ask the guys I can trust the most, the guys at talkbass, about them.

    So, how does the Fender Marcus Miller 4 string compare to the Fender Geddy Lee 4 string signature? Which one has a faster neck? stuff like that...
  2. 4-Bang'er

    4-Bang'er Guest

    Oct 3, 2006
    I think you'll find their gonna feel the same...narrow Jazz nice.....but for me...Rickenbackers are best for speed..I'm sure the finish and thin body add to the illusion of fast...but i still feel it!
  3. drumsnbass

    drumsnbass Bassic User

    Dec 13, 2004
    Phoenix AZ area
    I'll sell ya a nice Miller in near minty if you want...
  4. drumsnbass, what is your asking price?:
  5. purfektstranger


    Apr 10, 2003
    Sorry to rain on this happy moment but I suspect anytime now a mod will appear and suggest you get a contributing membership, which will allow you to sell your bass in the classifieds section as per site rules.
  6. johnpaulbass


    Nov 2, 2005
    Endorsing Artist: Gr Bass, Pyramid Strings, MPE Audio
    the main differnce is that the MM is active.. the gaddy .. no...
    they're both great...
    I actually prefer the MM because of more "tonal" options (passive/active..) and the natural wood...

    but if they give me a passive bass for that price I will surely go for the gaddy (oh yes.. I thing gaddy's bass has faster neck..)
  7. SuperDuck


    Sep 26, 2000
    Yeah, they're both pretty similar. The cosmetics and the preamp were the biggest differences that I was aware of. The Marcus Miller doesn't have a passive tone control, as well, and you're stuck with a boost-only active treble control.

    I don't mind it myself, but to some people it matters. :cool:
  8. NickyBass

    NickyBass Supporting Member

    Nov 28, 2005
    Southern New Jersey
    Yes, the difference is the preamp. And it is a big difference. I personally prefer passive basses...or, more accuratley, active basses with a passive switch. I think the decision is going to come down to that. Do you want active or passive? The Geddy will give you a more 'classic' 70's jazz bass tone, while the Marcus will give you a modern take on a classic tone. Either or, they are both cool basses. Neither one is really my thing, but I dig the vibe of both.
  9. D-Bone


    Jul 5, 2006
    There's a few more differences that that, my friend:

    1)The MM is made of Ash and is usually about 1-2 pounds heavier than the GL. (My MM weighed 11 Lbs.)

    2) The MM has +-18Db of Bass/Boost (no cut control) and +- 18Db of Treble Boost/Cut. (This is huge.) Fender uses their version of preamp instead of the traditional Shadowsky that MM has in his. And let me tell you, 18Db of treble boost will also boost any hiss if the pups are not balanced and hum too. What the pups hear, the preamp can/will make louder. (This bass would be a prime canidate for the Fender 'noiseless' NSC pups.

    3) The MM has NO passive tone controls at all. No mid control either.

    4)The time period of the headstock Logos would suggest thet the GL bass is a copy of a '75 or earlier Jazz and the MM is around '77 or later.

    5) (BIG ONE) the NECKS are very different. The MM is a 3 bolt "Tiltomatic" system and "bullet" style truss rod and the GL is the basic 4 bolt w/the truss at the bottom. The MoP blocks are inlays and the Black blocks on the GL are painted on.
    The 3 bolt neck of the MM allows you to actually "tilt" the neck's angle on the body and set up the truss. (3 bolt necks also have tended to have more issues with loose neck pockets and shifting necks, over the past years.).

    6) The GL's PG has to be taken off to adjust the trussrod.

    7) MMs are available in 4&5 versions and more color options. The GL has only 1 model.

    8) It would be easier to make the GL sound like the MM (with the right stomp pedal) than the MM to sound like the GL because of the active/no passive controls.

    *I've owned an '00 MM and loved the way the neck played, but had mixed feelings about it's electronics set-up. In a perfect world I would want the GL's set-up W/the MM neck.

    But hypotheticly if you were going to mod a bass this way, WHY do it to a signature bass? I mean if you're buying a bass designed for a specific player, why buy it if you don't like ALL the options on it? Both have good points and some issues that would make me opt for either a regular Jazz or add a J/Retro to one if that was the MM sound and style I wanted. YMMV.
  10. saxnbass


    Mar 9, 2006
    Nashville, TN
    To add onto what D-Bone said, the Geddy neck is shaved thinner, slightly. As far as I know the MM does have an active/passive switch, but no passive tone control. I liked the MM better overall, but it is a bit more expensive. Price being taken into the picture, they are the same, but if price is not a big factor, I'd get the MM.
  11. tplyons


    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    I loved them both, sans the necks (I'm a P-bass neck guy) and I just happened to get a good deal on a white Marcus Miller with a P-bass neck before a good deal came along on a Geddy. I'll have a P-necked Geddy one day though.
  12. blmeier7


    May 7, 2006
    Amarillo, TX
    Just like everyone has said, they are both great basses. Currently I have a MM4 and a Geddy jazz. I prefer the tone of the MM over the GL because there is more definition and clarity of notes on the MM, I have also noticed there is a deeper low end on the MM. I also love the neck on the MM, the GL neck was too small for me and caused my left hand to cramp after playing for a while. Others love the GL neck, but definitely something to keep in mind if you have large hands. The GL is lighter in weight than the MM (at least for the basses I have).

    I have since swapped necks on the GL with a Warmoth rosewood neck, I also added Nordstrand NJ4's and swapped the stock tuners on both basses with Hipshots.

    Either bass is a great choice. You can also get a good deal on a used one if you are patient. For reference, I pickup up the GL on ebay for $530 and the MM on bassgear for $500 (both used of course). Hope this helps some.
  13. Big Thump

    Big Thump

    Jun 29, 2005
    North of 49
    I vote for the Geddy, I don't like the electronics,the rickenbacker looking p.guard,or the hodgepodge looking controls of the MM,IMO if you're looking for a nice jazz with classic looks and great tone the Geddy can't be beat,I can live with the painted blocks,that's about the only knock for me.
  14. drumsnbass

    drumsnbass Bassic User

    Dec 13, 2004
    Phoenix AZ area
    actually did that last night! have yet to post in the for sale
    area though...
  15. Major Havoc

    Major Havoc

    Feb 15, 2005
    i love my geddy lee,was never one for active with big thump on this one.
  16. saxnbass


    Mar 9, 2006
    Nashville, TN
    I probably like the MM so much cause I'm a big Marcus Miller fan and love his tone.
  17. honeyboy


    Oct 31, 2004
    I love my Geddy Lee- sounds and plays great. At one point in time I has a problem with my thumb getting fatigued due to the neck shape but that doesn't seem to be an issue anymore. When I adjust my trussrod, I don't have to remove my pick guard, as stated by Dbone, I just loosen the neck so it comes up a bit. It really is a sweet sounding bass which cuts through the mix quite well.I think i prefer the neck on the Marcus Miller, however.
  18. D-Bone


    Jul 5, 2006
    Given the choice of the PG removal and the neck, I'd rather risk stripping the body's PG screws, than even 1 of the neck's anchoring screws. The body's abillity to hold the neck properly could become a future issue with removing any bolt-on neck excessively.

    An opton might be to buy a replacement PG with route precut in the PG (and/or getting a luthier to route the body for axcess to it.)

    This may sound extreme, but other basses (including Fenders) have and are already made this way, for this very reason. This is also one reason I prefer the Truss adjustment on the headstock. Rethreading a stripped neck with an insert (like the heli-coils) could have an impact on the instrument's tone to some varing degree. (this is another type of repair that happens, especially on the older 3 bolt versions as a last resort repair to save a vintage neck.)

    Some forget (or don't realize) that the G string has more tention on it than the E. The D also has more than the A. Over time, this can create a situation (called lateral shift) where the G string tries to ride off the edge of the fretboard and causes your finger to "slip" off the board, when playing. And all of that "Lateral Tention" is on the those neck screws and can slowly "oval" these mounting holes in the body and neck, even if you don't take the neck off often.

    Just something to think about............
  19. I don't think the MM has active/passive. The Reggie Hamilton is the only bass being produced by Fender with the active/passive. I'm not positive, but I'm close.

    And Geddy's made this year and from now on (06 models+) will have real inlays instead of paint.
  20. saxnbass


    Mar 9, 2006
    Nashville, TN
    Yay. It's about time.
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