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Moding a Marcus Miller...

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by ZenBass, Jan 18, 2004.


  1. Hey fellow TB'ers

    After much consideration and and bank balance checking i think i might not be able to stretch to a New Bass just at the moment...so0 instead of selling my Marcus Miller i am gonna keep it and i want update quite a few different things on it to make more into a bass for rock/funk/hardcore..please any input would great appreciated..

    The pickups and electronics have also cause me jip...never really been able to get the fingerstyle sound ive been after...so0o i really would like to update the pickups and electroincs.

    I really like humbuckers and sound and warmth and would like to retro fit some on the Marcus..has anyone got any ideas as to which i should choose..I can either go for

    EMGS
    Barts or
    Status Hyperactive

    also any good sugestions for a pre-amp would be greatly appreciated...

    Also the hardware on the bass has always been a gripe to me...i want to follow in the footsteps of my GB and put

    Hipshot Ultra-light Tuners and
    ABM 3D Bridge on....

    would these help tighen the action..cause if u dig in the action goes all floppy...

    All hardware will be black...!!..

    The pots are also very flimsy and i would like to replace them with tigher pots as used on Sads, GB's Sei Jazz's and the like..does anyone know what these are..looking at warmoth its hard to find out...

    Also any other idea to make the strings tighter but without rasing the action and to get a more rock bass outta it then please feel free...or..

    I could still sell my Marcus and probably have around £700 to spend ($1200) but what to get...??..

    thanks you in advance..
     
  2. NioeZero

    NioeZero

    Sep 2, 2001
    If you want "tighter" strings, you should look at heavier gauges. Try LaBella Deep Talkin' roundwounds, they've got a set that go from .044 to .110, and they are some of the tightest strings I've ever played. I don't know if you detune, that might be causing excess floppiness as well.
     
  3. I used Elites 45's and dont' detune...and i dont use a pick at al... just the setup is great for slap...but my GB Custom kills the Marcus when it comes to slap on both feel and tone....

    I guess it might have been the bass intended since marcus doesnt dig in or play rock very often hehe...
     
  4. BoiNtC

    BoiNtC

    Nov 25, 2002
    NYC, USA
    Instead of changing the pickups, you have the option of getting a J-Retro fitted into the same black plate as the Marcus sig. Its amazing tone will blow you away, plus when you sell it, you can take out your preamp and take it with ya and resell it to someone else if ya want :)
     
  5. Dude

    Dude Commercial User

    Mar 19, 2000
    AZ
    Owner: The Dude Pit Forum (closed) Producer: School of Bass
    Here's the MM J-Retro

    [​IMG]
     
  6. Mikefish07

    Mikefish07

    Apr 6, 2003
    I have Marcus Miller and was going to change to the fender noiseless pickups and wire in a tone control when it's in passive mode. I like the bass but can't stand the pickguard. Got any suggestions?
     
  7. Marlat

    Marlat

    Sep 17, 2002
    London UK
    FWIW the bass player from Opeth (progressive death metal band) uses a Marcus Miller sig live and in the studio and the tone cuts through the guitars and is really good - probably one of the best metal bass sounds ive heard. He is a exclusively finger player (maybe he does a bit of slap work on Blackwater Park - but its pretty much all finger style)

    Can't say whether its modified - but I wouldn't give up on the MM for fingerstyle yet.
     
  8. Hey


    Thank you very much for all your useful ideas...i am tempted by this J-Retro

    £180 is alot you can always re-sell afterwards..

    what kinda tone does it have? compared with normal Fender sound?....

    I am looking for that punchy punchy sound but also one that if I go up and down the neck the notes can still be heard and felt

    With my GB going up the neck even on the 20th fret on the G the notes sing out but also pack a meaty punch...fantastic

    also...i was told you can get pickup covers that are just caps that go over the pickups to give a soapbar look..?...just really to stop the pickups getting dirty..is this true?..i like to rest on my soapbars when playing rock because it give good stabilty for doin hard rock...when playign jazz or funk i rest my fingers on the strings trad fashion...

    Also...has anyone managed to get a tight action on the MM soo it doesnt just flop about

    (sorry these question skip different forums)
     
  9. sheepdog

    sheepdog

    Feb 20, 2003
    Birmingham, AL
    You can get an Aguilar OBP-3 installed and prewired in a MM pickguard for under $200. Various ways you can have it wired.

    I was going to do this on a MM and have it wired

    vol/vol, bass/treble, mid, passive tone with a mid freq select switch and an active/passive switch.

    Only thing would be to wire in the pickups and ground wires. Not bad for under $200. I like the J retro, but this would have given the added flexibility I wanted.
     
  10. Mike A

    Mike A Supporting Member

    Oct 3, 2002
    Kentucky
    You can save yourself a WHOLE LOT of trouble if you want to dish out $300 on the killer (yet reversible) MM J-Retro mod.
     
  11. sheepdog

    sheepdog

    Feb 20, 2003
    Birmingham, AL
    honest question... is it worth the extra $100 when you only have a 2 way pickup selector switch in passive mode? (versus full pickup adjustability in passive mode)
     
  12. Razor

    Razor

    Sep 22, 2002
    Dallas
    Anyone know where an aftermarket MM pickguard can be found? Looking for a plain white one..
     
  13. HEY! Where can I purchase one of these. I always felt that the pre-amp in the Marcus Miller sig was the weak link and if this is available, I'll buy it and my old MM back.
     
  14. gfab333

    gfab333

    Mar 22, 2000
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    I have a J-Retro in my Skyline JO 5. It's a very versatile and effective preamp!
     
  15. cheezewiz

    cheezewiz

    Mar 27, 2002
    Ohio
    A retro is one of the best mods you can make to a bass. Its extremely versatile, easy to install, and sounds damn good.
    Dude is the US distributor of these preamps. Get ahold of him and he can hook you up. Its just my personal opinion, but I've had basses with retros, and I have had basses with aguilar preamps, and the aguilars aren't even in the same league. The retro IS worth the extra money.
     
  16. MyDogBo

    MyDogBo

    Aug 25, 2002
    LA
    i'm with you -- "reversible" is key othewise i'd start with another bass and sell that one as is...
     
  17. MyDogBo

    MyDogBo

    Aug 25, 2002
    LA
    you'd have to have one made up in your own color using yours as the template .. it's kinda like the popemobile .. you can't just buy one .. the guard came as a result of Roger's original mod (with minimal disruption) to Marcus' (Miller) bass in the early 80's.
     
  18. MyDogBo

    MyDogBo

    Aug 25, 2002
    LA
    you do know that the guard is a direct result of the original mod that Roger made to mm's 77 mij in order to stuff the active electronics in it plus added controls ..don't you?