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My dilemma...A man must choose between 2 basses...any comments, advice, etc??

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Grahams Groove, Jan 11, 2004.

  1. Grahams Groove

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

    Apr 13, 2001
    Boulder, CO

    I have fallen in love with two basses and I have the money for either one. The first is the Marcus Miller Jazz Bass...4 string, MIJ. You know the one. For me it has the best slap tone I have heard, but the finger style tone I desire is tough to dial up in that bass. It seems to me that when playing fingerstyle on it, I can't get the low mids to be nice and punchy and clear like I want. I messed with the tone controls a bunch and I just cant quite get the sound I really want...

    On the other hand, there's the warwick corvette in blue with the MEC gold P-ups...This has the fingerstyle tone I'm looking for, but the slap needs just a bit more punch and thump which I'm having trouble getting...the slap tone seems a tiny bit too thin (on certain notes) at times.

    If I could combine the two, I'd be in heaven as far as tone goes, but now I'm tryiong to decide which I need more...The price ranges are quite different, but I'm not letting that factor in since I'm buying the bass for it's tone and playability, not it's price.

    Now...here's where you come in...Does anyone have any suggestions, reccomendations, tips, etc...for how to improve the things that I felt were slightly lacking on each of these basses?

    i don't know if it's really important (due to the fact that I am looking into a new amp setup within the next year) but I am currently playing through a carvin R-1000 head w/ two mesa/boogie diesel style cabs (a 1x15 and a 4x10 - both front ported). I would prefer not to use amp EQ too much to dictate sound, because I want the natural sound of the bass to be aquireable on all types of amps, meaning I'd want most of the EQ'ing coming from the bass' controls.

    Well, thats about it...any comments, concerns, questions, tips, or input on any of this at all would be awesome...anything else that I didn't mention that you think I should be considering? please let me know...I'm trying to be as open minded and bias-free about these two basses as possible.

  2. James Hart

    James Hart

    Feb 1, 2002
    Endorsing Artist: see profile
    get the MM and upgrade the pre and/or pickups
  3. Grahams Groove

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

    Apr 13, 2001
    Boulder, CO
    the thing is, I don't even knwo where to start or how that will change the slap tone of the bass, and...idk where to get work like that done on my bass around here (milwaukee, WI are)...I haven't the slightest idea if there are any good luthiers around here. Also, how much does that run?

    Could you give me an idea on where to look for a new/improved pre-amp?
  4. James Hart

    James Hart

    Feb 1, 2002
    Endorsing Artist: see profile
    I know some people have fit a U-Retro pre into the MM pickguard for great improvement in tone. The MM is constructed of the same woods as my bass (Ash/Maple)... mine has DiMarzio Ultra Jazz and I'm real happy with the varied tones it'll nail. I also dig Bartolini pickups (my current fretless has a pair).

    Which ever way you go it shouldn't require much work. Most all the big and small pickup winders make "standard Jazz" models that will drop right in and wire right up.
  5. malthumb


    Mar 25, 2001
    The Motor City
    I'm with Speddling on this one. For a few months I owned a Marcus Miller that a previous owner installed a U-Retro. The desired effect is what you'll get......


  6. Grahams Groove

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

    Apr 13, 2001
    Boulder, CO
    Where do I go abotu finding the pre-amp you speak of, and could a place like guitar center do that type of work for a reasonable price? idk where else to go for work like that...

    Also, just to maybe compare the tone I'm looking for out of teh jazz for fingerstyle...I was hoping it would sound a bit more like an improved more punchy version of the fingerstyle tone on my MIM Deluxe jazz...the Marcu Jazz Bass seems much improved on the lows and highs, but I get better growl, punch and clarity on the low mids with my current MIM jazz...Still think that pre-amp would do the trick? Also, how much do those run? As far as installment goes, is it just a matter of dropping the preamp in and soldering the wires? (Just trying to get an idea of what needs to be done)

    Thanks for the help
  7. James Hart

    James Hart

    Feb 1, 2002
    Endorsing Artist: see profile
  8. Aaron Saunders

    Aaron Saunders

    Apr 27, 2002
    A less pricey and a less "tone colouring" alternative is the Aguilar OBP-3. A lot more difficult to install though.

  9. Frank Martin

    Frank Martin Bitten by the luthiery bug...

    Oct 8, 2001
    Budapest, Hungary, EU
    Those both are great basses. My teacher plays a MMsig and i have a Corvette 6. Both are great, but different (mine is even more different as it is a bubinga-bodied Standard)

    The MMsig indeed has a great slap sound, but my teacher can get great tones out of it with everything stock - while with MIJ variations in quality are less frequent, they are far more even than a MIM, it still might be a worse one you tried. maybe...

    As for the Corvette, which one did you try? is it possible that it was only a Rockbass? If yes, then you owe it to yourself to try the German-made ones, too. Maybe a standard has too much growl for you, but the Proline and the FNA Jazzman may just be what you want.
    As for the slap issue, i dont have any problems with it (i even got used to the 17mm). The slap sound is quite different in my case, though: it is far more growly and a bit "unclean" compared to the MMsig and other basses; but that comes from the woods (bubinga, ovangkol and wenge).

    For me, it was not hard to decide: the MM was not available in 6 or at least 5 then and did not come in lefty...

    So, good luck with choosing and dont forget to try both of them (or even more!)
  10. Grahams Groove

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

    Apr 13, 2001
    Boulder, CO

    I'm positive it was a german made. I've tried the rockbasses before...sound good, but that head stock, ugh.


    The thing with the MM is not that it sounds bad, it's just that I like a little more low-mid growl, punch and I like it a bit cleaner than I'm getting. Thats why I am looking into dropping the J-retro into it...I think the higher quality pre-amp along with a parametric mid range Eq setup on the bass itself would really help.

    How much do the fna jazzman's run?

    Also, my one thing that also had me leaning towards the MM sig was the playability...it just felt a bit smoother to me.

    Anyway, thanks for the comments...keep em coming.
  11. MMiller28


    Apr 27, 2003
    graham go try out the fna jazzman at gc. i think you'll be very happy with the slap tone. im not sure about punchiness though, however i was trying to dial in as much growl as possible and it was wonderful.
  12. xyllion

    xyllion Commercial User

    Jan 14, 2003
    San Jose, CA, USA
    Owner, Looperlative Audio Products
    Have you tried a G&L L-2000?

    BTW, The MM J-Retro is a special order item and can be obtained directly from the US distributor: Steve "Dude" Barr. He has a forum for discussion of these preamps: http://pub206.ezboard.com/fthedudepitfrm2
  13. Woodchuck


    Apr 21, 2000
    Atlanta (Grant Park!)
    Gallien Krueger for the last 12 years!
    I think you should send me the money that you was using to get the bass.

    What?! He said ANY comment! :D

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