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Opinion of Fender Marcus Miller Jazz Bass

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Laurence U., Feb 18, 2004.


  1. Laurence U.

    Laurence U.

    Oct 25, 2003
    London
    I have just been offered the sale of a japanese Fender Marcus Miller Jazz Bass. It is the four string model, a natural ash colour, with switchable passive/actice pickups. I was just wondering if anyone had any experience with one of these basses and could share their opinions. I am particularily interested in getting the classic jazz bass sound, although there are some circumstances where an active sound would be more appropriate.
    thanks in advance,
    Laurence
     
  2. Whafrodamus

    Whafrodamus

    Oct 29, 2003
    Andover, MA
    I played one at guitar center. It was a good bass, but the pickup guard got annoying (Minor thing that can be removed with ease). The neck was a little too thin for my likes, but it was still good.
     
  3. I-Love-Ratm

    I-Love-Ratm

    Feb 24, 2003
    I think if you want the classic jazz bass sound you would be better off with somethin else
     
  4. boogiebass

    boogiebass

    Aug 16, 2000
    I own one just like what you describe. I'm very impressed with it. Fit 'n finish is outstanding, playability is superb and it has arguably the best slap tone of just about any production bass around, certainly any in its price class. The pickups can be a little noisy with a revealing rig, as can any J bass. Mine is also well-balanced and takes to a low-action setup very well. If a Marcus-like slap tone is a priority, you can't go wrong, IMO. OTOH, as you state, you're mainly looking for a "classic Jazz bass sound," there are numerous other instruments that would suit you better. Standard J, AmSeries J, etc. In any case, good luck.
     
  5. MAJOR METAL

    MAJOR METAL HARVESTER OF SORROW Staff Member Supporting Member

    I had played one over the summer at guitar center and i have to say it was probably the only fender i would consider buying. The quality seemed to me to be higher then the US and Mexican bass being produced by fender. The neck was bounded and inlayed with detail and quality it does produce noise when the pick ups are soloed it just the norm of single coil pickups. Good Luck
     
  6. sambass

    sambass

    Apr 15, 2003
    MA
    excellent bass, a good friend of mine bought one last year, and i have played it quite a few times. not so much the classic fender sound, although im sure you could dial it in, but great for funk/slap and more aggresive playing.
     
  7. pyrohr

    pyrohr

    Aug 28, 2001
    Pakistani compound
    Like said here in this thread, The Marcus Miller is an excellent bass for funk and some other styles. I own one and I use it for the funk stuff. In passive mode the tone controls do not work, the pre-amp is bassically flat. In passive mode the treble and bass knobs are all boost and no cut, so that should be taken into consideration. I have the option to use an aggie DB924 pre-amp with my MM bass if I want to. My bass also has been rewired to totally bybass the pre-amp in passive mode, this does give you a true passive bass, still no tone control though.
     
  8. Agreed with all above, plus this--it's got a nice, sharp, tight slap sound but IMO it doesn't have enough midrange for decent fingerstyle tone.
    But it is a copy of Marcus Miller's bass, after all. No callouses on his fingertips...
     
  9. Christopher

    Christopher

    Apr 28, 2000
    New York, NY
    Very bright sounding even when passive; also heavy. If you want the "classic" jazz sound, check out something else.
     
  10. ^^^^^

    i agree, it has a really good jazz tone.
     
  11. pyrohr

    pyrohr

    Aug 28, 2001
    Pakistani compound
    I don't know about heavy, if you go with a thick,wide padded strap you will have no problem with the weight. I find it no heavier that any of my other fenders. As for a classic jazz you can get a MIA used for 6 or 700 bucks.
     
  12. Steve Clark

    Steve Clark Supporting Member

    Jan 9, 2004
    London ON
    Does anyone have any experience with the 5 string that just came out? I think it would be a cool bass to have.
     
  13. XxBlackOrchidxX

    XxBlackOrchidxX

    Dec 23, 2003
    | played on at guitar center a few days ago, | thought it was quite good, its the only fender that | actually like...if only it had more than 4/5 strings.
     
  14. I think it is a beautiful instrument and it has a lot of character. Plus, it has a tonal variety you don't see (hear) often with fender instruments. I especcialy like the sunburst version. Of course you have to like the Marcus Miller sound when you consider buying this bass.
     
  15. Mud Flaps

    Mud Flaps

    Feb 3, 2003
    Norton, MA
    I think they're fantastic. They really get the vintage J sound, yet cost thousands less than a real vintage J. I would remove the pick guard, but other than that I would take it like it is.
     
  16. contrabajisimo

    contrabajisimo

    Feb 9, 2004
    Chicago
    I love my MM4. But I always wondered why Fender can't find a guy whose not cross-eyed to place the decal right? It also does not have real pearl block inlays, these are some kind of white plastic that kinda looks like pearl blocks, which is all cosmetic matters, of course. I resoldered some wires in the cavity and made a true-bypass of the preamp. Now it sounds so good in passive I rarely switch the preamp on.

    Very cool and sexy bass.
     
  17. Played one at GC not too long ago, looked good, played good, but the pickup cover was just too aggrevating for me.
     
  18. I have one,, and i dont really like it...the neck finish is very sticky so its free flowing as my GB..

    THe eletronics suck quite a lot...get a nice tone but not enough output..and the passive tone is truely awful...IMHO...

    The fit and finish are respectiable for a MIJ but by no means top quality..it is alotta money for a simple jazz bass..and i can get that marcus tone out of a standard one...there isnt really anything special about the pickups in the MM....remember that marcus's tone lies in his technqiue and his bart/sadowsky sound...

    Hence i am selling it...

    and getting another GB..

    also

    you can remover the scratch plate on the marcus due to the fact that it is routed.....

    and the pickup cover is removeble with just two screws..tho i switch betweeen having it on....


    Nice basss...but i just wasnt thrilled to bits with it....:)...
     
  19. appler

    appler Guest

    It's a quality bass (for the price) built along the lines of a 70's J, but with the preamp added. And a BadAss II bridge. I played one that belonged to my friend extensively (without the pickup cover) It looks great, sounds great both active and passive, and is well made. I'd go for it. Make sure you get some light roundwounds on there and low action! So hot.
     
  20. AJ Love

    AJ Love

    Oct 8, 2002
    Madison WI USA
    I owned one (briefly) and played a bunch of them at various stores and I think they are just OK. for a production Fender bass they are pretty good, but I just don't think real highly of most production Fender basses (the American Series P bass is pretty cool)

    for just a slight bit more $$ you can get into a used Elrick or Lull bass which will completely blow away the Fender MM in every conceivable way

    an Elrick with maple neck and ash body and Bartolini pre-amp is actually closer to Marcus REAL bass than the Fender MM bass