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Returned the Marcus Miller-V Today...

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Keeaumoku, Dec 2, 2005.

  1. Keeaumoku


    Dec 29, 2004
    Under a different thread I had posted that I had finally purchased and received a Marcus Miller-V, which arrived this past Monday. I had read many opinions regarding this bass right here in TB. Some were very favorable and supportive, while several others had issues... and most of those issues had to do with getting a gratifying tone.

    I've stated this before, but here in the islands it seems most music stores will not stock any of these higher-end instruments. Obviously this doesn't allow one the opportunity to try one out before making a buy. Even though I had digested a great many opinions regarding the MM-V, and most of those comments appeared to be in disfavor of the bass, as I'm sure is the case with most of you, I still had to check one out on my own... so I did.

    You know... seeing pictures of this bass, especially one that's "aged natural"... the precise one I sent back... I just found this bass to be absolutely beautiful! I loved the block pearl inlays and white binding on the neck. I even liked the giant black pick guard. However, the feature I liked the most was how easy it played. It just seemed to play itself. I hated to put it down!

    However... the majority of you TBers who commented on the MM-V... IMO, were right. As much as I tried, and I played with this bass for hours, I just couldn't seem to get a sound out of it that I truly liked. I even ran it through my three different amplifiers: Ashdown ABM500, Aguilar DB750, and my beloved Marshall VBA400. While this beautiful instrument made my hands smile with joy, my ears were left hanging in the wind. I just couldn't find a satisfying high-end punch from this bass.

    So... my long desire to have my very own Marcus Miller-V has ended in deep disappointment. I read where some MM-V owners swapped-out the Fender onboard preamp for the Sadowsky equivalent, and they said that did the trick. I thought about that for maybe 6 seconds, and then I figured, with the added cost of their preamp, I might as well buy a Sadowsky. Oh well... for now I'm just going to console my sorrow by sticking with my Stu Hamm Urge-II and Thumb-5 NT... I'm also going to have to cry in my beer, as it's costing me $71.00 to ship this axe back to Musician's Friend via UPS. As we say out here in the islands, "Lucky you live Hawaii..." Imagine that... seventy-one bucks for a test drive! :scowl:

    Question: Is Fender just so damn big now that they ignore the crys of their faithful customers? Surely others have voiced their displeasure with the sound of the MM-V... Well, I shall make an attempt to let them know how I feel. :(
  2. Oxblood

    Oxblood Banned

    Apr 17, 2005
    Baltimore, MD
    Im sorry to hear that, have you considered trying out another bass yet? Perhaps a more cheaper choice, like a Geddy Lee? It good you still have your Warwick Thumb atleast.
  3. I sold my MMIV for the same reason... I could not cop a decent finger tone out of the thing no matter how hard I tried. The slap tone was to die for, but the weight and lack of versatility was alarming.

    Sorry about the shipping costs and all though... that sure is a shame. Be happy with the Thumb-5 and Urge though. Those are both excellent instruments.
  4. tmax

    tmax Supporting Member

    Dec 2, 2005
    Hallowell, Maine
    Hey man that is a real drag about the MM5. I am guessing that the boost only preamp is hard to work with ( though the sadowsky is the same and everyone loves them.). I returned the only bass i ever bought online and it's no fun paying that shipping. At this price point you should try and get your hands on a Sadowsky Metroline 5, it might just give you what you want for a couple hundred bucks more. I wonder if the giant control cavity on the MM makes it darker sounding?
  5. You pretty much nailed EXACTLY why I did not meld with the MM5...I LOVED my MM4 only AFTER I addd the Sadowsky pre...I still highly recommend the MM4 if you can find a good one...Sorry it did not work out...you have to try the Sadowsky though....I have recently picked up an MV5 and it is the bomb for sure!


  6. Keeaumoku


    Dec 29, 2004
    Why thank you, Hell... I do, indeed, apppreciate your condolences, as well as your suggestion. About 3 - 4 years ago one of the stores here in Honolulu had a Geddy hanging on the wall. I fooled around with it, and put it back on its hook thinking that I could buy one of them. I liked it's feel, and it did sound like a really fine Jazz bass. If I do remember correctly, the Geddy is passive, and if that's right, then I gotta tell you that the MM-V on passive is like a ghost in the machine! Fender's engineers seemed to have taken the definition of "passive" literally, 'cuz the passive mode on the MM-V is an apperition... it disappeared! :eek:

    The Geddy Lee, IMO, is a truly fine axe, but she's not for me. If you ever get a chance to try out a Stuey... you might be surprised! The Stu Hamm Urge-II runs about $1300...

    Tommix... I distinctly recall a comment or two from you regarding Fender's Marcus Miller tribute. You and I, sir, are definitely wired-in as far as this particular axe is concerned. So... you gotta agree with me that the Marcus Miller... either the 4, or the 5, is one fine looking bass, and it does play like butter... Can I get an amen?!? :bassist:

    Me ke'aloha pumehana.... :cool:
  7. Greg Jones

    Greg Jones

    Dec 1, 2005
    Thornton, CO
    Bummer man. It's too bad it didn't work out better.

    Now your mention of your Stu perked my ears up a bit. I'm in the market and that model did catch my eye. I owned an original Urge but was a bit put off by the shorter scale.

    Not to derail too much but would love to hear you talk about the II sometime.
  9. tplyons


    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    Guess I'm one of the few who likes the preamp. I mean I'm contemplating throwing in an OBP-1 just for stacked knobs so I can put a passive control.

    Sucks that you didn't like her, I'd love to give one a whirl.
  10. bugbass


    Apr 8, 2004
    I suggest you have a close look at the Lakland DJ5, this is in my opinion a better bass than the MM5, and cheaper. Yes I know it`s passive an the MM is active, but still think the Lakland has better response, and a much better B. You can always put a Sadowsky outboard pre on it.

    The Lakland is a real bargain, and it gets just as much playtime now as my Sadowsky NYC.
  11. Luis Fabara

    Luis Fabara

    Aug 13, 2000
    Ecuador (South America)
    Audio Pro - Ecuador
    +1 . Highly Recommend the DJ5, add a Retro.. and you are set!
  12. bugbass


    Apr 8, 2004
    To Luis Fabara:
    Do you recomend the retro over the sadowsky, soundwise?
    And does the retro tighten up the bottom the same way the sadowsky does?
  13. Luis Fabara

    Luis Fabara

    Aug 13, 2000
    Ecuador (South America)
    Audio Pro - Ecuador
    For Real.. I have never tried a Sadowsky bass or Pre...
    I know.. its sad.

    But, I can tell you that I have a 55-02, and the DJ sounded a lot better.. more defined... growly.. jazzy... Its great. And the feel is great.. is a very responsive bass.

    On the J retro.. I cant comment much. I have only tried it on this DJ with Aero´s
  14. gfab333


    Mar 22, 2000
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    As background I have a Lakland Skyline JO5 w/ J-Retro and a Sad Metro Ultra Vintage 5. I've played a couple of MM-5s locally and was somewhat favorably impressed with these particular basses, given the street price. Easy to play, great tone, good workmanship and finish (with the exception of the overly yellowed finish on the neck). the Marcus Miller tone popped right out at you with a bit of slapping.

    Sorry to hear that this bass did not work for you. and yes, I agree, Fender's quality control is still problematic. A few years back, some TBers may recall me leaving a number of posts on TB regarding a Fender FMT 5 that I bought on line which had a defective neck - warped so bad that it could not be corrected by the truss rod. I really liked the bass, and would have loved to just replace the neck. Fender refused, so I returned the bass to the retailer.

    "Do you recomend the retro over the sadowsky, soundwise?
    And does the retro tighten up the bottom the same way the sadowsky does?"

    First off, the Retro is slightly noiser than the Sad pre. Not a problem for live performances, but it may be problematic for recording IMHO. I don't believe one is better than the other. Tone-wise, both sound great. The low end for both preamps is fat, full, and articulate to my years. The Sad might have a possible edge in balls and bottom, IMHO. A nice feature of the J-Retro... you might appreciate having the sweepable mid control in certain gig situations. However, this by no means makes it the better preamp. hope this helps.
  15. bannedwit


    May 9, 2005
    Buffalo, NY
    Fender isn't what they used to be IMO. Maybe it was musiciansfriend.com?

    I got a MIM P-Bass from musicains friend and was all getty like a school girl... until i plugged it in. DOA pickups.
    I wrote a disappointing letter to Fender that they slacked in their whole check up before ship out department. I returned the pickups as well while I threw some Quarter pounders in the P Bass

    4 months later I got Affinity pickups striaght from Fender. Affinity = less than Squire... much less than MIM Great people.
  16. hands5


    Jan 15, 2003
    good 'ol USA/Tampa fla.
    that is why I can't wait for mine to arrive in April of all things :meh: ,however I like my MM5.I bought a used EBS DI box which is also a preamp that gives it some oompf.Sorry the MM5 didn't do it for you
  17. hands5


    Jan 15, 2003
    good 'ol USA/Tampa fla.
    Hey Luis I have no doubt that the DJ sounds incredible with a J-Retro,but I gotta tell ya it's a helluva bass with just the stock passive Aero pickups and a Radial Engineering JDI Direct Box
  18. bikeplate

    bikeplate Supporting Member

    Jun 7, 2001
    Upstate NY

    Really should consider stepping up to a Lakland or Sadowsky

  19. Keeaumoku


    Dec 29, 2004
    Aloha Rob...

    First off... is that your website... Rob Desantis? If so... very nice!

    Secondly... my problem is: I live in Hawaii. Now I realize you, and maybe a few others, just might be asking yourselves, "How can one have a problem living in Hawaii?" Believe me... like any other place, it happens! For instance: when it comes to wanting to tryout a "special" bass, one is hard-pressed to get that opportunity out here.

    There is no Sadowsky dealer that I'm aware of here in the islands. I've read so many complimentary posts here on TB regarding the Sadowsky product line, and I would jump at an opportunity to hold one in my hands! There is a Lackland dealer, but from what I saw at his store, which wasn't much at all... well, I wasn't very impressed.

    Like I said: I would very much like to see what the Sadowskys are all about, but it seems I have to leave my island home in order to do so... that gets expensive when you have to hop on an airplane...

    Thanks again for your comment! :bassist:
  20. bikeplate

    bikeplate Supporting Member

    Jun 7, 2001
    Upstate NY

    Sorry to hear of your dilemma. Next time you are on the mainland, let me know where. I'll try to direct you to a dealer that has both. Good luck