Suggestions on Marcus bass

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by chinjazz, Aug 3, 2003.

  1. All, I have a Fender Marcus Signature bass (4string). Since I go back and fourth w/my MTD 535 I sometimes find the lower output on the Marcus not a punchy enough transition..
    (Too many adjustments on the bass rig)

    I'm looking for suggestions on either new pick ups or a beefier on board pre. I've got an outboard Aguilar Pre (the $179 deal) that I don't use because of convenience and the clarity just isn't right for this bass. Any thoughts out there?

    Just wanted some sort of sanity check before I ventured down the path that could be too costly.


  2. steve-o

    steve-o Guest

    Apr 17, 2002
    i think the u-retro..or one of them is set up for the marcus bass

  3. Yep, the U-Retro pre-amp from Vintage Bass Trading Co.- - is the way to go. You could even get the stompbox version and not alter the MM!
  4. I've tried many, many onboard circuits, both commercial, and ones that I've built myself from designs that people have published on the net and in magazines etc.

    The best one going is made by a guy in Melbourne, Australia. Truly great circuit. Simple JFet design, bass, mid and treb controls (usually the mid control is a mini preset pot on the board itself). And fairly cheap, too.

    The secret to a good preamp is not the knobs and switches, but the circuit itself. Believe me, you think you need sweep mids, contour switches blah blah blah, but with most preamps, especially the mass produced ones based on opamps, it doesn't matter what settings you use, the bass just sort of sounds choked, sterile etc. With a good buffer/preamp the bass just... sort of... well... breathes! Hard to describe, really. And you'll find good sounds no matter where the controls are set.

    Let me know and I'll dig out his contacts. He's also a brilliant bass player... (He's on the new Incognito album!)
  5. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    Wouldn't the Sadowsky outboard be ideal for this - as I seem to remember it was supposed to contain the electronics that were originally used for Marcus's original bass?

    Or was I just sold on advertising copy? ;)
  6. RobbieK,

    If you don't mind digging that info up I'll greatly appreciate it. The opamp thing and the openess sound like valid points.

  7. OK I'll have a look around.

    I met Marcus Miller a couple of years ago, and I seem to remember him saying that the onboard preamp in his bass (an otherwise pretty standard '75? Jazz) was made by Bill Bartolini. He also said that he lost his first bass, soon after he got it (I think he left it on a train or it got stolen or something...) and his Mum went straight out and bought him another! - which he still uses.