Trying to get the same components as Marcus Miller's Bass

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by bkchang79, Sep 18, 2002.

  1. I'm thinking about getting a Fender Marcus Miller signature bass and changing the preamp and pickups. Would it be worth it if I change the preamp and pickups to sadowsky? I already have the Tech 21 bass Driver DI, but I think it would be more convinent to have it inside the bass. I seems like an easy task since the Marcus Miller bass already has the holes drilled out and space for the sawdosky preamp. I heard Marcus is using Bartolini pickups, but I can't find them under $200, sawdosky seems to be cheaper. Is Bartonlini worth it?
  2. There is another option that you could use that IMO would be better than the Sadowsky and that's the U-Retro with individually mounted controls from Vintage Bass Trading Co. This is the John East Preamp that has really made waves since it's introduction. Check with Steve Barr at and see what the buzz is about.
  3. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification
    Try the U-Retro with the stock pickups.

    From Marcus' website:

    "I have a pre-amp installed in my Jazz - a Bartollini installed by Roger Sadowsky. Roger also installed a Bad-ass bridge.
    The rest of the bass is stock. "
  4. Vintage bass is 45mins away from me.
  5. muggsy

    muggsy Supporting Member

    Dec 14, 2000
    Alexandria, VA
    I have a Marcus Miller signature Jazz with the u-retro deluxe preamp, and I'd highly recommend the combination. The u-retro fixes the only issue with that bass, which is that many people aren't crazy about the stock preamp. Vintage Bass Trading Company sells a custom u-retro deluxe preamp that mounts on the MM control plate, so it's a drop-in replacement. You should check it out.
  6. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    All great suggestions.

    Some "Marcus" strings from DR would help, too.

    Just don't expect to sound jsut like "the Cat in the Hat" no matter what you spend.

    He has a tech who tweaks his gear.

    Then, it's all "Marcus." His thumb literally blows out speakers every concert according to his tech.
  7. eddo8862


    Oct 31, 2010
    marcus bass has an old bartolini tct pre amp, that roger used custom wire back in the days before he made his preamp. the bass has stock fender pickups.
  8. hands5


    Jan 15, 2003
    good 'ol USA/Tampa fla.
    ,and it still does have stock pickups in it,not Barts,Fralins,Nordstrands,lollars and whatever else is out there
  9. Kipaste


    Jun 27, 2006
    Helsinki, Finland
    Yup, what many have said. Change the pre and you're good to go. As far as I'm aware marcus uses standard single coils. I wouldn't want to swap them to the standard sadowsky hum cancelling. IMO the pickups on miller bass are just fine when they aren't fed to the stock pre.

    East U-retro can be fitted to the original plate or you can order the M-retro, which stands for marcus retro. It's basically the deluxe four knob version with corner frequencies tweaked to match the ones on marcus' bass. It can be ordered already installed into a plate so it's pretty much a drop in replacement. That way you can just lift off the old one and it's easy to reverse as you don't need to drill holes to the original plate.

    I'm not quite sure about this, but to my understanding one of the first aguilar pres are actually based on the bartolini one marcus has on his bass. Or at least might be.

    I'm not actually a big fan of millers sound, but I do love the signature bass with the retro. With the mid sweep it's just crazy how versatile it is.