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Turn my Mexican Jazz into a Marcus Miller sound machine

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Hendricks97, Dec 11, 2018.

  1. Hendricks97


    Jan 3, 2017
    I picked up a Mexican Jazz that a previous owner routed the poopie out of the control cavity and added a Tone Monster preamp (keeping the treble control inside the cavity under the plate) I would like to turn this into something close to Marcus Millers 74 at least sound wise. I know its going to take some money and I wont be able to sell it for half of what I put into it, but since I picked it up cheap and Im stubborn when it comes to projects, Im going to do it. I dont, however, want to do it all at once and freak the wife out with the cost.
    I know Im going to have to swap out the pickups, get a much better preamp, and I will be changing out the neck too. Any suggestions as to a gameplan and specific products?
    twinjet likes this.
  2. Lesfunk

    Lesfunk Supporting Member

    cheechi, bobba66, Amano and 2 others like this.
  3. Lesfunk

    Lesfunk Supporting Member

  4. Lesfunk

    Lesfunk Supporting Member

    The only difficult part will be putting that bridge pickup in 70s position
  5. Hendricks97


    Jan 3, 2017
    Im thinking maybe go back to passive wiring and start with the pickups, then later do the preamp. After that, Id have to debate between the neck or the bridge
  6. Lesfunk

    Lesfunk Supporting Member

    And your done!
  7. Lesfunk

    Lesfunk Supporting Member

    90% is going to be the pickupsand preamp
    Fun Size Nick likes this.
  8. zackthompson

    zackthompson Endorsing Artist: MJC Ironworks Strings

    Jul 18, 2011
    Virginia Beach
    70’s pickup spacing is a pretty major part of his tone, other than the fact that he’s Marcus Miller. You would have to route a new bridge pickup spot, fill the old one, then refinish the body to cover the work up. A used Marcus Miller bass is between 700 and 900 usually. You could also swap the body for a MIM 70’s Fender Jazz or a Geddy Lee body. Those have the bridge pickups in the right spot.
    Eugene.thomas87 and DJ Bebop like this.
  9. Hendricks97


    Jan 3, 2017
    That's more work than I'm willing to put in to It
  10. ClassicJazz

    ClassicJazz Bottom Feeders Unite!! Supporting Member

    Sep 19, 2005
    Delray Beach, Florida
    Sadowsky has a preamp already mounted onto a plate. Remember it was Roger Sadowsky that originally worked on Marcus’ bass and made it sound like it does.
    DJ Bebop likes this.
  11. Hendricks97


    Jan 3, 2017
    Has anyone used the Sadowsky VTC with the Fender 74 pickups to help get close to Marcus sound?


    Feb 10, 2016
    Michigan USA
    How about buying a Marcus Miller pre from Sire?
  13. sikamikanico

    sikamikanico Supporting Member

    Mar 17, 2004
    So, you need to replace the pickups, the electronics, the bridge, the neck, and the body with 70s J pickup positions... Ship of Theseus :)

    OK, all kidding aside - what do you think is most lacking now? I'd start there, go step by step.

    But be mindful of too many changes, because, seriously, Ship of Theseus. Unless that's your strategy for getting another bass without buying another bass? This may be a viable strategy for flying under wife's radar :D
    generalduncan, DJ Bebop and Mushroo like this.
  14. Hendricks97


    Jan 3, 2017
    The body is not being replaced and the neck is a maybe unless I find a good deal. The sound is primary
  15. sikamikanico

    sikamikanico Supporting Member

    Mar 17, 2004
    I see it was you who posted that "mystery preamp" thread. Honestly, I'd start by taking out the preamp and returning the bass to passive wiring. Maybe up the pots to 500K if you're getting new ones. Get new strings (DR/Dunlop MM?) and assess how that sounds. Go from there.
    DJ Bebop likes this.
  16. Altitude

    Altitude An ounce of perception, a pound of obscure. Supporting Member

    Mar 9, 2005
    Denver, nee Austin
    Yep, and I believe so does John East and possibly Nordstrand. Maybe others. Adding a preamp to a passive jazz is a 20 minute deal now to solder 4 pickup connections. Not inexpensive though.
    DJ Bebop and InhumanResource like this.
  17. Chrisk-K


    Jan 20, 2010
    Maryland, USA
    I’ve never heard anyone else sound remotely like MM even when they use a MM bass to cover his songs.
  18. nilorius


    Oct 27, 2016
    Riga - Latvia
    Good luck!
    DJ Bebop likes this.
  19. DiabolusInMusic

    DiabolusInMusic Functionless Art is Merely Tolerated Vandalism Supporting Member

    To my understanding, the early pre-amp used was a Bartolini, like the one linked above. It was installed by Roger Sadowsky though.
    DJ Bebop likes this.

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