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  1. OK, some background is that I'm happy with my Marcus Miller Jazz style copy (the old not the V version) but for a couple of things. So I'm not too demanding. 1. Unlined fretless bass with dot markers on the side, not mini lines etc. 2. 24 fret equivalent scale, so need a shape with good access on the G string. 3. 4 string 4. Plain wood body, natural, one wood, simple walnut or something dark like that, at a push natural ash. 5. Ebony fingerboard. Kinda like a Wal model 2 but for under £2000.00 Soundwise like a Jazz bass, so pickups and electronics as per. Seems like this should be possible off the shelf but nothing quite hits these specs. Some of the Sandbergs seem to come close but I'm not sure about the sound. The Wal 2 would be perfect and I could imagine stretching to £3k for a S/H one but my hens have more teeth. Maybe a Sandberg with a particular pickup configuration or maybe even swapping out the stock ones for some others?
  2. A rainy Sunday evening in Bristol around 1987, feeling a bit lonely, I’m walking my local streets, from a pub comes the sound of some local musicians playing Blue Bossa. There’s a cute girl sitting at the front with her girlfriend, we’re both digging Andy Sheppard and his band. Thank god for Jazz. I wish I was able to play it well, then I’d know I’d truly been blessed. One day! This double album is a favourite of mine
  3. Never fancied drumming, too damn difficult! ... and that was before watching Whiplash! what a great movie
  4. I'm a fan of the Sire MM basses too. I love the neck on my V7 fretless, very easy to play. I'm sure there are better instruments particularly for 4-5 times the price, but I preferred mine to a new Fender Pro Fretless. Having said that I tried another Fender Pro in a shop recently and loved it, so it may have been the one I bought before was a dud. I bought and returned 3 other basses before fixing on the Sire MM.
  5. Finally got around to sticking on the Spiro Mittel on my E, what a difference that makes. A relief that the bass isn't a lemon as I was fearing. It now sounds good as well as looks good. I'm getting a better sound and sustain at the low end. Still room for improvement I think, but a good start.
  6. That’s useful, I raised the action on my E and it helped correct the weakness in its sound a bit. Turns out its now identical to yours, maybe the luthier had it set a bit low, as I’d asked as I thought it would make it easier to develop my playing. i think I’ll try the mittel spiro for the E today.
  7. No sharp fret ends on my Sire MM bass 🙂 I love it. I’ve had no issue with Tuners, I’ve owned mine for 18 months. On another thread Tuners and fret ends are fixable anyway, if you like the instrument why not just tweak those minor issues?
  8. Did you get one? I’m late to the thread but in case anyone finds it later I want to give the Marcus Miller Jazz a bit of love. My first fretless was an Epiphone copy in the late 1970’s that I pulled the frets from. So recently I wanted to buy a Fretless and money was not an object, but I was curious about the very inexpensive basses available, I bought and returned the following basses in my search for my ideal Fretless 1. Thomann Harley Benton Jazz copy, Just about £130 or so. Looked beautiful and sounded good, but there was a pretty dead G string so it went back. It was tough to send back it looked so damn pretty. 2. Squier VM Fretless, again in sunburst. I think in the £300 range. Again, beautiful to look at, but I just hated the ‘plastic’ fingerboard, couldn’t stand the sound of the strings slapping against it. Sent it back. 3. Fender American Professional in Black, Fretless. I think about £1500. I decided that money should not be an object. As an owner of a Fender American fretted Jazz this seemed the safe option. But despite its beauty this bass failed to impress. It had a lined neck and I could clearly ‘hear the lines’ when I used glissando, overall I felt a lack of character and the desired mwah, but that was something to do with my playing. Sent it back as it was a lot of money if I was not in love with it. 4. Finally bought the Sire with a Rosewood neck in sunburst. A nice looking bass but didn’t visually float my boat like the cheapest HB in terms of appearance. But... hit the spot in terms of a) build quality as good as the American Pro, b) with the active off a good sounding passive bass but with the active there’s access to a variety of tones, a good active circuit c) most importantly the fretboard is coated in epoxy and is glass smooth, so there is no residual sound from the fretlines, this is of course how Jaco finished his own bass of doom, glass smooth. I can get a variety of sounds out of this and more recently finally nailed that ‘mwah’ technique with LaBella black tapewound strings giving me completely noise free glissando. So now I can play those Percy Jones licks and special effects, completely clean harmonic glissandos. I have to try hard not to buy more of them as I really don’t need them, but I’d love one in natural with a rosewood neck, easily achieveable by buying two and swapping them. My only problem is I can’t get the intonation of the G string adjusted quite right, its sharp above the 12th fret no matter how I fiddle with the saddle, needs a professional setup I think. But the beauty is that I can adjust my playing to sharpen the notes when I play up there.
  9. I'm a born again bass player, currently heading towards the big 6-0 but not there just yet. I wasn't a very good player at uni, but because in those days I was only one or two people who played the bass, I got to play a fair bit, mostly jazzy jamming, some of the people I jammed with were really great and one at least went on to play with a well known band of the era. Before Uni I was in 'practice bands' and did not gig much. Over the last 20 or so years I've occasionally given in to the bass desires, but its just been bedroom stuff, career or the rest of life just got in the way. Two years ago I picked up the bass again as I've always wanted to read music and wanted to give the online training a go, I did Yousician for about a year, then a year ago dropped that and started learning Bach pieces from the sheet music books. I learned a few pieces that continue to challenge me and at least now have a party piece or two that impresses non-musicians. More recently I was at an event outside and there was a folk band and a DB player, I asked him some questions about it with the result that he asked me if I wanted to 'have a go' as he wanted a rest. Although I was pretty bad, I had a go and he didn't come back for half an hour, so I couldn't have been *that* bad (I was though). At least I could more or less keep the rhythm even though the music was alien to me. I've always fancied a go at the DB so decided I'd have a go. Initially I tried to hire a DB, but it turned out that locally all the basses were hired out. So I decided to treat myself as a birthday present, and got a double bass which I'm currently trying to get sorted out, I think it will work out, and it looks nice in the main living room if it doesn't. Before I could start learning it properly I got an email from someone as a result of an ad I put out on joinmyband so now I've joined a rock band, well, its still not quite a full band as it has no singer. So there is a chance I may at some point go out and play somewhere locally. It's all very high energy stuff, punky rock and indy, musically simple but good for me to get me back into playing with others for the first time in several decades. I'm finding that I'm enjoying music more than ever. The Internet forums like this and resources such as studybass.com and videos on YouTube make a wealth of knowledge open to me that was impossible to access when I was a youngster, and I'm just loving learning so much more. Musically although I have a liking for classic rock and lots else, I was 'converted' to Jazz in my late teens and met my partner at a Jazz club, back in those days she was one of a very tiny number of women I'd see in such places. So music and Jazz have always been important to me. I'm not sure I'll ever be good enough to play in a jazz setting, but if it doesn't happen that's no problem. I may end up playing folk, not my favourite, but there's a lot of it about. If you call Danny Thompson folk, then I like that, and the whole psych-folk thing. Whatever, its all music and lovely, so thats what its about. I find these forums really fantastic, apart from occasional threads, there seems to be a friendliness that comes from sharing a love of music (or gear) to the point where these forums are a lot more fun than many other places on the internet these days.
  10. The tuning is stable. I doubt the soundpost slipped in transit. My feeling though is that it might be soundpost position. When it arrived from Thomann, I thought the strings were at least balanced across the instrument tonally and I didn't find the E substantially weaker than the others. The luthier remarked that the soundpost was in an 'unconventional position' when he looked at it. Maybe that is where it needed to be! Maybe I need the bass equivalent of a second opinion on the soundpost.
  11. That's useful to know that it's normal to have to have to play the E differently to the other three. The three A,D,G are sounding really great, particularly the A and D. I have been trying different approaches to it, and I'll start some lessons as soon as our holidays are over, right now I can't get all the way over to where I can get lessons.
  12. I had a luthier set up my new DB (a Strunal from Thomann). I'm a total noob on these instruments so haven't yet got a reference point for how things might sound, but I'm feeling that the E volume is just lower than the other three strings, less sustain, less brightness and frequency range. The luthier replaced the original soundpost and repositioned it and did some useful work on the action and bridge (which was fitting rather badly before) and I'm happy with all of that. He also restrung it for me with some of the Spirocore Weich's as I intend to play mostly pizzicato. So anyhow, after the setup, its playing a lot better but the E tone is disappointing as I said before. If I tune the A string down to E, its retains the brighter and richer sound, lots of 'mwah' and sustain etc. that it has tuned at 'A'. From this I conclude that the bass itself isn't lacking ability to resonate at 'E', so its not a basket case, but it must be something else causing the issue. Overall I was slightly surprised that the spirocores aren't more bright sounding than they are, from reading forums I expected them to be really bright more towards the 'Rotosound 66' end of the spectrum on an EB, but they sound quite mellow to my ear. I've no problem with that though. The possible reasons for the E weakness I can think of off the top of my head are a) The soundpost still isn't in the best place b) The E string itself is a dud c) Something about the E string from the nut to the bridge isn't set up right still. Any other things I might need to be aware of?
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