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sammybee

SIRE Marcus Miller V7 5 String Alder 1st Gen

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I bought this at a very decent price (£383) from Thomann to dip my toe into the water with a 5 string after exclusively playing 4 strings for about a decade. It arrived quickly, and the bass looks stunning out of the box. The tobacco sunburst is a really stunning finish with the maple neck (10/10 for looks). I had read that these had a reputation for being quite heavy, so I was pleasantly surprised that mine was a very manageable weight (a shade under 10lbs). She balances nicely on the strap - either sitting or standing. Action was low from the box, but intonation was slightly out when you get up to the dusty end of the fretboard (nothing that a quick tweak wont fix). Being used to rather slender Jazz necks, I was surprised how comfortable I found the Sire to be when playing & very quick to adapt to. Overall the bass felt very comfortable and familiar to play unplugged - which was a relief for my first five string. The tuners and bridge (both top and through loading possible) do a good job - but we'll have to see about the longevity of the finish.

On to the pre-amp and electrics. WOW, just wow - this thing has power. 18v preamp, with a master tone, 3 band eq and sweepable mids. You can get a real variety of tones from this bass. Even small adjustments make a big difference. I understand that all the sire V7's have the same preamp, so you will get the same if you go for the 4 string. Sound wise, I can't fault the electrics, but the knobs are built to a price point and there is a couple millimetre gap between the bottom of the knob and the body - which is a bit disappointing.

Overall, I would say - as others have, this is a good bass 'for the money'. When I get my American Vintage RI 75 Jazz out alongside (or I recall my Jap MM signature Jazz), they cannot compete with the quality or fit and finish. The pre-amp is awesome sounding though, and you get a very playable bass for not much ££. For me, I'll keep it for awhile, but if I decide to stick with 5ers I'll be saving my pennies for a Sadowsky or a USA Fender Marcus Miller 5.

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Cool write-up, thanks :) 

 

2 hours ago, sammybee said:

For me, I'll keep it for awhile, but if I decide to stick with 5ers I'll be saving my pennies for a Sadowsky or a USA Fender Marcus Miller 5.

I wouldn't bother with the Fender MM 5. I've tried one and it was no better than the Sire. I've never played a Sado so I can't comment on that.

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I've just got my hands on one of these too, and am very impressed with the general quality. Like the OP says, there are a few minor issues, but nothing you can't live with or easily sort out.

One thing I have found though, is that the intonation is difficult to set. I bought mine second-hand, and it has been strung with Newtones and strung through the body (which is a new one on me). I have no idea whether the poor intonation (on the G in particular) is related to either of these factors, so will have to do a bit of trial and error investigation.

The bass in lovely to play though, and surprisingly light for a fiver (bang on 10lb on my luggage scales) - especially as I had been led to believe that they were on the heavy side.

Very good value!

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The Sires have funny bridges with oversize saddles which can make intonation a bit of a pain when stringing through body as the break angle is very sharp, more an issue on the B string due to how thick and stiff it is. The problem is the saddles extend back quite a bit behind the break point of the string, from memory the 4 string bridge on these was worse. Although it is annoying intonation should be fine.

 

I have a Gotoh bridge on mine, the 404-5 which is £75 and this has much more sensible saddles with a more gentle break angle. Not a cheap solution but as you can see the strings have an easier time going through the body.

IMG_20190104_225749.jpg

Edited by lemmywinks
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On 12/01/2019 at 00:49, lemmywinks said:

The Sires have funny bridges with oversize saddles which can make intonation a bit of a pain when stringing through body as the break angle is very sharp, more an issue on the B string due to how thick and stiff it is. The problem is the saddles extend back quite a bit behind the break point of the string, from memory the 4 string bridge on these was worse. Although it is annoying intonation should be fine.

 

I have a Gotoh bridge on mine, the 404-5 which is £75 and this has much more sensible saddles with a more gentle break angle. Not a cheap solution but as you can see the strings have an easier time going through the body.

IMG_20190104_225749.jpg

I take it you had to get the body filled and re-drilled to attach the Gotoh? The Sire bridge has six screw holes along the rear edge of the base plate. I have managed to source a bridge with a similar (hopefully exactly the same) arrangement of holes! 

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Don't need to fill any holes as there is a sufficient amount of wood between the new and old holes although it would only take a few minutes to plug them I guess, just line it up with the string holes, mark the centres and drill new ones. I just used a Dremel, took 5 minutes to fit.

 

That picture is intonated btw, there's another guy who fitted the same bridge on TalkBass and his B saddle looks further back than mine (well all of them do really), his actions looks to be very high though so maybe that's affecting intonation at the 12th fret. Pinched the pic here:

20953199_10214027091214196_2051461118394

Edited by lemmywinks

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