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Marcus Miller V7 Bass from Sire Guitars

MM_V series(3)
Marcus Miller V7 Bass from Sire Guitars…

This is more than just a review on a bass. It’s also about getting quality instruments into the hands of players of all ages.

Even though we had talked via email for a couple weeks prior, I first officially met Mickey Cho of Sire Guitars outside the Anaheim Convention Center, during NAMM. We had a great talk. The whole concept behind Sire Guitars is to offer instruments of a high quality at a reasonable price point, making it easy for everyone to afford one. But don’t take my word for it; here’s what the Sire website has to say.

“SIRE is making effort to share corporations’ profit with the entire community by giving it back to society. It is SIRE’s mission and dream to enable anyone, regardless of location, to lead life with music without environmental or regional discrimination. Through MES (Music Everyone School) project, SIRE is reaching out to children to be healed and grow with music. Currently, we have founded schools in Cambodia and Laos and are teaching music to children. In the future, we hope more and more children in many more countries are healed with music.”

So how can they do it? Mickey explained to me that Sire owns the factory where the instruments are manufactured. This allows them to oversee the entire operation and ensure that they get the best quality possible. Also, by partnering with bass legend, Marcus Miller, they were able to utilize Miller’s immense experience and expertise to create an instrument that has all of the modern features players are looking for, as well as the playability that they have come to expect.

Okay, enough of that. What about the bass?

Jon Moody at NAMM 2015First impressions were favorable, and this was when I’d only seen the gigbag. It’s got more support than your standard bag, with enough support and rigidity that it maintains its shape well. Plus, it’s got a HUGE neck cradle (that is also removable) to support the instrument inside. All in all, the gigbag itself sets the tone for how high quality this instrument will be (and it did it’s job beautifully on the flight home, supporting the bass while in the overhead compartment). Then with a smile, Mickey opened the bag.

Honestly, I was blown away by the V7. The finish on the bass is impeccable, the neck felt amazing (it was one of things that they spent a great deal of time and care on) and the resonance of the bass was great. In short, even acoustically this instrument played and felt like it should cost AT LEAST triple or more what it does. And we haven’t even talked about the electronics yet.

Sadly, I had to wait until after NAMM to plug it in. Normally this is where you find many manufacturers cut corners to save money, but also where many musicians (myself included) start upgrading. However, the electronics in the V7 are amazing; active/passive with an 18v preamp for plenty of headroom. While they look a little intimidating (the control plate has five knobs – two of which are stacked – and a switch), after a little time with it you can dial in great tones quickly and easily. I personally like how they fit it all, because while Marcus’ iconic Fender has the gigantic pickguard on it, this looks much more clean and elegant. Plugging it in with everything flat yielded a signature jazz sound, that was a bit more forward voiced than just a standard passive jazz. Compared to the 1975 Fender Jazz that I have in the office, the V7 is a little more growly and/or aggressive sounding. The active preamp does a lot with little movements, so it’s very easy to get a thick tone (that still retains definition and focus) or a killer slap tone.

The addition of a sweepable midrange was a feature I hadn’t used before, let alone thought was possible at this price point. As Marcus explains in the video, this was a crucial part of the electronics and something that he is planning on making a how-to video. This was the only part of the preamp that took a little time to get used to and feel comfortable dialing in, but once I did it became much easier.

MM_V series(2)All of these features combined meant that there were no qualms about taking the V7 to a couple of gigs. So, how did it hold up in the real environment?

Perfectly.

I used it a handful of times at church, where my setup is completely ampless, relying on a Pigtronix Bass Station to provide me with some slight compression, and a solid DI. The V7 sounded great in this setting, and blended in very well. Notes were clear and well defined, and the signal the soundman was getting was solid, if a bit hotter than what he’s used to getting (it IS 18v after all). The other gigs had me using a Phil Jones Bass Double Four amp in a smaller, intimate environment. Again, the V7 sounded beautiful and responded very well to the variations in right hand technique I was using.

The Marcus Miller V7 bass from Sire Guitars is a game changer. The concept of putting quality instruments into everyone’s hands is extremely well thought out, only eclipsed by the thought that went into the V7 bass. Available in 4 or 5 string versions with swamp ash or alder bodies and starting at $399, there is something for everyone with the V7 bass.

My only complaint is that Sire Guitars wasn’t around when I was starting, as I would’ve killed for a bass of that quality.

Click here for more information on the Marcus Miller V7 basses from Sire Guitars

14 Comments

14 Comments

  1. Gary

    March 20, 2015 at 2:51 pm

    I ordered the bass. My concern us that no emails are answered and no phone calls returned.

  2. Valery Amador

    Valery Amador

    March 20, 2015 at 4:45 pm

    Hi Gary…

    We will see if we can get someone to connect with you about this 🙂

  3. Gary

    March 21, 2015 at 8:00 am

    I ordered a bass. I cannot reach Sire via email or phone. They gave not answered emails or returned calls.

  4. Gary g Barnes

    March 23, 2015 at 4:30 am

    I really would like to pre order a Marcus mill 5 string maple fret board ash body
    I can’t get in the page !

  5. Josef Szaday

    April 5, 2015 at 1:54 pm

    I’m not sure why someone had a problem contacting Sire guitars. I called and was assisted immediately. Great conversation about the bass.. Make sure you are contacting sire-usa….Thumbs up!!!

  6. Tracey Ayer

    May 8, 2015 at 11:44 pm

    I got one of the 5 strings from Thomann. Fantastic instrument. Difficult to believe they can turn a profit on them at the price they are going for.

  7. Fred Speicher

    June 2, 2015 at 4:16 pm

    I ordered a Natural finish Ash four string V7, on June 1st and it arrived at my office on June 2nd. Bear in mind, I am only 30 miles away from them, but I wanted to allay anyone’s fear that they aren’t legitimate and on top of their game. Right after I placed the order online, I received a confirmation of the order and within an hour had the shipping tracking number. Although Korean made, the shipment came from Corona (is that a coincidence it is in Fender country?)

    I just opened up the well packed box to discover the bass in a very nice gig bag.. I’ll likely purchase a hard case, but the gig bag is nicer than most, with “Marcus Miller” emblazoned on it.

    Most importantly, the bass looks amazing and the finish astounding. Bound neck, block inlays, no rough edges, solid neck fit, solid and smooth pots. Not sure what more you could ask for. I haven’t plugged it in yet, but acoustically it seems they spent time selecting good tone wood. They are leaving money on the table, selling them so inexpensively, but if their mission is to sell a lot of instruments, then they should be successful.

    I own well over thirty basses ranging from vintage to newer Fenders, plus other boutique (and expensive) pieces, but I have to say for the price, this bass is amazing. Marcus should be proud of this collaboration. Speaking of that, this piece is light years better than the MM Fender Marcus Miller.Signature Jazz, at half the price!!

  8. Fred Speicher

    June 2, 2015 at 4:23 pm

    I want to make a correction to my previous post. The instrument is actually made in Indonesia, not Korea.

    And., lastly, I just noticed the neck plate appears to have been signed by Marcus Miller with a number 395 below it and covered with a clear film. I have other autographs of his, so this looks authentic. That’s a nice personal touch. Thanks, Marcus!

  9. Fred Speicher

    June 3, 2015 at 9:05 am

    I want to correct my previous post. Not that it makes any difference, but the V7 is not made in Korea, but actually made in Indonesia, as stamped on the back of the headstock.

    Lastly, I just realized the neck plate was signed by Marcus Miller and numbered “395”. It is his signature, as I have other autographs of his. Nice touch. Thanks, Marcus and Sire!

    By the way, plugged in the bass and all I can say is, Wow. Truly, do not base your decision on the price. This is a quality player.

  10. panda

    June 7, 2015 at 5:34 pm

    it’s great bass!
    18v preamp, nice playability,
    nice gigbag..

    but, something that really confused me was, i ordered the bass @germany, and the bass made in indonesia..

    i live in indonesia but none of information about Sire in Indonesia..
    but its really good stuff!

  11. Donald G

    June 14, 2015 at 11:07 pm

    Ditto on the first impressions. Is anyone else having the active electronics randomly turn off? I am a bit worried because it’s so unpredictable.. The passive obviously works and something to fall back on in a middle of a live performance, but this is not good.

  12. Pingback: (Bassmusician Magazine) Marcus Miller V7 Bass from Sire Guitars | Sire USA

  13. Pingback: (Bassmusician Magazine) Marcus Miller V7 Bass from Sire Guitars | Sire Korea

  14. Pingback: (Bassmusician Magazine) Marcus Miller V7 Bass from Sire Guitars | Sire Japan

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