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Review – Sire Guitars Releases New Bass Guitar Model – The Sire M7

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Sire Marcus Miller M7

Over the past year or so, Sire Guitars has taken the bass world by storm with their hot selling Marcus Miller by Sire V7 bass guitar.   The Sire V7, a jazz bass type of instrument, hit the market with an astonishingly high level of quality.  That was coupled with a shockingly low price, putting the Sire V7 within the grasp of virtually every bass player all over the world. Bass players all over the world are proclaiming the Sire V7 as a great sounding jazz bass with great playability and very high quality construction at a very affordable price.

Having thrown down as formidable a gauntlet as the Sire V7, Sire Guitars knew that they would have to maintain their high level of quality as well as their low pricing on future models.   That is exactly what they did when they released their fretless Sire V7 and their Vintage Sire V7, which is modeled after the 1975 jazz bass (these basses will be reviewed in the near future).

Sire Guitars recently introduced a new model of bass guitar.  This model is the Marcus Miller by Sire M7 bass guitar.  Like the Sire V7, legendary bassist Marcus Miller was involved in the design of the Sire M7.  The result is spectacular!  The Sire M7 has gorgeous aesthetics, with a well-balanced symmetry with respect to the headstock and body size.  The design of the Sire M7 is modern and, again much like the Sire V7, it compares very favorably with basses costing three times as much as it costs.  Unlike the Sire V7, the Sire M7 offers two humbucker pickups.

M7_4ST_TBK

Okay, Tell Me About It

Although things like neck profile are subjective and hard to describe, the Sire M7 has a fantastic C-neck profile.  It is a very easy and comfortable neck to play straight out of the box.  The finish of the neck is satin, making for a fast neck.  The fingerboard on the review bass is made of Rosewood and the neck is made of Hard Maple.   Although the Sire M7 used for this review was a five string, weight of the bass, and overall length of the bass from tip of the headstock to end of the body all felt relatively small.

The scale length of the 4 string Sire M7 is 34 inches.  The 5 string has a scale length of 35 inches.  Sire Guitars increased the scale length on the 5 string to allow the B string to be tight and focused.  For bass players who prefer to play 34 inch scale basses, most will not notice the extra inch in scale length on the 5 string Sire M7.

Unlike the Sire V7, which has a 21 fret neck, the Sire M7 has a 24 fret neck.  The body cut-away allow for a very comfortable reach all the way to the 24th fret.  The neck is bolted to the body with four bolts for the four string bass, and five bolts for the five string bass.  The nut is made of bone.

The attractive high mass bridge allows for 18mm string spacing at the bridge.  The Sire M7 also allows a player to either string the bass through the body or through the bridge.  The tuning machines feel smooth and tight.  At this time, only black hardware is available for all color variations of the Sire M7.

The Sire M7 shares the same phenomenal preamp with the Sire V7.  Its controls are stacked volume/tone, pickup blend, treble, stacked mid/mid sweep, and bass.  There is also a two-way toggle switch to put the bass in either active or passive mode.  Each pickup up has a corresponding three way toggle switch that allows each pickup to be switched between parallel, series or single coil modes.

Currently, the available options for the Sire M7 are either four or five strings.  The body wood options are either Alder or Ash.  The finishes are Transparent Black, Natural (Ash models only), Brown, Sunburst and Transparent Blue.

Sire Marcus Miller M7 - Natural

But How Does It Sound?

The Sire M7 that was reviewed has an Ash body with a solid flamed Maple top and, as mentioned earlier, Hard Maple neck with a Rosewood fingerboard.  Along with the electronics, the bass has a big, rich full sound.  The low end and midrange are very well represented.  The high end is musical and full, not thin and glassy.

When thumped or slapped, the Sire M7 has a great percussive sound with a hard-hitting bottom end.  The pops are also percussive and have a distinctive sound typical of humbucker pickups.  In other words, the pops have a somewhat subdued high end, however, the overall sound is completely appropriate.

Bass players of all genres will find the Sire M7 a very useful tool in their arsenal.  When plucked, the Sire M7 has a full, warm and fat natural tone.  The M7 sounds great in both passive and active mode.  When adding the effects of the preamp, the Sire M7 becomes an instrument with a very wide palette of tone.

For the bass players who already have a Sire V7 jazz bass, or some other make and model of a bass, the Sire M7 is a great addition.  It provides a very different sound from a jazz type basses.

Sire-Marcus-Miller-M7-Series-Release-4

Okay, How Much Does It Cost?

  • The Alder body 4 string Sire M7 is $599.00
  • The Ash body 4 string Sire M7 is $699.00
  • The Alder body 5 string Sire M7 is $699.00
  • The Ash body 5 string Sire M7 is $799.00

Although it is very reasonably priced, this bass is not a bass that needs upgrades.  Although it is priced to be affordable, this bass will be appreciated by both beginners and professional bassists alike.

Conclusion

Sire Guitars has another hit on their hands with the Sire M7.  The quality, playability and sound of the Sire M7 are astonishing at this price point.  This bass will make a very capable workhorse for a working professional, or a very affordable quality instrument for a new bassist.  It also makes a great addition for a bass player with several basses.

Sire-Marcus-Miller-M7-Series-Release-6

Specifications

Body

Body Material: Alder/Ash with Solid Top Flame Maple Wood

Body Shape: New Modern Bass

Body Color: TBK(Transparent Black) and NT(natural) for Ash Models, BR (Brown) and TBL (Transparent Blue) for the Alder Models all under Satin Finish

Neck

Neck Material: Hard Maple

Neck Shape: C-Shape

Scale: 34’/35? ( For 5 string 35? for clear low B )

Fingerboard: Rosewood

Fingerboard Radius: 12”

Frets: Medium , 24 Frets

String Nut : Bone Nut

Inlay: White Pearl Dot

Neck Joint: 4/5 Bolt Individual Dot (5 hole for 5 string)

Graphite Reinforcement: Only on 5 string M7

Electronics

Pickups: Marcus Miller pure humbucker (MMPH set )

Electronics: Marcus Miller Heritage- 3 with Middle Frequency Control

Controls: Volume / Tone (Dual Pot) | Pickup Blender | Treble | Middle / Middle Frequency (Dual Pot) | Bass, Mini Toggle (Active / Passive ), Three way switch per pickup (Series Mode, Parallel Mode and Single Coil Mode)

Knobs: Modern Black

Hardware

Bridge: Marcus Miller Custom Big Mass2 Bridge (String-Thru Body option Bridge)

Tuning Gear: Sire Diecast Gear

Hardware Finish: Black

Pickguard: None

String Spacing At The Bridge: 20mm for the 4 string M7 & 18mm for the 5 string M7

Approximate Weight

M7 4 string alder: 3.7 kg ~ 4.1 kg ( 8.0 lbs ~ 9.25 lbs)

M7 4 string ash: 3.8 kg ~ 4.2 kg ( 8.4 lbs ~ 9.5 lbs )

M7 5 string alder:4 kg~4.4 kg (8.8 lbs ~ 9.7 lbs)

M7 5 string ash: 4 kg ~ 4.5 kg (8.8 lbs ~ 9.9 lbs)

Gig Bag

The 4 string and 5 string Sire M7 basses come with a gig bag included in the price.

Visit online at www.sire-guitars.com

Gear Reviews

Review: Joyo Tidal Wave Preamp

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Review: Joyo Tidal Wave Preamp

Joyo Tidal Wave Preamp: A Tribute to 90’s Iconic Sounds

Disclaimer: This pedal was kindly provided by Joyo for the purpose of this review. However, this does not influence our opinion or the content of our review. We strive to provide honest, unbiased, and accurate assessments to ensure that our readers receive truthful and helpful information.

In the realm of bass preamp/DI pedals, capturing the essence of iconic tones from the 90s can often feel like an elusive pursuit. However, the Joyo Tidal Wave Preamp emerges as a great option for bass players seeking to replicate the signature sounds of that era, particularly the revered tech21 SansAmp. With its robust feature set and compact design, the Tidal Wave offers a faithful homage to classic rock tones and low-gain distortions, all while providing modern conveniences for today’s bassist. Let’s delve into why the Joyo Tidal Wave stands out as a versatile and budget-friendly tool for both stage and studio.

Specs:

Measuring at 130 * 110 * 50 mm and weighing 442g, the Joyo Tidal Wave strikes a balance between portability and durability, making it ideal for gigging musicians and studio enthusiasts alike. With a power consumption of just 100 mA and a working voltage of DC 9V, the Tidal Wave ensures reliable performance in a variety of settings.

Controls:

At the heart of the Tidal Wave’s versatility lies its comprehensive control set, allowing bass players to sculpt their tone with precision. Key features include:

– Level: Sets the overall output volume of the pedal.

– Blend: Blends the dry signal with the cab-emulated signal, offering seamless integration of the pedal into any setup.

– Presence: Controls the dynamics of the high upper-mids, crucial for shaping drive tones.

– Drive: Introduces low-gain distortions and classic rock sounds into the clean tone.

– Treble, Middle, and Bass: Provides a 3-band EQ with frequency selectors for bass (40Hz – 80Hz) and mids (500Hz – 1KHz), offering ample control over tonal shaping.

– Middle Shift and Bass Shift: Allows for further fine-tuning of midrange and bass frequencies.

– Ground Lift: Helps eliminate ground loop noise in certain setups.

– DI Attenuation Switch: Adjusts the level of the DI output signal.

– LED Light Switch Control: Allows users to customize the ambient lighting of the pedal.

Performance:

True to its inspiration, the Joyo Tidal Wave excels in delivering classic rock tones and low-gain distortions reminiscent of the tech21 SansAmp. Whether you’re seeking gritty overdriven sounds or pristine clean tones, the Tidal Wave offers unparalleled flexibility and sonic versatility. The inclusion of a headphone out, XLR DI out with cab simulation, and throughout for the original bass sound make the Tidal Wave a versatile tool for both stage and studio applications. From practicing silently with headphones to crafting quality recordings in an ampless setup, the Tidal Wave delivers on all fronts with clarity, definition, and unmistakable character.

Pros:

The Tidal Wave boasts an array of advantages that set it apart from its direct competitors:

– Headphone Out: Transforms the pedal into a convenient practice tool.

– Size and Weight: Compact and lightweight design for easy transportation and setup.

– Rugged Construction: Durable build quality ensures longevity and reliability.

– DI and CabSim: Offers professional-grade direct recording capabilities with authentic cab simulation.

– Familiar Tones: Faithfully replicates the classic rock sounds of the tech21 SansAmp.

Cons:

While the Tidal Wave excels in many aspects, it does have a few drawbacks:

– Plastic Knobs: Knobs may feel less premium compared to pedals with metal controls.

– Cab Simulation Only on XLR Output: Limited cab simulation functionality may require additional routing for certain setups.

Conclusion:

In conclusion, the Joyo Tidal Wave Preamp stands as a testament to the enduring legacy of classic rock tones from the 90s. With its faithful homage to the tech21 SansAmp, comprehensive control set, and modern conveniences like headphone out and XLR DI with cab simulation, the Tidal Wave offers bassists a versatile  tool for sculpting their sound with precision and finesse. Whether you’re seeking to replicate iconic tones from the past or forge new sonic territories, the Joyo Tidal Wave Preamp is sure to inspire creativity and elevate your playing to new heights.

Available online at Amazon.com

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Gear Reviews

Review: Joyo Scylla Compressor

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Review: Joyo Scylla Compressor

Joyo Scylla Compressor: When Quality meets Budget-Friendly

Disclaimer: This pedal was kindly provided by Joyo for the purpose of this review. However, this does not influence our opinion or the content of our review. We strive to provide honest, unbiased, and accurate assessments to ensure that our readers receive truthful and helpful information.

In the diverse landscape of effects pedals for bass guitar, finding a compressor that strikes the balance between performance, versatility, and affordability can often feel like a daunting task. 

However, amidst the sea of options, one pedal stood out as a true diamond in the rough – the Joyo Scylla compressor. Despite its wallet-friendly price tag, the Scylla boasts a great array of features and controls typically reserved for pedals with much higher costs. Let’s take a closer look at why the Joyo Scylla is turning heads and earning praise among bassists on a budget.

Specs: The Joyo Scylla compressor measures in at 109 * 72 * 48 mm and weighs a mere 234g, making it both compact and lightweight – perfect for gigs or studio sessions where space is at a premium. With a power consumption of just 100 mA and a working voltage of DC 9V, the Scylla is efficient and versatile, compatible with a wide range of pedalboard setups.

Controls: What sets the Scylla apart from its direct competitors is its comprehensive control set, offering bassists a good amount of flexibility in shaping their sound. With six knobs, the Scylla allows for a very precise adjustment of key parameters:

  • Input Gain: Adjusts the amount of signal being fed into the compressor.
  • Output Volume: Controls the makeup gain after compression, ensuring consistent output levels.
  • Compression Ratio: Unlike traditional compressor pedals with preset ratio options, the Scylla features a continuous knob, allowing for seamless adjustment from subtle compression to limiter-like effects.
  • Attack and Release: Determine how quickly the compression engages and releases, offering a range of tonal possibilities from punchy and aggressive to smooth and subtle.
  • Output Tone Control: A unique feature not commonly found in compressor pedals, the tone knob adjusts the coloration of the compressed signal, adding warmth or brightness to your bass tone.
  • LED Light Switch Control: Allows users to customize the ambient lighting of the pedal, adding a touch of visual flair to their setup.
  • Performance: In practice, the Joyo Scylla delivers where it matters most – in sound quality and performance. Whether you’re aiming for a tight, punchy bass sound or smooth, sustained notes, the Scylla excels in providing transparent compression that enhances your playing without sacrificing dynamics. The granular control offered by its knobs allows for precise tailoring of compression settings to suit a wide range of playing styles and musical genres.
  • Pros: The Scylla’s strengths lie in its granular control, versatility, and compact design. Its sturdy build quality and diminutive size make it a welcome addition to any pedalboard, occupying minimal real estate without compromising on functionality. However, perhaps the most impressive aspect of the Scylla is its price point. Despite offering professional-grade features, the Scylla remains accessible to bassists of all budgets.
  • Cons: While the Joyo Scylla excels in many areas, it’s not without its drawbacks. One notable omission is the lack of metering, which may pose a challenge for users seeking visual feedback on compression levels. Additionally, the plastic knobs, while functional, may feel somewhat less premium compared to other pedals. 
  • Conclusion: In conclusion, the Joyo Scylla compressor emerges as a great option in the world of budget-friendly effects pedals for bass guitar. Its comprehensive control set, transparent compression, and compact design make it a compelling choice for bassists seeking professional-grade performance without breaking the bank. From its intuitive interface to its thoughtful touches like the tone knob and customizable LED lighting, the Scylla delivers a level of versatility and functionality that belies its modest price tag. For bassists looking to elevate their tone without compromising on quality or affordability, the Joyo Scylla compressor is a clear standout.

For more information, visit online at joyoaudio.com/product/265.html

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Bass Videos

String Instrument Humidifiers

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String Instrument Humidifiers

String Instrument Humidifiers

After living in some very humid parts of the country for decades, we moved to a dryer, much sunnier location. As a result, I started noticing some fret sprout on my string instruments and recently did a video on fret sprout correction.

It occurred to me that I should take a more preventative approach to string instrument humidification. Of course, I turned to my instrument maintenance experts, Music Nomad Equipment Care, for a solution and they suggested their Humitar series. (Note: They sent two press samples and I purchased the remainder online.)

Join me as I look at these useful tools for keeping my string instruments in tip-top condition.

The Humitar series is available online at Music Nomad Equipment Care, as well as Amazon.com

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Bass Videos

Review: CrystalBright Rombo Picks

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Review: CrystalBright Rombo Picks

CrystalBright Rombo Picks

PR Sample

Playing bass with a pick is still a touchy subject in our community. I believe you should be able to use whatever you need to get your sound. Even though I mostly play with my fingers, I like to check out innovative new picks that might have something new to offer, sonically speaking.

Judith and Carlos from Rombo recently contacted me about a new material called CrystalBright that they have been researching for the last 12 months and offered to send some prototype picks. After trying them out, I put together this video with my findings.

For more info check out @rombopicks

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Gear

New Joe Dart Bass From Sterling By Music Man

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Sterling by Music Man introduces the Joe Dart Artist Series Bass (“Joe Dart”), named after and designed in collaboration with the celebrated Vulfpeck bassist.

Above photo credit: JORDAN THIBEAUX

This highly-anticipated model marks the debut of the Dart bass in the Sterling by Music Man lineup, paying homage to the Ernie Ball Music Man original that all funk players know and love. The bass embodies many of the original model’s distinctive features, from its iconic minimalist design to the passive electronics.

Joe Dart Artist Series Bass

The design process prioritized reliability, playability, and accessibility at the forefront. Constructed from the timeless Sterling body, the Dart features a slightly smaller neck profile, offering a clean tone within a comfortable package. The body is crafted from soft maple wood for clarity and warmth while the natural finish emphasizes the simple yet unique look.

Engineered for straightforward performance, this passive bass features a ceramic humbucking bridge pickup and a single ‘toaster’ knob for volume control. Reliable with a classic tone, it’s perfect for playing in the pocket. The Dart is strung with the all-new Ernie Ball Stainless Steel Flatwound Electric Bass Strings for the smoothest feel and a mellow sound.

Joe Dart Artist Series Bass

The Sterling by Music Man Joe Dart Bass is a special “Timed Edition” release, exclusively available for order on the Sterling by Music Man website for just one month. Each bass is made to order, with the window closing on May 31st and shipping starting in November. A dedicated countdown timer will indicate the remaining time for purchase on the product page. Additionally, the back of the headstock will be marked with a “2024 Crop” stamp to commemorate the harvest year for this special, one-of-a-kind release. 

The Joe Dart Bass is priced at $399.99 (MAP) and can be ordered globally at https://sterlingbymusicman.com/products/joe-dart. 

To learn more about Joe Dart, visit the official Vulfpeck artist site here https://www.vulfpeck.com/.


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