marcus miller with sire bass

Sire. Quality does not mean expensive

The Sire bass guitar. For many decades, there has been an opinion among musicians, especially beginners, that an excellent instrument cannot be affordable. That it must be expensive. If you suddenly want to study this question, you will see many forums and threads where you will even get a specific sum, somewhere it will be notorious $500 (hello used Fender), somewhere $800, somewhere even more. 

And really, if you think about it, it is quite reasonable. A guitar, and even more important, a bass guitar builder should use only good quality wood for guitar creation, often of exotic species. The woodsmen should harvest the wood properly and store it for many years. . . They should dry and transport it properly to the place of production and so on… Ironwork. . ., bridges and pins, frets, don’t forget about sound pickups and preamp (what can you do without it). Note – I’m not even talking about production costs, money invested in marketing and so on… It’s obvious that guitar is an expensive pleasure and if you just started or just a kitchen musician, then you should play on an old Yamaha… You don’t make money with music, so why do you need a pro class instrument? Maybe you will have a Fender one day, it never hurts to dream, but you can also see Mayones in pictures. . .

That’s the way the world works. Everybody thinks so, even me. But that’s not what the guys from Sire think.

Marcus Miller with sire M2 bass guitar

Sire and Marcus Miller

Let me tell you right away: I’m a skeptic and a pessimist. So when I first heard about Marcus Miller’s SIRE basses project, I immediately decided: “The Chinese made another battery-powered plywood, gave Marcus Miller a million dollars and that was it: capitalism has won over the deceived workers and peasants again. Eh…, Marcus, Marcus, you’re the one I didn’t expect…”

But! Fortunately, I should admit that I was wrong. Sire and Marcus Miller worked together (by the way, it took no less than 2.5 years to develop the first generation and launch the production) and managed to make a really cool bass for everyone!

To have my name on an instrument, it has to be excellent.

Marcus Miller

How do I know that? It’s very simple – from people who have bought their own SIRE. Yes, yes, I really got interested in this dark horse. I first heard about them on YouTube. They were really going viral everywhere. But the thing is that commercials and reviews almost always have the invisible hand of a sound engineer. It’s not guaranteed that when you plug your bass into a Chinese combo at home, you will get the same sound… So I went to read reviews at SIRE dealers, and I looked at reviews at Thomann and Andertons online stores.

Sire VS Squier

To be fair, I should say that there were a couple of negative moments; however, these moments did not concern the quality of craftsmanship or sound. A few purchasers noted that the guitar builder initially set the bridge to a rather high string position, and they had to adjust the action themselves after purchase. They could find nothing more serious.

Features of SIRE bass guitars and lineup

And now some interesting facts about SIRE bass guitars:

  • The reputable Korean brand SIRE decides to conquer the global market.
  • SIRE plans to make quality instruments, but sell them cheaply.
  • To do this, they are moving their headquarters to the United States, California.
  • They want to develop a dream instrument together with top musicians, but no one believes in a utopia.
  • They meet Marcus Miller, who also wants to make music accessible to everyone.
  • Two and a half years later, Marcus Miller’s first generation of SIRE bass guitars appears and blows everyone’s mind.

It’s hard to believe, but the world doesn’t stand still. Technology, materials and equipment capabilities change. This allows you to make an instrument inexpensive, but without turning it into a cheap one. A simple example: remember the prices of smartphones ten years ago and remember the capabilities of these very smartphones. Do you remember? Now you can buy a smartphone for $70-80, and it will be an order-of-magnitude cooler than what was in the past. It’s about the same in the world of musical instruments.

SIRE bass guitars have a pretty wide lineup. The builders and stores have already sold out the first generation and helped musicians to try it out all over the world.

The line designated by the Latin letter V is essentially a classic jazz bass. The price starts from ~244 euro with delivery from the store Thomann.

They equip the line with the letter M with two humbuckers, an unreal cool modern look, but this is purely to my taste.

I’m not going to dwell on the description of each model separately, but instead I’ll talk about what is in any bass, both in the most budget one, and in the top model V10 5NT swamp ash version. But first, I asked the Thomann guys for some samples of SIRE bass guitar sound, not to be unsubstantiated. They recorded all samples on inexpensive SIRE bass guitars, but of course made them on professional equipment, keep in mind. So:


So, when you buy a SIRE Marcus Miller bass guitar, you get

  1. Only the finest quality wood. Swamp ash, North American alder, maple, and mahogany. As for my part, I say that the manufacturers do not usually use the wood of such species for building instruments of this price category.
  2. All instruments feature a Marcus Heritage-3 Preamp. Three-band equalizer, midrange cutoff, switching to a passive mode. SIRE itself considers this preamp as a proof of putting their philosophy into practice.
  3. The rounded edge of the neck (chamfer). Previously, they found it only in custom shop instruments. To make it possible, the manufacturers developed new equipment from scratch!
  4. Steel bridge with strings passing through the body.
  5. The bone or synthetic bone as the top plate material.

An impressive list of options for an entry-level instrument, isn’t it?

You know. . . I read a lot about SIRE bass guitars… but exactly at the time of writing this article, I visited Thomann several times to check prices, specifications, listen to samples, and you know what I realized? That I will buy this bass. Probably I will buy something from M lineup, they are really sexy.))

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