Year-to-year differences in BXP electronics
I have some serious questions about the different variations of Cirrus BXP electronics and their impact on tone. I know I'm not hallucinating or suffering from memory shine...there's definitely more than one Cirrus BXP sound. (If this has already been discussed to death, then my best keywording couldn't find this info...can someone point me in the right direction? Is there, perhaps, a single source listing and describing known variations in the Cirrus BXP?
I recently acquired my second Cirrus BXP 5...eight months ago, I let my tiger-eye 5 go and it almost immediately became a one-that-got-away. When I got my new one, I was surprised at how much lighter it was, how much easier it was to play (either I've gotten a whole lot better or this neck is substantially less meaty, and my first Cirrus didn't have side dots on the neck) and most of all, by the difference in tone.
The tone was the only let-down. My first Cirrus still had the factory strings when I sold it, and those strings have a certain magic. When I slapped a new set of Cirrus strings on it, I expected to hear what I remembered from my first Cirrus. And I did. But only to a point. The top end on my newer Cirrus - a 2003 with Peavey-labeled EQ - was a LOT tamer than my 2008, which was LITERALLY unplayable to me. I play pickstyle only due to a handicap, and with treble rolled right off, the top end was still oppressive in my band's live mix. This wasn't just playable...it was COMFORTABLE with the treble band at zero (detent). All the grind was there, but it seemed somehow far less strident...the one time I recorded with my Cirrus, I tracked with ALL THREE EQ bands at -10.
This seemed curious to me...then I got the rare opportunity recently to buy not one, but TWO complete Cirrus VFL 5/6-string rigs on ebay (both with potted EQs). One was G&B-labeled 2005 set, the other a 2008 Peavey-labeled set. Just for grins, I checked the resistance on the pickups. The G&B-labeled set each measured 100kOhms, the Peavey-labeled set both were only 56kOhms. Aha...so there ARE physical differences in these pickups!
I haven't yet had a chance to ear-test these two new rigs, and was wondering if perhaps there was info. out there that might save me some time by pointing me to a reference to known variations in BXP Cirrus'. Really, I got lucky...my 2003 replacement Cirrus is in many important respects a superior instrument to my 2008. If I'd had THIS Cirrus first, and replaced it with the 2008 Cirrus, I'd have been very disappointed with the lack of side dots, greater left-hand fatigue, extreme top-end response, and added weight of the 2008. Now I'm wondering what other differences there might be...but mostly I want to know about these pickups. While I have FOUR of them now, I only need the one...it's going into a Steinberger Spirit body to give me what is currently my dream gigging bass: a headless Cirrus.