Peavey VFLs vs. Super Ferrites (TL5 content)

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by Mystic Michael, Dec 28, 2012.


  1. Mystic Michael

    Mystic Michael Hip No Ties Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2004
    Location:
    New York, NY
    From time to time, I've been tempted to pick up one of those fine Peavey TL5 bass guitars that have been out of production for nearly 20 years now - before they're all gone. In the TalkBass discussions about the TL5, I keep coming across references to Peavey's Super Ferrite pickups, used in the first-generation TL5s - as opposed to Peavey's VFL pickups used in the second generation of TL5s (along with today's Millennium & Cirrus models).

    Can any of you TL5 guys enlighten me as to the differences in tone & ouput between the Super Ferrites and the VFLs? Which is your preference - any why?

    FWIW, I'm somewhat familiar with the hi-fi tone & response of the VFLs, having test-driven a Peavey Cirrus 5. But I've never heard the Super Ferrites.

    MM
  2. Philbiker

    Philbiker Pat's the best!

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2000
    Location:
    Northern Virginia, USA
    The Super Ferrites are single coil pickups, they will hum when soloed. They sound like very bright, very high output Jazz bass pickups. I had a Dyna-Bass 5, which had the same pickups and electronics package as the first generation TL. The problem with the SF pickups is that they made them in one size. They have rail magnets so they can be used with multiple different string configurations.

    On my Dyna 5, even with the very narrow string spacing (which I liked a lot), the "G" string always sounded very weak and thin. It was barely over the pickup. Other Peavey owners may have different experience. The 3 band defeatable EQ on the original TLs and Dynas was IMO excellent. All three EQ bands were very carefully chosen and were great for shaping the sound on my bass.
  3. Mystic Michael

    Mystic Michael Hip No Ties Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2004
    Location:
    New York, NY
    Single coils, you say? I would never have guessed that. I assumed they were humbuckers - since they're in more or less a soapbar size & shape. Live & learn... :meh:

    I truly dig pickups with a rails design over those with a pole pieces design. But not if the magnetic field isn't broad enough to cover all the strings. Kind of defeats the purpose, doesn't it?

    Please tell me, Phil: Did Peavey use a very different onboard preamp for the 2G TL5 than the preamp for the 1G TL5? The 1G version had separate, single pots for bass, mids & highs - plus an active/passive toggle; while the 2G version had a stacked pot for bass/treble, and another stacked pot for midrange level/sweep - no active/passive toggle. So I'm guessing that means the answer is "yes". :meh:

    Thanks,

    MM
  4. Philbiker

    Philbiker Pat's the best!

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2000
    Location:
    Northern Virginia, USA
    I believe so. The first gen EQ is excellent, and Peavey active EQ in general is well regarded, so I would expect it to be very nice.
  5. Register to disable this ad
  6. boynamedsuse

    boynamedsuse Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2010
    I ran across this thread doing a search for something else and would like to comment.

    In the TL-Five first gen operating guide, the two Super Ferrite pickups are listed as hum cancelling. They may be hum-cancelling single coils (like noiseless J pickups) or some other configuration, but they were supposed to be hum-cancelling. It has been a couple years since I owned one (briefly), and I recall that you needed to have your fingers on a string to keep 60 cycle hum from rearing it's head, but that is not the same thing. It may also have been an issue with the instrument I owned rather than the entire line.

Share This Page