The bass guitar has undergone some serious changes over the last 60 years or so. Fender Precision bass is the Model A of basses. It was the blue print for everything to come then and after. Some people still swear by it. It's sound is legendary.
Then, in 1969 Alembic changed the game by inventing active electronics. This was the Rolls Royce of basses.
Enter 1996 and the start of the Peavey Cirrus designed by Rich Lasner. It came into full production in 1998. It had elements of MTD and others maybe but it was it's own bass and now all "active" basses copy it's layout of volume, blend, bass, mid, and treble controls onboard.
The Cirrus was made in the USA shop until the mid 2000's. The wood choices are all high end tonal woods that also look beautiful. The pickups have microchips in them and there is also an 18v preamp. Two soapbar pickups placed in a way give a modern tone. No dead spots anywhere on the neck. Two full octaves. Thin neck, Tear drop shape neck fits in your hand like it is a part of you. Neck thru design, with a s limited run of 34" bolt ons, otherwise standard is 35" scale.
Edit - 4 string bolt ons are 34" scale. 5 & 6 string are 35" scale.
Translates excellent to both live and recording studio purposes. This is a professional bass guitar 100%. It can hang with its counterparts costing 5 times it's price, and even come out on top. The Peavey Cirrus is literally the best production bass ever made for the best possible price. When it was being designed Hartley Peavey said nobody would pay over $1,000 for a Peavey bass. The world is glad he was wrong. Now in 2019, a pre-owned USA model sells on the used market for under a grand. An absolute bargain. The sound is crystal clear, dead silent, even sound across all strings, and easy to play. At 8.5 lbs it can be played at any 4 hour gig with pleasure.
If you haven't had the chance to try a Peavey Cirrus, then please do so. You will not stop smiling and it will make you a better player.
'06 Peavey Cirrus CS (custom shop)
- 4.5/5, 4.5 from 2 reviews
I bought this (used) earlier this year, and it's from when Peavey was in their heyday of making custom Cirruses, in Mississippi.
Peavey Cirrus - The BEST boutique bass for the $$
- 5/5, 5 out of 5, reviewed Dec 5, 2019
- Build Quality:
- + Look, feel, features, tone, weight
- - doesn't do a Pbass accurately. More modern tone
The most kick*** Cirrus I've ever played!
- 4/5, 4 out of 5, reviewed Jul 19, 2017
- Build Quality:
- + Radiused pickups, neck stability, and mid-sweep of the preamp.
- - ABM bridge
This is, without question, the most badass Cirrus I've ever played/owned. It's a HUGE shame that these aren't made anymore...not in the US/custom shop, anyway. This one looked to be in perfect shape, and indeed, that's how it came to me.
My bass is one of the most unusual Cirruses I've seen aside from two other delinquents on here somwhere. The body is alder, with a figured California redwood top, joined to a 5-piece walnut/maple neck. The fretboard is a very rosewood-ish piece of Macassar Ebony. It doesn't have the usual, lone "C" inlay, but m-o-p dots, which I actually like better. The VFL pickups are wired to an 18-volt preamp that has that awesome mid freq sweep knob. The tuners are Hipshot Ultralites (confirmed with Hipshot), straplocks are Schaller, and bridge is a brass ABM. I have since replaced one bridge screw with a chrome one, as I swapped this bridge out a bit ago (one screw was lost in that time), and that bridge has now been put back on.
I can basically get whatever tone I want, and I think the dominant walnut, along with the alder sides, really give this this a nice and growly mid-range. I have had numerous experiences with different wood combos, even with neck-thrus, and the different kinds definitely have different tonal qualities. This also depends on the make and model, of course, but just saying that I've compared same makes, with only different woods, and very noticeable attributes of each. What I love about this Peavey, is how snarly the thing's growl is. It honestly can go from it's "signature" flat and crisp sound of a Ken Smith, to a roaring Spector, just by altering the mid frequency...'tis a thing of beauty. Again, I'm pretty sure that the walnut contributes to this growl. I can then get every other popular tone, like a P, a very burpy and harmonic J, and everything in between. The slap tones are all there, and they're all killer.
The feel of the neck and pickups are really decent. I get the playing-ramp feel of the arched pickups (matching the fretboard's radius) and even string volume, too...WOOT. The neck is assymetrical, I'd say between an MTD flatness and P-Bass bulk, if that makes sense. I guess you could say it feels similar to Carvin/Kiesel's assym neck, too. The satin urethane is super-fast, and is transitioned nicely at the heel, to gloss (on the body). The Hipshot tuners are smooth and sleek-looking...love the chrome/black color scheme, like Peavey also put on the Milleniums. I think the nut is Graphtech, and no problems there. The ebony board is wonderful, also because it's the most stable ebony board that I've ever experienced, considering this is an 11-year-old piece, with zero protruding fret ends, and no cracks or splits of any kind. The fret job is one of the best I've ever seen and played, too. The truss rod works perfectly, and responds to the slightest turn. That's a good sign.
The really good thing about this bass, is that the neck doesn't seem to move. My action has stayed put, and how I like it, that's saying a lot. It's laminated from 5 pieces of wood, with a dual-action rod (Peavey switched to a dual type later on), with "very large bars of graphite" that run the entire length of the neck. I got that quote from the old Peavey brochure, btw. If they're that large, well then I'm convinced that this helps the stability, because I've never had to touch the neck (since the first adjustment), and Pittsburgh's weather is insane.
The only reason I gave this bass 4 out of 5 stars, is because I'm not a fan of the ABM bridge, even though many are. It's solid, and I just like Hipshot ones better...personal preference.
People have said that if Peavey brought back the US production, they'd easily charge double what the Indo-made ones are. Ya know what? It'd be time to up my credit limit!
- No. of Frets:
- No. of Strings:
- Body Material:
- Neck Material:
- walnut and maple
- Body Finish:
- Urethane gloss
- Nut Width:
- 1 3/4" (I thnk)
- Fingerboard Material:
- Macassar Ebony
- ABM (factory/stock)
- Peavey VFL, active
- Other Hardware:
- Hipshot Ultralite tuners, custom-hybrd bridge made from a Hipshot base plate, ABM saddles, and Schaller springs on the G and D strings, Elixir strings, Q-Parts knobs
- around 9 lbs
- EQ / Controls:
- Peavey Millennium, 18-volt (all active):
Vol, blend, bass, mid/mid freq sweep, treble
Gabriel51 likes this.
- Other Specs:
- figured California redwood top