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Bass Guitars item created by songwriter21, Jul 19, 2017
Pros - Radiused pickups, neck stability, and mid-sweep of the preamp.
Cons - 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. I bought this bass kind of on a whim, to give a Cirrus another chance. I say this, because this one has an ebony board, and my last ebony board had a slew of problems (cracked and, yes, split board w/ sharp fret ends). I swore I'd never own another ebony board again. Still, 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, which I will confirm later on, via Peavey customer service. 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 Dunlop, and bridge is a brass ABM.
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. I swear, the fretboard feels and looks like rosewood, but people have told me that Macassar Ebony looks close. I've also read that Mac feels like regular, black ebony, but not the case here...again, has that more textured feel of rosewood. I don't mind, I like rosewood. If it is ebony, then it's the most stable piece I've ever experienced, considering that 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. I may take the bass for a PLEK job later, simply because I'm super-picky , prefer stupidly-low/"guitar-low" action, and some frets do fret out when I bend the G-string a lot. No, the frets aren't "computer-perfect", as human hands set them a while back, but they're pretty darn close. The truss rod works perfectly, and responds to the slightest turn. That's a good sign.
Aside from not being sure about what tone I'd get from the walnut in the neck, I was apprehensive about the neck, simply because of the steps it takes to adjust it. The best are the truss wheels (imo), like on Ernie Ball. It is a pain to detune three strings, take three screws out, take the cover off, adjust the neck with the proper wrench (that was the quick part, actually), put the cover back on, put the screws back in, re-tune the bass, and re-check the relief. The really good thing, luckily, 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 the stock bridge (ABM) sucks royal donkey parts. It's a total pain to adjust, and the action doesn't go anywhere near what I need for my low action, and I have a flat neck (from my eyes). So, I actually pieced together a bridge from three different companies (see description above). It wasn't the cheapest thing, but it works, and I don't even have 2 mm on the G-string, with minimal buzz on the neck as a whole.
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!