Getting back into Bass after 30 years, need advice on things for Peavey T-40

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by ramsfan, Dec 22, 2017.

  1. ramsfan


    Dec 22, 2017
    I have decided to get back into bass, after 30 years away from it. My old setup was a Peavey T-40 and a Peavey TNT-100 AMP. I no longer have the Amp. I played in a rock cover band in the 80's. I want to get back into that genre (Foreigner, Van Halen, AC/DC, April Wine, Queen, Led Zeppelin, etc...).

    I went to a local music shop to check out some newer guitars, and was pleasantly surprised to learn my Peavey T-40 is worth more than I paid for it, and it was recommended I do a setup and start with it, and a used Amp. I could really use some help on a few things.

    First, I assume a setup is a good idea after 30 years.
    I need to select new strings. The person at the shop recommended flat wounds, as they would be easier to play as a "new beginner", and he felt the electronics on the Peavey could create sounds that were brighter.
    I also need a new strap and chord.

    The help I need is as follows:

    What strings should I get? I have done some research, and if I could find a flatwound that is easier to start with, that sounds a bit brighter, I think that would be ideal. I also believe my bass strings go through the body, and my bass is on the larger side, so I have to be careful to get the correct length? What about the gauges? There are so many options!!!

    Strap: this is a HEAVY bass. I am up there in years, so I am interested in the most comfortable strap. Also, should I go with locks for the straps? I currently have an older woven strap.

    Finally, any recommendations on a chord?

    Thanks so much for sharing your expertise and knowledge with me!
    mech likes this.
  2. Flatwounds would be great on that bass,but if you want a bit more grit in your sound,ghs pressurewounds are really good. (Smooth feel,like flats). I use a neoprene shoulder strap that’s really comfortable with the heavier basses. I don’t get too picky with my cords,just get a good quality one.
    Aqualung60 and DeliriumTremens like this.
  3. joker820

    joker820 Supporting Member

    Jan 20, 2014
    I’m sure someone far more seasoned than myself will weigh in but I’ll take a crack at it. I’m more of a rounds guy but like Ernie Ball cobalt flat wounds and Thomastik Jazz Flats (pricey and harder to find than US manufacturers). I’ve heard D’Addario Chromes in the lightest gauge they sell are easy to play and are relatively bright. As far as a strap, something like a Comfort Strapp or a Levy’s 3” wide leather one would probably be best. Good luck and welcome back!
    woodyng2 likes this.
  4. bassbully

    bassbully Endorsed by The PHALEX CORN BASS..mmm...corn!

    Sep 7, 2006
    Blimp City USA
    First off congrats on getting back on the bass horse. First the good. You have a bass but you are 30 years older now then your **** Rock days. The T40 is a beast and built to withstand a full out nuclear war. Now you can stick with it and plan your visits to a spine doctor or sell it and move on to a lighter bass. They are great basses but we want you to be around awhile not in traction :laugh:. That will be up to you.

    Thank God you don’t have the Peavey combo that sucker requires two men and a truck to get around...again, we have come a long way from the 80’s equipment wise and our backs are greatful for it. There are allot of good light weight cabs and heads these days that won’t break the bank.
    As for strings I’m not sure the flatwounds are easier comment. I play flats and see no advantage playing wise over rounds but they feel and sound diffrent thou. I love chrome flats but I think for the music you want to play nickel rounds would suit the bill fine. As for length see if you need regular or extended scale strings. You might want to take the bass in for a good setup and get strings installed then. As for a cord there are allot out there like monster and planet waves. I like a 20’ with one end angled.
    If you plan on keeping the T40 you will need a wide strap 4” at least or a neoprene comfort strap (google it) possibly a stool and again.... a good back doctor. I also feel strap locks are a must and prefer Dunlop.
    So again, welcome back!. Throw away your spandex, catch up on your squats and go give it hell.
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2017
  5. Flatwound strings sound great but if you get tired of the sound you will have to get new strings. Not a huge expense but if you're like me you only change strings when a meteor hits the Earth. Your fingers will toughen up quickly with roundwound strings and if you want a darker sound you can turn down the tone control.

    Rick B.
    TuneIn and bassbully like this.
  6. Neoprene strap is the way to go. There's a few available. I have a nice one made by Levys I got a few years ago.
    bholder and jd56hawk like this.
  7. user362432

    user362432 Guest

    Dec 27, 2002
    Try GHS Pressurewound strings. They feel like flats. But, have a little bit more bite than regular flats. However. I found, also GHS flats can me interesting. If you are in that kind of rock, I cannot think anything else than Rotosound 66 - pure classic.
    jd56hawk likes this.
  8. Ernie Ball cobalt flats are very bright sounding for flatwound strings also
  9. jd56hawk


    Sep 12, 2011
    The Garden State
    I thought Fender 9050CLs were the best strings I could hope for until I lucked onto a set of GHS black tapewounds…very expressive!
    Don't get me wrong, the 9050CLs are incredible flatwounds, but the GHS tapes simply go that extra mile and feel even better than flats.
    And damn, they look great on a maple fretboard!
    TN WOODMAN and Tvrtko like this.
  10. Adienn7


    Jan 26, 2007
    Gruv gear solo no strap. DR BLACK BEAUTIES COATED ROUNDWOUNDS or LA BELLA COATED FLATS. Amps - ampeg is the most common classic rock amp.. To get that sound a tech 21 sans amp bass pre in of a ampeg ba 15 or svt ss mini head-two ten cab.. That will get you most rock sounds.
  11. Not sure if you need advice on an amp, but I would look into the new Fender Rumble V3 series. Very light weight, which if i assume correctly your back will appreciate.
  12. Slater

    Slater Leave that thing alone.

    Apr 17, 2000
    The Great Lakes State
    After being out of the game for 30 years and slinging a Peavey T-40, don’t skimp on the stap! I would get the widest most comfortable strap I could find. Your shoulder and back will thank you. ;)
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2017
  13. bumble yeti

    bumble yeti Supporting Member

    Aug 14, 2005
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Welcome back to the machine, ramsfan! :bassist:
    I had a T-40 back in the day. May I suggest a Comfort Strapp? I've got one on both of my EBMM fivers and neither of them is lightweight for sure. And I'm AARP too, bro. ;)
    Comfort Strapp™ – Comfort Strapp™ Guitar Straps
    Flats? Really? Nothing against flats but generally there's more tension there. I'd say nickel rounds for the '80's stuff. Half rounds, maybe… But, c'mon… you're fingers will get used to it again.
    Amps? So many brands. So many sounds. Try a lot. MOEBASSPLAYER's idea is a great place to start. Their 2x10 is pretty sweet. Ultimately the choice is yours. Choose well. :D
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2017
    bassbully likes this.
  14. mech

    mech In Memoriam

    Jun 20, 2008
    Meridian, MS, USA
    Congrats on keeping the old warhorse! How about a pic??

    IMO, flats won't get the sound you'll be looking for. I recommend a set of .095-.035" roundwounds. They're on the light side so it'll be easier to play.
    bassbully, kodiakblair and Phyzzbin like this.
  15. bumble yeti

    bumble yeti Supporting Member

    Aug 14, 2005
    Pittsburgh, PA
    +1. Yep. I agree and I'd like to see a pic too. Kinda wish I hadn't sold mine sometimes. My first real bass. Pretty bass, but… it weighed almost as much as me back then!
    bassbully likes this.
  16. I have flats on my T40, I'll check what they are when I get off work. I'm pretty happy with them.

    As far as the strap goes, get the widest one you can afford! Only half kidding, it does make a difference. I haven't personally tried neoprene, but I've heard it helps.

    I'd never play out without strap locks, but I'm gonna have to get creative for the T40 - they have a weird screw size that doesn't fit the locks I bought.

    Cords - Anything will work just for practice and getting back into it.
  17. The T40 is a fine bass.
    The reason it is now worth more than you paid for it is that
    the word is out about how many sounds that one bass can do.
    I will assume you won't be doing any 4 or 5 set gigs immediately,
    so the weight won't be as much of an issue, right away.
    Between a good comfort strap and sitting to practice, you may not
    notice it that much.
    Down the road, either you are in fair shape and get used to it or
    you keep it for recording or that one song in the setlist that it
    just nails better than anything else and get something else
    for most of your playing.

    Strings will depend on your tonal goals and their ability
    to handle the tight bend of a stringthru bridge.
    Be aware that some strings just won't be happy trying to make that bend.

    Amp choices are a lot greater than when you played before.
    Again some of the choice will come down to your physical condition.
    If you are still fit and expect to remain that way a while,
    there are some killer deals on great, older, but heavy amps.
    For example I can almost garantee that someone near you has an SVT
    that they have owned, used and loved for 30 years, but can't move anymore.
    The other end of the scale are the newer class D amps.
    If you have the bux, you can own a 3 to 10 pound head that will fit in a gigbag,
    with more power than you have ever player through before.
    Combined wth a well built lightweight cab with neo speakers,
    you could have a rig that isn't nuch heavier than your T40. :laugh:
    Again, if you don't see yourself gigging for a while, weight only matters if you are moving it.

    Best of luck on your return to the bottomend.
    gfaulkner and woodyng2 like this.
  18. The T40 is a classic - and yes, worth some money! Their massive weight always turned me off, but when I tried my friend’s T40, I was blown away by the variety of tones. Jt sounded like no other bass. The only reason I would suggest to buy a second bass (keep the T40!) is if you couldnt handle that weight. Would suck to try to start back, only to have to give up because the bass was simply too heavy.

    A wide strap helps for sure!

    Were you going to do the setup yourself? Yes, make sure you get long scale strings. I find flats hurt my fingers more, and the strings are completely subjective. A roundwound sounds more 80’s rock to me, but then you’ll get a ton of people saying this guy and that guy played flats in the 80’s, so... but I would get roundwounds.

    On the setup, you want to adjust the neck to be straight, clean the fretboard, polish the frets, and go over the electronics (usually some deox-it helps there). Then adjust action, pickup height, etc. I recommend taking it to a PRO the first time after sitting for 30 years, but the T40, if there’s any bass that could survive just sitting for that long, that would be the one.

    On the amp side, there are a LOT of options, and you’ll notice smps are a lot lighter and even louder than they used to be. Ok, the TNT is seriously loud, but crazy heavy. The Fender Rumble V3 is one of many good choices at an affordable price.

    As for the cable, Planet Waves makes a quality affordable cable. I’ve been using my current one for the past 10 years. I think I paid $20 for it? Skip the el cheapo store logo or no brand cables, but no need to pay extra for a Monster cable.

    Good luck and enjoy!!
    bassbully likes this.
  19. 40Hz

    40Hz Supporting Member

    May 24, 2006
    First up, welcome back! Thirty years is a ling time.

    Strings: if you don’t know what strings to get I’d go with GHS Pressurewounds. A nice smooth feeling string that straddles the flat and roundwound vibe and lands somewhere in the middle. Good sounding and reasonably priced. One of my favorite sets.

    Strap: wider is better if your bass is heavy. Padded is also a plus. I have no specific brand to recommend.

    Cord: any decent quality cord works. Planet Waves or GC’s house brand will do ya just fine. Don’t spend a lot of money on something like one made by Monster or some of the chichi brands. The extra money isn’t worth it.

    P.S. I too have a T-40. Great bass! Play it well. :thumbsup:
    Tvrtko likes this.
  20. mcarp555

    mcarp555 Guest

    Jul 14, 2013
    Cmaj7? I'm partial to a G6 as well.
    LowActionHero, srayb and Mark76 like this.