I hate my Peavey.

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Green Dragoon, Aug 15, 2018.

  1. I have a bunch of complaints about my Peavey Millennium AC BXP 4. This is probably because it's a used bass, and my first one, and was bought with "good budget" instead of "good tone" in mind by my dad. So, what I think is the treble pot(the manual page on the configuration doesn't help, I attached it to the post) is so loose and I'm afraid to break it because of how loose it is. It makes a weird rattling noise when I try to turn it. Speaking of pots, if you turn ANY of the pots, save for volume, up to 10 or anywhere close to 10, it's really hissy. Even with new strings(I was basically forced to buy new strings since the strings it came with were as old as the bass itself) it sounds bad. On all the amps I tried at a guitar store it sounds the same.Any tips?
  2. SpazzTheBassist


    Jun 20, 2006
    A lot of players - including me - like the way they sound <shrug> You are correct, Number 3 is Treble, not pickup blend...pickup blend is next to volume

    It may need to be sprayed out with contact cleaner

    Im a "new strings" player myself (all basses get a string change when they start losing life/ between 4 - 5 gigs -- unfortunately, I spend a lot of money on strings)...some players dont like "zing" so I guess the main questions I would ask are:

    1) What sound/ tone are you looking for?
    2) What music genre(s) do you play?
    3) What are an example of bass players you are trying to emulate in sound?
    4) How do you set up your amp?
    5) Fingers? Pick? Slap? Tap? All?

    This would be helpful information for all readers here
    BillMason and kodiakblair like this.
  3. BassholeKI


    Feb 10, 2017
    lancimouspitt, gebass6 and Bassbeater like this.
  4. lug

    lug Supporting Member

    Feb 11, 2005
    League City, Tx
    First simple step, rotate all the pots vigorously back and forth about eleventy billion times after tightening the wobbly one. Believe it or not, this could clear up a lot of your pot problems.
    ppiluk, Aqualung60, Systolic and 3 others like this.
  5. guy n. cognito

    guy n. cognito Secret Agent Member

    Dec 28, 2005
    Nashville, TN
    “Pots to 10” on the EQ knobs means you are adding 10db of boost.....which will sound bad. Keep the eq pots near their center detent.

    Better yet, take your bass to an experienced musician or luthier. Have them show you how it works and fix the very minor issues you listed.
    rtav, JPaulGeddy, Aqualung60 and 13 others like this.
  6. tpaul

    tpaul Supporting Member

    Mar 19, 2011
    A loose pot is an easy fix. Take off the knob and tighten the nut.

    As guy said above, knobs on 10 is not the way to start with an active bass. I assume you put in a fresh battery?

    So far you haven't said anything that would make me doubt the quality of the bass. These are all minor issues and easy to address.
    BillMason, Reedt2000, JaseyT and 3 others like this.
  7. scuzzy


    Feb 15, 2006
    Troy, MO
    i applaud your desire to learn your instrument. in my past, i despised many pieces of gear that i simply didn't know how to utilize properly. i now wish i had most of them back so i could try with better knowledge.

    advice above is great and you should start there. tighten the nut on the loose pot first. then center your bass/mid/treble and pickup pan. this will be a great place to start. gradually adjust from there. the hissing can be from many places, but if you have the treble maxed on the bass, any bass will hiss. its not really meant to be ran that way in 99% of circumstances.
    BillMason and EatS1stBassist like this.
  8. Bassbeater

    Bassbeater Guest

    Sep 9, 2001
    If you like the way it plays but don't like the electronics, have a tech put a new simpler passive preamp in it. The bass has pretty solid positive reviews with other players, the preamp may have some problem or maybe just not to your liking. Don't blame your dad for the gift he bought you, it makes you sound like a jackass.
    Buy a metronome if you don't have one.
    Good luck!
  9. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD

    Feb 20, 2005
    Syracuse NY
    Endorsing artist: Dingwall Guitars
    -Tighten the treble 'knob'. Is it the actual knob on the outside or the pot that's come loose from against the body. Either way it's a super easy fix. Remove the knob, tighten the nut that holds it in place. Return the knob.

    -New strings. They're a fact of life. They don't last forever. Change them. Get used to doing it every once in a while.

    -Sounds terrible with the knobs turned up all the way? Don't do it. Active instruments usually have both boost and cut (although sometimes they're boost only). Generally speaking there's no good reason to turn any of the tone controls all the way up.

    -Pickup blend control. I don't love 'em but lots of guys do. Each pickup sounds different. That's because of their placement. The blend allows you to pick one, the other, or a combination of the two in various tone balances.

    Seems like a pretty nice 'starter bass'. Way nicer than what I started with.
    kesslari, BillMason and mikewalker like this.
  10. Clark Dark

    Clark Dark

    Mar 3, 2005
    If you bought it used at a music store and walked out with loose pots that was your first mistake. You could've asked them to make the repairs before you finalized the buy because if anything was to go wrong it would not be your fault. If it's as it was I'd go back, explain the problems and have them tighten the pot. If you are not experienced with how to do it you could twist it and break the wired connections.
  11. MotorCityMinion


    Jun 15, 2017
    Hopefully, I don't sound like a Jackazz or dumbazz but what the fudge is a simpler passive preamp? I always thought that if a bass had a preamp, it was active, with a bypass switch installed to dis engage it.
    HolmeBass likes this.
  12. FugaziBomb


    Jun 5, 2017
    I have that same bass as well as much more expensive $1500-$2000 instruments, and it's quality is on par with the others. Also, don't sweat buying used gear. Its a great way to get your hands on gear that's out of your budget otherwise.

    That manual is terrible.

    This is typical with a lot of on board bass EQs. Boosting signal also boosts noise, which is essential what you're doing here. Try using the EQ more subtly. When I boost a frequency range on an active bass, I usually do it slowly and MAYBE 1/4 turn of that knob.

    Replace the battery if you haven't already, and if things are still sideways, take it to a good repair guy in your area. At least they can tell you what's wrong with it. Then, if you can't afford the work, you can try and tackle it yourself - and even turn here for repair tips.

    There's no reason to ditch that Peavey - it really is a fine instrument. I am as fond of mine as I am my Stingray or Fenders, though I did replace the preamp with an Aguilar unit. Good luck, don't give up on that thing yet!
    BillMason and HolmeBass like this.
  13. Bassbeater

    Bassbeater Guest

    Sep 9, 2001
    Some people wire their pickups directly to the output jack with no preamp at all. I guess that's the simplest setup. An active preamp typically uses a 9v battery, a passive preamp doesn't.
    I always set my volume wide open, my pickup blend(if there is one) at 50/50 and all eq/tone knobs in the center. Not everybody does this, but it is a good place to start when you are getting to know a new instrument.
    A basic rule in eq is cut before boosting. That means that if you want more bass tone, cut the treble before boosting the bass frequencies. This is how you can keep the added noise down and get the tone you are after.
    I would hold off modifying the electronics and just make sure they are working correctly. Using contact cleaner and working the pots is good advice.
    If you are just learning how to play, it's going to take some persistence to get the tones you want, because a lot of the tone comes from how you play the instrument.
    There are a ton of youtube videos that can show you basic posture and technique to get you started with exercises if you are new to it.
    Have fun! Thank your dad! Get a metronome!
    Edit: When I wrote this I mistakenly thought @MotorCityMinion was the OP. My bad.
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2018
  14. bassstrangler


    Mar 2, 2015
    Sorry to hear that your dad bought you a used bass dependent on his budget. Also sorry that you were forced to buy new strings for your used bass.

    Listen to what these people here have to say, there is nothing on that bass that can't be easily corrected. You tube some videos on set up and cleaning the potentiometers, buy a can of contact cleaner and contact lubricant at Home Depot for less than $10 for both. Ask your Dad politely to take you there and maybe he'll even help you out in getting this perfectly usable bass back to its potential. It might be a great experience for both of you to do something together (possibly get you out of the depths of hell, as your avatar suggests, for a little while).

    When you get a chance tell your Dad thanks for me for being cool and buying you a bass.

    EDIT: After you thank your Dad, take out the trash and clean your room. Then take your bass to the back porch, if you have one, and sit there and practice, away from your small bedroom in the depths of hell. I only wish I had a kid to buy a Bass for. Be grateful.
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2018
  15. QweziRider

    QweziRider Supporting Member

    Sep 15, 2008
    Northern Nevada, U.S.
    That. Right there.
  16. Dude, you've come to the right place. IMO that is a really nice starter bass and we will help you get it working better.

    If a pot is loose, stop turning it or you'll break a wire. This happens all the time on all sorts of basses.
    Take off the back cover. If the pot has spun around, gently spin it back. Take off the knob (it might have a little set screw? or maybe just pulls off). Hold the pot from the back and tighten the nut from the front with the appropriate size wrench. While you're at it check and tighten the other pots if needed.

    Put in a new battery. If the battery is near death it can cause distortion (not the good kind).
  17. JPaulGeddy


    Sep 19, 2007
    South Carolina
    Those basses sound great. Leave the EQ in the center detents, adjust minimally. They do tend to eat batteries, so always unplug it when not in use.
  18. Reedt2000

    Reedt2000 Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2017
    Central New Jersey
    Solid advise here already. As others point out the loose knob (Or more accurately the potentiometer the knob is on) is an easy fix. Just to clarify things (in case you don't know) the 3 band EQ features the ability to add or subtract from the treble, mid range, and bass frequencies coming from the bass. To do this the knobs all have a center position where they are neither adding or subtracting. There will be a notch at that point that you should feel as you turn them. The pickup blend/balancer knob works in a similar fashion. It will have a center point with a notch you'll be able to feel while turning it. In that center spot both pickups contribute equally to the sound. As you turn in one direction (the same direction as turning a knob like the volume up) it gives your more and more of the neck pickup (usually warmer and rounder sounding) and less of the bridge (typically brighter and punchy sounding) until it has turned all the way and it is just the neck pickup. Turning down from center favors the bridge pickup and when all the way down it is only the bridge pickup. As suggested turn all 4 knobs (the EQ and blend) to center and start listening from there. First move the blend back and forth to hear what the pickups sound like with no EQ. Then try adding or subtracting with the EQ in SMALL increments, using it to bring in what you might think it lacks or take out what might sound like too much (rumbly bass or piercing treble for example). Some players like a "scooped" tone which means more treble and bass and less mids. Fool around with it, I think once you understand the controls you'll be able to get a sound you're happy with. The benefit of an active EQ is lots of control over the sound, the downside is learning what all the adjustments do and where you like them.

    Don't give up on it, you've got a decent bass compared to bottom of the line starter kits. They also have slim necks and tend to be very light and comfortable to play.

    Make sure your battery is new and DON'T leave the cable plugged in, the battery drains anytime it is plugged in, whether you are playing it or not.
    BillMason likes this.
  19. greenduke


    Jan 21, 2014
    Dallas, TX
    Best be careful about the advice, "loose pot", "just tighten the nut"!
    If you've got a clear coat poly finish and you over tighten that nut...You can crack the finish, I've seen it quite often.
    You can also damage the pot as well and if it rotates inside the cavity, break solder joints/wiring.
    Some pots have an internal height clearance adjustment/lock nut as well that needs to be checked and adjusted first or you may find your pot dosen't rotate smoothly anymore after tightening it down or the knob drags against the body.
    I always remove and inspect the electronics components cavity cover and do a full inspection prior to doing anything that has to do with the controls.
    Apply a little non-permanent thread locking compound on the pot thread and go easy on the tightening torque, you won't need much.
    If you don't like what your dad purchased for you...You can always go try out some other basses, get a job, save up and buy your own yourself.
  20. MDBass

    MDBass Supporting Member

    Nov 7, 2012
    Los Angeles, CA
    Endorsing Artist: Dingwall-Fender-Bergantino-Dunlop-Tech 21-Darkglass-Nordstrand
    There is no such thing as a “passive preamp”: a preamp requires power of some kind and is active by definition.

    A passive setup may have a tone control, which is essentially a variable LPF, but anything with an EQ that can boost is active.
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