Millennium AC BXP > USA Cirrus ?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Plucky The Bassist, Feb 19, 2014.

  1. Plucky The Bassist

    Plucky The Bassist Bassist for Michael "Epic Mic" Rowe

    Jul 30, 2010
    Houston, TX
    So anyone who has read some of my posts in threads about the USA Peavey Cirrus 5'ers knows that I REALLY didn't care for the one I got at all. Replaced the strings, tweaked the EQ to no end, used it through several amps/preamps and really just thought the sound was dull and grind or aggression at all IME.

    So I'm in the market for a budget 5'er with a smooth sound. While I could say a lot about the Peavey Cirrus 5'er I had, I won't deny that it did have a very even and smooth tone, even if it came off as anemic to me. So I got a Peavey Millenium AC BXP from Guitar Center recently and tried it out last night.

    Holy $--- it was great! Action was a little off and the neck might need a shim to raise it some, but the tone was amazing. Very growly, even, and with a good amount of cut. Even fiddling with the tone controls in various ways I could find more than a few settings I liked on it. Sits very well in the mix and has a very unique tone on its own. I kept scratching my head wondering how on EARTH the cheaper version of this bass beat out the USA model that I used to own. Fingerboard is actually supposed to be Pau Ferro like the USA ones, but aside from that the body woods are cheaper and the only difference in the hardware is that it's black instead of that ridiculous satin gold. Perhaps my USA one had some pickup defect or something up with the preamp? I had replaced the strings on the USA ones with D'Addario pro-steels and they still couldn't get any decent bite. Stock strings on this sound great, I can only imagine how good it will sound with the DR Hi-Beams on them...not to mention this bass is 34" scale so I can use a wider variety of strings compared to the 35" USA model.

    Really happy with my purchase, can't wait to get this one fixed up and playing like I want it. Maybe I got a really bad USA Cirrus before and just got a really good Millennium? Either way, I have another great sounding bass now! :hyper:
  2. Well, from your description of your Cirrus, I have little doubt in my mind you ended up with a dud, a rare exception. I own two, and I would never describe them the way you did.

    OTOH, whenever I hear about someone improving on the Cirrus, they often mention switching out the electronics for the Millennium guts.

    At any rate, congrats, enjoy, glad you're happy.
  3. jeff7bass


    Apr 9, 2009
    Cool man! Money does not always = better bass!
  4. Plucky The Bassist

    Plucky The Bassist Bassist for Michael "Epic Mic" Rowe

    Jul 30, 2010
    Houston, TX
    That makes sense. I was always assuming it was the pickups, I had read (can't remember where on here) that there was some kind of compression circuit in the USA Cirrus basses, wasn't sure if it was in the active pickups or the preamp. From you what you're saying, it was likely in the preamp and wasn't put in the Millennium ones. That would really explain the growl being present on the cheaper one since the VFL p-up's are identical to the USA ones. Neck adjustment that's needed aside, this is a really REALLY good bass. Going to go to GC and get the neck shimmed, they did an awesome job filing the nut and adjusting it with the piece of crap Douglas bass that I brought in, now that plays REALLY good. I can only imagine what they can do with this Peavey!
  5. StuartV

    StuartV Finally figuring out what I really like Supporting Member

    Jul 27, 2006
    Manassas, VA
    The difference between the sound of the Mill preamp and Cirrus preamp is VERY subtle. It definitely would not account for what the OP described. It sounds to me like there was just something wrong with the US Cirrus.
  6. Yeah, I was thinking this, but trying to be diplomatic.

    My Cirrus' can get as growly bright and wicked as any bass in my arsenal. I've heard a few people say the Mill pre was an improvement, but probably subtle at best.

    I've played a bunch of USA Cirrus', not a dud among them. Very rare indeed. Maybe certain tonewood combos? I dunno...
  7. smcd


    Jun 28, 2009
    Boston, MA
    Glad you like the Mill AC. Personally I've never picked up a BXP Millennium that could come close to a US Cirrus in any way. Some day you should try another Cirrus.
  8. Yeah, I also think it sounds like you got a dud. I would describe the Cirrus tone as bright and detailed. It's actually got a bit too much going on to be effective in some mixes IMO and there have been a number of times when I've pulled out my cheap Fender instead to get things to sit right. The Cirrus is the better bass by a long shot, nevertheless.

    If I had to find a negative adjective to describe the Cirrus sound it would be "pingy," not dull! Maybe yours had a broken component or a bad solder joint in the treble section of the onboard pre?

    I'm glad you like the Millennium! From clips I've heard, they're a great sounding bass.
  9. Plucky The Bassist

    Plucky The Bassist Bassist for Michael "Epic Mic" Rowe

    Jul 30, 2010
    Houston, TX
    Very possible. I DID buy mine used off a guy on Craigslist (probably should have mentioned that), so the Peavey may have had some shadetree luthier work that I didn't know about, but everything seemed original. I will say that I would love to pick up another Cirrus and see if mine was a dud, but the 35" scale just totally turns me off to be honest, so I wouldn't be interested in one even if it sounded better than my Mill. version. A neck shim and some filing down the fret sprout and this should be an excellent player. Glad I gave Peavey another chance, I was feeling pretty jaded after the VB-2 and USA Cirrus were both bad experiences for me. Guess I just had bad luck in the past.

    With my GK MB200 into an avatar neo 2x10, this thing sounds AWESOME! Tons of definition and power, can't wait to gig this thing!
  10. chinmullet


    Jun 22, 2013
    I don't have a Cirrus, but I have a USA Mill and a BXP Mill.

    The BXP sound is easier for me to dial in than the US, and it's easier for me to play because the neck is so thin, and the bass itself is far lighter than the US.

    The US model is definitely better built tho. The BXP truss rod nut is stripped (I got it used) and doesn't turn. The strap buttons are stripped, one of the tone knobs is floating loose, etc.

    My brain want to like the US model more, but my ears won't let me rid of this BXP. I keep it around and go back to it sometimes.
  11. StuartV

    StuartV Finally figuring out what I really like Supporting Member

    Jul 27, 2006
    Manassas, VA
    One of them was probably me. I have upgraded 2 Cirrus, a G Bass and a G-V all to the Millennium preamp. I thought it was totally worth it in all cases. But, the real value (to me) in the upgrade is having the sweepable mids. I think the preamp does sound *slightly* better even when comparing them with the Mids set to flat. But, like I said, the difference is very subtle.
  12. StuartV

    StuartV Finally figuring out what I really like Supporting Member

    Jul 27, 2006
    Manassas, VA
    The VFL pickups are powered, I believe. I.e. they are active pickups, not passive pickups going into a preamp like most "active" basses.

    The OP's description makes me wonder if maybe the pickups weren't getting power like they are supposed to. So the sound would be what the pickups produce passively. I don't know. I'm not even sure the VFLs will produce any sound at all without power.
  13. You are correct. IIRC like EMGs, the VFLs are low impedance and have built-in preamps to boost the output, which would be low if they were passive.

    That's not a bad theory. Apparently some active pickups will still produce output without power. If the OP's preamp was still getting power but the pickups weren't, it would probably produce a pretty anemic sound.

    I found a video comparing the sound of active pickups with and without power. Unfortunately it's on guitar, and the video has cheesy explosions in it, but you get the idea...
  14. airborne_jeff


    Jan 8, 2013
    Land O Lakes, FL
    75% of all statistics are completely made up
    I had one of the BXP 4's for a bit, and didn't like it much at all. I wasn't impressed with the tone, didn't care for the neck, fit or finish.
    I looked around, and ended up getting an Ibanez SRA555. Love this bass. Was mentioned in this thread...

    for the price, and what you get, way happier.
  15. dralionux


    Feb 3, 2009
    Savannah, GA
    I have an American Axcelerator-5 and an Indonesian Millenium BXP-5 Passive which I installed a BassMods preamp with 3-band EQ.
    Both are great basses.
    The Axcelerator surely has better quality, but I have no complaint about playability and sound of the Millenium BXP.
  16. Plucky The Bassist

    Plucky The Bassist Bassist for Michael "Epic Mic" Rowe

    Jul 30, 2010
    Houston, TX
    I ended up returning the Peavey 5'er, but it was due to some neck issues that never seemed to want to straighten up. Fret sprout was juuuust past tolerable for me (I was getting my palms and fingers cut up) and of course the Digitech bass whammy reissue is coming out soon.

    After comparing it for a while with my Douglas 5'er, I actually liked the Douglas better. Neck just fits my hand really well on the Douglas, but the tone is just not as even as the Peavey was, it was very balanced all over. I may leave the Douglas 5'er as is and consider my needs for a 5'er covered with a possible pickup swap in the very distant future.

    Really just seems like I have bad luck with the Peavey stuff, sort of been an either/or situation for me with them just missing on a few things that end up being deal breakers. I've heard plenty of people's Peaveys that sounded great though (Jordan Eberhardt from Scale the Summit had great tone), so nothing against them. Kind of ironic I had a bad experience with the VB2 as well...sorry Peavey :meh:

    I will definitely check out those Ibby SRA's, I have a hard time saying no to Ibbys :)