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My First Peavey...

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by BritFunk, Jul 24, 2012.

  1. BritFunk

    BritFunk Supporting Member

    Jan 8, 2009
    My Friends,

    I'll be up-front about this - even after playing bass for over a quarter-century I have never owned a Peavey bass. I have played and loved a lot of their amplifiers, but never one of their basses.

    I think it might stem from a really bad set of experiences I had with Peavey basses early on - within the first couple of years of my beginning playing (I was playing for the show choirat the high school at the time) I was saddled with a really poorly set-up T-40 that broke at least one string a week at the saddles (this was before anyone at the school was slapping, so it wasn't that). I'll admit it - I *despised* that bass. It felt like it weighed 500 pounds (I was used to a Hofner, so it sort of figures I would think that).

    Every other Peavey I played at that time had the really ultra-narrow neck width and just felt - well, dainty for lack of a better term. I didn't trust them to be sturdy enough to stand up to normal playing (yeah, I know I was full of it, but anyway...).

    A few years later I played a Peavey Palaedium bass and was blown away - one of the nicest basses I have ever encountered, but for whatever reason I still didn't take the plunge for one (I still kick myself in retrospect).

    So, fast-forwarding to this past Saturday, I stopped by a local pawn shop I normally avoid (they have some really great instruments really cheap and I tend to stay broke, so avoidance is generally the best policy). They had, among other basses I thought I wanted, a Peavey Dyna-Bass Unity Series in what appeared to be Koa. Gold hardware, active electronics, Schaller roller bridge - the whole bit. I installed a battery and sure enough, the active electronics work with nary an issue. The strings are, as expected, rusted and dead beyond description. I nailed down the year of manufacture to 1987 with the serial number, which interestingly is the year I graduated high school (yeah, I'm getting old). Sure, you can tell it has been played a LOT, but I'm OK with that - goodness knows I plan to play it a LOT myself. :D

    I picked it up today while out on lunch, but here's the kicker: the original price on the tag was $219, which I honestly didn't think was too bad. As it turns out the shop owner knows exactly nothing about instruments except that he can't sell them and usually has a surplus, so to ensure that bass was in my hands when I walked out he dropped the price to $130.

    Yep - you read that right. $130. I'm still astounded.

    After work I plan to slap a set of D'Addario nickel wounds on there and see what kind of tone I am dealing with. I expect to be mightily impressed.

    Not only is this my first Peavey bass, but it is the first neck-through bass I have owned in 15+ years - I generally prefer bolt-on necks.

    Anyone know anything about these basses I should be aware of going forward? Care and feeding, etc? ;)


    Attached Files:

  2. smcd


    Jun 28, 2009
    Boston, MA
    I know this about that bass - $130 was an absolute steal. You could triple your money on that bass. I've played $2,000 basses that didn't play as nice as my Dyna Unity.
  3. Geroi Asfalta

    Geroi Asfalta

    Aug 23, 2011
    Awesome bass! You can abuse that bass all day and it will still come back for more in the morning.....I absolutely love my peaveys...very solid beasts, my 87 peavey is more solidly built than my 91 Fender
  4. You sir, got a steal. A Koa Dyna Unity sold in the TB for sale forum recently for $545. :eek:
  5. mark beem

    mark beem I'm alive and well. Where am I? Gold Supporting Member

    Jul 20, 2001
    Alabama, USA
    Sweet score!! Enjoy!!

    Not sure if that's a koa model though. Looks to be the version with the maple body wings. I could be wrong though.

    Regardless, that's an awesome bass!!!
  6. mark beem

    mark beem I'm alive and well. Where am I? Gold Supporting Member

    Jul 20, 2001
    Alabama, USA
  7. A steal at that price. Really digging the neck inlays...
  8. mech

    mech Supporting Member

    Jun 20, 2008
    Meridian, MS, USA
    Congrats on your legal theft! The only weakness of the Dynas and some of the other Peavey basses is the location of the passive/active switch. Kind of vulnerable. A feature you may not know about is the screwdriver adjustable pot that is accessible through a hole in the rear cover. It sets the volume balance between active and passive. When you figure out what you like for the active settings you can set the balance between the two to have an easy tone change.


    edit: It looks like all Koa to me.
  9. mark beem

    mark beem I'm alive and well. Where am I? Gold Supporting Member

    Jul 20, 2001
    Alabama, USA
    Also in passive mode the high control still functions as a standard hi roll-off tone control.
  10. DiabolusInMusic

    DiabolusInMusic Functionless Art is Merely Tolerated Vandalism Supporting Member

    Nice bass, but it does not look like the koa model.

    I got this from the forum.

  11. mark beem

    mark beem I'm alive and well. Where am I? Gold Supporting Member

    Jul 20, 2001
    Alabama, USA
    Yeah my koa unity is like that too..

  12. VS


    Jun 6, 2002
    Mountain City, Tennessee
    Discounted Gear: Peavey
    Welcome to the wonderful world of Peavey and congrats on such a great deal! -Luke
  13. Landsharks


    Jul 24, 2009
    Oxford, MS
    I wish I still had my Koa Unity! Nice bass, and you will love it. Enjoy!
  14. NOVAX


    Feb 7, 2009
    By all accounts it will not be your last.
  15. PDGood

    PDGood Supporting Member

    Sep 19, 2010
    Nashville, TN
    I've been thinking about picking one of these up and have some questions. Maybe one of you guys can help.

    What is the neck like? Width at the nut? Thickness?

    What is the weight of the bass? The bridge looks pretty massive.

    It has the P/J configuration, but does it have a P/J sound or does it have its own sound?

    Thanks in advance. This info will help me a lot.
  16. guitarist09


    Jul 23, 2012
    Peaveys are the best! You deserve it and congrats on scoring that great deal!
  17. iriegnome

    iriegnome Bassstar style Supporting Member

    Nov 23, 2001
    Kenosha, WI 53140
    80's Peaveys are way under rated basses. Made in the USA. Great feel. Great tone. Best part is you got one for an awesome price!!
  18. BritFunk

    BritFunk Supporting Member

    Jan 8, 2009
    My Friends,

    As far as whether or not this particular bass is or is not koa I'm really not too concerned either way. At the end of the day it's all about tone and playability. I still haven't had the time to put on new strings and set it up (yesterday evening got really insanely busy) but hope to do so tonight.

    The active/passive switch is admittedly kind of easy to bump - I'll have to watch out for that until I am used to it. I'm not normally one for lots of bells and whistles on a bass, preferring in most cases a passive instrument with volume/blend/tone, but this bass was just too cool to pass up. I think having two completely different tones accessible at the flip of a bass-mounted switch could be very useful live. That is one of the things I love most about my Seymour Duncan Paranormal Bass EQ - bypass, active and slap contour. The addition of the Peavey active/passive switch would give me a myriad of available tones before resorting to any other effects, etc. I hadn't really given it a whole lot of thought until now (again, really crazy busy evening) but the more I think about it the better I like the idea. I expect to play the Peavey enough that I can imagine my Yamaha RBX765A getting jealous - it's already a beautiful green, and I anticipate that green might indicate envy soon! ;)

    I did notice the PC-mounted pot accessible through the back - I believe that someone has already taken the time to match the volume up very, very closely based on my brief play time at the pawn shop before bringing it home. That is a really nice touch - I had worried about the exact problem of volume differential until I realized the feature was there.

    @PDGood - I'll try to get some measurements tonight for you. The weight might be a little off but I'll get as close as I can manage.

    I did want to inquire of the other Peavey aficionados - do the Palaedium models still pop up for sale/trade every once in a while? That is the "gee-I-really-want-one-of-those-Peavey-basses" at the top of my list. I had forgotten the Palaedium bass existed until picking this Dyna-Bass up and I remember being so incredibly impressed with the Palaedium when I played it.

    Thanks again to everyone for the information - I really appreciate it!

  19. Even at the prices these normally trade hands for they are a great deal, "steal" is not a strong enough term for what you got. I am so very jealous...
  20. mark beem

    mark beem I'm alive and well. Where am I? Gold Supporting Member

    Jul 20, 2001
    Alabama, USA
    They pop up from time to time. A month or two ago there were several on Ebay and various websites. Haven't seen any in a while.. I'm glad I got mine when I did! One of THE BEST passive basses I've ever played!


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