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NBD - What have I got here... and what should I do next? ('90s Peavey Forum Content)

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by subtlestew, Jan 13, 2018.

  1. subtlestew

    subtlestew Supporting Member

    Apr 7, 2000
    Kent, CT
    So I've been GASsing for a P or PJ bass lately. I also am a certified Jazz-width neck kinda guy. So I've been paying attention to TB discussions on the subject. As someone who rocked a Peavey amp in the 80s (the Combo 300, since that was the best loud-cheap thing I could find,) the fact that USA-made Peavey Furys and Forums fit the bill quite nicely for cheap was intriguing to me. So when I saw this on the GC used site, in my favorite bass color, on sale for $159 plus $18 shipping to my local store, I pounced:
    Peavey Forum.
    I picked it up last night, and I'm happy to say that it plays great. Just a little buzzing that seems fixable - I'll be changing strings (to flats) and setting it up anew anyways. The neck is narrow at the nut like a Jazz, but has a solid feel as it's not too thin front to back, which provides a nice contrast to the cheap Jazz I practice on, a Squier Vintage Modified 70s Jazz, which has a neck like a pencil - a good thing if that's my mood. But this feels - and sounds - much meatier.

    Now, it seems to me that it was so cheap because it has issues. Indeed, it does. So, Peavey folks... please weigh in here. How should this thing be set up, and what mods might I do? Below are my goals, issues, and questions.

    So I wanted a cheap PJ, bonus points if it's USA made. Check.

    But I want to be able to solo the P or J pickup, and this thing has two knobs - volume and tone. (And check out the odd knobs it has! Never seen ones with little fins sticking out, like these do.) Do all Forums run both pickups all the time, as this one seems to? If so, I may want to re-wire. I'm thinking I'd prefer a Tony Franklin-style setup, with a 3-way switch for pickup selection along with the two knobs for volume and tone.

    When I looked at other Forums, they seemed to come passive or active, with two knobs for passive and 3 for active. Am I wrong about that? And how is this passive with a battery compartment on the back? There seems to have been some re-wiring going on here... am I right about that?

    Also, what's up with the pickups? The Jazz one says "Duncan Designed..." isn't that a Fender thing? That doesn't look original, so while the pickups sound fine, I may get new ones. What should I get? I'm fine with passive, but maybe I should go active with a battery box already there. I want an old-school P tone available, but other than that I'm flexible. What should I put in there?

    What's up with that little hole in the neck plate? Is that some kind of micro-tilt deal, or what?

    Other issues:
    Get a load of all the different screws on this thing. My favorite is the drywall screw with the washer holding on the P pickup. I'll be getting some new hardware!
    Also, I may get a new pickguard, perhaps with the Volume/Tone/3-way switch set-up pre-cut. I'm thinking Tort, since that's the law on TB (and I like it.) Where should I get the guard, and will they do the electronics holes that I want?
    I'm looking forward to opening it up and seeing what the deal is with all of the shielding material that is hanging out under the pickguard... I admire the attempt, but, like all of the other mods on this bass, it looks a bit shoddily executed.

    Opinions? Pix below:

    WIN_20180112_202209.JPG WIN_20180112_202219.JPG WIN_20180112_202227.JPG WIN_20180112_202235.JPG WIN_20180112_202250.JPG WIN_20180112_202301.JPG WIN_20180112_202308.JPG WIN_20180112_202314.JPG WIN_20180112_202327.JPG
  2. JRA

    JRA my words = opinion Supporting Member

    can't beat the price! mods/repairs/upgrades can be fun! good luck and congrats on your new instrument! :thumbsup:
    BrentSimons, Engle and subtlestew like this.
  3. Oh dear. Somebody has been creative. The original Forum was a passive PJ 3 pot with the jack on the side,The later Forum Plus had active pickups, with the battery box on the back, again it was 2 Vol,1 Tone.,jack socket on the side.

    If the battery box is a clean rout,you got yourself a Form Plus. The previous owner has ditched the active pickups.You're correct Duncan Design never came with this bass.

    That little hole takes is the micro tilt,takes a 1/8" Allen key.

    Manual for Forum Plus
    Manual for Forum
  4. subtlestew

    subtlestew Supporting Member

    Apr 7, 2000
    Kent, CT
    Awesome info, @kodiakblair ... I'm looking forward to taking it apart. Hopefully I'll be able to do so tonight - I'll post my findings!
  5. Glad to give you some pointers @subtlestew . Peaveys are a thing with me,,PJ Forum is the only model I don't own.

    You get big Congrats from me for buying it :thumbsup:
    warrplayer and subtlestew like this.
  6. I hate to be "that guy", but since you've asked.....

    That looks like it might be a PJ Forum that's been seriously hacked.

    The Duncan is not a Fender thing or a Peavey thing, either. It's SD's inexpensive line of "designed" pickups.

    Tbh, there's a lot of wrongness about that bass. Which is sad because in their original format they were nice basses.

    It might be a fun project to tinker with, but you may have to invest more money than what a nice original Forum sells for. I think you could snag a very nice example for ~ $250, maybe less.

    The good news is you can easily return it to GC for a refund. Depending on how it was described on their site, you may get the $18 shipping refunded as well.

    If I wanted another Forum I'd return that abused one, even if I had to eat the $18, then wait for a nice one to pop up somewhere. YMMV

    Good luck. :thumbsup:
    SirMjac28 likes this.
  7. Vinnie Boombatz

    Vinnie Boombatz

    May 26, 2010
    Life's too short to buy basses with tin foil leaking out of the control cavities.
    Omega Monkey likes this.
  8. subtlestew

    subtlestew Supporting Member

    Apr 7, 2000
    Kent, CT
    @Templar , I have no problem with you being "that guy!" I know that I'll probably end up putting more cash into it than a good used one would cost, but the benefit would be that I'd have my upgrades. I'll have the pickups I choose, the 3-way switch (which I prefer, and that wasn't original) and maybe even a preamp (if I go that route) that will be different (and maybe better) than the original. Plus tort! I see this as a good start on a project that could turn out quite nicely. The hard parts are there - great color, neck seems good - this will be fun!
  9. subtlestew

    subtlestew Supporting Member

    Apr 7, 2000
    Kent, CT
    Oh, it won't be there for long...

    Michael Schreiber likes this.
  10. Projects are def fun, go for it. :thumbsup:
    subtlestew and Michael Schreiber like this.
  11. Michael Schreiber

    Michael Schreiber Commercial User

    Oct 14, 2014
    Kassel / Germany
    That's the spirit! \m/
    The bass looks nice, and if it plays and feels great, then there's just one word: Congrats! :D
    Much success with the mods - and much fun playing the bass!
  12. Hey if the neck is fine go for it. Modding inexpensive basses is fun and educational. Heck, I have a SX Jazz that has two original parts...the body and neckplate.
  13. If it’s got a good neck, IMO that was a deal.
    Those Duncan Designed pickups sound good to me. (Not stock for that bass, but does it really matter?)
    I would get a 3 way switch and install it in the existing pickguard, rewire/cleanup as necessary and rock it for a while before deciding what’s next.
    pudgychef and Uncle Hanky like this.
  14. Unless you enjoy fixing/modding basses;)
  15. Vinnie Boombatz

    Vinnie Boombatz

    May 26, 2010
    I'd rather actually spend my time learning to play them better. Dont get me wrong, I do a lot of my own work, but life's to short to polish a turd.
  16. I get that and have seen many instruments that were turds. The OP's bass doesn't seem to be one of those.
  17. @Warhawk
    Life's to short to bother with opinions made by somebody looking at a picture on the screen :thumbsup:
    On TB there's an ignore member button, they don't even charge you to use it.
    soulstew, gln1955 and jonathanhughes like this.
  18. covermego

    covermego Still here....... Supporting Member

    Sep 5, 2010
    Redding, CA
    Aaaahhhhhh....... So YOU are the one that finally snagged that bass up! I had been watching it for weeks and almost.... just almost .... clicked the "add to cart" feature.....probably no less than 4 times, lol, but I couldn't justify the expense.
    As for TORT! Look at my avatar and you can see Lake Placid Blue proudly wearing both lighter and darker tort.
    I bought an '84 Fury about 5 weeks ago and I believe the necks are like you stated; Jazz-like with a bit more meat. Mine is the 2-piece neck and it seems like it could survive a nuclear war. As for the "Altered State"...... whatever. You can experiment with it as much as you want (a great way to learn soldering skills, setup, intonation, etc). I am always tinkering around with different things on my basses and encourage you to do so also!
    Back to my Fury....... I was very pleased when it weighed in at 8lb 4oz....... which is 1lb 12oz lighter than my P Bass. How much does your Forum weigh?
    I am seriously thinking of making the Fury my main bass - it just feels right and I am in awe of the pickups (I need to research these more and see exactly what I have in there...pretty sure they are stock) and the pots have the broadest and fullest range I've experienced.
    So congrats on landing that Forum! Sure glad you posted it here! - Lenny
    subtlestew, Engle and Warhawk like this.
  19. Vinnie Boombatz

    Vinnie Boombatz

    May 26, 2010
    Isn't looking at pictures and comments from other members and commenting on them basically what goes on in an online forum?! You dont have to like what I or anyone else has to say, and you cant take your own advice and feel free to hit the ignore button as well.
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2018
    Warhawk likes this.
  20. JPaulGeddy

    JPaulGeddy Supporting Member

    Sep 19, 2007
    South Carolina
    Love Peavey Forums. That one is abused, but seems like a fun project. Those knobs have to be off an old radio of some sort. I doubt it's an Ax, as it would say that on the neck, and I *believe* all the Axes have a humbucker (or two).

    As mentioned above, as long as the neck is good, I'd definitely put the effort into fixing it up. Replace all the screws, clean up the electronics - she's gonna be a beaut.
    covermego, Engle and Warhawk like this.

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