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Peavey Cirrus problem

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by Paulie_m, Jul 22, 2012.

  1. Paulie_m


    Jan 11, 2010
    I've had this ongoing problem for quite a while.
    The output of my Cirrus seems to change randomly as I play. The normal, great, punchy sound sort of drops in level. It's kind of subtle though. The volume is still there pretty much, but the punch and meat drop down. It doesn't fluctuate rapidly. Over the course of a 4 hour gig, it might change 2 or 3 times for an extended time period. Plugging and unplugging doesn't change anything. I've already cleaned the jack too. I'm pretty tech savvy and have already opened up the preamp cavity and visually checked things and measured the battery voltage on the board while shaking the wires to make sure that wasn't the problem. I get about 18.5v with my newish batteries.
    I can start replacing the IC, diodes and capacitors on the board for a few bucks and my time, but I wonder if the pickups could be a problem as well?
    Does anyone have any ideas?

    I don't want to upgrade, I just want to fix this one.
  2. Paulie_m


    Jan 11, 2010
    I bit the bullet and bought a new preamp and pickups fom Peavey. $60 for the preamp and $140 for the pickups. I put them in and used brand new, quality battery plugs. My Cirrus was still distorting and weak. I almost cried!! It sounds exactly the same. I tried 4 brand new batteries, metered, and cleaned the input jack.
    My whole rig sounds perfect wih my Modulus, but swap to my Cirrus and complete disappointment. I'm going to order a new input jack next week. That is the final, original piece of electronics in the bass. If that doesn't work, you guys may see a Walnut Cirrus 5 for sale!! With the original price and new electronics, I've got over $1700 and many hours of tech in this bass. If it does work, I'll have a cirrus preamp and pickups for sale here.

    P.S. They asked me for the serial number on my headstock when ordering the parts and they had the model, with the wood type on file. There is no getting around buying the electronics straight up to put into another bass.
  3. b_carville


    Jun 26, 2008
    I had this same problem when I owned a Cirrus about 10 or 12 years ago.
    Sent it back to Peavey and the same problem started up again.I ditched mine at a loss.
    Was the only time I was disappointed in a Peavey product.
  4. panda88888


    Jul 15, 2010
    When you say weak and distorted, do you mean lacking in bass/low-mids? I was going to suggest possible shorted pots, but then you replaced the pre-amp and US Cirrus have pots soldered directly on the pc board... :confused: Also, after you changed the pickup and preamp, is the problem always there or on and off?

    I hope you get the issue fixed.. but then again... I am in the market for a US Cirrus 5 string...:bag:
  5. Will Kelly

    Will Kelly

    Mar 3, 2010
    Probably the front end of your amp.

    Which means there was probably nothing wrong with the original bass preamp parts.
  6. Paulie_m


    Jan 11, 2010
    Panda, I tested the bass when I replaced the parts and then I did a short 45 minute set at a local benefit. I could not get a clean tone at all and had to crank the output of Eden pedal to get it to drive my power amp. The sound stayed consistently bad and the "punch" wasn't there. I used to have a sweet spot where my Cirrus and Eden rig interacted great, now it's gone.

    Will, I tried my Modulus, 18v preamp, with the same rig, swapping back and forth and the Cirrus is definitely the problem. The Modulus actually is louder and clean with the same settings.

    I'll try to be more accurate. When I pluck a string, I'm a fingers player only, the initial attack has distortion like an overdriven sound. Plucking hard or soft produces the sound. The D and G strings are more pronounced. The "meat and body" of the tone are lacking. It is not all distortion, only the initial attack, then you can hear it fade behind the note being played. I know the output drops in and out because my Eden Navigator has an input LED to set the gain. It flickers like I usually set it, with my sweet spot, then I'll notice the sound changes and I can't get the LED to flicker unless I crank all my preamp eq knobs.

    I'm seriously hoping it is the jack. I haven't plugged it in since the gig 2 weeks ago because I was so disheartened. I got a gig in 2 weeks and I have to play it because my Modulus is a fretless and I can't rock it the whole night.
  7. mech

    mech Supporting Member

    Jun 20, 2008
    Meridian, MS, USA
    Could be a cold solder joint on the output jack. They can sometimes "semi-conduct" and act kind of like a diode and cause volume drop and distortion of some level. Seen a few over the years in amplifiers. I'd try re-heating all three connections. A cold joint on the battery or ground connections could limit current to the pre but still show full voltage when measured. Of course it could be a contact in the jack, too.

  8. panda88888


    Jul 15, 2010
  9. BawanaRik


    Mar 6, 2012
    New Jersey
    When you replaced the pre did you replace the pots?

    This sounds like it might be a loose solder joint. If you replaced the pots you would have re-soldered them.

    You put the pre in another bass. Wow that looks like a lot of work.

    I'm not sure you could even fit another pickup in there. most of the after market stuff available is a P, J MM, Soap bar.

    Good luck. The intermitant prolems are the worst. One of the tricks is had back in the day when I did TV repair was to have a light with a mag glass combo. Just like a dentist.

    I would recomend one of those for any tech, even an amature. Heck, they come in handy for a lot of other things too.

    Good Luck.
  10. xyloeye

    xyloeye Supporting Member

    Sep 30, 2005
    Anacortes, WA
    I'm glad I stumbled across this thread. I have pretty much the same issue with my fretless 4 string Cirrus - lack of output but without distortion. I've been completely through the preamp. I do a lot of audio amp repair as a hobby so I have all the test equipment. I've checked all the caps, resisters, etc. On the scope with a hot signal generator output, the gain is low. I've changed the chip and tried a few others (Burr Brown) with the same result. So the preamp works, just not very well. I have yet to shotgun all the solder joints. That might be a good next step. When I put my Sadowsky through my Eden Metro, it puts the Cirrus to shame - tons of low end punch so I know the amp is fine. Please don't give up on your quest. I'd like to figure this out too.
  11. Paulie_m


    Jan 11, 2010
    Thanks for all the input guys! I really love this bass and the way it feels and plays and when it worked, it sounded amazing! I played it for a few years when I bought it, then it went into the closet for a few more years when I didn't have time to play, then it came out again about 2-3 years ago and didn't sounded right, and now it is even worse.

    I haven't touched up the solder joints on the jack yet as that requires taking out the preamp for probably the 30th time. I've got a new jack that will arrive next week from Peavey and I'll just replace it.

    I've looked over the solder joints on the preamp board and they all look smooth and shiny, no visual sign of a bad solder joint. I'll update next week when I take out the preamp for the 31st time and replace the jack!

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