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Peavey Custom Shop Bass

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Neverender, Nov 13, 2012.

  1. Neverender


    Mar 26, 2009
    Not sure if this is entirely the right spot for this...

    I know the Peavey Custom shop closed up for a while, and they offered Bolt on Cirrus for a bit online, and recently the Rudy Sarzo, but those are off the website as well.

    Does anyone know if Peavey Cirrus's are even in production, and furthermore if the custom shop is back in business, the site only yielded results for Custom amps. If none of ya'll know I will definitely give them a call and give you my findings.

    Thanks for reading!
  2. As far as I know they are not back in production. From what I remember reading they are using the shop to build acoustic guitars right now? Supposedly they are supposed to start back up production. However it has been a long time now and I am starting to doubt it.
  3. Bruce Johnson

    Bruce Johnson Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 4, 2011
    Fillmore, CA
    Professional Luthier
    For a couple of years (about 2009-2011) they were subcontracting out some of the custom shop Peaveys to Mike Lipe and myself. We built about 50 various guitars and basses for them, including some bolt-on Cirrus 4's and 5's. They were all custom order instruments. I did the main neck machining, Mike did the bodies and neck shaping and detail work, and final assembly. Pat Wilkins painted them. They were very nice guitars and basses.

    I know there were some ugly feelings within Peavey because they were shutting down the in-house custom shop while subcontracting some work to us. But there apparently weren't enough orders to support a constant in-house staff. For us, it was just one or two instruments a month; one of our many clients. We weren't trying to undercut them or anything. They came to us. In fact, they kept complaining that our prices were too high. Hey, they were one-off hand made instruments.

    The orders stopped abruptly in early 2011, and we thought that was the end. But they recently contacted Mike and indicated that they may have us build some more. We'll see.
  4. Neverender


    Mar 26, 2009
    Aww man, well that is a shame. I guess I will be putting some money aside anyways should the shop come back :]

    Thanks for the replies!
  5. I'm selling my Kahler 4. I survived the 1st round of layoffs, so I'm not too desperate to sell my Cirri yet.
  6. smcd


    Jun 28, 2009
    Boston, MA
    This is very interesting. I had no idea this was happening.
  7. Im a sock

    Im a sock

    Dec 23, 2002
    Central MA
    Neither did I... custom shop notwithstanding, the Cirrus is pretty sought-after; I'm still surprised they shut down their US Cirrus production line! Obviously I'm biased but still...! what a great instrument.
  8. StuartV

    StuartV Finally figuring out what I really like Supporting Member

    Jul 27, 2006
    Manassas, VA
    The obvious next question (for Bruce):

    If somebody wanted to order a custom bass directly from you, could you build them one that happened to be the exact same shape as a Cirrus, and was made the same way, and happened to come with VFL pickups and a Peavey Custom Shop (aka Millennium) preamp in it?

    I'm guessing you probably have a contract provision that says you cannot. So, the next question would be, how close of a custom bass could you make?

    Could you make one that is the same as a Cirrus but just with a different headstock shape?

    How about one that is just like a Cirrus but has no electronics installed and the customer would have to obtain their own pickups and preamp to install?
  9. smcd


    Jun 28, 2009
    Boston, MA
    I was wondering about that, too...
  10. Bruce Johnson

    Bruce Johnson Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 4, 2011
    Fillmore, CA
    Professional Luthier
    Well, no, we're not going to do something like that. That's unethical business practice and dumb. We could lose a good client and get sued. The Peavey shapes and designs belong to them, and we will only build those instruments for Peavey.

    Subcontracting out custom work isn't uncommon in this industry. We've built one-offs for other guitar companies too. Sometimes their own in-house custom shops are jammed up and they need an instrument in a hurry. Other times, they just need something unusual. As an example, one company had an endorser who wanted one of their guitars, but in a longer-than-stock scale length. Something like that is a real hassle for them to do in-house. So, they sent us a guitar, and we built them a custom neck for it. Other times, we've done NAMM show specials. These are one-offs with some unusual or experimental feature that they show at NAMM to see what the reaction is.

    If you want a custom Cirrus, contact Peavey and ask them. They might have their own guys build it, or they may sub it to us. But don't expect it to be cheap.

    In general, I don't do retail-level custom basses any more. Mike has his own line of guitars and basses, and will customize them somewhat. But neither of us do complete custom instruments for individual customers.

    I stepped in and commented about the Peaveys that we built, for the historical info of any of you fans and collectors. There a few odd ones out there, which have small details and dimensions that don't match the production instruments. For example, all of the ones we built have my truss rod system in them. But they are genuine, in that they were authorized and paid for by Peavey.
  11. Andy_D


    Nov 28, 2009
    Corpus Christi, TX
    I have a 2009 Bolt on Cirrus 5'er. So I guess you guys may have built it. That's interesting.
  12. moonshinegtrs

    moonshinegtrs Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 28, 2009
    White Bluff,Tn.
    Owner: Moonshine Custom Guitars
    Bruce; You Rock!

    You are truly a Man of many talents.

    Ampegs, Peaveys & Banjozilla...

    When I grow up, I want to be like Bruce! :D

    (Seriously, I have learned a lot from following your work. Thanks.)

    Moonshine :bassist:
  13. More info Bruce.....

    I wouldn't mind selling my fretless 5 and getting a fretless 6 with Peavey guts.
  14. Bruce Johnson

    Bruce Johnson Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 4, 2011
    Fillmore, CA
    Professional Luthier
    No, I don't think that's one of ours. A quick scan of my records shows the first Cirrus we built was a 4-string in 6/2009. We built about 10 Cirrus's, mostly in 2010. The last one was in 9/2011. Most were 4-strings; at least one 5-string.

    We built about 40 guitars, mostly the model that's similar in style to the Cirrus. We also made a couple of the Viscous models.
  15. Bruce Johnson

    Bruce Johnson Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 4, 2011
    Fillmore, CA
    Professional Luthier

    Thanks, Moonshine!

    I have other clients, too. Right now I'm helping out Yamaha. Their Artist Relations group is right here in Burbank, near me. I've known the guys there for years, and have occasionally done some small specialty machining jobs for them. Recently their main guitar builder (a friend of mine) moved on to another company and left a big vacancy. So, I've been filling in doing some of their custom instrument work while they look for a new guy. It's small stuff, just minor customizing work for some endorser's instruments. I'm glad to help them out as subcontractor/specialty builder.
  16. mb94952

    mb94952 Endorsing Artist : SFARZO STRINGS

    Wow, this thread is awesome. I am planning on pulling the trigger on a bolt on Cirrus.

    US Peavey Cirrus Custom shop or Lipe Customs - Either way it's a win / win !!

    Edit - I just pulled the trigger.