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Peavey Dyna-Bass 5

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by jondog, Apr 19, 2003.

  1. jondog


    Mar 14, 2002
    NYC metro area
    Hi, has anyone played one of these? What comments do you have? How tight is the B? I could only find one review on BGRA. Thanks!
  2. Philbiker

    Philbiker Pat's the best!

    Dec 28, 2000
    Northern Virginia, USA
    You probably found my review. I sold my Dyna-Bass 5 years and had a good experience with it so my comments now may be looking through rose colored glasses.

    First of all there are two Dyna-Bass 5 models, one bolt-on and "Unity Series" neck-through that came before the "TL" models. The common Dyna-Bass 5 is the bolt-on. There were a few pickup configurations under the name, but I can only comment on the one I had which was two "Super Ferrite" single coil pickups.

    The string spacing is very narrow, so make sure you're OK with that. The neck is extremely comfortable, it's painted on the back just like the body, which I personally like. The "B" string is pretty floppy, but is usable, and can deliver some nice low low notes. The electronics are not bad, I always ran the bass/midrange/treble all in the center detent. The nice thing is that the active EQ is defeatable, when it's turned off, "Treble" becomes "Tone".

    This saved me on at least one occasion when my battery died on gig night.

    I had the best experience with the stainless steel "Peavey" brand strings.

    If you want to hear my Dyna-Bass in action, listen to the song As Long As I Live from my old band GUM! on mp3.com. (the other songs feature my homemade P bass)

    I sold it because I got a good deal on a Fender USA Jazz V that was more my style, but the Dyna-Bass 5 served me very well for about 10 years.
  3. jondog


    Mar 14, 2002
    NYC metro area
    Cool song! Neat production and the singing sounds very radio friendly. The bass sounds good too, the B string notes are very clear.

    Would you say the B is floppier than you're Fender V? I've never owned one, but the Fenders I've tried at GC weren't supertight. I was hoping the 35" scale would make it tight. I can probably deal w/ the spacing, and the active/passive option appeals to me - I like active pups.

    Unfortunately, I won't be able to try this one out 1st if I trade for it. Can you answer a few more questions?

    Was yours neckthru or bolt-on?
    Is the spacing too tight to slap? Can it get a good slap tone?
    How much do you think a used one is worth?

    Thanks, Jon
  4. redneck2wild


    Nov 27, 2002
    Memphis, TN
    If you want a tighter B string, try a heavier gage. I would not use anything smaller than a .130 for a 34" or 35".
    Currently I have a .145 on one Bass because I have a Hipshot that I use to drop the B to an A.

    I recommend trying several different size B strings. Single strings can be purchased at www.juststrings.com and other online stores.
  5. rockbassist1087

    rockbassist1087 Guest

    Nov 29, 2002
    Long Island, NY
    Not to get off topic, but thats a really good song Philbiker.
  6. Philbiker

    Philbiker Pat's the best!

    Dec 28, 2000
    Northern Virginia, USA
    Thanks very much! My brother Pat Hamm wrote that song, and I personally think he's a very good songwriter. There are more of his newer songs on his website. Don't ya just love the bold low D -> low C entrance of the bass? I got a demo tape with no bass and came up with that bass line. I was listening to Paul McCartney's "Flowers in the Dirt" a lot at the time, and Paul uses the notes under "E" a whole lot on that album, and I love it! The first time I played the song for the band, when I came in like that my brother Pat (who wrote the song, plays guitar, and sings the lead vocal) and the drummer Chris loved it instantly. :) That was using 7 year old (no kidding) Peavey Stainless Steel strings with a 127 "B".

    We tracked the CD ourselves. The reason the production sounds so good is because my friend Jeff Juliano did the mix. Jeff's worked with Dave Matthews, John Mayer, the recent Elvis #1 hits collection, and lots of other bigtime work. With that kind of talent behind the mixing board, it's gonna sound good. :)
    I would say that the "B" is about the same feeling as my Fender or any Fender I've played. A large scale "B" string does a lot to help.
    My 35" Dean feels about the same to me as the 34" 5 strings I've played. I think that the extra inch of scale length is highly overrated. A larger diameter string does more than the extra length of string IMO. The active/passive option is really nice to have. The pickups are passive single coil, like a Jazz bass. The bass has an active preamp only. That's what most "active" basses are. I liked the string spacing personally. The small neck felt very nice under my fingers.
    Mine was bolt-on. It has a "neck tilt" adjustment like many Peaveys and old '70s Fenders. Kind of a nice little tweak.
    It wasn't for me, but I never slapped that much. Occasionally, but not a lot.
    Oh, my, my... Can it get a good slap tone... In a word, YES!
    Mine got a KILLER slap tone. Two single coil pickups is a really good configuration for a good slap tone, and this bass delivers the goods. Later Dynas had humbuckers, I don't know about those. I think the single coil ones are more ubiquitous.
    I sold mine 4 years ago for $350 including the case (which is excellent). I believe that the buyer got a bargain, but I'll bet they're "worth" even less than that now. I owned that thing for almost 10 years and never had to tweak the neck, no kidding. I've never experienced a bass with a more stable neck than that bass. The hardware is solid Schaller.

    There is an issue with neck dive. The body is small and poplar, the neck is hard rock maple, the tuners are big honkin' Schallers. The lightness of the body is great for long nights, but the neck is a bit heavy for the rest of the instrument.

    I've loaded two more songs from that album on my website (not mp3.com) - they are here - click me!

    The first song, "Every Time I Run" should give you a hint at how this bass is going to sound for slapping. Though I do not slap, the bass has a lot of treble and you can hear a lot of finger and fret noise. I wasn't there for the mix, so if I had my way the treble would have been rolled off for that "playing with mittens" sound, but that's neither here nor there. It's one of the better bass lines I've ever written also, and one of the very few that I'm proud of. :cool: Simple, but complimentary to the song.

    The second, "I Remember", showcases the range of the bass. I go from about 4 frets shy of the highest note on the whole bass all the way to the open "B" at one point. Notice how even the bass sounds all the way up the fretboard. I've played basses where some strings sound wack or when you go up the fretboard you kind of lose it. That's one thing that bass did very well was play evenly up and down the board. The bass line sounds a little complicated but it's really extremely simple. This was always our favorite song, and a favorite among the few fans we had also. It really showcases my brothers Peter and Patrick singing harmony throughout the entire song, verses and choruses. When we sang three part harmonies, all being brothers, it was almost like cheating our voices blended so well (like the "Every Time I Run" chorus on the other song).

    If it's a bolt-on, find out the tuner arrangement to find out if it's got the single coils and is like mine. If it's got 4+1 tuners, it's just like mine. If it's a 3+2 it's either neck-thru or the next generation Dyna which has humbuckers and an unpainted rear of the neck.

    In any case, it's a hell of a bargain. Peavey used top shelf hardware, good solid wood, and decent electronics to make a real workhorse of an instrument. It's Made in USA and the craftsmanship is excellent. Owning both, I would say that the craftsmanship, component quality, and build quality is easily on par with my Made in USA Fender. When I owned both of them I considered them as equals. I had absolutely no complaints about mine, except that it just wasn't my style any more. That's not the fault of the bass, of course. My ownership experience with that bass was excellent from the day I bought it to the day I sold it.
  7. jondog


    Mar 14, 2002
    NYC metro area
    Thanks for all of the info. The songs sound very good and the harmonies are awesome! You're right about the high notes being even w/ the low ones.

    I found the HC reviews, but most of them are for the 4 string model. Are you sure the body is poplar? I think one of them said ash. Also, somebody said that the Dyna is just one step down from the much-praised Cirrus line, have you tried a Cirrus?

    Peace, Jon
  8. Philbiker

    Philbiker Pat's the best!

    Dec 28, 2000
    Northern Virginia, USA
    The Dyna-Bass "Unity Series" was replaced by the "TL" series which was in turn replaced by the Cirrus. Direct descendant.

    The bolt-on Dyna-Bass would be more akin to the modern "Millenium Plus" which is made in USA, has top shelf components, and is bolt-on.

    As far as craftsmanship and quality of parts, I'd say this bass is about on par with the Cirrus, with one exception, the active EQ is not as good as modern examples, but that has to be expected. The single coil "SUPER FERRITE" pickups sound really wonderful.

    The neck through Dyna-Bass had either a clear laquer body or an oiled body. It always had "pretty wood" side wings. Sometimes ash, sometimes figured maple. The older Dyna-Bass bolt-on always had a solid color paint job and was poplar bodied. This actually was the bass that made me really like Poplar as a tonewood. It's no wonder many Music Man basses are Poplar, it's good wood. Just because it's inexpensive doesn't mean it's bad.

    This bass was very closely related to the "Foundation" which was similar, but without active EQ and with an unpainted neck. From what I've read here, the single coil Foundations from the 80s are still mainstay basses for many of the Nashville session guys.