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Peavey Grind 5 NTB muffled pickup woes

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Troph, Jul 21, 2012.

  1. Troph


    Apr 14, 2011
    Kirkland, WA
    So I picked up a used Peavey Grind 5 NTB from Craigslist. The bass is in excellent shape, and when I played it initially I didn't notice that it was missing high-end frequencies. (I didn't have another bass for A-B comparison at the time I tried it out.)

    But later when I had a chance to do a side-by-side comparison, I discovered that the sound is very dark, almost "muffled". It sounds like the tone control is sending a huge portion of the signal to ground. My first thought was a bad potentiometer was allowing too much to pass through the tone capacitor, but I opened up the electronics plate and tested everything with my multimeter. The pots all check out fine, the tone capacitors are sized correctly, everything is properly grounded, the wiring looks pristine, and the pickups register expected DC resistance.

    After playing with the controls, I can tell that the primary culprit for the deadened sound is the neck pickup. The bridge pickup is low on output overall, but it seems to be a full-range signal at least. But the neck pickup is pretty bad.

    Just so you can hear what I'm talking about, I did a couple quick recordings. The first clip is a Fender Highway 1 Precision with GHS flats for reference. The second clip is the Peavey's neck pickup.

    Fender Highway 1 Precision
    Peavey Grind 5 Neck pickup

    Right now I'm thinking I might have to pick up a pair of replacement pickups. Has anyone heard something like this before?
  2. i had a grind 6, and while i cant say it ever sounded like a tone knob was down, i can say that it sounded pretty boring. cant hurt to change those guys out.
  3. Gabriel51


    Sep 30, 2008
    I had two of these one was new. how are the strings on that bass you bought? They may be junk!
  4. I had a Grind for a while. Sold it on Craigslist a year and a half ago. I wonder if it's the same bass? Doubtful because they're everywhere.

    They're hit and miss. Mine was built fantastically, nice neck thru, good balance, nice neck, bad frets, crap pups and wiring. I replaced the wiring, pots, and jack and that helped a little. It was screaming for better pups, but I sold it instead.

    The older ones with the plucking scoop are made out of different woods than the newer ones. That's the only bass I regret selling. If I could get the same one back, I'd slap some active EMGs in it.
  5. mbelue


    Dec 11, 2010
    I've got a 4 banger Grind and while I do like it its tone is solidly in the mud-zone. Seems to be inherent in these. New strings help and god forbid you put flats on 'em. Best way for me to get lost in a band mix yet. I've found that dropping the neck pickup down a touch in relation to the strings as well as keeping the blend favoring the bridge pickup helps a lot. Its just a really really comfortable bass so I'm gonna eventually put a pre-amp in it and see what that does. Hope you find a way to get yours in shape!

  6. Troph


    Apr 14, 2011
    Kirkland, WA
    Sorry, I forgot to mention that it currently has DR Black Beauty strings, and they're pretty new. The guy who sold it to me said he had just swapped them the week before (and they look/feel new). Anyway, I can't imagine the strings would cause only the neck pickup to turn muddy while the bridge pickup seems mostly normal.

    This one also has a really nice, comfortable body and neck. It's amazing how easy it is to play above the 12th fret. I really can't find many flaws with it other than the sound, so I guess it's worth trying to fix.

    Hmm, how did you adjust the pickup height? Mine just has 4 screws and they seem to be sunk directly into the body. No springs as far as I can tell for height adjustment.

    Right now I'm leaning towards getting a set of Seymour Duncan Passive Phase II SSB-5 pickups since by my measurements they appear to fit. I might also add a 3-band preamp while I'm at it. I like the idea of switching the existing wiring controls to a single volume knob, pickup blend pot, stacked bass/treble pot, and midrange control. I've heard good things about this combo.

    So I guess it's project time... :)
  7. Gabriel51


    Sep 30, 2008
    Since you are not sure how the bass is supposed to sound, knowing string condition would eliminate that likeliness.
    The two I had did not have this problem however they did sound different from my other basses.

  8. morgansterne

    morgansterne Geek U.S.A.

    Oct 25, 2011
    Cleveland Ohio
    anyone know specifically which pickups would be wiring compatible to upgrade the peavey grind 5? I have one as well -- fantastic setup and balance, but boring, muffly tone. I'd rather not try to switch out the whole knob section as I'm just not that experienced with that sort of thing.
  9. dstrick64


    Apr 17, 2008
    I am wondering how your project to swap out the pickups and possibly add an active 3-band tone circuit went with the Peavey Grind 5.
    I have the same model bass and after playing it a lot for the past couple of years I have relegated it to backup/standby status because I just kept getting lost behind the rest of the band.
    Any tips on the optimum pickups would be great!
  10. I have just recently swaped out my peavey grind 5 string NTB bass pick-ups with Kent Armstrong HB5E3 (N&B) set. I bought the Kent Armstrong's off of ebay and they sound fantastic on the Grind. They fit perfectly into the pickup routes without any adjustments to the slots. I just had to eyeball the pickup to get equal spacing around it while mounting screws.
    The original grind pickups had a real honky sound around 400 Hz. that was hard to get out. The KAs don't have that and sound smooth and even. I am also using an Audere classic 4 band preamp along with the Kent Armstrong's. The bass has a good slap & pop sound as well as an even sound when played with finger style. I liked the way the bass played but never really liked the way it sounded until now.
    I have had EMG pickups on other basses in the past and never fully enjoyed the sound of them. That's the main reason why I went with the Kent Armstrong's.
    mech likes this.
  11. Jose G

    Jose G

    Nov 14, 2017
    I own a first generationĀ“s Peavey Grind 5 NTB with the sliced cutaway. It is an amazing playable quality instrument. But I was thinking about completely changing all the electronics, pups, pots, caps and cables because of the muddy tone,.. But after a researching, I realized that the problem just was the 8 stock screws holding the pickups. The height of the pickups from factory is completely inappropiate because of the screws wich are too short. They are also too thin to transmit the vibration of the intstrument. I replaced the stock screws with 8 thicker and longer screws. Now the Peavey is really grinding. Actually great vintage pick ups, and they work it out well together to find the proper sound, from growl to funk. The hole pallete, not too wide, offers the same nice grind passive tone. Full, dark and woody.

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