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Peavey Palaedium: What's your experience with it?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Stewbone, Aug 29, 2002.

  1. I'm looking at picking up a Palaedium bass, the one designed by Jeff Berlin, that wacked bass player(this indicates a good thing) who keeps the pop music world away from his door (also essentially good) with his stringent, absolutist attitude (not so into that, particularly).
    Anyway, I'm trying to hook this purchase up, and wonder if any of you fellow watt-thumping brutes have any input from personal experience as to the worth of one of these essential Jazz-Bass-patterned pieces of Alder?

  2. i've played one, and it's a very nice sounding and nice playing bass. The pups are not the hottest, but it's still a good one.
    BTW; have you ever seen Jeff playing? I have, several times, and I think your opinion of him might change a little were you to do so. I have seen him play a version of "Crossroads" with a killer band, that made a room full of pro musicians and industry people (me included) stand with our jaws dragging on the floor. Not only that, he's a helluva nice guy too.
  3. Philbiker

    Philbiker Pat's the best!

    Dec 28, 2000
    Northern Virginia, USA

    I love it.

    The neck is pencil thin so make sure you like that. It makes a jazz bass feel chunky. The pickups are Bartolini designed (and built?) and sound very nice. It's a passive bass. In my experience it's terrible for slapping but others have written here that they have had good results with it in this function. It sounds very midrange heavy and fat, not bright, not dark. Plays like a dream to my fingers. For tapping it is perfect.

    Back when I was in my band GUM! (look us up on mp3.com) I used to play my Palaedium a lot (though I never recorded with it). I also had a P, a Peavey Dyna-Bass, and a Fender American Standard Jazz V. Everybody in the band especially the drummer liked the sound of the Palaedium much better than all the others.

    It doesn't sound very good when woodshedding alone solo bass, at least IMO. However, in a band situation it sits in the mix like a P-Bass. Perfect in every situation.

    I highly recommend this bass to anyone who's interested. Original retail price was something like $1000.

    Also, personally I think my red one looks a lot better than the honey color that is very common.
  4. Oooh, this sounds cool. I've recently made a deal for a Palaedium neck from a fellow TB'er along with all of the attending gold hardware. Your description has got me goin' since I've never seen or handled one of these before. I'm gonna have to come up with something superior to bolt it to.
  5. Philbiker

    Philbiker Pat's the best!

    Dec 28, 2000
    Northern Virginia, USA
    The neck has dual graphite reinforcement and has a two piece Maple back. The fingerboard is a THICK slab of Ebony. Still, my neck has a very slight rising tongue problem. It's so slight that it's does not affect anything but the very top couple frets, and Peavey planed and refretted the top of the fingerboard in 1996 under warrantee since I bought it NOS. Haven't had a problem since.

    BTW Hambone, the Palaedium neck has an asymetrical joint, kind of diamond shaped. You'll have to do some work on a body or have one custom made to make it fit.
  6. We got some nice exchange going on, here. Thanks for all the ramble. So what kind of scenario would I be looking at for switching pickups- besides not being able to find the same dimensions!
    And, would any of you recommend it for hard rock, like Ozzy or Sabbath type stuff?
    One more: Is a used one (of course) in cherry shape worth $500?
    Ready,... Go!

  7. Blackbird

    Blackbird Moderator Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2000
    I've played a few and I think they're great basses. The necks are extremely comfortable, although not the best for slapping. Overall great quality.
  8. Philbiker

    Philbiker Pat's the best!

    Dec 28, 2000
    Northern Virginia, USA

    It is a desirable bass IMO. $500 is a bit high, but I think the red ones are much more scarce than the honey ones, and much better looking as well.
  9. bdgotoh

    bdgotoh Supporting Member

    Aug 6, 2002
    Pacific NW
    I had a transparent purple one for a couple of years, I agree with most of the comments above, one of Peavey's best basses. I ended up getting rid of it because the neck radius was too flat (16") compared to my 62 RI Jazz, and I didn't like the pickups. I found that the bridge humbucker from the Am Deluxe P drops right in, but the poles don't match up that well, especially at the neck. The sound was better but still not good enough, so I let it go. I think those pups are about $65 each at Smart Parts.
  10. LeonD

    LeonD Supporting Member

    I had a purple one when they first came out. Played it for a while then had it made into a fretless. After that I sold it and now I regret it.

    It's a very easy playing bass with (IMHO) great, useable bass tones. I've always thought of it as a very high quality Jazz bass that didn't hum. My main bass is a Stingray and I thought the Palaedium's tones compliment the Stingray's very well.

    Last week I saw a honey one on e-bay. I put a bid on it and won for $306. The owner said the condition was 8.5 out of 10. It should be in my hands on Tuesday.

    Looking forward to Tuesday,
  11. So, Leon, given a choice between a decent Fender Jazz, assuming it was a good-sounding one, and this Palaedium, if you could have just one, which would you choose? And let's add the factor of coamparatively reasonable price to the problem!

  12. LeonD

    LeonD Supporting Member


    I think to find a great sounding Jazz for $300 - $350 would be hard but not impossible. So assuming that you could find a similar sounding Jazz for the same money, I think it would come down to comfort and player perception.

    The Palaedium has a very fast neck. While I wouldn't consider a Jazz neck chunky, it's different than the Peavey. Which do you prefer?

    The other is your perception of the bass. Some people just don't like Peavey. Chances are a Jazz at the price would be made in Mexico or Japan. Would you rather have an American made instrument (Peavey)? Would you rather have an instrument that folks can identify from 100 yards away (Jazz)? If I needed to resell the Palaedium, I figure I could get my $300 back. I'm not sure if I could do that with a $300 MIM Jazz.

    Don't get me wrong. If someone offered me a vintage Jazz or the Palaedium, I'd probably take the Jazz (assuming it wasn't a dog). My point is that I think you'd be hard pressed to find a bass with the tone, playability and build quality as the Palaedium for $300 - $350.

    BTW, I'm not sure when you're looking to move on this but I live just a little north of you in Massachusetts. Once I get the instrument, you're welcome to come and check it out.

    I hope this helps,
  13. Now there's a pretty good idea/offer! I'm actually in no hurry, and that would certainly be advantageous. If you want to let me know when you're hooked up I'd like to come check it out, thanks.
    A good friend of mine is currently having a good laugh at me for looking at a Peavey- makes me just a tad more curious.

  14. Philbiker

    Philbiker Pat's the best!

    Dec 28, 2000
    Northern Virginia, USA
    Build quality wise the Palaedium is on par with a modern MIA Jazz Bass, as far as top notch fit and finish, good solid hardware, construction, and pickups. Graphite reinfoced neck, two piece maple, thick ebony fingerboard, etc. The paint job is beautiful, too.

    "For hard rock, like Ozzy or Sabbath type stuff" The Pal will be a better bass than a Jazz, again IMO only. I own two Jazz basses and a Palaedium and if I had to do a hard rock gig the Jazzes would stay at home.

    I think the Pal is more comparable to a Music Man or a P despite the two pickup configuration.
  15. I have just bought off E-Bay a Honey finish Peavey Palaedium and someone has replaced the fingerboard and turned it into a fretless. I haven't received it yet and I see you did the same to yours quite a few years back. I was wandering how you liked the sound/feel after it was turned to a fretless. Maybe you didn't like it and thats why you sold it.
  16. dgce


    Jun 17, 2001
    Massachusetts, USA
    I tried Palladium basses ages ago when they were still in production. As far as I recall, the pickups were passive Barts; designed and manufactured (can't swear by it, but I really think so). The neck, MAN! The neck was like butter. Very thin but not like an Ibanez SR. The neck was flat yet very user friendly and with an epoxy-like fret board that seemed to enable yr fingers to just glide effortlessly across the board. Super-low, buzz-free action. Initially it did feel weird compared to the Fender Amer Stand Jazzes I played at the time but they were great basses and worth the adjustment. I’ve flirted with the idea of snagging the occasional fretless model that appears on eBay from time to time.

  17. Blackbird

    Blackbird Moderator Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2000
    Jeez, what an old thread...

    Jeff's original "Roddy Piper" bass, which was the bass on which the Palaedium was based, had custom pickups made by Bartolini. IIRC, Bartolini has made Pickups for Peavey in the past, at least for the B-Quad series...
  18. Philbiker

    Philbiker Pat's the best!

    Dec 28, 2000
    Northern Virginia, USA
    I have read elsewhere that the pickups for this bass were specifically designed (and built?) by Bartolini. IIRC It was the only bass in production by Peavey at the time that didn't have the "Peavey" brand on the pickups themselves. They are great sounding pickups and it's a great sounding bass, too!
  19. EunosFD


    Jun 7, 2006
    The pickups appear to be similar in design to those used in some of the later TL models (I think early ones had those Super Ferrite pickups) and quite possibly other Peavey models of the time. Like this one for example:


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