Peavey T-40 for $99!

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by megiddo, Dec 12, 2005.

  1. megiddo


    Apr 5, 2003
    Houston, Texas
    So, I'm in a pawn shop across the street from where I work waiting on a sandwich from the store next door. I have a habit of going to the pawn shop while I wait for my food. In the several years it's been there, I've never seen anything that approached the quality or price of a bass that I would want, but I keep checking anyway. (Maybe that says something about my personality / intelligence Ha!)

    I go back to the musical instrument section and hanging on the wall was a natural finish Peavey T-40 with a maple board. I don't know much about them but under the layers of grime looked like there might be a decent bass, especially for $99. I plugged it in, tuned it up and it sounded pretty good though it needs a set up badly. I offer the lady that always sees me come in look at basses and leave $90 for it and there's no way she'll budge. I say thanks, hit the door thinking she'll give in, but no.

    I did a quick web search on the T-40 and saw what's been written about them on this board and decided to pull the trigger. I put my spare set of Rotosound SB66's on it when I got home and it sounded better so I took it with me to a church concert we did last night. Found out that it's not quite gig worthy right now, but a little TLC and a good set up should cure it's ills.

    If you've taken the time to read this far I bet you might know something about the T-40 and I've got a couple of questions.

    How should I go about removing the layers of grime (black greasy looking stuff) without hurting the finish any more than it has been already? The frets need polishing (or more accurately, de-spooging), is that something I can do myself and what would you use? The previous owner must have been a mechanic judging from the way the bass looks. He probably kept it in his office as a weapon. I know it must have frightened women and small children.

    Anyway it will make a great back up bass to my Jazz even though its way different. Do y'all have any advice on what else I should do to bring it up to its potential? Best strings - mods?

    I'm a happy camper, I also need to figure out how to tell my wife what she got me for Christmas. Ha!
  2. S Lewis

    S Lewis

    May 23, 2005
    Charlotte, NC
    i have a set of DR Red Devils on my T-40 now, and it sounds better than ever

    JJBACOOMBA Commercial User

    May 31, 2005
    San Antonio, Texas
    Lecompte Bass Owners Club Member #2
    Cool find!! Those were good basses back then. I am sure there are several TBers that know how to clean it up. Might even want to consider having it refinished. Take care!! Good luck!
  4. Pennydreadful

    Pennydreadful Goin out West

    Jun 13, 2005
    Arlington, Texas
    You can buy restoration kit type things at places like musiciansfriend. Other than that, and some scrubbin, I dunno.
  5. bassksun

    bassksun Supporting Member

    Mar 5, 2004
    Las Vegas,NV
    You may wanna pop over to the Luthiers threads for this. But for greasy grimy stuff I use lacquer thinner or denatured alchohol. Sometimes lighter fluid or Goof Off will work. Then follow with Guitar wax. Stew-Mac has tons of refinishing stuff.

    Congrats on the find and..............good luck with the wife.

  6. get it...T-40s are pretty nice basses, and at 99 bucks, thats pretty good. i wouldn't have even asked TB, i would have snatched it up so quick!
    also, if you buy it and don't like it, put it on ebay, they are going for about 200 dollars so thats a pretty good resale value in your favor!

  7. klocwerk


    May 19, 2005
    Somerville, MA
    he did already buy it before asking TB. ;)

    There's one on e-bay right now, watch it and see how high it goes for a value estimate.
  8. peabody

    peabody Supporting Member

    Oct 31, 2002
    La Crosse, WI
    I had one back in the 70's. It really wasn't a bad bass, but as I remember, the weight was measured in kilotons. I'm not sure how to get it clean, because I don't think there was much of a finish over the wood. $99 is a pretty good deal. I see most of the ones on the 'bay selling for around $250 or so. Enjoy it!
  9. Eilif

    Eilif Supporting Member

    Oct 1, 2001
    I have never had to heavily clean my t-40, (I found it in NOS condition a few years ago with the pickguard film and control labels still on.) but I can tell you what peavey says.
    Use automotive products. I am not kidding, the manual for the t-40 (you can download it at the peavey website) says to use automotive care products. if the finish has been worn down to the wood and the wood itself is dirty, then you would have to sand and refinish (i.e. leave it dirty) however the finish on the maple necks is usually quite sturdy, and a damp cloth should go a long way towards cleaning off the neck and frettwork, though if it is really grease, you may want to ask the peavey staff on the peavey forum. Peavey takes a day or two to answer, but that's the best way to find out.

    Oh, yeah, unless you are going to put darkstars pickups in the bass, don't mod it at all. The wonder of the t-40 is in the wierd electronics.
  11. Orco87


    Mar 26, 2000

    I will second the leaving of the electronics b/c it seriously is the electronics that make the awesome sound you can get out of that bass! I'm trying to remember what strings I have on mine... I can't remember for the life of me right now... DR somethin or rather... Haven't replaced the strings in over 2 years (the bass currently isn't really played, so I'm not THAT lazy).
  12. megiddo


    Apr 5, 2003
    Houston, Texas
    Thanks for all the advice. AJ at Peavey replied to my post about how old it might be. He said it was a 1979 model. :bassist:

    Last night I took everything apart to give it a good cleaning. I just used ammonia free spray away to get most the dirt off. Tomorrow I'm going to get some automotive paste wax and use that to shine things up a bit. It's seen some battles and is pretty nicked up, but once I get the grime out of the nicks it will look pretty cool. The wood has yellowed a bit over the years and I like the way it looks, so I'm going to try to avoid sanding it down and completely refinishing it.

    I'm not going to change the electronics at all. However if this thing sounds and plays as good as everyone says I may pick up a better one later and put Dark Stars in this one, but that's way down the road.

    What do y'all think about Rotosound SB66's on it? My concern is that roundwounds will crap out the fretboard. There are already some string marks on there but they aren't too bad. I was thinking about some of those black coated strings. Any idea how that would sound?

    But wait there's more! - Here's part two of my story.

    Saturday night my daughter who's learning to play gu*tar sees my bass and freaks out. She really likes the look and feel and asked me if Peavey made a gu*tar just like it. I lied and said that I had no idea, but she's old enough to do her own internet search, found out that Peavey did make T-60's and showed me the ones on eBay. Well, I knew the same pawn shop had a Peavey T-60 hung right beside the T-40 priced at $99.00 just like the T-40, only the T-60 is in nearly mint condition. (No hard shell case, so I'll be looking for those later tonight) I showed up as soon as they opened Sunday, made sure the pickups and switches were in working order and bought it on the spot. My wife's not too happy about me buying one of our daughter's Christmas presents from a pawn shop but my daughter won't care. She's really going to love it.

    Funny thing is that the pawn shop guy said that both belonged to the same guy. So why is the gu*tar nearly mint and the bass looks like he used it to beat cinder blocks into sumission? :bawl:

    This afternoon I showed the T-60 to my brother in-law who's a serious gu*tar player and he offered me $200 on the spot. I explained that it is going to be a Christmas present for my daughter so he said he'd go $250! OK, I made that part up. :smug: But he did say he would give her $200 if she ever wanted to sell it.

    So I got a nice fixer uper bass and a great Christmas present for my daughter for just under $200! :hyper: :D

    Now if I can only find my elusive mint 70's natural finish, maple fretboard with black binding American Fender P Bass for $150.
  13. R.Lee


    Nov 12, 2005
    If the fingerboard is dirty Peavey usually recommends using Lemon oil to clean and condition the board.
    I wish I had pawn shops like that in my area! Last T-40 I saw was 300+ and looked like the path of a rhino stampede.
  14. nice find! i owned a T-40. it was my second bass purchase.
    i bought it new in 1979 or so. i loved that bass for several years. it weighed a ton!!. but sounded good.
    to clean the crud, just use windex or some alcohol based cleaner. this works well on the hardware also. then use a furniture polish, like liquid gold, or pledge on the body, and back of neck. you should use lemon, or tung oil on the fretboard, but mineral oil will work also. congrats! :cool:
  15. For cleaning my bass, U use a lemonoil for the fretboard and neck (both maple.)

    For the body I'll use plain warm water for most small things.(far away from the electronics ofcourse). However when theres something a little harder, like the time a sharpie exploded across my bass, I used rubbing alcohol (On the poly'd body, and maybe even a little bit on the neck which has a satin finish) and it worked wonders.

    As for the frets, I haven't really had to seriously clean them yet, but I've been recomended jewelry polish countless times. And if that doesn't work? A fine brillo pad. I did this to my uncles old Ovation Magnum. I know its not particularly good for frets, but to get some dirt off of it it will be fine, as long as you do it lightly and only do it once.
  16. keyboardguy

    keyboardguy Supporting Member

    May 11, 2005
    I got a T-40 a cople of months ago on Ebay and love it too.

    I recommend you go to the peavey site and download the manual. The neck has a feature where you can lower (or raise) the neck for good action. Think of it as having the ability of adding or removing shims in the neck pocket. Kind of neat...

    Oh, and the manual explains what all those switches actually do; you can get a lot of different sounds out of the T-40.


  17. smperry

    smperry Moderator Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 3, 2003
    Bay Area, CA
    Endorsing Artist: Martin Keith Guitars
    Excellent snags megiddo!

    A 1979 T-40 was the 4th or 5th bass I owned...beat out a bunch of basses that were more expensive!

  18. purfektstranger


    Apr 10, 2003
    Easy to see why the bass is so beat up and the guitar is like new. The original owner bought them both at the same time, realised that playing bass kicked bigtime a$$ and threw the guitar in the closet.

    Congrats on the great finds!
  19. bikeplate

    bikeplate Supporting Member

    Jun 7, 2001
    Upstate NY

    $50 too much