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Q's re: older Peavey Grind BXP

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by the elephant, Apr 7, 2005.

  1. I just bought a new EB!

    Firstly, I am a full time orchestral tubist. I double on URB in a local trio in the clubs and bars in my area. I might have a chance at a $17,000 Soul/R&B party band in a year or two and have been strongly advised to get an EB and learn to play Jamerson really well in case I am asked to "sub" with this group in the next six months. I am warned that this might be a clandestine audition.

    So. Hmm. I know tuba. I sort of know URB.

    EB is foreign to me.

    So I bought a cheapo break-in bass the other day. And I LOVE IT!!! I am having so much fun playing along with my Commitments DVD or running my iPod through my amp and using headphones to play along. WHAT A FREAKING BLAST!

    What I got for my "learning bass" was a Peavey Grind BXP. It is not the current, so-so neck-through thing. It is an older one: bolt-on, active, 5 string (through body), 35", with a very nice sound.

    I have heard that the current neck-through Grinds are very dead sounding and not all that good. The archives indicate that more than a few here think that the older Korean BXP's that were bolt-on played much better and were excellent values for the money when they were new, whereas the new crop is pretty humdrum.

    My Grind is actually brand new, even though it is from somewhere around 1999 or 2000. It still had the "saran wrap" protective plastic on the access panels on the back. It had been a demo for about two months and then the store moved. When the move was completed, the next crop was out and mine got shelved and forgotten. It is brand new. I got it for $300 with a cable and a Fender cordura bag. I bought a very nice strap. And voila! I am ready to go. I already had the rest of the rig from my URB playing. (I got an older Peavey Black Widow cab to use with the URB and, of course, it works far better with an EB.)

    So, I want to do the Jamerson style and sound thing. I used to have a very nice Fender American Standard J Bass but had to sell it before I ever learned to play it. :scowl:

    Can I get a modern, active 5 string bass to sound like my old, thumpy Fender Jazz? Will it ever sound like the Motown bass I want it to be? I can buy a more correct bass when the time comes. I just want to know about THIS one. I really like the way it feels and looks. I like the way it plays, so far.

    I need to re-do the setup right away. It has stainless rounds that look to be medium gauge and it sounds quite nice and slappy. But that is the opposite of what I need. I want to get flats but do not know which ones. I do not know what to do about the bridge height and tuning. What kind of action should I try to use to copy Mr. Jamerson's sound? And (again) can I get that sound on an active bass? After I get some flats, will it be a matter of finger position and knob turning to get what I am after?

    Please forgive me. I have never had an instrument where the tone can be adjusted so easily and so much.

    Oh yeah, the 9V seems to be okay. Should I replace it with a known-new one just to be safe? I just learned that you have to unplug it or the battery stays on. (Dang it!)

    Do I need to use a "guitar cleaner" or can I use something like Pledge? It is not oiled wood, but a heavily painted metallic blue that looks great. I would like to keep it in very good shape.

    The neck feels a little tacky or grabby. Should I sand it down like my URB, or am I just using bad technique?

    What else do I need to know?

    What a great sounding and playing bass for being Korean-made, 5 years old, and only $300!


  2. Aaron Saunders

    Aaron Saunders

    Apr 27, 2002
    High action, La Bella flats. Most bassists seem to run as far away as possible from that setup, but it's what Jamerson used and you should be more than fine with it, what with playing DB (coming from DB himself, Jamerson used that setup to make the transition as seamless as possible.)

    On the battery thing -- it should be fine, but I like knowing I've got a totally juiced battery in my active bass, so I'd replace it if I were you.

    As for the making it sound like an old school P-bass, the flats should go a long way. What you can do after that is to only run it with the neck pickup, treble rolled WAY down, and a twinge of bass boost. I can get pretty close to the old motown sound on my fretted with some work (dead TI jazz rounds, bass boost, MASSIVE treble cut) on my ol' Samick P/J copy with Seymour Duncans and an Aguilar preamp. I'd get a LOT closer with the flats and high action, but I like my BG's to have the lowest possible action and lowest string tension I can get.

    Note: A lot of the REALLY old Motown -- think Heat Wave, back around 59 or 60 -- was recorded on DB, so you can (and probably should) bring the DB on those gigs.

    I'd reccomend using guitar cleaner, just to be safe. As for the neck thing, talk to a local luthier. Does it have a really glossy finish? I prefer necks without glossy finishes, 'cause of the tacky/grabby feeling. A lot of people simply sand it off, but bare maple gets horribly stained pretty quickly, IIRC.

    Good luck!
  3. Man, great information, and quick!


    Wade :hyper: