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the long and winding road to NBD! Peavey Zodiac BXP (+Club)

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Bass V, May 4, 2018.


  1. Bass V

    Bass V

    Dec 11, 2008
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    this has been at least 4 mos in the making towards a foreign-made bass nobody else wanted but me, and I really wanted it, but couldn't overcome the myriad logistics even with a plea to the tb community in the St. Louis region to be my middle man. meanwhile, the bass sat online looking good but steadily dropping in price until the store owner met my needs and finally we had an agreement @ $300 cash shipped to Honolulu. a week later the money arrives ...and the owner promptly goes on vacation delaying everything over another week for nothing.
    bass arrives and boy are these strings tight, lacking of depth and tone, real snappy with no lows without maxing everything out, not impressive and the J PU is worthless so far, but enuf is going on I can tell there's tone somewhere inside this thing. the swapped in EMG HZs may not be so hot and the wiring could probably use an upgrade, it sounds sproingy and restricted, so nothing good will come of this till I at least try out new strings, probably flats, something softer and thumpy to hopefully compliment the low action. after running thru the trials and not being thrilled with the various sounds I eventually put everything on extreme settings to get my Felix / Bruce happy place grind and lo n behold this bass excelled there, so that saved the day, coupled with the positives in general playability and I'm relieved this wasn't a total bust. the toothpick Jazzy neck is a C shape at the nut and disappears in my mitt but this is a rockin' little machine, petite body, skinny but nice neck, a stiff lightweight stick with some personality creeping out as we get acquainted. I just hope I can bring out much more than the mid -range metalic blah these one dimensional strings give up, if that happens then this baby will begin fulfilling it's promises.
    the amber shades on the neck and body look better in person than the brite yellow in the seller pics and the pickguard looks good on or left naked. I bought this for it's looks, but with any luck it'll deliver a lot more than is already has.
    like it's fellow unknowns the Epi Toby and Cort Curbow Retro, the Zodiac BXP fills a gap and fits a niche in the sub $300 bang-for-your-buck market, such worthy contenders deserve their clubs and the Peavey Zodiac Club may now commence.
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    Mark76 and Giffro like this.
  2. @Bass V
    That's a real good looking bass and I'd be tempted to leave the scratchplate off. In particular I'm jealous of the neck,my Zodiac EXP and both Scorpio DEs have rosewood boards and your all maple looks great. Fact is the Chinese Peaveys had great build quality all round,the necks took a drop after the move to Indonesia.

    For Pete's sake don't play it until you change the strings :laugh:
     
    Giffro likes this.
  3. Bass V

    Bass V

    Dec 11, 2008
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    as you may recall... this all your fault, and I thank you!
    I'm a hard core flats guy yet have kept the various rounds on my new basses as a cheap learning tool, and the fat E is damn nice even being stiff and brite on this one, but I think there's some old school whump lurking inside and it needs to come out. actually, I really like a lot about these strings and would prefer another Zodiac to experiment on. funny how that always happens...
    I can't find any indication of a China or Indo build but I wanted the maple neck beyond it's good looks as the all-over-the-map reviews on these seemed to favor the burst / maple combo plus this one had better than average figuring and it's looks with the ridiculous pickguard screws eventually got to me, the maple board does have that crisper snap. being a Peavey USA fan I hoped it wouldn't be far off from my T-20 and 40 but in retrospect this foreign make is comparable to my recent Squier Vintage Modified PJ in being a lighter streamlined version of a Fender P while retaining most of what the big boys got. not sure what the Zodiac can be compared to in the Peavey line but it fits in with my other's unique properties. the neck bolt screws could be beefier, the electronics are sub'par, the hardware is a tad cheaper, but all that can be upped if needed and in the end they're both a ton of fun as is and are just greater basses after you perfect them. I can see this Zodiac is worth more investment, but it won't need much.
     
  4. @Bass V all the Zodiacs were built in China. Serial number,if any will contain "Q" probably 2nd character but the biggest giveaway is the much nicer harpoon headstock shape. Indonesian necks just have the flat face headstock and most have truss rod wheel adjustment.

    Where it fits in the Peavey line up I'd say it's closest to the B-90. Hardware and pickups are a damn sight better quality than the final Furys got :thumbsup: By the mid to late 2000's Peavey knew the lower end American market was a dead duck for them so to compete in other markets the BXPs had better up it's game.

    Just how important are those other markets ? USA Grinds lasted less than 3 years, BXP Grinds are still selling well as they enter their 14th year.
     
  5. Bass V

    Bass V

    Dec 11, 2008
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    it seems like the Zodiac was a good middle of the road trade off from the over-engineered early T series retaining just enuf style and quality to keep it in the pro leagues whereas the Squiers I mentioned as comparable are iffy, but maybe Peavey went too far off the rails in going foreign if it got cheaper than the Zodiacs, that's how the likes of Harley Benton can't be beat. it's all about the neck anyway, that's where Peavey should have kept their focus, most accolades were dished out on the quality of the Zodiac necks.
     
  6. The Zodiacs certainly have style,their take on the traditional bass shape is familiar but altered enough to be it's own :thumbsup:
    Personally I think well of the Squiers,compared to the Fenders I had the misfortune to try in the mid 80's,they're decent basses.

    At the bottom level neither Squier Affinitys or Peavey Milestones compare well against the 100 euro Harley Bentons but that's a whole different business model.
     
    Bass V likes this.
  7. Bass V

    Bass V

    Dec 11, 2008
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    to be honest I went for this one cos the true apple of my eye a Fender Modern Player Telecaster is so elusive, especially at a fair price, and the Zodiac will keep me occupied til I get one, but depending on how different strings react I might have saved huge on getting the PZBXP instead of the Fender. there is a big sound hiding inside this lil Zodiac, much like the Tele, I can sense it, and I doubt I need a mudbucker to bring it out.
    I missed all the bad years at Fender so my mindset still thinks of Fender quality, to get my Squier VM PJ was a pretty big eye opener and to note the lack of quality at some points yet still enjoying the basic Fender feel and sounds reminds me of this BXP Peavey. it was a hassle to get but now the fun begins!
     
  8. Bursting the Fender bubble was one of the best things that ever happened to me. Played 8 Fender P-basses one day, none were all that special. Not £500 special,a £220 Tokai Hard Puncher put them to shame. That little revelation caused me to look at other brands. I'm not saying the big F can't make good basses just other folks make good basses too.

    The £500 Fender money got spent on a Wal a few weeks later:thumbsup:
     
    TrevorR, scuzzy and Bass V like this.
  9. scuzzy

    scuzzy

    Feb 15, 2006
    Troy, MO
    Glad you were able to get it! I spotted it on music go round, it's a great looking bass, for a nice price.
     
    Bass V likes this.
  10. Maxdusty

    Maxdusty

    Mar 9, 2012
    Michigan USA
    I had a Peavey Zodiac DE Scorpio but returned it to Guitar Center as it wasn't in the condition they said over the phone in talking to the store associate. It was supposedly in very good condition and the mirror pickguard was just in need of a little cleaning. What I got was a bass that was anything but excellent in condition, it had more signs of use than I expected and the metal pickguard was not just in need of cleaning, it was scratched like crazy and tarnished. They didn't offer me enough of a discount to want to keep it, I was pretty disappointed with the transaction, one of the few used GC purchases that didn't go as planned. As a player, I thought it was comfortable, sounded great, decent weight and a very good alternative P/J option to your standard looking Fender or Ibanez models. I wouldn't be adverse to getting another Zodiac DE or BXP later on down the road and if the price was right, just not looking for another bass right now though.
     
    Last edited: May 4, 2018
    Bass V likes this.
  11. Bass V

    Bass V

    Dec 11, 2008
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    gotta say thank you for your offer to help and I'm glad I didn't need to call on you, it just took more time and haggling, but the upside is that time delay allowed the price to come down and in the end the owner gave it to me for $200. and he found the missing pickguard so I couldn't be happier despite the other 2 guys who offered to help going MIA / AWOL on me, that was weird, but even weirder is that it worked out better in the end.

    that sucks cos I'd think you'd be a good candidate for endorsing these with the smaller body and slim neck, I'm not surprised you gave one a shot. the DE has the good Duncan 1/4 lb. PUs vs stock Wilkinson which I'd like to try both vs the EMGs in now, but I can't wait to swap in new strings to see if that opens up some sweeter tones. it's a rocker for sure and I'm betting there's plenty more under the hood.
     
  12. JRA

    JRA my words = opinion Supporting Member

    fine looking ax! congratulations on your new instrument! :thumbsup:
     
    Bass V likes this.
  13. @Bass V
    Where did you learn they had Wilkinsons as stock ? If that was the case then I can agree with Elleffson when he stated Peavey only went with Duncans to justify a price hike on the DE. There's some fine Wilkinson pickups on the market.
     
  14. Bass V

    Bass V

    Dec 11, 2008
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    I found that info in basic research and wanted those over the EMGs or Duncans cos it was said they were quite good, and I doubt they were Wilkinson's best. the Scorpion had a custom headstock job and mirrored scratchplate plus the Duncans and Dave's initials in the name... I liked the burst Zodiac's looks better, especially mine, but wouldn't mind having both! even with the same taut strings I'm really digging the narrow scope of tones / sounds, the low action, fast neck and comfort this cheapo bass is providing.
     
  15. Guess I never thought the little scorpion logo made it a custom headstock :laugh: Pretty cool if the BXPs had Wilkinsons,one of my DE's has Entwistles fitted and Trev-W worked for Alan Entwistle before striking out on his own. Kinda keeps it in the family :thumbsup:
     
    Bass V likes this.
  16. Bass V

    Bass V

    Dec 11, 2008
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    LOL yeah, but Peavey gave it a whole different feel and sound to go with the look, my only surprise is that they bothered with such an inexpensive model that they were not serious in continuing. I never heard of the line until a year ago, but I must say they did good work on designing these headstocks, nice and slim with some flair.
     
  17. That's the Chinese necks :) The Chinese Millenniums have the same back bevel at the harpoon head. For a short lived bass they must have shifted some amount of units,Zodiacs turn up for sale fairly regular here in Europe.

    Never should have sold the Chinese Millennium,it was a fine bass. BTW have you saw the Hired Guns doc ? Sarzo still plays his MIC Cirrus sig.
     
    Bass V likes this.
  18. Bass V

    Bass V

    Dec 11, 2008
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    I kinda figured that, with Thommen as a dist., so last week I went on basschat with my new baby and zip, nada... LOL
     
  19. Thomann are just a seller and even then only amps,each country has it's own distributor after Peavey closed down the international offices.

    With regard to basschat. You'll find,apart from a very small number of die hards, nobody in Europe pays much attention to Peavey basses.
     
    Bass V likes this.
  20. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

     
    Nov 30, 2020

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