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Upgrade My Cirrus...Am I Crazy or Not??

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by rickreyn, Jul 21, 2002.

  1. rickreyn


    Jun 16, 2000
    Lutz, Florida
    I dare ask this question after recommending against it to many others. I was wondering, because I am well settled with the feel and look of the bass (it's a keeper), whether I would greatly benefit by gutting it and replacing pickups and preamp with Bartolinis. I would also like on-off and passive-active switches, if that is possible. For the most part, I am aiming for a little more oomph and range of expression, if possible. I'd also like to solve the problem of having the guitar go silent (without apparent warning) every one to two months with a case of dead batteries. I have the luthier to do this for me, and I have already upgraded my tuners and nut. This will also solve my problem of ultimately wanting a bass with Barts in it.
  2. Brendan

    Brendan Supporting Member

    Jun 18, 2000
    Austin, TX
    Not crazy. It's a worthy bass, and if that will make more worthy, then it's worth it. Worth (just had to say it one more time!)
  3. Aaron


    Jun 2, 2001
    Bellingham, WA
    that is what i'd do with a cirrus. I love the feel of it, but i always thought its tone was a bit cold. I'd like to warm it up with barts. It seems that the cirrus pickups are pretty wide. I'm not sure what pups would fit in one.
  4. Sir, it is almost not worth my time to say this, but you are not worthy to waste this worthy man's time with your worthless trival spewing, even on so worthy a topic as his very worthy bass. (Ha, I used more forms of "worth" than you, and did it more times! :p)

    Rick, heck yeah upgrade the puppy! I even know where you can find the p/u's and preamp you're lookin' for! ;)
  5. Brendan

    Brendan Supporting Member

    Jun 18, 2000
    Austin, TX
    It's always a competition with you Gard...
  6. uglybassplayer


    Aug 24, 2001
    New Jersey
    C'mon Rick, You of all people should know... "Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's Barts" ;)

    Seriously though, there was a thread on this a while back. I'm sure Brad Johnson will weigh in... I remember him talking about a Cirrus he found that had the pups swapped with either Barts or EMGs, and he felt that it lost all of that "Cirrus Goodness", which led him to believe that the secret to the Cirrus was the way Peavey's Pup/EQ system worked with the bass itself.

    - Frank.
  7. rickreyn


    Jun 16, 2000
    Lutz, Florida
    I remember that there was once a thread on this and that Sir Brad had weighed in. I searched but it didn't jump out to me in the first five or so pages, so I asked the direct question.

    I'd have to figure that out.

    Just the man to help me out. Expect a call.
  8. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Supporting Member

    I wouldn't do it, but it's not my bass.

    If you love the bass but want the tone of Barts, and can only have one bass, it's your decision.

    One thing to remember. It will lower the resale of the bass, if you ever decide to sell it.
  9. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson SUSPENDED

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    DR Strings
    Rick, I can't make a recommendation one way or the other. The bass I mentioned before had a full EMG electronics swap. EMG's work great on some basses and not so hot on others. This bass was a not so hot result. It sounded really thin, clacky and brittle. Even when the strings died. Barts don't typically sound like this but it is quite possible to get a Bart-equipped bass that sounds thin.

    The question is, how will Barts sound in your particular bass? Unfortunately there's one way to find out and it's not cheap. I would recommend against routing the bass, in the event you want to put it back to stock. As much as I love Barts, the Cirrus is one of those basses where I personally wouldn't do it (which has nothing to do with what you should do;)). You have to bear in mind that I'd just buy another bass and that's not what everyone else would or should do.

    I still don't really know what to attribute the Cirrus' signature sound to. I'm pretty sure that the wood is a lesser factor than the electronics but do the pickups or the preamp carry the load? I thought the strings may have been a factor but ruled that out the first time I went non-Peavey.

    It would be interesting to hear from someone who's swapped out the electronics in a Ken Smith for Barts. I've always considered them and Cirruses tonally similar and I've never seen or heard Barts in a KS that originally had soapbars.

    It would be an interesting project, Rick, and possibly a success. I'm riding the fence on this one;)
  10. rickreyn


    Jun 16, 2000
    Lutz, Florida
    The little Misses' tolerance level is at one guitar plus a modest number of nick nacks. Normally, I'd add a bass and not do anything to an otherwise fine bass. I have surveyed the landscape and see only one bass that would cover all the basses for me, I think (Lakland), the Zon's have hopped up a few notches lately as well. I'll wait until all the returns are in and contemplate the future. However, thinking to another recently moved thread, I should spend my time "learning.";)
  11. embellisher said...

    I wouldn't do it, but it's not my bass.

    [waves at Jeff]

    I wouldn't do it either.

    I've owned a Cirrus and currently own a USA Lakland. I wouldn't mod the pickups or preamp in either one.

    I do own a MIM Active Jazz that doesn't have much Fender left in it - Bartolini 9W4 pickups and an NTMB preamp. It turned a reasonably good bass into a great bass - but the only Fender parts left are the body, neck and a couple of pots. Everything else has been swapped out.

    My suggestion? Find another bass to mod. The Cirrus is too good as it is.

    edit: I sold the Cirrus to help pay for the Lakland. Although I haven't regretted the purchase I have had Cirrus GAS ever since. I will own another one.
  12. rickreyn


    Jun 16, 2000
    Lutz, Florida
    I'm starting to pick up on the wise thing to do.
  13. Ryan L.

    Ryan L. Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Aug 7, 2000
    West Fargo, ND
    Personally, I wouldn't do it, but again, it is not my bass, either.

    The Cirri definitely have a "signature sound". I have also ruled out the string factor, as I have tried a few different brands of strings on mine, from Peavey Cirrus Strings to DR HighBeams to (currently) Rotosound Swing66's. These all gave the bass a different edge to the sound, but that typical sound that I have always known and loved from it always remained.

    Also, an active passive switch wouldn't work on the bass as it is now, but you could easily add an on/off switch to it, FWIW.

    As was already stated, it'll either work or it won't. Only you can be the judge of it in the end, but remember, it could be a costly project just to find out that it was better before the "upgrade".;)
  14. rickreyn


    Jun 16, 2000
    Lutz, Florida
    I have decided I would be slightly crazy to do the upgrades to the bass. If indeed the Cirrus has a signature sound, I don't want to mess that up. The one thing that is a doable option is to go with the Millenium preamp, as they have done on their custom basses. Then I would have sweepable mids and possibly the battery issue would be corrected.

    Maybe I should keep entering Bass Player magazine contests and eventually I'll win. Then I can sell most of the stuff and buy what I want.

    Maybe I should focus on my 401K and get back to playing scales.:p

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