New or Used:
4 - Good
5 - Great
5 - Great
4 - Good
This bass was purchased in 1983. At that time it was brand new and a great deal even then. This was Peavey's first take on an electric bass and I think they did pretty well.
This bass is loaded with tone options and ususual, but versatile switching options. It has two toggles and four knobs. Well have a look at the toggles first.
The large toggle is for pickup selection, but the small toggle is the most notable feature of this bass--it is a phase switch. With both pickups selected the phase switch can be engaged which results in a thin, almost guitar-like tone. While the point of this feature is not clear, I have found a couple of uses for it.
The bass has two rail-style humbucking pickups. Pre-1983 models do not have this. The rails were added to increase treble response, according to designer, Chip Todd. The most interesting aspect of this bass is yet to come.
The humbuckers can also be switched to single-coil operation. No big deal, right? I agree, lots of basses have this feature. The interesting part is how it is done. The tone knobs are wired in such a way that the tone positions 1-6 operate the pickups in humbucker mode and 7-10 operate in single-coil mode. With this, one can simulate the many pickup configurations available on the market today.
Otherwise, this bass is built like a tank. The bridge is HUGE compared to most basses. This, combined with a maple neck, huge headstock, and a Northern Ash (baseball bat) body, result in some great sustain and a nice, warm tone with a bit of treble edge. By the way, the pickups in this thing are HOT--lots of output.
The bottom line on this bass is that now, you can get them off eBay for around $200.00US. Sometimes less, sometimes more, but the prices are averaging in the $200 range. I think that is a great buy for the stuff this bass provides.
If you can deal with the weight, get one of these. I highly recommend it. I've had mine for almost 23 years and it is still almost like new.