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Peavey Cirrus Six-String Bass

Peavey has worked hard to overcome the much-undeserved perception that they make “second class” gear. Perhaps this was a result of the unpretentious, workmanlike appearance of Peavey’s early products-but no one could ever say they didn’t do the job. It’s been an uphill battle for Peavey in the bass world as well, even though they pioneered the market in the mid-’70s with the T-40 bass. Being the first mass-produced bass guitar with active electronics, the T-40 was a standout. It had many useful sounds, though its sacrum-compacting heft made for a long night, and it never won a beauty contest. The Cirrus line of basses was introduced several years ago, and the current crop has enough panache to convince even hard-core gear snobs that Peavey is making top-shelf axes.

The Cirrus is available in four-, five- and six-string models with a wide variety of wood choices. The test model ($2,099.99 list) was a stunning six-string sporting a flamed maple top over an alder body-a thin layer of black-dyed maple separates the top and body, adding a fine detail to the construction. The five-piece, neck-through body construction alternates strips of purple heart with Canadian hard maple for a rock-solid and attractive neck. A pau ferro fingerboard remains unmarked except for an abalone Cirrus logo at the 12th fret. The graphite headstock overlay gives the impression that the neck is made from the space-age material, but in fact, it’s cosmetic. There is, however, graphite reinforcement built into the neck, a common feature that adds stiffness. The well-engineered ABM bridge has plenty of mass to help sustain and clarity, and it adjusts easily for optimal string height and intonation. The tuners are lightweight, closed-gear cranks that function smoothly and offer precise tuning.

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