It's never a bad thing to have some staying power in the music industry, especially when it’s bolstered by a historically solid reputation. Consider Peavey, which has been on the scene for over 40 years and has maintained a respectable reputation for the duration. Peavey’s newest instrument is the Cirrus Bolt-on, and from the first glance, it has a clearly established personality. As musical genres cross-breed and evolve, so too do the desires of the average musician—and Peavey’s designers seem quite aware of this natural progression. The Bolt-On has an interesting blend of sensibilities: It’s definitely a rocker, but refined, intelligent, and pretty in a goth sort of way.
The most striking thing about this 4- string is the walnut neck and wenge fingerboard. Not only is the dark wood elegant and classy, it seemed to offer a snap and immediacy to each note that I found instantly gratifying. The wood was gorgeous, with a porous, grainy feel to the touch. There are no dot inlays in the fingerboard, except for a tasteful mother of pearl “P” marking the 12th fret. The neck heel is angled and inset for better access in the higher registers. While the body is sleek and narrow, the 35" scale and 24-fret fingerboard make this an exceptionally long instrument. That said, the neck-to-body weight ratio is balanced, whether on your knee or standing.
The electronics revolve around Peavey’s patented VFL (vertical flux load) pickups, which are featured on all the Cirrus basses. Without a doubt, there is a modern growl and sparkle that comes through, no matter the rig. The neck-position pickup is rich and throaty, while the bridge pickup has plenty of spank and attitude. While I personally miss having a basic tone knob, the 3-way active EQ offers plenty of leverage to dial in what you’re looking for and is useable throughout each knob’s range, although the treble filter is voiced lower than I would have expected. The Cirrus can deliver a creamy Jaco-esque tone from the bridge pickup as well as a warm J-Bass sound from the neck pickup.
Another feature contributing to great resonance is the patented Peavey Dual Compression tailpiece. This bridge consists of four individual die-cast saddles for each string. Not only is each saddle screwed to the body in front of each saddle, but the cast carries through to the back of the instrument, in order to maximize metal-to-wood contact as well as metalto- metal contact between the sliding saddles and the bridge piece itself. Two hex nuts set the action for each string, and the intonation can be adjusted with a hex nut in front of the string saddle. Three sides of the saddle are in total contact with the bridge piece itself. At the headstock of the bass are Hipshot tuners, which are a great complement to any instrument.
There is an interesting amalgamation of bass-design philosophies going on here: The combination of woods, simple components, and solid electronics make this instrument appealing to a wide variety of players while also offering some class. The long, sleek neck design would be comfortable for players accustomed to getting both hands on the fingerboard as well as those inclined to flail away on high notes. Finally, the unusual (for a 4-string) 35" scale makes it an excellent candidate for detuning. Whether tone or looks are your priority, the Cirrus Bolt- On has good things going on in both departments, and it offers a few subtly unique qualities that set it apart from the 4-string bolt-on pack. —Matthew Charles Heulitt
CIRRUS BOLT-ON 4 ST RING
Pros Snappy response; solid construction
Weight 8.2 lbs
Assembled in U.S.
Warranty 5 years