PEAVEY MILLENNIUM 4 AC BXP
Pros Great value; loads of low end
Cons Timid treble response
In his book Mojo Triangle [Schirmer, 2005], author James L. Dickerson drops anchor points in the musical meccas of Nashville, Memphis, and New Orleans to draw a triangle that hems in what he calls the birthplace of country, blues, jazz, and rock & roll. Smack dab in the middle of that pretend polygon’s longest scalene side, between Nashville and New Orleans, sits the town of Meridian, Mississippi. As the home of Jimmie Rodgers, beloved “Father of Country Music,” Meridian might merit an anchor point of its own (though “Mojo Quadrilateral” doesn’t have quite the same ring). But there’s another notable native that has done even more to bring the sound of that town to the world stage. . . .
Established 1965 in Meridian by Hartley Peavey, Peavey Electronics has long been a champion of high-quality, affordable bass gear. Peavey made its initial electric bass splash in the late-’70s and ’80 with its T-40, a two-pickup workhorse that’s become something of an underdog favorite among collectors. Currently, Peavey’s bass lines included the flagship Cirrus (reviewed in March ’10), the mid-range Grind and PXD, and the entry-level Milestone and Millennium basses. Unlike the passive Millennium 4 BXP, which packs a pair of passive Jazzstyle pickups, the active Millennium 4 AC BXP sports twin humbuckers and active electronics.
Tiger Eye Catching
This Millenium’s striking book-matched tiger-eye quilted maple top made an instant impression; against the black body, the top’s rich amber hue and 3-dimensional appearance was pure class. The construction was solid, with smooth fret edges, a tight neck joint, and fine hardware. The one-per-string Dual Compresson bridge system, which allows either conventional or through-body stringing, was the kind of hardware I would normally expect on a much pricier instrument. Flipping the bass over to inspect its control and battery cavities, I encountered one minor flaw: the battery compartment’s cover fit a little too tight, and required a flathead screwdriver and some elbow grease to dislodge. It wasn’t a huge deal, but it would have been a bummer if I needed fresh batteries right before taking the stage.
The Millennium’s contours felt immediately familiar; with its satin finish, shallow- C profile, and 1.5” width at the nut, the neck felt like an old friend. The body’s somewhat elongated upper horn made the Millennium hang comfortably on a strap, and the bass balanced equally well in my lap. Digging in with fingers and a pick, I found the Millennium’s feel to be a bit stiff, making vibrato and string bends difficult to pull off smoothly. Lowering the height of the saddles a goodly amount greatly improved the bass’s sound and feel.
Modern developments in bass guitar construction and electronics are pretty remarkable, and the Millennium 4 AC BXP makes expert use of those innovations. For electronics, the Millennium borrows from its big-brother Cirrus basses, utilizing that model’s VFL humbucking pickups and 18-volt preamp. The preamp’s bass control seemed especially potent, giving the bass more woof than juiced-out wolfhound. The midrange control was equally impactful, providing ample oomph to make the Millennium cut through in just about any musical environment. Dialing in a mid scoop for slap-style playing, I found the treble control to be a little tame, but I was able to brighten things up via my amp’s EQ. Overall, I dug the bass’s deliciously dark character.
Peaveys have always been popular among the rock & roll rank and file, and the Millennium’s punchy voice would certainly deliver in a hard-rock throwdown on a stage of any size. But with its chic looks and upmarket electronics, the Millennium could do far more than merely metal. All told, the Millennium 4 AC BXP is a beautiful bass that could dutifully serve beginners and giggers alike in manifold musical settings. At around $300 a pop, you could almost have a Millennium for each.
The Millennium’s cavities were tidy, but their covers were tough to remove.
Width at nut 1.5”
Scale length 34”
Weight 7.5 lbs
Controls Volume, blend, bass, mid, treble
Pickups Peavey VFL ceramic humbuckers
Available finishes Tiger Eye, black, metallic blue, metallic red, transparent black violet, transparent black, transparent maroon
Made in Indonesia
Warranty 5 years
Peavey’s Dual Compression tailpieces accomodate both conventional and through-body stringing.