Friday, 21 December 2012

Peavey T-60 and T-40 story and a Happy Christmas. . . . :)

Well, another year almost gone by again!
Christmas is almost upon us, the shortest day of the year and  tomorrow the 
days start to get longer. Yippeee!

The next set of questions I asked Chip, were as usual, answered in great detail.
Above and below is my '79 Toaster, with a "Slab" body and the smaller switches.
The story continues. . . . . . 

As sales progressed and years passed by, there were some subtle mods.
The body became contoured - was this to be in line with other brands
or a natural progression in design?

The body contouring was increased because the wood shop had proven their 
ability with the stroke-sander, the machine which took the steps out of the 
domed top and we had introduced the guitar with less contouring than I wanted. 
It was also a subtle way to reduce the weight, albeit very little.  
We took very little notice to what others were doing, with the exception of the 
individual saddles on the bridge. 

There was also the deletion of the white index dot, on the scratchplate to indicate 
what position the control knobs were - was that to make a cleaner look or just took 
away another op' on the machining?

It was another way to reduce the cost of the pickguard, as the pickguards were 
built for us by an outside vendor. 
The ¼” counter-bores on the body’s face were to accommodate the protruding 
of the plastic from stamping the countersink for the pickguard screws. 
The stamping of the screw holes saved a costly secondary operation for the 
stamping house, so the index dots were eliminated at the same time for the same 

The biggest change must have been from the Toasters to the Blades.
The original pick-ups must have been more time consuming to make than
the later ones? Part of ongoing mods?
The Blades also are wound a little hotter?

They have an extra brightness - more noticeable on the bass than the guitar.
The toasters are "Warmer" and offer great tones - do you have a favourite?

The original pickup design had a plastic plate that filled in the oval openings in 
the pickup cover but the plate was eliminated to save cost, being the only injection 
molding process.
The blades were introduced to allow the pickup to be closer to the strings 

without having the main body of the pickup in the player’s way.  
It also strengthened the magnetic field and eliminated one of the magnets.
The blades allowed us to keep the same number of turns around the bobbins, 

(which is where the power comes from), while reducing the resistance at the 
same time.
This kept the same power while allowing the option of more treble overtones.
All of the tones available on the original pickups were there on the “blade” 

pickups, but the reduced resistance from the total length of wire also allowed 
more treble overtones to be reproduced.   
I greatly prefer the exposed blade pickups.

The last of the series went on to change the switches - can you remember
the reason for that?

The switches were changed when I realized that the musicians didn’t treat their 
guitars with the care that I had hoped they would. Instead of admitting that they 
were not avoiding the microphone stands, it was easier to blame the switch, 
so we changed to a beefier switch.

Towards the end of production, the nut - which had been the same from day one,
was changed to a nylon one. Another effort to watch the $$$ in production?

The group following my leaving Peavey to go the Fender felt that they had to 
change things for little reason than to show that they were busy. 
They didn’t realize that they were changing from not having to file topnut 
grooves to the expense of setup time. 
They didn’t save money, as the die cast topnuts were in a family mold and 
were just cut off and thrown back into the melting vat!

Below are shots of the last line of the series - Contoured Body, Bat Switches
and the Nylon Nut. This one is a beast of a bass, in every sense!!!!!                                                                                        

Well that's all for this year, Many Thanks to Chip, who has a lot more to say - which
I will do next time.

I would like to thank everyone, around the world, for dropping in to read my blog.
As of this morning, I have had over 90300 visitors drop in for a look, since I started
this winding story of intruments and some of the people involved.

Over the last few years, I have had e.mails from all over the world - literally - from
people who have one of what I have got or would like to know something about
a particular instrument - always great to hear from you.
I will be attempting to rationalise the collection, over the next year - thin it down a 
little, make a bit more room and let someone else enjoy a few of them.
This, of course, means that I will have a bit more room for . . . . . . . :) :) :)

I would like to wish my readers Seasons Greetings and look forward to coming back
to you in the New Year.

All the very best.

Flat Eric. :) 









Sunday, 2 December 2012

Peavey T-40 and T-60, Neck plate, Circuit and Ash. . . . .

I had intended to do this last week but time ran away with me.
So, to the next part.
Below is part of the e.mail I sent to Chip and his response. 
Once again, fascinating reading!

Having a good response to the feature - reader numbers have gone up
by over a hundred a day - around 800 for the week!!

I think you has answered this one before - the Peavey script on the neck
plate is upside down so when you rotate the guitar, so the back is to the
audience (Hendrix style) "Peavey" is the correct way up??

I know you have covered this one quite a lot and you would have perhaps
preferred a more simple arrangement, although a lot of owners like the
feature - the circuit!
How did you and Hartley find yourself going down that route?
An idea you/he had or was it offered to you? Red Rhodes designed?

You also have said that the T-40 pick-up would have been different,
if you had your time over again.
To me and thousands of owners, it sounds like a T-40 and several
other basses, when selecting all the different options but you would
have done it differently?

The Ash body was chosen for marketing purposes?
Looks good under a Sunburst and in those days weight meant
better tone/sustain?
Are the plain colours Poplar?

I'm happy for you that the readership is climbing. I think your style of writing 

might have a lot to do with this.

The Indians, of North America, at least, wore their necklaces or such, so that 

they could see it right-side-up, as they believed themselves to be the center of 
the universe. 
We modern persons wear necklaces for others to see, hence their positioning.  
We, Hartley and I, figured the person wearing the guitar or bass, already knew 
what brand it was, so made the neckplate to read properly when the one holding 
the instrument held it out and rotated it for the viewer to read.

The first I heard of the Red Rhodes circuit was when Hartley told me about the 

new clever circuit that Red Rhodes gave to Hartley. 
I have, or had, no way to know whether Red thought of it or if it was something 
that was passed around.  
At the time, I could see no harm in using the circuitry, so went along with it. 
I have since learned that the circuit bled some trebles through the tone pot to 
ground all the time. 
It seems as if we should have had 300k ohm pots made to prevent the overtones 
we were unknowingly losing. 
I now cut or unsolder the red centertap wire to prevent the leakage of high overtones. 
I also remove the chrome covers from the pickups and hear a much more pleasing 
sound, (to my ear).

I also designed the input of the signal from the pickups to enter the pot through the 

middle lug, a practice that most pot manufacturers insist on. 
Gibson and Fender bring the signal in through an outside  lug which gives an 
unwanted side effect. 
That is, if both pickups are on together, when you change the volume or tone of either, 
it affects both pickups. They are interdependent. 
Wiring the signal to the center lug removes the interdependence, giving more control 
over the tone; moving either volume or tone of one pickup doesn't affect the other pickup.

I am finding that the T-60 pickup is a better bass pickup in that it has some pleasing 

treble overtones that fill out the sound in a way that's pleasing to my ears. 
These overtones can be eliminated with the tone pot if so desired. 
However, you just can't get them through the added resistance of the added length of 
coil wire of the larger T-40 pickups. 
Since resistance inhibits treble tones, and both T-40 and T-60 pickups have about 
the same number of turns of wire, the T-40 pickups lack some nice sounds I'm 
finding on my short-scale basslets. 
I'm using the 25.5" fret scale to make it more familiar to anyone who plays guitar 
also. Surprisingly, the 22" scale bass sounds very nice, but, unfortunately,
look like a toy.
Neil Diamond's lead guitar player uses the 24.75" scale basslet in the studio for
 its sound.


 Ash sunburst bodies still had the weight of the natural wood models and are relatively 
rare, when compared to the other color options.
We introduced the solid color instruments so that we could use the much lighter Poplar 
wood for bodies. 
We had the Ash bodies for weight, although both Hartley and I knew that weight didn't
mean more sustain. 
He told me that "We were the "new kids on the block" so we dare not make too many 
waves until we were established. 
Many years after I had left Peavey, I made a skeleton T-60 to prove beyond a doubt 
that you could get equal sustain.


In terms of tone, sustain, brightness, volume etc, there is always going to be a 
slight variation but in real terms, the sound of the Ash and Poplar bodies are
pretty much identical - it would be very hard to determine one or the other,
if it was a blind testing.
The Wine coloured T-60 I have, shown a couple of posts ago, is one of the 
sweetest guitars you could ever wish to play.

Next time, more from Chip - Toasters to Blades - Slab to Contoured.

Cheers. :)