Price paid: € 247
Purchased from: Thomann
Sound — 8
I've installed some Rotosound RS77 flatwounds (in the stiffest 50-110 gauge!) onto this bass, and combined with the low, clanky action it's actually quite manageable, although a bit buzzy. Anyway, the sound is well versatile with the two pickups. The P pickup actually nails the Precision tone spot on, actually so that it'd be rather difficult to distinct it from a real P bass. The J pickup is also a great addition, and when combined they create a magnificent PJ tone. When soloed, the J pickup obviously lacks the low end, but on the other hand it has that nasal, bright and jazzy tone going on. Not a real fan of the pots though: when the tone's at 0% it also cuts the volume down. And there's no real fine blending between the two pickups, so hence you could say there's just 3 tones there: a P tone, a J tone and a PJ tone. Better pots MIGHT help, but not really sure on that one. There's something else going on with the electronics as well, not sure if they're even shielded as they are. If they aren't, I'll probably shield em in the future and might drop in some new pups and pots as well. Just wanting to get the most out of this bass. Seymour Duncan and CTS come to mind...
Overall Impression — 8
When I look at the Peavey as an instrument, I get a lovely overall impression of it. If you're on a budget (like I was again), then this bass is a fine option. This definetely surpasses my Squier on many accounts, the only downsides are the electronics issues and some craftmanship flaws. There naturally are better basses out there but they also cost a lot more. Yet at this price caution is advised, these things still aren't Fender American Standard quality. Even so, if you want a cheap-ish PJ bass that can be a little rough around the edges, yet plays well enough, the Peavey Zodiac BXP is your choice! Think this bass will now keep me happy for a few years to come... then it's Fender American Standard time!
Reliability & Durability — 8
Already had some playing experience with this bass, and although I can't rate it from the gig perspective, I can get a rather good view of how the bass is. As it is, it's great. It feels solid, the neck isn't feeble, strap buttons are nice and chunky, and especially the body looks well crafted. Haven't taken out the pickguard to see how the wiring's underneath, but so far it feels like a real solid player. Definetely good enough for home usage and practicing, and possibly even for gigging after checking the electronics.
Action, Fit & Finish — 7
When I got the bass from Thomann, it wasn't perfect. Even at this price range (which is still rather inexpensive), the bass had some flaws: seems there's a couple of finger prints (?) at the back of the neck, in the lacquer. Or at least some lighter spots. And, there's a slight gash on the side of the J pickup, a small piece that's somehow gotten chewed out. And the pickguard's a little rough from some spots. Of course, these are just cosmetic issues, but be ready to expect possible flaws with this price. Personally, I wasn't that bothered, they don't affect the sound and don't show if you don't specifically go and look for em. Anyway, my bass' setup was decent from the factory, and the overall look black body with a rosewood neck is sweet. Not a real fan of the tortoise pickguard though, might eventually make a custom one to replace that, as getting a bolt-on PG for this bass is easier said than done. The neck is smooth to play with its satin finish in the back, and the slim profile is great too. Very slim compared to my other bass. Also digging the 21 frets and the 3 full octaves they achieve.
Features — 9
Got mine brand new in May 2010, and it's the black version. Like already has been said, this bass is made in China, it's got 21 frets, a nice slim neck and so on. Body's made out of Alder, sounds and resonates rather well when played acoustically. A twin pickup configuration (PJ) with volume-volume-tone controls is there. I'm especially digging the bridge, which essentially is a copy of a Badass bridge. It also enables a real low action, something which the Gotoh 201 bridge in my other bass (a Squier P) can't achieve. All in all, it's a well-featured bass in my opinion. It also came with an allen key, a wrench to adjust the truss rod and even a 10 feet/3 meter instrument cable.