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Been off the grid a while. What happened to Peavey?

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by Les H, Aug 22, 2018.

  1. RoyalBaby

    RoyalBaby Tele-Afflicted

    Jul 23, 2013
    Birmingham, UK
    UB40 always made much of having been unemployed ( the band name deriving from the unemployment benefits card you had to take to get your money - perhaps I should have kept mine as a collectible)ordinary kids and scraping the money together. Whilst I don't think the Campbell brother's father was rich he was a professional musician and concert promoter so they didn't quite start from squat.

    Anyway, Peavey. Yes, the Undercover Boss thing is shocking if a few years old now. Peavey UK went out of business and their stock sold off cheap so the market here was flooded to some extent and used values are very low.
    Laney also gradually shifted most production to China. I guess it's staying alive, even if a UK made Laney was cheap in the UK it wouldn't be in Germany or Canada or wherever.
  2. stxrus

    stxrus Friend of Leo's

    May 25, 2007
    St. Croix, USVI
    I pretty much grew up in Meridian. Knew the Peavey family & spent a ton of money & time in Melody Music. I worked part time for Hartley for a couple of years.
    When Peavey took off there were an amazing number of musicians (rock & country) that passed through. Santana, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Conway Twitty, Van Halen plus side men from more bands than I could ever remember. Pretty exciting times
    Peavey made a good product for a fair price & quickly earned a nice niche in the music world. They were a driving force in Meridian’ economy
    I knew there were some struggles going on (left Meridian in 1973) but had no idea of the depth til I saw the Undrecover Boss show.
    There is a lot of blame to be passed around but Harley’s stepson shoulders the mass of the blame
    I’m sorry I sold my C-30 but I had too many amps & had to cull the heard
  3. noah330

    noah330 Friend of Leo's

    Feb 10, 2009
    I think third world manufacturing along with less people wanting big PAs shoulders most of the blame followed by the stepson. Did you know the stepson as well growing up?
  4. stratoman1

    stratoman1 Tele-Afflicted

    Nov 12, 2016
    Virginia Beach, Va
    I just got a Classic 20 Mini head and a 1-12 cab with a Celestion V 30. Its not a bad little head nut I don't think I'm keeping it. The cab stays though
  5. Buckocaster51

    Buckocaster51 Super Moderator Staff Member Ad Free Member

    Jan 6, 2005
    Iowa USA
    Admin Post
    I drove one of them once...BOY HOWDY what a ride!
    Ducerro likes this.
  6. Fearnot

    Fearnot Friend of Leo's

    Jan 17, 2010
    Decatur, GA
    My first 'real' amp was a giant Peavey Vintage 610 and it was very reliable. However, the first time I plugged into a Fender amp, I bought it and couldn't sell that Peavey fast enough. In the 30 years since, I've yet to hear a Peavey that was anything more than 'reliable'... as in 'it sounds pretty mediocre, but at least it's...'.

    No tears for Peavey.
  7. beninma

    beninma Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

    Mar 17, 2017
    I didn't know the story of Peavey till I saw this thread and googled.

    Classic case of the business being passed on for family reasons to someone who is not qualified/competent to run it. It seems inevitable they're going to run it into the ground and be even worse off.
    JayFreddy likes this.
  8. BigDaddyLH

    BigDaddyLH Telefied Ad Free Member

    Does anyone think Peavey could have survived if they stayed a 100% MIA company?

    (That may be an unfair either/or proposition. They could have gone Chinese but with better quality and QC.)
  9. darren7

    darren7 Tele-Meister

    Jul 31, 2009
    One of Peavey's core markets was architectural installations: Arenas, stadiums, conference centres, places of worship. The PA business was on such a large scale that it probably supported most of the rest of their operations. But that became an increasingly price-sensitive global market over the last couple of decades, and when cross-shopped against international competition that could offer more for less, Peavey had to move manufacturing overseas in order to stay competitive. Made in USA was a tough selling point. But they waited too long to adapt, and they've been in catch-up/decline mode since.

    It's a shame, because they've offered some really compelling products over the years. Their Classic line of tube amps, everything from small combos to rack-mounted power amps were killer value, and built like tanks. The 5150/6505 has been a mainstay of metal amplification for a generation. The Cirrus basses and Wolfgang guitars were phenomenal instruments.

    Sadly, they seem to have pissed that all away.
    bigbean, Wildcard_35 and studio1087 like this.
  10. stxrus

    stxrus Friend of Leo's

    May 25, 2007
    St. Croix, USVI
    No, I did not know of his existence until the undercover boss show. I have no clue what is name is
    Hartley was a standup guy when I knew him back in the ‘60s-70s. I don’t know when it all changed.
    I don’t think the PA is at much to fault as handing over the company to an incompetent business fool. Just my $.02 before taxes
    kuvash, noah330 and JayFreddy like this.
  11. studio1087

    studio1087 Telefied Silver Supporter

    May 10, 2003
    Near Milwaukee
    I sold Peavey gear from 81-84 (college job in a music store). About 1/3 of our customers would remove the two side screws that held the speaker baffle, tilt it forward and they would pull the two staples on each side of the baffle that held the stripes in place. Now they had a plain black amplifier. Two Philips screws hold the logo; they would remove the logo. At gigs they had a plain new black amplifier. The amps looked really nice plain in basic black. When people brought the amps back to trade up (this happened a lot; back in the day there were so many varieties of solid state Peavey amps) they usually carried the stripes in and they had the logo and screws in a bag. My boss didn't like displaying Peavey amps that had all "Peavey" removed as though a customer was ashamed of it. We nicknamed the two processes de-striping and re-striping. It happened a lot.

    I had a 70's Backstage 30 in my room in 1976. They tug at my heart in my late middle age. I have bought three of these (strangely) at $50 each. One is up in my son's room and he loves it.

    Apparently you can buy your childhood for $50! 1976 Childhood friend....

    clayfeat, Wildcard_35, jwp333 and 2 others like this.
  12. horax

    horax Tele-Holic

    Jul 1, 2011
    colorado springs
    I had two peavey amps, watched the undercover boss video, sold both amps within a week.
    Good amps, crappy person. Killed his own legacy.
    JayFreddy likes this.
  13. bgmacaw

    bgmacaw Tele-Afflicted

    Feb 11, 2006
    Near Athens GA USA
    Yes, to some degree. Maybe assembled in the US vs 100% US content but they could have done it. I work for and consulted (on the IT side) with manufacturers who have done it successfully in other areas. I suspect that Peavey was unwilling to modernize and embrace new manufacturing methods like Lean.
  14. JayFreddy

    JayFreddy Poster Extraordinaire

    Nov 6, 2006
    Dallas TX USA
  15. BigDaddyLH

    BigDaddyLH Telefied Ad Free Member

  16. JayFreddy

    JayFreddy Poster Extraordinaire

    Nov 6, 2006
    Dallas TX USA
    First world problems... Harumph!
  17. BigDaddyLH

    BigDaddyLH Telefied Ad Free Member

    First world? I live in Canada.
    JayFreddy likes this.
  18. 1955

    1955 Poster Extraordinaire

    Apr 10, 2010
    I still use a Peavey mixer I bought in the late '90's, still works great.

    I'm not the same as I was then. I'm much worse in a lot of ways. My head looks weird, for instance. And yet by my decisions and years, at least I figured out a way to mow the lawn this morning.

    Everything and everybody has changed. Much for the worse.

    I'm off to a gig now, hopefully the chasers of the self and almighty dollar do not kill me on the interstate.
    JayFreddy likes this.
  19. boris bubbanov

    boris bubbanov Telefied Ad Free Member

    I hear you.

    Meridian was once the most populous town in all of Mississippi. Crucial train and transport hub, with some of the same potential at one time, the kind that Atlanta used to grow so big. But maybe a bit too much concentration on logging and wood products. While things may be graver in Laurel, there's really no reason why Meridian had to fall so far, so fast. If a two matching businesses IMO were opened at the same time, one in Meridian and one in Jackson, the Jackson business would burst with success and the Meridian business would fail.

    I don't know there is a solution. Travelers, truckers can cover more distance and in far less time than ever before, and if they skip past Meridian now, it is just going to continue to get worse. There's one large warehouse combine that's been constructed way over on the Alabama side, which sat empty I think for several years after 2009 and now it is in use, and there's the military facility but things are rough.

    I think with I-22 now open between Memphis and B'ham, more and more freight traffic will use I-40 through OK/AR and less will use I-20 through North Louisiana. An eastbound semi trailer rig can cross the River at Memphis, continue east on I-40 out to the I-269 interchange in eastern Shelby County, come south on I-269 to I-22. I think this will have a major impact, and even more so when I-269 connects to I-55 in North Mississippi in a few more weeks.
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2018
  20. Redheadlvr

    Redheadlvr TDPRI Member

    Aug 16, 2018
    I own a Standard 240 that has a five digit serial number stamped on a metal plate that is riveted to the backside of the amp on the bottom lip of the cabinet. Peavey told me it was made in January of February 1971 whan the amps were hand wired.
    That was a bad move on Peavey's part (referencing Undercover Boss) but considering how Cortland got his position it's no surprise what Hartley did,screwing over his employees.
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2018
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