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Peavey Bandit 65, the early ones

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by T Prior, Aug 10, 2018.

  1. T Prior

    T Prior Poster Extraordinaire

    Mar 17, 2003
    Charlotte NC
    after recently reading an amp thread here, someone mentioned the PV Bandit 65's, the early ones with the Aluminum grill strips. I was reminded just how good they were when I owned a couple on and off years back.

    So naturally, I went to the GC website and found a few, one was $99. I called the store, the guy checked it out and answered a bunch of questions I had with regard to condition and operation, made sure it had the stock Scorpion speaker, then over the phone handed him $99. The amp arrived 3 days later in excellent shape, no shipping issues.

    I took it all apart, cleaned it electronically (pots and connectors) and gave the cabinet a full bath.

    I used it on the small room regular rotation gig last night and was reminded just how good they are. As a Steel player and a Tele player it performs very well. For Steel it sounds like a small Nashville 400 and for the Tele, the drive side is dang good, superior to many of the new era amps with drive channels . More than enough clean gain, way more than required.

    I owned a couple over the years and have no clue as to why I got rid of them. Well ok, I have another now. I'm not a Solid State amp guy but geeze, this amp fits the bill. I can see me selling a couple of my other amps down the road and would have no problem buying another Bandit 65 for $99!

    These may be the best hidden secret on the planet for small amps at a crazy low price.

    Here's the amp after a full bath., amazing condition for an amp that is probably 28 years old !

    Oh yeh couldn't resist the Badge...

    Last edited: Aug 10, 2018
    twr102, RedRock, jwp2 and 10 others like this.

  2. jvin248

    jvin248 Poster Extraordinaire

    Apr 18, 2014
    Near Detroit, MI

    I have a couple Bandits in different era models, from before the Internet figured out how good they are and where the prices went up.

    Old Bandits do as the label on the tin says "Durable, Cheap, And Take Pedals Well".


  3. Thin white duke

    Thin white duke Tele-Meister

    Oct 1, 2017
    There are many great solid state amps, i gave up tube amps many years ago, when i have a good clean sound, and solid state are great for that, i can get any sound i need with pedals, they are lighter, cheaper and more reliable than tube amps.

    I think there is a sort of prejudice about them, many guitar players need to see the valves to be happy that's why.

    Years ago i had at the same time a Fender hot rod deluxe and a Roland Jazz Chorus 77, with a Wampler ecstasy overdrive the sound i was getting from the roland jast smashed the Fender that i sold in a moment.

    That was it.

  4. bgmacaw

    bgmacaw Tele-Holic

    Feb 11, 2006
    Near Athens GA USA
    I've had my Bandit 65 since 1986. I mainly use its clean channel with various modelers, most often a Sansamp GT2. I've used it at numerous gigs and jams and it also works quietly enough for practice at home.
    RedRock likes this.

  5. brookdalebill

    brookdalebill Telefied Ad Free Member

    Nov 15, 2009
    Austin, Tx

  6. dannyh

    dannyh Tele-Holic

    Jul 1, 2005
    North Texas
    Couldn’t agree more. I had one in the 80s, and picked up another one a couple years ago. I’ve been running my lap steel through it as well as my Tele. Great for both.
    RedRock likes this.

  7. bblumentritt

    bblumentritt Tele-Afflicted

    Dec 3, 2012
    Austin, Texas
    I had two of them. I had one on each side of the stage with a Boss Stereo Chorus between my Tele and the amps. Here you can see one of them behind the bass player. The other one is on the other side of the stage, to my right. You can see the peghead of my Tele at the far left of the photo.

    They were pretty good amps, but I never warmed up to the foot-switchable distortion thing. I sold one to the bass player and traded the other one for a Pro Reverb that became my #1 amp for several years. St.jpg
    Crobbins and brookdalebill like this.

  8. brookdalebill

    brookdalebill Telefied Ad Free Member

    Nov 15, 2009
    Austin, Tx
    I see the H.O.T. (Ray Hennig’s Heart Of Texas Music) 1-15 box between the Peaveys.
    I worked for H.O.T. in the mid 1980s, those cabinets were everywhere in Central Texas in those days.
    JayFreddy likes this.

  9. LGOberean

    LGOberean Poster Extraordinaire

    May 31, 2008
    Corpus Christi, Texas

    My 1984 vintage Bandit 65 was stolen. I really liked that amp. Gotta get me another'n. But it's not that easy. I've repeatedly checked local pawn shops and local CL, no Bandit 65s available. In fact, no Bandits, period. I could do like you did and check GC. Trouble is, other needs are demanding attention. Apart from the non-gear related demands, I've got a need for another PA system (I'm thinking powered speakers/passive mixer). And I'm GASing for the newly released Vox Mini Super Beetle. Sigh. :oops:

  10. T Prior

    T Prior Poster Extraordinaire

    Mar 17, 2003
    Charlotte NC
    Don't check the GC used website , stay away. They have a few for around $120, or at least they did last week. Don't do it !:)
    LGOberean likes this.


    SPUDCASTER Poster Extraordinaire Platinum Supporter

    Not a 65, but still have my '94 teal stripe. Love the Bandits.

  12. Platefire

    Platefire Friend of Leo's

    Nov 3, 2003
    North Louisiana around Many
    I ran across a Bandit 65 in a pawn shop recently for $99. I took a brief look. One knob was missing. Looked like it had the original Peavey Speaker. I didn't try it out. I did think if it worked good, that would be a good deal. I once had a 90 Bandit with the teal---was a good amp. As a heavy peaver user in the 80's and 90's the only one I have left is a 1975 Peavey Pacer but now converted to a Deluxe Reverb:>/ Platefire

  13. DavidP

    DavidP Friend of Leo's

    Mar 16, 2003
    Vancouver, BC
    Had a 65, great amp, built like a tank and weighed as much with that MDF cabinet and Scorpion speaker... If I were 10 years younger and didn't have a bad disc I would have kept it!
    ce24 likes this.

  14. T Prior

    T Prior Poster Extraordinaire

    Mar 17, 2003
    Charlotte NC
    yes it's built well and weighs right at 40 pounds, just like a Deluxe Reverb RI, Hot Rod Deluxe , Blues Deluxe, Carvin Nomad, Nashville 112..etc.... 40 pounds these days is probably right around the norm for a stellar "work" combo amp. It's not considered excessive. Ok, true, it's not 30 pounds like a Blues Jr or 25 pounds like a Boss Katana.

    The Nashville 400 weighs near 70 pounds, the Twin reverb weighs near 70 , the Vox AC 30, same thing. Those are excessive :eek: for us seasoned guitar players ! :)

    Here's a nice read with regard the Bandit 65
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2018 at 5:24 AM

  15. codamedia

    codamedia Friend of Leo's

    Apr 4, 2009
    Western Canada
    Yep, this perfectly describes that era of the Bandit. IMO, they are loud, clean and punchy sounding amps.

    I gigged a Special 130 (the Bandits big brother) through the 80's and early 90's and just recently picked one up. Like you say, for Steel and Tele it is an incredible combo. Still has it's original speaker but I also have a Black Widow 1203 I've been tempted to try in there. My hunch is that my steel will love it but my tele may not.
    twr102 likes this.

  16. Tony474

    Tony474 Poster Extraordinaire Platinum Supporter

    Apr 16, 2007
    North Bushey, England.
    I owned and gigged a Special 150 for a while. Good rather than great and a bit on the weighty side, it nevertheless served me well enough, but I always felt it lacked a certain something tonally. In retropect I suspect it was the Scorpion speaker that didn’t quite suit me. But it was certainly good value in terms of its build quality and also possessed endless clean headroom, then (and to a certain extent still) an important factor for me.

  17. LGOberean

    LGOberean Poster Extraordinaire

    May 31, 2008
    Corpus Christi, Texas
    Last night I ignored Tony's sage advice :twisted: and went to GC website, checking for prices on Peavey Bandits. I was focusing primarily on the 65, but I was looking at other iterations of the Bandit as well. I didn't check every one of the 7 pages of used Peavey amps; I got tired and went to bed. But I didn't find one for $99, at least not in good enough condition that I would consider pulling the trigger. I'm not sure if I feel disappointed or relieved. A little of both, I guess.

  18. Crobbins

    Crobbins Tele-Afflicted Ad Free Member

    Jul 10, 2014
    Meiners Oaks CA.
    Right on, I'll to keep an eye for one. Thanks.

  19. GuitarJonz

    GuitarJonz Poster Extraordinaire

    Mar 16, 2003
    Yes, great workhorse amps, excellent pedal platforms, and loud. I only use the clean channel on mine, with pedals. Mine had the gaudy pointy logo and trim columns removed, and Fender grill cloth installed. Might try chickenhead knobs some day, I wonder if they would fit/work well on these? Also paint the Scorpion rim black, so you can't see it through the grillcloth.


  20. LGOberean

    LGOberean Poster Extraordinaire

    May 31, 2008
    Corpus Christi, Texas
    To me, this is what a Peavey Bandit 65 should look like. My old 65 that I'd still have if it hadn't been stolen.


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