Buying Used Peavey Classic 30: What should I Inspect When Trying it Out?

ToneCapMan

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I've only just begun learning about amplifiers & I've never owned a tube amp before. Is there anything in particular I should pay special attention to when I go and try this thing out? Anything that might stand out as a red flag I should look for? Any important questions I should ask the seller? Any tips appreciated.

The only information the seller provides in the ad (in case you don't understand French) is "Selling a Peavey classic 30 amp in very good condition."

Thank You!

 

uriah1

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Generally classic 30s are bullet proof. If it plays it should be good to go. You can mod later or not. As long as you get for good price
 

Les H

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Not much to be concerned with in my opinion. When it's on listen for noises or crackling sounds etc. Ask about how old the tubes are and look around the back to see that they are lighting up but aren't red plating (metal plate inside the tube is turning red hot is not good or normal). If the tubes are a few years old you'll want to consider replacing them soon and the price of new tubes could be a price negotiating factor.

If you have no experience with tube amps there will be no immediate sound from the amp when you turn it on like a solid state does, the tubes have to power up for a few seconds before there will be sound and this is normal.

Make sure the "boost button" (located by the treble knob) is up (off) and not depressed and activated. The boost totally changes the voice of the amp and not in a good way in my opinion. Activate it yourself so you know what it does and know when it's on or off. The amp will get noticeably louder when it's activated so beware.

The lead channel is also activated by a push button located by the volume knobs. Up is the clean channel and down is the lead channel so make sure you hear both channels and make sure both work. The lead channel doesn't start to really saturate until about 9 on the "Pre" control.

Check the reverb control and listen for noises in the reverb. If the reverb doesn't work it wouldn't be a deal breaker for me but it would be another good price negotiator. Reverb tanks are relatively cheap to replace.
 

Dacious

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Turn it on..turn the master volume to maximum. Turn the gain to maximum. Turn every control to maximum and back.

If it doesn't make anything but a mild hum turn everything back to half. Then plug on and strum..

If none of that produces buzzes, static or bad distortion them it's probably ok. If it plays but makes scratchy sounds when you work the knobs or has hums or buzzes with nothing plugged in it needs some TLC. Factor that into your purchase and talk dollars off, or walk. If it's a 90s amp it could need a 'full service' which may include new power tubes and cost you several hundred bucks.

If you're buying this for a home amp and not planning to gig, its way too loud. It's a gigging with drummer amp. There's better options.
 

Mike H.

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If the amp powers up and everything works, and you like the way it sounds, buy it. The only issue would be the cost. From what I can tell the asking price is very reasonable.
 

richard1986

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I had an old Peavey Classic 30, my first valve amp. Nice amp, clean sound was good. Was hard to work on if it went wrong though because of the way the PCBs were laid out. It turned out it just needed new valves though in the end. Not that loud for 30 watts.

You might find a 15W amp with a more sensitive speaker is just as loud/ just as much headroom and a bit less complicated. If you like the classic 30 though and it's good value there's nothing wrong with them. There's a lot on the internet about how to modify them, but some people change so much that it would've been easier to buy something they like in the first place.
 

basher

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Fantastic amp! If you’re going to be playing it at home, consider building or buying an in-line attenuator like the JHS Little Black Amp Box. Having that in your effects loop tremendously improves the sound of the lead channel at low volume.
 

Silverface

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Is there anything in particular I should pay special attention to when I go and try this thing out?
if it's more than 12-15 years old; in good physical condition; unmodified and the seller will let you return it if he's lying about it -

- don't turn it on. take it directly to a qualified amp tech and 1. have the filter capacitors replaced and it checked out thoroughly, and 2. try it out when you get it back.

If he doesn't know how old it is, assume it's old, do not turn it on, and take it directly to a tech. even turning on an old, unserviced amps can result in a $100-500 repair bill.

Filter caps have a service life of 15-20 years, and 15 years maximum in that amp. It's service that usually runs $100-150. You'd need to get the work done in a few years no matter what, so if you don't know anything about tubes amps - now you do, and now you know they need service at a minimum 15 year interval. If one of those caps blows it can take out a transformer - a $300-500 job.

If the tech says "nah, you don't need to do it" and the amp is 15 years old or older - find new tech!

If it's a newer one and sounds good - great. But I still suggest taking ANY tube amp to a tech for a checkup - with any tube amp you NEED to know a good tech, and ALL used tube amps should be checked out immediately...not a month, or a week...after purchase. It's the ONLY way you'll know what you actually bought!

DO NOT REMOVE THE CHASSS AND LOOK AT IT!!! If you touch the wrong thing many tube amps can give you a serious - or deadly - shock, even turned off and unplugged!

The main thing to be aware of is how old it is. If it's 18 years old don't turn it on I repair far too many newly purchased amps that were used for a week and then "poof" - a surprise $250 repair job.
 




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