Couldn't pass on some old Peavey gear

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by trxx, Feb 25, 2020.

  1. trxx

    trxx Tele-Holic

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    I ran across an old VTM styled 412MS slant cab. The owner said he bought it new as part of a full stack. For such a low price, I couldn't pass it up. I was thinking that the speakers might not be so good and that at least I would get a well made 412 at a low price, sell or trade the speakers, and replace them with something better later on. But this thing rocks nicely as is with my DSL-50 on the classic channel with everything set on 10 except the bass set on 1 to 2. I had been thinking for a while about selling this amp and eventually building a JTM45 from a kit. I think that isn't going to happen now and that my Marshall craving is well enough satisfied with that head into the Peavey cab. And if I do build a kit, it is going to be a big boy Super Lead. This cab can take it, and it is plenty beefy and warm enough that such a loud amp wouldn't be an ear killer.

    I also picked up a 90's Peavey Combo 115 with a Black Widow speaker for little more than that 412 cab. I never played one of these, but apparently they have a little more grunt (200 watts @ 4 ohm) than the very similar TNT 115 amps (150 watts @ 4 ohm) and a builtin compressor. It's a punchy amp/speaker and admirably loud for a single 15". It would hold down the bottom grunt in a 3-piece punk band just fine. But it has a speaker issue, which I'm thinking is vent filter foam goop stuck in the voice coil gap. I'll tear into it tomorrow to find out. But even if I have to end up replacing the speaker, it was a good deal.

    Keep selling off those big o' dinosaurs fellas. There are still some of us out here who would love to have them.
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2020
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  2. edvard

    edvard Tele-Afflicted

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    Peavey Black Widow speakers are hands-down my favorite bass speaker. A friend of mine had a bass rig with one 15" EV something-or-other in a cabinet that did the job, but he got curious. He sprang for a Peavey cab loaded with a Black Widow 15" and the difference was night and day between the two. The EV was good, but rather flat. The BW was just live all over the map. It instantly made him sound like a better bass player. Which he wasn't....

    Another friend of mine had a Hartke(?) rig that he really liked, but made the mistake of asking me if I knew of any pedals, EQ tricks, etc. that would make it sound better. I immediately recommended Black Widows. He said "Really?", I said "Absolutely". He sat on multiple eBay auctions until he landed two of them for a decent price, but was sweating because he only intended to get one. I assured him he wouldn't regret it. As soon as they arrived, he mounted one in his bass cab and called me a couple hours later. He had been playing the entire time, enjoying every minute of it and wanted to let me know.

    Clean up that speaker as best you can, and if you get it back to original condition, it'll be a better-than-nice rig. I'm sure there are better speakers that have come along since the BW's heyday (does Peavey even make them anymore?) but you sure-as-shootin' won't go wrong with one.
     
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  3. trxx

    trxx Tele-Holic

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    I couldn't resist tearing into the Combo 115. Really crossing my fingers on this one. Pulled the speaker, unbolted the magnet, and there is the foam filter laying on the backside of the dustcap and plenty of goop around the former. The coil looks clean so far. Stellar speaker construction, Peavey. And if it turns out to only be that rotted filter foam and the resulting goop, I'll forgive that silly mistake. Man this speaker is a beast.
     
  4. trxx

    trxx Tele-Holic

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    I have played a bunch of TNT's and TKO's over the years. The things are everywhere, and I love playing bass with a drummer, which means that I usually end up jamming bass with the drummer in any band that I play in when everyone else is having a break. None of those amps ever sounded very good, and most of them just sounded bad to me. But I never played one with a black widow in it. This one does sound good. But the speaker sounded like it was hanging when I went to look at the amp. I know what blown speakers sound like, and this didn't sound blown to me. The owner dropped the price further, and I told him that I want to do some reading on this amp before deciding. I went home and read about the goop, returned, and bought the amp. Now I'm cleaning the goop and seeing why the speaker sounded like it was hanging.
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2020
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  5. trxx

    trxx Tele-Holic

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    Interesting. I squeezed the filter foam between my fingers and it turned into a ball of goop, just like the goop that is all over one spot of the former and in the gap. I think she'll be A OK after the cleaning.
     
  6. trxx

    trxx Tele-Holic

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    Sounds good. Only cost me 6 q-tips, a sheet of paper, and a thimble of acetone.
     
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  7. trxx

    trxx Tele-Holic

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    I liked that Black Widow bass speaker enough to find another one. Those things punch nicely and seem to take a good pounding without sweating. This one will either go in a diy cab of the same size as the cab on the Combo 115 or in another similar Peavey bass amp down the line. I bet 2 15's with this amp would rock more than needed for most situations.
     
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  8. trxx

    trxx Tele-Holic

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    Saw an old oversized Peavey 212 up for sale that has been hacked on a bit (ports added to the baffle) for half the price of a new speaker. It has a mismatch of old organ speakers inside. Maybe those will be useful for something down the line. Heavy as hell. The front and back are mdf, the rest is plywood. Not sure if I will make good use of it, but it was too inexpensive not to add to the pile. Maybe cut out the front mdf baffle and add battens and a plywood baffle?
     
  9. CCK1

    CCK1 Tele-Meister

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    Except for bass, Peavey has never been my cup of tea, but if it were not for Hartley Peavey, and his business model, a lot of musicians starting out wouldn't have had access to affordable, reliable gear. For bass, those TNT's and TKO's sound really good and reliable as hell. And the CS-400 and CD-800 PA amps are virtually bulletproof.
     
  10. trxx

    trxx Tele-Holic

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    Don't know what the hell I'm going to do with that giant 212 yet. Maybe turn it into a shelf. Ha ha.

    But in the meantime, one of those Peavey Bandit 112's (transtube, red stripe) came up for sale, and I couldn't pass on it. The Peavey collection is growing, and for not much money so far. Any way, it's a very decent little solid state amp, and I don't know why anyone is buying a Katana when these things are out there for less money (locally), sound better, and have more available power on tap. This one didn't have the original Sheffield speaker. Someone swapped it for a G12K-85, which isn't a bad speaker and is a good fit for 112 100 watt solid state combo. This will make a fine bedroom/practice amp as well as a good backup amp.
     
  11. trxx

    trxx Tele-Holic

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    I remember playing these Peavey Transtube amps as a kid, but I guess I never fiddled with the t-dynamics control. I was a metal head back then so I guess I had no need for it. Very surprising it is, though. This video is not a good representaton of these amps, but the info on t-dynamics is spot on.



    Start with that t-dynamics control fully counterclockwise, volume on full (t-dynamics lowers volume drastically), eq and presence on full, and push the front end with a clean boost. As you roll t-dynamics clockwise (lessening it), bring the volume down as necessary. It does a very respectable bassman/plexi type overdrive that isn't an ugly mess like you might expect from a solid state amp (at least with the speaker in this one). Turn on the reverb and throw an eq pedal in the loop to scoop out the mids and a bump and nudge here and there, and you're well into blackface territory. Very cool for a solid state amp. It can do a respectable job at clean, vintage overdrive, mid gain, and high gain.
     
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2020
  12. trxx

    trxx Tele-Holic

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    Hmmmphf. Round two with the Bandit tonight. It sounds way better up louder with the speaker working a bit and rounding things off. Less so down lower. And t-dynamics definitely sounds better when using less of it (noon or higher). I suppose it's less of a bedroom amp and more of a not-shaking-the-walls amp. It's no replacement for a cranked up tube amp, but it should still be a fine practice/backup amp.
     
  13. edvard

    edvard Tele-Afflicted

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    I've often wondered about the TransTube series amps, I've never owned one. Peavey distortion has sucked on every other one I've owned, though the clean channel screams with judicious use of the Presence control and the right pedals. I've been on the hunt for the perfect solid-state amp, but the really good ones get attention and go for more coin than I can scrape up.
     
  14. trxx

    trxx Tele-Holic

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    *For solid state* (disclaimer) the red stripe bandit 112 is a decent amp. For myself, it's going to be a lower volume alternative to my cranked up tube amps while spending many hours widdling on some licks so as to save my ears, to hold back my sonic goodness from my neighbors (they should pay to hear this crap...yea right), and to save on tube wear. And by lower volume I mean somewhat lower volume than a dimed 50 watt Marshall or Super Reverb, both of which I have been playing at full volume every day.

    The internet often hypes things way out of hand, so I won't do that here. The Bandit with the Transtube circuit is not a replacement for a nice tube amp. But I am surprised that it can do some very decent overdriven sounds on the clean channel when using the t-dynamics control and turning the volume up considerably. At lower volume, the transistor clipping nature is very apparent. At higher volume, it is rounded off quite a bit and the good outweighs the bad. But to someone who knows well what tube amps sound like, it still has transistor clipping qualities that are less than desirable. But trying to get nice overdrive from my tube amps at low volume, including using an attenuator and/or pedals isn't happening. With the single 12" in the Bandit, it is much lower volume than a 50 watt Marshall through a 412, and having played my Marshall through a single 12", the 50 watt Marshall is significantly louder than the 100 watt solid state Bandit.

    In short, the Bandit sounds surprisingly good when used as outlined above, but it's no replacement for a nice tube amp. And I wouldn't pay too much for one, such as current Ebay and Reverb prices. But if one comes up locally for a decent price, definitely go check it out. And if you do, take a clean boost or an overdrive that can do a fairly neutral clean boost to push the front end into clipping and turn the thing up fully. With the t-dynamics at noon, it is about half as loud as with t-dynamics off, i.e., it isn't crazy loud when fully turned up when using t-dynamics. And even with t-dynamics off (which achieves the highest volume), it is significantly less loud than a 50 watt tube amp.
     
  15. trxx

    trxx Tele-Holic

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    Maybe I should keep my mouth shut until I learn this amp well. Trying it with an overdrive pedal was surprising again. The amp volume, eq, and presence were turned up fully, t-dynamics fully clockwise, and some reverb. Pedal was a Leon Drive (OCD clone) with the level up fully and gain at half. Guitar was a strat with the volume knob at 6. Playing some slow blues stuff, it sounded pretty dang nice and smooth. Not a hint of transistor clipping nastiness. And the overall volume was just above lively conversation level, i.e, I could sing to it and hear myself fine. The tone is good enough that I would gig with it with zero shame about my sound, where a vintage blackface super reverb is my measuring stick here.

    I guess I need to get back into recording mode at some point and make some sound clips of some things to share.
     
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2020
  16. trxx

    trxx Tele-Holic

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    Also, the red stripe Bandit 112 is fairly hefty for a 112 solid state amp. It feels similar in weight to toting a Marshall head. Not exactly a light weight amp.
     
  17. Jakedog

    Jakedog Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Congrats on discovering red stripe bandit. One of my favorite amps over the years. If one spends the time to learn how they really work, they’re as good as anything out there. I used them for quite a while very successfully. For a 112 combo with the same features and a little less size, power, and weight, check out the red stripe Studio Pro 112.

    I’m gonna be hunting one of these soon for a backup amp. I have my DV mark as my main gigger. Analog SS like the old Peaveys, but better sounding, more powerful, an awesome MV circuit, and weighs in at 23 lbs. I definitely would not mind having a red stripe bandit as a backup, though. Very cool amps.
     
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  18. stantheman

    stantheman Doctor of Teleocity

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    What I was seeing lately is this Geetarista playing through this Peavey Basic 60 with a Zoom multi-fx floor thingy, with the Peavey economy version of an EVH Strat without a Floyd.

    It sounded amazingly ROBUSTO for a dirt cheap rig.

    Less than two weeks in and already missing live energy...
     
  19. trxx

    trxx Tele-Holic

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    Funny how the ears change by the hour. Today with fresh ears, I'm a little less enthused with this amp. It's still an ok solid state amp and will still play a fine role as a practice/backup amp. I think it could greatly benefit from a semi-openback cab and a sweeter speaker (as noted above, this one has a G12K-85). The G12K-85 isn't a speaker that is anemic on the low end by any means, but the lows sound considerably less prominent in an openback cab.

    The clean channel is the best that this amp has (with presence and eq on full) when pushed with a clean boost or an overdrive. That may well be the case with other solid state amps, too. Never tried it. With a clean boost, the clean channel gets into that Texas overdrive sort of territory, but not nearly as high quality as an old blackface amp. But it's usable for sure. With an overdrive pedal up front with level at 1/4 and gain at 1/4 (wrote wrong settings in a previous post), t-dynamics on heavily (it's a compressor at the power amp (in a feedback loop?); see block diagram: https://assets.peavey.com/literature/manuals/80302302.pdf) it does a smooth blues tone that is definitely usable.

    The 'Vintage' mode on the gain channel is ok, but not great. The clean channel with a boost or overdrive sounds considerably better to me.

    The 'Modern' mode on the gain channel has a horrendous eq voicing; can't get any real mids out of it. Extremely scooped and hollowed out in a strange way.

    The 'High Gain' mode on the gain channel is kind of opposite the 'Modern' channel, having a pretty big bump in mids. With the gain turned down, it sounds better than the 'Modern' channel, likely only because the 'Modern' channel has such a bad eq voicing.

    I wouldn't rush out to buy one of these, but if one comes up cheap and you need a practice/backup amp, it's fine with a couple of pedals up front. But with a good speaker and versatile overdrive pedal, other solid state amps would likely serve just as well. I guess the things that this amp has going for it is 80/100 watts (8/4 ohm) in a 112 format, good clean channel with the presence and eq up fully, an effects loop, spring reverb, and the compressor circuit.
     
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2020
  20. jonobolton

    jonobolton TDPRI Member

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    I can't comment on the guitar amps as I've never used them, but I love the old Peavey bass stuff. I had a 400 Series Mark IV that I used for years in my old hardcore band, along with a matching 2x15 that had PA speakers in it (both in my avatar). The PA speakers meant that everything, from lows to highs, were articulate, even with a lot of gain. I was fortunate that the guy I bought the head from had the correct footswitch, so I could run one channel for lower gain and another for higher gain and switch between them, or blend the channels when required. It was putting out something like 160W into the cab as it had two 3ohm speakers wired to 6ohms, and it was ridiculously loud. It could've gone down to 2ohms but the closest I ever got was using a 4ohm SVT 8x10. I paid £100 for that head, but I'm sure I sold it for more than that. An old silver knob Peavey Century came up locally for £70 about 15 months ago so I picked up. It's rated at 60W at 8ohms I think but even that is super loud. I've never had the volume past 9 o'clock as the walls start shaking with my Ampeg 1x15.
     
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