Has Anyone Tried Upgrading the 8" Speaker in a Peavey Rage or Blazer 158

SweetClyde99

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I found a little Peavey Blazer 158 on the cheap that I've been using as a practice amp at low volumes. The cleans are usable if tweaked just right, but I'm having a lot of issues getting a satisfactory overdrive/distortion sound out of it, whether I'm using the amp's gain or pedals into the clean channel.

I've been considering swapping the stock speaker to something like a WGS G8C. It has some great reviews, and many have said it makes for a noticeable upgrade to a SS practice amp, but I haven't seen any reviews that mention a Peavey specifically.

What do you think? Is it worth it? At $40, it's not much money, but that's still about what I paid for the amp.
 

FerruleCat

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I put a Ragin Cajun 10" into a Blazer. I had to re-cut the baffle hole, but there was room. Made it louder. Cleans were OK, not great. Drive was still no good. Unfortunately, I don't think there's a miracle in that amp waiting to be discovered.

Pulled the Ragin Cajun to make a 2-10 cabinet for my Vox MV50 AC. That's a much better use of the speaker.
 

SweetClyde99

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Yeah, the idea that I might be trying to polish a turd had occurred to me. Researching other common 8" speaker upgrades, I did see some people who had positive experiences with the Celestion 8 15 and a Jensen Mod 8 in a Peavey Rage/Blazer.
 

JustABluesGuy

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Yeah, the idea that I might be trying to polish a turd had occurred to me. Researching other common 8" speaker upgrades, I did see some people who had positive experiences with the Celestion 8 15 and a Jensen Mod 8 in a Peavey Rage/Blazer.

It's likely that any quality replacement 8" speaker will be an improvement, but don't expect miracles.

A better option might be to just add a switching jack that will allow you to use an external cab with it. It would be cheaper, if you already have any cabs, and a larger speaker would be much nicer polish.

That way the polish can be much better, AND it isn't quite so attached to the turd.
 

mexicanyella

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Consider this...while I've never played through a Blazer or Rage, this is sort of relevant.

I own a Peavey Audition 20, which was what occupied the Rage/Blazer's lineup spot in the early 80s. It's capable of some really cool sounds if you keep it pretty clean and push the stock speaker pretty hard. I actually used it in a semi-acoustic twangy rock band I was in for a couple years...using an old Melody Maker with a single coil, a compressor pedal and that little Peavey cranked up, I got a "dirty clean" kind of cutting rhythm tone, and for solos I'd step on a clean boost in front of the signal chain to hit the compressor and amp a little harder...so I got a little more level, a more compressed feel and a little more dirt when I'd solo. I used it with my band at the time at some smaller gigs and miking that little grungy thing up got some weird looks, but the load in/load out was great.

Here's a link of a recording of that amp in action back in those days. I was pretty tickled with how the guitar sounded on this recording, and it still sounds good to me now. Melody Maker>DOD bi-fet preamp for solo boost (there's a solo where you can hear it)>DOD FX82 compressor>Peavey Audition 20>EV DS35(???) dynamic mic>Pro Tools.

https://alonetone.com/benniven/tracks/bleach-bald-snow-tires

That kind of tune/tone/playing may not be your cup of tea, but just humor me and try going cleaner and louder and abuse the stock speaker a little...gentle pedal compression helps. You might find it's a useful tone for recording overdubs or something, if nothing else.

I've tried driving larger extension cabinets with the Audition, and it sure sounds bassier and different, and maybe louder, but to me the magic in that little amp is its rude not-quite-clean cutting attack, with the mids cranked a bit.
 

bsman

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There are so many more superior practice amps out there, that I think the trouble of replacing the speaker is probably not worth the bother. I had a Rage 158 back in the late 90s, and I can't say I miss it.
 

mexicanyella

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^^yeah,^^ maybe two different points of view arriving at the same destination, right there...

Also meant to add that at one point I came across this little 4-ohm alnico Jensen speaker and thought it ought to go in the Peavey. Bad idea...it went from rude punchy sort-of-clean to warm messy farty lameness. To my ear, a "warm, soft, vintage speaker" is not what makes that combination work at all.

But maybe someone more into ringing, sustaining distorted chords (less about transients and more about sustainy texture) might disagree.
 

SweetClyde99

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Yeah, I may have to abandon this particular project. I really like it when I can get interesting and reasonably good tones out of strange and unassuming (and, yes, cheap) gear, but I've yet to get a satisfying dirt tone out of the thing, and I suspect a new speaker is only going to help that so much.

Oh, well. I'm sure I'll come up with another $30-$40 piece of garbage to tinker with at some point.
 

reactor99

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I put a Jensen Mod 8-20 into my Rage 158; it gave the amp a much fuller, richer sound and the distortion lost its shrillness (for lack of a better word). More bass capability also.
 

SweetClyde99

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I put a Jensen Mod 8-20 into my Rage 158; it gave the amp a much fuller, richer sound and the distortion lost its shrillness (for lack of a better word). More bass capability also.

That's interesting. I was actually leaning away from the Mod-8s because I got the sense they were meant for modeling amps. But looking at them again, they have some really good reviews.
 

thesamhill

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@mexicanyella Thanks for the link and sample of the Audition 20. That's a blast- great tune! You're right, that's a perfect sound for the song.

I just ended up with an Audition 20 sort of randomly. Last night I was playing my cheap Tele through it, and it was awesome. Clean on the neck pickup, I was playing a bunch of those pretty Metallica openers like Sanitarium, they sounded beautiful. Then with the "SAT" knob pulled and set around 4, and on the bridge pickup, I couldn't stop playing blues-rock licks and squealies. I was wondering if anyone else felt the appeal- guess so. That's awesome that you gigged it- that's a cool sound and my kind of load in/out. Thanks for the write-up!
 

mexicanyella

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Hey, glad you liked it. Regarding the PULL SAT feature, I've not been able to get much use out of that big of a gain jump with my playing style and most of the guitars I've owned over the years...but one night a long time ago I got to band practice early and started dinking around "building a rig" for that night while I waited for everyone to show up. I had a new Ibanez GR220 "Ghostrider," which looked sort of like a transluscent green PRS with two cream soapbar P90s in it. I ran the guitar into the Audition 20, and then slaved an old 150-watt SS QSC rack power amp off of the Audition's line out jack, driving an old tweeterless Peavey 2 x 10 PA cabinet. I ended up with the SAT activated, but the pre gain set pretty low; maybe around 1-2, and the post gain pretty high, and it made this gritty super-bright sound with this intense attack. On the bridge pickup it might have been even more weird and intense than Steve Albini's tone in Shellac, but on the both-pickups-together setting it was otherworldly cool. I wish I had recorded something like that.

Aside from playability I never liked the Ghostrider too much other than through that one ridiculous combination of gear. All of that stuff is long gone now other than the Audition.

Moral: plug everything into everything and try it out, and when something strikes you as cool, record it and don't get rid of it either.
 

limerot

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I have two Peavey Rage 158 - both modded with new baffles, front grill and Jensen C10R 10" speakers. Total cost for everything was $200.

I will bolt the amps together and use a single handle on the 'amp', when the new handle arrives.

The new Jensen's are 8ohm. The volume dropped a bit, so in retrospect, 4ohm speakers would be better. One of the amps got a label on the original speakers, it read 3.2ohm. The new speakers sound a little bigger even if the volume dropped a bit.

Not a huge different sound with the new speakers, bit brighter - the clean sound sounds warm and nice'ish like the original 8" speakers - but the amp sounds a bit uninspiring with no effects, I must admit.

I use only the clean channel on full, so when I dig in - I get a mild overdriven sound - like when you push a microphone preamp kind of way.

One added bonus with the new Jensen's is that the amp(s) sound better with acoustic guitar. Quite good with effects, actually.

I use a Zoom AC-3 acoustic preamp to split the signal to stereo. I use the Zoom for electric guitars in stereo, too. The preamp has a nice feature - it can be set to piezo or magnetic pickups.

The preamp also got a handy feature I have discovered. The amp(s) can rattle and shake on full volume, some frequencies makes the cabinet(s) vibrate with a bad sound. I use the anti feedback-button on the preamp, and the amp(s) magically vibrates way less!
 

Burn Yesterday

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There are some people who hate reviving old threads. Fine, the door's over there, don't let the door hit you on the way out. You've never used the search, have you?

The purpose of all this is a repository of information. So here's some information:

The Peavey Rage is the only guitar amp I ever really especially liked and I've had amps since the Sixties. That's Nineteen Sixties, you know, the years? But the 8" speaker wasn't what I needed and you can, or at least I could, screw in a 10" speaker in there just fine. You do not have to enlarge the hole. You do not have to enlarge the hole. The baffle only covers the circumfrential ribs.

And then one of mine is a head and I can plug it into anything.
 

wildschwein

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I put a Jensen Mod 8 in my Rage 108 Transtube years ago because the stock one was blown -- it's an amazing upgrade. The little amps keeps up with a drum kit and I have played gigs with it. Killer recording amp too.
 

mgcasella

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I had a cheap, 25 watt, ss practice amp that I bought in college. I got a really good deal on it because the guy had it kicking around his dorm room for a while and, ultimately, decided he didn't want to learn guitar.

I already had a nice 1x12 cab so I did some research and bought an Eminence Swamp Thang for it. I threw out the old speaker, installed a jack in the chassis, and then soldered the speaker wires on it. It was a HUGE improvement (much louder, etc) when I hooked up the practice amp to my speaker cabinet. My neighbors even thought I had a new amp.

Obviously, the circuitry didn't change, so it was still a cheap practice amp and I wasn't ready to go on tour. However, it was a lot of fun research speakers and experience how much it changed the sound.

FWIW I'd say just have fun and try a different speaker.
 

Maguchi

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I found a little Peavey Blazer 158 on the cheap that I've been using as a practice amp at low volumes. The cleans are usable if tweaked just right, but I'm having a lot of issues getting a satisfactory overdrive/distortion sound out of it, whether I'm using the amp's gain or pedals into the clean channel.

I've been considering swapping the stock speaker to something like a WGS G8C. It has some great reviews, and many have said it makes for a noticeable upgrade to a SS practice amp, but I haven't seen any reviews that mention a Peavey specifically.

What do you think? Is it worth it? At $40, it's not much money, but that's still about what I paid for the amp.
Yeah, not sure a new speaker like a WGS G8C will give you better distortion sounds. I mean the Peavey Blazer is a budget practice amp built for cleans. I have a couple of solid state Peaveys and they make great clean amps, but the circuits are not really designed for great distortion sounds and a speaker change might not fix that.
 




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