NAD - Peavey Special 130

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by Timmay, Jun 16, 2020.

  1. Timmay

    Timmay Tele-Meister

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    Arrived yesterday evening, filthy dirty, sporting an old crap Japanese speaker of some sort. Smelled like a dirty ashtray, and sounded terrible.
    Scrubbed it down with Greased Lightning, and put an 8ohm Texas Heat in it for now. I have a 4ohm EM12 ordered for it from the Eminence custom shop.

    Sounds pretty darn good with the Texas Heat, but just a bit too dark for my taste. Hopefully the EM12 will brighten it up a bit. That said, I'm digg'n it. I only got to play it for about 20 min, after cleaning it up and installing the TH, before the queen shut me down, ( Perhaps I shouldn't have turned it up to 7 :D ) but I already prefer it over my Red Stripe Bandit.

    The Bandit also currently has a TH in it, and while it sounds decent, it has a harshness to my ear that I just can't seem to dial out. I think it's gonna go down the road.

    Harshness is definitely not an issue with the 130. I bought it mainly for playing country, and I think it's gonna serve me well for that. Looking forward to cranking it up tomorrow while the wife's at work.
     
  2. Henry Mars

    Henry Mars Tele-Afflicted

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    I have had a Special 130 for many years. Bought it new back in the day ... I have had occasion to use it again here and there. If you know how to set it up it is a beast. My only complaint about it is that it can sound a little muddy once in a while. I think it is the speaker. All in all they are damn good SS amps that can cover almost anything plus you cant kill them. Good luck with it.
     
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  3. Timmay

    Timmay Tele-Meister

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    I hear ya on the mud Henry. Turning the outer mid knob too far clockwise will definitely muddy things up. Seems counter intuitive, but once I figured that out it was easy to dial in a nice clean tone. I was just plugged straight in today. Should be able to brighten it up some with the compression pedal. It's gonna be fun getting to know this amp.

    I also have several of those Joyo preamp pedals. This should make a great platform for those as well. They sound really good running into the power amp in of the Bandit. Should be more of the same into the 130.
     
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  4. dannyh

    dannyh Tele-Afflicted

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    Congrats. Those are good amps. Louder than ****. Pretty bullet proof ime as well. Should serve you well.
     
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  5. Frodebro

    Frodebro Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    A buddy had one of those when we were teenagers. Not the best distortion sound for the stuff we were playing, but that amp was one loud beast.
     
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  6. Ringo

    Ringo Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    I had a Special 112 for several years, good amps, the gain channel can be hard to dial in but pedals sound great through the clean channel. A buddy of mine got one new and he has used it for gigs for over 25 years , never had any problems with it.

    I think Peavey contracted for the heaviest available MDF to build the cabinets out of though!
     
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  7. Timmay

    Timmay Tele-Meister

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    Got to spend about an hour with it this morning. I'll retract my previous comment about it being too dark with the Texas Heat. The parametric mids take a little time to figure out, but I'm getting there. This amp has PLENTY of chime, but even dialed up really bright there's no icepick. Very nice.

    It lives up to it's reputation IMHO. Great cleans, and LOUD. It's definitely not a bedroom volume amp. It really fattens up at just over 2 on the volume. That's where I had it this morning. My ears are ringing, and that's with an 8ohm speaker. What a little beast. Best amp purchase since my Classic 30 nearly 20 years ago.
     
  8. haggardfan1

    haggardfan1 Friend of Leo's

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    Great find, glad you like it!

    I had one, bought new, as my main amp for a very long time. Even playing outdoors, I can't recall ever turning it up past about 3. It was incredibly loud...far and away the loudest amp I've ever owned, and the cleans were amazing. I finally traded it off because of its weight and bulk. The older I get, the more I downsize amps and gear. o_O

    It was a great amp though, and I bet it would still be going strong today had I kept it.
     
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  9. drmordo

    drmordo Tele-Holic

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    Nice! I still have a Studio Pro 40 I've had since the late 80s. I put a Carvin British speaker in it many years ago, which helped a lot, though these days I'd put something lower wattage in.

    That era of Peavey amps are classics IMO, and after that era SS amps in general got worse because they were mostly designed for metal.

    EDIT: I just learned about the Peavey LA400, which was a 210 RMS watt 1x12 combo! Yikes!
     
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2020
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  10. brookdalebill

    brookdalebill Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    Good stuff.
    I had one once.
    Paint-peeling loud, in a good way!
     
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  11. codamedia

    codamedia Poster Extraordinaire

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    The Special 130 is my favorite SS amp.... great tones and extremely versatile thanks to the mid shift - not to mention, loud enough to keep up with ANY other amps in the room! I still have one and it is my grab and go amp of choice.

    IMO... Learn how to use the MID shift in that Special 130....

    With everything at 12 o'clock, the amp is surprisingly flat! If you want bigger bottom and sparkly high end, set the mid shift to 6 or 7, then dial back the mid level to about 2 or 3. That will be a tone you are more accustomed to from a guitar amp... for better or worse ;)

    If it's muddy due to the speaker, the bright switch is your friend! But try to coax out the tone without it if you can.

    WARNING: Those amps are fast approaching 40 years old. If it still has original CAPS, they should be changed sooner than later!
     
  12. Timmay

    Timmay Tele-Meister

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    Thanks for the suggestions on the mid shift codamedia. I hear ya on the caps too. I'll pull the chassis and have a look when I install the EM12.
     
  13. Timmay

    Timmay Tele-Meister

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    Now that I've had a few weeks to get to know the amp, I thought I'd give an update.

    Codamedia's recommendation on the midshift is right on the money to get great clean tones. I like the shift at 6 and the mids at 4, with the bass and treble dimed. Great classic country tone. This will vary some based on speaker choice for sure, but this setting will get you in the ballpark. Simply flipping those mid and shift settings will give the amp a more british tone, with more present mids.

    This thing absolutely LOVES pedals. My Joyo American, British, and California pre-amp pedals all sound great through it. Rat, Tube Screamer, Kealey DS-1, Blues Driver, all two thumbs up. I plugged my old Moen Fuzz-Moo into it this morning. WOW!!! Sounds like the biggest, fattest cranked tweed you've ever heard! Ratty, but with great note definition and solid lows. I couldn't stop playing Johnny Be Good and Maybellene. Lol.

    Some observations about both the Special 130 and the Bandit 65 that I just picked up the other day. Neither has any hint of that harsh solid state/transistory sound I've heard in other SS amps. They are warm and natural sounding amps. They are less sensitive to picking dynamics than my tube amps, and don't clean up as well by rolling the guitars volume back, but they have great tone and excellent note definition even with high gain pedals. They have loads of clean headroom and like to play loud. The more I play them the more impressed I am with them.

    To anyone thinking about picking up either of these amps, I say go for it. I don't think you'll be disappointed. My Red Stripe Bandit and both my Traynor YCV 40, and 50 are gonna go down the road. I could live happily ever after with my Classic 30, and these two SS peaveys, but surely won't. Lol. Lotta tone for little money, and surely some of the best pedal platforms ever. I wish I had dicovered these old Peaveys years ago.
     
  14. Timmay

    Timmay Tele-Meister

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    4ohm EM12 arrived today. Whole new level of LOUD!!! Lows reverberate in your chest with the volume on 2. It's really well balanced, and very big and open sounding. It took the 130 to a whole new level. Happy, happy, happy!!!
     
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  15. Crobbins

    Crobbins Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

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    Congrats.
     
  16. Jeru

    Jeru Tele-Holic

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    CONGRATS..!

    I got mine ~1-2 weeks ago, have been on the lookout for about a year now. I have a friend that
    I play with now and again who doesn't care much or get bogged down about his gear. About a year
    back he needed an amp - he needed loud/clean/unkillable (has two pre-teen boys who play a little).
    I found him a super inexpensive Special 130 on Craigslist (didn't know what they were at the time),
    cleaned it up and rigged up a little channel switch and turned it over to him. Regretted it immediately-
    something about the Special 65/130 amps as a platform for loud/clean. I had even bought a Bandit
    112 in the interim to try to scratch the itch -- NOPE, not quite.

    Well, I waited for my deal and found it 1-2 weeks back (again on CL). Happy member of the club.

    2 PVs.jpeg

    Are they going to replace the tube amps..? Likely no. Am I kind of excited
    to line the S-130 up next to my Twin at the next outdoor gig and see how
    they compare..? YEP.

    ps -- as mentioned, HEAVY. My plan is to build a simple wooden box to re-
    house the 130. Stay tuned.
     
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  17. Timmay

    Timmay Tele-Meister

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    Congrats Jeru! Welcome to the club. Wait till you hear that beast through a nice cabinet. I put two 8ohm Texas Heats in my VHT 2x12, and plugged in the 130. OH MY!!! Thunderous!!! HUGE bottom end, along with better everything. That heavy MDF cab is a tone killer. Mine is gonna get re-housed for sure. Probably as a head, and the EM12 will go into a 1x12.

    On a side note, I just bought a Quilter TB200. It's a nice pedal platform, but the Special 130 and Bandit 65 sound better to my ear. The quilter sounds good though, and 200w from a 4lb box is a nice option to have.
     
  18. 2HBStrat

    2HBStrat Tele-Afflicted

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    I'm on my third Special 130 right now...super loud and reliable amps!
     
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  19. Jeru

    Jeru Tele-Holic

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    It's amazing the sound coming out of tiny (class D) boxes these days. Do keep us posted on your
    S-130 re-cabbing. It's going to be a winter-weather project later of mine later this years for sure.
     
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  20. Timmay

    Timmay Tele-Meister

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    Winter project here too. I won't find the motivation to do it until the freezer's full of venison and the lakes are iced over. I'll post when I finish it though.

    I spent some time with the Quilter today. I bumped up the highs a bit with the EQ pedal and it sounds REALLY good. There's definitely another Quilter in my future. My tube amps haven't been getting much love lately.
     
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