Other Amps

Old Peavey solid state amps…..hmm


We had a Peavey solid state here at our broadcast station. It was sold by cameraman Bert (who played in bands once) to my friend Rico. It was as big as a washing machine and just as heavy. We called it Bert, like the cameraman: square, heavy and indestructible. Peavey Bert drew large sparks out of the wall power socket. The neighboring village noticed a dip in the brightness of their electric lights when Bert was activated. This amp could kill lifeforms at volume 0,5. It was easily the loudest musical instrument amp I have ever seen so far. Rico sold Bert to colleague Luc from the computer department. His kids are in a metal band and Bert just wipes out everyone like it should. Peavey solid state for the kill.

I like the sound of the Peavey C30. It's a musical stove that cooks its own tubes and boards to death but while at it, the sound is much better than what you pay for it.


My first guitar amp (actually, my Dad's keyboard amp), the Peavey KB300:


Back to the Pacer, which has now arrived home. It's in remarkably good nick and sounds pretty decent for what it is. However, I reckon it would sound better after a speaker swap — which is where I've hit a brickwall (possibly through ignorance!).

The stock square-magnet Peavey speaker is connected to the amp by a normal 1/4in jack. So I disconnect that and plug in an external 8 ohm cab — there is nothing wrong with either my speaker cable or the external cab, but all I get from the amp is 'wooooo'. I try another 8 ohm cab and different speaker cable — 'woooo'. I reconnect the original speaker and all is fine.

Next, I unclip the original speaker from the speaker terminals and connect the stock cable to the terminals of another 8 ohm speaker — again it's 'woooo'. So I go back to square one by reconnecting the stock speaker and all is fine again.

The speaker socket on the back of the amp is marked 45W 8 ohm, so I haven't stepped out of line as far as speaker matching goes. And I've double-checked my extension cabs and cables to make sure they're OK. So is there something about these square-magnet speakers (which I've never used before) that means they can't be swapped out easily?


Re previous post: here's the back of the amp.


Speaker is just a regular CTS. Plugging an 8 ohm cabinet into the speaker jack should work. Be sure to use a speaker cord and not a guitar cord.


their old stereo tube power amp is the mainstay of my rig. Eight EL84s pairs wonderfully with the Rp500 modeler.


Billy: yep, tried two standard speaker cords and tested both with another amp and cab without any problem. Stumped.


OK, after much faffing about, what I have is a loud throbbing vibration from every speaker I've tried (except the stock one) when switching on the amp (volume turned down and nothing plugged in). Light hand pressure on the cone immediately stops this noise and vibration -- but as soon as the hand is removed, the noise and vibration start up again.

The only non-stock speaker set-up that functions normally when plugged into this amp is a 2x12 cab with one Celestion Classic 80 and one Eminence Legend -- each 16 ohms and wired in parallel for 8 ohms to the amp. Obviously with this amp I want one 8 ohm speaker.

What might be the cause of this severe speaker vibration? The speakers work fine with other amps and the amp itself works fine with it's stock 8 ohm speaker.


Peavey made great guitars like the Rockingham.


Do you really mean "cromulent?" That seems opposite of what I understood you to be saying.

– Ric12string

Dang Bob (and Spike who started it), you sent me to the "dictionary" (by dictionary I really mean Google). Don't do that very often.


Peavey made great guitars like the Rockingham.


I've heard good things about these. Made by Peerless weren't they? Like the first Electromatic 512x and 5120s? Should be great guitars if you can find them. They should have imported them here. Or maybe they did briefly.


My first "real" amp in the late 80s was a Peavey - Bandit 65 I think. It may have had good tones in it, but I could never find them. Almost stopped playing guitar because it was so frustrating. Then I lucked upon a 65 Ampeg Reverberocket for $175 and I was saved.

For years I bought into the "solid state sux" because of that amp. Then I discovered the 60s Kustoms and Thomas Vox amps and learned that with good reverb and tremolo a solid state amp can be pretty awesome, at least for the surf/garage stuff I play.

Dave_K, have you tried putting a different speaker in the amp and seeing if it does the same thing? I've had amps make weird noises because of where the speaker cable is in relation to transformers or some other part of the circuit that is displeased. Not that I have any scientific explanation for this; just something I've noticed while chasing noisy ghosts around circuits. The more factors you can keep constant in troubleshooting the better.


Mel: I've tried an Eminence Wizard and a Celestion G12 both in and outside the amp but no difference -- and both work just fine when back in their own cabs and powered by other amp heads.

Just this morning I've dug out an Eminence Delta 12a from the back of the cupboard -- forgotten all about it. It's a real brute of a speaker rated at a ridiculous 400W (it sez on the label, although I can't believe it!). I've fitted this inside the Pacer and when I switch the amp on, yep, bad vibration and thunderous rumble which goes away with slight finger pressure on the cone. But --- the noise and vibration don't come back when I take my fingers off the cone. I've just been playing it for about 30 minutes and it's a huge improvement in both tone and headroom on the stock Peavey speaker. Of course when I switch the amp off I still have to go around the back of the amp and do the 'hands on and off' routine when switching back on, because the speaker still vibrates and rumbles to start with.


Dave, that's some weird stuff you got going on there. Never heard exactly the like. I've heard speakers motorboat, and I've reduced unwanted noise temporarily by the laying-on of fingers - but never heard of your specific combination of results.

Let's put Peavey customer support to the test. Assemble your observations and tests from this thread into an appropriately composed email - with audio clips of a few seconds of the behavior of the various combinations, if you can - and send it to Peavey.

Maybe someone there will take interest.


Guess everybody forgot the Peavey Custom Shop line of "hand wired" amps, huh?



Never heard tell. When were these? Must not have saturated the market!


"Let's put Peavey customer support to the test".

Tim: I did think of this, but on balance it might be seen as a little unfair to Peavey as the problem (whatever it is) isn't really a Peavey problem. Their 40-year-old amplifier, fitted with its stock 40-year-old speaker, still works just fine. It's only when some guy like me, about 4000 miles away, wants to swap out the speaker that the 'motorboating' (great word: that's exactly what it sound like) kicks off. We have a gig tomorrow night and I'll put the Pacer through its paces with the replacement speaker, that's assuming that my soothing laying on of hands has the desired effect. But there'll be a Roland Cube 60 on standby just in case.


weird phenomenon Dave. And I'm of no help whatsoever either. You seem to have bought a voodoo amp.


I'd still try Peavey. Make your reasonable attitude clear - you're not going in all entitled and demanding - and I think they'll at least give you a respectful hearing. Not that it's their problem - just that their base of experience might produce clues.


I remember some guy in the rehersal room who used one of those 2X12 solid state monstrosities from Peavey. Too loud, too much distortion, too much reverb, too much chorus too much everything. Absolutely, without a doubt the most horrible sounding amp ever.

We also had a big, heavy Peavey PA system. Filled one whole station wagon. Indestructible but too cumbersome and nothing special sound-wise.

So I stayed clear from anything Peavey for years. Untill Proteus and Darrel Higham steered me towards the Classic 30. It suits me perfectly. It's probably the best Jack-of-all-trades amp out there that doesn't use (digital) modeling technology. It's easy to use, easy to maintain, portable and reliable. This amp is a keeper.

Unlike Proteus, the Blue Marvel didn't do anything for me. It sounded tired and bland. I replaced it with a Celestion Vintage 30. IMO the best mod you can do to this amp.


Never heard tell. When were these? Must not have saturated the market!

– Proteus

Started 2009, only lasted a couple/few years: Link


I was looking at all these pics of SS Peaveys thinking I don't think I have ever owned a Peavay amp. But of course I have - I had a tweed 2x12 Classic 50 and the a 1x12 Classic 30. I used to work in a store which sold a lot of Peavey amps. Bandits were popular. The cleans were usually decent but the dirt was very Boss DS-1 - ie thin and fizzy. Also the sound was either very clean or very dirty - none of your fancy in-between stuff!

The Classic 50 was a real eye-opener for me. I couldn't understand how it sounded so much gutsier than my Rivera-era Twin Reverb II. I had assumed that once I had a Twin Reverb II I would never need another amp. How wrong I was! That Peavey led me on a road of amp discovery... Once I removed the awful logo.

Register Sign in to join the conversation