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View Full Version : Much respect for the Peavey Bravo 1x12


Smgbad
05-12-2013, 11:26 PM
So I got offered a Peavey Bravo 112 as partial trade today by a local amp afficianado I know and have regular dealings with. At first I was skeptical, as this guy has Bad Cats, vintage Fenders, Marshall JCMs, Mesa stacks, Orange stacks, etc... Then he said that this was his "backup" Bravo (yep.. he had two of 'em), and that this amp is one of the most underated amps everr built.

He had replaced the speaker with one from an old Carvin he had been saving, and had installed perfectly matched tubes (he's a tube collector too... has a bajillion of them in assorted boxed).

I gotta say.. This thing sounded absolutely stunning, both on the clean channel as well as the dirty. I am a bit of a gear snob having owned plenty of high dollar amps in all of my gear endeavours, and if I had been told about this amp by just about anyone other than this guy I would have laughed and directed the conversation elsewhere. Instead I ate a load of humble pie. I LOVE this thing. :love: Anyone who has the opportunity to grab one up for under $300 or so (they go for around $250-$275 on Ebay), DO IT! You won't be disappointed.

zeoy
05-13-2013, 02:07 AM
The humble Bravo was my main gigging, practice, rehearsals amp for almost 20 years :eeks until I joined TGP :D
Sold it to a guy who wanted a grab'n'go amp to add to his impressive (Matchless Independence, Super Reverb, Mark IV etc.) collection and he's very happy with it.
This must be one of the most underrated amps of all time. Being ugly and looking almost identical to other SS Peaveys doesn't help at all but after many gigs people were wondering how can this little amp sound so good.

Anyone who has the opportunity to grab one up for under $300 or so (they go for around $250-$275 on Ebay), DO IT! You won't be disappointed.

+1

Smgbad
05-13-2013, 07:09 AM
This must be one of the most underrated amps of all time. Being ugly and looking almost identical to other SS Peaveys doesn't help at all but after many gigs people were wondering how can this little amp sound so good.



+1

A big +1 on this point. I'm seriously considering finding a different enclosure for it, or making this the project where I learn to retolex an amp. I'm sure there is a lot I could do to get this awesome amp to LOOK the part as well as it sounds it.

gls500
05-13-2013, 07:19 AM
That was my first amp, bought new. I don't remember it that well, but wish I could find one again to see what it was like

Skiptrip
05-13-2013, 07:23 AM
I had one as well. Bought it in the mid 1990s as a practice amp, but somewhere around 2002, it gave up the ghost (even my tech couldn't get it running properly). I remember it having a pretty good gain channel, but that was long time ago! LOL!

bullet6759
05-13-2013, 07:25 AM
This amp won amp of the year in some magazine when it came out. Its my ac15 killer. :bow

bullet6759
05-13-2013, 07:28 AM
A big +1 on this point. I'm seriously considering finding a different enclosure for it, or making this the project where I learn to retolex an amp. I'm sure there is a lot I could do to get this awesome amp to LOOK the part as well as it sounds it.
Leave it like that. when you show up to play and people start to laugh just look at their faces when you start to play.You will never want to change a thing.:Devil

Lost_Cause
05-13-2013, 07:34 AM
I agree it is a great amp. Needs a different speaker than stock and some decent tubes and a great tone machine. I loved mine and will get another when I find another deal.

Barquentine
05-13-2013, 08:45 AM
I had one for a few weeks. Couldn't get rid of it fast enough. Like a lot of older Peaveys it could do clean and high gain and nothing in between. No decent slightly overdriven/crunch sounds. The clean channel was dull and lifeless. The lead sound could not cut through a mix. One of the worst amps I've had.

Smgbad
05-13-2013, 08:50 AM
I had one for a few weeks. Couldn't get rid of it fast enough. Like a lot of older Peaveys it could do clean and high gain and nothing in between. No decent slightly overdriven/crunch sounds. The clean channel was dull and lifeless. The lead sound could not cut through a mix. One of the worst amps I've had.

Interesting... So far you are the first to think this out of everyone I've heard from, and you make it out to be complete crap, which judging by this thread, it is pretty well validating that it is anything but. Maybe you should have tried different tubes or a new speaker? Theres alot of amps out there who don't show thier true potential til you do that. Yes, most Peaveys (especially from that era) are pretty dull and lifeless. I've owned several Bandits that I just could not get to sound the way I wanted. The Bravo though is incredible.

I have found yesterday and this morning that is can run the full spectrum of tones from a beautiful clean all the way to metal-land. Puts my Vox AC15 and my old BF Princeton to shame on the cleans, although I do find myself using the bright switch 90% of the time with my odd assortment of guitar pickups I have to pull from.

I'd even dare to say that this amp could eat a fair portion of the high dollar boutique's I've owned for lunch in the tonal department.

Acid Test
05-13-2013, 09:17 AM
I have one with a Hellatone Celestion 30 speaker that has to go. I hate to do it but I have way too many amps right now including one I picked up over the weekend.

Sounds amazing. Posted in the Emporium Section.

MKB
05-13-2013, 09:31 AM
Are you referring to the solid state teal stripe Bravo 112? Those are actually very good amps if you follow a few rules and perform one mod:

First the mod: Peavey for some reason sets the input impedance of many of their solid state amps to 220k, which sucks the life out of many humbucker guitars. Change the input resistor to 1meg, and the amps get a LOT more articulate with most guitars.

On the teal stripe amps, do NOT engage the gain boost on the overdrive channel, that will make the channel sound atrocious. Instead leave the gain boost off and use an external boost pedal, it sounds much better than way.

Also make sure the tone controls on the overdrive channel are set exactly to 5 or noon, and make tiny changes from there as needed. The tone controls on this channel are very sensitive and are active, they can also make the amp sound bad if set incorrectly.

I have two of the teal stripe amps (a Bandit and a Studio Pro 110), and they are terrific for solid state amps. They both have a TransTube type power amp circuit, although they are not advertised as such.

They both also are terrific as modeler amps with a full range speaker, better than most any other power amp (tube or solid state) I have used.

Acid Test
05-13-2013, 09:32 AM
Are you referring to the solid state teal stripe Bravo 112? Those are actually very good amps if you follow a few rules and perform one mod:

First the mod: Peavey for some reason sets the input impedance of many of their solid state amps to 220k, which sucks the life out of many humbucker guitars. Change the input resistor to 1meg, and the amps get a LOT more articulate with most guitars.

On the teal stripe amps, do NOT engage the gain boost on the overdrive channel, that will make the channel sound atrocious. Instead leave the gain boost off and use an external boost pedal, it sounds much better than way.

Also make sure the tone controls on the overdrive channel are set exactly to 5 or noon, and make tiny changes from there as needed. The tone controls on this channel are very sensitive and are active, they can also make the amp sound bad if set incorrectly.

I have two of the teal stripe amps (a Bandit and a Studio Pro 110), and they are terrific for solid state amps. They both have a TransTube type power amp circuit, although they are not advertised as such.

They both also are terrific as modeler amps with a full range speaker, better than most any other power amp (tube or solid state) I have used.

Bravos were never solid state.

Smgbad
05-13-2013, 09:33 AM
No.. the Bravo 112 is a tube amp. THe tubes are actually inside the chassis (mounted horizontal). Also, they do not have a boost on the overdrive channel so far as I know.

EDIT: LOL. Acid Test beat me to it.

Custom50
05-13-2013, 11:45 AM
These are great amps. Also the vtm 60 is a great Marshall inspired amp for very little $$$

Lost_Cause
05-13-2013, 12:15 PM
The blue marvel is ok at low volume but turn it up and it turns to mush. The drive channel does the full gambit of OD from great classic rock and blues OD tones at slight break up to crazy metal especially with the pull out ultra gain. The clean channel does a very great AC VOX type tone above 5 with HB pickups. I found the OD channel can get really close to the clean so use it for leads.

It might not be quite loud enough in a band setting depending but I used to plug in a 1x12 and it was great.

I go through amps pretty quickly mainly because I really like trying different things. I had the Bravo for about a year which is a lot longer than normal. Right now I have a bunch of Magnatones.

Marshall Man
05-13-2013, 05:43 PM
I love mine and it kicks serious ass through a 2x12 Marshall!

Smgbad
05-14-2013, 02:18 PM
So what would be my best recourse for either throwing this in a different housing (cab) or retolexing. I've done lots of grillcloth makeovers, but never tolex. Is it complicated?

CheeseGrater
05-14-2013, 02:53 PM
Nice, next time one shows up on CL i'll know the deal. Another sleeper from Peavey was the Prowler Combo. I had one for a little while, really great cleans, nice distortion too. I miss that one.

luv2playm
05-15-2013, 07:43 PM
I've had one for several years now. Bought it used for around $200. Ugly amp, but tone has always been my main priority. Clean is ok, reverb is a weak link, but the overdrive/distortion is great and it has an effects loop and a decent master volume. Nice power range for playing at home and small to medium stages. Sounds Marshally and great with single coils and humbuckers. Definitely underrated.

fretless
05-15-2013, 09:32 PM
I have owned two ot them, but have just one now. Got the first one used at GC for $100. The second thru CL for $150. Very cool amp and a sleeper for sure. I would love to swap out for a better looking cabinet, but I dont' think anyone even makes one. If anything they are fugly looking amps!

Smgbad
05-20-2013, 07:33 AM
From what I understand the Prowler had the same (or VERY similar) circuit, but looked a lot cooler as far as the aesthetics go. Anyone ever A/B'ed them? This Bravo is officially a "lifer" for me, unless the Prowler sounds the same. Acording to some research I've done, apparently the Bravo evolved to what is now known as the XXX, but I've played through one of those and to me they sound nothing alike.

Marshall Man
05-20-2013, 05:52 PM
From what I understand the Prowler had the same (or VERY similar) circuit, but looked a lot cooler as far as the aesthetics go. Anyone ever A/B'ed them? This Bravo is officially a "lifer" for me, unless the Prowler sounds the same. Acording to some research I've done, apparently the Bravo evolved to what is now known as the XXX, but I've played through one of those and to me they sound nothing alike.

I have both. The Prowler has 6L6 tubes and is more watts. The Prowler reminds me of a USA built Peavey Valve King....

The amps sounds nothing alike. I have played both through my cab and prefer the Bravo as it has a better EQ and more grind available.

Just my two cents.

Smgbad
05-21-2013, 08:24 AM
Awesome. Thanks for saving me the hassle there. I simply can't get over how great the Bravo sounds. I've always been a Fender DRRI, PRRI, Swart, and Budda guy, but to me this sounds better than all of them. I want to do it justice by rehousing the chassis and speaker, so it's not so darned ugly. Any ideas? I even thought about retolexing it and putting one of my custom Skulls and Roses grillcloths on it, but I've never retolexed a cabinet, only repainted them.

telewacker
11-10-2013, 07:17 PM
I bought one for $200. Put good ANOS tubes in it and plugged it into my old Basketweave cab. The gain channel sounds beautiful and the clean channel ain't too bad either. Mine came with an English GB, but the shitty little heavy MDF cab squashes the amp's potential. It really needs a toneful combo cab or to be mounted in a head cab to be gigable for me.

lowbrow
11-10-2013, 07:29 PM
Also the vtm 60 is a great Marshall inspired amp for very little $$$

Picked one of these up last year in excellent condition for $125. Heavy as hell but really does sound good.

Smgbad
11-11-2013, 05:25 PM
I regrettably got rid of the Bravo I was so enmoured with in the OP of this thread. I miss it A LOT... Although I replaced it with the very similar and also rare Peavey Prowler. The Prowler looks ten times cooler, and is laid out almost exactly the same, but I've yet to find that magical speaker that unlocks the potential like i had with the Bravo and the Carvin speaker. I'm 99% certain that with the right speaker the Prowler would sound just as amazing if not better, but I don't even know where to start. It's got a new Texas Heat in it currently.

Telecastoff
10-10-2014, 12:13 PM
I found a Bravo in a pawn shop recently and got it for pennies only because they had mistaken it for a SS Peavey. I'd been on the lookout for one of these for a very long time. I play clean, clean Country and this amp delivers it in aces for me. I've never really been into small amps before, but this one will definitely hold its own tone-wise and power-wise on some of the small to medium sized gigs we do. The larger ones will continue to be handled by my Renown 400.
This Bravo is completely stock...original tubes that still sound fine and original BM speaker that sounds like it was made for this amp. Really a nice combination with a Tele. I've used this amp in my studio on several recordings so far and the tone is unbelievable. This little amp is a keeper and truly worth a lot more than a lot of the highly regarded and over-inflated amps from a few other over-rated manufacturers. This Peavey was made in the USA and is bound to go down in amp history as one of the greatest under-rated amps ever. Get 'em while they're still cheap and relatively unknown yet.