Solid State Fuzz Beast from '78. (Peavey Content)

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by Custom50, Oct 17, 2016.

  1. Custom50

    Custom50 Member

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    Hey all, I know solid state is generally disowned around these parts but a good friend of mine asked me to repair this Peavey head for her (just took touching up a few solder joints) and I figured I'd take an opportunity to post about this amp in case a few fellow amp nerds might find it interesting. I find these old solid state dinosaurs particularly interesting myself.

    Front of the amp
    [​IMG]

    You just unscrew the front panel and the pre-amp board is right there (ignore my ugly pajamas please) reverb tank is screwed to the chassis in the middle:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Shot of this vintage PCB (har har har):
    [​IMG]

    Power section and a nice sized transformer are mounted on the back panel which unscrews like the front. It's a dead simple design and very easy to work on:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    And there you have it, the wonderfully simple Peavey Mark III standard from 1978.

    So, what I think of the amp (in case somebody, somewhere cares):

    I really like it! It's a very simple circuit but has a few neat tricks up it's sleeve.
    The clean sound is OK but nothing special and the reverb is...well....bad IMO.
    That doesn't sound like a very promising endorsement, I know, BUT....
    What this amp does really, really well is a great wooly, sludgy, raunchy distortion. The closest thing I can compare it to would be a Sunn Beta Lead and much like the Sunn Beta this amp has two channels and you can mix them both together for maximum transistorized fuzztortion.
    A cool thing about this amp is that the 2nd channel has a very wide ranging EQ, you can boost or cut all the frequencies by a wide margin and you can dial in the mid frequency you want to sculpt with the "Paramid".

    This isn't an amp for everybody, in fact, it's probably not an amp for most people. It's not going to make you toss all your tube amps in the dumpster (or your other solid-state amps for that matter) but it has a cool and unique tone and I really like that about it. There's some fun to be had for 100-200 bucks and it sounds cool if you wanna play some Red Fang riffs or something similarly fuzzy.

    It's a cool old amp, loud as hell and a one trick pony with a great trick! If you're predisposed to sludgy, doomy, fuzzy riffing don't count out this humble old Peavey.
     
    menlow and wildschwein like this.
  2. zenas

    zenas Member

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    I bought one of those back in high school. Before that I had a blackface Princeton might have been a 6g2 or Reverb I don't remember. Sounded great but it wasn't big and loud. The Peavey on its huge 4x12 cab was big and loud.
    Honestly if there was one across the street free I'm not sure if I'd grab it today.
     
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  3. Custom50

    Custom50 Member

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    Haha absolutely. It's loud for sure. It's also gnarly and nasty and I'd say there's only a small crowd of us that digs that in an amp. Let's be honest though, gun to head, make a decision right now: noone is taking this Peavey over a Princeton that's for sure.
     
    fretless likes this.
  4. Flogger59

    Flogger59 Member

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    I sold these new, I liked them. You could dial in a decent tone for leads. The clean side was clank.
     
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  5. zenas

    zenas Member

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    After the Standard I bought a new Classic Chorus 2x12 combo. (must've been about 1988) Went all tube shortly after that and haven't plugged into a SS amp since.
    As I recall with those SS amps amps it was either clean or some sort of dirty, depending on the setting. No touch sensitivity. But it's been years.

    Other thing I rember about every Peavey I played back then. You had to wack them to get the reverb going. Got so used to that when I bought the Classic Chorus (only new amp I've ever bought) I didn't think to take it in under warranty. Lol
     
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  6. Custom50

    Custom50 Member

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    Hm, well, this one the reverb works but....sounds kind crappy haha.

    I was playing with it a little more and I was able to dial in a decent clean tone but nothing spectacular. The slightly dirty tones weren't anything special either. I think the reason I've taken a liking to it is because I'm partial to exceptionally fuzzy sludgy tones. That's a niche thing and these old Peavey's seem to be niche amps. Definitely wouldn't want it as my main/only amp but it's a pretty cool and different dirty tone. I'm thinking it might sound cool run along side my Marshall head.

    My friend uses it for bass and she really likes it for hat purpose. I'm thinking that, because it has quite a bit of low end, it's probably pretty well suited to that purpose. But it sounds pretty pissed off with my downtuned SG!
     

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