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favorite this post LOUD high wattage 2x12 combo - $125 (Santa Barbara) hide this posting unhide

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condition: fair
make / manufacturer: Peavey
model name / number: Renown 400

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1980's Peavey 2x12 combo, 160 watts that gets bumped up to 210 watts when you plug in an external cabinet. I've found these usually went for about 200-400 depending on condition. Included is the original footswitch.
The reasons I'm asking only $120:

The biggest issue with this amp is that the clean channel will make a low rumbling sound when I play at higher volumes if the "pre" control is turned above 6, or if I use a high gain distortion pedal. It's worth noting that the Lead channel doesn't do this at all, and the clean channel is still usable if the volume knob is below 2, which is still plenty loud. Also the reverb makes a loud scratch sound when it gets turned up or down. Aside from that, the reverb is actually very splashy and pleasant sounding! I'm not sure if pots need to be cleaned/sprayed or maybe a capacitor or transistor needs to be replaced inside the amp, but I called Peavey and they told me it likely isn't anything that will cause major harm or stop the amp from functioning. There is a Peavey Certified technician who will operate on this amp in La Quinta if needed.



The reasons this amp is well worth the $120:

The Lead Channel utilizes Peavey's patented 'Saturation' circuit. If you don't know about it I highly recommend you read Hartley Peavey's blog where he discusses the years of work that it took to use solid state transistors to replicate the way a tube amp saturates, soft clips, compresses, and sags voltage.

If you ignore the clean channel, you can use this amp as your clean platform by turning the pre gain low, saturation all the way down and use the post gain as your Master volume knob. The Lead channel is capable of being 100% clean. Alternatively just play it like a single channel amp with the pre and sat at around 3-6 so it behaves like a pushed Fender Deluxe or Marshall JTM. It really will work for any genre but these amps were favored by rock, country, pedal steel, slide, and even metal players.

The gain is incredibly responsive to input volume, and cleans up easy with a simple roll of the volume or tone knob on your guitar. Sustained notes and chords blossom into light musical feedback effortlessly yet controlled. There is no harsh brittle top end, or audible odd harmonics, only a nice bright full sounding crunch that 'breathes' the way a tube amp would.

The tone stack on this amp is unique in that it utilizes both the conventional active post gain boost/cut EQ, and a passive EQ that goes before the preamp gain so you can tailor the way the gain will respond to your guitar and pickups. The passive EQ has a slight amount of frequency crossover between the controls, for example adjusting the mids can affect how the lows and highs react. You can select a mid frequency and boost or cut it before it hits the distortion circuit, the push/pull on the treble knob enables a 'thick' circuit which defeats the low and mid controls while boosting the mid range, audibly the 700-1200 range. Gently pulling the 'pre' knob allows 8db of high frequencies through, roughly 5.5k and above (think pick attack, string 'talk', sibilance and shiny top end you might try to accentuate from single coils). Turning the bass to 10 and cranking the pre gain creates a very striking muffy fuzz tone, that crackles and buzzes in a way that feels very alive rather than just saturating into a constant sterile drone. The slightest change in your fingers positions will make the fuzz respond differently. The 'presence' knob is your traditional active EQ that goes after the preamp, and can be used to dial in or out the highs depending on the room you're in.

Now I understand that many people say you don't need high wattages or large amps these days because of high efficiency PA systems commonly found in modern venues. While this is certainly true, you may find yourself in a situation with an inferior PA or none at all. Or maybe you just love the experience of pushing air with your own amp... in either case 160w is incredibly loud, let alone the 210w that can be achieved through another 2x12 or even 4x12. Because of the high volume, you can safely plug in two different instruments because of the two inputs. The speakers are 200w continuous power each so you don't experience any woofy sounds from high volumes. These speakers can carry the weight of the output section and it is obvious to me that they were deliberately chosen for the high volume applications this amp is designed for. Forgive my poor analogies but I like to think of how an athlete's endurance allows them to continue to push themselves beyond an average person living a sedentary lifestyle could...This amp's speakers function a bit like that in that they won't wear out when pushed very hard.

Because this amp is entirely solid state it has the same tone regardless of the output volume. At higher volumes it violently rattles and shakes my walls, floors, furniture and can be heard clearly down my block, even with all my doors and windows tightly shut. So no, it's not necessary to have that kind of power, but IF you wanted to, this amp can reach absolutely ear splitting volumes, should you ever need it. This amp is my champion of what they call "headroom"

Yes it's physically pretty heavy, but given its size and volume it's almost as heavy as a 30w tube combo of a similar size. And unlike a tube amp, you could knock this amp down a flight of stairs and it would continue to function the same way.

If the cons I listed don't bother you this amp will serve you very well. Peavey, believe it or not, are to this day renowned (no pun intended) for their excellently crafted Solid State amps that are absolute tanks and made to be affordable.

tl;dr
OP 2x12 tank of a solid state amp behaves and sounds like a versatile single channel tube amp aside from some eccentricities

I am open to trades as well, thanks for reading
  • do NOT contact me with unsolicited services or offers

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