Submitted June 21, 2012 by Corwin Deckard in Bloomington, IN
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The best amplifier I have ever owned, without a doubt. Don't buy into the misconceptions regarding this being an amp that is strictly for metal--it really can do it all. I have been playing through a Fender DeVille 2x12 for several years and the Peavey outshines it in every way, with the exception of not having the tasty built-in Fender Reverb.
As mentioned above, this amp can do anything. While I primarily play Melodic Metal with my band Thanasphere (yeah, I'm plugging a bit), I also play quite a lot of blues, classic rock and classical. This amp serves all purposes.
Clean Channel: Ranging from perfect clarity to a light grit, you can get just about any tone you want from it. I generally engage the coil tap on my EMGs and use the middle selector position on my Schecter when playing cleans to really serve the clarity that you can get from the clean channel. It will allow subtlety within chords (adds, etc...--think Kickapoo if you're unfamiliar), but will also respond well to a boomier low end if that's what you're looking for. All in all I'm very confident that this will achieve any clean to you want--it's certainly better than my Fender DeVille.
Crunch: Ranging from a light fuzz to doom quality, you can essentially reach aspects of a clean channel and almost render the full overdrive channel useless by simply adjusting your level of gain. I've been able to get some bitchin' Van Halen tones, some subtle blues fizz, and even low boomy Doom metal from this channel.
Overdrive: The high gain channel will fulfill your gainy needs, of this I am certain. With bursting amounts of gain, even with the Pre-gain knob at 7/8 nothing is too fizzy and muddy. I've been able to achieve perfect amounts of clarity even by maxing out the Pre-gain and vice versa, I've been able to get nice, gritty, muddy blunder that will attain the "ugly range" if that's what you're into.
My only complaint is that I was spoiled with my built-in spring reverb in my old DeVille, and now I mus live without it. Currently I'm being a purist and running my guitar straight into the amp, but I've experimented with my Zoom G9.2tt and they work quite well together for effects (chorus, reverb, and the luxury of a volume pedal primarily).
If you're deciding between the plus and the regular, spring for the plus; it has a separate EQ for the Clean/Crunch and Gain channels that I wouldn't be able to live without.
While it's pretty bare as far as flash goes, it's better for it. It comes across very minimal and pure and leaves you open to far more pre-amp effects and tone customization.
Ease of Use
I've never felt like I was trying particularly hard to make it sound good. While I've spent the weeks since I got it turning knobs constantly to find my sweet spot, it has sounded phenomenal throughout. I would also mention that this amp being so minimal in the features dept. lends itself very well to it's ease of use.
I feel confident that when the world inevitably burns, only this amp and my Peavey 412MS will be the headstones marking where Earth once existed, living on into the darkness of time.
Given that any other amp I've tried to approached with level of versatility and has surpassed expectations has been in the $2000-$3000 range (with the exception of some tasty vintage amps that you can find used), this really can't be beat. That taken into consideration with the fantastic Play as you Pay plan available through zZounds, I can't think of any reason to complain. If you are a musician--invest in your craft and find the tools to do yourself justice.
The Wow Factor
I played my first concert with this amp recently and thought to myself on several occasions "wow I love my tone." I have never had the luxury of thinking that during a show and it makes it worth any price.
I have eight years guitar playing experience and primarily play professionally with my band, Thanasphere.
My band, Thanasphere, is Melodic Metal (think Dethklok lovechild with Lamb of God and Children of Bodom with melodies passed dow
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