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Rating and Reviews: Peavey Mini Max 500 Bass

Lightweight and affordable, the Mini Max 500 is built for the touring bassist. It even has a built-in chromatic tuner to save space on your pedalboard.

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Value
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The Wow Factor
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"Peavey mini max" submitted June 18, 2016

By Paul Lett in Galt, CA
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Musical Background: Bass player since 1974
Music Style: Rock..country.. Anything really
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Overall: I wanted to own this amp for awhile and use it with a band as well as at home.. I'm running it through a peavey headliner 410 & a headliner 115. AWSOME sounding!! I'm old school don't run any pedals or effects the tone I can get from this is amazing. No matter what bass I play. Active or passive. Had a problem with a first amp head I purchased. Just stopped working after 10 days ZZOUNDS refunded the funds and sent me this new head no problems in 2 days!! They are a AWSOME company and I'm planning on doing a lot more business with them in the future. I'm old school peavey. Love this combo set up. I'm older now. Love how compact everything is. Compact in size booming in volume & tone. I love it. Paul.
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"Good for most anything" submitted March 11, 2018

By Russell H in Chicago, IL
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Musical Background: 25 yrs
Music Style: rock and jazz
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Sound: The sound is big and clean, with a subdued high end and very full lower midrange. More of a vintage voiced amp rather than a modern sound like Eden and the like. The low end is huge but not round like a tube amp or Ampeg. It plays astonishingly well with dirt pedals in front of it, which I think is due to Peavey's preamp design which is more like a guitar preamp than a bass preamp. See more about the OD in the next section. Feature: The overdrive starts subtle but gets into distortion territory, leaving you plenty of room to find a good "spot" despite lack of a blend. Peavey has done overdriven bass better than most any other since the 70s, and it shows here. It's never fizzy and is midrange focused. The low and high boosts are musical and not overbearing like a lot of amps- turning them on still sounds good. The mid shift is ok- 250 and 600 are your choices, but I would have preferred more choices like on an Ampeg or even a parametric mid. It's better than some that only give you choices higher up in the freq spectrum (like ashdown). As a heavy player, 250 is where I want to suck most of the time, and I can see why cleaner jazz/funk guys would want to play around at 600. The psycho acoustic feature is neat but is more for small cabs. I didn't find it necessary for my purposes but I can see it working for others, especially stand-up guys. Ease of Use: Passes my first test- hard to make sound bad. Test #2- all knobs at noon sounds great and will work in literally any band. It's quite loud- I never take it past 5 in the loud bands I play in and fills up a thirsty 2x15 and still sounds good with a 1x10 at home. Output is two 1/4" | Speakon combo jacks so it can plug into literally anything with any cable. The tuner is actually a great idea (I hate having pedals and rarely need to tune) and the 1/8" jacks are great for at home. I bought this to use at home, the practice space, and at gigs while fitting into a bag with my bass. It does all three while never being too quiet or too loud. Quality: Very well built, especially for an amp in this price range. The jacks have a plastic component which is worrisome but the ring and washer are metal so they will probably last longer than the 100% plastic jacks on a lot of budget amps. Value: I was thinking about the Portaflex PF500 for only $50 more, since it has extra features (mostly the more choices of mid-frequency) but it is a bit larger and I don't think it would fit into my bass bag. My experience with trying that amp out was good- it had a rounder low end but seemed to lack headroom compared to the MiniMax. I'd say both amps are pretty comparable though. Really the only reason I didn't get the Ampeg is because it was out of stock when I needed this amp. I did read about those amps having issues and dying (within their warranty periods though) when they first came out and have heard of no such issues with these Peaveys. This is a good option vs that Ampeg and the full-size Peavey headliner. Manufacturer Support: If you weren't aware- Peavey is one of the best. They stock parts for anything they've ever made (for the most part) all the way back to the founding of the company it seems. Easy to get on the phone and whoever picks up knows what they are talking about. The Wow Factor: It's small and versatile and works great as a portable and "B" amp compared to the monstrosity that is my "A" amp. Incredibly loud- filled up my 2x15 big enough for most doom bands at 6 on the master volume. It's voiced intelligently and you can hear what kind of bass you are playing and your own personal style with it without sounding clinical. And it fits into my bass bag! I'll never have to rely on whatever backline when I'm going straight from work to my gig ever again. Overall: I bought this to have at home for practice and be able to take it to practices and gigs. It does all of that and is incredibly loud. It has kind of a "square" bottom end but is not harsh and clinical sounding like a lot of bass amps. Plays great with pedals so it might be a budget banger if you are in a heavy band.
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"Good Amp" submitted March 10, 2017

By Chris H in Roanoke, VA
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Musical Background: 10+ years, trabens and schecters, jam at home and in a band
Music Style: Heavy metal, blues.
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Overall: Been playing for long time, I have this head paired with the peavey headliner 410 (I was concerned no port and no tweeter) this setup sounds really good though in my opinion, my only wish is that it had a compressor/distortion on the head. Would definitely recommend this head, the price is good too.
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"Very Good!" submitted November 5, 2018

By Jerry M in Sikeston, MO
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Musical Background: Been playing bass for 6 1/2 years
Music Style: Christian
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Overall: This little amp is an enormous powerhouse. Very light weight, small, but has more than enough power for just about anything shy of the largest venues. I play it through 2 Eden ex112's and it pounds, love it! The tone of the thing is more in my wheelhouse as I like the solid state tone over tube, even though it can produce that as well. Takes pedals very well and the tuner seems to be very accurate. The fan is a little loud but nothing near as bad as some have mentioned, in my opinion. I would definitely replace it if something happened!
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