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durable amps- take a lickin' keep on tickin'

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Dincrest, Apr 8, 2005.

  1. Dincrest


    Sep 27, 2004
    New Jersey
    Firstly, I apologize if a thread as this has been done already and/or to death, but you know me and my piss-poor ability to pick the best search terms.

    Anyway, a long while back, I did a thread in the basses section about what basses people thought were the most durable; those that could take a beating and still work adequately. The majority of people said the Stingray is a beast that could survive almost anything.

    So I want to put that query in the amps section. It's no epiphany that we may play some gigs in settings where something's going to get dinged or clobbered or worse. So what are the combo amps, heads, and cabinets (and whatever other components you can think of) that have withstood abuse (be it knocked over or kicked or whatever by a drunk fan or dropped by a clumsy roadie, etc.) and still worked, possibly still sounded good. That took a lickin' and keep on tickin.'

    I've heard that Peavey amps are built like tanks.

    Anyway, I thought a thread like this would be useful to anyone amp-hunting and it's a good excuse for you fine folks to share stories.
  2. If a planet killing asteriod were to hit tomorrow only two things would survive, cockroaches and Peavey amps...and I'm not sure about the cockroaches. ;)
  3. Selta


    Feb 6, 2002
    Pacific Northwet
    Total fanboi of: Fractal Audio, AudiKinesis Cabs, Dingwall basses
    Peaveys for one. But I don't think much has gone thourgh what my Acoustic took...
    Incident #1. It was a medium size stage, so to buy us some room we stacked my amp as best we could - 2 2x15s stood up with the 4x12 on top, my Acoustic head on top of that. We had to use an 8' step ladder to get it up there, jsut for reference. Stupid idea but it looked cool as all get out. Anyway, as you most likely already guessed, the stack fell over, and the head went a flyin'. After cringing when I heard the rather loud crash it made from breaking through a card table, I picked it up, to notice not a single scratch dent or ding in it. :eyebrow: plug it all back up, and it works.
    Incident #2. Coming home from a gig that was ~2 hours away, we had all of out gear in a U-Haul trailer. We're stopped at a red light and someone slams into the trailer. Unfortunatly we loaded it up (front to back) instruments, drums, cabs, misc, heads. My guitarist's marshall was dead, and my other guitarist's Mesa broke a few tubes and some knobs off the front... my Acoustic was clean :cool:, just knocked from it's place and laying on the ground. Get home, sleep, plug it up the next day, play on :).
    Incident #3. Kicked off a 4' stage onto concrete on our last song. After the club emptied out, I plugged it back up, and it still worked fine.
    To this day the head STILL works flawlessly. Looks pretty clean too! And for "only" 320W, it's pretty loud. If you can get your hands on a B320 head from Acoustic, I suggest you do so :p.
    Other than that, my Peavey T-max that I recently scored has gone through a pair of 5 hour gigs, and is still chugging along. Gard owned it before me, and I'm sure he put it to good use as well.

  4. danman


    May 18, 2004
    Philadelphia, PA
  5. Joe Beets

    Joe Beets Guest

    Nov 21, 2004
    After the apocalypse one thing would survive, the Peavey CS800 power amp. Used to use four of them for my bass amp. Somehow, somewhere, they are still being used by someone. Beat up, I'm sure, but still putting out.
  6. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD

    Feb 20, 2005
    Seweracuse, NY
    Well...its not so glamourous as some of those other stories, but my Hartke 3500 is on of the 'older' models and I played it exclusively from the early 1990's until a few months ago...I gigged and travelled with it mercilessly, used it for practice without any special care and it's never ever not worked.

    I never had even thought of having a backup.
  7. +1 for Peavey.

    Bomb proof IMHO :) :)
  8. Aren't Mesa /Boogie's also supposed to be tough?
  9. slinkp


    Aug 29, 2003
    brooklyn, NY, USA
    +1 on older GKs. My late-80s GK400RB has been knocked over so many times. It's scratched all to hell, and some of the heat sink fins on the back are bent. The only damage it's ever had was from one fall which somehow yanked the power cord so bad that it came unsoldered inside the amp.
    ALso mangled the plug. A new plug cost $4 at the hardware store. Resoldering took me 5 minutes including the time to get the top of the amp
    open and then put it back together. Those things are
    built pretty well for servicing. It's worked flawlessly ever since.

    Rumour has it that the more recent ones are not as durable.
  10. My QSC USA900 took a 5 foot drop while flipping over onto concrete and hasn't missed a beat. It was in a flimsy homemade rack so that took some of the shock but I was definately impressed with my "POWERAMP SUMMERSAULT!"
  11. Cockroaches, Peaveys, and Keith Richards you mean. :p
  12. Tash


    Feb 13, 2005
    Bel Air Maryland
    You mentioned Keith Richards twice :bag:
  13. spiritbass

    spiritbass Supporting Member

    Jun 9, 2004
    Ashland, MO
    I'd put a ThunderFunk and a power conditioner in a rack and be done with it. Dave builds 'em solid but something could still be crunched in a fall without a road-ready rack. I have yet to read/hear of any ThunderFunk reliability issues. I baby mine so don't have any horror stories :rollno:
  14. My mistake :D .
  15. Trace Elliot, Peavey.

    Trace? One, 'cuz I am a big fan, and have been using equipment from early 90s and it's powering fine.
    IN the TE thread, we have a user who experience having his GP12 SMX pre being ran over by a bus. Scratched, yes, working? HELL YES!

  16. The 0x

    The 0x

    Aug 24, 2003
    Timonium, MD
    Hiwatts are supposed to be pretty bombproof.

    My sunn sceptre has a huge crack in the transformer, and it still works fine. I don't baby it, but i haven't knocked my stack over. (yet)
  17. Traynors, i have dropped mine twice down a flight of stairs, aside from a tube or 2 breaking it was like nothing happened.
  18. protoz


    Nov 30, 2000
    I guess this goes against the grain of what most people think but my Hartke 5000 is bullet proof, if a...lot noisy. I should be able to either retire it or use it less once I get my other amps back....
  19. playmybass


    Mar 28, 2004
    Tucson, Az
    Strange, but TRUE story:

    Ok, so two years ago when I get my first bass amp, I got a Peavey TNT130. It was a little dirty, but easily cleaned. One day, Im looking through my parents wedding photos (theyve been together for 20 years), and in a photo of the reception there was live music, and the bassist had a TNT130. I look closer and see the SAME knobs are missing, SAME knicks in the tolex, and SAME cracked peavey emblem. Im almost 100% positive it is the same amp I am currently using.

    That thing is old and still works FLAWLESSLY. :hyper:
  20. lowphatbass

    lowphatbass ****

    Feb 25, 2005
    west coast
    I've owned and known some Peavey TNT's, TKO's and a Basic 40 combo's that took a licking. I think the secret was the descriptions they used on the EQ knobs ;) How would you know if your "upper torso" EQ was working correctly??
    More seriously though, 800RB, 400RB and 200RB are all amps that I personally beat the mess out of. The 800RB stands out especially well in this group..one tough powerfull amp, great features, too. A robust classic for sure!!