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I Wonder......How Many Of You Have REALLY Tried The Peavey Max Preamp??

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by ebozzz, Aug 29, 2002.


  1. ebozzz

    ebozzz Supporting Member

    May 17, 2001
    Denver, Colorado
    I read so many statements everyday on this and other forums about what many feel are the best available preamp options. The Ampeg SVP-PRO, SWR IOD, EBS, Kern, Demeter, Alembic, etc. A lot of times the cost of the preamp option is a big factor. Regardless of what the variables are, I very rarely hear the Peavey Max mentioned as a viable option. I'm not trying to hate on any of the options that I named earlier or any that I may have missed. I just want to know why it seems that so many feel that the Peavey Max is just not a serious candidate? Alright, I got my flame retardant suit on now. Let's hear it! :D
     
  2. ebozzz

    ebozzz Supporting Member

    May 17, 2001
    Denver, Colorado
    And, I really am curious about this topic. Maybe I'm missing something someone else can point out to me. What is the Max lacking, besides prestige, that the other options have?
     
  3. I've just plain never heard of a peavey max. actually it never occured to me they made preamps.
     
  4. ebozzz

    ebozzz Supporting Member

    May 17, 2001
    Denver, Colorado
    I never thought of that but Peavey has actually made a few different preamps for bass over the years. The Max is the only one still in production. I guess introductions are needed for some. Max, say hello everyone here at TalkBass. :D

    [​IMG]

    MAX® Preamp Features

    Two channels
    Tube/solid-state bass preamp
    Input jack w/ -10dB pad switch
    Channel active LED indicators
    Pre & post gain controls on each channel
    Tube channel: one 12AX7 tube low, mid & high EQ controls w/ punch & bright switches
    Solid state channel: 7-band graphic EQ Active low & high shelving EQs
    Footswitchable channel select
    Footswitchable channel combine
    Blend control for mixing tube and solid state channels
    Crossover variable from 100 Hz to 1 kHz w/ frequency and balance controls
    Footswitchable post EQ effects loop
    Full-range, high & low frequency outputs
    Frequency-compensated balanced & unbalanced direct out with pre/post EQ switch
    Single rack space
    Internal power supply (no wall wart)

    Dimensions:
    Unpacked Weight: 8.80 lbs.
    Unpacked Width: 19 in.
    Unpacked Depth: 10.6250 in.
    Unpacked Height: 1.75 in.
    Packed Weight: 10 lbs.
    Packed Width: 19.75 in.
    Packed Depth: 18.25 in.
    Packed Height: 4 in.

    Max Owner's Manual

    [​IMG]

    Max® Footswitch Features

    7-pin DIN plug
    Select allows Channel Selection Combine, which allows you to mix these two channels
    Effects selects the Effects loop

    Dimensions:

    Unpacked Weight: 1.3120 lbs.
    Unpacked Width: 7.75 in.
    Unpacked Depth: 4.1250 in.
    Unpacked Height: 3.50 in.
    Packed Weight: 2 lbs.
    Packed Width: 0 in.
    Packed Depth: 0 in.
    Packed Height: 0 in.
     
  5. ebozzz

    ebozzz Supporting Member

    May 17, 2001
    Denver, Colorado
    Now that introductions have been taken care of, I would love to hear some of your thoughts as to what makes other preamps, like the Ampeg SVP-PRO, a clear cut better choice?
     
  6. Gard

    Gard Commercial User

    Mar 31, 2000
    Greensboro, NC, USA
    General Manager, Roscoe Guitars
    I still own a T-Max head, which is the same exact preamp coupled to a 500 watt poweramp. It is just a backup now, but it's an EXCELLENT one.

    As for tone, it was a bit "muddy" sounding compared to my Demeter HBP-1, but it does a great job, for less than half the cost. Highly recommended as a "budget" preamp choice.
     
  7. ThunderStik

    ThunderStik Guest

    Jun 25, 2001
    Claremore OK.
    I hate to get into this but I have never heard a live peavey rig that I thought sounded good. To me all the peavey gear has one thing in common (besides the obvious), they can sound good or even great when you are playing by yourself but when you throw in the rest of the band it all goes to mush. We used to call it the peavey roar, because thats about all you would hear once the rest of the band started playing there just seems to be something there (or not there) that you cant eq out or dial in. I am the owner of an svp-pro and I love it but if the peavey sounded as good and cost less I would be an idiot not to use it but at least for me thats not the case. To me the Max does not even come close to the SVP but if it did I would not hesitate to use it.
     
  8. ebozzz

    ebozzz Supporting Member

    May 17, 2001
    Denver, Colorado
    Gard,

    I've got the Kilobass head which has a similar preamp section. There's a big difference in the tone that I get from the Kilobass when compared to the tone that I get from my Max/power amp setup. With the Max the tone is a lot cleaner and more defined. Don't ask me to explain it. I have the same power rating with either the Kilo or my power amp. 1000 watts. Although, the results are pretty significant.

    I bought my Max thinking that it was a good budget preamp choice with the intentions of finding a much better preamp down the road. After owning the Max for a while now, I no longer consider it to be just a budget choice. I'm finding that it compares very favorably to some of the more expensive options for a lot less money. That's why I decided to post this thread. I wanted to see what others felt were factors that made them opt to purchase a preamp other than the Max.

    I guess the versatility that it has is what's been impressing me. A huge variety of good tones are possible with this thing. I've never tried the Demeter preamp so I have no idea how it would compare to it or others in the Demeter price range. I actually preferred it to the SVP-PRO and SWR IOD for what I'm trying to do right now. And, even though I could have purchased either of the two above, I would probably still go with the Max if they were priced similarly.
     
  9. ebozzz

    ebozzz Supporting Member

    May 17, 2001
    Denver, Colorado
    Thunder,

    I hear you man. Although, I haven't run into that problem with the Peavey gear that I own. I don't want you to think that I'm trying to say that the Max is better than SVP-PRO or any preamp for that matter. I would like to hear why you feel it doesn't come close if you would care to elaborate. To me it not only came close but may work better for the needs of some individuals. One last question. Have you tried the Max?
     
  10. Brendan

    Brendan

    Jun 18, 2000
    Austin, TX
    Actually, the Max is going to be my Christmas present. My Eden head wants repairs done to fix a boo boo, but no preamp means no gigs, or even band practice, so the Max is coming in to sit in while the Eden is away. And, it'll be a neat deal: two pre-amps and two channels on my poweamp, so I can run both; ergo, completely different sounds with only a moments notice. Is that cool or what?
     
  11. ebozzz

    ebozzz Supporting Member

    May 17, 2001
    Denver, Colorado
    Very cool idea Brendan! I take it that you've tried the Max. If so, what do you feel that the Navigator gives you that you just can't coax out of the Max? I've never been able to try the Navigator. :(
     
  12. ThunderStik

    ThunderStik Guest

    Jun 25, 2001
    Claremore OK.
    Ebozz,

    Yes I have tried one, beleive me I wish I did like the peavey stuff it would be a whole lot cheaper. My brother (plays bass also) had one that his guitar player got at the shop where he works. They said it came from a namm show or something.

    To me it sounded way too thin, not lacking bottom because you could feel it but it was like it made the bass strings sound thin, its really hard to explain. Its almost like it has a built in reverb or mid scoop or something. When compared back to back with my svp it was very obvious to my brother and I that you could feel the bottom but the notes of the bass where somehow in the background of the sound as whole. To me the general tone was very sterile without a lot of "character". But when I told my bro to hook up the svp even the guys in his band said "wow" but I will say this, it sounded better in non-peavey cabs but this is my opinion. My svp sounds big and thick but thats what I want but there really is no "better one" it all about musical taste unless we are talking about reliability which would be the last thing I would worry about with a peavey.
     
  13. Brendan

    Brendan

    Jun 18, 2000
    Austin, TX
    1- Haven't played it. However, with all the people who use and enjoy them, I've no issue with buying one unheard. I'm not much of a sound man, anyway. Is is loud? yes? Well, then I've already taken care of 80% of my sound. Not literally, but I'm a plug and play guy. I don't worry about moving knobs one incriment will completely ruin my sound. It's affordable, it sounds good, I'm sold.
    2- I don't own a Nav. I use the pre-amp section of a WT-300. So I can't say what the Nav sounds like.

    I'm getting the WT-300 fixed because while it works fine, I don't like busted stuff (the Treble pot broke off thanks to a person who is not myself, so my treble is terminally at about Noon). And no matter how fast the Eden people are, I can't take the chance of not having an amp for gigs or practice. Which is where the purchase of the Max comes in.
     
  14. ebozzz

    ebozzz Supporting Member

    May 17, 2001
    Denver, Colorado
    Thunder,

    Thanks for the reply. Your opinion makes a lot of sense. I can't say that I've experienced that problem with my setup but I will certainly keep that in mind when I compare things in the future. I've never played my rig through Peavey cabs so I can't comment on that possibility. Here's my cab of choice for the moment.

    [​IMG]

    The individual components are probably very important in the overall sound of any rig. That starts with the basses used. None of my gear is above and beyond. The combination of stuff that I have just seems to work for me. I did have my doubts at one time before I actually had a chance to take my rig out and hear it in different settings.

    I also got a chance to hear my rig side by side with some much more expensive rigs. I came away from that feeling pretty good about what I own. There's always room for improvement but I'm not doing too bad at all. here's the rack minus my power amp. I use another piece of underdog gear for my power amp, an E&W PS-1000. I'm working on getting another case to house it, the Max and any additional pieces that I decide to get. Right now I swap the Kilobass with the power amp as needed.

    [​IMG]

    I get a whole lot of bottom out my rig and it can be thick at times depending on how I use the settings. One thing for sure, it does not sound sterile, lack character or sound thin. It's not the SVP-PRO but neither is the SWR IOD. I agree with you that it boils down to what you're looking for in a rig. What's best for me could be the worst for you and I still think that the Max is comparable to the SVP-PRO! :D ;)

    I've got a 410 Benz cab also but I find that I can get everything that I need for the moment with the two 112s. Oh, I'll get another preamp at some point. That's part of the reason for me posting this thread. My next preamp will be able to excel in areas that the Max can't even remotely get close to. Now which one will it be?

    [​IMG]
     
  15. ebozzz

    ebozzz Supporting Member

    May 17, 2001
    Denver, Colorado
    I'm not a person that fiddles with the knobs a lot either. I do occasionally like to try a few different settings to see what I can get as a point of reference for future use. Mine stays flat most of the time and I make adjustments from my bass. The knobs are nice to have if I run into a situation where they're needed so I guess you can say that I take more of a minimalist type of approach to using the Max. If it's working fine where it's at, I don't bother it. ;)

    My bad on the Eden. I thought that you had a Navigator. I don't think that you will be totally disappointed with the Max as a backup or as primary preamp if need be based on what you've said.
     
  16. I don't think many people would think of the Max as a good product simply cause of the Peavey name. People will stop and think, "Peavey? No way, hey look Ampeg!" without even giving it a chance. And then there are always the biased people who are dead set on certain brands, for the name. Of course, you couldn't go wrong with Eden or Demeter or whatever.

    Poor Peavey :( , it's the curse of the name.
     
  17. ebozzz

    ebozzz Supporting Member

    May 17, 2001
    Denver, Colorado
    That's my point. This not an Ampeg versus Peavey thread but if you are an Ampeg person, nothing is going to give you what you're looking for except Ampeg. Other products may get close but they will not be the same. ThunderStik sounds like a true Ampeg person. Nothing wrong with that at all. ;) The same can be said for any of the other products that we fall in love with.

    As for me, I've yet to find any bass related product that I just truly hate. I do have some that I like a lot more than others but I won't rule out or buy any brand simply based on the name only. I'll check out as much as I can regardless of who manufacturers it. You never know. You may find a diamond in the rough that blows you away and allows you to keep a few ends in your pocket also. I'm happy with the Max for now but as my needs change, I will re-evaluate.
     
  18. ThunderStik

    ThunderStik Guest

    Jun 25, 2001
    Claremore OK.
    Actually the ampeg is/was my second choice. My first was the Aguilar but at over a grand it was not possible, maybe in the future. I think im just a fan of the tube sound. That being said I love the sound I get with my rig and I have never in 16-17 yrs of playing been more happy when I plug in.
     
  19. Deano Destructo

    Deano Destructo Music Man/Upton addict. Hasn't slept since 1979. Supporting Member

    Dec 10, 2000
    Austin, TX
    While never having played on a peavey product myself I have to say that I have heard some that have sounded good, 2 words.....Billy...Gould....of Faith No More had a great tone IMHO.;)
     
  20. ebozzz

    ebozzz Supporting Member

    May 17, 2001
    Denver, Colorado
    Oops! I stand corrected Thunder. Sorry about the misrepresentation. ;) I'm intrigued with that Aguilar DB 680 and I got a chance to hear one for a brief moment several months ago. It sounded great to me during that time but the cost was somewhat prohibitive for me also. Finding one in a local store here is very difficult. One of our TalkBass brothers who happens to live in this area just happened to own one and he was nice enough to let me come by to listen. Maybe I can try to arrange a time with him to go by there again. He's kind of a busy person though. If my memory serves me correctly, the DB 680 just didn't sound as thick as the SVP-PRO and I liked that.