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Killer Solid State Amp Tone

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Jimbowhit7, Oct 1, 2018.

  1. Jimbowhit7


    Mar 5, 2018
    I picked up an old Peavey bass amp head a while back, and I've discovered I can get some amazing sounds out of it just by overdriving the preamp. It has two channels, so I use one for clean and one for dirty; excuse the sloppy playing, but here's a little clip that shows what this thing can do.

  2. Sounds like you don't need no stinkin' tube amp. Might be the recording clipping out on occasion?
  3. Hundred proof

    Hundred proof

    Apr 22, 2018
    I had an old Peavey head as you describe and brought it out to a blues jam we used to sponsor, it had that overdriven sound that worked great in that small room, and for that purpose. Later I switched to an old Acoustic 140 head and still use that to this day for old school overdrive without pedals.
    Pbassmanca likes this.
  4. Unclejackrock

    Unclejackrock Supporting Member

    Jul 13, 2006
    Is it a T Max?? I played one of those for many years. Great tone.
    Thundar and Pbassmanca like this.
  5. fu22ba55

    fu22ba55 Supporting Member

    Apr 16, 2009
    If that dirty channel is still audible at band volumes, that's a sweet feature.

    I find some SS dirty channels to be too mid scooped with a huge drop in low end--they work as a "bass invisibility switch" as soon as turned on.

    But if that sound is still audible against a drummer and a couple of JMC-800s, that's a great sound.
    Pbassmanca likes this.
  6. BadExample


    Jan 21, 2016
    It's cool when you find your tone in an old amp. Two channels for clean/dirty rocks.
  7. Jimbowhit7


    Mar 5, 2018
    It's actually a Mark III 400b. Here's a photo of the head.
  8. Jimbowhit7


    Mar 5, 2018
    I have yet to try this amp in a band setting, but it SCREAMS through my 4x10. My room starts shaking once the volume gets above 3!
    Yeah, it is. I actually didn't even know it could do that when I bought it. I was just gonna run a Rat through the dirty channel (which sounds excellent with my passive basses, but not the Ray34 I used in the recording), but now I just turn up the pregain to get that sound.
    BadExample likes this.
  9. jshinal


    May 28, 2013
    Raleigh, NC
    Those amps have enormous transformers in them. They are stable at 2 ohms, but can run a bit hot; blow a small fan across the back and it'll be fine. From about 1978 I think. Mostly indestructible.
  10. BogeyBass


    Sep 14, 2010
    Pre distortion not to bad. I've heard peaveys cranked and output distortion is huge.

    I think the recording is sizzling maybe with recording peaks. But older lead Sleds will give tubers a run for the money. Actually cakewalk on the money lol cause they dirt cheap.

    In band situation cranked to cover the drums. Alot pre distortion actually isn't needed. It grinds on its own
  11. seamonkey


    Aug 6, 2004
    The classic sound of classic rock is actually from Solid-State
    Fuzz boxes, overdriven pre-amps, ... all solid state
    The most popular amps of the time were solid-state
    The amp modelers are capturing and archiving more of these tones these days. It's all good.
  12. Jimbowhit7


    Mar 5, 2018
    It's actually not the recording, that's the distortion of the amp itself. I made sure to really turn down the gain on my USB interface so it wouldn't clip at all.
    BadExample likes this.
  13. I hope you are wrong about that. There is the occasional palpaple "can't be dealing with that" buzz out that doesn't fit with the rest of the grindy goodness.
  14. bostrowskij


    Dec 31, 2008
    Boden, Sweden
    I had the same amp, it served me well for 30 years. It's a very good amp with lots of tone options and really good distortion! I used it mainly for bass but it sounded good for guitar as well. What I didn't like about this head was that it is quite noisy, not good for recording. It is also quite heavy but that's the price you pay if you want a powerful amp. IIRC, it was 220watts RMS@4 ohms. Today I use an EBS Fafner mk1 which power rating is about twice the Peavey's, but I seriously feel the Peavey was just as loud as the EBS.
  15. Jimbowhit7


    Mar 5, 2018
    No, I kept an eye on the interface the entire time and it never clipped during the recording. All of that is the amp. I personally didn't hear any awful buzz, but it might be something that had to do with my sloppy playing/string muting; I wasn't putting a whole lot of effort in when I made the recording and so I screwed up more than a couple times. Sorry you didn't care for it, but to each their own I suppose :)
  16. Jimbowhit7


    Mar 5, 2018
    Yeah, I do hate that I can't use it for perfectly clean recordings, but when I use a limiter it cleans up most of the noise from the amp to where it sounds fine through my cabinet. I haven't tried recording with the limiter, though, so that may do the trick for me.
  17. Never trust a clip light. Listen to the recording not for your mistakes but for the couple or three instances where it flips out. Otherwise it sounds great.
  18. xroads64

    xroads64 Supporting Member

    Aug 21, 2004
    San Antonio
    Had the same head in the early 80's....damn, I used to get a great sound with that thing
    Madhouse27 likes this.
  19. Basshappi


    Feb 12, 2007
    Great amp, Congrats! The old Peavey amps are still excellent amps.
    I have the MkIV and have used it since I bought it new in 1983.
    It has been my main amp up until a few years ago when I got my VB2.
    Now it runs the "clean" side of my dual amp rig.
  20. So I listened to it again. As well as the glitches it spits out quite frequently a nasty mono overtone that isn't musical like the rest. The glitches might just be my internet connection.

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