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Peavey 1820 - Any experiences?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by geoff_in_nc, Sep 11, 2011.

  1. geoff_in_nc


    Dec 13, 2008
    Raleigh, NC
    I've got a chance to buy a Peavey 1820 cabinet for what I think is a song... <$200.

    It's ugly with a capital UGH. I think these came with the Peavey nubby tolex didn't they? This one's been recovered in rat fur, which is shrinking and exposing seams down the back, and the edges are coming up. It's frickin ugly... bleachy stains on top... the whole nine yards.

    The grill was changed out to be that steel grate material with the diamond mesh, backed with black grillcloth. It actually looks like the rat fur and the grill were done well originally but age has taken its toll.

    I looked at some reviews online which were pretty universally very good, and they mentioned that the max program wattage on these was 200, with peak being 400. I could have sworn the jack plate on the back said 400 program, and 750 peak, but I could very well be wrong... were there different series with different specs?

    Anyway, even given that I'd HAVE to buy a hand truck to move this beast around, what do you all think of this cab in general, and at that price in particular. I didn't get to play through it yet... I was afraid if I tried it out the money would come flying out of my wallet... LOL Right now I have a 210 combo, and a J layout passive 4 string, and the type of sound I'm looking for is for classic rock, maybe a little mid scoop, but thumpy and even slightly growly at times. I love the lows, and don't go for the ringing highs so much.

    Thanks in advance for any comments folks.
  2. bolophonic


    Dec 10, 2009
    Durham, NC
    Those things are huge. I have never played through one, but I have seen them and wondered if they were worth hauling around.
  3. mofeezy


    Mar 30, 2011
    I have the 1810, same basic thing but an older model. I think the 1820 is slightly bigger but equipped with the same speaker setup. I think it is really a cool sounding speaker. It can be a bit muddy at times with the 18, but is overall a pretty cool sounding cab. I wish my head did 2ohms so I could run this with my 2x15 cab.

    Now, the price might be a little high, especially for one in the shape you've described. They can be found in very good shape for that price. I would try to talk the seller down a bit due to the condition.
  4. No way I'd pay 200 for that cab in that condition.
  5. MNAirHead

    MNAirHead Supporting Member

    they're a stellar cabinet when paired with the intended biamp head (megabass)

    I know this may start the TB wars... the megabass and mated cab "may" be the first run into VERY clear and punchy amps....

    There's plenty of power for most band uses.


    -I'd mount casters on it...
    -I'd let it get uglier and beat it
    -I'd beg borrow or steal a Megabass head to go with it.
    -I'd never pay more than $150 for the cab

    1-IF it has distortion on the highs/mids it's SUPER easy to fix... PM me on this one.
    2-The crossovers wear (simple fix) ... if this is not your deal make sure it works.

    Overall... if you "need" an amp/cab, this will compete with some contemporary options and may be a lower cost option than buying a botique or non box store amp.
  6. JTE

    JTE Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2008
    Central Illinois, USA
    They're heavy. I was a Peavey dealer when the 1810 came out, just before the MegaBass head. The cabinet worked great with Mk IV head running full-range, and with the stupidly heavy head the made that was the pre-amp from the Combo amp mated with a CS-800 in a road-case like enclosure. I think that head (was it the Max?) weighed even more than the cabinet. And the cabinet is heavy!!! With any good bi-amped rig it worked very well, but it did shine quite nicely with the Megabass head. The EQ centers were great for that speaker cabinet design.

    But, they're heavy. Too much for me to schlep around. And did I mention that they're heavy? The last one I paid attention to being for sale a few months ago was going for $250 in good condition. The original 18" BW had been recently re-basketed and the 10" Scorpions were the originals but sounded good. The Tolex and grill were in good shape for a speaker cabinet that'd been hauled around Central Illinois for most of 25 or so years.


    PS, they're freakin' heavy too.
  7. 1n3


    Sep 13, 2007
    I agree with MNAirHead's post. I played through one once, sitting in on someone else's rig... some kind of Furman pre/crossover, biamped through a stereo Peavey power amp. I thought it sounded very good, especially for that era. The guy's pre-CBS P didn't hurt either. Nice fat tone with good definition.

    Most bad reviews I've seen were from guys who ran them full-range, and most good reviews seem to be from the bi-ampers.

    It would be nice for a situation where you didn't have to move it. :) And yeah, I wouldn't do $200 either.
  8. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009
    it would be cool for $100 to leave in the practice space. i'd never wanna gig with one, though.

    if you want "ugly", how about the "3620" version with 2 18s and 2 10s?

  9. geoff_in_nc


    Dec 13, 2008
    Raleigh, NC
    Since our practice space is on the 3rd floor of the drummer's (really nice) house.... don't think it would be going up both flights. I don't think his wife would let it in the door. Its ugly enough it might reduce his home value just by osmosis.

    Thanks all for setting me straight about the value. I may go try it out, and if it calls to me, offer $100. I think I had a bad case of "man you don't see these every day!"

    If I do get it, I'd like to strip off the rat fur and maybe Duratex it? We'll see.

    Walter for some reason that 3620 is giving off a major "totem pole" or "tiki god" vibe to me....
    don't ask - I can't explain. I hope I never see a 3620 in the flesh.... it would surely follow me home. LOL
  10. clintotron


    Nov 11, 2008
    I own a Peavey 1820. I've had it for several years. It's my main (and only) rig. I've installed casters and I put two swivel casters on the right side and two fixed casters on the left side. MUCH easier to steer than an all-swivel setup. It is a beast indeed, as it weighs almost as much as my Nissan Frontier. I love it. I biamp it with two separate amps. I LOVE it and am considering buying two scorpions for my OTHER (matching) Peavey 18 cab.
  11. JazzbassArt


    Dec 12, 2004
    Andover, MN
    I used one one night, with a Mark IV and a 1983 Fury. I didn't like it. HOWEVER. I have played dozens of jobs, where my equipment sounded great, just so so, or ******. It's all in the room, if the basic setup is average on up. I'm talking stage only, no FOH.
  12. mustbampeg


    Feb 27, 2007
    Amarillo, TX
    My first rig: Peavey MKVIII AND 1820 CAB. Worst sounding amp I ever had. The 10s sounded great, but mixed with an 18 and ran full range, it sounded horrible.

    My .02

  13. Used to own 2. They were in fantastic shape. Each one saw ~145 tube watts.


    I agree with bampeg on the 10s. Got the feeling they'd be superb guitar speakers. The 18s wuffled, woofled, and moofled a messy flobby tone without the super lows you might expect, crackled with the low A of my 5 string at the then band's fairly loud practice volume. Got them out of the practice space once. When I traded them in. I think they gave me a set of strings for the pair of them.

    I'd pay maybe $3 for one, and then only if I had a smart car and needed a sturdy garage. Perhaps also good as starter home for small family. Very solid construction, would say built like a tank but probably built better than a modern tank. I like big cabs. If they sound good. Bad sounding cabs, I prefer smaller.
  14. MNAirHead

    MNAirHead Supporting Member

    It was intended to run biamp... The full range is not opptimal.


    Reminds me...

    Last year I built a 1216 (built on the same concept and crossover)

    I used eminence 6s... a BW12

    Played my 7 string once through it.. an electric cello player walked up and traded me an Eden Kickback amp and Digitiech multieffects for it...

    I should have kept the plans.. was a cool design.
  15. I used a pair of those around 1995ish. Here is a video of the setup. The bass is very high in the mix at this club. My setup was Pearce BC-1 preamp into a Peavey CS800 Power amp.
    Channel 1 powered the 2 18's and channel 2 powered the 4 10's. Those cabs had bi amp ready inputs as well as full range inputs. Closest to a Billy Sheehan tone without an Ampeg.
    Little Voices Alive n Kickin - YouTube
  16. mwbassace


    Jul 26, 2010
    N.W. Ohio
    I have one with 3" casters that was paired up with my Mark VIII head, among others, but is now for sale cause it's just not my cup of tea. I tried it full range, just the 10's, just the 18, and bi-amped, but it just never worked for me. But that doesn't mean it's bad, just not for me. I sure hope someone wants to enjoy it so it doesn't go to waste. :)
  17. MNAirHead

    MNAirHead Supporting Member

    Stilll recommending the Megabass head (2 space rackmount head w/crossover.. chorus on the high... graphic eq)

    The tech staff inside the factory always comment how they enjoyed the Mega and often call it ahead of it's time
  18. nobodysfool


    Apr 22, 2010
    Shelby, OH
    I have an 1810 cabinet that i bought new, and ran it for years. First with a MarkIII head, then a Megabass head, and for quite a while I ran it with a G-K 800RB. I ran it until the 18 froze up one night in the middle of a gig, and popped the power transformer on my 800RB. It sat collecting dust for a good number of years, while I bought and used other gear. Recently, I re-did the cabinet, decided I didn't need an 18, and made a partial overlay baffle board, and mounted a Carvin neo 15 (600 watt), and stuffed the bottom space of the cabinet with insulation, and after checking the Scorpion 10's, replaced them with Carvin PS10's (2 @ 8 ohms each), and insulated the upper chamber, too. I did away with the crossover, and it is strictly a biamp cabinet now. I even wired the 2 10's with a switch to run 1 at 8 ohms, or two at 4 ohms (the 15 is 4 ohms). I was originally going to run the cabinet with my G-K head, but changed my mind. I had sold my original Megabass head, so I found another one, and this is the rig that sits in the practice room, as it is still too frickin' heavy to haul around. The G-K head is my backup, now.

    They're not bad cabinets, but they do have their flaws (and benefits)...It sounded great with both the Megabass head, and the 800RB. And, I have a Scorpion 10" speaker (4 ohm) that is still good (the other one only reads 1 ohm, so it's toast....) And, in its present form, it thumps pretty good in the practice room!

    +1 on stripping off the rat fur and Duratexing it, if you buy it! In the condition it's in, a C note is about right, IMHO.
  19. Mulebagger


    Dec 12, 2007
    poppin in the corn belt
    Endorsing Artist: Zon Guitars, Tsunami Cables, DR Strings, GK
    I rocked the hell out of an 1820 with a Carvin Probass 500 and a Mesa 400 during my college days. It was a killer cab at the time. Of course, mine couldn't fit into my car so I carefully took a 4" section out of mine and made it shallower. I put it back together with wood screws. Come to think of it, I liked the sound better when it was shallower. Later on I ran it biamped with a SWR SM900. Loved that sound too. I sold it to the guy who shared our practice space when I moved to BagEnd cabs.

    That thing was a full, loud, bullet proof work horse.
  20. I had one back in the 80's! Awesome cabnet. Hard to haul around! 350 bucks new!
    Sold it!!!! Got a smaller rig!!!!

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