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Peavey 1820 Cab? Opinions?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by eldoryder, Jul 3, 2014.

  1. eldoryder

    eldoryder I just LOVE me some Vintage Peaveys! Supporting Member

    Jun 27, 2011
    Nacogdoches, TX
    I have already posted to the Peavey Megabass club, but I thought I'd try to get a consensus from everyone about their experience or opinion of the Peavey 1820 cab.

    I have a chance to pickup a Peavey Megabass (bi-amp capable) amp and a Peavey 1820 cab locally for a VERY decent price. Both are working fine. Speakers are original and are fully functional. I already own a Megabass amp, so one of them will perform backup duties.

    I have done a search on the 1820 on this forum, and read a lot of posts. Most of them are older. Is anyone still using this cab? Does Peavey still offer baskets for this model, should the speakers ever need repair?

    Most of all, if you had a choice, would you prefer a 1516 over an 1820, or vice-versa?

    Opinions sought.....
  2. t-ray


    Jan 9, 2005
    Alabama USA
    I've owned a couple of 1820s in the past. They were popular in the '80s-90s and I've seen big pros use 'em.
    Of course you need some horsepower to move that 18 (I never bi-amped) and that's mostly what you hear.
    I believe Peavey still makes replacement baskets for the Black Widow (18) and Scorpions (10) in some form.
    Think sub-woofer lows, but a big, rugged cab for sure, rated kinda low watts but need to be pushed hard.
  3. t-ray


    Jan 9, 2005
    Alabama USA
    ...oh yeah, I'd take it over a 1516. Just never did get 8s for bass speakers(?) Basically a tweeter IMO.
  4. Joedog


    Jan 28, 2010
    Pensacola FL
    Never owned one, but we had an 1820 for a while at the music store I worked at. Tone was OK but not great, and it was big and HEAVY!
  5. bolophonic


    Dec 10, 2009
    Durham, NC
    They are cool, but I would never want to have to lift one of those by myself.
  6. Mulebagger


    Dec 12, 2007
    poppin in the corn belt
    Endorsing Artist: Zon Guitars, Tsunami Cables, DR Strings, GK
    I used an 1820 in the early 90s. It was a great cab and had a little bit of magic to it. Mine was a bit tuned in a sense because I used my circular saw to take a 3" strip out of the cab so it would fit through the door of my car. I actually liked the sound of it better when shallow than deep. Sounded a bit tighter in the lows.
  7. flam


    Sep 20, 2010
    Tempe, Arizona
    I still have one laying around because I melted the coil in the 18. I enjoyed the cab a lot, moved quite a bit of air and had a unique sound. You can indeed still get replacement baskets for the black widow and scorpions, I looked into it not too long ago.

    I would definitely take an 1820 over a 1516 any day.
  8. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    Loud and heavy...make sure it has the casters! Tonewise just OK, nothing special. I wouldn't pay over $150 for one.
    brettson likes this.
  9. eldoryder

    eldoryder I just LOVE me some Vintage Peaveys! Supporting Member

    Jun 27, 2011
    Nacogdoches, TX
    Great info, everyone! Thanks....and keep 'em comin'!!!

    I will definitely check on the casters. As for the price...no problem! I'm not even paying that much when I figure the price of the amp and cab combined!
    popgadget likes this.
  10. tombowlus

    tombowlus If it sounds good, it is good Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 3, 2003
    North central Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    I gigged one hard for years, and I still have the cab. Mine did not have casters, so I added them (big benefit). Also, the grill used to rattle, so I replaced it with a metal grill, cut to size, and that worked great. I kept blowing the 18" Black Widow, and after replacing the basket twice (which is easy), I got fed up, hit ebay, and bought the highest rated (power handling) 18" driver I could find. This turned out to be a Madison driver. It was cheap, too. I did not expect much, because I didn't take any measurements or use any specs other than power handling, but much to my surprise, this driver kicks all kinds of butt! It majorly transformed the 1820, and I like it significantly better than the BW. Better yet, it never blew on me. Of course, it made the cab even heavier, and it's been sitting in my basement for years due to the extreme weight and awkward size.
  11. Bob_Ross

    Bob_Ross Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 29, 2012
    I owned an 1820 in the mid-1980s; my bass rig for a few years was a Peavey Mark III Bass head into an 1820 cab stacked on top of a 118D (single Black Widow 18").

    Sometime later that decade I switched to Eden speaker cabinets, a D-115 and a D-210T. The most immediately noticeable difference -- besides the Edens being easier to load into a truck! -- was that the Eden single 15" + 2x 10" had greater low frequency extension and deep bass output than the 2x 18" Black Widows in my Peavey stack!
    cbassman55 likes this.
  12. lz4005


    Oct 22, 2013
    The 1516 sounds good at low volumes, but it's very easy to blow the 8's. Particularly when biamping.
  13. Hi.

    Had one years ago.

    Very heavy and awkward to move, very low efficiency compared with anything else.

    Even though I'm a fan of 18"s and my rig is 2*TL505 ATM (not exactly light either) I'd never buy another one for gigging.

  14. Played through one once, using my 76 SVT, didnt dig it. Had a nasal character to it I could not dial out.
  15. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    I had one about 25 years ago, and liked the sound. But the issue today with so much more portable stuff out there, do you want to cart it around (assuming you like the sound)?
  16. bobcruz


    Mar 10, 2004
    It probably had no internal damping material, which is cheap and easy to add. If I recall correctly, the chamber housing the 10s is sealed, so it should be stuffed relatively full. If the 18's chamber is ported, then it should only be lined with damping material. Start with about half coverage and add or subtract to taste.
    Porkchop2 likes this.
  17. subbasshz


    Aug 11, 2012
    phoenix az
    Im addicted to punishing volume.
    years ago I gigged with 2 3620s I miss those cabs.
    kcolyar, mbelue and basscooker like this.
  18. DanGR


    Jan 2, 2012
    Grand Rapids MI
    The 1820 is big and bulky but has big sound that I happen to like. I've seen people comment about the 18 being too slow but unless you're playing Victor Wooten riffs all night I think they sound just fine. The 1516 has a nice little punchy sound but I think it's frequency response only goes down to maybe 70 Hz? If you blow the 18, I think Carvin has a Neo 18 at a decent price that handles a lot of power. Bottom line is that if you are getting it cheap, try it out and if you don't like it-sell it.
  19. Ken R

    Ken R Supporting Member

    Jan 14, 2007
    Greater Knoxville TN
    I played through this one for my outdoor gigs. Very heavy but I didn't mind. Driven with a Peavey MarkVlll xp, it was wonderful, I never lacked for volume.

    Attached Files:

    Porkchop2 likes this.
  20. punkrocko


    Jun 18, 2002
    Nashville, TN
    I had one back in the early 90’s too. I always felt the crossover was the weak link in that cab. The 500Hz crossover point seemed to take all the life and punch out of it. A stereo bi-amp head like the Megabass will allow you to dial it in though. I used a Carvin Pro Bass head with mine, and set the crossover point around 100-150Hz.

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