Peavey 400 series Bass Head

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by hindsight, Jun 6, 2003.

  1. I just picked up one of these cool a$$ heads, but I was unable to find out from the seller what year this head was made in. Im also looking for instruction manuals and a footswitch for it. If anyone knows where I could find it (I already tried, I would much appreciate it.

  2. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    If it's the amp with the big chrome knobs, distortion circuit, etc. that just says "Bass" on the front then it dates to the late 1970s.

    By 1980 it had been replaced by the Bass Mark III.

    Footswitches for older Peaveys that use multipin connectors (usually marked "Automix") are hard to come by. There were many variations that looked similar but are incompatible. If it's just a phone jack style connector, then you just need to know if you need a one button or two button model.

    Try CALLING Peavey's service department they used to be able to supply manuals for a small fee and can give you a definitive answer on the footswitch.
  3. I have an old Series 400 and I ordered the manual and schematic from Peavey and got them very quickly. Go to their web site.

    Not an extremely high powered amp--rated 210 watts into 2 ohms--but it's been rugged and dependable for the 15+ years I've had it. I carry it as a backup head now.

    edited: Oh, the schematic shows the pinouts for the footswitch. It's got some pretty fancy mixing capabilities between channels. You'll need the DIN connector, some multiconductor cable, a box, and some switches....make it yourself!! (No the connector's not your usual phone plug type)
  4. does it sound as good as it looks!?
  5. Gets a pretty decent tone, especially with the P-bass. Turn the Slope control up about 3/4 full, and plug the bass into the Parallel input. I don't use a footswitch.

    I usually plug it into a 2x15 cab (running 4 ohms). Can keep up with reasonably loud bands. I've plugged two cabs into it, running it at the rated 2 ohms, and been asked to turn down.
  6. Mattski


    Jan 6, 2003
    Cleveland, OH
    Go to the Peavey web site and go to the Amp discussion area. Post your question about your head (with the s/n) and Roger Crimm from Peavey will usually answer your question within a couple of days. Or you could just call them.

  7. I havent played around with it too much yet, but the times Ive played with it Ive been able to get some really awesome tone. Its got a really nice natural distortion to it, and the actuall distortion circuit sounds nasty as hell. I love it, and my Ibanez EDA 905 sounds really great through it. I love the tube scream that it gets, and it sounds really great through my BP200 with my crazy wah effects and stuff. It may be old, but I doubt I could find a tone thats this unique out of any modern amp. I love it, and for $150 bucks it was a steal.



    Dec 28, 2002
    I have one also! a few weeks ago i got pissed at it and decided to get something else(was on a get new MODERN trip)..i was running a 1 15 in and i was hooked up to the jack farthest left...then my one buddy was messin with it as i was playing and hooked it up to the jack one over from farthest right OMG! HUGE diffence! then i put a 8 ohm 10 in cab i made on it alog with the 15 in BW(4ohm) ,so im running at 3 ohms now i think,it sounds simply amassing !..I hope my new ampeg(b4r)that gets here tomorrow sounds this good it should be in indiana by now cant wait hehe
    One thing " I love the tube scream that it gets,"
    I belive its straight up SS amp..I never read the manual though :( Some say peavey is toneless I so dissagree...
  9. yeah the clean area is one of the best features on this amp. I play it usually through the parallel jack so I can mix and match between the EQ on both channels and set the tubbe scream that it has through the gain knob on the distortion circuit. The only thing I dont like about this amp is that im never able to get a truly clean tone because its always a little fuzzy, but at the same time I love the natural growl of 20 some odd year old tubes. As far as I know it is a solid state amp, the model that was made directly after it was not, but most of the 400 series was. I also play mne through a peavey 115BX cab, and I love the punch that this thing gets. Im pretty happy with it for $150, and its much better than running my cab through a Crate BFX 100. I loved that amp but it wasnt powerful enough and it was way to damn heavey.

  10. This amp is completely solid state, not a single tube in it.
  11. 72beetle


    Jun 10, 2001
    Phoenix, Arizona
    I have a Peavey Mark IV, and I bought a footswitch for it off of ebay - I believe this switch is actually for the 400 series, and I never use it anymore, maybe we can work something out, eh? PM me or shoot me an email at .

  12. Mike N

    Mike N Missing the old TB

    Jan 28, 2001
    New York

    Wow. I thought I was the only one that still had one of those things. I bought mine six years ago for $50. Its been collecting dust for the last couple years. Maybe I'll dig it out and mess with it again.
  13. claytonbartton


    Jul 6, 2006
    dang ive been looking for that schematic for ever. my amps broken and i need to fix it. this amps got some of the weirdest wiring ive ever seen. could you send me a copy at thanks
  14. Passinwind

    Passinwind I Know Nothing Supporting Member

    I'm sending it over right now. Bill sent me a copy a few months ago, might as well pass it along. :cool:
  15. Luvey


    Jul 29, 2006
    Hey Nashville Bill-

    I have a Mark IV that uses that same footswitch (which I don't have). Do you think you could email it to me at thanks
  16. genamsk


    Jul 14, 2008
    can any one pass to me the schematic mine is broken too an d i need to fix it my e is thanks
  17. u6657


    Feb 23, 2009
    I just bought this amp and am looking for the right speaker combination. I was looking at a Peavey cabinet with Sheffield speakers. The seller told me that this was manufactured in 1973
  18. JTE


    Mar 12, 2008
    Central Illinois, USA
    Why the Sheffield? That's a guitar speaker specifically designed to mimick the low-wattage Celstions used in Marshall amps in the '60s and '70s.

    If it's a Peavey MK III or MK IV in the 400 series, they had several cabinets they sold at the time. It would hav either generic speakers, Scorpions, or Black Widows depending on the specific cabinet, the year, and whether it was upgraded to BW or not. BTW, my personal preference for Peavey bass speakers is the Scorpion. Not as much power handling as the BW, but it's a lot punchier and less pillowy on the low end.

    They made a very nice an portable for the time 1x15, various 2x15 cabinets, some 1x18s, and the 1810/1820. These last two had a single 18" BW and a pair of 10" Scorpions, a crossover with bi-amp input jacks. There was also a 3620 with two BW 18's. Big and heavy... My favorite Peavey cabinet of all time came a bit later- it's the 1516 which had a single 15" speaker and a pair of 8's. Similar crossover network as the 1820, but much more portable and to my ears much much better sounding- not nearly as muddy and woofy as the 18"s.

    If the amp was made in 1973, neither the Scorpion nor the Sheffield were in the line then.