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Peavey Bass Mark III Series AMP

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Luthier Atlanta, Jan 3, 2014.

  1. I am looking at one, it is a 400B. What can you guy's tell me about it?
    It is listed for $50,,,
  2. John Wentzien

    John Wentzien

    Jun 25, 2007
    Elberta, AL
    Artist:TC Electronic RH450 bass system (original test-pilot)
    Good deal...love that head!
  3. sxaxsx


    May 23, 2012
    Harrisburg PA
    What do you want to know? It's $50 bucks. It's not going to be the best greatest tone ever, it's not the most powerful amp with the most clean headroom ever, but it is $50!
    It's a Peavey so there are a few things you can know for sure. It will last forever. It will be heavy.
    What cab do you plan on playing it through, what type of music do you plan on playing?
    I like old Peavey stuff, a lot of bassists do. But in my experience with the Mark stuff you will need to be running atleast a 4 ohm load to get any clean headroom out of one, they will actually go down to 2 ohms also, so consider that when selecting cabs to go with it.
    It's certainly not a bad amp for the money! :bassist:

    Here is the manual: http://assets.peavey.com/literature/manuals/80301002.pdf
    Read it and understand how the different eq and channel selection features work. I think a lot of problems people have with amps, especially Peavey's is not understanding how to work the eq.
  4. I had a Mark IV, which was either newer or louder than the Mark III, I don't really remember, but I'm sure they're comparable. It was awesome. It was loud, adaptable, absurdly heavy, and awesome. It's older than I am and it will probably outlive me. And I paid $150 for it, so for $50 I'd say yeah, get it. I paired my Mark IV with a Peavey TVX 410, which sounded great, but was a ridiculous workout. Considering how heavy the head is, opt for a lighter cab if possible.
  5. Scottkarch


    Sep 11, 2012
    I have one as my backup amp. I got it for 160 and thought it was a good deal. If it works $50 is a steal.

    It's heavy and will probably work forever. Stable down to 2 ohms.

    I really like the tones. If it comes with a footswitch it's an even better deal. You might want to get a footswitch to handle switching channels. There is a company that sells them on eBay for about $50.
  6. modulusman

    modulusman Banned

    Jan 18, 2004
    I had a Mark III back in the early 80s. At the time it was a great head. I used it on the road for 3 years and it always worked. For $50.00 I would grab one if it is in decent shape.
  7. Newshabulous


    Feb 24, 2013
    Currently using one for gigs and it is a beast both in volume and in weight. Decent tone and will last forever. For 50 bones grab it for nostalgia. In 15 years every amp is gonna weigh 5lbs lol. My kid is never gonna believe a varied that thing up and down steps a couple nights a week lol
  8. Thanks for thee informative responses folk's. I can find some info online, however I can't determine if it is a tube amp. I don't believe so,,,, But?!?!?

    The person sent me a text last night after I had crashed and said they still had it, so this a.m. before they got up I replied that I would take it.
    They stated it was in working order. What should I look for, being this is my first bass amp.... Do they vary much from guitar amps?
  9. It is solid state - no tubes. Gets pretty loud but not super clean.

    I had one with the 2x15 cab back in the early 80's and it was a rugged giggable piece of gear.

    Mine died a freak death - the screws on the bottom of the amp scratched off the paint on an ungrounded dorm fridge and - zap, done.

    Look for all the knobs to work properly - look for it to be loud. Make sure it is hooked up to a decent cab to test it out.

    For that price you can hardly go wrong.
  10. I have had a few Peavey Mark series amps. They are true performers. I have paired mine with a 2 15 ,a 4 10 and and 18 , and an 8 10 cab. All were plenty loud for a performance but the 8 10 sounded best. I have several pieces of Peavey gear , some dating back to the 70's and all are in working condition. Ya just can't kill it. and for $50 it's a steal. Wanna sell it for $75?:bassist:
  11. Thats what I was thinking and about all I could find. Nothing pointed towards it being a tube amp.

    I am waiting for him to contact me this a.,m.,, I hate waiting!
  12. .
    I've owned a Peavey MkIII 400B now for over 20 years.
    They are an awesome sounding (for a solid state) amp with plenty of scope to tweak to your heart's content.
    Peavey sold heaps of them through the late 70s / early 80s.
    (I've even still got the original footswitch for it here!)

    While mine's now retired to it's roadcase, I have no intentions of ever selling it.
    I'd still be using it now if it had a bit more power.
    But the main reason I've retired it is because it's just too heavy for my 49 year old back to cart around in it's roadcase!

    Man, if it works ok then jump on that deal!
  13. One of the few ways to kill a Peavey, electric chair.
  14. I like the Mark IV a little better, but the III is a fantastic deal for $50.
  15. They said that it sort of worked and couldn't tell what the person who looked at said was wrong. Bummer so I passed, my repair guy said $60 plus,, who knows right. Better safe then sorry.
  16. Scottkarch


    Sep 11, 2012
    My first MKIII died by having a sweaty water pipe drip water right down I to the cooling vent on top right onto the circuit board. I agree the IV is a bit better. But not much.
  17. Steve Dallman

    Steve Dallman Supporting Member

    The one maintenance issue with old PV's like this one (I have one I bought new in 83 and a Mk IV...I like the III better) is the main filter caps. Aged caps in this amp reduce headroom and make it seem not as loud as it could be.

    Since modern filter caps are smaller in size, one can replace the two caps with higher value caps, further improving headroom. You can easily double the value of the stock caps and they will still probably be smaller than the original caps.
  18. Steve Dallman

    Steve Dallman Supporting Member

    The main difference between the III and IV is that the preamps in the III can be run separately at the same time. They can be run separately or linked. In the IV they are linked at the inputs and share input jacks.

    The switches were changed from mini toggles to push on/push off types. Effects loops were added to the IV, which are wired between the input gain stage and the tone circuits.
  19. Pearly Gator

    Pearly Gator

    Dec 10, 2005
    I own a Peavey MarkIII Musician, which is the guitar version of that head. The main differences between the guitar and bass versions is that the bass model has an internal limiter circuit and the guitar version has an output transformer. The transformer is unusual for a solid state amp. One output jack is direct and the amp delivers 400 watts into 2 ohms. The other jack uses the internal transformer.

    Long story short, the transformer output delivers an old school bass tone that is very nice with a 4 string bass. It is a lot like my old Acoustic amps in tone.
    Below are the only pics I could find.

    MKIII Bass outputs
    MKIII Guitar outputs

    So, if you come across a Peavey Mark III in decent working order, don't hesitate to grab up either the bass or guitar version.
  20. I have a Peavey Mark III, coincidentally also build in Jan 1980 :)

    When I got it it was a mess, the pots were all horribly noisy, and had some other problems as well. A friend of mine re-capped it, and it has an interesting sound, BUT there is a big problem with it: It lacks lows. It lacked lows before re-capping as well, in case anybody wonders. My bass sounds almost like a guitar through it. I run it through a Peavey 410TVX, and if I run a Harke HA5500 through the same cabinet, the room shakes with low power. The Peavey amp has much more character to it, but ... no bass :(