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Peavey Century 120

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Woodsbass, Sep 15, 2011.

  1. What do you guys think of this head? I've got an opportunity to trade for one, is it a pretty good head? how does it sound?
  2. 1n3


    Sep 13, 2007
    Never played through one. If it's the one I'm thinking of, it's from the mid 70s, which was not quite Peavey's golden age.

    Should be cheap, at least. What are you trading?
  3. hrgiger


    Jan 11, 2009
    I had one, it was stolen. a good head, pretty loud with a 115. from '72 or so I believe. had a nice distortion control. I would get it you will like it, though it depends what you are trading for it...
  4. bmc


    Nov 15, 2003
    It's an amp. Nothing special. 70's basic technology.

    Keep in mind that one day, you're going to want to unload it. You may have a challenge selling it. I wouldn't pay more than $100-150 for one.
  5. ranbunctious


    Mar 15, 2012
    I own a Peavey Century, but might not be the same one. Mine has pre & post gain so it makes a great guitar amp as well as a bass amp. With full bass & treble, I get great sound. I also like the pre out so I can drive an additional amp. I'm using a Crate Vintage 50 watt tube amp along with the Century on a full stack of 8 12"s. The Peavey on the bottom cab gives bass & punch, and the Crate tube amp gives great color and brightness. Both amps together sound like a bunch of Marshalls playing at the same time. I absolutely love it. I also bridge the Peavey to a Sunn Coliseum 300 watt bass amp into a 18" folded horn cab. It sounds so much better than just the Sunn alone. The preamp in the Peavey is perfect with no hum. I'll own the Peavey until the day I die.
  6. Blue9


    Jul 22, 2012
    Portland, OR
    Found this old thread while doing a search to find out what I'm playing through in my friend's basement - it's this Peavey Century 120. I hate it. I'm not any good at playing bass, but I really hate the sounds that come out of this amp. Maybe it's just the cab (118?), but I suspect it's both the head and the cab that sound like crap. Very undefined. I can get decent low-end except on an open E - it sounds TERRIBLE then. I absolutely avoid striking my E string without fretting at least an F#. And playing on the G string doesn't come across very well either. So essentially it is just okay in the low-mids and mids, and terrible everywhere else.

    I can't wait to find something I want to spend money on so I can take a new rig over to their basement and they can give this thing away.

    Anyway - just wanted to put my opinion out there in case anyone stumbles across this thread researching whether to buy one of these amps. I would recommend NOT buying one - I'm positive you can find a better amp out there.
  7. will33


    May 22, 2006
    Yeah, it's an old Peavey...not worth a whole lot. But....try it through something other than that 18 and someplace other than that basement.
  8. vellu


    Apr 12, 2007
    Helsinki, Finland

    Does anyone knows about these serial numbers, just wondering, in what year these are from?
    Amp 4A-39058
    Cab 4E-63275, and the speaker:
    67 7440
  9. Well the speaker is an Eminence built in the 40th week of 1974. The rest PM BbbyBld and he can most likely help (Peavey MI engineer).
  10. vellu


    Apr 12, 2007
    Helsinki, Finland
    OK, thanks very much, inside the amp is also marked:
    111874, maybe from -74 too?
  11. Most likely :).
  12. vellu


    Apr 12, 2007
    Helsinki, Finland
    Well, replacing one capacitor, works perfectly.

  13. It certainly looks great for an almost-free amp (assuming the capacitor cost something,) nice score!
  14. vellu


    Apr 12, 2007
    Helsinki, Finland
    Thanks Earl, capacitor cost 1,5€, round 2$ :D
  15. slickrick63


    Oct 24, 2012
    Zombie thread resurrection alert!!! I think everyone should have an old turd like this as their first amp. It will make you appreciate when you can afford an amp that's even remotely close to adequate.I had one of these running through some unmarked cabinet that was older than the head. It was about 4ff. tall, 2 ft. wide, and 6 inches deep. The head weighed about 80 pounds. The cabinet weighed about 10 pounds. Whenever I hit the E string, it sounded like a walrus vomiting up his own farts. Its a long way from my current SVT Classic/SWR Megoliath setup. Ths beauty (or shame..depending how you look at it) of the whole thing is, I was playing a 1973 Fender Precision Bass through that thing. I never got to hear that bass in all it's glory.
    bopeuph likes this.
  16. flameworker


    Jun 15, 2014
    Landenberg, Pennsylvania
    one day....
    HEY, I found one of these in my basement today! One visibly popped cap, otherwise looks ok. I cleaned the boards and any visible corosion with contact cleaner an oooo steel wool, ordered the cap for a few cents, cleaned all the pots too, just cause its older than I am.

    Anyone know the wattage? There is a matching 15 cab with a square mag eminence in it (blown, bummer), and no visible numbers anymore. Hopefully I can find recone parts.
    Any guesses on what driver was stock?

    These kind of POS amps are cool to have taking up space! If it's got a clean sound found my daughters birthday present, should be good for punk rock. I think they look cool, it's been under a blanket holding up a pa speaker for the past 10 years . Still managed to get filthy.

    Fingers crossed for single component resurrection, never had much luck with that.
  17. alaskaleftybass

    alaskaleftybass Will Hanbury, Jr. Supporting Member

    Mar 21, 2012
    Sitka, Alaska
    Happy for you that you found an old Peavey Century bass head. What disturbs me is people calling those old warhorses POS, old turds, etc. Given that TB is FULL of complaints EVERY DAY about the new so called modern amps failing and shutting down constantly, the Peavey stuff is pretty remarkable. Can't tell you how many dropped off the back of a truck stories I've personally heard.

    If one of the current "modern" brands made in China or Vietnam or somewhere lasted five years I'd be amazed. However, no one blinks an eye when someone says, Peavey 20 years old? Which one really is the POS Turd? Peavey always has the last laugh. I for one use classic Peavey amps and they sound excellent and are road proven. They can keep their dainty new amps, I like my stuff to work every time.

    Good luck and congrats! :thumbsup:
    Rocker47 likes this.
  18. I have one of these amps! I got it for a whopping $50 with a matching 115 cab. It works perfectly. I had to recover the grill of the cab as it didn't have one. Low wattage, I think its rated 60 watts. Nice and light though and actually pretty loud. Keep us posted!