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Peavey Firebass 700 on its way...

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Sgt. Rock, Apr 22, 2010.

  1. Sgt. Rock

    Sgt. Rock

    Apr 10, 2010
    Just my thoughts on what I believe is a completely underrated head that I am sad to say is no longer manufactured. Be warned, this is pretty gushing and disgusting.

    I bought a Peavey Firebass when they first hit the market. I absolutely loved it. The ability to push 700 clean watts (RMS!) into 2 ohms gave me the versatility to push a HUGE selection of cabinets. And at $699 I paid about a dollar per watt-not too shabby. I think the wattage rating is quite conservative because this thing sure seems to have more headroom than that. It's got quite a few features packed into it, too, my favorite being an integrated and front-facing DI which I don't remember being very common at the time. For cabs I opted for two Peavey 210 TXF's, stacked vertically. This gave me the ability to push as much air as a single 410 but made loading in and out MUCH easier. For practice and rehearsal I would usually bring one cab and that was sufficient to be heard over two very loud guitars. It was my main gigging amp until I relocated to another state, changed careers and sold it for some quick cash...what a mistake that was. At least I had the sense to hold onto my cabs. I suppose it helped that they were in storage on the other side of the country.

    Fast forward to today and I've been out of live performance for quite a few years but I've continued playing with, er, by myself privately. I picked up a GK Backline 600 to run one of my cabinets as a practice amp a couple years ago and tonally it sounds great, but compared to the Firebass it just sounds anemic and like most heads will only handle a 4 ohm load, so I can't run both of my 210's.

    I've recently decided I want to start gigging again. But my favorite head has been out of production for quite some time. Why do companies always stop making my favorite stuff? Really. I've learned that if I really like something it's usually best to buy two, because it will inevitably get discontinued.

    So after poking around a bit I just bought a used Firebass from a Guitar Center that is currently en route to my house via UPS. I've replaced a blown speaker in one of my cabs and when the head gets here I'll be back in business with my old stage rig. I called the GC and spoke to a sales guy who was very helpful. I asked him to please make sure that the head was still able to push 2 ohms and remain stable and he said "Sure, I'll call you right back." He calls me back a few minutes later and says "Well, we hooked it up to an Acoustic 810 and a Carvin 115 to get that 2 ohm load. We found out that everyone on staff has dandruff. Want to know why we know that?"

    I responded laughing "No, I already know, I used to have that very same head and I think I know what just happened." He said it was so loud that pieces of the ceiling came loose and the whole staff had to come see what the hell was going on. This is a seriously powerful amp. In another store I once hooked a Firebass up to two Peavey 412 cabs (again, no longer made) and plucked an open E just to see what it would do. The resulting air movement reminded me of one of those outdoor giant high speed fans, with my clothes sticking right to me. I played for about ten seconds at this volume to satisfy my need for a Nigel Tufnel fix and then promptly turned it down for the sake of the store personnel and other customers, but my curiosity was satisfied; I knew that thing would provide all the power I would ever need and more.

    Tone snobs will undoubtedly deride the fact that it is solid state and a little transparent sounding. I understand that. And they are heavy at around 50 lbs. There is nothing boutiquey about these amps, they are workhorses. But they seem almost impossible to break, supply a ton of clean power, lots of useful features, and can be had in the $200-$350 range in the used market. By far, the ability to push 700 watts at 2 ohms is the biggest selling point for me, as it means I can assemble any configuration of cabinets I want.

    Anyway, I'm done gushing and slobbering. Just felt the need to share my experience with an amp that I don't think ever really got a fair shake among bassists. I've seen very, very little negative feedback from guys who actually owned and gigged with them. If you get the chance to play one, do it. You may be surprised.

    I am left wondering why more companies don't make heads that are stable at 2 ohms. It would seem that this would only make them more versatile. I think there was a thread here to this end earlier.
  2. Jaco who?

    Jaco who?

    May 20, 2008
    I like that era of Peavey stuff. I use a Nitro head for about 90% of the stuff I do, and it's clean clean clean. I ain't got no pedals and I work on getting the tone I want from my fingers. What a concept.
  3. GtenderG


    Feb 29, 2008
    My Firebass has replaced the Markbass LMII for most gigs. I am now using my retro (Old) rig. Peavey Firebass ontop of an old Kustom tuck and roll 2x15 (8ohm). It brings down the thunder from the sky.....

    Good luck with yours!
  4. MrRumble


    Aug 8, 2006
    Plymouth, MN
    Love my Peavey Firebass head but it was easily outdone and replaced with my Eden WT405. Way better tone, only 15 pounds and 2 ohms if I need it.
  5. HDW325IS


    Jul 21, 2009
    I love mine. For the price, unbeatable.
  6. druther


    Oct 4, 2009
    cape cod ma
    i love my firebass head i use it with a peavey 810tx i bought both of them both brand new over 13 years ago. for years i played my fender p lyte bass with the peavey setup and it sounds killer.theses days im playing a schector elite 4 with a Tech 21 SansAmp 3-Channel Programmable Bass di i could not be happer with my sound i love it when my band begs me to turn down
  7. I'm all fine that you guys like your PV Firebass 700 heads, but I've got one and frankly it's one of the worst sounding heads I've ever played thru. For the life of me I can't get it to give me any lower midrange punch.:help: I now just use it for rehearsal, it's just one of many amps that have that stays at one of the rehearsal studio's that I practice at. As far as I'm concerned it can stay there, too.:smug:
  8. Sgt. Rock

    Sgt. Rock

    Apr 10, 2010
    Send it my way. I like the sound it gives me in a mix and I may need a backup in case mine fails.

    Oh, who am I kidding? They don't fail.
  9. True that, only two things will live through the nuclear holocaust, cockroaches and peavey amps!

    I still have my firebass, but granted I rarely use it anymore. I keep it as a lightweight backup incase my SVT goes. I am also familiar with the sheer volume of the beast. Having used it to power my 215 and 810 at the same time. Also, while not quite as impressive, the 215 + 410 stack was a good laugh and looked damned impressive too!



    The only thing I'd be concerned about is running the two 2x10s using the firebass, I know when using my 210TX it was getting a bit stressed at times.
  10. Thank you so much to the OP. I just got hooked up with a group, and they said I just needed my bass. They're rig was a Firebass, and a TVX 410, and all I got to say is WOW!!! Like it was said before, it might not be a "boutique" head/setup, but I would think it would blow away my old Eden WT400 head/Eden 410XLT cab setup. Granted it might not have alot of "tone shaping", this thing will get loud enough to not worry bout "tone".
  11. mustbampeg


    Feb 27, 2007
    Amarillo, TX
    Im with the minority here, i guess, lol. Back in the day, i had a Firebass and an Eden 410xlt..i couldnt get a usable tone out of that combination to save my soul....Coulda just been me, but whatever sound was coming out, was NOT the tone i was looking for, lol.....
    Was using a Modulus Q4 with it even.... could not find my sound at all...
    However, i have a little Peavey Basic 112 practice amp right now, and that thing sounds fantastic! go figure:meh:

    Anyways, glad you found YOUR sound!! rock on! :bassist:

  12. ChrisPbass


    Jul 18, 2006
    Fairfax, VA
    Modulus - mid monster
    Eden 410xlt - mid monster
  13. Jim C

    Jim C Is that what you meant to play or is this jazz? Supporting Member

    Nov 29, 2008
    Bethesda, MD
    I played a gig last night where the house amp was a Firebass head with a 1x18 and 2x10 cabinet (not biamped)
    Wasn't that impressed with the first set (with a Stingray)
    Turned off the active input switch and it sounded decent; that active button is a tone, sustain, and dynamics sucker with a Ray IMO
  14. Never had that issue, the active input switch just drops the input gain a tad on mine. I wouldn't use it with the 'ray anyway as they aren't much in the way of hotter than most passive basses.

    I think the issue could have been the cabs. 1x18? Blech!

    (you wouldn't have been able to biamp it alone anyway, you need a second power amp to do that).
  15. hrgiger


    Jan 11, 2009
    I think he actually meant an 1810 or 1820 cab. 18" + 2-10" in one cab. Definitely want to try and biamp those cabs for the best performance but they sound good if set up right...
  16. I stand by that point then :p

    Didn't have good experiences with those cabs, tho granted, never had a chance to biamp.
  17. Jerryr63


    Feb 10, 2010
    I also had a Firebass 700 with a Eden 410XLT for 12 years. The sound was ok but I often used a SansAmp BDI in front of it or going into to effects return to bypass the preamp. Man it is one heavy sucker :)

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