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Peavey Series 400 Bass Amp, Is it worth Getting

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by vapochilled, Jul 23, 2005.

  1. Alright heres my story. Today I hit up my local pawn circut. Looking for deals and what not. I run across the Peavey Series 400 Bass amp. I am wondering what it is worth. If at all even worth playing.

    The shop doesn't have much room were it is at. But I feel they'll probaly let me bring in my bas and a cab to test it. Reviews on the net are mixed on this. If anyone on has any input on the model or series from Peavey please chime in. I do know these are '70's solid state with overdrive wet, dry, 50/50. Output is 210W. The asking price is $129 I feel I can get it under $100. While this is not the particular one these links may refresh one's memory.
    thank you for your input
  2. ESP-LTD


    Sep 9, 2001
    I had one for awhile with matching 2x15 cab. It's not a bad rig for the price. There is a lot to be said for having a few rigs so that you don't have to do so much setup for a band practice, and this is one that you could leave setup and not worry too much about theft and damage.
  3. DaveMcLain


    Jun 19, 2005
    Cuba MO
    Anytime you can get a working rig for $100 I would say go ahead and pick it up, why not? Those old Peavey heads like that one are VERY reliable, probably the best gear ever in that respect, I can't think of any Peavey gear of that vintage that's ever quit working. I bought a Fender Super Bassman head and a JBL loaded 2x15 cabinet for that price once and it sounded very good... The point being that even if it doesn't have "the" sound it's certainly got a sound and that might make it very useful for you sometime...
  4. can you really go wrong with that price?

    if you really dont like it stick it on ebay after getting it, could probably make a little bit on it
  5. DaveMcLain


    Jun 19, 2005
    Cuba MO
    You'll be able to play along with your favorite Synard songs too with exactly the same sound as the guy on the record, how cool is that?
  6. I have one of these. If it's exactly like the first picture, with a "slope" knob under the master volume, then its a Series 400 version B (like mine). The manual is on the Peavey website, the amp's name is just "the Bass" (you won't find it under Series 400, search for "bass" manuals).

    The earlier version, "a" had a couple fewer knobs.

    I've got the footswitch too, there's a 4 button footswitch that selects channels, plus fuzz and distortion. For best results, even without a footswitch, plug into the Parallel jack. This gives you full use of the 6 band EQ.

    Power is indeed 210 watts, into 2 ohms. Mine has run a 2 ohm load without breaking a sweat. But into 4 ohms its only 140 watts I believe.

    Nevertheless, mine has been very reliable. 15 years or so ago I had to replace the output transistors (one was starting to get leaky)--they're 2N3772 and they're roughly $3 each from Mouser. Easy to replace. The pots got a little scratchy, get a can of Caig Lube from Parts Express, take the front of the amp off (4 screws, plus take two of the silver corner protectors) and spray into each of the pots.

    I gigged with mine regularly and it never let me down. I now tote it along as a backup amp.
  7. rok51

    rok51 Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2002
    Crawfordville, FL
    The series 400BH was good for 210 watts into 4 ohms and 300 watts into 2 ohms.

  8. My school has an Old Peavey head and 212, Still works perfectly after 30 years of use.
  9. The 400BH is a later model, I'm not sure what they changed. The one pictured is like mine, its only 210 into 2 ohms.
  10. KJung

    KJung Supporting Member

    That brings back memories. I used one of those for years (I believe in the late 70's). Not exactly hi fi, but built like a tank and loud! For that price, take the plunge!
  11. Thanks for all the input. I wasn't sure. But I thought it could be worth while. I hope it's there on payday. Should be interesting to hear. I know my practice amp is an old Crate guitar solid state from the 70's. And has a crazy tone. But actually better than the behringer 3000xt head I used to have. Which got me asking.
    Thanks once again
  12. my buddies tep dad has one of these at his church. I played it into a folded horn 2x15. it sounded really loud but the drummer couldnt hear me(he was behind me after all) but tons of volume especially with a good cab. and you cant bet the price by a LONG SHOT.
  13. punch5


    Aug 23, 2004
    Hutto, Texas
    I bought this one (looks like the "A" version) with the matching 2x15 last year and I'm pretty happy with it. The 2x15 has new Eminence speakers. Decent tone, no noise, lots of volume. Upgrading from an Ibanez GSR-205 to a Warwick Corvette FNA Jazzman 5 makes it sound even better!!

    Nashvillebill, does your 6-band eq work properly? I don't know if mine is broken or if I'm doing something wrong, but it seems that using the Bass, Treble and Midrange knobs have more of an effect on the tone than the 6-band. I just downloaded the manual, so maybe that will tell me something.

    Attached Files:

  14. If you plug into the input on the left side or the Series or Parallel jack, the 6 band works on mine. The gain on the left side of the amp must be turned up for the 6 band to work.

    If you plug into the input on the right side, only the 3 band will work, that's the "normal" channel.
  15. punch5


    Aug 23, 2004
    Hutto, Texas
    Thanks, I'm not very knowledgeable in the amp department.

    When you say "input on the left side", is that the #1 input on the Normal side? Also, when you refer to "the gain on the left side of the amp", is this on the side where the distortion inputs are? I never touch anything on that side because I don't like the distortion, but the manual describes using the slope knob to affect output, but not necessarily in the context of using the distortion inputs.

    I'll have to play around with it some more...
  16. I'm referring to the "distortion" side as being the "left" side. Plug into either one of the jacks on the "distortion" side, but turn the distortion knob all the way down. It'll sound clean and the 6 band will work.

    If you plug into either of the jacks on the "normal side" then only the 3 band eq will work.

    The later version has a couple of jacks in the middle marked Series and Parallel--these let you use either or both channels and they're footswitchable.
  17. punch5


    Aug 23, 2004
    Hutto, Texas
    I appreciate the info!! Even the manual hasn't been as helpful as you have!

    vapochilled, let us know if you end up picking one up, and how it works out for you.
  18. You're welcome!! Did you try turning the "slope" knob up? That adds a bunch of good tone!
  19. punch5


    Aug 23, 2004
    Hutto, Texas
    Not yet, I can't wait to mess with that "previously untouched side of the amp". I'll have to wait till I'm at church before I can play around with it, because this thing makes stuff fall off the walls at my house, not to mention what it would do to my neighbors!!

    What style do you play, or better yet, what kind of sound/tone do you prefer?
  20. I'm into an "old school" tone so I prefer a 2x15 cab and play with flatwounds, mostly classic rock, new country, some old R&B but also some general-purpose dance stuff.

    The Peavey has enough power to handle those type gigs well, though there have been times when I played with louder, more "metal" type bands...those are about the only situations where that amp didn't have enough oomph.
    Don't boost the bass, when you're in a situation when you need all the power you can get...boost the mids instead.