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Re-introducing myself to an old favorite - the Peavey Combo 300...

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by georgestrings, Jan 30, 2006.


  1. georgestrings

    georgestrings Banned

    Nov 5, 2005
    ... For quite a few years, my bass rig consisted of a Combo 300 on top of a Paradise Soundworks 115 - and it got the job done admirably... I got out of bands for a couple of years, and sold the Combo, but kept the cab - figuring I'd just buy a head when the time came to get back into the fray, and tee it up again... Well, I did just that - then added a 115 BX BW, then also added a 410TXF... after a bit, I decided that a 115 and a 410 was plenty for my needs - so, one of the 115s became a "spare"...


    A local music shop had a Combo 300 with what I believed to be a "minor" problem - it would break up occasionally, but sound great the rest of the time - so I figured that the speaker(15" Black Widow) was OK... I also knew from past experience that I could probably repair the amp without a big deal(I have a minor background in electronics) - so, I traded my 115 BX BW and $30 for this Combo 300 with a glitch, figuring that even if the amp WAS trash, I STILL had a 115 cab with a Black Widow in it - BUT, if I could fix it, I had another amp!!! As near as I could tell, visiting a couple of suspect-looking solder joints, and replacing the fuse holder "cured" it - the thing cranks, and sounds great!!! Total repair bill - about $3, and a couple hours of my time...


    I made a couple of improvements:

    While inside, I decided that I wanted to add two speaker jacks: 1 for internal speaker in, and an additional one for amp out - labeled appropriately, and a short patchcord between them... That way, I could disconnect the internal speaker, and power up 2 cabs if needed - or simply use the Combo as a 115 cab without using the amp section, if so desired... Also, it sounded a bit "ringy" - so I added a little insulation to the inside back and top - and that improved it's sound quite a bit... I put a pair of $3 castors on one bottom side edge, and now I can grab the handle, and roll it like a suitcase - yet, it'll sit on it's feet, either on the floor by itself, or on top of another cab, no prob - MUCH easier than carrying this somewhat heavy combo...


    New uses for an old favorite:


    Although I had used one previously for years, apparantly I never really looked into all of it's features - it has two loops: one labeled "Patch in/out", and another labeled "Pre-amp out/Power amp in"... I figured that I could use the Pre-amp out to send a signal to a DI box, and run that into the PA - and that worked pretty well - gives me the sound into the PA I'm looking for, and seems to be pretty noise-free/clean... As for the "Patch" - I discovered that I could run "Patch out" into the instrument jack of my tuner as a sort-of "tuner in" jack - and I don't need to complete the loop... This works like a champ, and allows me to plug my bass directly into the amp's input - probably not a bad thing...


    Anyways, this amp is rated for 300 watts @ 2 ohms, or 210 @ 4 ohms - sounds pretty clean, and gives a good tonal variety with a decent EQ'ing section and a 15" Black Widow speaker built in - by itself it's pretty good, but with another cab added it will rattle any wall you've got... I always recommend these amps to someone starting out - they can usually be had for around $200, which isn't bad considering what you get out of it... My last one played ALOT of gigs, and mostly in hard rock/metal bands - and it worked very well for that...


    Just thought I'd pass this along,


    - georgestrings
     
  2. Edwcdc

    Edwcdc I call shotgun!

    Jul 21, 2003
    Columbia MD USA
    I bought mine new in the mid 80's and I still can't kill it. It was my primary amp for years until I got my SWR stuff.
    I have recently been using this amp at practice and it is as loud as it is heavy. The singer said I could leave it in the basement if I want so I did.
    This amp has been through all kinds of abuse. It doesn't sound as good as my other amps but it does the job very well. I will never sell it as it makes a great back up rig and as mentioned before it is loud.
    I also did some modifications to mine over the years. I added some Peavey handles to the sides and some casters on the bottom. I also tightend up the rattles in the cab and put a little insulation inside the cab.
     
  3. Chef

    Chef Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    May 23, 2004
    Columbia MO
    Staff Reviewer; Bass Gear Magazine
    I have one. I beat the tar out of it for decades. It's an ok amp, but...the one issue I have with it is that the chassis is hung in there "upside down." The ic chips or whatever they are are "hanging" in the chassis. They vibrate loose, then the amp starts breaking up, cutting in and out. I had to quit counting on it being reliable.
     
  4. Edwcdc

    Edwcdc I call shotgun!

    Jul 21, 2003
    Columbia MD USA
    Maybe that's what the problem is with mine. I will have to look into that. I seem to have an issue with the post gain push/pull knob. I might have to replace it.
     
  5. Chef

    Chef Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    May 23, 2004
    Columbia MO
    Staff Reviewer; Bass Gear Magazine
    When mine acts up, if I smack it real hard, that usually fixes it;) This means time ti pull the chassis and re-seat things. I sent it back to peavey twice, then finally just bought an swr redhead and started leaving the 300 sit...bummer, cause when it works, it works well for what it is.
     
  6. georgestrings

    georgestrings Banned

    Nov 5, 2005
    Chef - While I'm not doubting what you're saying, I never experienced that particular problem... The ONLY problem I had with my 1st one was that once a shunt broke loose on one of the boards inside, and caused a capacitor to cook - I cleaned it up, replaced the cap, and repaired the joints connecting the shunt - cost me about $2(maybe), and I never had another problem with it... I pounded that amp pretty good - I played in a couple of Sabbath tribute bands, and other assorted hard rock/metal bands, covering Sabbath, Metallica, Helmet, Tool, Pantera, Megadeth, etc - averaging 3-4 gigs/month - so you'd probably agree my last one got pounded pretty good...

    With the "new" one, the shunt connections again looked somewhat suspect, and did a couple of other solder joints - and the fuseholder was a bit beat up - I addressed those issues, cleaned and tightened everything up, and it appears to be just fine... Although I haven't gigged with it yet, it's handled a couple of fairly loud, long practices with relative ease - I'll report back if it acts up again, and with what I find as a result... I have to say I feel somewhat confident with it, though... A nice thing about these amps is that they're easy to get into, should the need to arise...

    They ARE a bit "weighty" though - castors are definetly a plus, IMO... I had a handle on the bottom of the last one, also - I'll probably add one to this one, too...



    - georgestrings