Friday, May 07, 2010

Peavey Bandit: Wheres DA TUBES??

I'll freely admit i'm a tube amp snob. I collect them like a kid collects Matchbox (do kids do that anymore?). Marshalls, Orange, Matamp, Boogie, Soldano, Reeves, Fender, you name it and I have to have it. Even if I only plug into it maybe once a year, still. You can't call me a hoarder cause it's not junk. I'm just a materialistic collector. Aw Fuck it, i'm a tube amp and guitar hoarder. So fucking what! I'm going to start hoarding guns next!!!

Anyway, most guitarists agree there's no sound like a tube amp. For the most part this is true and i'll generally agree. But there's one amp i've heard that really puts a monkey wrench in that theory. In fact, this amp may be the best bargain in all of ampdom. It may be the best amp under $1000, tube or solid state.

I'm talking about the legendary, solid state PEAVEY BANDIT. You can get a new one at Musicians Friend for $299. HERESY you say!! (no, that's what Paul Klipsch said, and the speaker was named the Klipsch Heresy, but that's another story for another blog).

This amp has been around in various incarnations for decades. Most tube snobs associate it with a beginners amp, or an amp you get if you can't afford the big rigs. It is now, just like everything else, made in China. Dammit if it doesn't have the heaviest, thickest, most realistic tube amp sound ever to spit out of a solid state hunk of junk. Plug a Les Paul into the high gain channel, set to "Classic" mode, and set the speaker emulator to "Loose". Man there's a Marshall JCM800 right there. Don't tell me it isn't close, because I OWN a Marshall JCM800, and all I have to do is go into the other room and plug into that for the comparison. The 4x12 cab will give the head a little more ooomph, but dammit this Peavey just kicks major ass!! It's loud as hell too. It has other "modes", like a scooped midrange, that doesn't sound as hot. But that classic mode does the trick.

Now i'm not saying go sell your stacks. But for a backup amp, a practice amp, a recording amp, hell even a mic'd live amp, this Bandit will fit the bill. Jesus you see used ones on ebay for $150. For that price it's a goddam steal. You can easily keep this as your main amp. It's that good. It just doesn't look as cool as a wall of Marshalls.


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