6505+ 112 Combo
guitarguyryan94, on february 25, 2011 5 of 8 people found this review helpful
Price paid: $ 599.99
Purchased from: Musician's Friend
Features: - Made in 2010 in China
- 2 band eq (clean and distorted) with independent lows, mids, and highs, pre and post gains, presence, and resonance. Crunch Switch on clean channel. Master reverb knob.
- 1 1x12 60 watt Sheffield speaker.
- 5: 12ax7 pre-amp tubes and 2: 6l6 power tubes
- Made mainly for metal. Does anything from hard rock to the most "blackened and "deathest" of all metals with ease. Cleans are decent, but this amp is infamous for its distortion. Crunch channel provides a nice, bluesy tone to a good, slightly distorted tone when the pre gain is pushed.
- 2 channels (clean and distorted). The clean has a Crunch button which adds a little more dirt to your clean tone.
- Effects loop and 2 external speaker jacks with a 4, 8, and 16 ohm Switch for varieties of speakers (16 ohms is the standard setting for the Sheffield speaker).
- I use this amp mainly for band practice and the 60 watts competes perfectly with my band mates' halfstacks.
- I give the features an 8 because I would like to have individual reverb knobs (if that's possible). I'm not one for pedals so that is kind of a big deal to me. // 8
Sound: Metal. Straight metal. Easily one of the most versatile distortions for metal. The amp takes a little while to find the correct EQ to fit ones tone, but once you find it you will be blown away. When balanced correctly, this amp produces a great metal tone that is versatile for any style of metal. I play a range of metal tones, from djent to hardcore to progressive metal and this amp can create a great tone for each of those genres. This amp was a huge step up for me from my Line 6 Spider Valve 1x12 and the Peavey 6505+ was $100 dollars less! I will admit that the Sheffield speaker quality lacks, but ever since I have purchased my B-52 ST-412 cab (loaded with Celestion Vintage 30s) this amp has been amazing. Professional quality, without a doubt.
Some complaints though. This amp is somewhat noisy and you'll get that with every 6505+, but my main complaint is with the effects loop. Every time I hook my noise gate through the effects loop, the amp gets tons of added highs which are unable to be fixed by re-EQing the amp. It is not my noise gate because I have tried two different brands and the same thing happens every time. I have not been able to find anyone with this similar problem so I believe that it is a wiring problem. I am still able to use my through the front of the amp to rid of my guitar hiss, but the amp noise is there. Tolerable, but still there. // 9
Reliability & Durability: This thing is massive and durable. It weighs a ton and the handle is rough on one's hands. After a few months of having this amp I decided to put casters on the bottom of it and it solved most of the traveling issues. I've put more dents in my car than I've put in this amp and the dents were caused by this amp unfortunately. I've had no problem with it cutting out or just randomly powering off. I would most likely use it a gig without a back-up just for the fact that I can't afford another amp right. I trust this amp 100% though and I would be devastated if it ever lets me down. The tubes are solid in place and haven't broken. // 9
Overall Impression: The Peavey 6505+ is a legendary metal amplifier and should always be a considerable option when it comes to purchasing a quality amplifier. I've been playing for almost 4 years and the gear I play with, I always try to choose the best quality for the best deal. If this were ever stolen, I would most likely buy another because it's practically the exact same thing as the 6505+ head, but $600 cheaper.
I love the tone of the amp, but I hate the weight of it. The amp has such a unique tone over other metal amps that you'll always know that someone is playing a 6505, just by hearing it. This was my first non-modeling tube amp and since I don't live near a Guitar Center or anything, I just had to take a shot in the dark with it. I am extremely happy with my decision. The only thing I wish was different was that it had the U.S. made quality, but they can keep the Chinese price tag on it. // 9
6505+ 112 Combo
krehzeekid, on april 18, 2011 4 of 4 people found this review helpful
Price paid: C$ 700
Purchased from: Avenue
Features: This amp was made in China, probably in 2009 (it was purchased early 2010). The amp features 5 12AX7 tubes in the pre-amp and 2 6L6GC power-tubes, giving it an output of 60 Watts. The amp has two channels, rhythm and lead. The rhythm channel features controls for: pre-gain (level), post gain (drive), treble, bass, mids, and a crunch switch. When engaged, the crunch Switch gives the amp more of an EVH "brown-sound". The lead channel features the exact same layout, sans the crunch switch. The front panel also includes separate presence (high end attack) and resonance (low end attack) controls for each channel and a universal control for the Accutronics 3 spring reverb.
The back panel of the amp is pretty standard fare. There are 2 external speaker outputs (the internal speaker is linked to one, so you can unplug it) with a selectable impedance of 4, 8 or 16 ohms. The back panel also features an effects loop, a footswitch input and a MSDI mic simulated XLR output. Housed inside the massive cabinet is a single 12 inch Sheffield speaker.
My only real complaint with the spec's is the single top handle. Whoever thinks that a single top-mounted handle is adequate for a 60+lbs amp is mental. This amp needs recessed side handles. No footswitch is included, but a Marshall MG 2 button Switch works just fine (and costs less than a Peavey). // 8
Sound: I use this guitar as my main metal amp and as a lead tone amp during function gigs. I play through it using an ESP Eclipse II (EMG loaded), a G&L ASAT Classic and a Gretsch 5120. Lets go channel by channel.
The rhythm channel with the crunch button disengaged is disappointing at best. It never cleans up enough to be a clean sound, but the distortion it produces is pathetically thin. Regardless of how I set it up and what guitar I used, I could not get a good sound out of it.
With the crunch mode engaged, the rhythm channel begins to redeem itself. The channel is capable of producing everything from a Vintage crunch sound, all the way up to fairly heavy and saturated metal tones. However, the channel is definitely best suited to heavy rock playing. The only issue that I have with this channel is that sustain is still weak, with all the guitars.
The lead channel is really the only reason I bought this amp, and it does not disappoint. It`s not the most versatile channel ever conceived, it really only does heavily distorted and saturated metal tones. But it does them so well!! Rhythm playing is super tight, and using the resonance control its possible to have a very pronounced attack without lots of bass to muddy up the sound. It is very nice to have a heavy sound that is still clear and defined. With the gain below half, its actually possible to play more complicated 4 note chords and still have a reasonable amount of definition. Lead tones are smooth and sustain for days (which makes me wonder why the rhythm channel doesn't). It just makes the guitar sing with a vocal like quality that just makes you want to hold bends forever.
Overall, the amp is a bit of a mixed bag; some sounds are absolutely stellar, others suck. It is also quite noisy, even when used with a power conditioner and humbuckers (but that is not necessarily unexpected), but not so much that it is more than a slight nuisance. In summary, if you want one amp for all your needs, look elsewhere. This amp is a one trick pony, a metal amp, but it is very good at its one trick. It can pull Vintage NWBHM through modern "____-core" genres with ease. Just look at the list of players who use 6505`s and you will get an idea what this amp does best.
The biggest letdown, however, was the speaker. When I first got the amp, it would sound really muddy and mushy at higher volumes. So, I ran the amp through my brothers 1x12 Orange cab (with a celestion Vintage 30) and the problem was solved. I consequently swapped out for a celestion G12K-100 and the amp is almost inconceivably improved. It would not hurt for Peavey to simply put a better speaker in the amp from the get-go.
Also, the XLR output is pretty average. If you can, mic up the speaker. Though it is a nice touch if stage noise is a real concern. // 7
Reliability & Durability: This amp seems to be reasonably well built, especially given the price. The cab is built like a tank, the electronics are extremely neat and look well assembled and the whole thing is put together rather nicely. However, there are a few issues that I have had. The first, however minor, was that the vinyl covering began to peel within a few weeks. I`ve had this issue with Peavey products before (actually, all the peavey`s I`ve owned peeled within a few weeks). It is minor, but it`s disappointing.
The more severe issue I had was a catastrophic failure of one of the power tubes. During a practice with no warning whatsoever (this is not my first tube amp, I know what dying tubes sound like), one of the tubes failed. I know tubes die, but this was only 2 months after I bought it. I suspect this was due to the quality of the stock tubes. I had the amp re-tubed by a good tech, and I haven`t had any issues at all since.
On the plus side, the amp is very consistent. I've never had any goofy noises come out of it, never had switches get stuck (randall...) and nothing has broken yet. The only real issues concern the quality of the stock tubes. Luckily, a full re-tube of good tubes is pretty cheap.
Now that I have better tubes in the amp, I use it without a backup on a weekly basis. // 7
Overall Impression: Overall, I believe this is one of the better metal combo's that can be bought for well under a grand. Even if you pop in better tubes and a better speaker, you'll have spent less than a Mesa CAB is worth. Thats an awesome value. I`ve been playing close to ten years now (and gigging for 6), I've played through more amps than I can remember and I genuinely believe that this is the best metal combo for under a grand.
That is not to say the amp is without faults. It is definitely worthwhile to spend a couple hours, if possible, on one before buying it so you can gain an understanding of the amps limitations and judge for yourself whether you can live with them.
Personally, I'm retiring the amp from regular gigging pretty soon. Its being replaced by a Mesa Roadster so I can have cleans and distortions without lugging multiple amps to gigs and practices. However, it is staying in my collection for good. There is something about the lead tone that just urges me to play more. It is super articulate and brutally heavy. If you need a metal amp and you're on a budget, play one. Chances are, you'll be pretty stoked. // 8
6505+ 112 Combo
PSM, on september 18, 2008 1 of 3 people found this review helpful
Price paid: $ 1200
Purchased from: Sam Ash - New
Features: I purchased this 120-watt tube head for use in my heavier melodic/alternative modern rock band. The 6505+ features two foot-switchable channels (vs the single channel of the regular 6505), the first of which can be switched between clean and crunch (and also has a bright switch) and the second of which is a high gain channel. Each channel has it's own 3-band EQ, resonance, and presence controls, along with a pre and post knob. The head also has an effects loop, which is a big bonus that helps make up for the lack of a third channel when used properly. The footswitch allows you to Switch between the two channels, the crunch/clean of channel one, and also toggle the effects loop. The head can also be switched between 4 ohms, 8 ohms, and 16 ohms, which is helpful since I'm constantly playing through different cabs at different rehearsal spaces and shows if I can't lug my Peavey XXX cab along.
The only thing that kept the Features from being a 10 for me is that they don't offer this head with a third channel. Not having separate volume/gain control for the clean and crunch sounds makes certain songs tricky with my band and it would be a BIG feature upgrade worth big money to someone in my situation. // 9
Sound: My band is a heavier melodic/alternative modern rock band and we typically play anywhere from smaller bars to larger clubs and rehearse in a medium sized finished basement. I bought the amp after hours of A/Bing it at the store with a Valveking, trying to justify the doubled price tag, but in the end the raw gain/power, configuration, and channel 1 of the 6505+ won me over. While the heavy gain channels of both heads were killer, the clean/crunch channel of this amp far outshined the same on the Valveking. It has a much brighter, crisper sound to it and comes across as a higher quality amplifier. And the screaming high gain channel on this amp is enough to make any rock/metal player grin when nailing a power chord.
One thing I noticed at the store is that this amp seems to push out near maximum volume in the 6 range on the Post knob and doesn't get a ton louder between 6 and 10, not like it does between 3 and 6 anyways. Once deciding on the head, though, I A/Bed it for a couple hours through a few different cabs, spending most of my time on the Peavey XXX cab and the 6505 cab made for this head. In the end, the 6505 cab was much darker and softer, while the XXX cab made the head scream even more with crisper highs and mids. Being the lead guitarist Who needs to cut through the mix from time to time, I opted for the XXX cab.
Now after a few months of rehearsing and gigging with this setup, though, there is one major fact/flaw that sticks out in my mind: this head is just too freaking loud. Like any tube head, it sounds great when cranked, but only when cranked. It has absolutely no balls or crunch to it unless played around 3 or higher on the Post knob and the problem is that even in my loud rock band, 3 is just too loud for most venues unless you're playing a huge club or something outside.
And forget it at rehearsals; I'm only playing around 1.8-2 at rehearsals typically and at those volumes, the amp really just does not sound that good. And turning up the gain/distortion (Pre knob) at those volumes just gives you an extremely thin distortion with no low end or mids. You really need to crank the tubes in this thing to make it sound good, but that said, when you do have that opportunity, it sounds great.
I compromised on this rating of 8 because when if I could play at 3 or higher volumes all the time, it would easily rank a 10 on the scale as it is quite simply the best sounding amp I've ever played through when turned up, but I have to take into consideration the horrible sound at any normal room/club volume, which seriously impairs the usability of this amp. A 50- to 60-watt version of this head would be killer. // 8
Reliability & Durability: This is the third one I've had because the first one I bought off of Ebay (new in box) began making loud buzzing noises in the middle of playing after only two months of owning it. I am fairly sure this had something to do with the fact that at one rehearsal I plugged into an 8 ohm amp for about two hours and forgot to Switch it off of the 16 ohm setting - do not do this. Then the second one I picked up from Sam Ash (new in box) had a faulty Channel 1 right from the factory, confirmed by Sam Ash. I swapped it for the current one which has held up so far for a few months without issue (knock on wood), and funny enough is their floor model from 2006 according to the date on the back (the two new ones were from 2008). // 7
Overall Impression: There are two major changes I would make to this head if I could:
1. Add a third channel so I could have separate volume/gain controls for the Clean/Crunch sounds, even if they shared an EQ.
2. Drop the wattage to something realistic, like 50- or 60-watts. Or better yet, make it a 50/100-watt switchable head, and maybe even half them if possible, like the Egnator head does. There is currently a 60-watt combo of the 6505+ available, but a combo doesn't exactly fit the look of a modern rock band on stage, so I'm out of luck.
In my honest opinion, this amp is the best sounding head I've ever played through when loud and has some great features to back it up, but there are a few major flaws that I can't overlook, which I mentioned, that unfortunately drop it from a perfect 10 to only a 7.5-8.5 in my book. Give me less power and a third channel and I would never look to buy a different head again, but without them, I must continue my search unless Peavey happens to read this and take note... unlikely. // 8
6505+ 112 Combo
Tempoe, on december 24, 2009 1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Price paid: $ 599
Purchased from: GC
Features: Review of the 6505+ 112 made in China combo (not on the model list)
60w 2 channel all tube combo amp with effects loop, accutronics spring reverb. Five 12AX7 preamp tubes and two 6L6GC power amp tubes, with presence and resonance controls and three-band EQ on each channel. I have not tried the simulated line out into a PA yet. // 5
Sound: This amp has more than enough gain for any style and sounds very similar to the USA 505+ in tone. Like all the high gain tube amps I've played it can be quite noisy on the lead channel if the gain is past 4 or so. The cleans are so-so at best, depends on the pups you are using. I got a somewhat usable clean using my single coil tele, rolled back on the tone and volume a bit. With my neck EMG 81 it sounds very thin and brittle (as that pup does with almost any amp) The lead channel is one of the best, most brutal I have ever played. Tight and crisp, harmonics and undertones that rate up there with the most expensive amps made. There is a 2 button footswitch for changing channels and crunch. // 9
Reliability & Durability: Peavey has a great reputation for reliability but this amp being made in China has yet to be tested long term. I can tell you that it seems quite well built and I have had no problems. Another UGer had one broken in shipping (cab, like it was dropped hard) and it still worked fine, so it looks good so far. The channel and crunch buttons have to be pushed very far in (almost past the faceplate) before they stay, this was probably a slight design flaw they made but they still work so I guess they decided it was too much money to fix them on this first batch anyways. // 8
Overall Impression: If you play metal or hard rock and want an affordable hi-gain tube amp, this would be hard to beat. Works great with humbucker guitars, not too bad with singles too. This amp also shines with drop tunings. The Sheffield speaker is ok but not great. I would recommend replacing it with a V30 or similar or running it through a cab. The amp is HUGE for a 112 and very heavy (about 65lbs) This makes the top handle kind of useless and I actually wouldn't trust it to carry with. I actually made mine into a head (very east mod) and it cuts it to about 33 lbs.
In conclusion I have found it to be a great amp for brutal gain and hard rock, the crunch is nice too. Not very good at cleans, but most will not buy this amp for cleans. Definately great value for the price. // 7
6505+ 112 Combo
sea`, on october 25, 2012 1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Price paid: C$ 600
Features: The Peavey 6505+ 112 is a 1x12 combo version of the now-classic Peavey 5150 II/6505+ tube amp. At 60W, half of the head's 120W, it doesn't have quite the same headroom or sheer volume, however, for a head that is easily able to reach 120+ dB, that is hardly a concern.
- Made in China, around 2011
- 2 channels, rhythm and lead, plus "crunch" switch for the rhythm channel
- 5 12AX7 preamp tubes, 2 6L6 power tubes
- Buffered effects loop & spring reverb
- Selectable 4, 8 and 16 ohm output
- 12-inch Sheffield speaker, closed back cabinet
- Solid tolex-lined construction, metal cage protecting internal components
The only real blemishes of this amp feature-wise are in size and weight, and lack of certain features. It is almost as big as the 5150 2x12 combo, and weighs around 80 lbs. Although it may be marketed as portable, truth be told you will have a hard time taking it anywhere without a car to load it into. However, it's still easier than dragging a cabinet around. It also lacks a footswitch for channel selection and reverb, which is a minor annoyance. // 8
Sound: The Peavey 5150 is an amp that does not need much introduction. Designed for Eddie Van Halen in the early 90s, it instantly became a mainstay not just for rock guitarists, but also for heavy and extreme metal players thanks to its characteristic high-gain tone. The 5150 was followed by the 5150 II, a slightly revised version of the amp. After EVH left Peavey, the 5150 and 5150 II were renamed the 6505 and 6505+.
The 6505+ 112 is an attempt to put the crushing power of the 6505+ head into a smaller form factor, and for the most part, it is a success. First of all, do not let the 1x12 form factor fool you, or the 60W rating. This amp is amazingly loud and huge sounding, and is actually able to achieve higher volumes and better tones at lower settings than the 120W head, as it has less headroom and the tubes are pushed harder earlier. It is more than capable of any live situation without micing the amp - obviously if you play studios, you're going to be micing it anyway, so losing a few dB is a non-issue.
The 6505+'s tone is a bit hard to describe, but is instantly recognizable once you are familiar with it, just like other well-known amps. Unlike a lot of common metal amps, the 6505+ has an extremely powerful midrange growl, as well as massive low-end rumble and high-end that can adequately be described as a "can of bees." Though it lacks the same sort of smooth, musical distortion of some amps, this also gives it an extremely crushing, cutting rhythm tone that will stand out amazingly well in any band or mix. Strictly speaking, the 112 version is very slightly brighter and growlier than the head, however in a band or mix, nobody will be able to tell the difference one way or another, and this quality arguably lets it cut through even more than its bigger brother.
The rhythm, or green channel, is the lower-gain of the two, although not by as much as you'd think. With the crunch switch left off, the 6505+ 112 delivers some very Marshall-like cleans - a little bit boxy, thin and sterile. However, just like Marshall cleans, they also really warm up with a bit of reverb or delay. However, the clean channel also breaks up very quickly, even at relatively low gain and volume settings, reducing its usefulness in live settings. The cleans are totally serviceable, even pleasant with some tweaking, however, you will not get a trademark Fender chime out of this amp.
Switching on crunch really makes this amp come alive. Although when set to clean it will break up in a pleasing way, once you enter into full-blown rock or dirty blues territory, the 6505+ shows its muscle with very raw, warm and full overdrive and distortion. The rhythm channel's crunch setting is capable of the vast majority of rock tones out there, and is slightly vintage-voiced compared to some more modern amps (i.e. ENGL, Blackstar). When the rhythm channel is cranked to the maximum and paired with a boost like a Tube Screamer, it is capable of full-on distorted metal, still retaining the rhythm channel's warm, full and chunky tone.
The lead, or red channel, is what the 6505+ is most well known for, and for good reason - it's monstrous, angry and powerful, possibly more so than any other amp. The midrange character of the 6505+ is voiced in a slightly more modern fashion on the lead channel, with a less chunky, tighter low end and more open, less boxy sound that brings in significantly more high-end sizzle. When used for lead playing, gain can be cranked well beyond necessary levels, but in the context of metal rhythm playing, the lead channel also achieves classic death, black and thrash tones with ease.
The lack of a great clean channel is the biggest downside with the 6505+ 112, but even then it's decent for certain uses if you spend a bit of time with it and use your guitar's volume and tone knobs accordingly. It's also highly recommended to use a Tube Screamer or other overdrive pedal as a boost to get the most out of this amp, as it really livens the sound up, complementing the midrange character of the amp and tightening the low-end, so it's a bit of a "hidden cost". And, while the 6505+ isn't a one-trick pony as some claim, it definitely has a very specific character - it is by no means the most versatile amp out there, so if you expect to play it and have it sound like anything but a 6505+, well, it won't, at least without a good EQ pedal. It's an excellent sound, it just might not be what you are looking for.
The stock Sheffield speaker is not bad, however, it is a bit thin, metallic and harsh for my tastes, especially in the high-end. You may want to replace the speaker if you find the combo lacking, as chances are it's the speaker and not the amp itself. I switched mine out for an Eminence Swamp Thang on a recommendation, and could not be more pleased. Despite being a 1x12, the amp has an amazingly full, powerful low-end and rich, smooth mids and highs that could easily be mistaken for a 2x12 or even 4x12, and certainly when miced up - this just wasn't the case with the stock speaker.
Last, and this may be a deal-breaker for some: the effects loop sucks. Period. The design of the circuit on the 1x12 combo has been modified from the head version, and the end result is that the effects loop is not transparent. Instead, it adds an ugly, solid state-like fizz to the amp that significantly cuts into the warm, growly midrange the 6505+ is known for. I do not know why this decision was made, but it is the single biggest misstep with this combo amp and I desperately hope it is revised in a future version (and that Peavey offers free replacements, har har). I don't extensively use the effects loop, however, if you need to use a reverb, delay, etc. In that position, I would highly advise staying away from the 6505+ 112 Combo and just get the head. // 8
Reliability & Durability: Despite being built in China, the 6505+ 112 is extremely solidly built. While there may have been some bad early batches (apparently, the front LED dying is a common problem), and the stock speaker is not great, I have not had any bad experiences with the amp since purchasing it close to a year ago. The stock Ruby tubes have held up well over time, as well, which surprised me considering it'd been sitting in a store for a while. While I can't say if it will still hold up after 5 years, so far, so good. Though some people have made a big deal about it being Chinese-made, it could easily be mistaken for an American-made Peavey - the styling, fit and finish are all pretty much identical to a 6505+ Head. // 9
Overall Impression: For metal players, the 6505+ 112 is hands-down one of the best, if not the best combo amps available in its price range. Though there are a few smaller tube amps out there, many of them simply do not have the raw power and grunt of the 6505+, or may not perfectly emulate the tones of their larger, more expensive cousins. The 6505+ 112 isn't really a "bedroom amp" or even an inferior version of the real thing - what it does make is an amazing high-gain amp for jamming, gigging, and recording, without the added bulk of a separate cabinet.
Even if you don't play metal, the 6505+ 112 is definitely capable of more classic overdrive tones that cover a fairly wide variety of styles, from Vintage bluesy leads, to warm clean break-up, to tight and precise rhythm playing. The cleans are usable, but there really is no reason to buy this amp for its clean channel when a Vox AC30, Fender SuperSonic, etc. Will do far better in that respect.
I've been playing guitar for 10 years and the 6505+ feels like the tone I've waited forever to obtain - and every time I feel I'm satisfied with it, I'll tweak it a bit more, crank it a bit higher, and find something new to like. As I am not a gigging musician, but rather one who jams with friends and records, the 112 combo is totally suitable for me, and I would recommend it to professionals who simply don't need 120W of power, and/or who can deal with the effects loop and speaker being non-ideal. A 1x12 combo really has no right sounding as mean as this thing does.
6505+ 112 Combo
oneblackened, on january 19, 2011 0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Price paid: $ 600
Purchased from: Daddy's Junky Music
Features: This amp has all the features of the 6505 series - a ridiculous amount of gain, really tight bass, and a bit of a "roar" to it. It was made in China - the year, probably 2010. It has 2 channels, Rhythm(clean, crunch) and lead (all out distortion mayhem). It's a 60w RMS tube amp, with 5x 12AX7s (4 preamp, 1 PI) and 2 6L6s in class AB. There is an effects loop, but I haven't had any need for it (I don't use any pedals), and built in spring reverb. This amp is used for band practice and shows - and it's way more than loud enough, and considering I play metal, plenty versatile. // 8
Sound: I'm using an Epiphone Les Paul Standard with a DiMarzio DP207 D-Sonic and a Seymour Duncan SH-1 '59. It reacts very strongly to a change of pickups - the D-Sonic adds another level of Saturation onto the amp due to its high output. It is rather noisy, but all 6505's are. It's a flaw in the design that is only there because it has so much gain. The more gain an amp has, the more noise it will pick up. The clean channel has very little headroom, but that's not a huge problem. It is bright and clear when clean, and raw when breaking up. The crunch channel takes the breaking up clean channel further, getting into hard rock territory. The distortion on a 6505/6505+ is the definition of "brutal". The stock Sheffield speaker leaves a little to be desired though, it's a bit "meh" sounding. // 8
Reliability & Durability: So far, the amp seems reliable. The stock power tubes (Ruby 6L6GC-STR's) died after a few months, but I suspect they were just a bad set of tubes. I'm now running strong with a pair of JJ 6l6GC's. I would use this without a backup, as it seems to be built like a truck. It also weighs as much as one; it's probably the heaviest 1x12" combo amp I've ever seen at about 60-65 pounds. // 8
Overall Impression: This is my fourth amp - previously, I've owned a Fender Frontman 15G, a Marshall VS30r, and a Peavey Vypyr 75. I have been playing for about 4 years and 3 months. I don't know why anyone would bother stealing it, it weighs 60-65 pounds and it's extremely awkward to carry. If they did, I'd get it again. I did attempt to compare it to a JCA5212rc, but I couldn't find any to play through. I do know that I prefer it to the JCA20 I tried, but that's a completely differently voiced amp. I spent a few hours at GC trying amps, and this was the only one that really stuck out to me. I play metal, hard rock, and the occasional blues, so I needed an amp that could do all three. To my surprise, the 6505+ 112 could.
I only wish it had a clean channel that really stayed clean, but I'm sure this is an easy enough fix using a different tube in V2, maybe a 5751 or a 12AT7. I'm in love with the lead channel though, it's just awesome. // 8
6505+ 112 Combo
Sulfur183, on may 27, 2011 0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Price paid: $ 599.99
Purchased from: musiciansfriend.com
Features: This amp is not extremely versatile. It was built for one thing: METAL, which is good because that's what I play. It has a lead channel and a rhythm channel and the rhythm channel has a crunch option to add some crunch to your cleans. You can buy a footswitch to go from the lead to the rhythm and from clean rhythm to crunch rhythm. It has an a effects loop but no headphone jack. 60 watts of all-tube power is more than enough power for me in my bedroom and at small gigs. // 8
Sound: I'm currently using a Ibanez GRX20 that has power sound pickups in it and even with those weak pickups it sound's great. This is the perfect amp for metal! You can get the most brutal distortion you can think of outta this baby. But with insane amounts of gain comes feedback. It's not too bad, but you have to make sure you do a good job muting your guitar strings. The clean also distorts at high volumes so that's not extremely impressive but you don't buy this amp for the cleans anyway. // 9
Reliability & Durability: This amp is very reliable, I would always have a back up at a gig but it probably won't be necessary with the 6505. It's never broken down on me. // 8
Overall Impression: I play thrash metal, melo-death, and all styles of metal in between (except black metal) and this amp does the job. The distortion from this amp is natural and can beat just about any distortion pedal, there's so much gain it's unbelievable. The only bad thing about this amp really is the cleans. Other than that I love it. If it was lost I would either buy this same combo amp again or go for the 6505 Head either one would be great. // 9
6505+ 112 Combo
Goodtimes666, on july 11, 2011 0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Price paid: $ 600
Purchased from: musciansfriend.com
Features: I bought this amp brand new a little over a month ago so it was made fairly recently. Like most people that buy this amp, I bought it for the lead channel. I've always loved that 6505/5150 tone heard so often in modern metal but I could never afford a stack so when I heard they were releasing a combo version I started saving. I'm a metal fan (surprise surprise) and some of my favorite bands are The Black Dahlia Murder, Whitechapel, Veil Of Maya, Bring Me The Horizon, Deftones, Oh Sleeper, The Devil Wears Prada, etc. I mostly stay within the realm of deathmetal, deathcore, and metalcore. Oh gosh! He likes core! His opinion is invalid! But seriously this amp is made for that sound and a lot of the bands I mentioned use it. So I would say it covers my style perfectly. It has 2 channels which are clean and lead. The clean channel has a footswitchable boost that adds some extra grit to your sound.
If you turn up the clean channels preamp gain and activate the boost you'll get a tone that's pretty good for some 80s thrash stuff. The 6505 is kinda known for having a lack-luster clean channel but honestly I like the sounds it has. I've never been into that bone dry Fender kinda clean, I like having a little dirt to play with, that's actually another reason I decided to go with this amp. It is possible to get a pretty clean sound, it just takes some time and patience but if you like the gritty sound like I do then its not that hard to dial in a tone that's good. It does have an fx loop, though unfortunately its not footswitchable. I'm not that big on pedals personally so its not that big of deal but I can see where that would be a problem for some users. I don't get any noise out the loop when using but I also don't have very many pedals so maybe that's why.
As far as extra features go this amp doesn't have a whole lot. It does have built in reverb but I think its too subtle and wish it was more noticeable. Of course at higher volume levels it does become more noticeable. It also has a microphone simulated output on the back. I haven't used it yet so I can't give an opinion here. It also has a standby Switch so you can warm it up without making any unwanted noise. It has dual external speaker outputs for use with other cabinets which sounds very useful. One thing I wish it had is a boost for the lead channel. Also separate reverb controls would be nice. As far as power goes this thing has plenty. It has quite enough volume for band practices and if you're gigging its going to be miced up anyways. Incase you're unaware, this amp is all tube and runs at 60w rms. Overall I'd give the features an 8 because it has everything I need but not quite everything I want. // 8
Sound: I have 2 guitars I'm currently using with it, a Schecter C1+ and a Schecter A-7 with active EMGs. I mainly use the C1+ so the settings I use are based upon this guitar. I keep it tuned between drop B flat, drop B and C standard and the low tunings work well with this amp. I like to keep my bass turned up pretty high, as well as the resonance control so I get a very powerful sound when palm muting open notes. I have my settings set for a tone somewhere between The Black Dahlia Murder and Bring Me The Horizon's tone from the "Suicide Season" album. For me it works and its the kinda tone that I've been wanting to achieve. I do plan to get a Maxon 808 or other tubesceamer type pedal to tighten it up a little bit. It already has a very good sound but a good overdrive helps most any distortion channel.
Like I stated before, I like grit in my cleans so I have it set for that kinda sound with preamp gain set to around 3. While experimenting with the clean channel I was able to get some good blues tones going and some pretty excellent classic rock sounds. It does have a pretty dark tone, some may think it needs brightening up but if my tunings any indication I like a darker voicing. The clean channel does break up fairly quickly so I would decrease preamp gain as you increas post gain. How brutal is the distortion? Quite brutal. This amp is famous for having wayy more gain than the average man would ever need. I keep preamp gain on the lead channel at 6 and that's plenty, couldn't imagine using it dimed. I almost forgot about noise! I bought an MXR smart gate the same time I bought this and I always keep it on when playing this amp so noise problems are non-existent for me.
I would never use a high gain amp like this without one. With the gate turned off it does become a little noisy. It will feedback pretty quick if you stand too close to it and you'll hear a lot of hand noise when not playing but just put a gate in front and noise becomes a nonissue. The included tubes leave a little to be desired and I'm sure swapping them out will improve tone a good bit. Overall I'd give the sound an 8. Considering its only $600 and the sound quality is great for that price point, of course the head and cab version are going to be better but that's more than double the cost of this version. // 8
Reliability & Durability: I haven't gigged with it yet but if I was to take it to a show I would go without a back up. A lot of the reasoning behind that is I simply can't afford a back up. I haven't had any problems with it so far. It came with ruby tubes stock, I haven't changed them or anything yet. They're decent enough tubes I suppose, not the best by far but any man should know better than to go to a show with stock tubes without back ups on hand. So far so good, I've had no problems with anything on this amp, everythings ship shape as far as aesthetics go. It may have been built in china but its not bad build quality. No kind of exterior discrepancies to speak of. Honestly I'm not sure I've owned it long enough to give a fair rating on reliability so I suppose I'll give it a 7 due to the cheap stock tubes, they could have loaded it with something better. // 7
Overall Impression: Overall I love this amp. I've always been a fan of the 6505/5150 tone since I started playing seriously again 5-6 years ago. I've grown up around guitars, I had my first one at age 4 (adorable, I know). This is my first tube amp but I know a pretty good amount about amps from playing other peoples and just researching them over the years. The amp this is replacing is an old Crate solid state from the 90s, which was really lacking in a lot of ways. If it was lost/stolen I would be pretty upset. I would buy this amp again though after I fixed my broken spirit. Basically my favorite thing about this is the classic 6505 sound at an affordable price.
Of all the amps I've tried the 6505+ stack is my favorite tone so far and this comes fairly close without breaking the bank. One thing I do dislike is the sheer size and weight of this thing. Its probably the biggest single speaker combo I've ever seen. When picking out an amp it was between this and an Orange tiny terror. This ended up winning over it mainly for the fact that it has more power and footswitchable channel selection. Not to mention this is ready to play and the Tiny Terror requires some help from pedals to get a metal tone. Overall impression 9 because its a really Killer amp for the price. // 9
6505+ 112 Combo
unregistered, on october 20, 2011 0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Price paid: £ 400
Purchased from: AD-LIB MUSIC
Features: 60 W tube combo with 1x12 sheffield speaker in closed back enclosure. Two channels operated via footswitch with crunch boost for rhythm channel. Individual eq, resonance and presence controls for both channels. Spring reverb. Back panel includes ext speaker send and optional impedance switching. Serial effects loop with standard send and return connections. Mic simulated DI send with ground lift switch. Backlit Peavey logo on front fascia. Usa design, manufactured in china. I would have included a footswitch with the amp as almost everybody will want to track one down after they buy the amp so that is a nuisance. Apart from that it is a bread and butter feature set at a v good price. Midi switching would have been nice but this would have added to the cost of the amp so not a big deal. // 8
Sound: This is billed as a metal/hard rock amp and that description is pretty much accurate. I modded and upgraded mine from the off and got some trusted techs to pull it apart and really snoop around inside to see what they could find before I would take it out to gig. I have a load of nice tube preamps that I like so I was happy to use the amp as a power amp and cab if need be and use my other gear and run into the fx return. When I first got it and played around with it I thought that both channels were ridiculously over gained. I have read a range of reviews and some folk claimed that they couldn't get a nice clean sound out of it and others saying they could.
From my experience at least I found that on the clean/rhythm channel you were getting break up at anything past 1/2. I'm talking half of 1 here not half way round the pot on 5. Also the sound was very shrill and toppy. Too much in the high mids. I had the presence, treble and mids set down at 2 to take the edge off the top end. I know that some folk will love that aggressive sound and they advertise the amp as an aggressive sounding metal amp but I feel if they reeled in the gain and top end a bit then it would broaden the flexibility of the amp a bit more. It could be pushed into metal territory but it could be toned down for classic rock sounds as well. I did get some nice sounds out of it after a bit of tweaking but I found the clean channel on crunch boost served me better for rock type sounds with a distortion pedal before it with the tone control set very low.
I swapped the V1 tube for a 5751 tube to cut the gain and it really helped to tame the top end a lot. The techs also installed and eminence swamp tang speaker and swapped the 5751 tube for a 12AY7 and that improved things again and helped to darked down the sound a bit more. There will be absolutely no shortage of cut or edge in your sound with this amp I can assure you. // 7
Reliability & Durability: As I said I got techs to pretty much dismantle mine and they spent a day pulling it apart. It's a luxury not afforded to many but here is what they found and told me. First of all they struggled to get the back off the amp where the speaker enclosure was. The glue for the tolex hadn't dried before they moved to the next stage of assembly so these things are being put together quite quickly.
Not bad in itself - but there are aspects of production that shouldn't be rushed through. The techs also found residue on one of the boards that might have been caused by contamination on the line or condensation in storage. It cleaned up fine and there was no evidence of corrosion as a result which was lucky. The biggest worry was that the bias was set ridiculously high in the factory. The bias current was nearly twice as high as it should have been. The tubes were going to die off very very quickly if the amp hadn't been worked on. Possibly in a gig situation. Now I imagine that the bulk of these amps are leaving the factory with the same bias as mine. That would be a worry. Many of the parts of the amp were linked internally via spade connectors or similar. Obviously this aids quick production I plan to remove these and have them hard soldered down to make the connections a bit more robust and gig worthy.
After getting the amp worked on I am now sure it is gig worthy. In stock set up it would have failed at some point with the dodgy bias. I would say that if you get one of these get the bias looked at pronto. That aside the overall construction seems pretty good elsewhere and I am sure it will last for a few years now. I will give the amp an 8 for this now I know it has been scrutinised and it has been given a clean bill of health. In shop condition it would have been a 6 prob with the bias issue and pcb residue. // 8
Overall Impression: Overall this is a keenly priced tube amp for the money and it is easy on the eye. If you can be fair and objective in your outlook and get past the made in china badge and get a tech to rebias you will still end up with a nice amp at a good price with a good brand name on it. I have got in touch with Peavey with tech queries and they always get back to you pretty quickly which is a good start on customer service really. If heavy rock and metal are your thing then this amp will do you fine and it will punch above a live drummer in rehearsal no problem.
If you can afford a new V1 tube like a 12AY7 then try it out as you might find it helps to take that edge and fizz out the gain and top end without removing all the bite. This amp isn't going to be the best for clean sounds so if you really need that from the amps preamp then I would look at other options before this. I found that if I ran it in a basic 4 cable setup and used the amps preamp for dirty sounds and a modelled clean on a pedal board running into the fx return of the combo I could get everything I wanted/needed tone wise. // 8
6505+ 112 Combo
unregistered, on january 20, 2012 0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Price paid: $ 579
Purchased from: Guitar Center
Features: Brand new amp, made in 2011. Two main channels with a foot switchable sub channel on the rhythm channel. Very versatile, but not meant for chimey clean tones. Bought it for an all around classic rock and 80's metal amp. Can pull off some SRV with the right guitar, but not ultra clean tones. // 7
Sound: Using this mainly with two custom strats, both have bridge humbuckers (Hot rails in one and a Custom Custom in the other). One guitar has a HSS pups and the other is HH. I'm not sure about some of the other posters here saying there is no clean channel on this amp. It's clean enough for me - ever heard of backing your guitar's volume knob down? My guess is that the ppl here have the gain too high and don't use the guitar's volume knob. Hello? It's a tube amp! You control the amount of grit with how hard you hit the strings, the volume knob and the gain...
I have it set up with a Boss Super OD running into the front of the amp, then in the effects loop, there a GE7 EQ and a DD-3 delay pedal. The amps reverb is marginal, but I don't want an overprocessed, hide your mistakes kind of tone anyway. The GE7 is for lead boost and a little low mid push.
The Rhythm channel is great with or without the overdrive pedal. Setting the gain on the amp around 5 gets a fairly clean tone and with the OD kicked in it's more like a driven Fender, but not as chimey. The crunch setting on the rhythm channel adds a lot of gain. More like the old JMP 50 watt Marshall's with a little Mesa midrange and a boutique tube amp thrown in. Very nice tube harmonics and enough gain to cover AC/DC, early Priest, Black Sabbath, etc. With the OD kicked in, the amp obviously drives more and gets tones closer to earlier (non-Randall) George Lynch. Definitely has the classic overdriven Marshall tone here. Turn the gain up to 10 and with no pedal, this amp sounds like a lot of today's boutique tube amps. It has a singing midrange and lots or harmonic overtones. But, it's not so driven that is gets mushy.
The lead channel has plenty of gain. I don't run it past 7. The tone is more modern - mainly because this amp was rebadged from the 5150. It can do pretty much any EVH, Zakk Wylde tones. Throw the OD on and with the gain around 6, the hottest metal tones are right there. The best part is the tube harmonics. There's just no way to compare this to any of the modeling or solid state stuff out there. They are OK, and I've owned plenty of Line 6 stuff, so I know what I'm talking about here. // 8
Reliability & Durability: Just got it and it works fine - time will tell. So I have to type in more characters in this section for the review to post. This is kinda stupid, so don't bother reading this part. It's just wasted space... Still not enough. How dumb is this? How about a bunch of spaces? // 10
Overall Impression: I bought the amp for both practice and gigging. The style is 70's to 80's metal. None of the nu-metal crap that's all over the radio these days. If you want that kind of tone, go buy a dual recto and live without a decent lead tone - sorry guys, every recto I have heard sounds thin when playing leads. Where are the harmonics? All they are good for is the way too common rhythm tones that Metallica and the hundreds of soul-less cookie cutter "metal" bands that exist today. Where are the players like EVH? Rhoads? Lynch? Wylde? All those guys played Marshalls. This amp is as close to those tones as I have found.
I've been playing for 35 years. Have been in several bands and have owned many different amps. This one is good for it's purpose. It's not the greatest thing in the world, but it beats the heck out of anything Line 6 makes, including the Spider Valve 100 - which I own right now. If I needed to replace it, I don't know what I'd get. Maybe a Mesa Mark 2C+, maybe a Marshall 4100H, ENGL? But those are expensive.
I wish the reverb was better and that it was a little more quiet, but overall, it's a very nice amp. I'll be replacing the stock speaker with a V30 to see if that adds to the tone - I expect it will. // 8
6505+ 112 Combo
oracles, on february 23, 2012 0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Price paid: C$ 500
Purchased from: Axe Music
Features: Basic Specs:
- 60 watts (RMS)
- Footswitchable lead/rhythm channel select
- Effects loop
- Separate 3-band EQ on each channel
- Separate Resonance and Presence controls for each channel
- Two 6L6GC power amp tubes
- Lead channel: pre-/post-gain controls
- Genuine 3-spring reverb
- One 12" Sheffield speaker
- Top handle
- Five 12ax7 preamp tubes
- External speaker outputs
- 16, 8, or 4 ohms (switchable)
- Rhythm channel: pre-/post-gain, footswitchable Crunch boost
- Integrated MSDI microphone-simulated XLR direct interface // 9
Sound: Straight up metal. With enough gain to cover every sub genre with ease, even for the most 'BR00T4L' of core kids. Once you sit down with it and configure your tone, the sound is fantastic. Its brutal, yet articulate. I play metal ranging from Melodic Death, Thrash, Progressive, Tech Death and Black Metal, and this amp does it all easily. It is worth noting however, that with a speaker replacement, the sound quality steps up even more, or alternatively, the sheffield speaker can be bypassed in favour of an external cab. Also, this thing is LOUD and has a little extra noise, so if your a bedroom player, invest in an attenuator or you'll have some pretty pissed neighbours. The cleans aren't anything to rave about, neither are they horrible. Again with some proper EQ'ing, a decent sound can definitely be achieved. // 9
Reliability & Durability: Its a Peavey, so you know you could throw it out of a speeding truck and it'd be fine. I can definitely depend on it, and its never shown any signs of giving out on me after the longest of practice sessions. I'd suggest putting some wheels on this thing though cause the top mounted carry handle doesn't do much to make travelling with it easy. // 9
Overall Impression: This amp is the go to choice for anyone who wants distortion for a reason. Its a solid, reliable amp with a seemingly endless array of distorted tones and its easily the best metal combo amp out there for under 1K. I absolutely love the lead channel, its ridiculously brutal but retains all the clarity and articulation I want. // 9
6505+ 112 Combo
slimmetalpickin, on may 14, 2012 0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Price paid: $ 520
Purchased from: Guitar Center - Omaha
Features: 2 Channels Rhythm & Lead with a crunch button on the rhythm channel. The amp is certainly a Peavey. It has a separate EQ for both channels that are very functional as well as a presence & resonance control for both channels. I play thrash metal and this amplifier easily accomplishes such a task. I mainly used this amp for practice and occasionally it hit the small stage. I have to say that this was a total gain monster. even at 60 watts of 6L6 power, it could tear it up. // 8
Sound: I mainly use a Les Paul standard and play exclusively Thrash metal. As far as being a rock solid metal amp, there is none better. And I mean any genre of metal. There are several things this amp has going for it. One being that even when you turn the amp Way up, it stayed pretty quiet. It distortion on tap. Get all 5 of those 12AX7 Hot and this thing is a metal machine. The EQ's on both channels are very responsive as are the presence & resonance knobs. For those who don't know what the presence & resonance do, the presence knob adjust the level if overall treble and the resonance did the same with the bass. The rhythm channel was my favorite of the two. Especially with the crunch turned on and gain turned up t around 7. It was perfect for the thrash that I play. The lead channel was just insane and totally rocked the occasional death & new metal I play. And as with most high gain tube amps, if you roll past about 7-8 on the gain, it would start to get fuzzy.
That being said, the one downfall I have found with this amp was I didn't feel the speaker was worth a damn on this amp. It handled the bass and the mid's or lack there of at times very well, but no matter what I did to the amp, I could not get rid of this trembly hollow sound until I replaced the speaker with an Eminence 16ohm Swamp Thang. Problem solved. I am not a fan of Peavy's speakers at all. And that is why I gave the sound a lower rating. // 5
Reliability & Durability: This amp, while being made in china is built like a tank. For a 112 combo amp, it weighs 60lbs. This amp took a bit of an ass kickin and never even flinched. She is a tank and I would have no problem taking it as my main amp with no back-up. // 8
Overall Impression: If you are looking for a solid metal machine, you cannot go wrong with a Peavey 6505 112 if your willing to change the speaker out. I have been playing for 3 years and mostly play thrash metal. I wish I would have tried out more amp's before dropping the hammer on this one. If it were stolen, I would go find the guy and beat the shit out of him and go get something else. // 6
6505+ 112 Combo
CkY freak, on july 03, 2012 0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Price paid: $ 527
Purchased from: Guitar Center
Features: Well this is a Peavey 6505+ 112 Combo. Its got 2 channels. Rhythm and Lead. The Rhythm (clean) channel has a crunch button that adds a boost with a little grit to it. Each channel has independent presence and resonance, which is my favorite feature of the amp. That way you get really tweak each sound on its own. I got this amp because I wanted something smaller than my Mesa half stack I had. I stopped playing shows a few years ago and having a half stack was totally not needed, so I wanted to get something more manageable. 60 watts of tube is PLENTY for anything I'll never need it for. Plus the Peavey logo lights up on the front when you turn it on! // 10
Sound: I'm using this amp with several guitars pretty regularly. I like to switch between guitars: Ibanez RG1570Prestige, PRS SE 245, Fender American HSS Strat, Epiphone Les Paul Custom Pro, and an Ibanez RG470. I've tried it out with all of them already and they all do well with it. I'm not going to say that this is strictly a "metal" amp, but I will say its probably best suited for that. You can definitely get some rock tones out of it though by tweaking the gain knob. However the amp does hiss quite a bit when you get the gain past 6. I never use clean channels on amps as I never liked switching between the 2, I just roll the volume down to clean up.
A big complaint on this amp is the clean tone. It sounds fine to me. Although you may not be able to use this amp for jazz or something like that, I think the clean sound is fine for anything rock related. The distortion is where this amp really shines though. This is where playing metal really showcases this amp. The distortion is the best I've ever heard in an amp before. Just for a comparison on my mesa I used to have to crank the distortion to about 8 AND use a Maxon overdrive pedal to get a good metal sound out of it. On this amp I turn the gain to 6 and I don't even need the overdrive pedal. It's that much of a difference. The reverb sounds great too! I'm rating this strictly on the lead channel, as it wouldn't be fair to rate the clean channel since I don't use it. // 10
Reliability & Durability: I've owned 2 other Peavey amps and NEVER had a problem with them. I can't say that for the other brands I've owned. All the others have broken down or stopped working correctly in some way. But there's always that chance it could. No amp is free from breaking down. // 10
Overall Impression: I play a lot of different stuff. Mostly hard rock and metal though. I do play plenty of other genres and bands like Journey, John Mayer, Eric Clapton, etc. I would definitely have to tweak it before playing any of those, but I think it can be done. I've been playing for about 9 years and have played a lot of different stuff in that time. This is my favorite amp I've ever owned/played. I highly recommend this amp to any metal / hard rock player. I wish it would have came with the footswitch, even though I wouldn't have used it. It just would have been nice. I would definitely buy this amp again and if I was out playing shows like I used to, I would have considered the 212 version, or even the head. But for what I'm doing now, this amp is perfect! Check one out! // 10
6505+ 112 Combo
T00DEEPBLUE, on august 22, 2012 0 of 1 people found this review helpful
Price paid: £ 300
Purchased from: Ebay
Features: So today I'm going to review my modded 6505+. No idea when this amp was made, but I don't know why that would be important for this particular amplifier.
- 2 channels w/ a crunch on the clean channel.
- Both channels each have a 3-band EQ with their own presence and resonance controls to adjust the extreme highs and extreme lows. Both channels have their own pre (gain) and post (master volume) controls.
- Spring Reverb which both channels share.
- 60 Watts with 5 12AX7 pre-amp valves and 2 6L6 valves in the power section. More power and gain than I'll ever need. The speaker is a 1x12 Sheffield speaker that I've changed for a Celestion V30.
- Has an MSDI (Microphone-Simulated Direct-Out) on the back of the amplifier. It means that you can record your amplifier into your interface or a PA without needing to mic up. Very useful if you don't have a decent mic.
- Effects loop on the back of the amp, channel switching via a footswitch that switches between the clean, crunch and lead channels.
- I use this amp in my bedroom, but I also intend to use this amp in gigs due to its smaller size making it easier to transport, which was one of the main reasons I bought this amp in the first place.
For reference, I primarily play most styles that involve the use of a lot of gain, such as Metal, Hard Rock, Shred and Progressive but aside from the high gain stuff, occasionally Funk, Blues and a little Jazz. Overall its a very nicely-specced amp for the price and the features it comes with are very useful. A noise gate would be a nice addition as I will explain later. // 8
Sound: Unlike most UG reviews I read, I like to be honest about my gear.
I use a few different guitars, but mostly ones with high-output pickups. I use my Gibson Flying V '68 Reissue and an Epiphone Futura Prophecy EX.
This amplifier suits my style of music brilliantly. I demand an amp that has a lot of gain with a fat, full, thick American tone. Think 5150, Soldano SLO, Mesa MK V and Dual Rectifier tones. For that particular kind of sound, the amp does it very well for the price, especially with the V30 speaker installed. It has plenty of gain and bottom end, but depending on how you set your EQ, you can achieve a lot of crunchy, bright, almost British-sounding tones as well, the Crunch mode on the clean channel is especially good at doing this as I can easily achieve some meaty, rude Texas brownsound tones, which really lends itself well for funk and blues.
But there are a few things wrong with this amplifier. First of all, the Sheffield speaker needed to be replaced. On low volumes it sounds fine but on higher volumes, it starts sounding brittle and too bright. This is a noisy amplifier. Its forgivable because the amount of gain this amp can chuck out is ridiculous, so naturally it will be quite noisy. In a gig though, not using a noise suppressor would be manageable but not ideal.
The clean channel on this amplifier isn't clean enough. I am a huge fan of the Roland JC120 and getting that amount of headroom with the amp on its own is impossible. The fact that the pickups I use are super HOT isn't to be sniffed at, but a cleaner clean channel would be nice. However, it is indeed a double-edged sword as in the case that you are the sort of player that likes a bit of breakup on the clean channel (I am that sort of player on a few occasions) then this amp gets the job done of having a clean channel with a relatively subtle amount of distortion. Having spring reverb is nice, but I wish there was more of it. Even with the reverb control cranked, it is relatively subtle. This can cause the clean channel to sound a bit too dry.
Going back to the main attraction here, the lead channel, I can say that this amp sounds fantastic for high gain. Leads sound articulate and sustain-y. For how I've set my amp, a lot of the tone comes from the style of player you are, so if you dig in, it can get snappy and bright, or if picked softly, can sound warm and fuzzy. In my books, that's a great quality to have in which the dynamics of the player Shine through in the final sound.
For rhythm, again this amp sounds superb with the V30 in it. I have the midrange set quite low (a bit of a dirty move to do for most metal players, I know), but this amp has quite a lot of midrange. Turning the mids down a fraction moves the frequency spike over to the lower mids, which allows you to get the huge, thick tones that this amp made its name in doing. The EQ controls are very sensitive, so tweaking the amp can take a long time, but the wide response of the controls allows for quite a few different styles of play, which in my opinion is a good thing. Mutes are very crunchy and the attack very present, but the low end is very strong with this one. // 8
Reliability & Durability: I probably would use this amp in a gig, its size makes it a lot more practical for transporting to gigs and the construction seems pretty solid. In fact the guy i bought this from has previously played 7 gigs with this amp is proof of this judgement, but the poor guy decided to sell the amp as he didn't want to play guitar for a while (his drummer had recently passed away). I haven't really abused this amp per se as I've only really used this amp for home recording, but I've had no problems as of yet and neither did the previous owner so its safe to say its a pretty rock solid amp. // 9
Overall Impression: I'd say that for the money, I could not have got a whole lot of a better amp. I've been playing guitar for over 5 years and previously owned a Bugera 6262 which I sold. It would have been nice if the amp have a V30 speaker in it stock and I wish it had a built-in noise gate to cut out all the hiss, but that can be resolved quite easily. Not being able to control the effects loop through the footswitch is a slight annoyance too.
What I really love about this amp is the high gain tones. They're great after I modded the amp and the MSDI couldn't make recording with the amp any simpler. If you want warm, sparkly cleans with a ton of headroom, look elsewhere, but if you really want a thick, American-sounding uber high gain amp for sensible money, have a look at this. // 8