Price paid: $ 60
Purchased from: Pawn Shop
Features: This is a blue stripe Peavey Studio Pro 110. The color of the stripe means that it was made in the early 90's. Some of Peavey's best amps were made in those years. It's a 2 channel amp. It has a clean and a lead channel. The lead channel is where you can get distorted sounds. It is solid state. The distortion is not bad, though. You really have to be careful with the settings, but you can get a really good overdrive if you are careful. Some of the sounds that I have gotten are reminiscent of Marshall amps. Reminiscent doesn't mean exact.
You have to pay attention to the Saturation knob settings if you want to get good tone. The lead channel has a Pre knob, which is where you overdrive the signal. The Saturation knob is basically and accent to the distorted signal from the Pre setting. It is meant to mimic the compression and voltage sag that is found in true tube amps. If you crank the Saturation too much in relation to the Pre, you get a very fuzzy (and a bit fizzy) distortion. However, if you use it properly, you can get a really nice, tight-sounding distortion that sustains very pleasantly.
The amp is 65 watts running through a 10" speaker. It's loud enough for my small room. It could probably get loud enough for band practice, based on the volume I've gotten without even trying to push it. It has a headphone out, too. However, the headphone out is not pleasant sounding. It's extremely thin, harsh, and flat. Use it only in an emergency.
It also has real spring reverb. I know that many people love their modeling amps, but I have to say that there is no substitute for spring reverb. When it comes to distortion, I don't really care about "asymmetrical clipping" and "even order harmonics". The difference just isn't that outstanding to me. When it comes to reverb, though, I can hear the difference between real and modeled. I recently had to sell my Fender Vibro Champ XD to get a little extra money to help the family make it through the week. An unexpected benefit of that hardship was that I bought this amp, which was far cheaper, and it came with spring reverb! Why have amp makers started going with digital rather than spring reverb? I don't know.
Seriously, going from a Fender Vibro Champ XD to the Peavey Studio Pro 110 is not too big of a step down. My score reflects my love of true spring reverb. By the way, you can get a footswitch for this amp, but I don't have one. // 8
Sound: The clean channel on this amplifier is really good. I am using a First Act Volkswagen Garage Master guitar. I put a P90 in the neck position and kept the stock humbucker in the bridge. With the P90, I can get some really mellow, relaxed sounds from the clean channel. When I select the bridge pickup, I get a clean sound that could probably cut through concrete.
The distortion channel is also useful. The distortion is best at a classic rock setting. You can crank the Drive to metal settings, but the distortion gets a little hairy when you do. I would say it's best to keep the amp distortion at classic rock settings and then use a pedal to get higher distortion levels, if you want such.
My guitar has a built in preamp that acts like a distortion pedal. I never used to use it, because the distortion is not very enjoyable. However, when used in connection with this amp, I have found settings in my guitar's preamp that sound really good. The distortion is smooth, creamy, but not loose. It stays even and straight, like new pavement. I don't know how this works. I don't know why it works. I just know that I like it. I play mostly blues and rock. This amplifier seems like it was made for my style of music. It does have a grounding hum. I blame that on the house I live in, though. It's and old house and every amplifier I have owned has a hum when plugged into an outlet in this house. // 9
Reliability & Durability: This is a 20 year old amplifier and it has no problems. I love Peavey quality from the 70's, 80's, and 90's. Some of the most dependable amps ever made say Peavey on the front... In really cheesy lettering. // 10
Overall Impression: I live in Portland, Oregon. People who play Peavey amps will never be taken seriously in this musical environment. Fortunately, I am not trying to be taken seriously. I really like Peavey amps from the years where they were made in America. Peavey made some of the best sounding solid state amps during those years. The Peavey Studio Pro 110 is, I feel, one of them. I think that the Studio Pro 112 might have an edge over it because of the speaker size. I haven't tried the 112, though.
For an amp of this size, which is extremely portable, you can't do better. The volume is good. The distortion is decent, the reverb is springy (the Peavey Bandit DOES have better reverb, however) and real. The cleans are pretty and even sparkle some. They are not, however, up to Fender's level of clean.
This is the best description I can give of this amplifier: It gives you distortion that is almost, but not quite, Marshall and it gives cleans that are almost, but not quite, Fender. Spend the money to buy a Marshall and a Fender, or buy one of these little guys for between 60 and 100 dollars. It's hard to put a numerical rating on that idea. The amplifier itself rates a 7 or 8. Factor in the price, though, and it's a 10. // 8