XXL 212 Review

manufacturer: Peavey date: 09/30/2015 category: Guitar Amplifiers
Peavey: XXL 212
Designed for heavy metal, classic rock and alternative rock guitarists, Peavey XXL amps deliver the sound, high output, warmth and "push back" of a tube amplifier while utilizing solid-state construction.
 Sound: 9
 Overall Impression: 9
 Reliability & Durability: 9.3
 Features: 8.3
 Overall rating:
 Reviewer rating:
 Users rating:
reviews (3) 2 comments vote for this gear:
overall: 9.5
XXL 212 Recently reviewed by: erb1973, on september 30, 2015
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 200

Purchased from: GC

Features: Check previous reviews for more details on features. Basically it's a solid state, three channel amp each with 3 different voicing options per channel, with independent volume controls and reverb. Each voicing options shifts the eq a bit and can shift the amount of gain available. I just typically find one sound on each channel that I like and leave it that. The only feature I wish it had would be possibly a resonance or presence option that some of Peavey's amps have. The ability to select between 4, 8, or 16 ohm speaker options should be on every amp so that is always a bonus. // 9

Sound: I play mostly classic rock or '80s metal type of music. I play through it with either a Gibson Les Paul or a Peavey HP USA signature. I have read reviews that said this amp isn't very loud, but theirs must be defective because on the 25 watt mode it can get blistering loud and the 50 or 100 watt will only add to that.

Distortion is very usable and very tight. I even like the stock Blue Marvels with it. I love that you can just plug into it and have a great sound instantly. I have played through many tube amps that need constant tweaking to get a great sound. Some of the tube amps I have owned are the Peavey 5150, every version on the XXX to include combos, Peavey Windsor, Crate Blue Voodoo, Crate Stealth, Crate Vintage Club, Randall RD 20, Marshall DSL 40 (original). So no high end Marshalls or Mesas...

I keep coming back to this over all the others. In fact I have sold almost every one of those and keep playing this one. The distortion can be brutal, although that isn't how I use it. Even with heavy distortion this amp sounds clear and not muddy. Sounds good at low volumes and great when playing loud.

It isn't quite as warm as tube amps, but just barely. And it sits very well in the mix. The XXX's and the 5150 I always had a difficult time hearing in the mix unless it was so loud others would complain. Mine isn't noisy either. Love the foot switchable three channels and effects loop. // 10

Reliability & Durability: Solid state and a Peavey so I can count on it. I would still always bring a backup to a gig. Nice to not have to worry about $100 tube changes every other year. With the 212 setup, it is easily loud enough to be heard in a band without much trouble. Metal footswitch is a bonus. Haven't had any issues with it, but you never know. It's a lot lighter than any other 212 tube amp I have ever owned, but still has enough heft to it to seem durable. This amp has to be 10-15 years old and still looks and sounds great and made in the USA. // 9

Overall Impression: I became a tube snob for years, and not to take anything away from tube amps, I still own a few, but love playing the XXL. Love being able to turn on and play instantly or turn off and leave. Is this going to sound as good as a $1500 amp. No, but I am not going to buy one of those anyways. I will say I personally liked the sound and versatility of the XXL to the 5150 and the XXX (it could be that I never had those tube amps running wide open). No tube changes is a big plus. I have no problem playing this thing out live. PA systems always color your sound anyways ( in the crappy bars we play in anyways). // 10

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overall: 8
XXL 212 Reviewed by: unregistered, on april 06, 2005
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Features: The XXL is solid state, has 3 chanels (ultra, lead and clean) each have 3 settings like classic, brit, modern and its own volume and EQ (bass treb, mid, and gain) FX loop, reverb, 2x12" Blue Marvel speakers, 60lbs, power options: 25-50-or 100 Watts. You can slave another 2x12 cab too to make a halfstack, and selectable impendence. No built in FX, no headphone jack, but it's just not made for these if you know what I mean. It's a rocker in a tight package. Decent distortion, clean is just cool too, good classic amp sounds with the lead chanel. // 6

Sound: I'm using Tremonti SE with Tremonti Pickups. Playing mainly rock and metal, it suits my style fine because it has solid state versatile features without a lot of dials, it's cool. As far as distortion, this is what I was after looking for a new amp in this price range. I will scale it a 7.5 out of 10 so it could be a little tighter but still kicks, and you can go to classic or Brit snarl respectfully. Clean is clear as a bell, and shapeable, it is just as good as the distortion. // 8

Reliability & Durability: I can depend on this amp. Period. I've never had a problem, but I've also never giged it so I've had it for about 3 years and the power has always been there at the flip of the switch, theres a cool calssic red piolet light too that reasures you its ready. The amp never fails. // 10

Overall Impression: I play metal and rock too, it's a good match even with no FX. Playin' for 9 years I mainly use a Digitech GNX 3 for FX, recording, and saving different presets, its a great combination because the simple EQ of the amp can help equalize any preset FX that need rounding out, and they are equally dependable together or seperate, this combination is what I love about the amp. It has helped my playing and finding my own sound. I was so happy with the distortion and the price, I forgot to ask about headphone jack, but I've since worked around that you shouldn't use em with this amp anyway. If it were stolen I might go with a Triple XXX with the tubes or a 5150, maybe a Mesa Boogie. But I like the Peavey amps! My only prob with this amp is that I am so close to that brutal distortion I can taste it, I just want to push it harder and I can get it with FX, but with the amp alone the distortion is definetly there but limited. // 8

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overall: 9.3
XXL 212 Reviewed by: jsav4589, on february 14, 2006
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Features: This amp is the perfect amp for heavy metal and hard rock. I play metal/harcore and it works fine for just that. It has 3 channels, clean, lead and ultra which have independent volumes along with a master volume and reverb. On each channel there are various gain and EQ voicings which make it better to get a sound you want. It's footswitchable and has an effects loop in the back that is also footswitchable. It also has a preamp out and power amp in which I don't use and dont know how to use. You can switch it from 100, 50 or 25 watts of power and switch tight, medium and loose damping. Probably one of the best features on this amp is that it has 2 outputs for speakers, you use one of them with the amp for the 2 speakers. You can buy a separate 2X12 cab that goes with it to go underneath to make a half-stack. This amp has a ton of power (100w) and is fine for me in band practice and on stage. // 10

Sound: I use a Jackson DK-2 Dinky with 2 Duncan designed single coils and a Duncan designed humbucker. This amp has a wide range of sounds you can pick from. I play heavy metal and hardcore and this amp works very good with that style. I also play lead guitar so it has a good lead tone if you know what your doing with it. It's a bit noisy on the lead and ultra channel but its easily switched off via footswitch. For rhythm I use the ultra channel and for lead I use the lead channel so I can have a separate channel with a volume boost. The clean channel can get distorted at a high volume if the guitar volume is high, all you have to do is turn it down about half-way and your fine. The distortion is brutal and mind blowing. It has a lot of gain and really good definition of notes. Pinch harmonics just fly out of it. This is probably the best sound on the amp. // 9

Reliability & Durability: I would use it without a backup. It's very reliable. Nothing bad has happened to it yet, and nothing should happen, I take good care of it and it should take good care of me. // 9

Overall Impression: This amp is great for metal and hard rock. I've been playing 3 years and have owned 2 other amps, a 15 watt Fender and 30 watt Marshall. One thing I dislike is the weight. My freind has a Line 6 100 watt and it's like 20 pounds heavier, but its worth it. The heaviness shows in the sound. // 9

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