#1



1989 Peavey VTM60
-60W All Tube Design
-Single Channel, dual input
-Pre & Post Gain, Bass, Mid, Treble, and Presence controls
-"Modifier" Switches


This amp was Peavey's answer to Marshall's JCM800, aside from a couple differences in component value it's nearly identical to one. The story goes that Peavey received a cease and desist letter from Marshall and they ceased production shortly after. It's brothers were the Peavey Butcher and Triumph, although neither had the Modifier Switches. The control layout is very simple and minimalistic:








Being a Peavey it is built like a tank and is probably the heaviest head I've ever owned. The extra thick shell doesn't help matters.









It's capable of running 4-16ohm cabs . And the hum balance is a neat feature, you can dial out the background hum like on vintage Fenders.
Endorsed by Dean Guitars 07-10
2003 Gibson Flying V w/ Moon Inlay
2006 Fender All-American Partscaster
SVK ELP-C500 Custom

1964 Fender Vibro Champ
1989 Peavey VTM60

[thread="1166208"]Gibsons Historic Designs[/thread]
#2
Gear used:
-2003 Gibson Flying V (ebony fretboard), 500T bridge, SD59 neck
-Avatar 2x12 8-ohm cab, loaded with a G12H30 Anniversary and Vintage 30
-RCA 6L6's, Sylvania 12AX7's


Initial Impressions: Dead square in Marshall territory. And damn is it loud! With the post on 4 it's as loud as my old Jet City JCA100H. It's a very bright amp, not as bright as a Splawn Quick Rod but brighter than the Jet City. Nice round bottom end, tighter than the Jet City but nothing like a JSX or 5150. Although it's mint, it's ugly as sin between the green chassis and extra thickheadshell. A cosmetic upgrade is definitely in order .

Controls: The controls are very responsive, unlike the Splawn Quick Rod. The mid knob acts more like a mid sweep and a presence stuck together, but isn't hard to figure out. The most powerful knob on it is the treble, sort of like a Rectifier. If you fiddle with it, it changes the response of everything else so you have to set things according to the treble knob's position.

High Input: This has a LOT of gain on tap, a little more than a stock JCM800. With all the Modifier switches off (more on these in a sec) the top end is a little harsh and the low end ever so slightly lacking. A decent amount of compression available. With the pre over 6 or so it starts getting muddy.

Low Input: Very surprising feature, it sounds like a different "channel" if you will. With the pre dimed it has a slight hint of breakup. Has a Fendery chime to the top end and "sparkles" when you dig into it. I haven't tried it with the post dimed yet for power tube distortion. The lows are a little odd, it seems the mid and high frequencies overpower it and the lows are backed off or something. It could be because I'm used to 100W'ers and their bigger iron.


Modifier Switches: As if the amp in 'stock' form wasn't enough, imagine if Egnater made a Tweaker JCM800. These alter the amp's response by swapping component values, they're not boosts. I'll explain each one on each 'channel'...

Gain 1: Activating this switch adds an additional tube gain stage and increases the VTM's capacity to saturate at low volumes. If the stock form was "vintage", this turns the gain character to "hotrodded" but not "balls out". It seems to affect the lower frequencies more than anything and is a subtle effect.

Gain 2: This is almost like a third channel. According to the manual it "opens the extra tube gain stage all the way to it's voltage limits, and, as that statement indicates, maximum all-tube preamp distortion is obtained." I couldn't say it better, with this switch engaged it gives an incredible amount of saturation and lands in modernish metal territory. With a boost I'm sure you could nail a lot of ground. Alice in Chains, Shadows Fall, Killswitch Engage (within reason) is easily attained with this switch on and the gain around noon. On the low gain input it gives the amp a nice smooth crunch character to it, similar to the Jet City's normal channel around with the pre around noon. It seems to shift the emphasis on the lower mids and makes it sound nice and fat.

Comp: I can't find a good use for this switch, and I suspect it's got a faulty component somewhere. It reminds me of The Beatles "Revolution" tone, very tinny and harsh without as much gain.

EDIT: The comp switch seems to have wakened up on my amp. It now makes the amp significantly tighter and adds a good amount of compression, at the expense of some volume (this amp is PLENTY loud however). It's apparently the Zener mod found on oldschool hotrodded Marshalls. It takes the amp well into 90's territory and sounds mean. I'm quite fond of it.

Low 1: Extends the low end response and makes it more noticeable. It doesn't get flabby or boomy, just reshapes it. I prefer this one on the High Gain input

Low 2: Reshapes the low end in a different manner, at a different point in the circuit. This switch corrects most of my low end complain I found on the low gain channel and evens out the response. Apparently with both Low switches engaged a third one activates. I haven't tried this yet I don't think.

Mid: This one is the most drastic of the bunch, it gives a noticeable spike in the lower mid response. I'm not a huge fan of it on the high gain input, but on the low gain it gives a really cool spanky tone like a smaller Fender combo. From the manual: "Mid On is somewhat more 'punchy' and 'percussive', Mid Off is somewhat more 'cutting' and 'crisp'"

Hi 1: "works by slightly lowering the centering frequency of the active presence control". It helps to smooth out the harsh top end in my opinion. Gives a different flavor for the upper range of the amp.

Hi 2: Pretty much the same thing as Hi 1, but I personally like it's effect more. This in combination with Gain 2 turns the amp into something incredibly similar to the Jet City JCA100H I had. This is my favorite setting on the High Input side of the amp


Conclusion: The only complaints I have is the harsh top end and the lack of channel switching. With home playing this wouldn't be an issue, however in a live situation I would be constantly messing with the amp to change settings. The Modifier switches are very useful and interesting, however my preferred settings are very different between the High and Low sides. You have to use a toothpick or screwdriver to mess with the switches too, they're too small for your fingers or a pick.

Tone for what I paid: 10/10
Tone vs other amps I've owned: 7.5/10
Versatility: 8/10
Cosmetic: 2/10


I'm very pleased with it
Endorsed by Dean Guitars 07-10
2003 Gibson Flying V w/ Moon Inlay
2006 Fender All-American Partscaster
SVK ELP-C500 Custom

1964 Fender Vibro Champ
1989 Peavey VTM60

[thread="1166208"]Gibsons Historic Designs[/thread]
Last edited by Flux'D at Feb 4, 2014,
#4
No problem 311, if and when we ever get to jam I'll definitely bring it with me

The Splawn definitely does the Marshall thang better, but for the price you can't beat the VTM. It also has a lot more compression available than the Splawn and holds together better at higher gain settings. The Splawn is definitely more articulate, I think an OT upgrade would help this amp out. I'm not saying it's bad but it could use a bit of improvement
Endorsed by Dean Guitars 07-10
2003 Gibson Flying V w/ Moon Inlay
2006 Fender All-American Partscaster
SVK ELP-C500 Custom

1964 Fender Vibro Champ
1989 Peavey VTM60

[thread="1166208"]Gibsons Historic Designs[/thread]
#5
Interesting amp!

It seems that the functions on the amp are actual analog changes within the amp. I like this idea a lot! Definitely not gimmicky as digital functions on modern amps, which tend to take away just as much as they give in terms of applications - even on higher end amps/modellers. In all honesty, the cosmetics of that amp would probably make we walk right past it in a pawnshop or used section of a store, but the details you have given definitely given me a different perspective. I will keep my eyes open for these older Peavey's from now on!

Thanks for the review, and congrats on the new amp!
#6
dip switches on the front panel of an amp and built in mods? Dayum peavey was ahead of their time with some stuff, circuit modifying switches are on a ton of newer brand's amps.
#7
Pretty damn cool.

I've been eye balling CL for one for a while out here...


Quote by DeathByDestroyr
See, it's important that people clarify when they say "metal", because I pretty much always assume they are a Cannibal Corpse fanboi.
#9
Quote by tukk04
dip switches on the front panel of an amp and built in mods? Dayum peavey was ahead of their time with some stuff, circuit modifying switches are on a ton of newer brand's amps.

they were clearly proud of it to put it there.

very cool ngd flux'd.

i don't feel like you described it well enough though.


#10
Oh shush

There's so many options I feel like I've left a lot out as it is . Since few people know about this amp I thought I'd give some detail on what it does
Endorsed by Dean Guitars 07-10
2003 Gibson Flying V w/ Moon Inlay
2006 Fender All-American Partscaster
SVK ELP-C500 Custom

1964 Fender Vibro Champ
1989 Peavey VTM60

[thread="1166208"]Gibsons Historic Designs[/thread]
#11
Congrats, you made me want a VTM.

HNAD!
Spin 'round carousel when your horse isn't screwed in.

My band:
Fractured Instinct
(For fans of Death/Groove/Prog Metal)

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#12
Those are cool amps, I almost bought a VTM120 10 yrs ago but I had to have a new one (and the VTM are notoriously ugly in the stock headshell)
2002 PRS CE22
2013 G&L ASAT Deluxe
2009 Epiphone G-400 (SH-4)
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#13





In a different shell they look SO much better. Now to find/build a new one for it...
Endorsed by Dean Guitars 07-10
2003 Gibson Flying V w/ Moon Inlay
2006 Fender All-American Partscaster
SVK ELP-C500 Custom

1964 Fender Vibro Champ
1989 Peavey VTM60

[thread="1166208"]Gibsons Historic Designs[/thread]
#14
$10 says you won't have it long enough to find another shell for it.
Quote by DeathByDestroyr
See, it's important that people clarify when they say "metal", because I pretty much always assume they are a Cannibal Corpse fanboi.
#15
I am getting almost as bad as Tom with gear

Unless I pick up another Marshall-esque amp in the near future I plan on having this one for awhile. It's the closest I've gotten yet to 'that' sound I'm after.
Endorsed by Dean Guitars 07-10
2003 Gibson Flying V w/ Moon Inlay
2006 Fender All-American Partscaster
SVK ELP-C500 Custom

1964 Fender Vibro Champ
1989 Peavey VTM60

[thread="1166208"]Gibsons Historic Designs[/thread]
#16
So the one with 'Classic 30' tolex modded the mod switches - what is going on there?

Also, do you know what 'Vacuum Tube Modified System' means? The whole front panel has an SS feel to it.


and yes, I'm confident we'll hook up one of these days.
#17
It's a very popular modding platform apparently, there's a lot of them out there with various mods. Dunno what's going on with that one. And I think it refers to the dip switches, you can "modify" the output

EDIT: It's also what VTM stands for. Vacuum Tube Modified system
Endorsed by Dean Guitars 07-10
2003 Gibson Flying V w/ Moon Inlay
2006 Fender All-American Partscaster
SVK ELP-C500 Custom

1964 Fender Vibro Champ
1989 Peavey VTM60

[thread="1166208"]Gibsons Historic Designs[/thread]
Last edited by Flux'D at Apr 2, 2013,
#18
Oh yeah, I knew what VTM stood for I just didn't really understand why Peavey chose to call it that. It has a Valvetronix or Vypyr tube feel to the name. Changing values in a tube amp in real time is very forward thinking though. Interesting to learn that the circuit was so close to a Marshall JCM 800 that Peavey actually had to stop making them
#19
I just can't get over how clean it is, I almost had a trade for one of these a while back for my Rev Jr. but homie backed out before I could make the deal.

Well, I already wanted a VTM (and most of the other old Peaveys) but now I want one even more.

HNAD!
I'm just a kickin' and a gougin' in the mud and the blood and the beer.
#20
Quote by Flux'D
I am getting almost as bad as Tom with gear

Unless I pick up another Marshall-esque amp in the near future I plan on having this one for awhile. It's the closest I've gotten yet to 'that' sound I'm after.








Awesome find mate, I really like the sound of these, shame I cant find any in the UK.

1977 Burny FLG70
2004 EBMM JP6
2016 SE Holcolmb
#22
awesome

nice review too
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Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

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#23
Have you tried using an ABY switch as a "channel switcher" for the different inputs? Or will only one be engaged when both inputs have plugs in them (like my Laney)?
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#24
I can't wait to see what it looks like after you give it a makeover. Might just add enough sentimental value to make you want to hold onto it. Especially at that price.
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#25
Quote by LaidBack
Have you tried using an ABY switch as a "channel switcher" for the different inputs? Or will only one be engaged when both inputs have plugs in them (like my Laney)?
Already tried that, both inputs act like the low gain side of it
Endorsed by Dean Guitars 07-10
2003 Gibson Flying V w/ Moon Inlay
2006 Fender All-American Partscaster
SVK ELP-C500 Custom

1964 Fender Vibro Champ
1989 Peavey VTM60

[thread="1166208"]Gibsons Historic Designs[/thread]
#26
Quote by Flux'D
Already tried that, both inputs act like the low gain side of it


Aw fiddlesticks.
Gibson Les Paul Studio
Highway One Telecaster
Dean Evo
Mesa F-50
Laney GH50L
Vox AC30 C2
Ampeg V2
pedals
#27
If the dual inputs are like Fender combos (a single resistor being the difference between them), I wonder if you could connect into the high gain side and build a simple pedal that throws that resistor in the chain? Something tells me it isn't that simple or somebody would've done it by now
Endorsed by Dean Guitars 07-10
2003 Gibson Flying V w/ Moon Inlay
2006 Fender All-American Partscaster
SVK ELP-C500 Custom

1964 Fender Vibro Champ
1989 Peavey VTM60

[thread="1166208"]Gibsons Historic Designs[/thread]
#28
always nice to see another VTM still kickin' out there...HNAD!
main rig:
MIM Tele->VP Jr.->CryBaby->Fuzz Factory->TS808->Carbon Copy->Phase 90->TU-3->Vox AC30CCH+Avatar 212 and Peavey VTM60+Marshall 1960A


Quote by necrosis1193
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#31
I think it looks just fine?

=/

There was one of these at my local music store when I first started playing. This was when the BOSS ME-50 first came out, and I bought that instead. Silly me.

HNAD!
"If you're looking for me,
you better check under the sea,
because that's where you'll find me..."