Hello, this is my first post here. I've got a couple of amp questions, but I warn that I'm pretty long-winded and trying to get all the info you might need in the first place so I apologize in advance for how long this post might end up being!

I've been in the market for a new amp for a while and have been doing some exhausting research to conclude what options suited me best. I practice at home most of the time but play with a band on the weekends. I play a large variety of music from country to metal, but mostly classic rock to metal. I recently bought a Peavey Ultra 212, used, from a local store and still have about two weeks to take it back for a full refund, so I'm trying to decide whether or not it's worth keeping. I paid roughly $360 for it used and plan to buy a JJ re-tube kit for it if I decide to keep it, adding about $100 to the cost.

My questions concern the FX loop and preamp tubes of the amp. First of all, the effects loop seems to work fine with my EQ, chorus, noise suppressor, and delay pedals, but when I added my Digitech DF-7, only one of the distortion types worked and even that one didn't sound all that great. I also tried a Metal Muff pedal through the loop and it didn't sound very good either. Although, if I put either pedal out front instead, they both work fine. I'm not sure if that means something is wrong with the FX loop or not.

Also, it might or might not be related to the effects loop, but I've taken off the preamp tube cover and noticed that two of the four tubes don't glow as bright as the other two. Now, I've read the tube thread here and know that not all tubes glow the same, but its a side-by-side pair and they both glow the same as one another, but only half, if that, as brightly as the other pair of tubes. The bright pair stay on, and the dull pair come on when the crunch channel is on. The contrast between pairs remains the same regardless of channel or master volume or level of gain. Again, not sure whether that has anything to do with the FX loop, but since I've seen many amp specs list that the FX loop is powered by X number of tubes, I figured I'd ask.

I didn't know much about this amp until I'd seen it because I'd never seen one before and only then began researching it. From the reviews I've read of this amp and it's smaller 1x12 version, it seemed like a decent value for my first tube amp, but I'm a big "get the most for my money" kinda guy. there doesn't seem to be much discussion about them aside from them being compared to the XXX which followed it's production. I currently use an old Randall Commander II, which has been fine for bedroom volume practice, but at levels to hear over my drummer during practice the low end drops out and it sounds like poo, so I figured now would be a good time to upgrade. I had been looking at the Bugera 333xl and 6262 amps, and while I did like the sound of the 333xl combo I tried in the store, they might be a little too high powered for at-home practice (even though the Peavey is still 60w and plenty loud in it's own right). But I'll stop myself there, because this isn't a "which amp" thread, I only added that to put out there what I'd been looking at and my price range with the bugera's being at the top of that range for now.

For what it's worth, do these issues sound like something that should be a deal breaker for this amp? If the new tubes might take care of the problem then, for the money it seems like it would be worthwhile. But if they sound like significant problems that would add more than it's worth to the cost or be future frustrations, I'd rather take it back and either grab something else or wait for a better valued used amp to surface. Thanks for reading through all this and I'll promise to make further posts MUCH shorter! All advice is more than welcome.
Distortions, OD's, and wahs don't work well in any FX loop. They're always designed to run between your guitar and amp. So don't worry about it.

Same with tubes lighting up differently. As long as the amp is functioning properly, don't worry about how the tubes look.

And your amp is probably nicer than those Bugeras.
You Don't Need a halfstack.

You Don't Need 100W.

Quote by jj1565
i love you slats.
About the FX loops, I'm pretty sure distortion and boost units are supposed to go in front of the amplifier. Your effects loop is fine, those units just don't belong there.

Your tubes also seem fine to me from that description. Its pretty normal they don't all glow the same, and it makes sense the crunch channel activates more tubes.

In short, your amp seems to be working fine. Whats more important is if the amplifier gives you the sound you are looking for. You can get amazing bang for your buck, but it could be totally useless to you if you don't like the way it sounds.

The advice most people give when it comes to amplifiers is to just get out there and try them. Make yourself a list of amplifiers within your budget and try them out. When you tried a bunch of amplifiers, and you still feel the peavey is for you then there is your great buy.

When I tried a Mesa dual rectifier I thought it sounded like sundried ass. Yet to a lot of people this amplifier is the holy grail. The peavey is a nice amplifier, but is it the sound you want?
WTLTL 2011
Thanks for responding so quickly guys. Like I said, I knew that not all tubes glow the same, but the fact that one pair was half the brightness of the other made me wonder if it might be something wrong, thanks for clearing that up for me. I'd also thought I'd remembered people saying they were running a distortion along with their other effects in the loop. Guess it was just a misunderstanding. Other than those things, the amp sounds great for what I'm looking for. I've played most of the amps in my price range from the bugera to B52 At212's which are on sale, as well as the crate V's and such, and this Peavey really seemed to suit my needs best. I'm glad everything I've noticed is normal!

Thanks again for the quick responses, you've made my decision much easier.
Ultra's are good amps. It's probably better than anything else in that price range. Nice find. All your questions were answered so I'll just say...
Congrats for buying used and saving money!
if you have any questions about the Ultra, email this guy. he is an amp tech and owns the Ultra plus head. he has helped me out with a few things before amp wise man. great amp byt the way man

'92 Mesa Dual Rectifier Blackface
Peavey 5150 II half stack
'94 Mesa Dual Rect.
Bugera 6262-212
'93 Custom Fender Strat
Schecter C1 custom
Fender FMT Telecaster
Mosrite JR Model
MXR Smart Gate

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