Sound — 9
The three single-coil pickups give the T-30 that familiar Strat sound with one noticeable difference: it has a less punchy sound. Don't be quick to dismiss it as a Stratocaster knockoff: the T-30 can more than hold it's own. With the neck pickup selected, you get a nice and full sound, perfect for playing rhythm. The middle pickup gives a more mellow sound to your playing, and if you want to play a screaming solo then the bridge pickup will give you a distinctive thin sound that can really cut through a mix. More of a humbucker fan? Positions two and four on the pickup selector activate humbucking mode, helping to get rid of the notorious single-coil hum while giving you the more familiar sound of a humbucking pickup. But no matter what pickup you select, this Peavey still retains it's bright tone. From Heavy Blues to Heavy Metal, this guitar can handle it all. Chose the neck pickup and you can lay down some nice five bar blues. Give it some distortion and use the bridge pickup and you can emit a smoking solo that can surprise even the most seasoned headbanger. Of course, when it is giving off a clean sound is when this guitar really shines.
Overall Impression — 9
While I do prefer my Ibanez S520EX, I sleep well knowing that I can always depend on the Peavey T-30. Not only does it have a very nice tone to it, but it has shown that it can last. Given the right amp and effects for the job, this guitar can play everything from Grunge to Jazz, and sound good all the while. My only real complaint is that I wish the neck had 22 frets instead of 20, but given all the positives with this guitar I can easily overlook this flaw. If you are looking for a Strat-like backup guitar that can go through hell and back, then you will find what you are looking for with the Peavey T-30.
Reliability & Durability — 10
If there is one guaranteed thing about the T-30, it is that it will take one hell of a beating and last. In it's 26 years of existence, my T-30 has been on tour several times, gone from climates as hot and dry as New Mexico to as cold and rainy as Washington, and has been stored in conditions that would see most other guitars reduced to rusted, fungus-eaten wrecks. But throughout all this time, all of the original hardware still works as well as the day it was made, and the finish now has a beautiful aged look to it. This is one tough axe!
Action, Fit & Finish — 9
Overall, the T-30 was set up very well at the factory. There is minimum fret-buzz, the pickups are properly situated, and it is apparent that the luthiers at Peavey knew what they were doing when they made this guitar. I have only two complaints with this guitar: the pickup selector is a bit noisy and the metal part of the selector is coated with some sort of yellow colored rust.
Features — 8
Made in 1982 in the good old USA, the Peavey T-30 is a very interesting guitar. Sure, it only has 20 frets, but the neck on this guitar is both small and surprisingly fast (even faster than my Ibanez S520EX! ). This is great for those with small hands, but for those with larger hands (like me) it can take some time to get the feel for it. The fretboard and the bolt-on neck are both made of maple, while the body of the guitar is made of Ash, giving it a nice minimalist appearance. Just to make sure that your pick doesn't tear into the wood, Peavey also added a nice crme-colored pickguard. Throw in three single-coil pickups and it looks very much like a Fender Stratocaster. Speaking of pickups, the T-30 is fitted with a 5-way selector Switch and two knobs: one for volume and the other for tone. Throw in some Peavey Trulok tuners and a single saddle bridge and that is the T-30 in the flesh.