Price paid: £ 200
Sound — 9
I have two guitars an Epiphone SG Special and Ibanez. I will be using the SG for the clean and classic distortion and the Ibanez for then modern and high gain modes. Vintage: This is obviously mimicking a Fender amp here. Every note played is bright and crisp. I would highly recommend using humbuckers rather then single coils so the tone is to thin and trebly. Using the neck pick up you get a real rich balanced tone, sounding warm and deep yet maintaining its signature snap making the notes sounding full and lively. Perfect for some clean blues licks and melodies. Overall a real good clean channel that's perfect for blues, country and 50-60's pop/rock. Classic: This is quite the departure from what you was hearing on the Vintage mode. The crispiness has gone down and we get a more darker, warmer and dryer sounding tone good for strumming chord patterns with. I think this is great for when your switching between distorted and clean in rock and metal style songs as your going from a dark dry clean tone to a heavy in your face distorted sound. Its hard to explain but overall I think this is a great usable clean sound Warm: I never use this mode at all as its seems that everything's seems to harsh on this one all the notes you play sound to sharp to me I also personally think the classic sounds warmer then this channel. I think they was trying to get a sort of Vox tone here. I think this would be great for 60's and 70's music. Overall I'm not a fan as its sounds harsh as you crank up the volume here. Classic: First up in the array of distorted tone classic sounds as if its giving you those old rock and hard rock tones you'd expect from a Marshall Plexi or JCM. With the gain on half way you get a decent Led Zeppelin tone whilst winding it up to 3/4 gives you a real good AC/DC. Then on full gain you get a surprisingly good pop-punk tone (Blink-182, Green Day etc). Overall a great sounding distortion for classic rock and even some punk bands. Modern: Like I said now I'm switching to my Ibanez as it fits the metal storm that's about to come. This mode is nothing like classic. Its scooped and has a ton of gain resembling the brutal tones of some metalcore MySpace band that just came out yesterday. Turning the mids up and it still sounds extremely scooped but gives of more of a sound similar to Pantera. Once again a excellent distortion that sounds as brutal as hell. High Gain: This sounds alot like the classic except they just supercharged the gain and increased the low end considerably. I use this distortion the must as it suites my playing. This mode definitely resembles bands such as System Of A Down, Papa Roach and Whitechapel as the power chords ring out strong and the palm mutes are as brutal as ever. Great sound! Overall a very versatile amp that ranges from country cleans to brutal modern day distortion great for all players not exactly ace but for the price its in a class of its own. The reverb also sounds great and realistic and the amp isn't really noisey at all and also note that this amp is tremendously loud, it shakes everything about when the volume on the lead channel is at 4!
Overall Impression — 9
I've been playing for almost 4 years now, I've been through many amps but I've owned this one for the longest and haven't even fought about getting a new amp. If it was broken or lost I would buy again for sure. Everything I want this amp has besides the head phone input. I love the tone and feel it has with it and that its got plenty of sounds and isn't even digital. My friend owns a Peavey Vypyr 30 and he was playing my Ibanez though this amp and said that he prefers this amp as it you can really feel the tone coming out of it unlike on the Vypyr. I thinks that's down to the transtube technology Peavey have incoperated on this amp. If anyone who is looking for a new amp and on a budget I highly recommend you consider this before putting your money forward.
Reliability & Durability — 10
The amp is built like a tank its rugged and tough and feels as if its built to last. I've never had a problem with it and I probably never will by the looks of it. I don't gig but I'm sure this amp would work fine in any situation without any back up. So I can safely give the Bandit a ten out of ten on this field.
Features — 9
Before I start this I would like to point out that there are many versions of this amp around all tweaked slightly than the other as Peavey has been making Bandits since the 90's. The one I'm reviewing is the lastest model released in 2008 I believe. I bought mine in June 2010 for about 200 if I remember correctly. It has all the features you could want. I'm going to list these features if you don't already know as there is a few of them. . 2 channels (Clean + Lead [distorted]) each with 3 different voicings (Clean: Vintage, Classic and warm) (Lead: Classic, Modern, High Gain) also each channel has its own volume and EQ governing them. . Global digital reverb which is a crucial feature for me as I can't bare a dry tone and also a boost knob. . High and low gain inputs, useful mainly for players who use active pick ups who want to control the there output. . Footswitch (sold separately) once again a nice feature for performance and pratice. The footswitch basically allows you to switch channels and activate the boost worth putting forward the 20.00 for IMO. . Effects loop, I only use a delay and chorus pedal so I prefer to put them straight forward as the effects loop thems to flatten the tone. . Power selection, a brand new feature for the bandit's allowing you to use an optional 25, 50 or 100 watts of power which is allows players to use this amp quietly for practice or loud for gigging. . Damping switch, you can choose from loose, medium and tight. I think this basically makes the tone more controlled as when you switch it to tights from loose it reduces the gain a bit and opens upn the low end more. I always keep mine on loose as it makes the tone more responsive and bigger sounding. . Direct output: an output that can be used when connecting the bandit to an interface or a mixer etc I tried hooking this up to my computer via this output but didn't barely get any results so I'm guessing you need other equipment to use this for recording. . External speaker out: This allows players to connect the bandit to a speaker cabinet. I've had no experience with this but it says "Minimum external speaker impedance 8 ohms" in the manual if that means anything to anyone. . 12 inch blue marvel speaker. . Finally the main feature this amp has is in its circuit. It has Peavey's "Transtube technology" which basically emulates tube tone and fee. Overall the Bandit has enough features to cover me and suites all styles. The only thing it could have is a head phone jack for silent practice at night but I am very impressed with what's on offer here so I will give it a 9/10.