Classic 30 review by Peavey

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  • Sound: 8
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reliability & Durability: 8
  • Features: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 8.5 Superb
  • Users' score: 8.5 (69 votes)
Peavey: Classic 30

Price paid: $ 320

Purchased from: eBay

Sound — 8
I've been using my Classic 30 mainly with a H/S/S eBay Part-O-Caster. With this combo you can get alot of pretty diverse sounds out of the amp, from a nice soft jazz tone to a pretty rocking AC/DC type distortion when cranked. It won't go much harder than a classic rock distortion unless you use a booster pedal; if I just use a clean boost getting to a Metallica style distortion is no problem at all. As you crank the clean channel, it begins to dirty up a bit, but that's normal really, it's just overdriving the tubes. I don't have a problem with it. There's a bit of hum, but it doesn't really bother me much. It's not very loud. There are only two real issues with the sound in my opinion. The first issue is that the boost button isn't very useful. It boosts the volume a bit, but it messes up the EQ (cuts treble) and seems to compress the amp and muddy it up. Not very nice sounding. The other important thing to mention is that the stock tubes are terrible. The sound quality is terrible with the stock Sovteks. I swapped in a set of JJ's from and now everything sounds way better. The stock tubes have a very grainy gross distortion. With new tubes, it's an 8-9. This can be further improved by swapping out the speaker, which has a bit of flab. I have an Eminence "Red Coat" "The Governor" in mine.

Overall Impression — 9
This amp is a great match for classic rock of almost any sort. It also makes a very nice blues amp. The two "channels" make it pretty versatile. I've been playing for 6 years, and if it was lost/stolen, I'd go snap up another one for sure. For the price I paid for it, it can't be beat. The reverb is another nice touch. 9/10 for the price.

Reliability & Durability — 8
The tubes kind of hang out the back of the combo, I think it would be really easy to smash them on accident. Bit of a design flaw; it doesn't have a back panel like many other tube amps. Other than this, it seems pretty sturdy, I don't see it falling apart in the future.

Features — 9
I've got one of the old Peavey Classic '30s. I'm guessing it's from around '98 or so, but I'm not positive. It has black tolex, and the square grill (not like the newer ones that have the strange wavy top thing). It's got an effects loop, reverb, and a distortion "channel" (the channel button just adds in another gainstage afaik). It's got 3 12ax7 preamp tubes and 4 el84 power tubes that put out 30 watts of tube power. And a pretty nifty handle on the top. And the knobs go up to 12. Think that's about it. Uh, and there's a "boost" button. I'm gonna give it a 9 because it's perfectly functional, and not really lacking anything in my opinion.

8 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Oh it takes pedals very well. I have an OD pedal infront of it for when i want more gain, and when i want yet more i smack on the compressor. I've also used distortion pedals with this and yes, you can get a very ball breaking metal tone... - Rich
    how do you guys think the amp will sound with pedals? i'm thinking of one of these but i want moore gain, so i was thinking of some pedals....
    Great Amp, I love the clean sound, very bright and warm. The distrotion has a great classic crunch as well.
    Great clean tone, awesome reverb, after months of testing crate and fender models the peavey classic 30 definitely is superior.
    After trying many different models (ty GC trade-in policy) - finally sttled on this. $400 goes a long way with this amp - may be small in size, but don't let that fool you. 30w will peel your lips back if you crank it. I'm actually thrilled with this setup. Simple and effective - sort of minimalist's strategy. 2-channel, clean and gain - both excellent. Simple control layout, not over-burdened with stupid gizmos and electronics. In terms of an "at-homne" Amp - gotta say this is it. Small size (but quite heavy) means ultra-portable. I do;t gig, but I imagine that this would light up most smaller playing venues reasonably well - probably not what you'd play with live in a club, but it's all there. Quality stuff at this price - can't go wrong. I play (mostly) metal/hard rock - find the Gain channel fine for VH-type stuff. Anything heavier and I stick a pedal in front. Serve up the Clean channel and then do what you want to the tone - it's pretty impressive. Been experimenting with the Line6 X3 POD LIVE! for both pedal combos/layouts (without head/cabs)- but also (not too surprisingly) for the Amp Head/Cab combos. Had a MEAN Marshall 900 Lead piped through the Clean channel I have to say it was f**ing awesome. Total Rippage. Bottom Line: Simple, effective, and very, very good at what it does. All Tube - no electronic faggotry. 4TW