Classic 30 review by Peavey

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  • Sound: 9
  • Overall Impression: 8
  • Reliability & Durability: 8
  • Features: 7
  • Reviewer's score: 8 Superb
  • Users' score: 8.5 (69 votes)
Peavey: Classic 30

Price paid: € 400

Purchased from: DLX Music (Finland)

Sound — 9
I'm using a single-coil telecaster and I get the Beatles sounds I like (think George Harrison's solos on Let it be or what his guitar sounds like on Something). Suits that like a dream, when you want that howling, squealing sound. Warm, tuby, etc. You can't get a clean sound on gig volumes. Clean channel distorts at 5/12. You also can't get a hard distorted rock or metal sound, it just sounds too 60s and smooth for that, so no punk rock for you. But yeah, I guess those aren't what it's supposed to do. It's supposed to sound bleeding tube 60s and that's what it sounds like. Too bad there's just two channels of the same sound. Oh yeah, also hums like a bee on the OD channel and when turning volume up.

Overall Impression — 8
I wish I had tested it at high volumes and realized it's impossible to get a clean sound, it's always distorting. But yeah, it does sound good when I play Beatles. And with a pedal I can even rock with it.

Reliability & Durability — 8
Never really neglected it, left it in the car for a couple of subzero temperature nights but that's it. Have gigged somewhat with it and it seems sturdy. Has a metal guard in front of the tubes.

Features — 7
I got the older model, with the Peavey logo on top of the speaker fabric, not the newer one where its on the top bar. It's a "classic tweed amplifier", ie. british sound like the Vox AC30 etc. It has a regular and OD channel which aren't that different, though you can control the pre-amp gain on the OD channel to really crank it up. If you're playing on a gig you're probably using volume 5 or 6 so both channels distort that warm tube distortion. I guess more watts would help give a loud clean sound without distortion, or maybe it's meant to be like this. But really, you can't get a clean sound out of it. Effects loop is OK, foot Switch optional (BS!), "boost" button which cranks up the mids if you like that (I don't, and you can't foot-switch it). Reverb and 3-band EQ

4 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Check out Peavey's official Youtube video of the Classic 30
    As the guy says, it gives distortion when you're clean channel is 4/12. And I don't mean mild break-up, but real distortion
    here's a "secret" for some of you that don't like the early clean channel breakup: change out V3 (the driver 12ax7) for a Groove tube 12au7 or 12at7 MPI (matched phase inverter). both have LESS overall gain than the stock -ax7, and increase clean headroom. the MPI is an excellent idea for an A/B amp, it's a hand selection process that finds tubes that both triodes match closely, giving equal gain per input on both the "push" and "pull" of the A/B circuit. both V1 and V2 can have their gain "massaged" by selecting "hotter" and "colder" tube as well
    paukkumaissi70 wrote: I think it's ridiculous how soon the clean channel starts breaking up. With guitar mic down to 10% it starts squealing when volume's 4/12 or 5/12. I found it impossible to get a clean tone for rhythm playing in a mid-sized venue with my band, even though I was mic'd!
    just finished the restoration on my '95 vintage classic 30, still breaking in my speaker (peavey sheffield 1290 16 ohm). i get clean to midway between 8 and 9 (bass around 7, mids 5ish, 8ish treb) if i DONT use the reverb... if i do, closer to 6 and the transistor begins to clip a bit.. jj ecc83s V1, tung sol V2 (no effect on the clean, of course), groove tubes ax7 MPI V3, with a matched quad from ruby for power tubes... after the speak breaks in, ill post some results from varying up the tubes in the pre-amp section.... this box is a tone monster!!!! the "lukewarm" jj in V1 gives superb clean headroom when combined with the MPI ax7 and the ruby's, yet the "white hot" tung sol really blasts in the drive channel... if you're "re-tubing", this is a combo worthy of consideration
    I've put some work into my early model C30. I bought it used on ebay for $300, retubed with some hot JJ Eurotubes, installed an aftermarket tube guard, changed the speaker to a Reverend All-Tone, installed a Weber speaker cut-off switch as a standby, last I sent it to Ben Fargen for his Hot Mod which included Mercury Magnetics transformers and upgraded caps and resistors. I've got a total of about $750 into it and I will put this little gem up against any boutique amp out there. The tone is completely off the charts. My cleans are chimey and harmonic, sustain is forever, and OD is syrupy thick. I've had a few guys approach me during a break in a gig and offer to buy it. I've owned and played a lot of amps in 35 years but this one is my favorite. Whether on one of my Strats, Teles, or my PRS McCarty it is just plain sweet!