Price paid: $ 849
Purchased from: Guitar Center
Sound — 10
The real beauty of the amp is its pure, clean tone, even at high volume. You can't accuse this baby of being noisy. It can get hugely loud without breaking up, but it sounds super-sweet at rehearsal room volume. Either channel can be set for nice, chunky tube overdrive, but the Lead channel's distortion obviously gets a whole lot hotter. I play an all-single-coil 2004 Standard Strat, mostly in the out-of-phase pickup positions, however the neck pickup used in-phase sounds amazingly fat and warm through this amp. Mostly, I keep the amp set totally clean and on the slightly brighter side of flat and run either of two processors, a Boss GT-8 or an older DigiTech RP-10, to get the exact distortions and effects I need.
Overall Impression — 10
I play in a European ethinc band, which calls for a lot of very clean, twangy rhythm guitar and occasional singing, melodic leads. We also do a lot of classic rock and older pop, from Beatles to Chris Isaak to U2. For a guitar-driven band, the Classic 50 is the real deal. It offers the high quality sound of a way more expensive system and wraps it up in a rugged, reliable, and powerful combo package. For under $1000, this thing is a steal, and an absolute must-have for the working guitarist.
Reliability & Durability — 10
This amp is built for the road, very tough, with no flimsy switches or plastic hardware. The control panel is shiny chrome. The black chicken-head knobs are heavy duty composite and the all-steel switches are big, meaty, and solid. Even the vinyl covering is dense and substantial. As far as reliability goes, this thing is the ultimate. I have stopped lugging around a backup amp. This is the second Classic 50 I have owned (after three years I stupidly traded "up" my previous one towards a Vox AC30 CC2X, which I later returned and went back to the Classic 50) and I have never had even a small problem with either the old one or the new one.
Features — 9
The all-tube, all-analog 2006 Peavey Classic 50 2x12 combo is very basic and intuitive, a very old-school amp for serious players. It has power and standby switches and is fan-cooled. It features dual switchable channels: normal and lead (with pre and post). Both are controlled by a master volume. It has spring reverb and 3 bands of EQ (bass, mid, and treble) plus a presence control. There are two inputs, normal and bright. The channel selection and reverb can be controlled by an optional footswitch and there is an effects loop. There are separate output jacks for 8-Ohm or 16-Ohm (stock) speakers, so a slave speaker cabinet can be used. The only missing item is a headphone jack, but since all effects processors have them, Who really needs one on their amp?