Price paid: $ 200
Purchased from: Musician's Friend
Sound — 8
I play a Washburn HSS Strat through this amp and can make it sound however I like. I've never had any noise problems, though I've read other people's reviews who have had hisses or hums or whatever. The clean channel is great with a little reverb; the lead channel can get muddy with the gain turned up if you aren't carefully tweaking the eq, but you can pretty easily get a nice metal or punk sound. Metal players will probably wind up using a pedal with this, but if you're at all into hardcore I think this will keep you happy.
Overall Impression — 9
I really, really dig this amp. It does everything I need it to, probably more. If some jerk stole it I would immediately get another one. In 18 years I've never been this happy with such an inexpensive amp. It's actually got me to put away my Alvarez in favor of my relatively cheap-o solid body and has helped inspire me to play a much bigger variety of music. One last thing; this is the amp I wish I had when I first started out. This isn't much cheaper than the cheapest of practice amps, but won't need replaced in two or three months and won't turn beginners off because they can't get a sound they like. It's light, loud and very versatile. Well done, Peavey.
Reliability & Durability — 10
I've only had this for a few months now, but Peavey has a solid reputation for building tank tough amps. It's solid state, so no costly tubes. I play this for hours at a stretch with no issues what'soever. I wouldn't hesitate to play a house party or small club with this, or even a larger club if you mike it. Don't throw it down the stairs, but if it should fall down the stairs I expect it would survive the ordeal.
Features — 9
I have the newest incarnation of this amp, the Envoy III. This is in the TransTube series of solid state amps built to emulate tube amp sound. This is a fantastic practice amp. I play dark wave, metal, rockabilly and classic rock stuff through this amp and it handles them all well. The clean channel has Vintage, Classic and Warm settings; the lead channel has Classic, Modern and High Gain. Between these six settings you get a really versatile little 40 watt monster. It's also a good way for beginning guitarists to learn what amps can do; you can really dial in a lot of sounds on this if you take the time to learn how different the settings are and what you can do with them. Really helps keep practice interesting. In a pinch you could rock a smallish club with this thing, and you probably won't be drowned out by the drummer in your buddy's garage either. It doesn't come with a foot pedal to switch between channels but will accept one. I haven't looked for one yet, but I hear they aren't hard to come by. There is no effects loop (I don't miss it but someone else may). Has a headphone jack that I never use but would be handy in a dorm or bedroom. Also has reverb and a master boost, which is nice, and separate low/mid/high eq knobs for each channel.