Pacer 100 Review

manufacturer: Peavey date: 07/29/2013 category: Guitar Amplifiers
Peavey: Pacer 100
These things were pretty cheap back in the day, so features aren't aplenty, but there are some pretty cool quirks that are rather refreshing in a solid state amp.
 Sound: 9
 Overall Impression: 9.5
 Reliability & Durability: 10
 Features: 9.5
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reviews (2) pictures (1) 2 comments vote for this gear:
overall: 9
Pacer 100 Reviewed by: unregistered, on may 18, 2009
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 35

Purchased from: craiglist

Features: This is a late 70's Pacer 100. While it's called a Pacer 100 it is in fact only 45 solid state watts. These things were pretty cheap back in the day, so features aren't aplenty, but there are some pretty cool quirks that are rather refreshing in a solid state amp. First, instead of a simple gain knob to control distortion, there are volume, distortion, and master volume controls. The master volume does what it any master does and controls the actual volume of the speaker. The other volume kind of acts like a gain control in that it slowly gets overdriven the higher it goes, but it still keeps definition well. The distortion knob unleashes all sorts of solid state buzzy gain that is great if you are going for some garage rock. There are also high and low gain inputs, which are pretty useful when I switch between say my Gibson SG to a Fender Telecaster. I just take the input from the low gain for the SG and Switch it to high gain for the tele and the levels all stay the same. Of course experimentation is always fun and the two inputs do have some interesting differences that are fun to play with. Overall I give it a 9 simply because it's a solid state amp but has some cool features before the digital age made billions of effects on amps standard. // 9

Sound: Like I said earlier I am using anything from an SG or P-90 loaded Strat Copy to a Tele. I play anything from glassy clean soul (think curtis mayfield and steve cropper) to garage rock (White Stripes without the suck), and lots of blues in between. Frankly I bought this amp because it was cheap and I am always looking for cool new toys, but I was surprised how well it fits my style. The cleans on this thing are very warm, and because it is solid state, I can keep those cleans at very high volumes. The gain on the amp is also pretty ideal for my garage rock moments and even with fully fuzzed out tones the amp doesn't buzz at all. If any buzzing ever does occur, it is easy to quell with an ON Switch with two ON positions with different grounds, one of which always kills the buzzing. For someone Who plays medium gain stuff like blues rock and such this amp isn't ideal, because being solid state it isn't terribly touch sensitive, it's either distorted or it isn't, but if you are like me and are either going for one or the other, then it's great. // 8

Reliability & Durability: I shouldn't even have to say this, but it's a Peavey. Peaveys are known to survive decades of regular abuse without any repairs needed. From what I can see my amp is completely original (I'm not the first owner), and it's over 30 years old. Should anything ever break (I doubt it will), I've dealt with Peavey before and they are super helpful. I give it a 10 because Peavey is the ultimate in Durability and I wish more American companies would follow their lead and give us stuff that won't break down when we need it most. // 10

Overall Impression: For a 35 buck craigslist special, I couldn't be happier. I didn't buy it expecting raging Marshall on 11 tones or super articulate Fender Twin cleans, but instead a fun practice amp with some gigging power if needed and that's exactly what I got. I'm a big fan of gritty low fi music and this amp with the distortion and volume knobs cranked is straight garage rock fury. I wouldn't recommend this to any metal heads or guys who need real touch sensitivity, simply because it doesn't really have the capability to do either particularly well, but for anyone Who just wants something cheap (I've seen ads for around $50 all over online) that is still fun to play around on I couldn't recommend it more. If it were lost or stolen I would mourn my 35 dollar investment and go hunting for another cheapie amp to play around with. Overall I'm giving it a 9 because even though it's not the most sophisticated or beautiful sounding of amps, it's a hell of a lot of fun to play on. // 9

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overall: 10
Pacer 100 Reviewed by: unregistered, on july 29, 2013
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 200

Purchased from: Guitar Showcase

Features: This guitar amp has basic features: input volume, distortion, treble, mid, bass, reverb, and master volume. This is a very straight forward amp, it is not complicated. I'd call it honest. This amp was made in the late seventies. It has a low voltage input and a high voltage input. It has one channel. It has no microprocessor, digital effects, etc. I use this amp to play jazz through. It has a very pleasing clean sound. I play solo, so I can hear its full sound very well (no other instruments sharing the audio spectrum). Mainly I play for people eating and drinking. Distortion is not in my repertoire. Its 45 watts can get pretty loud if necessary, but I playing quiet gigs, mostly. Many are outdoor, and require sound to carry across open areas. This amp gets this done with ease. // 10

Sound: I play mostly jazz. Much of the time I am arpegiating chords with finger picking, and bass lines. Inherent in this humble low cost amp, is a buzz from the power supply. In a quiet room you can hear it, but on gigs it is not noticable above the ambient noise. In the past I have used it with bands, and it gets a respectable blues type of distortion (which can be turned on with a footswitch, pugged into the jack in the back) I wouldn't call this amp highly versatile. It gets a few good sounds. Clean is my favorite. // 10

Reliability & Durability: I use this amp regularly without carrying a backup. I trust it. However, I must say, that, I was told that Peavey had problems with the driver stage transformers on this model. I had a situation where it would cut in and out occasionally. This drove me a bit crazy. I decided to rebuild this amp, cheap components first. After replacing the electrolyic caps and semiconductor, resistors, etc, I finally replaced the driver transformer (the stage that feeds the final transistors). This appears to have been the issue. Since then everything has been great. I've used this amp on many, many gigs with no problem and simply think that it is grand (I discovered, by working on this amp just how very sturdy it was built). By the way, early on, I replaced the stock speaker with a JBL K120. // 10

Overall Impression: I play clean, jazz, with a full range tone. This is a good match for what I do. If I played metal, I might look at another ammp. I've been playing for decades. My only regret is that I didn't buy two of these buggers. I really like this amp. If it were stolen, I'd feel like they took my favorite amp and a piece of history. I would look for another. I like the fact that this amp has no integrated circuits. It's all discrete components. The only downside of this amp is that, with a JBL in it, it weights about 45 pounds. It's a little heavy to carry around, but not too bad. // 10

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