Rage 158 review by Peavey

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  • Sound: 8
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reliability & Durability: 10
  • Features: 8
  • Reviewer's score: 8.8 Superb
  • Users' score: 7.5 (134 votes)
Peavey: Rage 158

Price paid: A$ 100

Purchased from: Second hand

Sound — 8
Loud but not powerful enough for a gig sadly as this would be a perfect first time amp for beginner giggers. The clean channel of the amp is fantastic, offering clear tones and notes for classical playing, creating soft and mournful ballads for any guitar lover, mixed with the Vintage channel with flat mids, medium high bass and 3/4 highs allows for a perfect sound for blues, or at least in the style of Zakk Wylde pieces such as 'Farewell Ballad' and 'Stillborn Acoustic'. The Lead channel is brilliant, bringing out the harmonics and heavy sound to rival almost any other gain amp I have tried. It fits well with thrash metal such as Megadeth, Metallica and bands along the line of Black Sabbath. However, as good as all this is switching between these two channels can be a little annoying, without a foot Switch you have to flick the toggles each time you wish to play a different style, breaking the flow. However this is a minor gripe and only just makes an impact

Overall Impression — 9
THIS AMP IS THE PERFECT STARTER AMP! Taking out the minor annoyance of the toggles this amp is perfect for newbies who wish to take their love of music, or the love of fauning girls into action. If your looking for a cheap, hardy amp that will give you the sounds, tone and warmth of any high end Peavey amp, while giving the clarity of some low class Marshalls. So for the money you pay this is a perfect amp to begin your highway to hell with. I wouldn't buy another however if it was destroyed or stolen, as wonderful as this amp is I feel the need for a larger gig ready amplifier. However I have been won over to Peavey by this amp and will be looking for an amp this wonderful from them again.

Reliability & Durability — 10
I don't have much to say on this due to me taking extreme care of everything I use, but from other reviews I would assume this could handle abuse, and it has never once given me trouble with reliability, even though its second hand gear, which in its own in some musical instruments and amps is an achievement on its own as my style of music can be very abusive itself.

Features — 8
I got this amp in a deal when I purchased my Ibanez GIO from an online auction. I had previously used my friends Rage 158 when I ran a ESP LTD Alexi-600 through it, gave a mean distortion and crystal clean channel had me wanting one of my own to begin a new musical journey. Features a Clean/Lead toggle, the volumes are split between the two with no master volume. The Lead also features a pre gain for its own distortion. On the Equalization end there is a Modern/Vintage toggle. The modern fit perfect for metal style of play, allowing brighter harmonics and a stronger feeling attack while the Vintage gives a warmer feel and more grain in cleans for playing blues. Headphone and CD input, never used either but handy to have. For the price there are a decent range of sounds and tones available.

2 comments sorted by best / new / date

    The Rage 258 is a great practice amp, no question about it. I'm sure the Envoy (which comes a 10" speaker) would make an even better practice amp as it would open up the sound more and give it more low end. Compared to other SS amps in the same range such as Randall or Marshall, the Peavey beats the crap out of those, and the Vintage/Modern/Stack voicing switch is pretty nice, it lets you get three distinct sounds. This can do anything from classic rock and blues to serious heavy metal.
    Just got Rage 258! Loved the pristine clear clean channel. Now I want to sound jazz/Blues/Rock. It does great. Tremendous volume on this too. But the framework buzzes at high levels. But hell, its a practise amp. I team it up with Blues Driver, compressor, and Delay/Reverb chorus pedals, sounds good. Big complain is it should have had a effects loop. The Trans-Tube thing is just great. I like my clean sound and it delivers well. Beats the shit out of any similar Vox/Laney/Fender amps....