Transformer 212 Review

manufacturer: Peavey date: 07/25/2003 category: Guitar Amplifiers
The Transformer provides authentic, three-band EQ modeling, PFC4 footswitch, T. Dynamics control and simultaneous reverb, delay and modulation. This mighty amp contains 100 Watts of power with stereo direct outs.
 Sound: 10
 Overall Impression: 9.3
 Reliability & Durability: 10
 Features: 10
 Overall rating:
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 Users rating:
reviews (3) user comments vote for this gear:
overall: 9.5
Transformer 212 Reviewed by: pappy, on july 25, 2003
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Purchased from: Samuel Music

Features: Previously, I used an old Fender Twin Reverb for many years and was well pleased with it. Wanting lighter weight and more features lead me to Peavey(solid state). Solid state amps have come a long ways toward emulating that 'tube' sound. I play country and rock & roll, this amp can do both with ease and has plenty of power to gig with. Since there are so many possibilities of sounds/effects, a lot of time is required to familiarize yourself to this amps capabilities, and there are many. (The headphone jack will keep you out of trouble while practicing at home). // 10

Sound: I use a Telecaster and a vintage Jaguar with factory pups, favoring the Tele for rock & roll. An adjustable noise gate and sensitivity help to tame this gentleman when using high gain distortion. Efx include chorus, flanger, phaser, tremelo, rotating speaker, tap tempo, and reverb. You can choose several combinations and depth of effects, or go clean as you prefer. I did have to invest a lot of time to find the sounds I was looking for, but that is to be expected when the options are virtuously endless. // 10

Reliability & Durability: Based on previous experience with Peavey amps, I feel they are making one the most dependable amps on the market. I have never had to have repairs of any kind, nor have my friends had any trouble with Peavey guitar amps. // 10

Overall Impression: I have been playing for over 30 years, and do consider this at measure up to Peavey's claim to be a premier modeling amp. It may not have a pure 'tube' sound, but comes so close I doubt there are many people with a good enough ear to tell the difference (I can't). All in all, I'm very satisfied, and would pick this amp again. Only thing is, it is a little pricey, although in line with other amps of the same type. // 8

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overall: 10
Transformer 212 Reviewed by: UG Team, on july 25, 2003
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 899

Features: I have had this amp for about a year and 1/2, and I honestly believe it is the best unknown bargain among current modeling amps. The reviews prior to mine have fairly well documented the features. It is versatile enough to cover everthing from country twang to in your face gutty distorion, but with an ability to change and edit even while you play, other tweak types should love this- saving the new settings is super easy as well. The ability to see your settings with the LED readout in semi darkness or with stage lighting in your face- wow, it is all right there, no problems!! The amp has 16 user and 16 presets, the only thing I could have wished for would have been a foot toggle switch arrangement to go between the user/preset patches- it can be done by quickly moving your left hand and tapping the user button back to presets, but if you like the preset you can easily make it part of your user patch setup. The user patches are very musical, allow for a wide variety besides showing off what this amp can do. Hendrix, U2, ZZTop, Jazz, and Santana licks ripped off the presets as some of my friends went through the settings. Another feature that might have been nice to have would be a way to adjust the drive of the distoriton on the various lead models, but hey, in all fairness for the most part you can back off your guitar volume and do this on most of the models- and that is pretty cool in itself. I use this amp at my Church where in a 1/2 hour we span the range during Praise from pop, rock, funky, blues, boogie shuffle to very quiet refective material during Worship. Powerwise, I have not had a direct shotout with the ASx2 line six the other guys have, but in fairness at 1/4 output I have no trouble hearing myself andI get motioned to turn down- almost the same results at higer lvels but now I am moving lots of air too. It easily keeps up with the Line 6- this is a very powerful amp with strong output when required. It is also the only modeling amp I have found that can work with success with acoustic pickups (American clean model- read Twin Reverb). I searched for an amp that could meet both my acoustic and electric needs, with a variety of user friendly good sounding effects- at this time, this is the amp. // 10

Sound: Lets talk about what guitar players are striving for-TONE! This is a trans tube amp; it allows the flexibility to push the amp at 10% to 100% power output, allowing for a natural compression of the tone allowing a sweet round articulated sound that can be incredibly clean, blusey overdrive, to driving feedback even at low volumes- you have to go try it to hear it. I was not a believer in Peavey nor have ever owned any, I have always owned fender/musicman tube amps and wanted something more than one tone amps. I was also tired of hauling a variety of pedals and or pedal boards around to get that TONE- most of you know exactly what I mean. I took my TEX MEX Strat in to demo the transformer 112 amp- I also have an LR Baggs acoustic bridge pickup installed. I was completely blown away by the sound with the Tex Mex pickups- you still get the strat noise on high gain, but in between setting on the strat were fairly quiet- in fact the amp even turned up did not have any HISS unlike the line six stuff. The tone is rounder and more tuby that the line six stuff in this price range, even more so when I switched to a Gretsch I have with humbuckings- talk about sustain. Then I tried the LR Baggs- this is the only electric amp I have found that could make the sound of the Baggs sound "correct", like an acoustic. It is very similar to the sound with an acoustic amp I have. I found this tone and sound to be truer with a Takamine I just sold, and that the amp sounds even better with my new acoustic, a Taylor 414ce with Fishman electronics. The variety of the effects is small- 5 plus delay and reverb-- but I find them very good, especially the rotary and delays. I play in a church that seats about 550 to 600, and my biggest problem is always being told I am to loud (typical setting is about 1 1/2 on the master) and too much bass- pretty good for an open back cabinet. The clean remains clean on the clean channels even at high volumes with maxed pre and post gain, the crunch models are dependent on the pre and post gain offsets- so are the lead models. This makes for a variety of endless tweaking because the lead models can be made to sound clean, edgy, ect--- also there is the ability to change cabinet styles (15 other choices besides the preset)which do make a difference to the tone as well- I am still coming up with new tweaks and changes as I listen to differences- keeps it fun looking for the elusive tone/sound or the new one I want to make up. // 10

Reliability & Durability: Very reliable and dependable so far- no problems, other than it is heavy and I got myself a little trasport carrier for it. // 10

Overall Impression: I have played since I was 13, seen lots of amps and guitars- heard countless bands and concerts. Today, the ability to mike an amp or line out to the PA makes it far simpler to look for tone in a smaller 2 by 12 package, one that can be heard on stage with authority as needed. This amp can do it. I love the fact that I can have such a variety of sound ready at my fingers without a lot of time spent editing, that the sounds are tasty, the effects are good enought to put away the pedals- as Frank Zappa pointed out shut up and play your guitar! that is what the Peavy lets you do. The Cyber Twin is great, so is the Vetta- but those are way above the price of this amp. The editing on this amp is so simple, as well as setting the effects. It does not sound harsh like the Line 6 stuff does, nor does it have the solid state hiss sound that a lot of products do such as Crate or Line 6. Given the opportunity, I would donate this to my Church when a newer improved Transformer 212 came out- for the money (which includes the food pedal) this amp is a very good deal- for the sound and the TONE, it is a bargain. // 10

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overall: 10
Transformer 212 Reviewed by: UG Team, on july 25, 2003
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 1242.57

Features: I bought my Transformer in September 2001. I joined a new band a couple of months earlier and we were ready to start playing on a semi-pro basis. My other amps are a 60's Selmer bass'n'treble valve head and cabinet which was getting too old to rely on, and a Peavey Express which I'd used for rehearsing. I needed something a bit more powerful and simple to use as I'd always had to use multi-fx and stomp boxes with the other two. I was thinking of getting a Fender amp as that would suit the style of the new band (mainly soul/funk/disco) but after reading about the Transformer, modelled on 12 amps, I realised I could get one for a similar price to the Fender models I was thinking about. There are two Fender-style settings - Bassman and Tweed, 3 Marshall-style - Bluesbreaker, 70's and 80's, Vox AC30 Top Boost, 2 Mesa-Boogie style and 4 based on Peavey amps like the 5150 and Classic. The amp has built in digital effects - the basic ones chorus,phaser, flanger, tremelo, rotary speaker,one of which can be used at one time, and separate reverb and delay. It also has Peavey's Transtube T-Dynamics control which is subtle but imitates valve amp compression. The amp has a built-in tuner. Each knob on the panel has a circle of LEDs which show which amp is being used, which effect is on, and all the level settings. When you switch pre-sets using the foot-switch included, the LEDs move to show the new settings - something which only happens on amps with motorised-knobs like the Cyber-Twin. The footswitch also allows you to boost a patch for solos or switch effects in and out. // 10

Sound: I play one of the early Japanese Squier strats which i bought in 1984 and although i have a couple of other guitars, this has always been the best-sounding and versatile. The amp was worth buying for the Bassman setting alone which I use most. I use some of the other amp models when a bit more overdrive is needed or for solos. Playing around with the settings, I think you could play any style of music with this amp. I don't know how accurate the sounds are when compared to the original amps which were modelled, but for a covers band this type of amp is really versatile. // 10

Reliability & Durability: I have had no problems with the amp except for one gig when the sound went dead - I switched the amp off and on again and it was back to normal. It may have been caused by a power-surge in the buildings electrics because all the power went off later in the gig. Apart from this, I have had no problems in the 9 months I've been gigging and rehearsing with it. // 10

Overall Impression: After playing electric guitar for over 20 years, this is the first time I have had a set-up which I feel comfortable with. The guitar plugs straight into the amp and just one footswitch to worry about. The average audience doesn't know or care whether you're playing through a tube amp and for the price and the features, I think this amp ( and probably some of the other DM amps) are ideal for use in a covers band. They may not be exact copies of the amps they model, but they certainly come close enough to get the right sound for the song. I read about some of the other amps like the Flextone, Line 6 etc, but the Peavey, with its LED interface and the footswitch included in the price seemed to be the simplest to use and the best value. I would probably replace it with the same model if it was lost or stolen although there are a few amps which have come onto the market since I bought the Transformer which I might check out first. // 10

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