Price paid: $ 559
Sound — 10
I've spent about 3 weeks with this amp now...I've finally figured it out. It's not the easiest amp to get a great sound out of, but once you find your settings, it's sounds amazing. First of all, it's a VERY powerful amp. The lead channel on 3 knocks pictures off my walls. The clean will do the same at about 5 or 6. The pregain at about 6 with a good humbucker in the bridge will give you all the distortion anyone should need. The amp doesn't break up at these volumes. I haven't pushed it past 3 on the lead, because that's loud enough. The eq is great, you really need to mess with it to get a good warm rich sound. I use low-7 , mid-5, high-7 with the switch in High-Gain setting. Same on the clean channel. Distortion is nice. Very heavy, but has a fullness and warmth to it. The T.dynamics control is cool. If you are playing a low volume, roll it to the left, and th amp sounds more overdriven. The louder you go, roll it clockwise, and you get more power, more harmonics, etc... Let's talk about the effects. Honestly, none of them sound too good with the lead channel with the exception of the phaser. They all work pretty well with the clean channel though. I prefer outboard effects. If you get this amp, make sure you have a good noise gate to keep it under control. I run a boss DD-3 delay and a DBX compressor/gate through the loop with all shielded pro-co cables, and the rig is dead silent until I play something. Bottom line, This is a great starting point for a loud, powerful, rock or metal 212 rig. The onboard effects seem to take away from the great tone of the amp. I use a Wolfgang standard, and Fender Strats with Dimarzio Fasttrack 2's in the bridge. They both sound fantastic. I've got strats with HS's which sound ok, but the amp sounds better with humbucker's Nothing else I've played really comes close in this price range. I compared the Peavey with a Line 6 Flextone II, and a Fender Ultra chorus DSP. The Line 6's sound a little better, but are about $250 more expensive, and don't seem to have the raw power of this amp. The Fender sounds nice, but again didn't have the same type "power" as the Peavey. The other 2 may work better in a studio, but as for playing in club or anywhere live, I need volume and strong distortion over 17 different amp models and 35 effect presets. The Peavey has the volume hands down.
Overall Impression — 10
I've been playing for 14 years. I've only ever really liked Peavey and Fender guitars and amps. Like I said, once you dial in a good tone, you are set. A good tone is like a painting. Start off clean. Add a little bass, mid, treble until you get the eq right. Then add your distortion...then add a little delay and compression. Screw the onboard effects, In my opinion they detract from a very strong amp. I'm in to Eddie, R. Rhoads, Linkin Park, Led Zeppelin, Eminem, Dr. Dre, Kid Rock, Hendrix, No doubt, Slayer, Shakira (!). All kinds of different stuff, but this is really just a good solid rock/metal 212 combo. Peace!
Reliability & Durability — 10
Like I said, I've played it at least an hour a day for 3 weeks. No problems what-so-ever. No weird noises, no crackles, no hiccups. It's silent when I turn it on, and silent when I turn it off. I take pretty good care of my equipment. I always run everything through a good surge protector, and use shielded cables. The only thing I don't like is that the frame of the front covering covers about an inch of the speakers on each side. I don't know if this really effects the sound, but Peavey should have made the amp about 2 inches wider to correct this. Other than that, the amp feels very solid. It's really heavy, like 55 lbs or something. Based on my past experience with Peavey, I trust this amp. My other Peavey equipment (Wolfgang Standard & 412 cabinet) has never given me any problems.
Features — 10
2002 Peavey 212 solid state combo amp. Fairly versatile for rock, and metal. I don't think jazz players would like this amp. 2 Channels, a clean and a lead (distorted) channel. Tha amp comes with a footswitch to switch channels, and create some effects presets. Unfortunatly, you can't save the presets. If you turn the amp off and on again, you have to reset them. 9 digital effects,(7 + reverb&delay). Very loud for an 80 watt 212 combo. It feels powerful. Speaker out jack to connect another 212 or 412 cabinet (8 ohm minimum). Presence and T. dynamics controls. Resonance switch control, 3 different amp settings on lead, and 2 on clean. More than enough features for an amp in this price range.