Price paid: $ 550
Sound — 9
I always use very hot pickups due to being a thrashing head. Having said that - yes, this amp suits my music style. It has a rather unique sound to it's high-gain grind, though. Not the common Marshall tone, that you're used to hearing. The open cab can be a bit "loose" on the low end sometimes, but this is where my favourite feature kicks in - the "resonance control" Switch lets you Switch between 3 modes - loose, medium(which tightens the lows and voices the mids out a bit) and tight(which tightens lows and voices your highs for more attack). This Switch has saved me more than once at gigs, where something in the sound was "just missing". It's noise is in the norm, considering it's a tube amp. About the sounds - This hunk can cover A LOT with it's 3 channels. The cleans are not the best but you can definately make due with them. They don't break up and if your guitar is Humbucker equipped - there is a "bright" Switch on the amp, which brightens up the dark bucker sound. I used the channel with a piezo-equipped acoustic guitar on my last gig and it delivered an acceptible sound. The crunch is just that - great crunch for blues/rock/classic metal. Very responsive to gain adjustment and guitar volume. You can get it from slightly fuzzy to mean-sounding. I used to have a booster in front and use this channel as my main rhythm channel and it delivered the mids I needed to have my place in the mix(very Machine Head - Burn My Eyes sounding). The Ultra channel delivers more lows and more highs and slightly pulls the mids back. I used to use it for soloing only but have recently moved to it as my main blend. Normally, I would have the Resonance set to "tight" to voice out those biting highs and to keep the insane lows from spilling out. It delivers. Overally the distortion on both dirty channels is brutal enough. Lots of saturation on the Ultra channel, lots of crunch on the... um Crunch channel. Lots bite on both. Sometimes I wish that the gain knobs would go to 11, because I'm a gain freak and it's just never enough! Whenever I feel like that I just throw my booster in and I'm a-ok for the day. Overally, though, I play on the Ultra channel with no booster what'soever(just one in the loop for solo-volume-boosts).
Overall Impression — 9
For thrashing sounds - it suits me quite well. What I really want is a 5150, but that's gonna wait 'till my bank acoount grows a bit. Otherwise, I can definately dial up some 5150 tones with the Ultra. Been playing for 7 years. This is my first all-tube amp - I've been using processors, pedals etc. through solid-state amps before. Ain't never going back(unless modelling gets really really good and really cheap one of these days). If it were stolen, I'd look for a 5150II/6505+ OR I would get an Ultra head, if a deal comes around. Dragging that combo around can get tiresome. I love it's versatility, it's over-the-top saturation and it's powerful sound. I hate it's weight.
Reliability & Durability — 10
I am having a bit of a problem with the "highs" pots on bot clean and dirty channels - that's how I bought it - I have no idea what the previous owner has been doing with them. The problem itself is that when I turn the knobs I can hear a screeching and at certain positions, the highs will just die out. I need to wobble the knob a bit 'till it makes contact and I get my sound. As far as durability goes - I sit on it and stand on it very often. I've had a cigarette fall on the tolex on a gig and it stayed there for quite a bit before I saw it - the tolex only melted a bit and it doesn't even show all that much unless you know what you're looking for. On another gig a guy from the audience went flying towards the amp, feet first. A few of the covering grill's threads got torn, but it stayed together - the threads are metal and I can bet my life that the tearing will not spread and will not grow to be a hole. The thing is a tank.
Features — 9
Peavey Ultra 112, made sometime in the late 90's. 3 channels for your versatility goodness. Has a seperate passive EQ for the cleans and an active EQ, which the dirty channels share. Also has a "resonance" control button which has got to be one of my favourite things about this amp. I use it mainly for small/medium gigs and this thing's volume has never went past 6. It's an open cab - that's the only beef I have with the amp. Planning on using extensions. The stock Power amp tubes blow ass(they sound thin). I've retubed it with Tung-sols in the preamp and JJ's in the power amp and now this thing BITES!