Ultra Plus review by Peavey

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  • Sound: 9
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reliability & Durability: 10
  • Features: 8
  • Reviewer's score: 9 Superb
  • Users' score: 8.6 (34 votes)
Peavey: Ultra Plus

Price paid: £ 200

Purchased from: ebay

Sound — 9
I use a variety of humbucker equipped Ibanez with this and a Schecter too. I play quite a wide variety of styles mainly when I'm on my own in the rock-metal-djent-br00tz spectrum. I am running it through a Vintage 30 load Engl pro 2x12 horizontal cab and this setup kicks ass. Even if I did pay double for the cab then I did the head. The clean channel is actually nice for a high gain head. Its pretty pristine you're not going to get any breakup without pedals but it does take dirt pedals rather well. I tend to use the clean channel with an overdrive pedal for bluesy tones as since the eq is shared on the crunch/ultra channel obviously there is too much faffing about involved to get the crunch sounding warming enough. Plus i've always preferred a od into the clean for it anyway. The crunch channel isn't really a crunch channel in the traditional sense as it has quite a lot of gain. I tend to use it for the 80s stuff which it suits really well thus I've affectionately nicknamed it the "ratt" channel. It does that kinda stuff really well and sounds great would probably do the br00talz with a boost as well. The ultra channel has a shed tonne of gain probably not as much of a 6505 but pretty close. This amp is really tight straight out of the box I see no reason to run a tube screamer out in front for br00tz on this amp until you get down to the lowest of the low tunings where it gets a little muddy but in my case I think better pickups may sort that out. So if you want a plug in and play amp for heavy styles this amp is excellent. This amp actually sounds pretty awesome at bedroom volumes as well. I don't even using the half power switch since I feel it loses a lot of low end when in use.

Overall Impression — 9
This amp is a great american style amp that I got for super cheap. I doubt I'd ever get rid of it because I probably wouldn't get much for it haha. For the 200 I paid I doubt you could find an amp that sounds better, not an american style amp anyway. I know in the uk there are some good British style amps you can pick up cheap by Laney etc. I had an ultra 212 combo before this amp which sounded quite good but as with most Peavey combos it was held back by the speakers and it was also open back which isn't the best option for high gain amps. I saw a massive upgrade going to this head and my Engl 2x12 cab with v30s. If it where stolen/lost I would definitely buy another if I could find one. These are pretty rare in the uk but when they do show up they're cheap as chips there is nothing that can compare. I've used many amps like mesas etc that cost 6x as much as this amp cost me that don't sound as good for just plugging in and playing. Massively underrated. I don't intend on selling this either since the price to tone ratio is ridiculous that to me selling it would be stupid. To summarise, For the 200 quid I paid off eBay this is unbeatable for metal/rock styles. The light up logo is badass, it sounds badass and the only real disadvantage is the shared eq for crunch/ultra.

Reliability & Durability — 10
This amp has proven to be reliable thus far. Peaveys are known to be tanks and this amp backs this up. I'd definitely be more trusting of this amp then say a Bugera which actually cost quite a bit more then what I paid for this amp.

Features — 8
All tube 6l6 loaded 120 watt tube head with a half power switch to 60 watts Made in the US OF A. 3 Channels - Clean, crunch and ultra. Crunch and ultra channels share an eq. Not ideal but for the price I paid I'm not complaining. Active EQ on the crunch and ultras shared eq and a passive eq on the clean channel with bright switch. A light up logo that changes colour depending on what channel you are using (badass)- Clean = green, crunch= orange, ultra= red. I use this amp in the bedroom and will possibly use it live in the future if i can get off my ass and get in a band. I've loaned this amp out to someone who has used it live as well and it did great.

3 comments sorted by best / new / date

    I'm assuming they don't make these anymore, as i can't find one anywhere!?!
    Can someone give me alittle advice here? Currently im trying to buy my first tube head to replace my Line 6 (Which was more fantastic than people make them out to be, though on a professional level I see why they are hated. Good for bedroom, bad for stage.) And im trying to find one that will get me different ranges of distortion/overdrive. I dont have enough for a mesa and im shopping second hand. Of these three (This, a Bugera 333xl, and a Carvin v3) Which would be the most versatile and high gain? Sorry if it was a bit wordy. Thanks for any feedback.
    Visible Spirit
    Visible Spirit @ DimebagsGhost; Maybe too late posting this, but I own this Peavey Ultra Plus 120 head sitting on top of a Peavey full stack (412MS & 412M) with Sheffield 1290 speakers. If you haven't made your choice yet (or have?), my advice would be for you to find and buy the Peavey Ultra Plus 120 over the other amp heads you listed. The Peavey Ultra head is hands-down the best bang for your buck compared to all other tube amps in this class. The tonal versatility you'll get will amaze you. And the clean... let's just say it is the cleanest, most crisp, dynamically pronounced guitar amp I've ever heard (and I've heard a butt-load of 'em). Each guitar you plug into this amp will have it's own characteristic tone reproduced with plenty of overhead and clarity like no other amp I've tried or owned. The distortion/overdrive you seek is second to none from the Ultra as well. Without pedals or effects this amp is capable of going from mild to wild and back again (i.e... from clean, to clean or dirty rumbling distortion/crunch). The frequency response of the Ultra is from 50Hz to 20kHz. All notes/cords are cleanly heard regardless how mild or wild you get with the overdrive, and the distortion possibilities can be made pretty dirty/muddy if desired. A very versatile all-around amp to say the least. For those not familiar with this amp head, the crunch channel can only be accessed with the foot switch, so don't think it's broke if you don't have or get one for/with it. If you don't get a foot switch with your amp (or need one), Switch Doctor is a Peavey authorized manufacturer of high quality properly wired switches starting at about $60 USD and up. Their switches are far better quality materials than the originals and will stand up to on-stage stomping 10 times over the original plastic one. And loud?!? It may not be the loudest amp in the world, but you'd better have a good set of ear plugs above 3-5! You will definitely piss off the neighborhood, scare the dog, never be drowned out by the band, and make folks know your playing weather they're down the street, or in the parking lot of your local club while your on stage. Even at bedroom volume the clarity and tone is simply amazing. And don't forget you can go from 120 watts down to 60 watts at the flip of a toggle switch. Add an FX processor to the loop and the tonal sky is the limit! You won't be disappointed. And if for some reason you are disappointed (and I can't imagine you would be!), you can sell it for $500 USD all day long at current market prices. To say this amp is one of the most under-rated amps in existence dollar for dollar... is putting it mildly. This amp will rival amps costing 3-5+ times what you can currently buy one for. For those in the know about guitar tube amps, this one will only increase in desire and price in the future. Simple no frills or built-in effects other than a killer reverb and presence. Peavey got it right with this one, then broke the mold! I personally will never sell or trade mine. I have numerous other amps that all serve their purpose to one extent or the other, but none of them can come close to what this head can do. If I was forced to choose one all-around amp out of all I have or have had/tried, I'd pick this one in a nanosecond without batting an eye... bar none. Hope this helps in your quest for tone and attitude at an affordable price that will make others jealous when they find out what you payed, compared to what they paid for their so-called high-end amps! Play your heart out and let the rest of the world hear you doing it... with presence and attitude. Enjoy! Regards, Visible Spirit