Price paid: $ 305
Purchased from: Musician's Friend
Sound — 8
My signal chain goes as follows: Washburn WG587 (stock pups) > DigiTech Bad Monkey OD pedal > Peavey Windsor high gain input > Mosh Audio 2x12 bass cabinet. The reason why I'm using a bass cabinet is because I think it helps to get the mud out of the low B on a 7 string guitar. I play thrash metal and just straight up heavy metal. Anything from 3 Inches Of Blood to Iron Maiden, or old Metallica to Sanctity and Municipal Waste. I also like to break out some bluesy or southern rock-esque licks. Without the Bad Monkey, the Windsor can easily do Iron Maiden, old Metallica, Judas Priest and it could also cover the likes of Nickelback, 3 Days Grace, Demiricous, and 3 Inches Of Blood. There is more than enough gain, but to get tones of newer bands (Sanctity, Municipal Waste, Unearth, etc.) you have to use something to modernize the tone. I chose an OD pedal, but an EQ pedal would probably have just as much benefit. The noise is only factor at higher gain settings and if you are close to the amp itself. With proper room the noise would be a minor problem. The amp excels at one thing, and one thing only, high voltage heavy music. Sparkling cleans are impossible to achieve at gigging volumes. Versatility is not what this amp was made for. Roll back the volume and you get some sweet, crunchy blues tones. This amp is 100W of all tube fury, so obviously it's loud enough for large venues.
Overall Impression — 8
Like stated early, I play thrash and heavy metal. This amp suits my tastes perfectly. If you're looking for that grinding death metal tone, then maybe saving for a nice SS amp or a 5150 is your best bet, if you just want really crunchy, balls to the wall gain, this amp is your best candidate for 400USD. I have been playing bass for 7 years and guitar for 5. I have owned several guitars and a lot of mediocre modeling amps. However, I have played Mesas, Marshalls, Kranks, higher-end Peaveys, and Fenders, and honestly, the Windsor can hold its own. If it was lost or stolen, I would try to save up for a better amp, but if I was tight on cash I'd definitely pick up another Windsor. When I was amp searching, I compared this to a B-52 ST60 and a Peavey Valveking, this amp just had the crunch and the feel I needed. I don't use cleans, so it works out just fine. If you're seeking all tube crunch madness and have a fairly loud amp that you can use for cleans (like an old modeler or something), I'd definitely recommend buying the Windsor and ABY'ing the two amps.
Reliability & Durability — 10
This amp hasn't broke yet. It feels extremely sturdy and weighs about 60 pounds. I would gladly use it at a gig without a backup. I've tried halving the power section by removing the outer two power tubes and then switching the amp up to 16 ohms and it worked just fine. The metal grille protecting the tubes is really strong, and the tolex is very well done. The knobs feel extremely sturdy and the input jacks are tight.
Features — 5
This is a scratch and dent Peavey Windsor 100W all tube head. It was made in 2006. The amp has one channel and one effects loop. The front panel, left to right, consists of: high gain input, low gain input (padded -10db), preamp volume (gain), bass, middle, treble, boost Switch, effects loop jacks, master volume, presence, resonance, standby Switch, and then the power Switch. The amp comes stock with 4 matched EL34 Ruby poweramp tubes, 2 JJ 12AX7 preamp tubes, and 1 JJ 12AX7 driver tube. The boost feature adds a boost to the volume and boosts the mids, it's perfect for situations like soloing, or when one guitarist is playing alone for a bit. The Texture control phases out half of the power stage and makes the amp operate as a Class A amp. Obviously, the two main features this camp could use are reverb and a clean channel, but for 305 (400USD Brand New) it is an absolute steal. Don't let my 5/10 deter you, it's low because the amp is low on features.