Windsor Head review by Peavey

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  • Sound: 10
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reliability & Durability: 9
  • Features: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 9.5 Superb
  • Users' score: 8.1 (39 votes)
Peavey: Windsor Head

Price paid: $ 215

Purchased from: eBay

Sound — 10
I have only played this amplifier through my Fender Stratocaster w/stock single coils (my Les Paul is at the local luthier's). Damn, it sounds good. I'm not sure that it could really sound GOOD for METAL unless cranked, but for 70s hard rock, it is a dream. It is noisy for my Strat, but my strat's single coils are noisy regardless; I'm sure it will be much quieter with my Les Paul. Unlike what most reviewers say, clean sounds ARE attainable on this amplifier. I'm not sure if it's just my guitar, but I find that, plugged into the High Gain input, volume fairly loud, and preamp volume (gain) turned to 7-8, I can obtain a clean sound just by rolling down the volume pot on my guitar to about three, and adding chorus. Sounds perfect to me. As I said before, it's crunch is eerily similar to the Marshall JCM 800; slightly buzzy and thin at low volume, but past three (which is fairly loud) on the master volume, it opens up wonderfully. The distortion isn't incredibly brutal, but I"m sure that when pushed HARD, and with a metal-type guitar, it would deliver well.

Overall Impression — 10
A perfect amplifier for my styles! I have been playing for about Nine years, and while my actual ownership of gear is fairly limited, I have played some of the world's finest amps, including Marshall JCM 800s and Plexis, Mesas, Peavey 5150, and more. Those amps range into $1000+. This amp is $250, and sounds INCREDIBLY similar to some of the amps listed above, especially the Marshalls. If this amp was stolen or lost, I would most certainly buy another. I compared this amplifier to many others in similar pricerange, including the ValveKing, Marshall MG, and even amps of a slightly more expensive nature, such as the DSL and TSL Marshalls. This amp is SO much better than ANYTHING else in it's price range, and even sounds better (to my ears) than the DSLs and TSLs. It has a very authentic-sounding British Invasion Marshall roar. Bottom line: if you play styles similar to AC/DC, Led Zeppelin, The Who, Thin Lizzy, Deep Purple, and others, then BUY THIS AMP; you will not find a better deal around.

Reliability & Durability — 9
I haven't had it long enough to give an honest answer; I would say that I would never take a tube amp to a gig w/o a backup though. It seems to be built rock solid though.

Features — 9
This is, I believe, a 2008 Windsor all-tube amplifier. I play mainly classic rock, a little bit of early Metal, and softer, bluesier stuff like early Rock n' Roll. This amp is perfect for these genres. It only has one channel, but to my surprise (unlike other reviewers) I found that the Windsor was capable of cleans, while plugged into the high-gain input, just by rolling down the volume pot on my guitar and adding some light chorus. This amp is EXTREMELY powerful; I haven't found an opportunity to turn it up past 4; it sounds great though. This is an extremely simple amp. With it's single channel setup, similar to a JCM800, it has very few "bells and whistles". I'm playing it through a cheap Peavey Supreme 4x12 cabinet, and it sounds like magic; EXTREMELY similar to my friend's JCM800 amplifier.

7 comments sorted by best / new / date

    cuz if u wanna switch dist to clean, u need a dst pedal
    No, you use a little thing called a volume knob.
    he overall tone isnt what most would b looking for
    So most people aren't looking for old-school Marshall crunch? News to me.
    way beeter sound in the line 6 and its cheaper, more portable. who cares if its tube, theres a ton of cheap amps that smoke this thing
    Haha, really? Who cares if it's tube? As tele-rat said... that is a damn stupid comment. And that you prefer a Line VI spider Three to this thing, implies that (1) you only play at barely audible bedroom volumes, or (2; most likely) you have no idea what tone is. It's a great amp. I used an MXR EQ to slightly reduce the lower mids, and I changed the phase inverter to a 5751 tube to pull down some of the trademark peavey fizz. But even stock, it's a fantastic amp, if run through any cab that's not the Windsor cab.
    "Who cares if it's tube?!" I'll pretend you weren't stupid enough to say that. Line 6 Spider? Please.
    For me, the fact that it's a straight ahead amp with no frills is a great feature. Nowadays new amps are filled with so much stuff that I don't need or want. I've owned this head w/ matching cab for almost a year and I love it.
    @fretman5000, please stop talking nonsense, line6 is good for bedroom guitarists. But a line6 modeling amp wil never sound better then the peavey windsor. U should try one and set gain and volume at 5 and blow the sh*t out of your ears and hear what a tube amp sounds
    i want this aaaaamp (but i dont have enough money and my local guitar shop is trying to get peavey but doesnt have it)
    my friend had one of these and we all hated it. only one channel is not cool, cuz if u wanna switch dist to clean, u need a dst pedal. u have to crank it up obnoxiously loud to get good distortion, the distortion isnt that good, and the overall tone isnt what most would b looking for. idk if im picky but i own a spider III 75 combo and my bud who used to own the windsor has a spider II now too. way beeter sound in the line 6 and its cheaper, more portable. who cares if its tube, theres a ton of cheap amps that smoke this thing. line 6 has effects, amp models, and itll leave u xtra $