Price paid: £ 300
Purchased from: Why Buy New? (Ebay Store)
Sound — 9
I play both an Ibanez RG and an Epiphone Flying V and so I can't really say how this amp would handle something like a strat. However, having a H/S/H guitar is a good match as you can Switch to single coil to clean up the sound. From what I can tell, the amp sounds very similar to a hot rodded Marshall JCM 800. Therefore it's very mid-heavy and could be described as a little thin. This makes it perfect for thrash and classic rock and there is more than enough gain. If you played through some kind of overdrive pedal, I am confindent more modern tones could no doubt be achieved. Although I suppose that if you are in a metalcore or numetal band, you should be looking for something else. I am told that the matching Peavey cabs do not sound that great, I play this through a Harley Benton G212 and although I could probably get a much better sound with something more expensive, the sound is tight and punchy.
Overall Impression — 8
In short, this amp sounds amazing for the price and so I feel in no real position to make complaints. If you want the classic Marshall sound at a justifiable price this is your amp, in fact the only thing that differs is a different output transformer, and the valve types and configurations are the same. The inclusion of a clean channel would have been welcome and you can only use the official Peavey Pedal with it which is cheap and plasticy. However, these are two small complaints and are nothing compared to the Windsor's strong points. I would wholly reccomend that you try one out if your looking for a no frills, classic metal machine.
Reliability & Durability — 7
I have not owned this amp for long, but don't think I would ever be completely confident in gigging a valve amp. However, I am sure that if you change them when needed and handle the amp with care you are probably not likely to have a meltdown on stage. A cheap solid state backup could be a good idea if you are gigging regularly and play long sets.
Features — 6
I believe that these amps were produced around 2008 but they have since been discontinued. However, if you search around and check eBay you can find some good deals. Style wise, this amp excels at 70's and 80's rock and metal, anything from Black Sabbath to early thrash. The amp is EXTREMELEY loud even on low settings so it would not be a wise purchase if you are looking for a practice amp. It's very simple to use and setup as there is only one channel and a boost function for solos, unless you changed the valves you can't achieve pristine cleans but if you roll back your guitar's volume knob you can get a passable live clean tone. This is not the amp for you if you play lots of clean stuff or need to have on the fly access to different tones. A feature unique to Peavey is the texture dial, which lets you go from class A/B to A. Class A will tighten up the sound a little bit for heavier styles, whilst class A/B seems to sound more "raunchy" and distorted. Therefore, the amp is kind of a one trick pony, but if a clean channel is added I think Peavey could easily justify a substantial price increase.