Peavey Classic 30 Guitar Amp

The all-valve ‘Classic’ range of Peavey amplifiers with their tasty ‘tweed’ covering was originally launched in the early 1990s and quickly became a favourite with guitarists from jazz and blues right through to rock and country. The mix of design influences that incorporated the features of early Fender combos, combined with modern high-gain amps, meant that players had a power source that was awash with multiple variations of tone and texture.

Peavey have recently revisited the Classic series and updated the amps for the contemporary market. We sampled the Classic 30 with its single 12-inch Stephens ‘Trusonic’ speaker – the original having a 12-inch Peavey ‘Blue Marvel’. Like its original incarnation, the current Classic 30 has a chrome plated, rear mounted control panel, with black ‘chicken head’ knobs and switchable twin channels – one normal and one pre/post gain. Alongside is the control knob for the genuine (chassis mounted) spring reverb unit, followed by a three-band EQ, together with a channel and boost switch that allows switching without the optional foot pedal – which has to be bought as a separate item. Next to these is an effects loop, power switch and a standby control, which surprisingly was not available on the original 1990s model and beside these is a vintage looking pilot light. To the rear of the control panel are the quarter-inch jack sockets for an extension speaker and footswitch.

Being an all-valve amp that has a pre-amp section supplied by three 12AX7 tubes and a power section which has four EL84 tubes providing the 30w output, you’re expecting an open and full-on response – and boy do you get it! The Stephens Trusonic speaker is well matched and seems to offer a slightly warmer and cleaner tone than the original Blue Marvel – the normal channel giving some really sweet jazz tones. However, push the post gain on channel two and you’ll be drenched in bluesy edge and bite.

The Classic 30 was, and still is, an amp for all occasions, with this update offering even more depth and versatility than the original.

– David Gallant

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