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Author Topic:  New PSG player. $300 bucks. Which Amp for gigging?
Karl Paulsen

 

From:
Chicago
Post  Posted 24 Nov 2021 6:27 am    
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Just a hypothetical for you folks.
What amp for a new player whose spent almost all their cash on a pedal steel and now needs an amp but also knows they are going to be playing out soon.

It's a known and wonderful thing that we can pickup a whole range of great classic Peavey Steel amps for less than 400 bucks. I've got a couple in my practice spaces and love them. But darn they are heavy.

Likely this player is in the used market so if they've only got around 3 bills what do you tell them?
-Buy a Peavey _____ 400 and grow some muscles you weakling!
-Pickup a 100 watt cheap Fender/Crate/whatever SS guitar Amp.
-Buy a lightweight bass amp like a Fender Rumble 100 or Ampeg Rocketbass.

Something else?
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Dave Mudgett


From:
Central Pennsylvania and Gallatin, Tennessee
Post  Posted 24 Nov 2021 6:46 am    
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I have a Session 400 that the previous owner cut down vertically 3" and put in a 12" neo speaker. It weighs 47 pounds, about the same as my Deluxe Reverb, and cost either $300 or $350. Not featherweight, but not heavy either, and it'll do the job.

If I don't need mondo steel volume/headroom, a Peavey Bandit 65 or Studio Pro 40/50 work fine for me for both guitar and steel. I specifically like the Bandit 65 and Studio Pro 40/50. I see Bandits in the $100 range periodically, and I got my Studio Pro 40/50s for $35 and $45 respectively off Craigslist. I bought the 40 specifically for the early 60s Jensen the guy put in it that I took out and used for an old tube amp. I was just gonna dump the amp. But I put in a $50 70-watt MOD speaker in it, sounds great. The 50 has the original Eminence (circa 1987) 20-oz magnet speaker in it. It also sounds great. These are shockingly good with a Telecaster or archtop too.

I also have a pretty cool little Quilter Tone Block 201 that I got brand new from a big-box store for $250. OK, it'll be more than $300 with a small speaker cab, but I see decent small loaded cabs on the forum for $150-250 pretty routinely. Not a ton of money and light a a feather - the amp fits in my bag of stuff that I always drag to gigs.

I'm sure there are many other options. I have to be patient to find the deals, but they're out there if you look and are willing to wait till the right deal shows up.
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Charley Paul


From:
California, USA
Post  Posted 24 Nov 2021 2:40 pm    
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I would look for a used Tone Block or Pro Block from Quilter.
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Bob Watson


From:
Champaign, Illinois, U.S.
Post  Posted 25 Nov 2021 2:14 am    
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I've been playing pedal steel through a Gallien Krueger MB200 bass amp lately and it sounds great. The Fender Rumble's are fairly similar and also make good steel amps. I bet you could find a used one pretty cheap. A rumble 100 would be able to handle a small room, but the Rumble 200 with the 15" speaker would probably be loud enough for any situation you might find yourself in. You would need to buy a reverb pedal too. I hear good things about the Katana 100's too. Also, a Roland Cube 60 or a Cube 80 are both good steel amps that are light. Roland has made a lot of different models of Cubes through the years, you would want the ones that are modeling amps. I would also bet that a Mustang 100 would sound good with a pedal steel.
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Chris Brooks

 

From:
Providence, Rhode Island
Post  Posted 25 Nov 2021 5:42 am    
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Peavey Bandit: +/- $200

Roland Cube 60 or 80 + / - $300

Both are strong, reliable, and giggable.

Chris
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Patrick Huey


From:
Nacogdoches, Texas, USA
Post  Posted 25 Nov 2021 5:47 am    
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you can regularly find Peavey Nashville 400's on here for close to that. One of the best steel amps made, IMHO.
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Jack Hanson


From:
San Luis Valley, USA
Post  Posted 25 Nov 2021 8:17 am     Re: New PSG player. $300 bucks. Which Amp for gigging?
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Karl Paulsen wrote:

-Buy a Peavey _____ 400...

Fill in the blank with Session or LTD, and... Bingo!
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Jim Kennedy

 

From:
Brentwood California, USA
Post  Posted 25 Nov 2021 8:52 am    
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The Boss Katana modeling amp can be found on Reverb in the 275 to 500 dollar range, depending upon the configuration. When the 100 watt combos show up on Craig's list in northern CA they are usually in the 300 to 350 dollar range. I have a friend who bought one new for 600 dollars, and has one he bought used that he may be sellling. He is a forum member if you are intrested. Check out the posts here on the forum. Many like them. I use a Fender Musang for my Tele. IMHO, the newst version Katana is a better sounding amp.
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John Talbott


From:
Castle Rock, Colorado, USA
Post  Posted 25 Nov 2021 12:53 pm    
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You may want to look at the Peavey Special 130.
Weighs approx 47lbs.
It has 130 watts and a shiftable mid.
There are more than a few postings about suitability for steel guitar.
Link for specs -
https://peavey.com/manuals/80343010.pdf
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Tony Prior


From:
Charlotte NC
Post  Posted 26 Nov 2021 1:25 am    
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John Talbott wrote:
You may want to look at the Peavey Special 130.
Weighs approx 47lbs.
It has 130 watts and a shiftable mid.
There are more than a few postings about suitability for steel guitar.
Link for specs -
https://peavey.com/manuals/80343010.pdf


I would agree with John, the Special 130 is the UPGRADED version of the original issue Bandit 65 ( with the aluminum strips down the sides)

IF can find one , that would be a good day ! As stated, these amps have the MID shift which in my mind is necessary. These amps, Steel-wise, sound like a PV Session 400 .
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K Maul


From:
Hadley, NY/Hobe Sound, FL
Post  Posted 26 Nov 2021 6:51 am    
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Here’s a 130 for sale right here
https://bb.steelguitarforum.com/viewtopic.php?t=375782&highlight=
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Bob Hoffnar


From:
Austin, Tx
Post  Posted 26 Nov 2021 9:06 am    
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Keep in mind that a Nashville 400 will be about 40 years old by now. Those circuit boards don’t last forever. If I just had $300 I would get some new mass production amp that will work and put money away for a more ultimate amp down the road.
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Donny Hinson

 

From:
Glen Burnie, Md. U.S.A.
Post  Posted 3 Dec 2021 7:19 am    
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The Fender Stage 112SE has 160 watts, and will do a good job. Though they're no longer made, you can often find one in very good shape for well under $300.

I use one myself, occasionally, and I eventually installed a neo speaker which brings the weight down to around 30 lbs. While it has no mid control, it does have a 2-position mid switch.
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Bill Ferguson


From:
Milton, FL USA
Post  Posted 3 Dec 2021 7:33 am    
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Here ya go.
IMHO, the best steel guitar amp ever,bar none.

https://bb.steelguitarforum.com/viewtopic.php?t=375943&highlight=
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Dave Hopping


From:
Colorado, USA
Post  Posted 3 Dec 2021 9:55 am    
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Bill Ferguson wrote:
Here ya go.
IMHO, the best steel guitar amp ever,bar none.

https://bb.steelguitarforum.com/viewtopic.php?t=375943&highlight=


If I needed an American NV112 I'd jump on both of these in a heartbeat!
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Andrew Danner

 

From:
North Carolina, USA
Post  Posted 4 Dec 2021 5:52 am    
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What about a Peavey Classic VT?

I'm in the scenario above.
I use the VT for playing electric guitar.

I would love to find a proper pedal steel amp (US made) for 300-350 $
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Karl Paulsen

 

From:
Chicago
Post  Posted 4 Dec 2021 7:19 am    
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Andrew Danner wrote:
What about a Peavey Classic VT?

I'm in the scenario above.
I use the VT for playing electric guitar.

I would love to find a proper pedal steel amp (US made) for 300-350 $



Looks like the NV112 amps at the link above are still available $325 each shipped!

I just bought a Vegas 400 that cost me that much after putting in a new reverb tank. It absolutely sings and I consider it a great purchase and value. However, if the NV112's had been available at that price a month ago I'd probably have bought one instead just for the ease of transport
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Karl Paulsen

 

From:
Chicago
Post  Posted 4 Dec 2021 7:31 am    
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Just wanted to add that I've really enjoyed this thought exercise. Thanks to all of you who participated


I think I learned a good lesson about waiting and that's what I'd advise the hypothetical new player to do. If you need something soon'ish, grab a Peavey 400/500 Steel amp appears since they seem to show up around $300 quite often.

If time is not the issue, (especially if you're waiting for a steel to be built) It seems like waiting around until a NV112 comes around for around $350.
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Dave Mudgett


From:
Central Pennsylvania and Gallatin, Tennessee
Post  Posted 4 Dec 2021 8:13 am    
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Yeah, I pointed that NV 112 sale thread 5 days ago on another thread here - https://bb.steelguitarforum.com/viewtopic.php?t=375897 - I'm amazed it's still there! And they are apparently from 2005 from Bobbe Seymour's store, exactly when and where I got mine. If true, that means US made with socketed ICs - I know because I've been inside mine.

Look, a number of Peavey amps can be made to work OK for steel. Bandit 65, Special 130, Vegas - I am using a Peavey Studio Pro 40 or 50 (I have one of each) for double-duty guitar/steel gigs sometimes. But if you really want something made for pedal steel, used examples of NV 112 or 400 or 1000, or Session/LTD 400 can be had under $400, and sometimes significantly less. I say this all the time - patience is the key. If you gotta have one TODAY, you may pay more. But they really do come up at good prices pretty often. For example, I see two different Bandit 65s on Baltimore and Philadelphia Craigslists for $125 and a Special 130 for $150 somewhere else in my 100-150-mile radius very recently. There was a NV 400 for $275, and so on. I mean, even at $400+, these are a bargain in comparison to most of the new, throwaway stuff I see routinely, and a drop in the bucket in comparison to a boutique tube amp. But if money is tight, be patient and look carefully. An awful lot of guitar players are amp snobs and turn their noses up at these old Peaveys.

BTW - I have or have had all of the older Peavey amps I mentioned above and have not seen any issues with the circuit boards on any of them. These older Peaveys were very well made, with solid circuit boards with reasonably sized traces, and enclosures that were made to last. The 30-40 year old Peavey enclosures will take some abuse, the tolex is nearly impregnable. Electrolytic capacitors, by their very nature, will need to be replaced at some point - this is true for any amp. Power transistors can fail, especially if output is shorted out or pushed too hard for too long. This is true for any solid-state amp. But I haven't ever had to replace a power transistor on any of mine over the last 20 years. Most of these amps have just chugged along. Even when I use an old Fender tube amp, which btw I love and have a bunch of, I generally carry one of my old Peaveys or my Quilter Tone Block 201 as a backup. This has saved my butt more than once.
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Jon Snyder


From:
Nevada, USA
Post  Posted 4 Dec 2021 11:01 am    
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Since you can still buy a new Nashville 112 and it is solid state, does it measure up to the older ones?
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Karl Paulsen

 

From:
Chicago
Post  Posted 4 Dec 2021 11:06 am    
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I'd echo the quality of the vintage Peavey Solid state stuff. From everything I've experienced, read here on the forum and discussed with my amp tech buddy, Vintage Peavey's are among the sturdiest and most repairable solid state amps.

Their comparatively low cost may mean that it is not economically worthwhile to repair these amps, but they are more repairable and less likely to need repair than most of their contemporaries.
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