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Post new topic Session 400 vs Webb 614e tone differences
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Author Topic:  Session 400 vs Webb 614e tone differences
Keenan Friday

Magnolia, Arkansas, USA
Post Posted 11 Mar 2017 12:17 pm     Reply with quote

How do you perceive the tone differences in these two amps?
Keenan Friday
Mullen Pre Royal D-10, Walker Stereo Steel, Hilton pedal, George L cables, Livesteel Strings, (White) Fred Kelly thumbpick, Dunlop .025 fingerpicks
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Tiny Olson

Tribes Hill, NY, Mohawk River Valley, USA
Post Posted 18 Mar 2017 9:34 am     Reply with quote

In the mid-late 70s I had two of each. Both Webbs had the stock JBL 15" speakers (E or K, I don't remember which). One Session 400 had the JBL-Peavey D-130 and the other a BW speaker. I really liked the sound of all four amps. I also had several, new Evans FET 500s and a couple LTD 400s. I was playing Emmons, D-10 "Originals" (aka push-pull) guitars.

In general, comparing the Webb with the PV Session 400, I would say the Webb was slightly warmer sounding with a somewhat less pronounced mid-range. I never used the EQ section on the Webbs (the knobs on the right facing the amp which had an in/out selector toggle) and always had the tone selector in the middle aka, "Hybrid" position. I thought the factory reverb on the Webb was a little smoother sounding than that in the PVs also. The Webb also had a remote reverb knob which attached to a leg of your guitar... that was really cool back then.

All that being said, these two amps, Webb 614E and the original Peavey Session 400s are probably my two favorite combo amps that I've used to this date. The FET 500 HV is right up there as well.

The one key piece in looking back to that time is that the Peaveys never failed me and worked best when recording. The Webb amps back then did not like the ride in the bottom of the bus very much at all. The Webbs failed regularly. I always had a Session 400 or an LTD 400 on the bus as a back-up amp if I was out on tour and using the Webb primarily. The Peaveys got bounced around by baggage crews when we had to fly, rode several million miles in the bus and regardless of that, they always worked. By late 1980, I gave up on the Webbs due to the failure rate and was using Evans and Peavey only.

Hope this helps and of course, this is just my opinion. They're both great sounding amps. Had it not been for the unreliability of the Webbs of those days, I'd still have them because I loved the way they sounded.

Chris "Tiny" Olson
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David Higginbotham

Lake Charles, Louisiana, USA
Post Posted 18 Mar 2017 9:40 pm     Reply with quote

You've received some of the best advice available from Tiny. I mean.... he's an absolute pro and one of the best players with an amazing history. I will only concur with what Tiny posted in that the Webb amps have an amazing tone and one of the best steel amps ever made. The early models, in particular, did have some reliability issues. Primarily, the toggle switch for the 5 band EQ. It caused issues with the rest of the amp whether it was used or not.

Peavey amps are as reliable as any amp you can use and the original session 400 is an outstanding steel amp in its own right. I prefer the Webb tone and the reverb on the Webb is much better. Its a close race between the Evans FET 500 LV and the Webb with the Evans being more reliable. All three are great amps...just different animals.
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