A dependable road warrior gets a nice boost.
Clip 2 - Peavey Classic Channel 1 w/effects: Same as above, with effects added. In sequence: clean signal, J. Rockett Archer, MXR Phase 90, DigiTech PDS 1000 delay, Supernatural Ambient Verb set on shimmer.
Clip 3 - Peavey Classic Channel 2: Same settings for amp and guitar as above except Channel 2 Pre 5, Post 5. Boost engaged at 18 seconds.
Clip 4 - Peavey Classic Channel 2 with heavy overdrive and slide: Same settings for amp and guitar as above, except Pre on 12 and Boost engaged throughout.
My first encounter with a Peavey Classic tweed style combo was in the ’90s, when North Mississippi hill country blues deacon R.L. Burnside invited me onstage for the first time. R.L. decided to preach “Mannish Boy,” so he offered me his amp and stepped to the front with his Jack and Coke in hand, to stand at the mic. When I hit a test chord, the floor of the stage shook. I turned to see that R.L. had every dial on the amp maxed. I rolled back my tone and volume pots and hit another chord. I was impressed by the Peavey Classic’s power, color, and presence—even at R.L.’s juke-thentic settings.
Over the years, I’ve maintained a favorable impression of Peavey’s Classic series iterations. They’re dependable working players’ amps: affordable, big-voiced, with enough clarity and punch to break through a live mix with or without the help of microphones.
Giddy up! The all-tube Classic 30 is the newest steed in this line of workhorses. Thirty watts are generated via the heat of seven tubes—three 12AX7s and four EL84s—that are protected by a steel cage. Two of the 12AX7s push the preamp and the third compliments the EL84s in the power section. The amp has two channels—in the Peavey Classic tradition—and an op amp driven spring reverb, which is situated at the bottom of the cabinet beneath a Celestion Midnight 60-watt speaker. A footswitch for channel switching and boost is included, though it can’t be used for the reverb, which is also foot-switchable and requires a second footswitch.
The control panel is top-mounted and features a single volume control for the normal channel and pre and post controls for the second channel. There’s a button between the normal and pre sections that switches between channels, which are remarkably different, but more on that later. There’s also a reverb level control and an EQ section with bass, mid, and treble knobs. Each chicken head knob goes up to 12 (which is two louder—and better—than 10, of course)! The EQ section serves both channels.
Between the mid and treble controls you’ll find another button marked “boost.” This is the Classic 30’s cool new wrinkle. The boost kicks up the gain and opens up the top end in a warm and colorful way. Like the EQ dials it can be used with both channels. There are also I/O jacks for the sparkly clean effects loop (although I prefer to stack my pedals in front of the amp’s signal), on/off and standby toggles, plus a pilot light so you know when you’re in business. While all this adds up to a lot of practical features, they are familiar and intuitive enough that I felt comfortable bringing the amp to a two-night gig on Memphis’ Beale Street the day after it arrived.
At Home On the Midrange In performance, the amp did exactly what it’s designed to do: it ruled a small, packed, noisy, reflection prone room without the help of a PA. I like dirt, so the first night I experimented with the crunchy channel—the one with the pre and post controls.
It took just a few minutes to dial in a strong stage tone, with lots of rich, toppy midrange. With the EQ dials set straight up at 6 to start, the amp ran a little bass heavy. Moving the bass to 4, mids to 9, and treble to 8 delivered a warm, powerful tone straddling roots and rock—placing my guitars in the sonic strata just on top of the bass and drums. The growl and volume I like—enough to make the strings sing and sustain with minimal effort—came from setting the pre at 3 and the post at 6. The pre dial was extremely responsive. Cranking it up at home revealed the Classic 30’s potential for heavy rock, with lots of stinging overdrive. On the gig, cranking the post to increase volume preserved the tone while providing more “loud”—just the way it should. For the record, it’s easy to keep volumes equal while switching between channels.
Echo of the Past This reverb sounds sweet. And though an op amp rather than a tube drives the circuit, it sounds similar to the tank on my ’66 transition-era Twin. It adds ambience at low levels and lingers deliciously when cranked, making it a natural for surf licks. The control is smooth and effective—adding or subtracting reverb without any sudden surges. It’s so nice that I was a little bummed that the natural reverb from the brick and glass construction of the club required me to deactivate it for the gig.
In addition to the warm, bold, mid-centric tones, the Classic 30’s second channel proved fabulously adaptable to different guitars, pickups and effects. From Gibson and Seymour Duncan humbuckers to a mid-’60 Epiphone dog-ear P-90, and a pedalboard equipped with compressor, overdrive, phase shifter, vibrato, and delay, the second channel still had the headroom to convey nuance and color without getting buzzy or muddy. At home it was equally content with my stock pickup Stratocaster.
To my ears the normal channel is the brighter of the two. It’s also very clean and present. It’s an excellent platform for pedals. Using a J. Rockett Archer overdrive lent just enough hair to the amp’s natural presence and responsiveness. But snapping the Archer off and engaging the boost button I brought the Classic 30’s normal channel to life, adding a big-shouldered purr and nice harmonic colors: organic, crisp, and tough.
The Verdict The latest Classic 30 is a ruggedly built and adaptable creature—dependable and sweet sounding on stage and, I’d surmise, the studio as well. It may not have all the harmonic detail, shimmering breakup, or open-sounding voice of a high-quality boutique amp. But it more than holds its own. I’d be happy to see one of these in a club or festival backline any time. And for the street price of $699, it’s a winner—with enough versatility and sonic goodness for any playing situation.
Watch the Review Demo:
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Sporting custom artwork etched onto the covers, the Railhammer Billy Corgan Z-One Humcutters are designed to offer a fat midrange and a smooth top end.
Billy Corgan was looking for something for heavier Smashing Pumpkins songs, so Joe Naylor designed the Railhammer Billy Corgan Z-One pickup. Sporting custom artwork etched onto the covers, the Railhammer Billy Corgan Z-One Humcutters have a fat midrange and a smooth top end. This pickup combines the drive and sustain of a humbucker with the percussive attack and string clarity of a P90. Get beefy P90 tone plus amp-pummeling output with the Railhammer Billy Corgan Z-One.
Patented Railhammer Pickups take passive guitar pickups to a new level with rails under the wound strings lead to tighter lows, and poles under the plain strings offer fatter heights. With increased clarity, the passive pickup’s tone is never sterile.
Railhammer Billy Corgan Signature Z-One Pickup Demo
For more information, please visit railhammer.com.
Designed for utmost comfort and performance, the Vertigo Ultra Bass is Mono’s answer to those who seek the ultimate gigging experience.
Complete with a range of game-changing design features, such as the patent-pending attachable FREERIDE Wheel System, premium water-resistant and reflective materials, shockproof shell structure and improved ergonomic features, the Vertigo Ultra Bass takes gear protection to the next level.
The Vertigo Ultra Bass features:
- Patent-pending FREERIDE Wheel System that allows for wheels to be attached on the case in no time, giving you the option to travel with it seamlessly
- Upgraded materials, including a water-resistant 1680D Ballistic Nylon outer shell, plush inner lining and new reflective trim for maximum backstage and night visibility
- Enhanced protection with a shockproof shell structure and heavy-duty water-resistant YKK zippers for protection from the elements
- Improved ergonomics and functionality including added back support and load-lifting detachable shoulder straps with side release buckles
- Flexible storage options with added space for touring essentials
The Generation Collection of acoustic guitars features the exclusive Gibson Player Port designed to offer a unique and immersive sonic experience.
The G-Bird, the newest addition to the Generation Collection--represents the glorious legacy of the Gibson Hummingbird colliding with modern sonic enhancement through the Gibson Player Port to add a new dimension to the G-Bird sound. The Gibson Player Port allows players to hear more of themselves as the audience hears it. With a tone that is crisp and resonant, all of the Gibson Generation Collection acoustics are designed to be comfortable to hold and play for long periods of time. All Generation Collection guitars feature the Gibson Player Port, slim, lightweight bodies, a flatter fingerboard radius, Walnut back and sides, Sitka spruce tops, and a stunning Natural finish. Additionally, the new G-Bird, and the G-200 and G-Writer are equipped with LR Baggs™ Element Bronze pickup systems which amplify deep bass and crystal-clear highs.
The G-Bird represents the glorious legacy of the Gibson Hummingbird with modern sonic enhancement through the Gibson Player Port adding a new dimension to the G-Bird’s sound. The G-Bird features a stunning solid Sitka spruce top and solid walnut back and sides for the ultimate in crisp, resonant tone. This square-shoulder dreadnought delivers all the rich low end and well-balanced mids and highs the original Hummingbird is famous for. The TUSQ nut and saddle, along with chrome Grover Mini Rotomatic tuners, deliver solid tuning stability so you can spend more time playing instead of tuning. The utile neck, with its easy-playing Advanced Response neck profile, is so comfortable you won’t want to put it down. The G-Bird also comes equipped with an LR Baggs Element Bronze pickup system, so it will always sound as good to your audience as it does to you. The G-Bird also comes equipped with an LR Baggs™ Element Bronze pickup system, so it will always sound as good to your audience as it does to you. The G-Bird is available in Natural finish. A gig bag is included.
Modeled after Gibson’s pioneering small-body parlor acoustic guitars from the 1930’s, the G-00 is a top choice for blues and fingerstyle guitar performances. Despite its more compact size, the G-00 achieves a full, balanced sound. The G-00 fills any room with rich tones-which players can hear like never before, with the exclusive Gibson Player Port. Like all models in the Gibson Generation Collection, the G-00 is handcrafted in Bozeman, Montana, by the same highly--skilled craftspeople who make all Gibson acoustic guitars. The G-00 features a beautiful solid Sitka spruce top and solid Walnut back and sides for tone that sounds crisp and resonant. The slightly thinner G-00 parlor-sized body is exceptionally comfortable to hold and play. The TUSQ nut and saddle along with the Grover Mini Rotomatic tuners, deliver solid tuning stability so you can spend more time playing instead of tuning, and the utile neck with its easy-playing neck profile is so comfortable you won’t want to put it down. The G-00 is available in Natural finish. A gig bag is included.
The G-45, a round-shouldered jumbo, adds the Gibson Player Port to its famous “Workhorse” J-45 style body, which is Gibson’s best-selling acoustic guitar of all time. On the G-45, players can now hear more clearly than ever how this beloved guitar responds to every style and technique of playing. Powerful one moment and soft the next, the G-45 delivers all sounds with incredible dynamic range in an elegant, medium body size. The G-45 is part of the Gibson Generation Collection and like all models in this collection, it is handcrafted in Bozeman, MT, by the same highly skilled craftspeople who make all Gibson acoustics. It features a solid Sitka spruce top and solid Walnut back and sides for tone that sounds crisp and resonant. The G-45 features a slightly thinner round shoulder body is exceptionally comfortable to hold and play. The TUSQ nut and saddle, along with the Grover Mini Rotomatic tuners deliver solid tuning stability, so you can spend more time playing instead of tuning, and the utile neck with its easy-playing neck profile is so comfortable you won’t want to put it down. The G-45 is available in Natural finish. A gig bag is included.
Gibson’s impressive range of square-shouldered guitars have become an expressive standard for rock, pop, folk, and country artists. The G-Writer is known for its wide range of sounds, from gutsy and loud, to soft and sweet; they are superb for all styles and shine, whether strumming chords or fingering intricate solos. The G-Writer comes ready for the stage or studio with an LR Baggs Element Bronze pickup system and the ear-opening Gibson Player Port. The G-Writer is part of the Gibson Generation Collection and like all models in this collection, it is handcrafted in Bozeman, MT, by the same highly skilled craftspeople who make all Gibson acoustics. It features a solid Sitka spruce top and solid Walnut back and sides for tone that sounds crisp and resonant. The G-Writer features a slightly thinner cutaway body, is more comfortable to play and provides effortless access to the upper frets. The TUSQ nut and saddle, along with the Grover Mini Rotomatic tuners deliver solid tuning stability, so you can spend more time playing instead of tuning, and the utile neck with its easy-playing neck profile is so comfortable you won’t want to put it down. The G-Writer is available in Natural finish. A gig bag is also included.
Gibson built its first “Super Jumbo” SJ-200 as a custom order for country and western singer and film star Ray Whitley, who desired a big, loud, and deep flat-top over which to croon. The SJ-200 quickly became a staple of cowboy singers and horseback troubadours, and then country music, 60’s folk stars, and onto every acoustic guitar genre that has followed. Ray would be proud to hear the booming sound from the Gibson Player Port on the new G-200, which comes ready for the stage or studio with a LR Baggs Element Bronze pickup system. Like all models in the Gibson Generation Collection, the G-200 is handcrafted in Bozeman, MT, by the same highly--skilled craftspeople who make all Gibson acoustics. The G-200 features a beautiful solid Sitka spruce top and solid Walnut back and sides for tone that sounds crisp and resonant. The slightly thinner G-200 cutaway jumbo body is exceptionally comfortable to hold and provides excellent access to the upper frets. The TUSQ nut and saddle, along with the Grover Mini Rotomatic tuners, deliver solid tuning stability so you can spend more time playing instead of tuning, and the utile neck with its easy-playing neck profile is so comfortable you won’t want to put it down. The G-200 is available in Natural finish. A gig bag is also included.
G-Bird | Generation Collection
For more information, please visit gibson.com.