Peavey Ultra 212 Combo
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Peavey Ultra 212 Combo

Ultra 212 Combo, Tube Combo Guitar Amp from Peavey in the Ultra series.

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Stormleader 03/22/2011

Peavey Ultra 212 Combo : Stormleader's user review

« Very versatile amp, but excels at Metal! »
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Made in the USA

All Tube, 4 12AX7's, and 2 6L6's.

60 Watts

2x12 Combo

3 Foot-switchable channels: Clean, Crunch, Ultra

Clean has a separate passive EQ, the Crunch and Ultra channels share a active EQ

Bright switch on the clean channel, and separate boost buttons for the Crunch and Ultra channels

Separate Channel volumes for all three channels

Master Volume

Resonance Switch (Loose, Medium, Tight)

High and Low input (6 dB boost on the High input)

Selectable impedance switch (4, 8 and 16 ohms)

Fixed bias

UTILIZATION

This amp is a KILLER "sleeper" amp. Not a whole lot of people know about these, which is a shame. These amps were the amp that the Peavey XXX was based off of, and many people that I have talked to actually prefer the Ultra over the XXX. It is built like most Peavey amps: LIKE A TANK. This thing is quite heavy, but I prefer a heavier amp that I know can take abuse (Even though I baby my gear!) to a lighter amp that is easy to break, because hey, accidents happen.

Aesthetically it's not the most amazing of an amp, which I think may be part of the reason it's not well known. Also, no famous player that I know of ever used one, unlike say, a 5150.

The manual is very easy to understand, and even if you don't understand a particular thing, Peavey's customer support is second to none if you need to call them. It's pretty easy to get a decent sound right off the bat, but as with every amp, it may take some tweaking to get it right where you want it.


SOUNDS

This is what really counts right, how it sounds right? Well, let me tell you, it sounds KILLER! I think this is one of Peavey's most versatile amp, it does everything from Praise and Worship to ThrashMetalcoreDeath Metal stuff. But even though it can do clean and light-gain stuff very well, I think those using it for just those sounds are really throwing away it's potential. This thing was designed to be a High-gain Metal amp, and it does just that with flying colors. I would say that it
has less gain on tap than say, a 5150, but it still has way more than plenty for just about anyone.

The Crunch channel is pretty much your standard gain channel, nothing really special here. The Ultra channel is like the Crunch channel, but with a little extra something I can't describe. I typically set the Crunch channel for a lower gain tone, and use the Ultra channel for my high-gain madness.

The active EQ on the CrunchUltra channels is very cool, and very useful as well. I can't say that I use the bright switch on the clean channel at all though, for it makes it much to bright for my taste, though it may work better if I had a darker sounding guitar.

Speaking of guitars, I use this amp with a BC Rich Warbeast NJ Deluxe that is loaded with EMG's. I used it with the stock combo speakers in it for the first year and a half, and then I got a 5150 Straight Cab that was loaded with Celestion V30's and G12T-75's in an X pattern. The combo speakers work fine for clean and blueslighter gain rock, but there is no comparison between them and when I'm pushing the 4x12 cab speakers. The 5150 cab just sounds so much more open and in-your-face, but at the same time retains the tightness needed for Metal.

Now, speaking of tightness, it also has a resonance switch which is VERY cool as well. It essentially changes the bass response of the amp depending on where it's set to. I normally run it at "Loose" when I'm in standard tuning, but I tend to flip it up to "Medium" when I'm down-tuned.

I want to say one more thing before I leave this section, and that's about the clarity of this amp. I hate muddy low-end. Thankfully, Peavey did something right when they designed this amp. It's pretty amazing, being able to hit a full chord with heavy distortion and hear every note ring out, but this amp does it every time.

OVERALL OPINION

Overall I can't recommend this amp enough, especially if you play metal. You just can't beat a good high-gain tube amp, and that has been proven over and over again. The only thing that I would really change is that I would have preferred a separate EQ for the Crunch channel, instead of the current shared EQ between the Ultra and Crunch channels. I paid $415 shipped for this amp, and that was with brand new tubes! These amps go for a crazy low price, and I honestly just don't know why. They easily hold their ground against far more expensive amps, and in many cases they are more versatile too boot!