Peavey Ultra Plus Head
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Peavey Ultra Plus Head

Ultra Plus Head, Tube Guitar Amp Head from Peavey in the Ultra series.

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Audiofanzine FR 11/07/2008

Peavey Ultra Plus Head : Audiofanzine FR's user review

5

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(Originally written by nihilsbajo/translated from Audiofanzine FR)

120-watt tube amp with 6l6 and 4 preamp valves. Integrated reverb, ridiculously small footswitch, effect loop, 2 inputs (high/low), switch to halve the output power, 3-position switch to adjust the lows to the room. You won't miss anything.
The transformers seem to be good (they are really big). It doesn't look fragile. It's made in the USA. Anyway it seems to be really sturdy. I heard Peavey had a faulty series and did a recall but not all customers had sent in their warranty cards so problems arose after a while.

UTILIZATION

It's very easy to setup the amp: the clean channel is set in a few seconds (EQ placed before the preamp in the signal path) and the lead channels have separate gain and volume controls (one for crunch sound and one for hi-gain distortion). You have the usual treble, mid and bass EQs and a very effective master control! The user's manual is short but concise.

SOUNDS

Clean channel: Quite simple. The EQ lets you boost some frequencies before the signal goes into the preamp but you cannot shape the sound. This means that you'll have to use your guitar's pickup selector—which isn't necessary a bad thing since you'll get your instrument's real sound!
Crunch channel: my favorite. Rather old-school with a real Marshall character. I don't know if they drew their inspiration from the JCM800 but it sounds suspiciously similar, with a tighter and more pleasant character though! The gain can be huge and you actually have an integrated level boost to play all music styles! The mid frequency range is very present but you can really craft the sound. Personally I set it almost to the max. You can play anything from Alice in Chains to Darkthrone.
Hi Gain channel: Shares the same EQ as the crunch channel and also has a gain-boost switch which is virtually wasted because the gain level is already too hot. This channel sounds very different compared to the crunch channel because the emphasized frequencies aren't the same. The sound is definitely modern with powerful lows and less presence. It's perfect for solos I guess (I loathe them), or for a big death-metal sound. The sound is very american without being grotesque.

Not an ultra versatile sound but a good solution for things like rock, black metal, thrash, death and so on... It's the sound I was looking for!

OVERALL OPINION

I haven't actually used for such a long time. But if I ever change my mind I'll edit my review. Anyway it's perfect with my 2x12" cabinet (V30)!
The biggest turnoff is the footswitch. I think I will try to fit it in a homemade case...
I already tested several amps: small solid-state amps, Randall RG50T (which I sold to get this amp), Peavey 5150 combo (I didn't like it), Engl Powerball and Mesa Rectifier. It's the best at what it does! Of course a Mesa would have been good but I got intoxicated by its outrageously fat sound. I guess if I get a Rectifier simulation pedal it'll do.
Till now I've been totally satisfied with my choice! I bought it by chance after I sold my Randall and I had second thoughts about other amp heads like Laboga Alligator, Hiwatt Hi Gain, Marshall JVM and Vintage Modern; I'm really happy.