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Thread: New ( to me) Amp - the Often-Overlooked Choice

  1. #1

    Default New ( to me) Amp - the Often-Overlooked Choice

    My Trusty Peavey Vypyr 75 started flaking out the other day. For some time now the rotary decoders have been not always behaving. It finally starting to get so bad I had to do something.

    This amp has been my plug and play amp for years. I bought it cheap from a guy on CL - with its Sanpera foot controller. I did a couple of speakers swaps in it. First a Texas Heat which was a vast improvement over the Blue Marvel. Later I went to a Eminence EM12 which was even better for a modeling amp. I had some killer models set up and the amp never failed to bring a smile to my face when I played it.

    I went to my favorite local music shop with the idea of buying the smallest new Vypyr. Well, that was the one model they didn't have in stock.

    What I did find was a used (like new - and, I mean, like NOS new) Peavey Special 212 Chorus. It's the most current TransTube version. They wanted $299 for it. I played it and then asked them what the "cash today" price is. $249. So I bought it and a new PV 2 button footswitch ($19).

    I got it home and took it straight into the garage for minor surgery.

    The weak link in these (and all Peavey amps, IMO) is the Blue Marvel speakers. They have harsh, ice-picky highs, and not a lot of bass. They have thick, ribbed cones and are a relatively light speaker. In all the PV amps I've ever owned over the years I've never kept the Blue Marvel in said amp.

    So in went the EM 12 and the Texas Heat.

    It totally transformed the amp from the one I played in the store. I love this thing! I dialed up a clean warm scooped tone on the clean channel and my Strat has never sounded so glorious.

    These are underrated, overlooked amps. But they seriously need a speaker swap to make them right.

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    A few years back, I had a Fender Blues Deluxe that started making some odd noise that I couldn't identify. I took it to a local amp tech who diagnosed the problem and then convinced me to upgrade the stock speaker to a Eminence Cannabis Rex. I'd never really bothered swapping speakers on an amp before, but he assured me that it would make a huge difference and when I got it back, I immediately discovered that he was absolutely right.

    In retrospect, it seems obvious but at the time I was a little dubious about that the difference would really be that noticeable ... but it was.

    I have upgraded the pickups in my guitars a bunch of times because it makes an enormous difference - the same goes for speakers in amps but, for some reason, it never really occurred to me until the tech suggested it. I'm glad that he did!

  4. #4


    These amps are way better than the Blue Marvel allows them to be.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    NE Tennessee


    I purchased a Vypyr Tube 60 back when they first came out. I used it at church for a good many years. After a while, it started having some issues. The biggest were twofold. Either it would lock up (it would keep the same settings. You could play through it. You just couldn't change anything.), or it would reboot - right in the middle of a song.

    Now I keep it at home and use it as a practice amp. Still a good sounding amp. I do prefer the clean tones more than the overdriven tones. The overdriven tones are good, just not what I remember. For example, their "Plexi" take is a decent sound. But, it does not sound like the old Marshall I used to have.

    When Peavey started the Vypyr Pro, I received an email from the marketing director. He asked me the types of things I would want to see in the "Pro" model. I wrote a multi-page document about the Vypyr - the things I liked and the things I did not like. When the Pro eventually came out, it did have some of the features I liked. But, it also had some features I didn't really care for (such as "amp blending". Neat feature, but not something I would use).
    Lefty guitars: Gibson SG standard ('76) : Gibson LP custom ('79) : '06 Fender Strat
    Amps: Mesa Boogie Mark IV : Mesa Nomad 45 : Peavey Vypyr Tube-60
    Other: Effectrode Blackbird : Kingsley Jester : AMT SS11-a : JColoccia "Big Cannoli" : Radial Plexitube

  6. #6


    I had a Marshall model set up. But I goosed it just a little with the tubescreamer model in front. It took it into awesome Marshall territory.

    I might yank the chassis out of the cab and toss it, close the front in and turn it into a bass cab. The back is already almost completely closed. Then snag a cheap bass head from CL.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2006


    As time goes by you keep finding sleepers. I like it pretty heavy. Two of my favorites...Peavey XXX. Especially the 40efx. Peaveys answer to Mesa Boogie back in the day but no one wanted to pay $$$ for a Peavey. Really only gets that one awesome sound , but it does it so well. Line 6 spider valve.- another overlooked tube amp made in conjunction with Bogner. $$$ when they were new, but no one bit, pick them up on the cheap. Awesome Heavy sounds. No pedals needed with either
    We don't have to pay retail anymore.

  8. #8


    Great tone is where you find it.

    I'll take a good deal because it's not popular gear.

  9. #9


    I ordered a long reverb pan to replace the short two-spring pan in the amp. As it is the reverb ain’t much to write home about. I’ve done this mod on a Peavey ValveKing combo before with great results.

  10. #10


    Got the new tank installed today. It wasn't as dramatic a change as I had experienced in the past. But still better reverb than it had before.

    I took the opportunity plug in the LP and crank this amp. Really excellent OD tone! I'm very happy with it.

    And I can not stress how bad the latest version of the Blue Marvel is. It is why these amps get such a bad rap.

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