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The Peavey Bandit 112 Guitar Combo Amplifier captures all the vintage tone from a tube amp all within a solid state amp.The Peavey Bandit 112 was first introduced at the NAMM show in 1995 where they set up a blind A/B comparison between their new TransTube amp and a real tube amp. Many professional musicians were shocked to find out that the Bandit 112 was in fact a solid state amp because when compared with the real tube amplifier nobody could tell the difference.
Reviewed by 2 customers
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Comments about Peavey Bandit 112 Guitar Combo Amp:
This is a revision of my previous review titled "Good choice if mostly playing at home".
Recently I made some changes to the instruments I am using this amp with, and discovered a few things which improved my rating of this product a bit. After changing these things, even though I liked my tone, I was getting as much or more hum from the amp as before and it was bothering me so I experimented a bit. What I found was that the problem all along was that I was playing too close to the amp. Now, the product isn't entirely blameless here. In order to do away with the hum, I need to play at least 12 feet away from the amp. Other amps I've used had a much smaller radius of interference. But, for sure some of the problems I noted in my review below were really a result of playing too close to the amp. I'm guessing that might explain the variability of reviews of Bandits, since different players have different setups and some might be playing closer to the amp than others.
But, now that I've figured out how to get rid of that hum, by playing farther away from the amp, I have to say I am liking the this product quite a bit more. Unlike tube amps, you can get some very nice overdrive sounds without having to crank it, and without resorting to pedals. For home use, this really is much more practical than a tube amp.
Most of what I wrote in the original review I still feel is applicable to this product, except I think it was wrong to write that "noise" was a weakness. Once you move far enough away form the amp, it's near silent. I still do think there's a bit of an issue here, because the radius of interference is so wide, more than a lot of other amps out there. But, if you've got enough room to play 12+ feet away from the amp, either on stage or at home, I don't think you need to worry about hum/noise.
Comments about Peavey Bandit 112 Guitar Combo Amp:
Solid State Versus Tube
As far as solid state amps go, this one is a decent choice. But, there are some tube amps that are not much more expensive and sound a lot better for blues and classic rock.
The reason I chose solid state is that I wanted a good amp for playing at home at medium-low levels, that sounded better better than a little practice amp, and which I could use for gigging without a PA if needed. The 12 inch speaker is probably the main thing I needed, as opposed to most practice amps with 10 inch speakers that really don't give you a significant bass response. Most tube amps really don't sound so great unless they're turned up loud, which I can rarely do at home (unless they're low wattage and you can mic them up to a PA for your gigs). This solid state amp can sound very nice at low levels, thanks to the T-Dynamics control, which simulates tube saturation and is adjustable so you can simulate a lower wattage or a higher wattage amp. This is especially nice on the Clean channel.
If you are considering this amp when both the 2006 (red stripe) and 2007 (black and chrome) are available, you might be more pleased with the older of the two models since there's more fine control of this T-Dynamics feature on the red stripe model.
Tone - Clean Channel
The clean channel with the vintage voicing sounds great for Blues. With the T-Dynamics turned down (simulating a lower wattage amp) you can get some very warm overdrive even at modest volume. If you have some overwound or otherwise high output pickups, you might like this as your lead channel too.
Tone - Lead Channel
The Lead channel with the vintage voicing sounds okay with the pre-gain below 4 or so. More gain than that and I find it starts sounding really, well, solid state. I never use the modern or high gain voicings, for that same reason, just the vintage voicing.
The switch for Tight/Loose resonance is probably my favorite feature of this amp (along with the T-Dynamics). On Loose, it really creates a big sound, and I love it for playing some dirty blues-rock like Black Keys songs. Anything with a stong bass line where you want some thumping going on.
Multi-Effects Compatibility - The biggest weakness I've found is that I haven't been able to get a decent tone with my Boss multi-effects stompbox. I've tried various combinations of putting effects before the amp, in the effects loop, directly into the power amp, and it's all pretty bad. The sound is very digital, and noisy (hum and buzz). I've used the stompbox with tube amps and I can get a nice sound and a lot less noise. It might depend on the specific of the multi-effects unit (Boss versus Line6 versus Vox), but I think in general this is not a great choice of amp if you regularly play with one of these multi-effects units.
Lack of Master Volume - This amp has direct inputs into the power amp section (Line In, and Effects Return), and the Resonance and T-Dynamics controls are present in the power amp section, but there's no master volume control. This is an issue for me because my multi-effects unit doesn't have a very easy to access master-volume control, and just about the only configuration where the multi-effects sound halfway decent is when they're directly into the power amp. It has a single pedal, but when using that for wah, for example, you can't easily control volume.
Noise - I mostly play with single coil guitars, and this amp is much worse than most tube amps I've played in terms of how much the hum is noticeable as gain is turned up. I've had to get rid of all the compact fluorescents and dimmer switches in my house because with gain above 2 or so, the hum is just too much. I had a Fender Deluxe Reverb tube amp in the same setup at home, and the hum was barely noticeable even at high gain. Not really fair to compare this with a Fender tube amp, but I think the point is that this solid state amp doesn't pair so well with single coil guitars, homes/studios with some rf interference, or noisy effects units.
This review is based on playing with a copper-shielded Standard Stratocaster with both stock and upgraded (GFS) pickups, straight into the Bandit and on occasion with a BOSS ME-33 in front of or in the effects loop.
The manufacturer's warranty covers guitars, basses, amplifiers, pre-amplifiers, mixers, electronic crossovers and equalizers for two years from date of purchase. An extended warranty is available for three additional years of coverage if a warranty card is completed and returned within 90 days of purchase. The warranty excludes damage from misuse, abuse, and contains other exclusions.