Peavey Power Amplifiers
When it comes to sound, it's all about the amp. A Peavey power amplifier can turn the faint sound of an electric guitar into something that can fill an arena from top to bottom. Once you see a guitar leaning against that big black box it's time for some serious music. Peavey Electronics has been making power amps for decades, and many of the biggest stars in music have appeared on stage with Peavey guitar amplifiers at their side. Whether you prefer solid state combo units or all-tube designs, Peavey engineers have a wealth of guitar amplifier options available with as many Watts as you need such as the Peavey 6505.
How Does an Amplifier Work?
The idea behind an amplifier is simple; it takes an input current and boosts it to produce a larger output current. This increase is called the gain, and the more powerful the amplifier the higher the gain it can produce. Every amp has a limit as to how much power it can add to a signal. Once it reaches that limit, you start seeing clipping, a distortion where rather than making the signal stronger, each increase in power makes it less accurate; high-gain combo amplifiers are less likely to need a preamp. A stereo amp can amplify two signals at once. When connecting an amp or preamp be sure to match the impedance. If the ohm rating on your speakers don't match the output on your guitar amp it won't produce the music you want no matter what you do with your guitar. In addition to the ohm, check the RMS power, which is the continuous output.
There are two basic types of amplifier:
- Tube Amps: Prior to the invention of the transistor, amplifiers used vacuum tubes. Still found in some classic Peavey amps, they produce a warm sound that many musicians and fans enjoy.
- Solid State Amps: Solid state amps rely on transistors instead of vacuum tubes. They are more reliable and less expensive to make, making them an excellent choice on the road. They also handle large amounts of power well.
What is the Story of Peavey?
Peavey has been in the power amplifier business for a long time; in fact, Hartley Peavey was building amps four years before he founded the company. With the famous Peavey logo, Peavey guitar amps are instantly recognizable. Some highlights of the story include:
- 1961: Hartley Peavey makes his first amps.
- 1973: Peavey Vintage series amps debut, later to become the Peavey Classic series.
- 1980: Introduction of the Peavey Bandit solid state amp, which later featured TransTube technology.
- 1992: The Peavey 5150, designed with input from Eddie Van Halen hits the market.
- 2005: The 5150 is rebadged as the Peavey 6505 as the company parts ways with Van Halen.
Choosing a Power Amp
Picking the right power amp is more than just going for a certain number of Watts. A performer may want a lower Wattage guitar amplifier so they can saturate the tubes without blowing out the eardrums of everyone in earshot. Sometimes a 50 Watt amp is just too strong, other times a 200 Watt amplifier isn't strong enough. A combo unit puts the amp in the guitar speaker cabinet, while a tube guitar amp head will be separate from the speaker or speakers. Add a crossover to split the signal by frequency if you have separate bass, and mid-range speakers. Most home music systems need at least a stereo power amp so that both channels can boost independently.
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