Wow…I guess I haven’t done an amp blog in a while…Huh. Well, let’s fix that! This spring Bigfoot Music is excited to introduce some pretty slick new gear in the wake of NAMM 2016 as the return of some brands and products that have been subject to a brief hiatus or two in the last little while. Stuff comes and goes, but I can tell you one thing: MAN, it’s nice to see some kick-ass new gear from our ol’ friend Hartley Peavey again!
Specifically? New cabs, new heads, and even newer, wee heads…Wee!
Full-Grown Tone in a Bite-Sized Head:
For decades now, I think we’ve come to take for granted the idea that BIG AMP equals BIG TONE: especially in the world of metal and hawrd RAWK! But as the modern world grows faster, slicker, and more innovative it may be that the ancient ways of giant drivers sitting heavy in their fat, lofty stacks are becoming about as relevant as VHS rentals and a college education:
I call it my seven-year "two-year-degree" strategy
And dude, not that’s there’s anything wrong with your two-ton, 8 ½ foot Mesa-Boogie extension cab tower of compensation but I’m entering into my mid-20s with the joints of an arthritic sailor: if there’s a way to get just as much mmph out of my amp without shattering my pelvis by lifting it, I’m ready to help usher in the era of the small-but-powerful amp.
Turns out, the metal-defining tone-magicians at Peavey have been thinking just the same thing, and in the last year or so Mini and Micro Heads have been making a killing; not just with those of us boasting premature aging problems...
Some of you may remember the torrid love-affair many of us at Bigfoot had with the Peavey ValveKing Mini Head. And if you don’t, just know that we were in love with it on inappropriate, possibly legally-complicated levels. Well imagine our delight when Peavey announced new Mini-versions of two very popular Peavey Series’: the Classic Mini and the 6505 Mini! Check this swagger out, yo:
Peavey 6505 MH Mini Head*
Peavey’s highly-renowned 6505 is likely responsible for defining a large part of the epic sound that is modern metal and hard rock (here's a fun video about the 6505, in fact!). It’s fair to say that everyone from the most hardened Machine Head fan to the Metallica fans still unashamedly letting their mullets fly wild want a 6505 head, if they don’t have and love one already. But here’s the thing: most of us don’t have a full roadie crew to lug all our gear around for us or an overabundance of free amp space in our mom’s basements…I mean, condos that we totally own outright *ahem*.
That being said, for those of us who want all the toothy aggression and monster-truck power of a 6505 but without the excess bulk, the 6505 Mini Head delivers! Just like its big brother, it’s nothing but tube-y goodness (a pair EL84’s for power, 12AX7’s triplets for tone-a-liciousness). Two channels (switchable) to flip between the “jugga-jigga-wuggas” and the “meedley-meedley-meedlies”, a 3-band EQ, switchable FX loop, and all the other beloved tone weapons from the 6505’s original arsenal including Reverb, Resonance, and Presence control to dial in the perfect attack.
Speaking of modern, Peavey’s added some new features to bring the 6505 into a new age including T.S.I™ technology that keeps you up to date on the health your tubes, a USB recording output to lay down your sick lixx, Speaker Defeat, and an MSDI™ XLR direct-out which is a super cool nerd thing that I’ll get into in just a bit.* But next!
Peavey Classic 20 MH Mini Head*
It’s easy to auger in exclusively on all things metal when we’re talking about all things Peavey. But let’s step away from the high-gainers and focus on the new toys for the low-to-no gainers, specifically the new itty-bitty fella in the exceptionally awesome Classic Series. In many ways the same as its heavy-metal counterpart, the Classic 20 Mini Head differs from the 6505 MH in that it provides all the vintage vibe and versatile power for those with the classic rock’n roller sensibility. As someone who has a much more casual relationship with the high-gain stuff, the Classic Series holds a special place in my heart and the new Mini is certainly no exception.
Equipped with a power attenuator (20w, 5w, and 1w) for for dramatic output options, all-tube-all-the-time power and tone (2x EL84s, 3x 12AX7s), 3-band EQ, dual channel, reverb, boost, FX loop, all the good stuff from the Classic 30s and 50s; not to mention the new modern touches (T.S.I™, MSDI™, USB, and Speaker Defeat)…this Mini Head ends up being one hell of an amp and easily worth its still quite affordable price. Also, it’s tweed. Sexy, sexy tweed...
And if you think Peavey’s ability to squeeze all the heart and soul of their flag-ship amps into these tiny parcels is impressive, hold on to your freakin’ hats because…
Peavey 6505 “Piranha” Micro-Head* (Coming Soon!):
Guess what? That little thing there: the teeny thing that kind of looks like a DAW interface…, yeah. It’s an amp. And not just any amp. It’s a Peavey 6505 and it weighs two and a half pounds. What kind of demonic, voodoo, Rick Moranis-level shrinking witchcraft is THIS?! This is the newly unveiled 6505 Piranha Micro-Head and it will be coming soon to Bigfoot Music to surely be fawned over by us and fellow metal lovers everywhere.
The specs may sound modest by comparison (20 watts, a single 12AX7, minimalist controls), but the delivery is pretty astounding according to reviews and demos. Most seem to agree that the overall teeny-ness of this micro-6505 is easily made up for when the rubber meets the road and you give it your test drive. We at the shop are highly anticipating our chance to give it a go as soon as it arrives, so stay tuned!
In addition to all the new mini goodies, we’ve also stocked up on more extension cabs from Peavey here at the shop. Come on by to drive some of these mini heads through premium cabs of both flavors, including the Classic Series extension cabs loaded up with Celestion Vintage 30’s and G12T-75’s or the 6-Series of cabs loaded up with Celestion Greenbacks to perfectly compliment either flavor of Peavey Mini/Micro Head.
It’s turning out to be a great spring!
Stay excellent and have a good week!
*Prices: 6505 MH Mini Head ($499.99), Classic 20 MH Mini Head ($499.99), call for further prices on products.
**Peavy MSDI™ Amp Output: derived from the Peavey MSDI direct-box, these outputs are located on many of the newer Peavey amps (especially the minis!). Essentially an XLR direct-out but with special circuitry designed to color the output signal with simulated microphone presence. In this way, you can have that sound of a microphone placed roughly 8 to 10 inches away from your speaker cone in the recording studio but direct to the mixer or other P.A. equipment. This also handy in live contexts to help you avoid tripping over extra cables and guitar rig paraphernalia, zips up any extra routing and cables to the P.A. and provides that great mic-to-speaker sound without the potential peripheral noise that can be picked up by nearby sound sources.