Peavey Heritage® VTX Guitar Amp

130 watts of tube sound from a hybrid amp

(Until recently, this amp was my current rig, and I still like it just fine! It's on indefinite loan to the youth band at church.

This has a tube output stage, but everything else is ICs or transistors (a "hybrid" amp). It does a pretty good job of sounding like an all tube amp while offering a lot of features not found on most tube amps.

The footswitch (which I hope to have soon) has a channel switch, a bypass for the channel switch (both channels active!), phaser bypass and reverb bypass. Unfortunately Peavey now uses a 7 pin DIN on their four switch footswitches, so if I can't find an older one, I have to buy a new one and modify it.

The phaser and reverb are both good quality with very good sound, although both are a bit much when turned all the way up. I love the Scorpion speakers; even after I statred playing all tube amps again, I still used this as a speaker cabinet. Even my 5 watt practice amp sounds much, much better (and much louder!) using the Peavey as a speaker cab.

The Classic® VTX is a 65 watt version of the same amp. All the VTX series amps are pretty hefty, in terms of power, features and weight. You can probably find one in good condition for between $150 and $300.

This sucker is loud. When I used this a lot, I was living in a very bright home (no carpet, panelling and rock walls); when practicing I almost never turned it up ver yfar on the low power setting (which cuts the voltage to the output stage in half, for a maximum of ~27 watts). With the switch in the low power position, you can get some fine overdrive without rattling your fillings loose, although it's still too loud at full volume for anyone who isn't legally deaf.

I play a heavily modified Hagström I®, a two-pickup Strat® clone, with two DiMarzio ``Super-Distortion Sustain'' (SDS-1)® pickups. With this amp (and some pickup wiring tricks 8^) I can get very close to the Gibson sounds of Cream or the Allman Brothers, as well as typical Clapton/Vaughn/Hendrix Strat sounds, surf music sounds, etc. The tone controls offer a lot of range, and the amp handles everything from clean to dirty sounds quite happily. I played a friend's Jaguar® through it, and got a great Ventures sound. My son's BC Rich ST Platinum does a great ZZ Top imitation through this amp. It also works for country, punk, Tejano, and about anything else you can think of.

As with all Peavey amps, the schematic is available for $2.50 and the manual is available for $7.50. You may be happy with the online PDF version; the paper copy is a bit better quality, but is just an 8x11, heavy stock, tri-fold. You can order either or both directly from Peavey .

Some folks are down on Peaveys. I'm not sure why. Yeah, at one time, long ago in a musical galaxy far, far away, Peavey made some not so good amps. But so has almost every other major amp maker. Meanwhile, Peavey has made a ton of great amps, at a price much more affordable for the working musician than most of the other big name brands. The newer ones are difficult to work on, but again, what affordable, mass-produced amps (or anything else!) aren't that way? If you want something easy to work on, buy an old tube amp or a new, more expensive, boutique, tube amp. If you just need an affordable amp that sounds good, you owe it to yourself to check out a Peavey. The Classic and Heritage lines are my favorites. (Thanks to John King for inspiring me to add a Peavey defense!)

Vital Statistics

Model: Peavey VTX Series, Model 212 Heritage

Serial number: 4A-01785046

Year manufactured: 1984



Front Panel Controls: Rear Panel Features:


Amp background and photo copied from the Heritage VTX owner's manual. Copyright 1981 by Peavey Electronics Corporation and used with their permission.
``Peavey'', ``Heritage'', ``Classic'' and ``Scorpion'' are registered trademarks of Peavey Electronics Corporation. ``Fender'', ``Jaguar'' and ``Strat'' are registered trademarks of the Fender Musical Instruments Corporation. ``DiMarzio'' and ``SDS-1'' are registered trademarks of DiMarzio, Inc. ``Hagstrom'', ``Hagstrom I'' and ``Kent'' are probably registered trademarks of whomever now owns whatever was left over after Hagstrom closed down.

[ Back to Louden Up! ] [ Back to Music/Guitars/Amps ]

Last updated: 29 January 2002

Copyright 1999 Miles O'Neal, Austin, TX. All rights reserved.

Miles O'Neal <> [remove the "XYZZY." to make things work!] c/o RNN / 1705 Oak Forest Dr / Round Rock, TX / 78681-1514