Like Amplitube, Revalver gives you a choice on how to add amps and effects to the basic free package. Bought individually these come to a not-unreasonable $7.99 per amp and $3.99 per effect, the $99 Producers Bundle gives you just about everything, which is not a lot of money considering the sheer amount of content.
So what sort of amps do you get for that $7.99, today we’ll be going through the Peavey amps – a long time ago, back in the early 80’s, Peavey were best known for some decent cheap solid-state amps. These days, their reputation is rather more solid, and they have a large range of superb valve designs, many of which are modeled in Revalver.
Designed as a homage to all manner of Fender Tweedery, in the real world this is a solid old valve design aimed at blues and rootsy rock.
In Revalver you have a simple two channel design, with the channels pretty much being swampy blues and even swampier blues. Pristine glassy tones is not what you get but I tried in with a 1981 Westone Rainbow (an epic guitar, I’d take this against a 80’s 335 any day) and there was a lovely, heavy warmth to the sound. Compared to a real Classic 30, there is much less headroom, but it nails the channel two sound very well.
It was the 5150 that transformed how people saw Peavey, it was a visceral monster that was simply one of the greatest heavy rock amps ever made. The 6505 is the latest revision of this and the real one comes in with 9 valves and a lot of weight.
The graphics have been very closely modelled on the original and there is a lot of information there. 2 channels, with a clean…..ish one for rhythm work. I found this to be a little bland – I know that clean is not what this amp is about, but I wanted more charecter which the lack of clean headroom would not give me. Single coils did help but it is Channel 2 and sheer rock madness that this amp is about.
But it does make you work for it – I was surprised by the fizziness and the lack of weight in the tone. This could be rectified by very assertive playing and closely looking at the EQ, but the equivalent model on both Jamup and Ampkit seemed denser, chewier and much more fun.
I tried the 6505+ model. In the real world, you make a 6505+ by adding an extra pre-amp tube – what have they done to the simulated one?
Oh man, this is so much better. Cleaned up, the rhythm channel has an incredible bouncy, spanky character, not unlike a very good AC30 I played years ago. There is always grit there, but it is much warmer, much more organic and musical than the vanilla 6505 here. The rhythm channel can be wound up a very long way and at the top end has a great 80’s feel to it – yes, it does a great Eruption and for chord work on everything up to the heaviest metal. But then you get the lead channel.
Everything, everything that did not work on the 6505 has been mended here. There is none of the flat fizziness that made the 6505 so disappointing. This tone is incredibly focused and dense and is very succesful at implying vast amounts of air being shifted by big speakers. It is a very dynamic lead tone – pinched harmonics are insane and it is a very articulate sound, with string colour coming through even at insane levels of drive. This is a great amp and it is not all about concrete smashing distortion, it is genuinely versatile and nails a huge range of tones – I strongly suspect you’ll be playing this model a lot.
Triple XXX II
3 channels, 8 valves, switchable poweramp, built in noise-gate and a million knobs this is a busy amp. And the model has a good clean channel. Of course, it is not Twin clean and there is very little headroom, but it is a solid clanky tone that is very good for country rock, in fact I could not resist trying out some double stopping on my Tele …..and it sounded very good, similar to the clean tone on the 6505+ but with a slightly smoother tone to it
The Rhythm tone has a great Orange feel to it, a very impolite in–your-face-aggressiveness. It is not a metal sound but a really dense modern rock tone with a 70’s flavour to it.
So here we go, lead channel, extreme rock madness……except it never quite makes it. It’s a heavy, distorted sound, better than the 6505, but it just sounds a little flat and rather pointless next to the 6505+.
So 4 amps and a mixed bag they are to be sure….more tomorrow but I’m off to my bed. Hugs to y’all.