I was looking around at some of my old gear in my basement the other night, trying to figure out what I have and what I could probably stand to replace. I came across a really, really powerful Peavey Renown combo amp that I never use because it has blown speakers and suddenly found myself reasoning this way:
In a perfect world:
- The Peavey Renown is such a great, powerful, classic amp and I would LOVE to be able to use it. I always considered this the ultimate jam-space amp and was very welcome in my guitar gear.
But there is an issue:
- It’s going to cost me more than 300 bucks to get decent, powerful enough replacement speakers. At that cost, I may as well bite the bullet and get a new amp.
Hmmm… Now, what do I have lying around?
- There is a 4×12 Peavey speaker cab that I don’t use much
- A new shiny skill saw with various other power tools that I’m itching to use
- A few pints and a Viking instinct
Ah, a plan was coming together:
- Take apart the Peavey combo, dismantling the entire thing
- Cut the Combo shell in half, leaving enough room for the power amp to be re-attached with original spring reverb coil
- Attach all hardware, making it look as natural as possible (logo, corner pads, base pads, etc)
- Use the new “slightly modified” Renown as a head for my 4×12 cab, thus giving me a new custom 160 watt half-stack
The more I thought about it, the more I was convinced that this could be an incredible guitar rig when done. The Peavey Renown combo amp series are well known for being powerful and loud, and produce a great classic rock sound. If I was to use it primarily as a head unit to power a separate 4×12 cab (the amp has 2ohm or 4ohm outs) I’d image it would be powerful enough to play any sized gig up to a large hall with pretty good results.
I realize that I didn’t really need to do any modifications at all to the combo amp. I could just sit it on top of the 4×12 speaker cab and use it that way. Thing is, I’m not going to replace the speakers in combo anytime in the future so carrying it around seemed a bit silly. Besides, the Renown is like 80lbs and removing the no-longer used extra material would be welcome. Also, let’s not forget the obvious, if I could modify the cabinet to look good as a standard amp head, it would be hilarious. I was getting excited.
The project was quickly under way!
I got the amp apart smoothly, but had to bail on the progress for the night. It was late and the noise of the saw, combined with the beers, made it a good idea to bench the project until the next evening.
The next day the work quickly continued. I got out of work, raced home, did the usually “Hi, how was your day” greetings at the door and darted downstairs to my basement workshop (stopping at the beer fridge to pick up where I left off the night before) and got back at it.
It took me about a total of two hours to do and I’m pretty thrilled with the results. I was only able to plug in for minute, but the sound was thick, loud, and the tone was awesome.
To think I was going to ditch the Peavey Combo all together. Now I have rocking half stack to add to my gear collection! Not to mention, it’s a good conversation starter when someone says “Hey, I’ve never seen one of those Peavey heads…”