best amp under 500

Stop looking and just buy this amp.

I usually do reviews of multiple products:  This Guitar A vs Guitar B.  Or here are the top 10 amps.

I’m not doing that anymore.

I’ve found the best amp for about $500.

If you’re a working musician, you can appreciate Peavey Bandit 112 TransTube Amplifier.

If you’re out gigging with it, it’s great.

If you’re just practicing at home, also good.

The Sound:

The sound is nice and clean.  It’s probably comparable to a Fender amp (and better than most of the other amps I’ve tried).

There is a decent amount of gain as well.  Marshall probably makes a better amp as far as distortion goes, but I’m absolutely satisfied with the Peavey’s job.  Digging in hard or hitting double stops will sound great.

Hook your pedals up and it will handle them well – both when looped and up front.

Oh yeah… it’s super loud (especially for it’s size).

But probably the reason that I recommend it above other amps: This amp is tough, durable, and reliable.

I don’t treat my gear very well.

In fact – some my say that I abuse it.

I’m lazy.

I just want my gear to work when I plug my guitar in.

The Peavey solves it.

If you’re looking for something that has a ton of presets or built in effects – this is not your amp.

Keep in mind – this is isn’t going to replace a tube amp… nothing but a tube amp will.  But it comes closer than any other amp I’ve tested.

If you’re using this for a gig, the amp is plenty loud.  It will easily cut through the mix.

What kind of music can it handle?

I get this question a lot.  I like the Peavey for its versatility.  You can get that British style blues (e.g. Clapton, early Fleetwood Mac, etc).  Or you can go heavy on the gain to get 80’s style metal (e.g. Judas Priest)

If you’re looking for something more subtle than that you will probably need a boost in front of the clean channel (which it handles well).

If you want something more intense and distorted, stick a pedal in front.

Here are the details/specs:

  • Weighs 48 lbs
  • Dimensions: 28.4 x 15.8 x 23.9 inches
  • 12″ Blue Marvel(r) speaker
  • 80 Watts (rms) into 8 Ohms
  • 100 Watts (rms) into 4 Ohms (w/external speaker)
  • Reverb with level control

The biggest complaint that I’ve heard is that it doesn’t come with a foot switch.  You have to buy it separately.  Just keep that in mind. I personally don’t care and don’t use it.

That’s it!  Let me know what you think!