Peavey 6505+ 112 Combo
Peavey Electronics, peavey.com
Originally published in Guitar World, February 2010
The 60-watt 6505+ 112 combo may be the most versatile of the 6505 Series by way of its thick low end, scooped mids, note clarity and portable size.
Most high-gain fiends know that Peavey’s 6505 Series amplifiers are evolutionary creations that began with the legendary Peavey/Van Halen–designed 5150 heads. When Peavey’s association with Ed ended in 2004, the company continued to build the same insanely high-gain amp under the new “6505” name and went about updating some of the amp’s ancillary features. However they didn’t change the amps’ extreme-gain circuits, die-hard construction and affordability.
The latest amp in the 6505 Series is the 6505+ 112 combo. The interaction between this 60-watt 6505 and a single 12-inch Sheffield speaker creates nuances of resonance and overtones that have never been heard from this series, while it offers greater portability, a smaller footprint and lower output that’s perfect for home, studio and small stages.
Immediately apparent is the relatively large size of this 112 combo. But these dimensions allow the 6505+ to produce thunderous lows that even most 2x12 cabs can’t match. Five 12AX7 tubes drive the preamplifier, while the 60-watt output comes from a pair of 6L6 valves. The sealed cabinet contains a single Sheffield speaker, and as a touch of high-tech bling, the Peavey logo illuminates on power-up behind the grille cloth.
The amp’s controls are laid out in a logical fashion. Both the lead and rhythm channels have their own pre-gain, post-gain, low, mid and high controls, with a single push-button switch to select between channels. A crunch switch in the rhythm channel adds a higher gain option to the rhythm channel’s character, and if you go for the optional two-button footswitch, you can switch channels and activate the crunch feature remotely. Both channels also have dedicated controls for resonance and presence. Considering the 6505’s ability to generate truly intense amounts of gain and distortion, the resonance and presence knobs are paramount for balancing the amplifier’s copious high-end sizzle and dictating the Sheffield speaker’s response time. Lastly, a global reverb knob sets the amount of echo from the three-spring tank.
The amp’s backside has send and return jacks for the effect loop, a cabinet impedance selector switch with four-, eight- and 16-ohm options, two speaker output jacks and a single jack for the optional footswitch. Peavey has also included its Microphone Simulated Direct Interface (MSDI) on the back panel, which lets you send the output directly to a mixing console or recording interface without losing the sound and feel of a miked speaker.
Few amps can generate anything close to the 6505’s gain. There’s so much on tap that I didn’t find it necessary to take the pre-gain control beyond 7, even for the most extreme music styles. What’s novel about this combo is how the single speaker and sealed cabinet deliver that gain. It still has the screaming, chainsaw-cutting-through-sheet-metal highs and high-energy sustain, but the big cabinet focuses more of its projection on gut-wrenching bass thump than upper-mid punch. For this reason, it might be fun to hear an EL34 version of the combo. When the gain and cabinet-born lows are controlled through low settings on the resonance, the 6505+ becomes an impressively defined and scooped shred tool, creating even more note depth and impact than the high-power 6505 heads. These tonal attributes are further enhanced when the amp is connected to a 4x12 cabinet.
The rhythm channel’s clean and medium-gain settings benefit similarly from the combo’s innate ability to separate highs and lows. Although there aren’t enough upper mids to satisfy players of Texas blues and country, I was able to dial in some very mellow traditional jazz and long-sustaining fusion flavors. Powerful single-coils, stacked humbuckers and P90s sound especially meaty and robust through this preamp’s rhythm side.
THE BOTTOM LINE
The 60-watt 6505+ 112 combo may be the most versatile of the 6505 Series by way of its thick low end, scooped mids, note clarity and portable size. Shredders, gainiacs and sweep freaks will revel in the way this combo separates notes across wide octave intervals.
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