Peavey Ranger 212 Guitar Amplifier Review

September 9, 2009 by  

Peavey Ranger 212The Ranger 212 was a nice addition to the Peavey lineup, featuring an all tube power amp that kicks a bodacious 120-watts into a pair of Peavey’s vintage-style “Blue Marvel” 12-inch speakers. The Ranger’s dual-channel circuitry is set for classic clean-and-dirty work, and excellent reverb and vibrato effects are on tap as well.

The clean channel lived up to its designation, remaining free of any distortion through most of the volume knob’s rotation. The treble control demonstrated strong resonance around 2.5kHz, and dominated the tone-shaping duties. The mid and bass controls affect the sound somewhat less, and while this may put off players seeking low-end womp, it makes an ideal sound for chording or playing country leads.

The lead channel’s pre and post controls shape its overdrive voicing. Even at its cleanest (pre: 1, post: 10), this channel’s fatter voicing and desire to spank came through. Upping the pre to 5 and backing the post to 4 coaxed some grind from the Ranger, but in this twilight zone the highs were harsh and “gargly” and simultaneously generated excessive subharmonic distortion. Setting the pre to 8 and the post to 2 produced much more realistic and full distortion, with a bright and scooped crunch that was particularly good for over-the-top soloing or playing sheets of saturated chords.

Peavey’s addition of resonance and presence controls to the power amp section is a nice touch. The resonance adds a rounder bottom end while the presence helps to control the extreme highs, and both become more useful as the overall volume increases. With a switchable effects loop and 120 watts at your disposal, the Ranger is a hefty hunk of versatile amp for your back. Sadly, the Peavey Ranger is no longer in production, but can be found used. Keep an eye on Gear-Search for used music gear. I would recommend checking out the Peavey TransTube Special 212 combo guitar amplifier.


2 Responses to “Peavey Ranger 212 Guitar Amplifier Review”
  1. wolfman says:

    I own one of these monsters and it really isn’t a bad amp. It IS heavy. With good tubes and a speaker upgrade you can use it to amplify a guitar in any band that performs real music. I’ll leave that alone….. Initially I had to do a lot of tweaking with the tone controls to get sound that I wanted. Seemed to be a little heavy on lows even with the bass turned down all the way – this problem was solved by turning up the treble control to about three o’clock. Tremolo works really well,I don’t use reverb so won’t comment on that. FX loop is nice. I keep it as a spare tho I don’t use it much any more. I don’t believe it can be broken short of a direct hit from an RPG.

  2. boertie says:

    the ranger 2×12 is a hell of a amp.
    i’ve been playing it for more than 6 years, and it still has it killer tone, from fender to marshall.
    i’m using 4 speakers in series, so i can turn up the master full,and the post at 2, and i have the killer sound i’m looking for.
    i play les paul,strat, tele, all original and i am very satisfied.
    i don’t need no other amp.

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