Mini/Micro Amps & the rediscovery of SS goodness

The Peavey Studio Chorus 210 has landed.

It what is the typical description you'd expect to read, I'll fall in line with the rest:  This thing is in good shape, but it was obviously left in a barn.  I mean, it was left in a barn.  It arrived from Nebraska with minimal surface corrosion on the metal bits (not bad!) and a heap of foreign material inside the cab.  I'm telling you there are bits of feathers, dust, debris, and some other things I cannot identify.


I paid under $100 for this, complete with a minty factory foot switch that someone paid $99 for.  Now, I've got a little cleanup project on my hands and my heart is filled with joy, because this amp has no electro/mechanical issues.  All controls function and operate smoothly; no strange noises or excessive hum/buzzing anywhere.  I can simply enjoy the cathartic experience of refurbishing this thing to its former glory. 

Now, understand this!  Prior to today, I haven't played one of these since I was 17!  That over 2 decades ago, so there was a risk that my tastes had changed over the years.  After plugging in, my ears were greeted with a joyous noise: Velvety smooth and thick distortion, sparkling cleans (really sweet cleans), nice reverb (18" tank on this sucker), and some of the best chorusing effect I've ever heard.  Dialed down, there's no era-specific swirl to peg the tone to a certain genre; it produces a hugely spacious and atmospheric wash of glorious sound.  This teal-striped version has early transtube technology under the hood, but no dynamics control to play with.  Overall, I'm very excited!  It's compact and lightweight, with plenty of volume on tap (35w x 2).

My plan after initial assessment:
- Dust and clean chassis and cab
- Install new feet (one is in bad shape, but functional)
- Possibly remove popcorn Tolex and recover cab. I didn't notice any tears or gouges in the material, so I may just clean and condition it, then leave it be.  The last thing I need to do is fix this amp until it breaks.

Congratulations, Frank.

I had the Stereo Chorus 212 from one of the early pre-teal-stripe years (a 1988 that I picked up in 1989, if I recall) that I let go in 1993ish.  I plugged into one in a music store many years later and it sounded like cats f*cking.  I didn't really have a chance to put it through any serious paces, but I'm pretty sure it was not just my ear having evolved - that was a seriously cruddy sounding unit.  But I am unlikely, as a result, to ever pick one up out of some kind of nostalgia trip.

I am glad you are having a much more pleasurable experience with your 210.


Don'tcha just love it when what appears to be a good deal turns out to be an even better deal?

I don't have any good Peavy experiences to relate, but Bagman's story reminded me of a Crate amp I had about 100 years ago and liked pretty well. Got rid of it for reasons I don't recall, but then had an opportunity to hear one again about 20 years later and wondered how I ever tolerated the thing when I had it.

I guess what we're saying is old gear is sometimes like old relationships. Seems great at first until you start getting the clues why the relationship had to end.
Haha, I had a bad experience with Crate back in the early 90's (G60XL I think).  Oooo what a turd!  I'm really happy with how this turned out, though.  Turns out there's a cabinet shop that builds amp cabs about 5 minutes from my house.  This could be good.
Wish I still had access to my woodshop. I used to do fine cabinetry, and did a number of amp cabs. Exotic woods, dovetailed joints, etc. Lotta fun.
Yes, indeed.  My neighbor back home had a nice shop with all the toys/jigs.  He let me have the run of the place as long as I bought my own wood.  As much fun as you can have with your clothes on.
Nice haul.  That was Peavey's response to the Roland Jazz Chorus JC-120, and I think they did a fine job as well.

You can do some nifty visual upgrades to that if you're up for it, such as re-cover it with tweed or some other tolex via

There's a lot you can do with that while still making it functional and useful for decades to come.
Right on man. I’m Def going to have a good time restoring it. Will recover it with a more contemporary, smooth tolex.
Indeed, man. I spent the greater part of my evening running my guitars through it and I haven’t had this much fun in a long time.

The cleans are absolutely gorgeous and the lead channel is velvety smooth and thick with the signature Peavey mids and presence. People complain about how they typically voice the midrange on their amps, but this is precisely why they cut through so well and sound so great in a mix. Just so happens this one sounds stellar on its own.

The lead tone reminds me of my old rig that consisted of a Tone Bone Hot British tube OD through a scratch built Blackface head. Freaking perfect for hard rock and metal. Capable of way more saturation than I’ll ever need. This amp delivers my favorite solo tones for heavier styles and the clean channel just crushes blues/jazz tones, too.

So much fun for such little money.

My first amp was a Peavey Renown 2X12.

It had some excellent tonal abilities, but the reverb kept screwing up when It worked it was really nice.

It was on the heavy side and I started to dislike the overdrive --especially when the volume was increased. I don't think I got much of anything for it when I parted ways with it.