Peavey Bandit Mods
Add LED annunciation into the bargain for a silver face model

last update: Jan 12, 2020

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I have had solid state amps and tube amps, the most versatile up till now is the Peavey Bandit. Peavey has done some great innovations concerning tube amp simulation, which are incorporated in the transtube (TM) series. (And no, I am sadly not sponsored by them).

A good tube amp, run at bedroom levels, will sound hardly different to a good solid state amp. At full throttle however, subtle (or not so subtle) dynamic effects will kick in that make "the" tube sound. Dirt boxes are just one link in the chain and them alone will NOT be able to emulate those effects. Tube type distortion it is the sum of several distortion mechanisms taking place all over the audio chain.

Dime down Peavey´s T-Dynamics control and enjoy some power stage compression at neighbour friendly loudness!
You will not be able to to so with a tube amp, unless it was very low wattage, or it had some power scaling functionality.
The transtubes have the advantage to have all this incorporated into a practical package off the shelf for a veeeery moderate price.

Peavey Bandit silver stripe
I recently obtained a Peavey Bandit 112 at a very low price in top shape. It is a silver stripe model, made in USA. Not Chinese, as virtually everything today is made.
You find the service manual and everything on the web.

Sounds great for what it is and nearly as good as the real thing. A powerful and always useful sound at all levels, what more do you want. At least this won´t be a limiting factor or excuse to pursue my career any more.

This model has a two-button footswitch, left selects between cleanish and overdrive channel, right controls the FX loop.
Unfortunately, there is no LED indication. Fortunately, the switches are all pull down switches (make a ground contact to activate a piece of circuitry inside the amp) which happen to have the right impedance to drive a high efficiency LED (10.000 mcd).

The "Mod":

Drill a hole into the (plastic) footswitch case, glue the LEDs into place, wire the cathode to the switch side where the wire to the amp was before and the anode to the wire. Done.

                          Footswitch with mods
You have to get used the fact that the LED is on for Channel1 (clean) and off for Channel2, and on to mute the FX-loop.

This is kind of reverse to what one is used to, but heck, it gets you annunciation where there was no method of telling the switches state before, all for a few minutes of work and a few cents.

As depicted clean channel is on, FX loop off.

Have fun.

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Update History
  • Jan 12, 2020  first release
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