Peavey Windsor Studio
Review Date: Wednesday 8th of April 2009 04:13:42 PM
Last Updated: Monday 14th of December 2009 03:10:53 PM
Reviewed By: Dave Petersen
Able to swamp output valves and with a built-in power soak, the Windsor Studio is one of the hottest affordable home/recording/small gig amps out there.
The big EL34 cathode takes its good half-minute to
get ready for work, then reveals that this amp is reasonably hum-free –
not always to be expected from single-enders. Starting with the Power
Sponge wound up full and all else at half (no reverb yet), our Strat
excites an edgy, rasping crunch, with lots of whistling overtones but
no feedback tendencies. Backing off the Volume and increasing the
Master gets us into a much cleaner area, but there's a dominant clang
in the sound that quickly has you dialling up some support from the
Bass control. Fortunately this has enough reserve action to provide it
– in fact all three tone knobs have something valuable to offer, but
the clean voice of the Windsor remains, well, pretty twangy. It's also
unexpectedly loud, and may even be up to small gigs. A dash of reverb
is useful for mellowing the sound but, as promised, winding down the
Power Sponge alters nothing but the volume. Pushing Volume against
Master to where we came in gets back to that nice crunch again, and
some inner quality of the sound makes us want to play more and more.
Higher Volume settings can sound a little fizzy, but that's easily
reined in by using the guitar's volume pot, and the turnover point
isn't too sudden.
With the SG things are a bit different. The
clang'n'twang of the Strat is transformed to a full but distinct
clarity, with a percussive response to chords that makes you feel
possessed by Chuck Berry, and a snarl on the middle strings that
effortlessly morphs into high harmonics as they ring on (and on). All
the crunch values we noted with the Strat are there in double measure,
with the naturally fuller SG sound making a good sonic backdrop to some
amazing overtones. These two, it would be fair to say, were made for
The Power Sponge takes away some of the full-tilt feel
of the amp at lower settings, and is far from logarithmic, but this is
more about the way we hear than the amp itself. It's very useful,
particularly if you wind up the Master to max, where you can get a good
legato lead sound at neighbour-friendly volume even if that means
setting the Sponge to around 2/10.
The reverb isn't perfect in
that there's quite a bit of after-note dwell, but it does its job well
enough in the context of the other qualities of the Windsor, and makes
a contribution to the ambient quality rather than only being noticeable
after the event. The shorter spring types seem to be better from this
point of view than the full-length ones, and the Windsor’s serves its
purpose at sensible settings.
The sound of the Windsor is addictive. We put this down to the single-ended design, richer in those ear-catching second harmonics that seem to give any guitar another lease of life (out of curiosity and beyond our brief, we measured them Ė no less than 10 per cent within the ampís clean limit, at least double that of any push-pull). Added to a refusal to be pushed into class AB (push-pull class Aís tend to go that way if driven hard), this all results in a great low-level playing experience, which is what a good recording amp has to be able to offer. The fact that itís less than three hundred quid is a pretty good reason to be cheerful.
1. Peavey Windsor Studio
2. Peavey Windsor Studio guitar amp review | Sounds