REVIEW > PEAVEY
day—it bludgeoned them and my band-mates for years to come.
If you’ve performed anytime in the
last 47 years, there’s a good chance you’ve
also played through some creation from
the Peavey Electronics Corporation. As
technology has evolved, so has the company’s designs. This year, they introduced
bassists to the newest members of their
bass family with the Headliner series. The
600-watt Headliner head and Headliner
410 cab represent a modern take on the
qualities that have made Peavey products
so enduring—robust power, reliability,
and impressive construction.
out, effects loop, and an XLR DI for signal
routing. Additionally, a footswitch (not
included) can be connected to the remote
switch jack to control both the crunch and
Moving on to the 72-pound Headliner
410, its sturdy, 18 mm plywood frame is
designed to withstand road wear-and-tear
and features steel handles, heavy-duty carpet, steel corners, and a perforated metal
grille. It also houses four ceramic-magnet
woofers that can handle 1600 watts peak.
Touring the Headliner
At just a hair over 10 pounds, the
Headliner head combines a rugged, road-ready exterior with the weight benefits of
a class-D power amp. Its solid-metal shell
protects the clean and organized interior,
and its major components are mounted
securely in case of accidental drops.
Like other Peavey bass amps, the front
panel of the Headliner amp is chock-full
of tone-shaping options. Those familiar
with earlier Peaveys will recognize the
layout of the EQ section, with its 7-band
graphic equalizer sitting between a pair of
knobs for high and low shelving. Located
just to the right of the gain control are
three tone-coloring switches—bright, contour, and crunch. Bright boosts frequencies above 1 kHz, while contour scoops
the midrange and boosts highs and lows,
and crunch is intended to simulate the
classic sound of overdriven power tubes by
distorting only the higher frequencies and
leaving the low-end intact.
Additional front-panel features include a
level control, an optical compressor bypass,
and bypasses for the graphic EQ and
Peavey’s Distortion Detection Technique
(DDT) system, which is basically a clip
indicator that changes from green to red
when levels get too hot.
The Headliner’s back panel houses
essentials like a twist-lock and 1/4" speaker
AKA the Headcrusher
I tested the Headliner rig with both a 1964
Fender Jazz and a Nash P-style bass. When
I first powered the Headliner rip up, I
noticed the fan engage. The good news is
that the appropriately robust unit is only
audible when you’re not playing, not when
you’re playing at any significant volume.
With the rig initially set flat, the overall
sound was dark, with a solid, high-mid
presence. Once I started working the graph-
ic EQ, I was able to really highlight the best
qualities of both basses: The low mids of
the Jazz’s bridge pickup were accentuated
nicely with a bump at 200 and 400 Hz,
and the Nash’s flatwound strings and classic
P-bass sound came through loud and clear
with a frowny-faced EQ curve and a slight
boost to the high shelving knob. In fact, the
7-bands of EQ offered so much flexibility
that the trio of tone switches seemed almost
unnecessary. To me, their main utility
would be if you needed a spur-of-the-
moment change in tonal color.
The Headliner head and 410 cab are fine
examples of Peavey’s commitment to offering serious bang for your buck. For less
than $650, road dogs and weekend warriors
can have a complete bass rig full of pro features, massive power, and solid bass tone. If
you’re looking for a loud rig at a great price,
you just may want to check out what the
Peavey Headliner series has to offer.
Pros: Beefy volume. Nice EQ. Great value.
Peavey Headliner, $349 street, peavey.com
Cons: Average compressor. Fan could be too loud for
some studio applications.
Ease of Use
Pros: Solid construction. Good value.
Peavey Headliner 410, $299 street, peavey.com
Cons: A little too much tonal coloration. Not very adept at
conveying modern tones.
180 PREMIER GUITAR JUNE 2012