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Features ======== Taking into consideration its fairly low price compared to many other amps, the Rage 158 features an impressive array of features which make this perfect for a practice amp for players of all quality an a performance amp for very small performances. The amp features an 8” Blue Marvel speaker providing 15Watt of output. The amp has two channels, clean and lead, which can be switched using a black vertical flick switch. In conjunction with the 3-band EQ, the modern/vintage channels and the headphone jack, the amp also includes an input for any audio input via standard a 6mm connector. The amp doesn’t feature reverb but if you are looking for this, you’d be best going with the Blazer 158 amp which is essentially the same as this but with this feature included.
Sound ====== I’ve found that the sound quality from my Rage 158 to be very good, perfectly good for its use as a practice amp. The quality speaker, excellent construction and brilliant electronics all contribute to this. One minor problem I have with the amp is that the gain channel can sometimes be a little bit glitch if the input is too high from the guitar but I have never heard of this occurring on other Rage amps so I’m sure this is just a problem with my amp. Despite this, it’s a problem which can easily be solved by setting master volume a fraction lower on the guitar.
Durability ======== Peavey amps and guitars are renowned for being extremely durable and the Rage 158 conforms to this belief entirely. After owning this for a long time nothing has gone wrong with the amp whatsoever apart from a dodgy headphone jack which I actually blame on a broken adaptor I was using beforehand. The construction is simply fantastic, rare for an amp that is relatively cheap like this and especially for an amp which is so light (the rage 158 weighs in at less than 14lbs).
Aesthetics ========= As with most Peavey guitar amps, the design is simple yet attractive. and what it lacks in flashy looks it more than makes up in features and quality of construction. I personally like the design of this amp though other amps e.g. the Fender series of practice amps do have an edge over the Peavey.
Modifications =========== Although I myself have not experimented in modifying my Rage158, I know quite a few people who’ve done all sorts to the amp by exchanging the Peavey Blue Marvel for a different speaker and also various other alterations to the controls on the amp. They inform me that it is very simple and that it is a very good idea to do this to extend the life of the amp before you outgrow the features (although you have to become a very good player to really need a new amp).
Suitability for the Beginner Guitarist ============================ This guitar amp is ideal for the beginner guitarist. I myself purchased this when I got my first guitar and I found that it was excellent and its had so much lasting power that its still my main guitar amp. I would especially recommend this for the younger beginner because whilst being packed with features, a child couldn’t go far wrong as the switches on the guitar and clearly outlined and with a little instruction they would be informed of the use of each switch and knob (and especially that it isn’t good to flick the channel switch and whack Pre-Gain and Post-Gain to Ten). :o)
Pricing & Availability ================ I purchased my Peavey Rage 158 Practice Amp in a package deal at J.G.Windows in Newcastle Upon Tyne with a Peavey Predator Pro. I received a reduction with the amp when I bought the guitar but the recommended retail price is £120 but it is very easy to get it for near half that price either on the internet or in a shop in any city centre.