The Peavey Bandit 112 Amplifier – Is the Red Stripe The Best Bandit?


The Peavey Bandit 112 Amplifier – The Red Stripe Edition

How good is the Peavey Bandit 112 Red Stripe Amplifier?   If you follow my YouTube channel you’ll know that I am a big fan of these particular amplifiers.  I have now owned 5 Peavey Bandits and a number of different Peavey Studio Pro amps too.

The Peavey Bandit 112 Red Stripe is by far the best of the modern bandit range.  Tone wise, Peavey nailed it with this version of the amplifier.  It’s loud and proud, but it also sounds great.  A lot of the newer Bandit’s I’ve tried don’t sound anywhere near as good. Having owned both a newer version and the red stripe amplifier it wasn’t even close.

There’s a lot to like about the Peavey and I will cover the things I see come up time and time again in terms of questions.

The Red Stripe Peavey Bandit
The Red Stripe Peavey Bandit in all its Glory.

What is with the internet Hype around these amplifiers?

I’ve been making YouTube videos since 2006.  When I first got my hands on a red stripe Bandit I was totally blown away.  YouTube really opened up the world to everybody in terms of what guitar gear people like the best and why.  I know back in the day I was one of the first people putting videos together with the Peavey bandit and back then there were the most viewed in the world.  Back then I also did a lot of amplifier comparisons comparing the Peavey Bandit to many other different amplifiers and the Peavey Bandit really stood out as being a great and even against some more expensive valve amplifiers.

Without question, since that time a lot of other popular YouTubers have got the word out even more.

Is the Red Stripe Bandit Made in the USA or China?

Both is the correct answer.  I think what happened was a lot of Asia-Pacific got the Chinese made amplifiers and the United States and Canada got mostly the USA made ones.  This makes a lot of sense geographically speaking.  There was a point in time where Peavey stopped making all their own amplifiers and outsource them overseas. Now all of their amplifiers are made in China.  The great thing about the quality control on these amplifiers and this is being proven with their longevity is the fact that even the Chinese made amplifiers built like tanks.  I wouldn’t hold out a lot I hope the modern amplifiers lasting 20 years whatever they did back then they got right.

Is it loud enough to gig with?

Yes! This amp will do anything from good low key volumes all the way to making your drummer wish he remembered his earplugs.  These amplifiers are super-loud.  Even though the Peavey is a solid state amplifier it’s seriously loud.  These are rated at 80 watts RMS and I would compare this volume with a Fender Hot Rod Deluxe.

This video I shot above shows how the types of tones you can expect from the Peavey Bandit 112 red stripe in a live mix.  My friend Brian is playing a Peavey Studio Pro 112 Silver Stripe with a custom speaker.

Does the Peavey Bandit take pedals well?

Absolutely! Both the vintage and modern clean channels handle pedals no problems at all.  You can even use the vintage drive channel well with most overdrives.  The Bandit also has an FX loop so you can choose to run your delay pedals via there.

Is the Red Stripe Bandit better than the Silver Stripe Bandit?

After owning both and for the type of music I play, I have to say yes here as well.  The red stripe bandit has more of a full sound to it. For some reason, the silver stripe series of amplifiers never had a good speaker in it either.  The same is true of the silver stripe Studio Pro amps.  I did a test changing to speak it out of the silver stripe and it was one of the more modern speakers and made a huge difference to the overall tone.  After owning both the silver stripe and red stripe, I can really say the red stripe and it is still the winner.

I also feel like the drive times on the red stripe and it more up my alley personally than the ones on the actual silver stripe.  If you’re into heavier styles and music like punk and metal you may actually prefer the silver stripe one a little bit more.  To me, the red stripe and it is the most analog sounding amplifier in the whole range.

Is the Peavey Bandit Heavy?

One thing that shocks a lot of people is how heavy the Peavey bandit 112 amplifier actually is.  It almost doesn’t even matter which version you’ve got a pretty heavy amplifier.  The reason for the weight is Peavey actually put a quality speaker in the back of the majority of their amps.  What tends to let a lot of solid-state amplifiers down is the fact that the speakers are usually put in them is junk.  This is a real shame because this so many great solid-state amplifiers out there that most people just assume they’re all bad.  If you’re looking for a lighter option you might want to check out the Studio Pro 112 amplifiers or even something like a Tech 21 Trademark 60.

What I take one of these amplifiers over the Boss Katana or the Roland Blues Cube?

Absolutely, no doubt about it!  I can justify my statements by listing why I would prefer the Bandit over the Katana or Cube.

  • The Bandit is a lot cheaper especially on the used market
  • The Bandit is a more versatile amp than the Roland Cube
  • Unlike the Katana, you can use it without needing to hook it up to your computer.

Now by no means am I saying the Boss Katana or Roland Blues Cube are bad amps but the fact is, you can get better tones at a cheaper price with an amplifier that works great with any effects you want to use.  The same can’t be said for the other two amplifiers.

How much should a used Red Stripe Bandit Cost?

With all the Internet hype aside regular going price one of these amplifiers in Australia is around $250-$275.  This is the same used price also in Canada.  If you live in the United States,  you can probably pick one up for about $130.  The price might vary a little bit but that’s about right for one of these Red Stripe amplifiers.  If you looking at the older blue striped amplifiers I’ve seen the sell in the United States that only $70.  Obviously, it will depend on the seller as well as the condition of the amp.

Is the footswitch included?

The Footswitch is not usually included with any of the Peavey Bandit amplifiers. None other ones I’ve seen come with it and it’s usually an added expense.  Even though the Footswitch is made of plastic, the great news is it is next to indestructible.

What Styles of Music can a bandit cover without pedals?

The Bandit can do Country, Jazz, Funk, Soul, Rock, Classic Metal, Metal, Punk, and almost anything else. Is it the Djent sound that the kids love? Probably not.

Channels and Features:

The Red Stripe Peavey Bandit features two clean voicings.

  • Modern: This voicing gives you more low end.
  • Vintage: This is more of a “Fender” sound in it’s voicing

Both of these clean channel voicings are excellent for use with or without pedals.

In terms of Overdrive and Distortion, we get three different drive channels to choose from.

  • Vintage:  This is awesome for country music, blues, and classic rock.
  • Modern: Higher Gain Tones for Heavy Rock and Metal.  This mode has a mid scooped sound.
  • High Gain:  A less mid-scooped higher gain tone for Rock and Metal.

What does the Transtube/T.Dynamics control do?

The “Transtube/T.Dynamics” control takes scare of the “sag” of the amplifier. For example.  You can run the clean channel up loud and turn the T.Dynamics down the amplifier will break up more.  If you turn it all the way to the right then the amp will stay cleaner and you’ll get more headroom.

Additional information:

Transtube Series II Bandit 112 Made in USA (2000-2004) With the Transtube Series II, the metal corners and input jacks that had been standard on all Peavey Bandits up until this time were replaced by plastic corners and plastic jacks. Due to a color scheme incorporating a red stripe across the front of the amplifier, many people refer to the Transtube Series II Bandit as the “Red stripe Bandit”. During this time Peavey attempted to adopt a new company logo, and moved away from their traditional “pointy” logo. The new logo came to be known as the “Block Logo”. The Block Logo was only used for a limited period of time, and the Block Logo Red stripe Bandits represent the last Peavey Bandits to be made in the USA.

Dan made a video regarding the history where I pulled the information above.

What about all the other Models?

Overall, any Peavey Bandit will get you through a gig.  The difference is some of them sound great and some sound very sterile and very “solid state”.  The best thing about the Red Stripe Bandit is how great it sounds and how it responds.  It really does feel like a tube amplifier and it does it better than the Roland Blues Cube.

What is the Best speaker modification for a Peavey Bandit 112 Red Stripe?

I had the best results installing an Eminence Texas Heat speaker.  While changing the speaker is not essential in this model, the Texas Heat speaker gave the amp more mojo.  I can’t quantify “mojo” in any specific number but it made the amp warmer, fatter sounding, and also way louder.  This speaker also takes out a little bit of that ice-pick top end which makes it work great for solid state amplifiers.

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