Seems like I end up hearing classic songs lately and wonder “what amp did they use on that?” That very thought came to my mind when playing “Any Way You Want It”, I wondered – what did Neal Schon use for those screaming lead solos on that classic song?

A few Google’s later I found that the first few Journey albums were recorded with none other than the Peavey Mace amp. This is crazy considering it’s a solid state preamp with tube power amp (a 160 watt amp with 6 power tubes!!).

Here’s Neal Schon playing on the Departure tour (used the Peavey Mace for that entire tour):

But guess who else used the Peavey Mace? Lynyrd Skynyrd! Turns out that amp is “THE Lynyrd Skynyrd sound”.

here’s an example of exactly what I mean:

and another one here:

That’s insane~! Who would’ve thought the sound some of the greatest classic rock hits could be a Peavey amp (let alone solid state preamp)???

Peavey made a Peavey Mace VT 2×12 (with stock Eminence alnico speakers), and they made a head version too. Many people say that these late 70’s amps were cheaply made and not worth any money, and that everything sucked from the tolex to the built in effects. One thing is undeniable – that these were LOUD. Like disturbing the peace loud.

The facts are that Hartley Peavey started making these amps to compete with the big boys. 70’s Peavey gear was well made (unlike the decades to follow). Many Southern rock bands of the 70’s were having problems with troublesome Fender and Marshall amps of the time, to Peavey made these to try and break into the market. Peavey wanted these amps to be reliable, and they were made like tanks and VERY reliable.

The power section was six 6L6 tubes (based on a Fender design). Since there is so much power in this amp, it has a lot of clean headroom (which makes it extremely pedal friendly). However, on the distorted side you really can’t get away from the fact that this “is” the Lynyrd Skynyrd sound. Maybe you could even get away with saying (after that) it was the Southern rock sound, because Molly Hatchet and .38 Special started using them too.

If you troll the guitar forums long enough you’ll find people fighting about whether or not Skynyrd used them to record with or not. Many say they recorded with Marshall’s in the studio but Mace’s on tour.

Doesn’t look like there are a lot of these around, but you can find one or two every now and again on ebay:

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