Although the KB100 is a 100W amp, it operates at 70 watts. It’s on the older side, but aging well since it produces minimal distortion.
That’s indicated by the 0.2% THD rating. Once you get into the higher power levels, the THD rating can reach as high as 5%, but the included DDT compression feature still does a great job of minimizing the problem.
That means musicians can tailor the Peavey KB100 to a sound that works with a venue’s needs and personal preferences.
If you’re in the market for a new-to-you amp, the KB100 delivers a competitive result at a fair price. When this model is in good or excellent condition, you can expect the price to be somewhere between $100 to $150.
User Reviews: Peavey KB100
The Peavey KB100 doesn’t offer the best sound, but it is one of the most dependable amps you can find today. It’s a workhorse that delivers keyboard sounds accurately and effectively. If you’re not getting enough bass with a composition, consider putting it in the corner or against a wall for added support.
Although the Peavey KB100 is a three-channel, 100W amp built to be a keyboard amplification system, it works well for steel guitars, acoustics, and even a bass.
It’s built like a tank, and that includes the weight. If you’ve got a pair of these at home, you’ll be moving them one at a time.
Once the KB100 is where it needs to be, musicians can tailor the sound to their preferences. The design incorporates four equalizers for customization: one each for the bass, mid-bass, mid-treble, and treble.
Each is controlled by knobs on the front panel with a specific hertz frequency area of effect.
You can cut or boost the frequency by up to 15 decibels to create a signature sound with the equalizer.
■ Inputs and Outputs for the Peavey KB100
The KB100 comes with three line-level patch cord inputs. That means it amplifies up to three different instruments.
You also get the option to connect a balanced device through the XLR on the first channels.
The Peavey KB100 delivers an input and output terminal for an external effects processor, plus a preamp out on the back panel. If you have a remote pedal, there’s a spot for it with this setup to handle the reverb capabilities of the unit.
There’s even a stereo-compatible port for headphones if you’re practicing and don’t want to disturb others.
Although the results tend to be a bit hollow, trending toward a sound that feels unnatural, it’s not a terrible audio performance.
The issue tends to be with the Piezo tweeter, which is more directional, pitchy, and scratchy than what many like.
The quality you offer to listeners, even if you’re the only one practicing, will make or break your opportunities in the music industry.
It might cost more to upgrade to a different option, but your sound quality makes it easier to keep your current gigs or land some new ones. There are always better deals out there.
If you need something at home that won’t quit on you during a practice session, it’s tough to ignore the benefits that the Peavey KB100 offers.
Tips for Getting Great Amp Tone on the Peavey KB100
Everyone gets frustrated with an amp. Those are the times when you consider getting an upgrade, but that cost isn’t always necessary.
When you have the Peavey KB100 at home to use, these tips will help you achieve a better overall tone.
1. Raise the Midrange on the Amp, Even If You Play Heavy Metal.
When you play rock, heavy metal, or a similar musical style, you’re likely familiar with the scooped sound that amps can produce.
It involves rolling the mid-EQ knobs all the way down while keeping the treble and bass as high as possible.
As the Peavey KB100’s distortion increases, Reduce the bass and treble approximately 50% while keeping the mids as far down as possible.
Since this unit already has a reputation for producing a hollow sound, you’ll notice a significant improvement in your signature tone with this methodology.
2. Get More Clarity by Lowering Your Gain.
Many guitarists try out distortion sounds by cranking up the gain on the amp as far as possible. Although that might be fun to do as an experiment, the result is that complete tone saturation occurs.
The only way you get a positive outcome from that style is to play massive power cords. Everything else becomes a giant mess.
Rolling back the gain on the Peavey KB100 reduces the levels of unwanted distortion in your audio.
The additional clarity produces a cleaner tone while maximizing the benefits of this older technology.
3. Move the Amp to a Different Location.
Although this tip is relatively simple, it’s the one that most musicians miss when they want to improve their amp’s tone.
If you are playing in the bedroom, the various furniture items can interfere with how the sound waves move around the environment.
Even slight adjustments to distance, height, angle, and position can change everything.
Have you ever noticed how an amp sounds different when you have it on a bench instead of sitting on the floor?
You’ll get a similar outcome when playing on a hardwood floor compared to a carpet or tile.
4. Ignore the Amp Setting Recommendations Found Online.
It doesn’t take long to find numerous amp settings online when searching for information about the Peavey KB100.
Everyone has a different perspective based on their playing style and overall environment. That data should be taken with a grain of salt.
Every amp is a little different, which means the recommended settings are essentially meaningless.
Through experimentation, it takes some trial and error to discover what you’d like to create with your instrument. Trust your instincts here instead of how everyone else is trying to play.
Some musicians want to “be in the ballpark” with an initial setting before tinkering with it. It’s fine if that’s something you enjoy doing.
Just keep in mind that what works for one ear doesn’t always sound the same for another.
5. Be Wise with Your Pickups.
If you’re using the Peavey KB100 with a guitar, you may be unfamiliar with how the pickups work with the amplification system.
Knowing the ones that work with this unit helps find the difference between great and terrible tones.
It’s not unusual to see musicians buying a new amp because they felt like the previous one wasn’t creating the correct tone.
More often than not, it’s the pickups that are the problem. You want to see how each one works with the amp to ensure that your sound meets or seizure expectations.
Musicians that play metal riffs tend to get muddy tones when using the middle single-coil or the neck.
You’ll get more punch through the amp by switching to a humbucker in the bridge. That’s a better solution than rolling back the treble knob on the amp.
6. Swap Out Your Strings or Cables.
Strings and cables are consumable products in the music industry. They function a lot like a battery, providing a lot of power when they are new.
After you’ve played them for some time, they wear out. If you’ve gone from crisp tones to something mellow and overly hollow, it’s time to swap out your complimentary equipment.
If you ask someone at your local music store how often the strings should get replaced on your instrument, they might say it’s a job that should be done weekly. Cord replacement recommendations could be once per month.
Those recommendations are meant to maximize the store’s profits at your expense. The best time to change strings or chords is when you notice vibrancy loss to the extent that it affects your music in negative ways.
7. Use Effect Loops to Your Advantage.
Although the Peavey KB100 doesn’t come with an FX Loop option, you can create one before the input with a pedalboard.
This option allows you to use more overdrive or distortion options to counter the unwanted sounds that come from the amp.
It’s an effective way to reduce hollowness from the tone while still gathering the scooped sound that some styles prefer.
Pedals with reverb or delay typically sound the best when creating effects loops before or with the amplifier.
If you have many pedals that get plugged into the front of the amp, consider placing some of them after or removing them to improve your tone.
Are You Ready to Make the Most Out of Your Amp?
Musicians sell amps and other gear at a financial loss because they have not taken the time to learn how to use them correctly. This issue frequently happens with the Peavey KB100 because the distortion, crackle, and tone change as the volume increases.
When you’re getting to know a new instrument, it doesn’t always make sense to spend a small fortune on a new amp.
The Peavey KB100 is an excellent choice because the note accuracy is superior, even if the tone quality is sometimes below average.
If you’re ready to upgrade from the Peavey KB100, the Roland KC-990 is an excellent alternative.
It delivers a 320W performance with an onboard mixer and four stereo inputs to maximize the options available from the keyboard.
You’ll get a customized 12-inch woofer and dual custom horn tweeters with this setup. Roland has newly developed technology to maximize the built-in effects (reverb, chorus, rotary, and trem) without needing anything extra.
The XLR mic input is still there, along with a stereo option. It places the headphones output to the rear, using metal jacks to ensure the durability of the amp.
With the Roland KC-990, you’ll notice that the weight is similar to the Peavey KB100. The difference is that small casters come on the bottom of the Roland cabinet to make it much easier to transport.
If you prefer to stick with the Peavey brand when upgrading the KB100, the Max 100 amp combo is the closest you’ll get.
Exploring your creativity through music is one of life’s best experiences. I’ve found the Peavey KB100 to be an excellent resource for my journey, and I think you will enjoy it as well if you can find it at a fair price.
When you’re looking for an improvement for gigs and more, the Roland KC-990 is the first-choice amp. If you need something more affordable, stick with the Peavey MAX 100.