Peavey has produced a large quantity of rack gear during the eighties and the nineties. The TG Raxx was the company’s first instrument tube preamp (before the Rockmaster and TubeFex). This is a guitar preamp and there was a bass version called the TB Raxx differing only from a handful of component values.
Although it is a single channel, it features two three band EQs: a passive one at the beginning of the preamp and an active one at the end of the signal chain. Thanks to this unusual configuration, it is surprisingly versatile as it can give convincing results either for pristine-clean sounds or over saturated nu-metal type tones. All the sounds bear the Peavey signature (think Peavey Ultra and Triple XXX) and although they do work well for many applications, I am not too keen on the medium’s response and I therefore had to modify the preamp.
The TG Raxx topology is fairly close to that of an old Mesa Boogie or a Rivera’s channel 2: the signal hits a Fender blackface era preamp, the an additional gain-stage, and finally an active eq to shape the response of the preamp, cut the mids and boost the bass end (it is not active in the case of the Riveras but performs the same function). By modding the TG Raxx’s first eq to Fender specs, replacing a few cheap components and altering the following gain stages, it is possible to get fabulous clean tones, powerful SRV-type crunch tones and happening rock tones. Just add an overdrive and you can play pretty much anything with exciting results. The active eq is well voiced and only needs conservative settings to bring the best out of the preamp. Once modded, this preamp is a fantastic tone tool. If only it wasn’t so ugly!