First a little back-round. Been playing guitar for 52 years. I've been in several bands. Now it's just a hobby for me. I own WAY too many guitars from numerous manufactures ( fender, gretch, ibanez, washburn, hagsrom, vox, epiphone, etc.). My current line up of amps are: Fender blues deluxe. Fender vintage modified 68 custom reverb, Vox ac 15c1, Vox Ad100vt, Bugera V22, Epiphone blues custom 30, Peavey Classic 50 410 and now this Delta blues. In my humble opinion, I think Peavey is under rated and a better bargain than Fenders. They have nice glassy,shimmering highs and well balanced bass and mids. They're built very well. Made for the working musician. I like the reverb but don't care for the tremolo. I can't really comment on the drive channel as I have not played around with it. Came from the factory with decent tubes installed (JJ el84's for output and high gain Chinese 12ax7's for pre amps). She'll sound good enough when you get it, but a lot better when you swap out tubes. I installed JJ 83s high gains in V1 and V2, tungsol for the phase inverter (V3) and tungsols for the output tubes. This is not for the metal crowd. But for country, rock, and blues she'll get it done.
The Peavey Delta Blues 115 amp is a solid, working musician’s amplifier. Amp snobs turn up their nose at Peavey but this amp is made in the U.S.A., built like a tank, and if you look you’ll see a lot of old, working Peavey amps still on stage. Peavey gear is built to last. I have a small four-channel PA with two 2x10 column speakers I bought used more than 20 years ago. I used to gig it but now use it in a rehearsal space and it still works well.
The controls are simple and I like the retro-looking “TV” front panel. It is 30 watts all tube (three 12AX7’s and four EL84’s) so it’s plenty loud for small to medium club gigs. The tweed covering is a lighter shade than the famous 50’s tweed amps but that is easy to fix if it bugs you. Reverb is a spring tank and the tremolo is fun although I don’t use it very often. Tone shaping with typical bass, middle, treble EQ. Effects loop send and return jacks on the top control panel. There’s a jack for an extension speaker but it’s 16 ohm minimum so be careful what you connect.
Other reviews complain about the lack of a tube guard. That was true for previous versions of the Delta Blues (and Classic 30) but Peavey includes a mounted cage on current models. If you buy a used amp without the guard there are aftermarket versions available that are easy to install. I’ve read other reviews that complain about tube microphonics. I’ve never had a problem but, if you play loud, there are inexpensive silicon tube dampers available (e.g., Eurotubes).
The 15” Blue Marvel speaker loves single coil pickups. I play Blues and Rockabilly and use it mainly with a tele, strat, or P-90’s. I haven’t tried humbuckers yet but I expect they will work equally well. The sound from the 15” speaker takes a few feet to unfold so it sounds a little different if you’re standing directly in front versus 6-10 feet away. I like to set a mic 6” to 10” away from the amp rather than right on the grill cloth. Sound techs don’t love that but I like the “air” that it adds.
An optional 2-button footswitch is available. The amp has two jacks for the switch. One lets you engage reverb and tremolo and the other lets you switch channels and engage the boost. I suppose with two pedals you could control all but I’ve never tried. I’ve read reviews that complain because the footswitch is optional but you may not need it, especially if you use pedals. I’d rather Peavey sold it as an option for those who need it than charge $30 more for the amp.
I like the Delta Blues 115 because you can get really usable clean sounds at volume. Where this amp might disappoint is for players that want a lot of distortion. The pre- and post-gain knobs on the lead channel work like volume and master volume. Players with roots in Blues and Country will like it because you can play mostly clean and get breakup where you need it. You can crank the pre-gain and use post to keep the overall level below ear-bleed volume but IMHO this is not the best amp for players that want a ‘British’ sound with a lot of distortion. But you can get close to that with the right pedal.
The amp weighs in at 49 lbs. so it doesn’t feel flimsy at all. Based on my previous experience with Peavey amps and other gear, I’m expecting the Delta Blues will hold up for years. It may become my go-to amp for all but large outdoor stages.
I've had 2 professional musicians tell me that this amp, paired with my Gretsch Tennessee Rose is an outstanding rig. I don't have an ear to review it myself. My instructor, who can tell if a string is fretted with the tip of a finger or the meat want's me to store it at his studio.