I’ve been in bands and playing music solo (and in duos) for about 20 years now and I still can’t figure why Peavey gets a bad rap sometimes. Maybe it has something to do with their warranty process? I wouldn’t know anything at all about that though because I have NEVER had to deal with that part of the company. And almost everything I’ve been involved with has had at least one piece of equipment (if not the entire PA) with the Peavey logo on it! Now, I’m not saying there isn’t more impressive equipment out there… I’m just saying Peavey’s pretty darn good. They consistently put out rugged, clean, work-horse gear that gets the job done in a professional manner.  Well, OK, they did slip a few crappy guitar amps in the mix but I’m really focusing on PA equipment right now. And, in particular, Peavey’s self-contained Escort 3000 PA.

peavey-escort-3000This small, portable PA will surprise you with its clarity and compact design! It is so nice to be able to close your entire sound system up in a hard-shelled suitcase (with rollers… which I don’t usually use because it’s not THAT heavy and I’m always worried about rattling something loose- never happened and it’s taken a few bumps but I’m just nervous like that). I have actually dropped it a time or two with no ill effects and I still won’t use the rollers :)

peavey-escort-3000-closed When closed, the Escort is very small. I’d say it takes up the space of one normal size speaker top. The latches on the sides have always worked very smooth for me. There are handles on both ends (if you want to carry it like a gorilla) and there is a handle on one side for normal style lugging. It weighs about 50 pounds.

I bought this unit looking for something small to practice with- I was playing acoustic and singing and the other guy was playing bass and singing. I didn’t think this would be good enough to amplify the bass (and it’s not in a live situation) but it worked fine for practice. Two mics & two guitars running without a hitch. The thing that surprised me the most was how quiet it was! I was already impressed by the fact it had compartments for all cables, speaker stands and mics but… quiet too? And quiet at very high levels (for the unit I mean- it’s 300 watts so “high” is relative here). We cranked it and the sound was still clear with no hiss or feedback.

Well, that duo didn’t work out but the Escort still served me for a few small parties (where it was just me and an acoustic). And really, if I stuck to the solo gigs, I don’t think I’d ever need anything else. One or two vocals & an acoustic guitar suit the Escort well for most rooms & even work fine outside as long as there aren’t too many people (more than 100). For a house party I wouldn’t trade it for anything else. Fender has a similar product but the sound just isn’t as full to my ears.

My latest band (well, duo really- The World’s Smallest Giant) has done 3 paying gigs using the Escort 3000 alone. One was a house party (where we didn’t have to crank it up really) and the other two were small bar & grill joints. At one, The Furniture Factory in Hunstville, we actually got several compliments on how clear our sound was (and they liked the fact that we didn’t blow them out of the room with volume). At another, Bishop’s Pub & Grill, we were asked to bring a louder system next time. Bishop’s has a weird, cut-up, structure- it’s almost like you’re playing to two different rooms. So… the next time we played at Bishop’s (and every time since) we beefed up the PA for the mains but we still bring the Escort for monitors. I had never used this little PA as a monitor system but, just like I thought it would, it rocks! [update: I've been using a completely different pa setup (more beefy) but still bring the escort for monitor work- it's an awesome system I can't seem to outgrow!]

This is starting to get long winded so I’m just gonna end with some pros and cons.

Pros: It’s not too expensive. It’s compact and easy to transport. It’s perfect for one or two performers as long as the crowd isn’t huge or the room isn’t weird. Super clean sound, reliable and rugged. Easily tucks the main board & amp, 4 mics, 2 speaker stands, speaker & mic cables (plus an “extra” storage space which holds my tuner) into a sleek clamshell. Did I say reliable already? In fact, I would recommend this to anyone looking to buy an amp for their acoustic guitar. It costs about the same and it sounds better to me plus it’s way more versatile. And for an acoustic solo act or magician or someone just giving speeches it’s a dream… esp when you consider many of these type performers don’t have a lot of space in their vehicle for a massive PA (that they don’t really need anyway). Oh yeah, the reverb and eq- esp the feeback finder- are excellent additions.

Cons: It’s not too powerful- I mean, 300 watts (150 to each side), that’s it. If you’re looking for something to run drums or bass through this probably won’t work by itself (unless it’s just for practice or super small audiences- think living room). The speaker stands feel very fragile… but I haven’t had a problem with them yet. The speaker cables that come with it feel kind of cheap but, like the stands, no problems yet. It does get kind of heavy if I have to carry it a long distance (still don’t trust those wheels)… but really, compared to the gear I’ve strained with in larger PA’s, I’m not sure if this qualifies as a “con” at all.

If you’ve found my review helpful (and I really was honest) please consider making your purchase through the following link:
Click to buy the Peavey Escort 3000 I haven’t regretted my purchase and believe me, I know what it’s like to suffer from buyer’s remorse!