When a guitar arrives in a coffin flight case, it’s always a good sign. When the Grim Reaper appears beside you in a puff of foul-smelling smoke and asks if he can “have a go”, it’s an even better one.
Peavey envisages the PXD Series as the “perfect complement” to its existing 6505 amps, as cranked by Trivium, Machine Head et al, and though we’re running it through a Marshall, we’re hoping the firm’s claims still ring true.
“With supercharged active pickups anchored to menacing slabs of tone-sustaining mahogany,” trumpets the Peavey marketing department, “PXD guitars are built for speed, slicing leads and razor-sharp riffs.” Of greatest interest to technophiles is the innovative EMG-AB Afterburner tone circuit, which claims to “boost input gain up to 20dB for the highest levels of saturation.”
The Tragic is reasonably priced, well built, won’t tie you to metal and combines bullet-proof foundations with flashes of whimsy - the sensible choice. Visually, you’ll draw parallels with an Explorer, but there’s actually better access, a neck profile that gobbles up virtuosity and a matte finish that stops you sweating like a pig.
The Tragic’s clean voice isn’t as subtle as some, but you’ll forgive it when you make those EMGs angry and get a Hetfield crunch and brittle Hammett leads. The only letdown is the Afterburner, whose tone-shaping is hardly the stuff of revolution.
Pros: Great value for a spec like this.
Cons: Clean voice, Afterburner.