My band has recently been moving along very quickly (recordings done, pics done, shows have begun, etc) and I decided it was time for an amp that would fit the image and, of course more importantly, the sound we were trying to capture live. For reference, music can be found here: www.myspace.com/madorchid. I would say we're best defined as a melodic rock band, but alternative or modern rock would also fit well.

I had three separate sounds I needed to fulfill, but was considering both 2-channel and 3-channel amps for comparative purposes. The main tone needed to be a straight up rock tone, crisp and crunchy, but not quite metal. The second tone needed to be a "clean" tone, but with just enough crunch to allow it to sit by itself with just the bass and drums under lighter vocals. The third was just a decent clean tone that was actually not totally necessary, but a plus.

Since I've always been more of a metal sound guy, think Disturbed, this was a difficult task for me. I also have never been much into finding and playing with sounds as much as just playing/technique, so that added to my hesitation to really take the time to find something.


Anyways, my singer and I headed out to Sam Ash to check some heads out as I already had a Marshall AVT412 cab (Celestions) and wasn't planning on replacing it. My first thought was to run over to the Marshalls, which I did, but the two I tried weren't doing it for me. The JCM 900 DSL they had in had a good heavier sound on the vintage channel, but the totally clean was a bit lacking (not to mention part of the same channel) and channel two was just too much distortion. I moved on to one of the new JVM410H heads, but was immediately disappointed at the amount of time it was taking me to get even a decent sound out of any of the channels (I come to a point where 50 million knobs and dials just becomes to aggravating and I walk away). I was done with Marshall.

At this point I will note now that the following weekend I went to test out some Mesa Boogie Dual and Triple Rectifiers, but as badass as they sounded, they were just way too metal. If I was in a metal band, though, there would be no other choice in my opinion.


So, after the Marshall experience, I was shown to the Peavey heads by my singer (which I had never really played before), and I had to say I was blown away. We first tried the JSX head and I thought it was going great, but that was until my singer plugged into the 6505+. Wow is all I could say. He was playing it through a Peavey XXX 4x12 cabinet, and that is the combo I ended up buying about a week later as I needed to shop around for deals (sorry if I implied I bought the 6505 cabinet as well, but I'll explain that later).

I actually spent about two hours A/B-ing this head and, surprisingly, the ValveKing head as they both sounded great, but there were some areas that this amp really shined that the ValveKing couldn't hold up in my opinion. One area was the lighter crunchy sound I was looking for. While the ValveKing could hold its own in the heavier sound category, it lacked heavily against the 6505+ in the light crunch category. To me, this was where the "half the price" part of it really showed in the sound. I can't think of any other way to describe it besides "cheap" sounding. Also, when I cranked the ValveKing up pretty much all the way, it didn't seem to hold up quite like the 6505+.

I also later A/B-ed the 6505+ with the new EVH 3-channel head, but while the EVH sounded good, I just couldn't quite get the sounds configured on it how I wanted them to work. I matched up the three sounds on both heads and kept switching between them, but as much as I wanted a 3-channel head, the sounds of the EVH just couldn't quite match up to the 6505+. The 6505+ just had a raw, in-your-face, wants-to-feedback edginess to it that the EVH lacked.


That said, the 6505+ has its downsides. For one, this amp doesn't give you a whole lot more beyond the 5 or 6 volume range. 10 is similar to 6 volume-wise and sound-wise there is really no need to go that high. But that's one of the reasons I like this amp; it sounds perfect right around 3 - 5. There's no need to go louder than that because 120-watts of power kicks you in the face even at those volumes.

Another downside is that I would never buy this amp if I was in a metal band (and I would probably have to replace it if I did ever end up in one). Turn up the Pre (basically your distortion) on channel 2 past the 5-6 range and it gets VERY tinny and thin sounding. Quite unimpressive, but since that's not the sound I was looking for anyways, I couldn't really weigh that into my decision.


The positives to this amp are plentiful for this style of music, though. Channel 2 on a nice heavy rock sound is just plain mint. Pre to 4 and Post to 3-5 and it's extremely crisp and clean, but sounds like the amp is just screaming at you. Switch over to Channel 1 with the Crunch on and you get exactly the lighter sound I was describing. The totally clean sound isn't top of the line, but it's not bad either, especially for what you get with the other two sounds.

Another big positive for me was that this head comes with an effects send/return, and seeing as how I run the POD XT for some effect (Chorus, Delay, etc), this gives me absolutely full control over everything at my feet without sacrificing the plugged straight in sound from the head. I can boost levels for solos, add and take away any effect I need to within any patch or bank, and still get that 100% pure sound straight from the head.


Now regarding the cabinet: I originally played this through the XXX cab, and that's the one I ended up with. I tried it through my own Marshall cab and it sounded good, but a little too low end and muddy for me. I then tried it through the 6505 cabinet (made for the head), and it was like someone took the treble/highs and just turned them way down. Through the XXX cab, both rhythms and leads on either channel are extremely bright and crisp. Being that I play a lot of lead parts and need to be distinguishable from the rhythm guitar and bass, this bright crispness gave me exactly what I needed to stand out from the rest of the band without getting in the way of the vocals (after some tweaking, of course).


I know this isn't the most technical review, as it's coming from someone who has never been much of a "sound" guy, but this head/cab combo has completely changed my thought process when it comes to my sound. I never thought I'd come across a sound that I really felt worked with what I like and what the band needed, but I definitely found it with this combo. It sounds so good that it actually entrigues me to start working with my sounds on a regular basis. Good job, Peavey.
Last edited by PSM at Jun 6, 2008,
You thought a Dual Rec was too metal but not a 6505? WOW
Good review there, and summed up quite a few (surprising at times) points. Congrats on the amp purchase
Quote by jxljxl
If UG had a Facebook style Relationship thing, I'd e-marry you C-mak

Quote by jxljxl
I want C-mak in my bum.

^Think he might have a thing for me...
you thought mesas were too metal, so you bought a 6505 which is one of the standard metal amps?
I'm honestly confused, the 6505 is a one trick pony metal amp, i'm guessing you don't need cleans?
there must have been something wrong with the 6505, i have my pre gain at 7-8 and it sounds amazing not thin or tinny at all.
I'm baffled by your review saying it isn't a metal amp, but they do sound great.
Great purchase
Schecter Omen 6 (Dimarzio X2N & Tone Zone)
Engl Fireball
Genz Benz G-Flex 2x12 Cab
Haha, I guess I have a different ear than most, then, but everyone I've played this for and stated my reasoning for has agreed with me after really listening to it (even the Guitar Center guy who was trying like hell to get me to buy the EVH head!). Anyways, I'm happy with it and I'm glad everyone else seems to be as well, even if they do think it's a metal head, because it is one kickass amplifier.
^Might be explained partly by the + thing, he has a 6505+, you have a 5150. I've heard reports that while the + has better cleans, the distortion is also worse (when you turn it up).
Quote by Lunchbox362
This thread if fail in almost every way imaniganable.
You fail to mention the effect of a BBE Sonic Maximizer 422 on your head!
Jackson KV 2, Jackson COW 7 (both in B), Jackson Demmelition V
Bogner Überschall (blue rev)
Marshall 1960B Vintage (2x V30 & 2x G12T75)
TC Electronic G Major
BBE Sonic Maximizer 422A
Weber Mass 150w
ISP ProRackG
T.Racks Dinopower
I find that the Crunch channel with Pre on 7 and Post 3+ is the best Metal rhythm tone I can get from this amp. The Lead channel doesn't have the low-end grunt (though you could probably EQ it and get there) . Tone is subjective of course.
5150 Combo
LTD Viper 400 (EMG 81/85)
Your going to need a noise gate.................
Ovation Celebrity
Schecter C-1 Classic
Peavey Valve King 112
Quote by drewfromden
Your going to need a noise gate.................

+1 that amp is like a 2000w vacuum cleaner idle
Jackson KV 2, Jackson COW 7 (both in B), Jackson Demmelition V
Bogner Überschall (blue rev)
Marshall 1960B Vintage (2x V30 & 2x G12T75)
TC Electronic G Major
BBE Sonic Maximizer 422A
Weber Mass 150w
ISP ProRackG
T.Racks Dinopower
Quote by drewfromden
Your going to need a noise gate.................

Huh, I was actually impressed with how quiet it was when I wasn't playing but left the volume on. Then again, that's pretty rare on stage. I tend to use the volume knob a LOT to keep noise at a minimum, but even without it, there was very little noise from the amp. Perhaps it's because I don't crank the distortion much past half.