Price paid: € 419
Purchased from: Thomann Cyberstore
Features — 9
The Peavey Valve King 112 is a 50W maden in USA tube amplifier. It has 2 channels, one clean- and one lead-channel, with seperate EQs for high, mid and low for each channel. Additioanlly the clean channel has a bright swtich which adds extra trebble to the clean-channel. It has no effect on the lead-channel, however. The lead-channel has two additional switches: The gain-boost and the volume-boost. Both are usefull for emphasizing solos, though you probably won't need it for 90% of the time. The amp is loud enough and has enough gain. Who thinks otherwise can't be helped.
Further we have a hall dial. I concider it a nice extra, though I prefer to have my hall as a stompbox so I can turn it on and off easily. That's as far as it goes for the front side. On the back side we have the texture-controll and the resonance-switch. The resonance switch enables you to switch between one of the following presets: The "tight" preset delivers a clearer, trebblier sound, while the "loose" preset delivers a bassier, but less clearer sound.
Now the texture-controll is what I really love the Valve King for: In its naturall state, the Valve King is a A/B full power amp. When you turn the control counter-clockwise, the effect of half of the 6L6GC power tubes is continuously substracted from the circuit. Simultaineously, the gain and low-frequency response of the drive tubes is increased, resulting in a more even harmonic distortion of you power amp, no matter at what volume. Turned fully counter-clockwise, you achieve a full single ended power amp section: A true class A amplifier.
If you additionally buy the footwsitch, you can easily switch between the channels and turn the gain- and/or volume boost on during playing. Note: Whichever boost is activated on the amp, will also be de-/activated with the footswitch. So if you activate both boost on your amp, you can also deactivate or activate both via footswitch. Still, I concider this very helpfull since that way I can theoretically switch between 3 "presets" while playing: 1) the clean channel, 2) a medium-gain sound on the lead channel and 3) my solo sound on the lead channel with both boosts activated. I'm substracting 1/10 points for the inability of the footswitch to turn on/off the bright boost on the clean channel, which for me is not comprehensible.
Personally I wish it had a phones-output jack, because the amp is too loud for playing at home, but that's just a minor problem, because I mainly bought it for the rehearsal room anyways.
Sound — 10
I'm playing this amp with my Ibanez S570DXQM (mahogany body, quilted maple top, rosewood fretboard, maple neck). The guitar and amp both suit each other very well. The amp produces very little hum, which is no problem with any noise gate. So far I'm using a Harley Benton NG.
If you look at the features, it becomes obvious that the Valve King is a very versatile amp. The clean channel has Fender-esque sound, while the lead-channel reminds me a little bit of Marshals high-gain amps. The besto of two world, in my opinion. The EQ-controlls a re very responsive and I could easily achieve the tone I wanted.
Seeing that I'm mainly a Metal player (HammerFall, Eluveitie, Dragonforce...) I mostly have the lows at around 4 o'clock, mids at 11 o'clock and highs at 4 o'clock. I mostly played it in my own bedroom so far, but have played it a couple of times in a rehearsal room. With its 50W full tube power it has no problems keeping up wiht the rest of the band and delivering a cutting, punchy sound.
Reliability & Durability — 9
So far I have used his amp in my bedroom and a couple of months in my rehearsal room. To be honest, I find it difficult to comment on the amps durability because amps usually see less action than a guitar. You set it up, leave it in the backgroudn and that's it. Most of the amp consists of wood and some plastic, but im makes an overall solid impression. The carrying-strap on top of the amp seems to be a little too weak to securely carry the amps 20kg, but so far it holds out well. The fronboard on which the eq dials are set is all made of plastic and seems a little cheap.
Overall Impression — 9
As I said, I mostly play metal with this amp and I can't compain about its sound. As already stated, due to the resonance switch and the texture controll, the amp is very versatile and thus works for other styles of music well, too. I've been playing it for almost two years now and haven't had any problems with it so far. A noise-gate is a must have, but that probably counts for all high-gain amps, so no problem for me here.
I'd recommend this amp for anyone who wants to play metal and wishes for a very versatile amp anytime. A stated before, the construction seems a little bit cheap, but the price has to come from somewhere. And for 419€ (ca.576USD) I still got a full tube amp which I really love to play.