ValveKing Head review by Peavey

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  • Sound: 9
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reliability & Durability: 10
  • Features: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 9.3 Superb
  • Users' score: 8.5 (108 votes)
Peavey: ValveKing Head

Price paid: $ 699

Purchased from: Jim's Music

Sound — 9
When I use it through my American '60s Fender I get beautiful cleans when I'm on the neck pickup with a little bit of reverb, and the highs and mids up. In my band we play songs from RHCP and our original songs have a hard rock edge to them, which this amp is very god for, although it does take a little bit of time to find good settings with the vast amount of controls, it is worth it in the long run. With the clean channels and the distorted channels, they stay pretty stable at high outdoor gigging volumes (when not mic'd up). The bass does seem to show up a lot stronger at high volumes though, as I'm pretty sure most amps do. The distortion is brutal but not as brutal as I would like, but I'm used to the Metal distortion on my ME-50. Overall a great sounding amp with a little bit of fiddling, and again be patient with it. There are a lot of different knobs and controls and you will find the sound that suits you after a couple jam sessions.

Overall Impression — 9
When choosing an amp for gigging, indoors and outdoors, I first looked at the Marshall MG series, which I learned to be not very good, then I tried out a Mesa-Boogie Triple Rectifier, which blew me away but very pricy, and right in between was the Peavey Valveking a friend of mine recommended, and the amp is perfect. This amp screams when you find a good distortion and has beautiful girl-seducing cleans. I would definetly save up money to buy this if I lost it, as it is the most versatile/reliable All-tube halfstack in it's price range. Using this with my ME-50, a Homebrew wah pedal and a Fender American '60s Strat, I have a hell of a time jamming. This amp was the best amp I could find with a great price and more bang for my buck. I can't say anything more than go try it out. It all comes down to what sounds best to you. Good luck finding an amp.

Reliability & Durability — 10
This amp is built like a rock in hard casing, and so far, after about 7 gigs and weekly practice (at practice the volume only goes to about 3) and it has held up very great, with only minor dings on the side front putting it in and out of my trunk. A feature that is very useful and convienent is that both versions of the cab ship with wheels already installed. It's very satisfying rolling your own amp and seeing other band picking up their amps and cabs, nearly breaking their backs.

Features — 9
What I would call an entry-level all-tube halfstack, the Peavey Valveking does impress overall. I purchased the Head, which is 100 watts, and the 4x12 slant cab to go along with it. This amp features two seperate channels, each with its own EQ, volume knobs and special buttons for each channel. First you have the clean channel, which has the basic high, mid and low, along with a "bright" button that boosts the high frequencies when pushed in, does nothing when pushed out. Then on the distortion channel, you've got the high, mid and low knobs, a volume knob, and a gain knob. The distortion channel has two buttons: a gain boost and a volume boost. When the gain boost isn't pushed it, turning the gain up sounds like a soft classic rock tone, and with low gain a nice blues tone (nothing like a TubeScreamer, but still decent). With the gain boost button in, turning the gain up you get a sharp, high gain metal tone, and turning it down you get a hard rock sound. Then on the amp you've got a master reverb knob, and in/out effects loop, presence and resonance. Presence may sound familiar (the way Peavey put its, it controls how "present" or "in front" the high tones are, and Resonance does that same for the bass, making the low end of the tone looser or tighter. Then on the back of the amp, there's an A-A/b texture control knob, that through regulating the tubes, makes your sound have a real punch or makes it a little softer. This amp has enough control over the sound that you'll be fiddling with it for a long time to come. It's also 100% tube, with two inputs (one input is high gain, one input is low gain input, and when you have guitars going in through both, they both become low gain inputs). The amp is definetly very loud and clear, being a tube amp, but when jamming in my room at high volumes, I've never turned it past 2. I wish this amp had a recording out for easy recording rather than having to mic it.

2 comments sorted by best / new / date

    i just got this guy used with new rubies put in, and i have it on top of the marshall 1960 lead cab, and it is AMAZING. id like to hear the JSX on top of the Marshall, but for my budget this set up is amazing. the channle switch delay really isnt too bad unless you dont expect it. so dont buy this and expect to gig it on the way home from guitar center (like you should never do, with any kind of equipment.). im thinking maybe the bad tones some of you are experiencing can be attributed to the cab you have it running with. peavey makes some amazing heads, but as for the lower end cabs i dont have much respect there. id say the 1960 lead cab is a perfect midrange cab for it. i even played it on the MG100 cab, and it sounded good. a little lacking on the low end, but screaming high end lead parts. all in all this amp makes amazing sound, and it fits a low budget, and is even worth it when you can afford better/more expensive. it also makes a half decent modeling amp due to the rad texture knob on the back. go and give it a try, and get GC to put it on top of a marshall when you try it. you wont be disappointed if you dont have the mids too high. CHEERS!
    metal jello
    PLEASE HELP ME!!! I'm looking for an ACDC type tone with more gain, kinda Van Halen sounding... Should I get the VK, the Classic 30 head, a Mesa Boogie dual rectifier, or a 6505? By the way, I use a stock Gibson Explorer.... Thanks!