ValveKing Head review by Peavey

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  • Sound: 8
  • Overall Impression: 8
  • Reliability & Durability: 9
  • Features: 6
  • Reviewer's score: 7.8 Good
  • Users' score: 8.5 (107 votes)
Peavey: ValveKing Head

Price paid: $ 680

Purchased from: Audio Pro

Sound — 8
I mostly use it for a heavy, low distorted sound (check out the clips featured on my profile). Active EMG81 pickups, tuned to Drop-B with 58-11 gauge strings. You can get a Killswitch Engage/Machine Head sound with it, but I would strongly recommend buying a Tubescreamer to get the most out of this amp. The tone varies and can be used for any genre resembling the sound pretty accurately (in the tube sound range). I use the Texture knob set on fully to class B modulation. The clean channel has a great warm and "bassy" sound but can also be industrial like using the bright button and turn the texture knob to A. Even at great loudness it still has the same clarity and warmth that is produced at low volume levels. The distortion is pretty high, although I rarly go over 8 on the gain knob. I use the following settings to get a full and rich tone sound good for recording and Live performances:

Treble-8, 5
Texture-Full B

This is an extremely loud 100W head, that can be more than enough for Live performances in mid-large venues. Especially if connected to 2 stereo cabinets on both sides. To make it short, it has a great clean channel and a good lead channel for it's price range, more than enough.

Overall Impression — 8
I play in a metal/hardcore band and it suits our style pretty much. In this price range the Peavey Valveking surely takes the first place. I am playing in this band for 5 years now and am playing guitar for over 8 years now. If you really want the new metal sound I would suggest you go with the Engl Powerball series, but you will pay almost 3 times the price of the Valveking, so make sure you think about it for a while and try both out on your own. I really like the texture knob, cause you can create a large spectrum of sounds with it, but the lack of some essential features makes me thing twice about it. The footswitch should be included in the package, but hell you can't have it all.

Reliability & Durability — 9
I use this amp regularly without backup. I haven't had any problems with it yet. The tubes warm up pretty fast and the knobs are firm and durable. The material is "neat" and resistant to impact, although I would recommend handling it with a angry pimp syndrome.

Features — 6
100W tube head made in China, 2006 with four 6L6GC and three 12AX7 tubes. The great thing about it is the warm sound that ranges from a simple and deep clean channel, to a heavy, dirty and abusive lead channel. It actually has three channels, but unfortunately the third channel is only available if you have the footswitch which is not included. There are 2 inputs (for active and passive pickups) and the usual effects input/output. The clean channel has a bright button that punches the high tones out more. The lead channel has a volume boost and a gain boost button. Both come in handy, but only if you have the footswitch...

The amp also features a damping panel that applies to all channels, consisting of a presence and a resonance knob. Of course there is also a master reverb knob. Dual paralleled speaker jacks on the back with a adjustable 4/8/12 Ohm Switch. The big plus on this is amp is the advertised texture knob in the back that is suppose to change the color of the tone on all channels. I'll get to that in the second part. 100W head is more than enough, I successfully played the last few gigs with it not crossing the master volume over 6.

What I really miss is a line out and a headphone jack. These things come in handy on every amp and a included footswitch would have been nice too.

9 comments sorted by best / new / date

    I've modded mine alot, new preamps, power tubes (and you should always replace the stock 6L6's) and it's actually a fine head. I've compared it to a higher end JSX, and I like Valveking better. My only quip is the gain boost function is downright nasty. When you use the lead channel, do it without gain boost, get a good overdrive, distortion, and you'll have some smooth tones in no time.
    anyone know if this amp will hold up to playing metal like, as i lay dying or all that remains?
    metal_666_man : anyone know if this amp will hold up to playing metal like, as i lay dying or all that remains? POSTED: 03/02/2009 - 09:19 pm / quote |
    Yes, this amp will easily do As I Lay Dying and All That Remains. Just keep in mind that it is a tube amp, so it is very contingent on the tubes you have inside of it, how the amp is tweaked nob wise (there are a lot of possibilities on this amp), as well as the types of pickups you have on your guitar and if you use any pedals or not, as well as if the outlet you plug the amp into has enough voltage. As I said in my review, I plug into a wah, and then straight into the amp with high gain pickup. I use JJ6L6 power tubes and Tung-Sol preamp tubes. For $500 and change, this amp is killer. Is it perfect, no. Is it killer for $500 and change? You bet.
    I need some help! I play on Les Paul suprem , and looking for a head. i found the bugera 333XL , and the peavey vk100 very intrestring. i would love to have a blink182 sound knowing i have a small budjet. what should it do? thanks!!!
    gautierm wrote: I need some help! I play on Les Paul suprem, and looking for a head. i found the bugera 333XL, and the peavey vk100 very intrestring. i would love to have a blink182 sound knowing i have a small budjet. what should it do? thanks!!!
    I am not too familiar with the bugera 333XL other than it is an exact copy of the Peavey XXX. I have been told that it is less reliable, but having said that, I haven't owned either. I do know that you can easily get any tone out of the VK100, but it just takes time to dial it in and a re-tube of the pre-amp might be needed, depending on what stock tubes come in it and their health.
    ive heard soo much about this amp and ive been researching it for the last 2 weeks. ive read ALOT of reviews. so many people say its great and then ive seen a few where people hate it, im honestly lost. ive been playing through a line 6 head to a peavey windsor cab and im not satisfied at all. ive been looking for a new amp and this one caught my eye, i want to get the valveking 100w half stack. but every time i read the reviews, there are some people just ripping on the vk cab. if it is as muddy and noisy as they say, is there any way to fix that with out buying a new cab? i will be getting a sound gate pretty soon, and i dont know if that will help at all. someone please help me out.
    Hey UG. Im currently in search of a new amp and have been searching for a cheap halfstack that is well known and widely used. I have seen a blackstar HT-5 and this 100w VK head. My guitar teacher has a JVM and uses this live and at home uses it with a GT-10 on the clean channel. What i am wondering is should i but this and use the clean channel with my ME-50 and take it to gigs as well. or get the blackstar and use the tube distortion??? Take into consideration that i would not have to get 2 amps then.
    I'm looking to replace my Crate FW120 head with a valveking. Everyone here seems to play metal and complain about the distortion, would the gain on the VK be able to get tones like A Day To Remember or Four Year Strong?