With the Clean channel Volume knob about halfway up in the fully class A setting, the ValveKing delivers a cool bluesy lead tone that cleans up perfectly for rhythm playing when you turn down your guitar. At higher Volume settings, the amp sings pretty nicely—and is quite loud—although I found myself constantly twiddling the Middle control in an attempt to mitigate some of the boxiness accompanying these sounds. The reverb is okay, but it doesn’t offer much in the way of bloom or surfy drip. (Peavey says the reverb has been greatly improved by the use of a much better tank in the units that are now shipping.)
The ValveKing’s Lead channel packs a lot of gain, and it’s also equipped with a Volume Boost function that increases the loudness by a pre-determined (non adjustable) amount. Activated via a front-panel button (or the optional footswitch), it kicks up the volume to let your solos rip though the mix. The Lead channel provides everything from mildly overdriven blues tones to heavier rock and classic-metal sounds, and the speaker holds together well when you’re going for maximum low-end chunk. Using the full class AB setting yielded the deepest and tightest tones, but due to the amp’s somewhat midrangy voice, eliciting a truly convincing scooped-mids metal tone proved difficult. It’s easy to get the gain and the bass and treble frequencies all together for this type of aggressive sound, but the Middle knob doesn’t notch deep enough to completely get there.
The ValveKing is currently the lowest-cost 50-watt tube combo on the planet, and while you have to put up with the absence of indicator LEDs and an included footswitch, it does give you the elements needed to craft a wide spectrum of tones. Factor in the unique Texture control, and players seeking a stage-ready amp that won’t take a big bite out of their wallet may find the ValveKing worthy of their allegiance.
Peter Hook Discusses His Live Recordings of Classic Joy Division and New Order Albums (WATCH)
TC Electronic Introduces PolyTune 3- Next Generation Polyphonic Tuner with Built-In Buffer
Rex Brown Announces Debut Solo Album Debuts New Single (LISTEN)
This Week in Free Stuff: Light-Load Plug-in Instruments
Superbooth17 Day One: The Weird and the Wonderful
Puremagnetik K-Station Atmospheres Revives Love for the Kawai K5000S Additive Synth
The Art of Synth Soloing: Joe Zawinul, the Syndicate Years
Steinway Unveils Art Case Piano Celebrating Composer Modest Mussorgsky
Rediscovering LA Synthesis
Four Chronographs That Put You in the Driver’s Seat
2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT: The Weekday Warrior
Magnatone Adds the New Lyric Amplifier to The Studio Collection
Terror Stream New EP, 'The Walls Will Fall'
Danzig Premieres New Song, "Devil on HWY 9," Reveals New Album Details
Rex Brown Premieres New Song, "Crossing Lines," Shares New Album Details
Gear Review: Fret-King Elise GG MKII Guitar
See the Purple Special, the Last Guitar Made for Prince
Hear Rex Brown's New Song, "Crossing Lines"
Copyright ©2017 by NewBay Media, LLC. All Rights Reserved. 28 East 28th Street, 12th floor, New York, NY 10016 T (212) 378-0400 F (212) 378-0470