52 Amplifier Heads, week 29—Peavey ValveKing Micro-head

I’ll be honest. I’ve been looking forward to writing this week’s article. I know weeks in advance for the most part what the upcoming amplifier will be in this weekly series of 52 Amplifiers. Knowing that week 29 is finally here is rewarding because I finally get to write about the Peavey ValveKing Micro-head. The reason I’m excited is that I’ve wanted a Peavey amplifier for almost as long as I’ve been playing guitar. That is a long time and a lot of things happened along the way. I’ve always known however that I’d get around to purchasing a Peavey eventually. This may be that time.

The first amplifier I played through that made me sit back and appreciate its tone was the Peavey Bandit 65. This would have been back around 1987 I believe. Up until then I’d only played through small and cheap amplifiers. But when a friend purchased his Peavey Bandit 65 and we all played through it, I was blown away. So there’s little doubt in my mind that the ValveKind Micro-head would leave me feeling the same way. So as I write about this amplifier and occasionally wipe the drool from my keyboard, let us all appreciate what has most likely just moved to the top of my current valve head wishlist.

The Peavey ValveKing Micro-head is a 20 watt all-valve amplifier head. That’s plenty loud enough. But as regular readers of this article series know, I am also looking for an amplifier that I can comfortably play from the safety of my bedroom. Luckily the ValveKing Micro-head can be switched into one of three modes allowing you to use the head in 20 watt mode, 5 watt mode or 1 watt mode. There needs to be some kind of word for perfect and awesome because that’s the best way to describe that feature. Persome? Awefect? No, they won’t do.

Another brilliant feature of this amplifier head is the microphone simulated USB recording output. You can plug this head directly into your PC/Mac and record the same sounds you would hear from a perfectly miked amplifier cabinet. That’s very cool. I could go on writing about the amazing features in this amplifier head (and I will), but perhaps now is as good a time as any to mention the features in list form. Yes. Let’s.

  • 20 watts (switchable to 5 watts or 1 watt)
  • 2 x EL84 power tubes
  • 3 x 12AX7 reamp tubes
  • Vari-class control (dial between Class A and Class AB)
  • Balanced MSDI (mic emulated output)
  • 2 x channels
  • Gain/volume boost on the lead channel
  • Reverb control
  • Effects loop
  • 2 x footswitch controls
  • Headphone plug
  • Tube status indicator

The tube status indicator is pretty cool. Essentially, the lights on the front of the head let you know the status of your tubes. Green is good it seems. I’m imagining red is bad.

As usual, I’m writing purely on what I’ve read online and seen in videos. That’s what I’ve been doing all year. Why should this week be any different? It shouldn’t. But, that doesn’t mean one amplifier can’t blow my mind like few have before. This amplifier does just that. Check out the official Peavey ValveKing Micro-head YouTube video. It just makes this amplifier look and sound amazing. I’d buy this head purely based on what I see and hear in that video. Not because I’m lazy, but because I’m that impressed.

To prove I’m not lazy though, check out this Peavey video made for the Sam Ash stores. Guitar Centre has also made a video that showcases some of the tones you can expect to hear from this amplifier head. As a matter of fact, it seems easier to not find good quality videos of this amplifier head.

For me there is too much to love in this amplifier head. It has to move to the top of my current list. I just hope it doesn’t prove to be an expensive amplifier to purchase here in Australia. Not that I think I’d let that stop me. My wife might stop me, but this amplifier’s most likely wouldn’t.

Disclaimer: I’ve not played through this head. I have not experienced the sound or tone of this head other than through video. That doesn’t matter. It looks awesome, it’s obviously played by winners and I want one.

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