Peavey Invective.120 Tube Head Review

Peavey’s Invective.120 has been designed with the help of Misha Mansoor of Periphery, and it’s brought some modern features that aren’t usually found in the usual tube guitar head.

It’s knobs galore on the front panel, with three channels; Clean, Crunch & Lead. The clean channel has its own 3-band EQ, Pre & Post gain controls, and its own boost that is adjustable with drive and tone knobs. For the dirty side, the crunch and lead channels share a lot of the controls, such as the noise gate’s threshold, boost, three band EQ, presence & resonance. They do have their own pre- and post-gain knobs, though, to dial in whatever particular volume and drive the player prefers.

The backside has the usual speaker outs and OHM selector, to be optimized for the player’s guitar speakers as well as the half power selector. Headroom shouldn’t be an issue at 120 Watts, however it can be run at half power, shutting off two of the power amp tubes. For smaller venues, this is key! There is the option to record directly using the Microphone Simulated Direct Interface’s (MSDI) XLR connection, and its level and tone controls. Oh, want another boost, well there’s one back here too! There are two effect loops on the rear as well, as well as two power connectors for pedal effects. There are MIDI jacks here, and the included footswitch uses the MIDI in.

While it lights up with a cool blue hue when turned on, the tubes are the key to tone, and this beast is rocking six 12AX7A’s in the preamp, and a quartet of 6L6’s in the power amp. It will also accept EL34, 6550’s KT66 and 6CA7’s. It might require some bias adjusting, but the debate of “I like that amp, but wish it had different power amp tubes” is over on this amp.

The included footswitch is more of a control device. Let’s say there’s a part in a song with a clean sound on channel 1 with a delay pedal in loop #1, and a chorus pedal in loop #2. Then the song changes to a sick, dirty sound with no effects, and plenty of gain on channel 3. You don’t have to tap dance across all of those footswitches! Set the sound you want. Press the preset mode, and that configuration can be assigned to a particular button!

Sound-wise the cleans are crystalline, with plenty of articulation and depth. With the boost engaged, it can get dirty too, so there’s kind of an extra channel in a sense. It’s a bit like a Bassman or Deluxe driven tone. The EQ is hyper flexible, and single coil and humbuckers sound equally great. Stepping up to the second channel it’s got some great rhythm grind. It’s not real saturated, it could easily be used for lead work, as it sits in that classic British area, gain and tone wise. The noise gate works very well, and there’s plenty of range, depending upon playing styles. In the middle-ish settings it clamps down enough to not be intrusive on picking or strumming (or in this case “chunking”). Finally, the lead channel rounds things out with gobs of gain. It does get into the saturated areas, but it’s got plenty of liquid sustain for shredders. Let a note hang; it’s just glorious.

The MSDI output is good for direct recording overall. Plugged into a DAW, the clean sound is very nice and pronounced. Dirty sounds might benefit from backing some of the gain down, from higher settings overall. For live use, it can give the sound guy some relief, and cut down on excessive stage noise.

A great application of the effect loops would be having a series of pedals for certain applications, like Chorus, Delay & Reverb in loop 1, and a separate Reverb pedal in loop 2. For clean lush like tones, engage loop 1. While for the distorted channels, use the reverb in loop 2 for just a little extra ambience or depth. As the footswitch is more like a master controller, it makes a super easy way to get into every option without patches, parameters or menus.

Overall, it’s a modern hard rock/heavy metal amp that can hang with the “bouteek” amps that cost twice as much and offers up more options than most of them. It’s not lacking in any way, and would be ideal for both studio and stage.

PROS:

great options, excellent tones, ultra-flexible footswitch/controller

CONS:

none

STREET PRICE:

$1899

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