5150 Amps - Who Likes The 'I' and 'II' Better Than The 'III'?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by ryanc, Apr 2, 2020.

  1. peter_heijnen

    peter_heijnen Member

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    I use the toilet for my #1, do you think i should upgrade to the 5150.
     
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  2. Viper 900

    Viper 900 Member

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    I still remember the first time I heard a 5150 in the flesh. I’d been used to hearing JCM900 DRs and Peavey Bandits. The 5150 blew me away with the weight of that bottom end and the huge gain. I’ve never owned one, I went Mesa for high gain but I’ll never forget how devastating the 5150 sounded on that day
     
  3. Austin_Taunt

    Austin_Taunt Supporting Member

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    Jason Aldean’s band uses them and they sound phenomenal
     
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  4. HoboMan

    HoboMan Silver Supporting Member

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    For my Classic Rock/Country Band I usually set the gain around 10:00 and hit a tube screamer for leads.
    For my Pop/Rock band I'll set the gain a bit higher, around 11:00 or 12:00 and use the tube screamer as needed.

    My gigging guitars are setup with coil splitting which really helps with cleaning up my sound. Full humbucker mode for Guns & Roses, split coil for Cyndi Lauper, etc.

    The clean channel is really nice but after a few gigs I realized I didn't need to switch channels to get a great clean tone. I use it as a single channel amp. In fact, it would be cool if they released a single channel version with just the blue channel for less money.

    Also, the MV works fantastic on this amp. With my Pop/Rock band everything is mic'd. I play with a very low stage volume and rely on my wedge monitors to hear myself. With the classic rock band we often don't mic my guitar and I'll get the volume up pretty damn high.
    Either way, the tone is awesome.
     
  5. jds22

    jds22 Member

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    I'm thinking of getting one of the new concentric pot combos.
    I had the original non-concentric and loved the blue channel. Probably the best tone I've ever had out of dozens of amps I've owned since the 90s.
    My only complaint was that I thought it was a tad bright sounding. Fiddling with the knobs helped some but I'm wondering how much an EQ in the loop would help?
    Maybe roll back the highs and slightly boost the low-mids.
    Anybody use an EQ in the loop of a 5150?
     
  6. HoboMan

    HoboMan Silver Supporting Member

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    I'm using a Boss GE7 in the loop but only as a volume boost.
    That being said I have been considering adding an EQ to help even out the tone when using different guitars.

    Not sure if the original model had the Resonance knob but it really fattens up the tone.
     
  7. johnny q

    johnny q Member

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    I used a 6505+ as my main gigging amp for about 3 years. I paired it with a 4x12 cab loaded with Heritage G1230s - not exactly a common pairing, but it worked very well. This was not a metal band! Classic rock mainly. I kept the gain around 5 and used a FullDrive 2 for leads. As someone already mentioned, clean channel is passable, but of course not Fender Twin territory! I used a Fender Marine reverb pedal in the loop for cleans and it really helped enhance the sterlie sound.
     
  8. jds22

    jds22 Member

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    Yes it did have a resonance knob which did help.
    I should add that I don't gig anymore, just play at home. I can see how the extra bite this amp has would be great in a band setting. I just found it to be a bit more than I wanted playing alone. Not enough to keep me from buying another one of course. :D
     
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  9. Goldie Glocks

    Goldie Glocks Member

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    I just sold my 5150III 50W. It sounded really great but I feel like I could get the same sounds with a Tubescreamer and my DSL20h or JCM2000 so it seemed kinda redundant. Nothing wrong with the amp, it was bitchin. Just not a need for it as I found it to be just a hot rodded Marshall sound.

    If I was ever in need of that, I wouldn't hesitate to get another. Though I'll never get rid of my 2000.
     
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  10. MESA/BUDDA

    MESA/BUDDA Member

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    The two best things to do to a 5150III 50w 6L6 is change the red channel's gain tube to a 12AT7 and keep the presence dial below half.
     
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  11. forgivenman

    forgivenman Member

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    I’m in that, apparently, weird minority that likes the red channel. I raise the mids and lower the presence and highs and let it rip for a great lead tone.
     
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  12. MmcGrouty

    MmcGrouty Member

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    I have a 6505+, it’s cool, but not my main amp, for obvious reasons.
     
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  13. GreatGreen

    GreatGreen Member

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    I love the 50 watt's Red channel. Blue is ultimately better, but Red is really great too. However I don't think Red sounds all that great when the Presence and Resonance dials are set for sounding best with the Blue channel.

    The Red channel is thicker and more compressed than the Blue channel. To its credit, Red sounds great in a studio or practice setting where you can devote the Resonance and Presence to dialing in just that sound. But in my experience, the Blue and Red channels require significantly different settings between these controls to sound their best. This means that if you're in a live setting where you're swapping between Blue and Red, you're going to have to compromise with the Resonance and Presence one way or another.

    I've found the Red channel needs a higher Presence setting than the Blue to really give it the sizzle and detail it needs to clarify what's happening under all that gain, and it needs a lower Resonance setting than Blue to avoid the bloating and congestion that can happen pretty easily with the Red channel.

    IMO the 5150 III 50 watt would be HUGELY improved if the Red channel was given its own Presence control by making the Presence pot concentric, and if there were two Resonance controls on the back, one for Green+Blue, and the other devoted to the Red channel.
     
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2020
  14. forgivenman

    forgivenman Member

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    That’s interesting my 50w 5150 iii has a dedicated presence control for the red and blue channels but a global resonance. Hmmmmm
     
  15. GreatGreen

    GreatGreen Member

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    Did you read the post? I said the amp would be better if the Red channel had its own Presence and Resonance controls, which it currently does not have.
     
  16. forgivenman

    forgivenman Member

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    Maybe I read it wrong. It sounds like yours doesn’t have separate presence controls for the red and blue channels. That’s interesting because mine does.
     
  17. forgivenman

    forgivenman Member

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    Oh I went back and read what you posted again. Makes sense now I think.
     
  18. GreatGreen

    GreatGreen Member

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    Your EVH 5150 III 50 watt head has separate Presence controls for the Blue and Red channels?
     
  19. forgivenman

    forgivenman Member

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    Indeed- At least I assume they go to both channels. There’s two on the front panel and when I turned them down things don’t sound is bright
     
  20. HoboMan

    HoboMan Silver Supporting Member

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    OK, just to make sure we understand exactly what you're saying - you have two "Presence" knobs on your 5150 III 50 Watt amp?
    Do you have a pic you can share?
     
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