Any (gulp) 5150 users out there?

JWR

Member
Messages
444
I am looking for an amp to cart around. I've got my high end keeper amps covered, and am wondering if these are decent bang for the buck. Comments?
 

Green Pro Am

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
1,162
I think they are great. Not the most versatile amp around, but it does what it does very well. I had the combo a few years back. Great sounding amp just very heavy.
 

SteveVHT

Member
Messages
1,346
They are a bit sizzly sounding to my ears, and not too versatile.
I prefer the 2x12 combo to the head though.
Steve
 

aleclee

TGP Tech Wrangler
Staff member
Messages
12,812
Personally, if I'm gonna go to the effort to schlep a tube amp around, it might as well be a "high end keeper". The only time my Two Rock doesn't go with me is when one of my other amps is a better fit tonally.

If I'm more concerned about cartage, I'll just take my POD XTL and run it through my GK lunchbox.

My $0.02, IMHO, FWIW, YMMV, etc.
 

Igneous

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,933
Great Metal amp(dont worry, im a modest amp owner myself, at the moment).


It'll last a lifetime. It can be a bit buzzy, however, not using sovteks really helps. Huge volume, And the clean can be pretty smooth sounding with proper ax7's. I wouldn't go NOS across the board though.
For the cost, I think its the best you can get.

Dont get sucked in by the 5150II. It has an extra preamp, but isnt fixed bias and IMHO doesnt have the same vibe. The original run of these amps are the best. Plus looks cooler than a 6505:BOUNCE

Cheers
 

Reeek

Member
Messages
1,196
I don't own one nor have I ever played one but I've "heard" that the heads are baised cold out of the factory on purpose for that "sound" they're known for while the combos are biased warmer and more traditionally which, if true, may be why I've heard more kudos for the 2x12 combo than the head. At least as far as overall versatility goes.
 

JWR

Member
Messages
444
Can the noise and hiss be tamed? I read where EVH uses a noise gate in the loop to get rid of the excessive hiss. Also, are the combos the same amp guts, 120 watts? Thanks
 

Erik

Member
Messages
1,682
The other guitarist in my band uses one...in the right application, it's a good amp. There's more gain on tap than anyone would ever possibly need, but that can be dialed back. The amp has a very aggressive tone to it, lots of bite, and it stays tight.
 

EightmanVT

Member
Messages
84
I found the 5150 II head to be much quieter than either the 5150 head or especially the combo. I purchased the combo a few years ago - but took it back about 4 days later because the hiss was so annoying - traded it back in and bought the head. It's a great amp - that you can find for a good price.
 

brent

Member
Messages
1,118
I've got one, gigged with it as my main amp for quite awhile, nice bulletproof amp.

IMO 2 necessities:
1) Hush pedal in the loop
2) Hotplate to eliminate the Fizziness

I actually ended up using the HotPlated Clean channel with various overdrives and distortions for versatility and was then able to ditch the Hush.
 

kmanick

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
546
I've got one of the originals. A 1996 5150 combo. I replaced all of the
tubes with JJ's and I think it sounds great. :dude The JJ's kill a lot of the
"fizziness" that you hear people talk about. they also kill a lot of the hiss in
the lead channel. Now it even cleans up nicely, but as EightManVT already
stated, this is not a good low volume amp. It sounds good at low volume
but the volume difference from say 1/2 to 3 is f'n huge! On 3 this thing is
shaking **** off of the walls in my house! Even on 1 this thing is f'n loud!
This amp sound the best when you have it running between 3-6
volume wise. It really sings there , but it is very loud.

I also use an ISP Decimator pedal in the loop to completely kill any noise in
the lead channel when I do turn it up, this works very nicely.
For the price that you can get these for on EBay, if you need a good
Rock/Metal amp, there not much that can beat it.
I use a USA jackson soloist (most of the time) and I get a great range of tones out of it.
Good Early VH crunch (roll back the gain turn up the mids) GREAT megadeth type tone etc.
BTW this is all on the rhythm channel with the "crunch" turned on.
with the crunch off and the gain rolled back to about 5 on the Rhythm channel
I can get a prettygood bluesy sound out of this amp.
A little looser crunchier sounding than the lead channel.
The lead channel is another animal. tons of gain on hand.
A lot of death metal bands use these and for good reason.
The lead channel has tons of gain and it stays pretty tight

Now I'm not going to say this is the best rock amp out there......come on
now I've playing off and on since 1978, I know better, but for the price?
It's a loud kick ass combo that gets the job done!
If money is no object there are other better choices, but I paid $525.00
for mine and it came with a cover, wheels already installed and the original
owners manual, and it was in brand new condition (Original Owner sold it
to me). Price out a Soldano Slo 100 or a Bogner XTC 101B and or a VHT
CLX and tell me what the price difference is. Those are all probably
"better" amps than the 5150 but "better" is also a subjective term.
More versatile? definitely, Better?????:confused:
Oh ya and plug it into a Marshall 1960Av cab with vintage 30's in it and be
prepared to go "wow"! these things sound great when paired with celestions!
 

axpro

Member
Messages
628
+101 on needing something in the loop to tame the hiss... I had one for a few years and a buddy still has one (sitting unloved in a corner).

Changing the first preamp tube to a lower gain tube would be a start... like a 5751 instead. less gain on tap, but still LOTS of gain. also a good power conditioner, to eliminate any extra line noise. as well as using as few extra effects into the front end as possible (less circuitry and cable, less noise)

THey are cool metal amps, but for me, they were too much of a one trick pony.
 

Igneous

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,933
Even a Mullard ax7 would be a wise choice in V1. Round things out.

I do however, think mine sounds great with chinese tubes in the remaining. The circuitry is wired for such.

and jjs sound mint in the power section.
 

JLee

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
2,695
I love my 5150. There's a guy on the plexi palace forums that goes by EVHoholic or something that has some amazing clips of him getting the "brown sound" with a 5150 and some Marshall cabs. Allegedelly the head is stock too.
Installing a bias pot will help rid the amp of some buzziness and allows for more range with the resonance knob. It would be far from my 1st choice if I were going to do something bluesy, but for heavier Rock and Metal they are great amps. I hear they do a better classic Rock tone when paired with Greenbacks or the 5150 cabs with Sheffields.
 

Ian Anderson

Member
Messages
5,240
The Atomic Punks guitarist Russ uses one throught a Beringer 4X12 and it sounds great!

For the price you can pick these up for used I think it would be fun to have around.
 

1-Take-Wonder

Member
Messages
300
kmanick said:
Oh ya and plug it into a Marshall 1960Av cab with vintage 30's in it and be
prepared to go "wow"! these things sound great when paired with celestions!
+1, If you're gonna go there, the Celestions help it out alot. When I was in my high-gain phase, I used one of the original heads with a Greenback reissue cab. I borrowed a 5150 cab for an out of town deal once and it was a totally different amp.

The studio I frequent has one of the combos (used mostly to hold beer cans, I'm not sayin, I'm just sayin) and um, well, the few times it gets fired up, the microphones don't exactly flatter it...
 

kmanick

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
546
I've heard the sheffields don't mike up well at all. but with celestions you can get some great tones out of them.
Here's a link to VHoholics site. check out his 5150 clips with celestions.
http://www.jasonjosephphotography.com/soundclips.html

I really like the way mine sounds as is , but I haven't miked it up yet. that may be a different story. :eek:
 

RichSZ

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
1,966
I think it's been 2 or 3 years (maybe longer) that I've seen Ted Nugent using these amps live.

He sounds awesome, so I'd say these are pretty good amps. Could never use one myself though, 'cause I don't have anywhere a 100 watter would do me any good!

-Rich
 

Riscchip

Member
Messages
2,047
I think they are very cool sounding amps. My brother has one, and sounds great with it...mostly uses it for AC/DC level of crunch.

Jimmy Page used one on Coverdale / Page and I think some of those tones were pretty cool.
 




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