trading EVH 5150iii for Fender Super Reverb Reissue - am I crazy?

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2,161
So back in February I bought an EVH 5150iii 1x12 combo after searching for a good rock amp. My thinking at the time was that it'd be easier to get a big amp to sound good at house volumes than to get a small amp to sound great for rock. (Keep in mind, my last good amp was a tweed Bassman reissue that I used with pedals for dirt). I had been using a small, clean sounding 12 watt tube combo before that-- it was decent with pedals, but nothing like the tweed bassman was. I think it was the spread of sound that only comes with a 4 speaker setup.

So the 5150iii does sound killer-- way more gain than what I need, and the power scaling knob really does help a lot, but it's still far from great on the clean (green) channel due to sharing the gain structure with the medium gain (blue) channel. This has bugged me for a while, due to my "clean amp with pedals" roots.

So I see that a local shop has a blackface Super Reverb Reissue, and I think I'd really like to get back to a clean amp with pedals, particularly one with a 4 speaker setup.

Would it be crazy to move from the ultra high gain 5150 to a much more simple, traditional fender amp? What are your thoughts?
 

Roccorobb

Member
Messages
1,665
Both great amps. Wildly different sound though. I don't think the srri will do as well as your bassman at making rock happen, though it has killer cleans. I love my super reverb but it is not where I turn for gain, even with pedals.

Maybe you can get your cleans another way? Like a cheap ss amp beside the 5150. A fender frontman 100 can give out righteous cleans got chump change.
 
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2,161
I have a little '73 Silverface Champ that I picked up last month that seems to be really nice at warm cleans at den volumes. It's not really something that would augment the 5150 rig at home, it's more of an alternate "cleans and delays/reverbs" sort of setup.

So is the Super Reverb not as OD/distortion pedal friendly as a tweed bassman?
 

Roccorobb

Member
Messages
1,665
Yeah it's definitely not in my opinion. The bassman has a much more muscular basic tone. Lots of aggressive girth for a fender amp. The super is that classic black face clean. I think it sounds great at mild break up or with a TS style overdrive but not so great with higher gain or fuzz. Others can chime in but my experience is that higher gain through a super gets lost in a mix.
 
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2,161
definitely good to know! perhaps I should just be keeping an eye out for a used tweed Bassman to come through my local GC.
 

WhoJamFan

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
2,605
I use a blackface Twin with my Amptweaker Big Rock Pro live when we fly and have a backline choice and it never gets lost in the mix and the cleans are some if the finest available in a mass produced amp.
 

jds22

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
3,435
Wow, I'm the same boat.
Love my 5153 112 combo for it's blue channel, but that's about it.
Lately I've been wanting to play with lower gain and mild OD but to my ears the 5153 just doesn't do this well.

I'm thinking of a Fender Mustang or waiting to see what they are bringing out at NAMM before doing anything.

I guess until then I'll just keep rocking the blue channel. :cool:
 

stevel

Member
Messages
15,780
Would it be crazy to move from the ultra high gain 5150 to a much more simple, traditional fender amp? What are your thoughts?

Would it be crazy for me to trade my Ferrari in for a Silverado when I need to haul lumber?

Supers are definitely great amps.

They're different from Bassmans though.

Just like a Silverado is different from a hatchback mini Cooper - sure you'd probably rather haul lumber in the Cooper than the Ferrari, and the Cooper may carry the lumber fine, just not as much as you want, or not in lengths you want, or you'd rather not put bags of mulch in the back.

It sounds like to me you're partially trying to give yourself an excuse to buy a new car, I mean, amp.

Play the Super and see what it does for you. They're definitely very popular amplifiers - for many reasons. But if you don't care for the sound, or there's no practical reason to buy it, you're doing it because you want it, rather than need it.

If it doesn't do it for you, buy it if you want just to be buying it, but if you like the Bassman and that's the sound you want, find one of them.
 

Blix

Wannabe Shredder
Silver Supporting Member
Messages
29,999
I use a blackface Twin with my Amptweaker Big Rock Pro live when we fly and have a backline choice and it never gets lost in the mix and the cleans are some if the finest available in a mass produced amp.
Woa, quite the impressive feature set on that pedal. I'm getting a 50w blackface-ish combo soon and I need a good hi-gain pedal for my solo tones, Amptweaker might do the trick!
 

recto-robbie

Member
Messages
2,322
So the 5150iii does sound killer


Im guessing this is the reason you wound up buying the amp in the first place and that you just couldn't get that out of pedals alone. This alone suggests to me that in a while you will regret selling the 5150.
Come on admit it, the cleans on the 5150iii are actually quite nice especially when you add some reverb or chorus, come on admit it!
No they aren't the absolute best perfect sounding fender cleans to grace the planet, but they aren't bad either.
Personally I think fender or whoever builds these amps did pretty well with it.
If the shared eq on the clean and blue channels bother you, then use the red channel at low gain for your drive channel.
Ive been here before as I enjoy buying and flipping pedals like a madman, but you have two superb drive channels covered with that amp. And you know you can make the clean work.

All in hind sight now but I think you may have been better off going with the head on this one, add any size cab you want, and that whole power scaling thing is BS in my eyes, that amp gets all its drive from its preamp and I know that it sounds excellent at the lowest volumes.
 

Roccorobb

Member
Messages
1,665
I use a blackface Twin with my Amptweaker Big Rock Pro live when we fly and have a backline choice and it never gets lost in the mix and the cleans are some if the finest available in a mass produced amp.
This is my experience as well. Twins and pro reverbs handle high gain better than the super reverb. Buy really every set of ears is different. Can't hurt to try out the super and see if you like it.
 

BlueRiff

Senior Member
Messages
7,745
So back in February I bought an EVH 5150iii 1x12 combo after searching for a good rock amp. My thinking at the time was that it'd be easier to get a big amp to sound good at house volumes than to get a small amp to sound great for rock. (Keep in mind, my last good amp was a tweed Bassman reissue that I used with pedals for dirt). I had been using a small, clean sounding 12 watt tube combo before that-- it was decent with pedals, but nothing like the tweed bassman was. I think it was the spread of sound that only comes with a 4 speaker setup.

So the 5150iii does sound killer-- way more gain than what I need, and the power scaling knob really does help a lot, but it's still far from great on the clean (green) channel due to sharing the gain structure with the medium gain (blue) channel. This has bugged me for a while, due to my "clean amp with pedals" roots.

So I see that a local shop has a blackface Super Reverb Reissue, and I think I'd really like to get back to a clean amp with pedals, particularly one with a 4 speaker setup.

Would it be crazy to move from the ultra high gain 5150 to a much more simple, traditional fender amp? What are your thoughts?
For me it would be a no brainer to move to the SRRI. And you seem to not be a high gain player. Heck yeah!!
 

Tony-Cliffton

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,251
Mod the 50150. Might cost you a coupla few hundred, but i bet its doable to get what you want out of it. Of course it may effect any resale, and/or warrantee. If you work with the right builder/amp guy, you will get exactly what you want. Or just go back to the bassman.;)
 

joshofsorts

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
2,090
Super Reverb Reissues are fantastic amps, I used one for 8 years straight (longest I have ever used an amp) and I agree with what has been said here: the Super Reverb is probably not what you want if you want high gain sounds. I have never tried a Super Reverb with british-voiced speakers, but maybe that would make it more high-gain friendly. That is not to say the Super Reverb (with the stock reissue Jensen P10Rs) sounded horrible with lots of gain shoved at it, it just wasn't the high-gain sound most think of. I have, however, heard a Twin Reverb used in the context of a hardcore band, and it sounded great. I prefer the Fender Blackface sound, but find myself currently in a band that plays more garage rock/punk and ended up changing out the Super Reverb for an amp that handled gain a little better.

Following what others have said, a Tweed Bassman is probably more your thing if you like the 4x10 sound (I know I struggled going from 4x10 to 1x12 or 2x12, still miss 4x10s). A vintage Blackface Bassman head might also be a good choice as they are better rock amps than the rest of the Blackface line. Also, a Marshall Bluesbreaker might be another good option as is closely related to the Tweed Bassman in DNA.
 
Messages
2,161
Would it be crazy for me to trade my Ferrari in for a Silverado when I need to haul lumber?

It sounds like to me you're partially trying to give yourself an excuse to buy a new car, I mean, amp.

Nope, in fact it's more like I'm trying to talk myself out of the 5150iii. The main issue is that I don't play out-- I'm the stereotypical basement/den/bedroom player. My buddy has used my amp at a show or two and it sounds outstanding cranked up. I can get it to sound really good at basement volumes for high gain stuff, but the clean tone is always less than acceptable for me. Hence why the idea of the Super sounded so good to me. I went last week and tried the Super out briefly and oddly enough I wasn't bowled over with it. Not sure why, it just didn't do much for me. Didn't try any high gain dirt pedals with it because I wasn't super jazzed about the clean tones. My ears may have just been off that day?

Ideally, I'd like an amp that has outstanding cleans, and great high gain sounds, both at bedroom volume, and I'm wondering what the solid state arena has to offer nowadays. I'm wondering if my ears have become attuned to a good high gain tube amp for long enough now that SS stuff won't satisfy me.
 
Messages
2,161
Im guessing this is the reason you wound up buying the amp in the first place and that you just couldn't get that out of pedals alone. This alone suggests to me that in a while you will regret selling the 5150.
Come on admit it, the cleans on the 5150iii are actually quite nice especially when you add some reverb or chorus, come on admit it!
No they aren't the absolute best perfect sounding fender cleans to grace the planet, but they aren't bad either
.
Personally I think fender or whoever builds these amps did pretty well with it.
If the shared eq on the clean and blue channels bother you, then use the red channel at low gain for your drive channel.
Ive been here before as I enjoy buying and flipping pedals like a madman, but you have two superb drive channels covered with that amp. And you know you can make the clean work.


All in hind sight now but I think you may have been better off going with the head on this one, add any size cab you want, and that whole power scaling thing is BS in my eyes, that amp gets all its drive from its preamp and I know that it sounds excellent at the lowest volumes.

The power scaling on the combo is nice though. For me, it's more fine tuning the volume of the rig after I get the EQ set the way I want, rather than for bringing in any power amp distortion. That thing is loud as hell even on the 1-watt setting, so getting power amp distortion out of this particular amp would almost certainly result in deafness. I tend to keep the power scaling full up to start with, get the EQ set the way I want at a decent volume, then use the power scaling to bring the volume back to den friendly level, rather than starting off with the power scaling down low and adjusting the EQ. Probably six of one, half dozen of the other, but that's the way it's worked best for me.

I think the issue with the cleans on the 5150iii combo is that it needs some real volume before the green channel doesn't sound anemic, and even then it sounds kinda brittle. Again, just the green channel. The issue of the shared gain on green/blue just makes things more difficult to balance volume between the two, and just the voicing of the green channel in general being a little too bright/thin. But the makers of this amp focused on what the main intent of the amp is-- the high gain channels. I should probably consider the fact that there's even a clean-ish channel as a bonus.

I ended up putting a 12AU7 in V2 of the red channel to drop the gain down (actually just to lower the hiss level) and it's still quite a monster on that channel. Maybe I should drop a 5751 into V1 to take some of the brittleness out of the green channel?

Since I'm just a play at home kinda guy, I may just get a small, dedicated clean amp like a Roland JC40 or the new JC22 for those times when I want squeaky clean. Cheaper in the long run, and keeps me from feeling seller's remorse later.
 

Bucksears

Member
Messages
9,580
I'm not going to into my good experiences with my SRRI, but it has an amazing clean and handles pedals better than any other amp I've had.

Bottom line: you can add a pedal for (many flavors of) great OD/dist, but you can't add a pedal for an amazing clean channel.
 

WhoJamFan

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
2,605
Try an Amptweaker Defizzerator in the loop of your 5150. James does a great video on his website of how this can really help tame the bees in bedroom settings. Might be the best $60 you ever spent.
 

AD1982

Member
Messages
904
SRRI plus Friedman BE-OD, 5153 OD or Suhr Riot might satisfy the itching. I, personally, can't handle the weight of a SRRI, but I'd love a 68CVR instead.
 




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