Who's got the modern champion of 5150 sims?

primemover12

Member
Messages
234
I managed to snag Neural's Archetype: Nolly suite using the Black Friday sale. I realized that this makes something like my ninth 5150 sim. It must be one of the most cloned amps these days, behind Plexis and JCM800s and Rectos.

Which 5150 modeler do you consider the best?

After a pseudo-scientific study (where I loaded each of them and ran the same clip through them with as identical as possible settings), I think the current slate shakes out like this for me:
  1. Axe-FX III - PVH 6160 BLOCK
  2. Axe-FX III - FAS 6160
  3. Archetype Nolly - Amp 3
  4. Amped Roots - 5151 Fluff
  5. ReValver 4 - 6505
  6. Bias FX 2 - Insane 5153
  7. Helix Native PV Panama
  8. Amplitube 4 - JS50
  9. Amplitube 4 - Metal Lead V
The top half of the list would all be, in my opinion, very difficult to distinguish from the real deal in a mix. Not only do they have the character of the amp (its cold biased distortion especially) and they react realistically when you push the master volume. I expect the 5150s in the Axe-FX to be good, and they didn't let me down.

The stock cab in Amped Roots sounds boxy and Mesa-ish to my ears (I'm not a Mesa guy at all), but swapping in a standard Marshall 4x12 IR (I used one Leon Todd's trusty IRs) made it every bit the equal of Nolly and ReValver 4.

The 6505 in the ReValver 4 is sort of a special case in that the standard 6505 cab sounds pretty thin and woeful, but the darker "prototype" 6505 cab makes everything sound infinitely better. I guess that's just more proof that IRs matter a lot.

For all their glossy marketing, I think the sound of Bias FX 2 is sub-par. The "Insane 5153" sounds fine in isolation. Compare it to Nolly, ReValver, or Amped Roots though, and it just lacks punch. But even Bias FX2 can probably be made to sound pretty convincing with some good EQing and maybe double tracking.

After that, we're getting into the "not ready for prime time" part of the list. The PV Panama in Helix is just not great. The "squirrel" issue with Helix is really obvious here: it just occasionally seems like it's spitting out little units of digital clipping in the midst of the amp's output. A/Bing it with other plugins really makes it obvious. Given how much the better cab suits the 6505 in ReValver, I wondered how much a good IR could help the PV Panama. I subbed in one of my favorite Ownhammer Uberkab IRs and did think things improved.

The most egregious of the dregs, though, is the JS50 in the Joe Satriani collection for Amplitube 4. The reason I consider it egregious is because, as far as I can tell, it's totally indistinguishable from the miserable old Metal Lead V from Amplitube 3, once you switch out the stock cab for the Metal Lead V's cab. The JS50's stock cab isn't a 5150 cab either--it's apparently Satch's Marshall cab. Whatever it is, it sounds cavernous but thin--like it's got a heavy reverb added. Replace the stock cab with the Metal Lead V's cab and you find that the JS50 amp sim is basically the same as the Metal Lead V.
 

bugzapper

Member
Messages
1,647
Thermionik has three 5150 variations. Unfortunately, it's not currently available.

Audio Assault's new ReAmp plug-in has several 5150-types. Worth checking out, IMO.
 

oldhousescott

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
2,711
Nembrini Audio has a good one -- the 8180 model. Currently on sale at black Friday price of $35.
 

York Audio

Vendor
Messages
279
I just took advantage of Neural’s Black Friday sale and picked up the Nolly Archetype plugin and good grief... it’s amazing. I compared it to my real 5150 through a load box and the same IR and they are ridiculously close! I just had to adjust the plugin’s input level to match the gain of my real amp, but after five minutes of playing with the plugin, the difference was minimal. I highly recommend this one if you’re a 5150 fan.
 

BozoTone

Member
Messages
591
Hey Justin, which IR did you use to compare the Neural to your 5150?

If your needing some GREAT IR's, check out York Audio. I bet some of their M20 or M25 packs would get ya in the ballpark of some great Ed-tones.....
 

York Audio

Vendor
Messages
279
Hey Justin, which IR did you use to compare the Neural to your 5150?

If your needing some GREAT IR's, check out York Audio. I bet some of their M20 or M25 packs would get ya in the ballpark of some great Ed-tones.....
Thanks, I’ll have to check out their stuff. ;)

I’m currently doing a load box shootout and made an IR of my Mesa OS 4x12 to compare the real amp mic’ed up vs a load box and IR to see which one is the most realistic, so I used that same IR to test the plugin.
 




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