The best 5150 ever made?

Guitarjon

Well-known member
Finally finally got my hands on an EVH 5150III 50W 6L6, the v2 version in white with the dual concentric controls. It took me long enough but I finally have one of the most legendary 5150's in my studio! I think it's the best 5150 (6505 etc) that I've ever tried, but that's just my opinion.

I've had the 50w EL34 version for years now and I do love that one as well. The blue channel, as discussed many times, is quite different than the one on this version but I think it has its charm. However, the blue channel on the 6L6 is just really nice. Not too tight, which I like! With a slightly more organic low-end like on this one you can get tight tones with the right pickups but it still sounds organic and not too sterile. I haven't tried the stealth but many people say that the blue channel on that one is more tight, which is just not what I'd want. It's more than tight enought.

The red channel is just amazing for metal, more than enough gain! Does that Gojira thing for days and can easily get the Immutable Meshuggah tone. Not a huge fan of the clean channel but it does the job. It breaks up quite soon, which was surprising to me. I don't think the green on the EL34 breaks up as easily. Of course I'll compare them eventually.

It's "only" 50 watts, I know, but it has more than enough headroom and it has more than enough low-end so there's no "oomph" missing to be honest. Just a killer sounding amp overall!

Here's my review with various guitar and pickup types:


What is your personal favorite iteration of the 5150 (6505 etc.)?

UPDATE:
So this video completes my story/"adventure" with the EVH 5150III 50w 6L6. It really sucks because it sounded great. I don't want to cause any drama, just give you guys an honest look of the "completely experience" I had with the amp:

 
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Mikeyboyeee

Well-known member
Mine doesn't get as much use as the others, but it ain't going anywhere either.
 

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glpg80

Well-known member
What is it about that model that you love so much? I've never tried one so I'm genuinely curious!
The circuit is different than all of the others, it has built in tube buffered reverb. The amp seems to have a clearer gain structure. I love to engage the reverb but keep it off or low - it’s just easy to play and sounds great doing it. Those models always had less of that upper nasally smear attitude and were more defined. It’s just sad they came in bulky awful 2x12 sizes.
 

Guitarjon

Well-known member
The circuit is different than all of the others, it has built in tube buffered reverb. The amp seems to have a clearer gain structure. I love to engage the reverb but keep it off or low - it’s just easy to play and sounds great doing it. Those models always had less of that upper nasally smear attitude and were more defined. It’s just sad they came in bulky awful 2x12 sizes.

Cool! I've seen some headshell conversions over the years for pretty cheap....
 

TheGreatGreen

Well-known member
Hey Jon, you should try the 100w Stealth and 100w EL34 versions. They're a bit different than the 50w heads. The 100w heads have just a bit more mid push in the preamp gain stages. The 50w amps don't push the mids quite as hard in the preamp so they sound just a bit more "slinky" while the 100w amps sound a bit thicker.

I have 50w and 100w EVH heads and think they're all great. Each has its own cool thing going on. It's definitely worth trying them all if you can.
 

Techdeth

Well-known member
Hey Jon, you should try the 100w Stealth and 100w EL34 versions. They're a bit different than the 50w heads. The 100w heads have just a bit more mid push in the preamp gain stages. The 50w amps don't push the mids quite as hard in the preamp so they sound just a bit more "slinky" while the 100w amps sound a bit thicker.

I have 50w and 100w EVH heads and think they're all great. Each has its own cool thing going on. It's definitely worth trying them all if you can.
Stealth through a Diezel cab is unreal ! One of my favorite tones
 

GearGasms

Member
I just did a video on the Iconic, which will be out in a couple of weeks, and it is hands down, the best 5150 I've ever played!
It is also the very first 5150 I've ever played so this is not just some YouToober hyperbole!!
Seriously, my 5150 GAS leans toward the EL34 version but it was great to spend some time with the Iconic as a point of reference. I'll check yer vid out brother!
 

jabps

Well-known member
For me...the OG 5150 Block or Sig. My main amp for years. Next up would be the EVH Stealth (which I currently own), beastly amp. Next would be the OG 5150 Combo, as has been said many times, altered circuit with the reverb. Just a sweet amp if you have the cajones to haul that thing around lol.

Would love to see Peavey reissue with upgrades the 6505, 6505II and then a head version of the 60 watt combo. I know they've teased the new upgraded 6505II (Kyle demoed it) but one massive change I'd like to see is a better master volume. I really think a head version of the combo would sell like hotcakes. Straight up, I'd get one.

Also, @Guitarjon you should check into C137 mod to the EVH 34 for the blue channel. Apparently clipping that resistor brings the blue channel inline with the other models.
 

jabps

Well-known member
I mean it does go away on a regular 5150/5150 II. You just have to run them at ungodly volumes to do it. It’s why I keep my 5150 II around - I know what it sounds like when cranked.
Yep. Geez they should just fix the freaking MV. But man, crank it and it gives up the goods. My main amp from the point they were released up until the early 2000's.
 

glpg80

Well-known member
Yep. Geez they should just fix the freaking MV. But man, crank it and it gives up the goods. My main amp from the point they were released up until the early 2000's.
Yeah same. That amp got me through a ton of gigs, band practices, and was even a backup amp for a few others who had problems with theirs overheating in outdoor gigs. They just fucking work. My only gripe is that chinky 5 pin DIN footswitch connector that needed the pins bent slightly to guarantee connectivity.
 

Bardagh

Well-known member
The circuit is different than all of the others, it has built in tube buffered reverb. The amp seems to have a clearer gain structure. I love to engage the reverb but keep it off or low - it’s just easy to play and sounds great doing it. Those models always had less of that upper nasally smear attitude and were more defined. It’s just sad they came in bulky awful 2x12 sizes.
Agree 100%. I had an awesome one and I sold it when I tried to go Kemper and I miss it. I've tried most other iterations of the 5150 and none of them do what the red channel on the original 2x12 combo did.
 

JulesDB

New member
I have three 5150 but the first 50w Peavey Combo was the best. The Block/Signature comes second on par with the Stealth 100 that is a beast. I also have the EL34S that is a different iteration but it's too nasal for my ear.
 

Purpleibby

Active member
The old 50W peavey 2x12 is my favorite iteration.
Man I remember when they came out...I was blown away by it. I wanted one bad lol....I was struck by how much more I liked the combo over the head....TBH at the time I wasn't impressed with the head....who'd have thought it would end up being considered a classic today and liked by so many. But that 5150 Combo, man that thing smoked, just a fun amp to play.
 
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