The best 5150 ever made?

SQUAREHEAD

Well-known member
I'll forever love the OG 5150 II.. not the 5150 block letter. The II was better and I will die on that hill. The 50w III blue channel is high on my list too though. I never had the version with concentric pots... was anything changed in it other than the addition of the pots?
One of the best ‘5150’ tones I ever heard from Eddie Van Halen, (post 1989 when he was using his Marshall set up), was the 1998 Van Halen III tour when he was using the 5150 II amplifiers, the upper mid-range bite was pure magical rawness.
I’ve never been able to try one out, but I sure did like what I heard that night… And I stood 5 feet in front of him and could clearly hear directly what was coming out of his cabinets.
 

Dimebag11

Well-known member
I’ve gone through a ton, and if I were to buy another it would be the original 2x12 combo. Hook it to an extension cabinet and load it with some Sovtek 5881s. It was just massive and 3-D sounding. Dime the gain on the crunch and holy ballz
 

Guitarjon

Well-known member
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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Geo

Well-known member
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:

Truly a shame, great sounding amp and the one I bought many years ago is doing just fine.

You never know these days, bad tubes? Bad electrical components? It's a sorry new world out there for manufacturers.

Thanks for sharing and being honest.
 

Guitarjon

Well-known member
Truly a shame, great sounding amp and the one I bought many years ago is doing just fine.

You never know these days, bad tubes? Bad electrical components? It's a sorry new world out there for manufacturers.

Thanks for sharing and being honest.

Cheers! I'm still really bummed out about it because indeed, it sounded really good! Whatever the issue is with some of these amps, I hope it gets sorted!
 
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Techdeth

Well-known member
One of the best ‘5150’ tones I ever heard from Eddie Van Halen, (post 1989 when he was using his Marshall set up), was the 1998 Van Halen III tour when he was using the 5150 II amplifiers, the upper mid-range bite was pure magical rawness.
I’ve never been able to try one out, but I sure did like what I heard that night… And I stood 5 feet in front of him and could clearly hear directly what was coming out of his cabinets.
Man are you correct . It was amazing .
 

VESmedic

Well-known member
The original Peavey 5150 was/is one of the most punishing amps ever made, IMO. I've had that, a 6505, 6505+, 6534+, (all pre-China), the EVH 50 6L6, and Stealth 50. Believe it or not, the 6534+ was right up there. That amp really flew under the radar, but that thing was downright pissed sounding. Peavey has angry, throaty mids that just fucking grind. Add your favorite flavor TS9, you're gritting your teeth with every chug. EVH's just don't have it, sorry. The Stealth was my favorite EVH. But the Peaveys had character. The EVH's are highly out of control on the red channels, (to my dislike), and blue channels are just kinda stiff, and just kinda "really good". Not great. It's not an amp I have a strong desire to own another one of.



The 6534+ Is no doubt the absolute best of the OG 5150 line in my opinion. If just flat out rules. Tighter and more percussive, less out of control but still wild in a good way. The best kept secret ( sort of) around in my opinion.
 

harddriver

Well-known member
One of the best ‘5150’ tones I ever heard from Eddie Van Halen, (post 1989 when he was using his Marshall set up), was the 1998 Van Halen III tour when he was using the 5150 II amplifiers, the upper mid-range bite was pure magical rawness.
I’ve never been able to try one out, but I sure did like what I heard that night… And I stood 5 feet in front of him and could clearly hear directly what was coming out of his cabinets.
Definitely has more crunch to it than what I hear in 5150 tone...........
 
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Geo

Well-known member
Definitely has more crunch to it than what I hear in 5150 tone...........
Cool, thanks for sharing. Although I did like this iteration of VH, I don't think it's my favorite VH tone. I just never liked the sound of Peavey iron.
 

jabps

Well-known member
I remember the day a friend back in the day came over and set up next to my Langner half stack with the original 5150 and cab...nothing was ever as raw or brutal but that amp surprised me...it wasn't better but till that day never heard anything as brutal if it wasn't my main amp.
I've kinda got the same story. Friend of mine and busy player in Nashville (at that time) had a Boogie artist deal. We were store hoping and found the first 5150 stack in Nashville. Btw/ this was the same store Paul C used to tech. Jammed a bit in store and he bought the head right then and there. The next week I brought over my rack with the Langner pre and we blew things out.

The next day after our jam I went to another Peavey dealer and ordered the head and two straight cabs. He later dumped all his Boogie gear, bought the 5150 cabs and ordered another head for backup. I got the Block 5150 and later the Sig (backup) and cabs, those were my main amps for the next decade plus. Sold my Langner pre's and power amp, downsized the rack to effects and switching. Bought alot of stuff during that era ala VHT, Soldano but none replaced the 5150's. Oddly enough the amps that started turning my ear was the JSX as musically where I was headed I needed some more options. Which led to a Splawn and then eventually my JVM's where I have stayed since '07.

OG 5150 is still my second favorite amp I've ever owned. Workhorses, never had a breakdown after years of use, live, recording, rehearsals and transport. If they had a better master volume, I'd still own one. I also loved the much maligned 5150 cabs with those amps as well. Personally I loved James Brown's take on high gain.
 
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jabps

Well-known member
Definitely has more crunch to it than what I hear in 5150 tone...........
I used to love being on the boards back then and people were saying and making things up like he really didn't use this stuff, used to get a big kick out of it.

Especially considering at the time I worked at our local amphitheater and personally saw his rigs up close and personal on several occasions. What people saw in the pics at the time were what he was using. No hidden Marshalls or Soldano's, all Peavey. In fact the only odd thing was a towel with a line of 6L6's on it. Not really odd I guess just that I had seen a ton of guys rigs up close and never saw a line of tubes on a towel lol.
 
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