EVH Eddie Van Halen 5150 III Guitar Amplifier Head (50 Watts)
In stock at Zzounds.com
Notable for rich, clear high-gain tones, the EVH 5150 line of amps has become a favorite not only among Van Halen fanatics but modern metal players as well. With the 5150 III 50-watt head, EVH has developed an amp ready to rock on stages or in bedrooms.
Three Channels of Pronounced ToneThe 5150 III's clean channel will appeal to players looking for bright and ringing clean tones. Turning up the gain on this channel to about 7 will induce an organic overdrive. In crunch mode, the amp will satisfy anyone looking for a classic rock sound rich in harmonics, and with the gain turned up, the 5150 III starts to evoke the legendary tones of its namesake guitarist. Those who really want to run with the devil should try the lead channel and experience just how heavy this amp can sound. With seven 12AX7 preamp tubes shaping the 5150 III's tone, the amp delivers layers of solid gain that add oomph to low-end rhythms but keep your shredding runs sounding clear and fluid.
Unique Control OptionsThe 5150 III's clean and crunch channel share EQ controls, so if you dial in a clean sound you really like, it's easy to add more gain without changing its characteristics. When you really want to transform your sound, the lead channel offers a separate slate of EQ controls so you can scoop or boost mids, or alter the sound however you want. A master presence control helps to maintain brightness across the channels.
Inputs and Outputs Expand PossibilitiesPart of the appeal of this 50-watt version of the 5150 III is its volume versatility. If you need tons of volume to keep up with your band, you can plug the 5150 II into a 4X12 cabinet -- or two -- through the parallel speaker output jacks. For quieter sessions, the 50-watt amp through a single speaker cabinet won't raise the dead. For completely silent practice, the 5150 III features a headphone jack. The amp also has a MIDI input, allowing you to connect almost any MIDI device to control channels and effects.
Features:- 50-watt head
- Clean, crunch, and lead channels
- 7 JJ ECC83 (12AX7) preamp tubes
- 2 JJ 6L6 power tubes
- 4-button footswitch included
- MIDI input
- Parallel speaker output jacks with selectable impendance (4, 8, or 16 ohms)
- Headphone jack
- EVH striped steel grill
In the 5150 III, EVH has crafted a 50-watt head that can handle all the gain of its bigger brothers -- that you can still rock at home.
Reviews From Buyers
Nothing about this amp feels cheap. This amp has a great reputation for its distortion. It has gain for days. I play in a hard rock band (Arythma) which borders on the sound of Breaking Benjamin, Chevelle, Staind, and others of the like and this amp's gain knob on the lead channel never passes 1 o'clock. As far as Channel 3 goes, I am absolutely 100% in love with this amp. The 7 JJ tubes in the preamp are an absolutely beautiful touch to this amp. When I strum an open Drop D chord, the gain absolutely sizzles. I would put this distortion against a Soldano, Rivera or Diezel any day! I can say for sure that I love this distortion wayyy more than a Mesa because my other guitist plays a Triple Rec and even he was like "that distortion is nassssttyyyy." Sheer quality! Now, to the nitty gritty.
This amp is loud. I would put money on the fact that this is the loudest 50W head in existence. Holy mother of God this thing is loud! Absolutely not made for bedroom volume. I mentioned earlier that my Channel 3 (lead/high gain) gain knob never passes 1 o' clock, well, my volume never passes 1 o' clock either and my band plays with a loooot of volume. This amp is great for ANY size venue. Again, the build quality is absolutely phenomenal. There is nothing about this amp that feels cheap or half-@$$ed at all. I got the matching 2x12 cab (which I absolutely highly recommend) and there is a really awesome feature that allows you to pair this with said cabinet. Underneath the amp is a bracket system that slides out on the left and right side of the head and you connect it to the 2x12 cab. Once you secure the head onto the cab, it is LOCKED and you can use the really cool feature on the cab where it has some heavy duty legs that allow you to prop the cab back at a 45 degree angle. The head will stay on there, I promise. Again, it's trustworthy, as I said, nothing feels cheap about this amp.
So far, I've omitted Channel 1 and Channel 2, and that's for a reason. So far, my review has been all glitter, rainbows and sunshine, but now for the flipside of my review.
Channel 1. First off, there is nothing wrong with this channel. It sounds great, to be honest. I said Channel 3 is on par with some $3,000+ heads, and I meant it. Channel 1 on the other hand is on par with the other amps in its price range (1,000), but no higher. This is only my opinion, but I'm extremely well-versed in sound, equalization, recording, and experience in the general field of guitarmanship. The clean is great, but Mesa has this amp beat on the cleans. I have an Egnater Vengeance head and my Egnater definitely has this amp's clean beat. Don't take what I'm saying too far. The amp's clean sounds great, in general terms, but it's not the selling point of this amp. Hopefully this won't turn you off to this amp.
The Achilles heel of this amp, in my opinion. Channel 2. The sound is phenominal. It has one of the greatest crunches I've ever heard, hands down. The crunch channel is every bit as good as the sound of channel 3. "So why are you calling it the Achilles heel," you may ask. Because it shares all the controls of your clean and there is an INSANE volume jump when you go from clean to crunch. And I do mean "insane." There is no way in any situation you could make this volume jump sound natural. So, in other words, without special effects processing, you cannot use both channels 1 and 2 on this amp. Now, if you're like me and use a good effects processor, you can have your clean saved to a patch with a boost compressor to sort of compensate the volume. I.e. you can make your clean much, much louder, that way switching to channel two (without the boost compressor), the volume jump would be pretty much depleted. So "where there's a will, there's a way."
Bottom Line Pros: The best distortions I've ever heard in my life. Still a great clean channel. MIDI, thank you god! It has MIDI input, which is a life saver! Very solidly built. The neat bracketing system underneath to be used in conjunction with the 2x12. Even though it is only 50W, you can (volume-wise) blow a Mesa Triple Rec out of the water (150W).
Bottom Line Cons: Bedroom volume is just not plausible with this amp. The INSANE volume jump between Channels 1 and 2, only being able to compensate by using an effects processor. No parameter controls for the effects loop.
Despite the Achilles heel, I am still giving this amp a perfect 10 because it is only $1000 and its distortion is the best I've ever heard in my life. There is not a single recording studio on the planet that would tell you this is a "sub par" amp. The distortion really is THAT good. I'm in love. Plus it has MIDI. :)
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