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A new line of amplifiers from EVH called 5150 Iconic, Modern, Not Too Expensive Amp with Convenient Modern Features has been introduced. Two new amplifiers and one new cabinet make up the series; they are comparable to the 5150 III amplifiers but significantly more cost-effective watt for watt.
We will provide in-depth information about the EVH 5150 Amp in this post to assist you in determining if you need one.
Because there are numerous EVH amps that are identical to one another, this evaluation will focus on the EVH 5150 Iconic model and how it stacks up against its predecessors.
My conclusion is this: With the new EVH 5150 Iconic, the EVH 5150 amp series returns to the origins of traditional heavy tone. Despite not being made by Peavey and having different parts than the conventional Block Letter 5150, this amp series retains the aggressive high gain for which it is renowned.
The EVH 5150 Iconic is ideal for both contemporary and retro heavy sounds since, compared to its predecessors, it has a tighter, more concentrated tone, a boost, and an enhanced noise gate.
The EVH 5150 Iconic Features
There are many characteristics in the EVH 5150 Iconic that are ideal for contemporary rock and metal guitarists.
The two extra voicings for each channel are the most helpful features. The lead channel has a “burn” voice, whereas the green/clean channel also has a crunch voice.
The Clean tone can be completely clean, but it can also easily become muddy by turning up the gain or using your right hand vigorously.
You can play some blues and rock ‘n’ roll without making it too harsh or muddy by adding some extra controlled gain to the clean sound with the crunch voice. Although it is heavier and not the normal crunch tone of an orange amp, you may make it cleaner by adjusting the guitar’s volume knob or your playing style.
You need to be able to switch from an excellent crunch tone to an aggressive high gain tone later if you’re performing both rock and metal songs live.
Heavy metal chugs can be performed while utilizing the distortion’s warm mid-range and tail for percussion. Even the heaviest of genres can be satisfied because of the extra layer of gain from the burn voicing.
The burn voicing might be what you’re looking for if you’re a modern metal guitarist who prefers low tunings and heavy guitars.
When working with powerful instruments, the noise gate is an essential tool. It is impressive how much noise it eliminates. Additionally, as you can hear when playing palm-muted notes, a proper noise gate significantly impacts the performance’s overall rhythm. For such, the EVH 5150 Iconic‘s noise gate is extremely excellent.
The built-in reverb is enough for most live performances where you need to add reverb for leads or to match the band’s overall mix. You might use your favorite reverb pedal if you are truly serious about the tone.
With the volume boost, the amp gains 10dB, making it simpler for your lead to stand out in the crowd. Using the footswitch instead, you can save money on a second boost pedal.
The most useful component for practicing or recreational players is certainly the 1/4 power switch. Since the overall power is decreased, producing strong tones at low loudness is simpler. To achieve the greatest tone from a high-gain amp, antique models frequently require a lot of volume. You can get that with this amp without having to do that.
However, it’s preferable to turn the amp up to full strength if you wish to record it because there are small distinctions that a pro player can hear.
The 5150 Amp is a fantastic option for in-home playing, live performances, and recording sessions, thanks to its numerous capabilities. Without any additional pedals, you may utilize it to excellent effect and get through a show.
|Output Wattage||40 Watts|
|Item Dimensions LxWxH||26 x 23.5 x 14.75 inches|
|Item Weight||64 Pounds|
About EVH Amps
I’ll try to make things simple for you because it took me many years of rock band playing, studio work, and much research to comprehend the distinctions between the many 5150 amps.
As you undoubtedly already know, 5150 is also linked to Peavey and Eddie Van Halen. The original 5150 Block Letter, named after the three letters “EVH” written on the front, was created by Eddie in collaboration with the renowned James Brown Peavy engineer. Since it was the first amp to accommodate all musical tastes, from rock to grunge to death metal, this high-gain amp revolutionized the way rock and metal guitarists played.
There have been numerous reissues since the original release in 1992, all of which have preserved the now-iconic “5150 sound,” a high-gain visceral tone that may range from aggressive to warm and heavy.
Together with Fender, Van Halen debuted his EVH line of 5150 amps in 2004. The most recent model in the line is the EVH 5150 Iconic. The essential thing to keep in mind is that different materials are common because EVH amps aren’t made from Peavy.
EVH 5150 amps and the Peavey 5150, currently known as the 6150, are very similar. The basis of both amp series is the same, and they both keep adding fresh details to the traditional layout. The Peavey amps are more focused on the vintage tone of the 1990s, whilst the EVH amps are more focused on a more contemporary heavier tone.
EVH 5150 Iconic Controls
All of the standard 5150 Amp controls, as well as new ones for the features, are included on the 5150 Iconic.
The three-band EQ is straightforward but efficient. The traditional presence and resonance settings, which let you manage the high and low ends of the tone, are now added. These two commands let you fine-tune the overall shape of the tone after doing the basic treble, mind, and boost adjustments.
The individual gain and volume settings are likely the most useful. The one volume control on the vintage 5150 Amp model limited the amount of customization a channel could receive. Individual controls are extremely useful in a live environment.
The reverb and noise gate are two features that are quite useful. The reverb’s decay is controlled via the reverb knob. The more you use, the bigger the space will sound and the more tail the reverb will have.
I especially like the noise gate control on this 5150 amp as it’s very responsive. Every player likes the noise gate set differently as It depends on the amount of gain and your playing style. You should easily find a good balance with this amp, as it’s built with the heaviest shredders in mind.
EVH 5150 Iconic Tone
The amp’s tone has the gain and character you would anticipate from a 5150. However, this amp produces a tone that is more crunchy-focused than the original 5150 Amp.
Some players adore the EVH Iconic’s enhanced note separation and crunchy character, while others don’t. What you’re looking for in the amp will determine a lot of things. For every heavy genre, old and new, you can, nonetheless, get fantastic results.
Even while the sound is not as chaotic and forceful as in the original models, fans of vintage high tones will still find some of the tones they are seeking for on the red channel. Modern metal musicians choose tighter tones more often, putting more emphasis on syncopated rhythms than full-on power chords.
The increased compression and flatness of the red channel may annoy some players. Since there is such a large quantity of amplification, the dynamics and tone are quickly lost.
The enhanced note separation when playing chords at a high gain is the key reason why I prefer this new tone palette. The strong muted tone’s warmth might not be as excellent as the previous one. It is just marginally better regulated, but it still has a “tube-like” sound.
In contrast to what you might expect from a 5150 Amp, it’s green channel has less bottom end and instead places more emphasis on the mid-range. Having said that, this is not a bad thing. You may rest assured that the sound engineer almost eliminates the guitar’s low end after every recording session or live performance and instead gives the bass guitar’s range the spotlight.
EVH 5150 Iconic Alternatives
EVH 5150 Iconic vs. Peavey 6505+
The Peavy 6505+ is the 5150’s contemporary Peavy equivalent. If you want to have a lot of modern functions while yet maintaining a more traditional style, look, and tone, this amp is a great option.
Despite having extremely similar designs, the parts utilized in the two amplifiers are different, and some players think Peavy is more dependable. Compared to the EVH Iconic, this Peavy amp is typically brighter and more aggressive. Since they are both current designs intended for older, heavier genres, they both have a more focused tone.
At a lesser cost, the EVH 5150 Amp offers two additional voices per channel, a noise gate, and built-in reverb. If the tone of the 6505 + does not particularly appeal to you, I would suggest the EVH 5150 Iconic.
EVH 5150 Iconic vs. PRS MT 15 Mark Tremonti
The contemporary PRS Mt Marke Tremonti trademark amp costs about the same as the EVH 5150 Iconic. Its tiny size (7w/15w) makes it ideal for playing low-volume high, gain tones at home or in the studio.
It is equally versatile as the EVH 5150 Iconic, thanks to its two channels and several gain levels. However, it lacks a noise walk and reverb, as well as distinct settings for each channel. It has less general gain than the EVH and a more articulated tone. The PRS MT 15 is a fantastic option if you’re seeking something portable that still has wonderful rich tones.
EVH 5150 Iconic vs. Peavey 5150 Block Letter
The first 5150 Amp model, released in 1992, is called The Block Letter. It is the source of the visceral 5150 tones and includes the original Svetlana tubes.
The Block Letter has the original control, two channels, and neither an adjustable noise gate nor an integrated reverb. The EVH Iconic is far more adaptable than the 5150 Block Letter since it was designed with today’s touring bands in mind. However, neither EVH nor Peavy has been able to duplicate the Peavey 5150’s distinctive chaotic high gain tone.
Unfortunately, you can only find the Block Letter utilized. Depending on its condition, it can be significantly more expensive than the 5105 Iconic. If you can find a fairly priced Block letter in good shape and you’re looking for the original 5150 tone, I suggest you get it.
How do I Know What Kind of Amp to Get?
The genre of music you want to play should come first. A high-gain amp like the EVH 5150 is a fantastic option for heavy genres. The size, volume, and power you can manage should then be considered based on your financial situation and the venue where you will play. The amp’s compatibility with your existing equipment is the final thing to verify.
how many preamp tubes are in EVH 5150 amp?
Two JJ ECC83S preamp tubes and four JJ 6L6 power tubes make up the 5150 Iconic 80 Watt Head. It is a two-channel amplifier having a Red (dirty) channel and a Green (clean/overdriven) channel. While the Red channel has a burn switch to activate even more distortion, the Green channel has an overdrive switch to increase the gain range from clean to crunch. Each channel contains a gain and volume control, as well as controls for reverb, resonance, and presence, as well as a three-band EQ. A noise gate control is also present on the Red channel
Where are EVH Amplifiers Manufactured?
Fender produced the first EVH amplifiers in Vietnam. Later, Fender moved all of its manufacturing to Mexico.
Can you Play Through Just an Amp Head?
The amp head should be connected to a cabinet speaker because it doesn’t produce sound on its own.
Final Thoughts on the EVH 5150 Amp Iconic
The EVH 5150 Amp stays true to Eddie Van Halen’s legacy of high gain amps with quality, very versatile, feature-packed modern 5150 alternatives.
The 5150 amp has the aggressive visceral tone for which the series is known. However, it’s more crunchy and focused sounding compared to its predecessors. It can fit both vintage tone lovers and perfectly serve modern metal players.
It’s rare to find such a versatile quality, high-gain amp at a price point of lower than 1000$. I recommend you consider the EVH 5150 Iconic as it’s the most balanced sounding and reasonably priced 5150 model yet fitting for casual and serious players.