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Old 08-02-2015, 09:31 PM   #1
77disturbed77
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EVH 5150 III Saturation Problems??

I bought a EVH 5150 III (50 watt) head about 3 or 4 months ago, and from the day I bought it, I've had some problem with achieving the saturation I like. I tweaked the settings on my gear and thought I resolved the problem, but now, about 3 months later, Im having the same problems. Nothing's changed in my gear or settings on anything.

Here's my set-up.
Jackson 7 string with Dimarzio D Activators> Line 6 Pod HD500X (patch: Noise Gate> Compressor> tube screamer> FX send [To the EVH and back into the POD]> Noise Gate> Parametric EQ [for Low end]> 4 band Shift EQ [To add hi-mid]> Volume Pedal> EVH Effects return.
Amp EQ: Gain: 8 o'clock, Low: 1 o'clock, Mid: 2 o'clock, High: 1:30, Presence: Noon, Resonance, at full
Im running the 4 cable Method.

To me, the gain sounds really grainy and harsh, oppose to a Peavy 5150 (Signature series) I had a few years back. Anyone have any ideas on why its sounding like this and how I can get it to sound more saturated without adding tones of gain.
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Old 08-02-2015, 09:39 PM   #2
monwobobbo
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you might want to try using an actual overdrive pedal rahter than a patch to tighen up the sound.
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Old 08-02-2015, 10:22 PM   #3
KailM
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It could be you just don't like the tone it produces. I know I certainly didn't when I tried one (although that was the 100 watt version). The EVH doesn't touch the original 5150 when it comes to brootz/saturation/aggression/whatever you want to call it. It's like they neutered it or something. Some people like it though...

But I digress...How old are your power tubes/did you buy it used? When you say "saturation," do you mean gain? Saturation is kind of an ambiguous term. I do know that when power tubes are getting worn out they won't produce near as much low-end which can sound like there's not enough gain. Really, it's not gain, it's just not enough power to reproduce the low-end from your guitar.

I also agree with Manwobobbo -- eliminate the Pod from your effects loop and try it with a real OD pedal (or without -- it should sound pretty tight with plenty of gain without an OD pedal). These amps don't need OD pedals for gain -- they have more than enough on "5." ODs are just used for tightening/focusing the tone.

Also, if you just need more gain, then you need more gain! Don't let a number dissuade you from getting the tone you want. If the gain needs to be on 6, put it on 6. Use your ears, not the numbers or settings that everyone tells you you should use.
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Last edited by KailM : 08-02-2015 at 10:25 PM.
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Old 08-02-2015, 10:29 PM   #4
lemurflames
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8 o'clock is almost no gain at all on the 5150 III.

I run it maxed on the blue channel and anywhere between 9 and 1 o'clock on the red channel. OD on or off depending on my mood. Also consider running resonance at half. It can have an undesirable effect on your overall tone.
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Old 08-03-2015, 01:36 AM   #5
77disturbed77
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KailM
It could be you just don't like the tone it produces. I know I certainly didn't when I tried one (although that was the 100 watt version). The EVH doesn't touch the original 5150 when it comes to brootz/saturation/aggression/whatever you want to call it. It's like they neutered it or something. Some people like it though...

But I digress...How old are your power tubes/did you buy it used? When you say "saturation," do you mean gain? Saturation is kind of an ambiguous term. I do know that when power tubes are getting worn out they won't produce near as much low-end which can sound like there's not enough gain. Really, it's not gain, it's just not enough power to reproduce the low-end from your guitar.

I also agree with Manwobobbo -- eliminate the Pod from your effects loop and try it with a real OD pedal (or without -- it should sound pretty tight with plenty of gain without an OD pedal). These amps don't need OD pedals for gain -- they have more than enough on "5." ODs are just used for tightening/focusing the tone.

Also, if you just need more gain, then you need more gain! Don't let a number dissuade you from getting the tone you want. If the gain needs to be on 6, put it on 6. Use your ears, not the numbers or settings that everyone tells you you should use.


The power tubes are only about 3 months old, and the amp hasnt been ran for hours on end or left in extreme cold or heat. I bought the head brand new from Zzounds in late may, so the Power tubes should be new.

And I dont have any "real" pedals to try in place of the Pod currently. I use a tube screamer on the Pod and have the drive on it at about 13% to add that little bit of saturation to it, but it doesnt seem to be there anymore.

And as far as using my ears for the tones, I have been, thats why the gain is only on 2, anything past that, to my ears, just turns to fizz in the background of my tone.

But I have heard a lot about these amps having little to no low end to them, which could be the reason for the problem Im guessing.

But I definitely agree, the tones from the EVH 5150 III and the Peavy 5150 I've owned are completely different.
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Old 08-03-2015, 09:48 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 77disturbed77
The power tubes are only about 3 months old, and the amp hasnt been ran for hours on end or left in extreme cold or heat. I bought the head brand new from Zzounds in late may, so the Power tubes should be new.

And I dont have any "real" pedals to try in place of the Pod currently. I use a tube screamer on the Pod and have the drive on it at about 13% to add that little bit of saturation to it, but it doesnt seem to be there anymore.

And as far as using my ears for the tones, I have been, thats why the gain is only on 2, anything past that, to my ears, just turns to fizz in the background of my tone.

But I have heard a lot about these amps having little to no low end to them, which could be the reason for the problem Im guessing.

But I definitely agree, the tones from the EVH 5150 III and the Peavy 5150 I've owned are completely different.


I see. You could try a slightly lower gain tube like a 5751 (NOS if you can afford it; JJs have always worked very well for me though) in V1, and put another one in the phase inverter slot. These worked wonders in my 6505+. They allow you to turn your gain up a little bit more without adding fizzyness. They actually improve clarity quite a bit and make your gain knob a lot more usable.

But if I were you, I would still try the amp without your POD just to see if anything drastically improves -- then you'll at least know if it's your POD or your amp. Heck, I'd probably go to a store and try another 5150 III if possible. If it sounds the same as yours, then maybe it's just not the amp for you. However, there should be some low-end there. They are not without low-end, they just don't have the grunt of an original 5150/6505 or even a 6505+. They are a tighter amp -- which means pretty much that the low-end is highly controlled.

Finally, if your POD's EQ can go as high as 8-16kHz, do a significant cut there. That's where the fizz lies, and you might find that you can add quite a bit more gain and still not get fizz. Otherwise, I highly recommend an MXR 10-band EQ for anyone's effects loop. It is a very powerful tool for cutting fizz and boosting "oomph" in just the right places.
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