#1
So just before NAMM I placed an order for both the EVH 5150 III Mini 50 Watt (which was supposed to arrive on Feb. 18th but came early) and the new Ibanez RG25th in florescent pink (RG1XXVFP)! I sold off a few other pieces of gear to pay for the amp and I had enough cash to pick up the guitar as well as some pickups and a cab. I have an RG20th that I purchased when I was 16 so it's nice to finally give it a slutty twin sister! Before the guitar even came I had already ordered a DiMarzio John Petrucci pickup set in pink (Crunch Lab/Liquifire). I love the stock DiMarzio/IBZ pickups but I was planning to take those out and put them in my old Squire Sub-Sonic Baritone. Pretty much everything came in Tuesday night but I wanted a few days to test it out before reviewing.

So first up - the 5150 III. This might be the first NAD for one of these on UG so here it goes!

This amp is pretty sick! It was a great deal ($825 shipped no tax) as well! For reference purposes I'm running it through a stock Mesa Rectifier 412 which I picked up a few days before the amp arrived as well as an Avatar 212 with Vintage 30s. The clean channel certainly leaves something to be desired but the crunch and lead channels are out of this world. I would say that the clean channel is on par with the Peavey JSX clean channel in terms of quality. I would also compare it to a cheaper modern Fender. Not quite as good as my Red Knob Evil Twin Reverb or the Mesa Electra-Dyne I sold to go to Europe but I don't use cleans often for as big of shows as I will be using this head for; I have a cheap old Carvin X30 combo for that. The crunch channel is just about the same quality as the Electra-Dyne crunch channel but sounds a little more scooped and compressed. The lead channel takes off for sure...it will be hard to beat. Sounds like the original Peavey 5150 lead channel but with more mid-range and WAY more gain. It is possible to get both the crunch (blue) and lead (red) channels to sound very similar to each other, but the crunch channel is definitely the highlight of the amp.

As far as quality goes, it seems as though the amp is fairly well built...the one flaw being that the master resonance knob on the back feels cheap in comparison to the chicken-head knobs on the front, but that's something I don't really use much except for to set it and forget it. Amp is fairly light but feels solid. I'd take it to a gig...and I will on Tuesday!

All in all I'd give this amp a 7/10 overall. 6/10 for the clean channel, 8/10 for the crunch and 7/10 for the lead. For quality of build (from the few days that I've had it so far) I'd give it a 7.5/10. For $825 it is a good deal, but I would rather of had another Electra-Dyne with a better high-gain channel for a few hundred extra (they can be found for less than $1,000 now).

Next up - the Ibanez RG25th!

This guitar is absolutely incredible. It is the third Premium (MiI) that I have ever played but it is an absolutely amazing guitar. I can't say enough about the quality. 9/10, only flaw being that the screw holes on the AANJ aren't fully painted; as if that matters. Stock pickups are great but like I mentioned I swapped them since I figured I would use them in another guitar anyways. The Edge-Zero II seems to be a solid bridge; I haven't figured out the mechanism on the back yet but it seems to do its job. The neck feels slightly bigger than the neck on my RG20th but feels equally as nice. It has a satin finish on the playable part of it and a gloss at the headstock; similar to Musicman guitars (though I think they use oil on the neck instead of a satin finish). Definitely a 10/10 for the neck. Couldn't really be any better. The guitar sounds great unplugged...very throaty and rich just like the 20th. I think that this guitar would actually sound great with Duncans but I have a habit of putting DiMarzios in most of my Ibanez guitars.

The Crunch Lab/Liquifire set sounds impressive, but I'm not sure if I prefer it to the Breed/Air Norton set that I have in my RG20th yet. The output is certainly higher and although the ceramic magnet in the Crunch Lab doesn't sound harsh it is definitely a lot sharper. Sounds great through the 5150 III though. Sound is 9/10.

I should note that I dropped the tuning on this guitar to B-E-A-d-f#-b, which is what my band Beardrain uses. I really bought this guitar to use as an alternative to my fixed bridge Agile Septor Elite 727. That guitar is great as well but it is simply not in the same league as this RG Premium (though it was about the same price with case). The value on this Ibanez Premium is excellent, at $830 shipped and setup, though I do feel sad that the yen is so screwy that the same RG that I bought five years ago for $850 is now $1600. Regardless, I would certainly recommend the Premium models to friends and family.

Mesa 412 - No comment needed; best cab you can buy. You can quote me on that.

Here are some photos; they were taken on my cell phone camera and I kind of look like a mouth-breather in one but I'm ecstatic to show the gear to eager eyes so I don't care haha. More photos soon!



G&L Legacy
Gibson SG Standard
Ibanez RG20thDY
Ibanez RG25thFP
Agile Septor Elite 727
Fender Evil Twin / Mesa 412
EVH 5150 III Mini / Avatar 212


#2
Sexy, Sexy guitars
Quote by FEngHLyan

She will join the prom.

She insists to wear this lights.

I don't think so.

How can I persuade her?
#5
Sounds kinda dissapointing with the 5150III. But the price seems decent when new, so they'll be an even better deal used
Agile AL3000
Douglas WRL90
SX SR1 STD Plus
J&D Strat
Squier Tele
Sammick TR2
Douglas Draco
Peavey JSX
Bugera V5
TWANGED VJ
#6
Thanks guys! Yes I will do my best to get some clips but all I have right now is an SM57 so it will sound really over the top colored by the 57...maybe I'll do some "in the mix" clips as well. Maybe in a few hours. I wouldn't say I'm disappointed by it because it's exactly what I need but I certainly wouldn't pay over a grand for it. The price is right at $825, but the price is better for a 5150/JSX at $500 or a Mesa for $1,000. Just my two cents. What I need this amp for is a thick crushing tone that can be heard in the mix and it does just that, but I would have preferred the tone of my old Mesa if it could have had as high gain. Maybe a Stiletto or Royal Atlantic is in order?
G&L Legacy
Gibson SG Standard
Ibanez RG20thDY
Ibanez RG25thFP
Agile Septor Elite 727
Fender Evil Twin / Mesa 412
EVH 5150 III Mini / Avatar 212


#8
Damn, I wish I had that stuff. Happy NAD/NGD!
Guitars
Ibanez Prestige RG1570
Schecter Omen 6
ESP LTD Viper 400
Dean Dime From Hell

Amp
Peavey 5150
#9
Closeup of the pink RG?
PRS SE Custom 24 w/ Seymour Duncan JB and Jazz Pickups
Squire Classic Vibe Stratocaster

Digitech Bad Monkey

Pignose 7100 Legendary Amplifyer
#12
Quote by Dr Sixstring
Closeup of the pink RG?


I will definitely get some closeups! I have some before during and after the pickup swap. I'll upload them when I get the chance! If anyone wants to come check us out I'll be playing this stuff at my show at Max Steiner's in Long Beach, CA on Valentine's Day; should be very fun! Hope the reviews were helpful to all who are looking into some of this gear! Thanks all!
G&L Legacy
Gibson SG Standard
Ibanez RG20thDY
Ibanez RG25thFP
Agile Septor Elite 727
Fender Evil Twin / Mesa 412
EVH 5150 III Mini / Avatar 212


#13
I've run a 2x12 on top of a 4x12. Let me tell you a trick. Don't just run them in parallel - think about your impedances. For example - normal configuration of 4 ohm 4x12 and 8 ohm 2x12. In parallel that's 2.6 ohm - oops. That's a bit low. Ok so we use/make the 16 ohm input on the 4x12 - now we have 5.3 ohm. no probs run the amp on 4 ohms and we're golden. But are we?
Well no actually because what have we actually got going on power-wise? Well we have series/parallel on the 4x12 and parallel in the 2x12. So of any voltage across the terminals in the 4x12 it's cut in half across each speaker in there.
What's the 2x12 got? All of the voltage across each speaker. They are in parallel aint they?
And just look at the impedances. The 4x12 has twice the resistance to the current than the 2x12. 16 vs 8. Isn't it going to flow into the 2x12 more easily? Why yes, twice as much is gonna pour in there.
So your 2x12 is 3dB louder - twice the power. This can be a good thing and a bad thing depending on you. I used to run it that way a lot when I was playing stuff where I really needed good controllable feedback. The loud pair is just above the pickups. So lean backwards and every note you play lasts forever.
Also if you amp is a bit lacking in top end it's good to send more power to the 2x12 sitting on top.
However, if that shits you there is a solution - wire the 2x12 in series. It's now 32 ohm. Then run the cabs in parallel. Now each speaker gets the exact same power no matter where it is. Our total impedance is 10.6 so the 8 ohm winding on the amp will work just fine.
We have three parallel legs with two speakers in series on each leg. Picturing it? Equal power sharing if they are all identical 16 ohm speakers, huh?
So depending on what impedance speakers you have wire them accordingly. But always think of your impedances when working out the best way to run them.

Here's something that saves you a lot of time working it out. Removes the necessity to do calculations. You want to be thinking geometries of impedance loads, not doing algebra
http://www.1728.org/resistrs.htm
It calculates the total resistance of up to 10 parallel loads.
Enjoy.

And where are the photos of the amp? Pics or it didn't happen. All I can see is a black shadow in the corner behind some dude holding two bubblegum coloured Ibbies.
Gilchrist custom
Yamaha SBG500
Telecasters
Randall RM100 & RM20
Marshall JTM45 clone
Marshall JCM900 4102 (modded)
Marshall 18W clone
Fender 5F1 Champ clone
Atomic Amplifire
Marshall 1960A
Boss GT-100


Cathbard Amplification
My band
Last edited by Cathbard at Feb 11, 2012,
#14
Sorry I meant that I have run it with each cab on their own (Mesa 412 then the Avatar at another time). I should have made that clear at first; my bad. I haven't tried them together yet, though at some point I definitely will. Both cabs have 8 ohms resistance so I will just run the amp for 4 ohms when I do that. That's actually how I used to run my Mesa and it sounded great. That was an informative post though so thank you very much for posting. I will have to reread it again tomorrow as I only got to skim through right now.

I will take some more pictures tomorrow; I have a date coming over right now (and I have no real camera) otherwise I'd be taking photos just so I could salivate over them on my computer screen without having to turn my head to look at the real deal haha! When I do record some clips I will try to record with a few different guitars as to get a well rounded idea of the amp, but like I said...the SM57 that I have will make it sound very...middy...when its on its own. I would invest in a better demoing mic but I'm low on cash and I usually record direct with my HD500 anyways. Speaking of recording; is the Countryman Type 85 generally considered to be a good DI for passive pickups?
G&L Legacy
Gibson SG Standard
Ibanez RG20thDY
Ibanez RG25thFP
Agile Septor Elite 727
Fender Evil Twin / Mesa 412
EVH 5150 III Mini / Avatar 212


#15
Happy NGD/NAD! My 5150 came yesterday, but the cab won't be here until monday. I've heard others saying similar things that about the clean channel. I read somewhere that the clean sound gets better when switching between 1&2 at higher volumes. Those are some vibrant looking guitars, as well. Hope you enjoy!
EBMM Axis Black Cherry Burst
El Capistan
'74 Phase 90 re-issue
Boss BF-2
Hall of Fame Reverb
50 W 5150 III
#17
Just for shits and giggles try a 6x12. It's out of control. You have to try it seeing as you'll have the cabs there to do it.
Gilchrist custom
Yamaha SBG500
Telecasters
Randall RM100 & RM20
Marshall JTM45 clone
Marshall JCM900 4102 (modded)
Marshall 18W clone
Fender 5F1 Champ clone
Atomic Amplifire
Marshall 1960A
Boss GT-100


Cathbard Amplification
My band
#18
Quote by PerpetualBurn
Thanks guys! Yes I will do my best to get some clips but all I have right now is an SM57 so it will sound really over the top colored by the 57...

What else would you want to record it with...?

I mean, unless you've got a lot more money to drop, the SM57 is the only mic under ~$400 I'd want to hear an amp miced up with on a recording to judge its sound


Kinda disappointed you don't seem very happy with the 5150 III. I was hoping that amp was going to be killer, though your review kind of confuses me. You say "the clean channel certainly leaves something to be desired," but then you go on to say later that it "is on par with the Peavey JSX clean channel in terms of quality" and that "I would also compare it to a cheaper modern Fender." The comparison to the JSX is kind of saddening... but at the same time, the comparison to the Fender isn't. Even the really cheap Fenders have pretty good cleans, what models were you thinking of?

Have you tried the original head? How does the clean, crunch and lead channel sound to it in comparison? The cleans on the original head were fantastic IMO, so the fact that you're stating that the ones on the Mini are fairly poor saddens me.
Quote by Dave_Mc
I've had tube amps for a while now, but never actually had any go down on me
Quote by jj1565
maybe you're not saying the right things? an amp likes to know you care.





www.SanctityStudios.com
#19
Neon guitars are always awesome, Happy NGD!!!
Current Rig:

Eppy SG w/Swineheads, Marshall DSL 5c, Joyo Vintage OD, Joyo British Sound, Sounds Sounds Fuzz Face, GGG Guv'nor, Dr. Boogie Pedal, Crybaby in Red Sparkle, Digitech Hardwire Delay

The things I would do for a Les Paul...
#20
nice amps setup. not a big fan of those colors. find em quite ugly. i dont doubt they play nice though.

not a fan of live 6 multiFX....
#21
The cleans on the original model were much better. I tried one out just days before I ordered this and the original amp is definitely much better in almost every way except weight and size. The crunch channel on this 50 watt packs a little more punch than the 100 but other than that I would go with the fullsize model if I were considering paying full price for the mini ($1,000). As far as mics go, I feel like the SM57 is great for putting a distorted guitar into a mix but from what I've found any of the cheap Sennheisers are better for reproducing the real sound of an amp. Also sometimes blending a decent condenser helps as well, but I only have an AT-2035 so again it won't be perfect. I'll do what I can. I'll just record a bunch of clips with everything haha!

I guess the way my comparison was drawn is that it has the "sound" of a cheaper Fender (Blues Jr.) but feels the way that the JSX did in that it sounds more like it is trying to achieve a sound it wasn't meant for instead of blazing its own trail. I like it, but the Twin Reverb is much, much better.

I will try it out with both cabs; it's certainly hard to resist haha! I have to go to work then band practice but maybe later today I can post some. For now, here are some photos!







Frying my mem card










More to come!
G&L Legacy
Gibson SG Standard
Ibanez RG20thDY
Ibanez RG25thFP
Agile Septor Elite 727
Fender Evil Twin / Mesa 412
EVH 5150 III Mini / Avatar 212


#22
i had a chance to play one of these heads and i agree the crunch channel sounds great.


but...

Quote by PerpetualBurn


your settings aren't nearly retarded enough. we had to do unspeakable things to get a "fendery" clean.

I wondered why the frisbee was getting bigger, then it hit me.
#23
Here it is in use!

With an Agile Septor Elite 727


Stepping on it already!


Headbanging with the crowd


Here's a setlist of the gig so you can hear it in action. Sounded pretty good I think!

http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLC209CC11992FEEC9
G&L Legacy
Gibson SG Standard
Ibanez RG20thDY
Ibanez RG25thFP
Agile Septor Elite 727
Fender Evil Twin / Mesa 412
EVH 5150 III Mini / Avatar 212