One year ago i bought a peavey 5150 II 100w head from a guy. I was very happy with the sound of it but after the more experience i got, the less happier i was with the sound.
As you all know the 5150's are famous for their high gain leads but i have compared it to a normal 5150, 6505 and 6505+ and what i've noticed is that there is less more gain out off my 5150 II. I went to a technician who's doing amp work for a bout 40 years now and great guitarist go to him because he has a LOT of experience. I told him to check if everything is alright with the amp, then put it all back to how it should be when you should buy the amp out of the store and get all the standard 5150 problems out of it. So did he but still it doesn't sound that good.
Example: if i see reviews, live bands or video's, they put their gain (lead channel) at 5 or 12 o'clcok. It sounds big and not too heavy and they can play some nice clear metal stuff. When i put my gain at 5 it sounds dry and flat. It's not the guitar, pu's or cables or whatever that are different.
Still I can play on stage and have an acceptable sound but still, it's not what i'd like to hear.

Somebody knows the problem or can confirm that the 5150 II just sounds like that?

Also i'd like to have some people who can make a small video with everything set at 12 o'clock so i can compare with it.
I don't have a place and/or money to record some stuff etc. so a video would be the easiest way.

Don't know if I have to sell the amp or keep it. I'm a student so i don't have money or something to buy mesa/diezel/engl stuff so that's not an option.

Last edited by jens.marquenie at Dec 19, 2013,
What cabinet are you playing it through, and what speakers does it have? That can have a HUGE effect on your tone.

Also, are you running an overdrive as a boost? (Run it directly from your guitar into the amp's input, gain on the pedal set to zero/volume near max, tone at about 12 o'clock). This will also have a dramatic effect on your tone. This will hit your first tube harder and cause more gain. You would then need to turn the gain down on your amp.

I've found that I cannot do without my Tubescreamer on my 6505+ (basically the same amp you have). It provides a more focused attack and allows leads/pinch harmonics to really scream. Also, riffing is more precise, clear, and tight. Without it, it just sounds a little mushy to me (and they aren't really mushy amps to begin with).

Finally, if the guy you took your amp to is good with amps, surely he would have checked the tubes. If your tubes are old/haven't been replaced in a long time, there's a chance they're not operating at their optimal level. I would recommend completely re-tubing it, starting with the power tubes. I run JJ 6L6GCs. They were a DRAMATIC improvement over my stock Ruby tubes. Those will run you about $80 -- just make sure to get a matched quad of them.

Then, if you can afford it, get some new preamp tubes. I'd recommend JJs for those as well. The amp takes 12AX7 type preamp tubes. You may get lucky and only have to replace one or two -- so maybe just buy one and try it in all the five different sockets. They are about $12 each, so if you can afford it, just buy 6 of them and change them all out.
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I personally didn't like the sound of JJ's in my preamp just in the power amp. I think they made the amp a lot darker, I switched them out with Electroharmonix and Tung Sol, sounds a lot better IMHO. I found that the OD in front of the amp makes all the difference DEPENDING on the guitar. My guitars with EMG's seem to do fine without the pedal but the ones with passives it really makes a huge difference. Remember your tone is subjective, so what would sound good to you might not sound good to someone else and the other way around. You may just not like the sound of the 5150 II/ 6505 etc.
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