5150 Head review by Peavey

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  • Sound: 10
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reliability & Durability: 10
  • Features: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 9.5 Superb
  • Users' score: 8.6 (65 votes)
Peavey: 5150 Head
10

Price paid: $ 580

Purchased from: Private Seller

Sound — 10
The sound is Oh-So-Brown. Brown Brown Brown. I'm a big Death-Metal fan and I play this amp through a Marshall 1960AV Cab, with a Jackson SL1 Soloist. I can achieve ANY metal sound, from death metal, black metal, power metal, to classic rock. It's the most versatile metal amp ever created, but as I mentioned earlier, don't be fooled by the metal aspects of the amp, it can still pump out a hefty clean to impress anyone. The amp just gradually increases in performance the louder it gets, and don't think for a second that you cannot play this on low volumes and not achieve that amazing tone you're getting while cranking this sucker to light up a Chinese sweat shop. You can dial the volume in at "1" and still have an amazing tone. Don't be fooled. The distortion, wow. Besides ear-splitting-awe, it's really hard just not to say: "This amp has the most brutal fucking distortion ever". You can push out some serious heavy-metal in any tuning, and leave the gain at 5. I guarantee you that leaving a 5150's gain dial on 5 will destroy any Marshall, Crate, Vox, Orange, or Fender amp -- modified to be dialed to 11 (Sorry, had to throw in a quick spinal tap reference).

Overall Impression — 9
My overall impression can easily be summed up into a few magical words. This. Amp. Slays. Hard. Simple, quick, professional, and to the point. The 5150 is an amazing amp that most people can easily argue to say that this is perhaps one of the most legendary metal amps ever. I was torn between getting a Mesa Triple Recto, a Krankenstein, Blue Voodoo, or even a Marshall JCM 2000. In the end I grabbed my Viking helmet, and let the tone do the talking. The Peavey 5150 came out victorious in almost every aspect. R.I.P. Competitors of Metal Amp Heads.

Reliability & Durability — 10
Consider the Peavey 5150 to be like a tank, I could take a brutal war axe and give it a swift side swipe and I would still go to a gig without a backup and have 100% confidence that the sucker would not die out on me or give me anything less than 1000% performance. If you're clumsy and are afraid to hurt this precious gift from the Gods. Don't worry, imagine that God himself wrapped this in the material used from the Holy Grail, this bad-boy gets a 11/10 in terms of sturdiness and reliability.

Features — 9
Ah. The notorious 5150 designed by the man himself: Eddie Van Halen, a rock Legend that has influenced millions of guitarist world-wide to pick up an axe and try to achieve that ever-lasting-near-impossible-sound. Yes, my friends, I'm talking about the 'Brown Sound'. This amp was built for high gain, wicked leads, and chugging rhythm. The amp has 2 main channels: Rhythm, and Lead. The overall tone of this amp was obviously designed for metal, blistering fast, metal. Although some people will argue and say this amp can't push out some crystal clear cleans, as some Marshall heads; they are right in some aspects. You won't be achieving the cleans that you would be getting out of a JCM 2000, but the cleans on the Peavey 5150 are no-where near bad at all. In fact, with the right amount of patience and a clever ear for tone, you might in fact be able to achieve an amazing clean out of the standard clean settings; or just use a chorus pedal. This amp is pure tube power, 120 watts of brutal wattage that can make your neighbors paint slowly ooze down the wall out of sheer brutal sound. This amp is more than enough power for anyone, and if anyone ever needed anymore power than the 5150, then they're probably def.

15 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Son of a Brit
    DaBlackE wrote: RG_FANMAN wrote: I heard Killswitch uses either the 5150 or 6505 during recordings: which one is it? 5150
    Killswitch Engage uses Mesa
    E V H 5150
    I want a 5150, but if I had the choice, I think I would go with the 5150 II. I'm a big 'Halen fan, and I also like the quality that Peavey puts into their products. If I'm correct, the 5150 and 6505 are exactly the same because Eddie only had the copyrights for the name, but Peavey kept the rights to the circuitry, which is what I read on the Peavey website. Anyway, this amp pwns. Peavey is AMERICAN, not British like Marshall.
    DaBlackE
    Son of a Brit wrote: DaBlackE wrote: RG_FANMAN wrote: I heard Killswitch uses either the 5150 or 6505 during recordings: which one is it? 5150 Killswitch Engage uses Mesa
    Killswitch Engage used them to record "The End of Heartache" album, they dont use them live.
    pathos45
    killswitch use mesa, framus, vht, 5150. they usualy use the framus cobras as their main amp on stage then have either a dual or tripple rec for slave, when i saw them in kitchener i think adam was running out of a dual or tripple rec and joel was using the cobra. either way you can get killswitch tone with a 5150 and a maxon od808 or the 9's. but on another note 5150s slay in metal period
    fender3592
    i played a 6505 at guitar center today. i NEED one, now, before i kill someone.
    Guitar_Poet
    peavey amps, to me, always seem to rock. =) dont think ill ever switch, unless i hear something equal/greater... but atm my peavey sounds perfect to me.
    DeathForAll
    This dude is wanting to sell me his 5150 head and cab for $550. He needs the money for something, I don't know what, but he's trying to get rid of his 5150 fast. I might get it.
    DaBlackE
    DeathForAll wrote: This dude is wanting to sell me his 5150 head and cab for $550. He needs the money for something, I don't know what, but he's trying to get rid of his 5150 fast. I might get it.
    Get it! that's what I paid for mine w/footswitch Supposedly the 5150s with the block letter EVH by the power switch are supposed to be better than the script logo ones. I've never had both to compare, I think the block letter ones came 1st
    Yongyot
    pathos45 : killswitch use mesa, framus, vht, 5150. they usualy use the framus cobras as their main amp on stage then have either a dual or tripple rec for slave, when i saw them in kitchener i think adam was running out of a dual or tripple rec and joel was using the cobra. either way you can get killswitch tone with a 5150 and a maxon od808 or the 9's. but on another note 5150s slay in metal period
    When they where in sweden, both of them had road kings
    axeslinger0u812
    DaBlackE wrote: Slobberjaws wrote: these things are loud as hell...and noisy as hell like DaBlackE says...has anyone got one of these retubed? mines pretty old and i dont think its ever been retubed so i was wondering if anyone has any experience with different kinds of tubes in these I haven't changed the power tubes on mines, I heard the biased is set pretty cold on the heads but hotter on the combos. I can tell you this though, when the preamp tubes go bad it'll sound like shit, you'll get a scratchy sound & your guitar's volume will go up & down. These things are set for 6L6s, so if you change to El34s or 5881s you'll have to rebias the amp.
    I have the combo, and it actually sounds better out of the box than the head. Incredibly noisy amp though and there a different ways to fix it. I've heard tightening the speakers and adding carpeted insulation into the back of the cab helps. I personally don't see the point of a high gain amp without a noise gate except when soloing. Unless it's a really quiet amp. I miss my 5150... I'm a few hundred miles and an ocean away from it.