5150 Head review by Peavey

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  • Sound: 10
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reliability & Durability: 9
  • Features: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 9.8 Superb
  • Users' score: 8.6 (65 votes)
Peavey: 5150 Head

Price paid: $ 600

Purchased from: A Friend

Sound — 10
I have 2 Les Pauls that I play on my 5150. One has EMG 81's and when I dial in the distortion, with no added distortion pedal, it gives me the metal sound I have always desired. I turned the volume up to like 3 1/2 and it was rattling the pictures on the walls. Great lead sounds and chunky deep rythms. it's has a pretty quiet operating sound when not playing. I think my cables suck though so I am probably getting feedback and hum from them. The clean channel takes some time to dial a "clean" sound in but when I use my Les Paul with the stock pickups it's pretty crisp and clean and with a super chorus is pretty clean to my ears. But for the metal head in me all I have to say is hell yeah this thing shreds!

Overall Impression — 10
For metal outstandingly face melting. Blues pretty damn good. I have been playing for 11 years now and plan on playing 11 more with my 5150. I use the 5150 cab also and it's earth shaking. The only effects I use on it are a Bad Horsie Wah and a Boss Super Chorus and it's all I need. If they still made them and this got stolen I would buy a Brand New one but would settle for a used one even. I have played it next to a Blue Voodoo and the guy was using a distortion pedal on top of the amp distortion and I still over powered him and sounded better with the gain on 6 on the lead channel. The only thing I wish it came with was reverb. But no biggie. Overall one badass head for searing leads, brutal metal, and with the right tweaking a variety of lower gain styles.

Reliability & Durability — 9
I have never had a problem with anything going wrong with this amp what so ever. I bumped it and knocked it off my bed and all that happened was a knob fell off. it's got some years on it and all that's happend is a knob so I'm impressed. The tubes have lasted a really long time but I plan on replacing them soon just to get some fresh ones in there. The cover even is durable. I regularly put drinks on it and the rings wipe right off.

Features — 10
So I have owned my 5150 since early 2005 and have been impressed more and more as the years go. I play metal and occasionally blues and this amp will do it both. Yes as other reviews say this head cranks out the metal most excellently and I agree this head shreds. But with some tweaking with the resonance knob and the EQ you can get some great sounds out of either of the 2 channels. It's got plenty of adjustments to dial in a sound from metal to blues and with the right guitar some jazzy stuff. The effects loop works very nice also. If you like warm tube sound with the ability to melt your face off it's great.

2 comments sorted by best / new / date

    the agony scene
    bite_the_bullet wrote: just changed the power tubes to JJ's, SO CRUNCHY! and btw... BDM uses Kranks, JFAC uses VHT and Mesa...
    black dahlia murder use 5150s man
    ZosoLP1822 wrote: iv been looking all over the internet and other guitar shops for this amp head but cant find it. does anyone know some one selling it, or a retailer? i want to get the origonal 5150 head, not the eddie van halen one.
    i don't know what you are on but the original 5150 is "the van halen one" and they quit making them years ago. you have to buy them used