5150 II Review

manufacturer: Peavey date: 12/16/2011 category: Guitar Amplifiers
Peavey: 5150 II
It's the tone that made history. 120 Watts of pile-driving power voiced to Edward Van Halen's specifications and identical to the amps he uses when touring and recording.
 Sound: 9
 Overall Impression: 9
 Reliability & Durability: 9.5
 Features: 9
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reviews (4) pictures (2) 32 comments vote for this gear:
overall: 9
5150 II Reviewed by: unregistered, on october 19, 2004
1 of 2 people found this review helpful

Purchased from: Sam Ash Music

Features: The 2003 Peavey 5150 combo, is an amazing value, especially for what I paid for it. It is powered by 2 6L6 power tubes and 4 pre-amp tubes (I don't know what brand these were originally they were replaced by the amp's previous owner). It's 2 Sheffield 12" speakers make it more than loud enough to play over drums, but it does have an "out" line so it can be plugged into an external speaker if necessary. This is an amazing amp for almost any style of music you can think of. It has 2 channels (clean and gain) with both a "bright" and a "crunch" switch on the clean channel. The "bright" gives you clean sound a very shimmery and trebly Fender-style sound. The "crunch" button gives you a light distortion that you operate with the "clean-pre" and "clean-pre" knobs. Cranking the post will give you more gain and you can dilute this gain with the "clean post". There is also a "resonance" knob, which, if on 0 will give you a pretty normal sound, but if you crank this knob it will give your tone a very focused quality. This is a very good feature for controlling distortion and noise. // 8

Sound: I'm using mainly, a Jackson DKMG with an EMG 81 in the bridge and an 85 in the neck. These pickups can make alot of gain without alot or work from the amp, so I usually only end up using about half the available gain. I like not having to crank my gain because with a tube-amp like this one the more "post-amp" you can use the ballzier your tone will sound. With my Fender strat, however it requires a little more juice to get it sounding crunchy but thats still no problem for the 5150; just crank up the "lead-pre" and your set. The 5150 can produce pretty much any tone imaginable, it has more than enough power if you want it and a great clean sound and light gain. // 10

Reliability & Durability: This seems to be a very reliable amp, as its second owner I see no real damage that would affect the tone and the tubes are in fine condition. When I got the amp, it had some minor cosmetic damage, but a little crazy-glue and black paint and it was fine. // 8

Overall Impression: I play mostly metal, and this amp suits my style very well, but if I'm every in the mood to bust out a little Blink-182 from my punk-rock days, the 5150 is at the ready and can provide a great Tom Delonge-style sound. I would even go as far as to say that if I was in a mellow enough mood the 5150 would provide a great sound to jam out to a few Enya tunes. So this amp basically has you covered in all facets of your musical tastes. From Anthrax to Yanni the 5150 has you covered. I've had a few other amps and this is by far my favorite. After experimenting with both a Marshall Valvestate and a Fender tube-amp, I think I can safely say that the 5150 is your best bet if you want a versitile amp that can pack a pucnh and deliver great tones. If this amp had a toaster and a mini-fridge I don't think I would ever find it necessary to leave my basement. // 10

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overall: 9.3
5150 II Reviewed by: ToxicTrace100, on december 16, 2011
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 750

Purchased from: Ebay

Features: This amp was made at least ten years ago, since that's about the time Eddie ending his endorsement deal with Peavey to start his own equipment line. This amp has everything a player needs to play hard rock, metal, or punk of any kind. Three channel, clean, rhythm, and lead. With Separate five-band eq for clean/rhythm and lead, this amp will let you dial in everything you need for your live gigs, as well as let you experiment when your in the rehearsal space. 4/8/16 ohm selection, a preamp out and a ground switch along with the essential send and return make the back of this amp a great choice for meat and potato effects loop as well as more complicated rig setups. The front of the amp has the aformention 3 channels, with a bright and crunch switch for the lower gains channels, and the usual five-band Peavey eq for the lead as well as the other two. The amp doesn't come with any reverb or tremolo, but most people interested in buying this don't need these, and if you want to add some headroom to your leads just buy a nice reverb/delay pedal. // 9

Sound: I use and LTD EC-100 with emgs and an SVK Les Paul Custom loaded with old school Gibson pickups, and this amp sounds great with both. The emgs really bring out the low end boom and thump of the amp, great for chugging rhythms and endless sustain, while the Gibson pickups add a more equal sound, bringing up the mids and treble and really making this amp grind. I play extreme metal and some punk, and this amp does it all. Noise becomes present when you turn the gain knob up, but you probably won't notice for long after you hit a note or two. The distortion and equalization on this amp are positively, brutally effective for what they were built for. The gain knob one the lead channel is quite possibly the greatest gift ever given to metal players of all styles, it starts getting real heavy around four on the lead channel, and by 6 its just insane, but the gain past this is still usable, adding a slight treble edge, and well as chunk, but it also comes with a considerable amount of noise, noticeable at this level. The clean channel is useful, but slightly limited. Certain distortion pedals that are often a staple in a live metal rig sound harsh over it, such as the Boss Metal Zone, but other pedals like the old HM-2 sound great when the amp is properly eq'ed. The bright switch is surprisingly useful when putting stompboxes over the clean channel for extra bite, not that you would ever need to. The rhythm channel goes everywhere from crunch to searing hi gain tone, and the lead channel is as mentioned before godlike. Equalization is responsive, you can get old hat boosted mid sounds as well as the most brutal of scooped tones. // 9

Reliability & Durability: This amp is built like a tank, it weighs 65 pounds! It was shipped across the US to me and when I took it out of the box and plugged it right in it played fine. This thing is also loud as HELL, so gigging will never be a problem. If it were stolen I would hunt the fool down to the ends of the earth and crush his legs with the thing, then plug into my Marshall cab and make him go deaf by turning this monster all the way up and blast him with some power chords. // 10

Overall Impression: I play extreme metal mostly, real fast stuff, and this amp handles it, since its pretty much one of the standards. I've been laying music for ten years, and electric instruments for six, guitar for three. I owned a Marshall JCM combo that I wasn't satisfied with, which is why I got this. If I could have asked a question before I bought this the only thing I could think of is how can I get a better clean sound for my stomboxes, but that's such a minimal thing anyway. I compared this to a new 6505 and I liked the tone better, sinces its more old school and 80s, early 90s. I positively love the gain I have on tap, as well as the eq, and if I'm not getting what I need I can just use a graphic eq. If it were stolen I would hunt the fool down to the ends of the earth and crush his legs with the thing, then plug into my Marshall cab and make him go deaf by turning this monster all the way up and blast him with some power chords. // 9

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overall: 9
5150 II Reviewed by: PacoWang, on february 04, 2004
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 800

Purchased from: Music Shack

Features: I play in a tech metal band, a bluesy rock band, and an indie rock band. This amp delivers plenty of gain for my tech metal stuff, has a good crunch for my bluesy rock band, and for my indie rock band. It has a clean (rhythm) channel, which i will admit isn't very clean. it starts to get a tad bit gritty when you crank it, but that's ok with me. The clean channel has a crunch switch on it, which gives it just a crunch, not a distortion (self explanitory I'd say). The real sweetspot of this amp is the distortion (lead) channel. It has more gain than anyone will ever need. I am in love with it. This amp doesn't have reverb, but I don't care because I have a pedal for that. It's 120 all tube watts, and it has more than enough power for me. // 10

Sound: I use this amp with a 1983 BC Rich warlock with EMG pickups for the tech metal band. It is so fucking brutal. For the bluesy rock and indie rock band, I use a tele with dimarzio t-zone pickups. It could be a bit more clean...but oh well, I don't really care. This amp is bloody brutal. I will tell you right now, it's made for metal. Don't buy it if you aren't going to play metal. // 8

Reliability & Durability: I keep this head in a flight case...so I've never had trouble with it breaking. This head has not broken. Probably because i'm so cool. // 10

Overall Impression: Perfect head for metal, and pretty good for the rock and indie I play. I've been playing for 3 years, and I own a Marshall JCM900, a Fender hot rod deville, and a few guitars. This is definitely my favourite amp. I would definitely buy another one if this were stolen or lost. I love everything about it, except for the clean, could be better. // 8

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overall: 9.3
5150 II Reviewed by: unregistered, on october 30, 2008
0 of 1 people found this review helpful

Price paid: C$ 1100

Purchased from: eBay

Features: It's an older model, I bought it used. Has the footswitch, two channels. The cleanish/rhythm channel has a crunch Switch and a bright Switch to change your tone a bit, depending on what you want. Also has an effects loop. I use this amp for recording, I also use it live. I play the head model with two 4x12 Marshall cabinets. // 9

Sound: The first time I turned this amp on, I swear to god a baby died. This thing is so brutal! I play through it with a Schecter C-1+ with EMG 85/81 combo, and a Schecter C-7 Hellraiser. I usually don't use any pedals recording, but Live I use a Maxon OD808 and a Boss NS-2. I use the NS-2 Live because at high volumes, it tends to get trebly and middy, and hiss a bit. The NS-2 calms that all down and cuts feedback substantially. Anyways, on to the tone. You can get anything out of it, depending on your EQ. I don't play anything but metal, and I do that professionally. I'm sure though, if you wanted a crunchier sorta Ted Nugent sound, you could do so with the rhythm channel and the crunch Switch on. The lead channel is what you turn on to slay whole families and feel like you just curb-stomped a baby. It's so powerful, I use the gain on 6 and that's more than enough for my band, which is metal. If you crank your gain any higher than that on this beast, you need to learn to play and control your tone with your hand, not your amp. // 9

Reliability & Durability: This is a tank. I have used it while gigging as a backup, as I only have it for an amp. It's dropped off of my stack, back when I only had a single 4x12 so luckily it only dropped a few feet, but I picked it up and kept playing with it, although I had to turn it off and back on again. I have had tubes break in it, but thats expected with a tube amp. If you buy a tube amp expecting to never repair or replace anything, for gods sake, get a solid state amp. // 10

Overall Impression: I love this amp. If it was stolen, I would find the person Who did it and kill them and their family. I would curb-stomp their babies and write a song about it. I play in a death metal band, and this thing suits it perfectly. I love everything about it, the only complaint I have is the insane amount of highs and mids it has when you crank the post-gain (volume) up. This is all fixable via an EQ or if you have mad amp-tweaking skills (like me). I'm glad it is so spartan and bare. If it had built-in effects and all that stuff, it wouldn't be the same. The fact that it is so simple and bare leaves a lot of room for your own personal mods and your own effects, rather than having built-in effects that you really don't like. If you like heavy music and want a relatively cheap amp that you'll never find a replacement for, get this amp. It's so close to perfection, it's almost unbelievable the first time you plug it in. // 9

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