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June 2017 Giveaway

EVH 5150 IIIS EL34 100-watt Tube Head with EL34 Tubes Reviews

5.0 stars based on 8 customer reviews
Questions about the EVH 5150 IIIS EL34 100-watt Tube Head with EL34 Tubes?

Questions about the EVH 5150 IIIS EL34 100-watt Tube Head with EL34 Tubes?

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  • from June 7, 2017Music Background:
    Home Recording

    EVH 5150 iii EL34

    Originally bought the 5150 iii 50 watt and got tired of the volume jump and I came across a deal for this amp so I jumped on it. First off the build is very good quality. The foot switch works as should and there is no click between channels which is nice. The cleans on the green channel are very good with close to no breakup. For me personally I enjoyed how the blue channel has its own character vs. being the sound/mixture between green and red. It's got plenty of sag for guys trying to hit that brown sound. Red channel is as heavy as you can want it. It's very easy to get a tighter gain while having a heavy low end. My only gripe is they still haven't fixed having the standby and power button on the back.

  • from March 2, 2017Music Background:
    Hard rock, Metal, Fusion, Jazz

    British 5150s

    Very dynamic! The improved clean channel is awesome, doesn't break up; very usable for gigs that require clean only.
    The Blue channel is very well designed, very responsive to your playing technique.
    The Red channel is saturation glory, very unforgiving. You must play precise, every nuance shows up.
    When picked softly the amp is sweet, play hard and tear your head off.
    The overall tone is pure EL34 character. Upper midrange emphasis.
    You must understand this, it sounds a bit different than the 6L6 output tube versions. Very tight and quick attack. Perfect on all three channels for accents.
    This amp has it's place.

  • from Portsmouth Virginia February 24, 2017


    I purchased the 5150iii 50 watt and 2x12 cabinet from Sweetwater a couple of years ago. I have enjoyed the 50watt as it sounded great. When I heard the EL34 come out I did some research and decided that I had to have this set up. I ordered the 4x12 and the EL34 head. And OMG this amp is om point! The amp is so versatile. They have thought of everything on this one. Crystal clean sparkle, crunch, and over the top tones. I have no regrets with this amp. Matt Alexander took good care of me. Thanks.

  • from Mandevile, LA February 6, 2017Music Background:
    Professional Guitarist

    THis Amp Does it All

    I got this amp in latter part of 2016 when it first came out. Already had the 50 watt 5150iii I bought from Brian Loney and was already happy with that purchase, however, I wasn't happy with the sharing of clean and crunch channel.
    I play around 4 nights a week and needed a clean, crunch and lead solo sound with different volume levels on each channel. This amp works perfectly for what I need. I set the levels and tones at each sound check. I make minor volume adjustments during the night and that's pretty much all I need to do. I just play and enjoy.
    Thanks Brian Loney. Great purchase for me. I haven't seen an amp yet, that does it all like this one. Three independent channels. Great effects loop too. Loud as you would ever need. What else is there (except go stereo). This can be the fundamental tone to expand from. All analog as far as I know. it has some self noise though. I combat that with an isp decimator II last in the effects loop chain. Like I said, this is the best way to have 3 self contained channels that i've tried and I am very happy with it.

  • from January 3, 2017

    EVH 5150 III 100S EL34

    just got it with matching cab wasn't to impressed with EVH speaker cab looks nice though but i like g12t-75 which i have Marshall cab sounded great with that note it's big will be to big for slant cab that's why they use straight cab it's to deep not by much about 1/4 to 1/2"

  • from December 17, 2016

    Blown away literally

    It's almost to mach power I seldom get it above 3 - you hit the power switch and something comes alive in this amp, this is not normal it's like plugging your guitar into a 747.

  • from New York December 10, 2016Music Background:
    Self taught Metal and Hard Rock

    Perfect marriage of modern and vintage

    This head is phenomenal. I was looking for a head that was along the lines of american modern but still had that british classic crunch. And this is it.
    The blue and red channel are indeed very similiar, so jumping from one to the next for a natural boost is seemless and tight.
    I don't use cleans much, but for such a high gain amp it does sound quite clear.
    Like all the other amps in the 5150III line, this thing is LOUD. At my first gig with this thing I played a nicely sized venue and didn't dare push it past the 11 o' clock position. These tubes scream. No OD pedal needed, seriously. The natural gain from this amp is close to perfection.
    If you're worried about the compression listed in the details, I wouldn't. This amp has tons of clarity and the tiny amount of compression it has really does just make it feel powerful and punchy when playing rythym. Just add a tiny amount of presence to make leads sing at full dynamic capacity.

    Shout out to Ryan, my Sweetwater representative, for hooking me up with such an beastly tone.

  • from Aurora, IL March 16, 2017Music Background:
    Rock Musician of 45 years.

    Exactly what I wanted!

    My EL34 just arrived!
    Been a classic rock musician for 45 years, I play a lot of Van Halen stuff too. have 22 guitars and many, many amps. My previous head was a "high gain" modded Peavey 6505+ (ex 5150 ii), and I have been using it for the last 7 years, quite pleased with it except it has not much of a clean channel .. it uses JJ6L6 Power tubes.

    Lets talk about the cons (and not too negative) about this EL34 first and then onto the good/great stuff....

    The footswitch cable is the 7din-pin type, long enough for gigs, but I immediately put electrical tape around the connectors, because after gigging for a while those screws come lose and eventually fall out. I would have preferred a 1/4 inch jack like some of the Marshall heads have. The power cord is long enough too.The power on/off and standby on/off switches are at the back of the head with only one light in the front, I wish these switches were on the front panel and with two lights. Also at the back, are the 3 Resonance controls for each channel, same again, I wish those were in front. I have already ordered an extra/spare footswitch cable and 3 gold knobs for each of the 3 volume channel controls, so I can see them clearly during gigs. I didn't see a ground switch on this at all?? (maybe its built in)?

    Now for the good stuff....
    The EL34 head is bigger (and heavier) than my Peavey 6505+ head but still fits snugly on top of my Marshall 1960A slant cab with GT75 speakers. Lots of breathing room in the head, you can see right through it. Great for outdoor gigs in the heat.

    As with any high gain amp (and this is super high gain), you must have a noise gate through the series loop to cut out the usual hiss. I also have my reverb and delay through the series loop. They work like a charm, I use an attenuator too, to really drive the amp, tone can change at higher volumes.

    The EL34 power tubes definitely makes a nice and an improved difference from the 6L6 power tubes, my thinking is perhaps the JJ6550's might be even better than EL34's? (but I don't care at this point). It doesn't take too long to dial in your tone for each channel, the clean channel (Green) is awesome, much like the Fender clean sounds and the best I have heard yet. You can plug in an Acoustic if you want, its that clear. The rhythm channel (Blue), has plenty of gain, and I mean plenty, EVH/Fender really fixed this gain issue from the original. The Red solo lead channel has even more gain and again, very sweet sounding. You can switch from each channel (2 & 3) and boost your solo's while 'virtually' keeping the same tone and gain. The trick is to have no hiss on any of the channels which incidentally, switch quietly and instantly.

    I was wary about the mentioned compression, but my ears are not hearing it, I have the presence knobs turned quite high anyway. I no longer need to use a soft overdrive pedal over the gain (2 & 3) channels, again, plenty of gain here and nice clear gain, no fuzz at all. Harmonics of any kind and high squeals are too easy! (think the intro to Mean Street and many other VH songs).

    It sounds much like a Marshall-Plexi-ish and basically you can dial in the exact same tone as Van Halen's first 4 albums with ease. This is exactly what I wanted. Its not all about EVH though, if you are a Randy Rhoads guy, Hendrix, Jake E Lee or Jimmy Page fan, you can dial in their tones with ease too. Remember, with the clarity of this head on any channel, if you play a wrong chord or hit a wrong note during a solo, folks are going to hear it. That's a good thing!

    Overall, well worth the money, don't waste any time, get one now! I can't wait for my next gig to use this!
    Thanks as always to Ed Nysrtrom and his assistants at Sweetwater, they spent time with me, which I was deciding to go with the Stealth or the EL34 and the improved clean channel made go with this one.

    Hope my review was helpful.


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