When I first played the EVH 5150 III 50W Head, I was extremely surprised by its rich, full tone; especially for being a "mini" amp. Tonally, it stays true to its bigger brother in the EVH line: a pristine clean channel, a great crunch channel, and a third channel with an absurd amount of gain! The 5150III 50-watt is now the latest addition to my ever growing amp collection and is now a mainstay in my live guitar rig. The added MIDI functionality made it convenient to program with my multi-fx processors. My other guitarist ended up buying one too! Setup and teardown is a whole lot easier now.
This thing is great
So, I've played this in stores before, amongst other amps, and decided this was the one. As my first tube amp that I've owned, I figured Fender-like cleans with 5150 gain was hard to pass up, for under $1K at that. I am now very happy I made that decision. This amp holds up to everything I've expected of it, and more.
For instance, the "preamp out" actually sounds terrific. I'm currently waiting on the mesa cab I ordered with this, and am just playing though amplitube. And even with the simulated cabs it sounds great.
Can't say enough good things. Its built like a tank, and its extremely easy to dial in good tones. Try it out, you won't be disappointed.
EVH 5150 3 50 watt amp
Just received the 5150/ 50 and it is the best $1000 I've spent on anything in a long time! If you're thinking about buying it, just pull the trigger and do it as you will not be disappointed. Period! Thanks to Jeff at Sweetwater for your help and support, you're great man.
Holy crap. It sounds.... just... wow. Buy this amp now.
EVH for life!!!
I spent tons and tons of time and money on tone searching. I went through countless pedals, string/gauge changes, pick changes, cable testing, etc...but, also went through 4 cabs, 5-6 amps, and a few combo amps...I had been in the studio and the Producer had an old JCM800 running through an old Orange cab...80s, I think. I went to the store to check on that...found my Orange cab, but at the time was running a Bogner through it. Sounded good, but the Bogner gave out on me. I absolutely HAD to have another head. Went back to the store...I remembered the JCM, but couldn't find any at a reasonable price...checked out the Blackstar....it was very close to Marshall, but sounded a bit too.....uh....just wasn't it. (had my Orange cab with me for the test).....I am an EVH fan. He's the reason I play. Anyway...I saw the head sitting there....and just figured, "why the hell not?"...it took me all of 30 seconds to fall in love with this amp! The tone...the clarity...the smoothness AND the balls....no more endless tone searching!
The only oddity is the extreme volume difference between the 3 channels......here's the best settings I found....
Channel 1 set to about 8-9, Channel 2 set to around 5-7, and 3 on 3.
On 1, pristine, beautiful clean tone....on 2, the greatest rock crunch you will EVER find....channel 3...even with the volume at 3.....holy moly!!
This is the ONLY rig I will EVER use live...ever...I play country, rock, metal & blues....EVH 5150 III Mini through an Orange cab just does it all!
For rehearsals, and compact needs, I run it through an EVH 1x12 cab....sounds great.
EVH 50 Watt Head
This amp is by far the most versatile, see below:
1. super, very full and bright - none better
2. classic, high gain, EVH tone
3. insane distortion and gain
- So, powerful enough to drive big cabinets - absolutely.
Having owned this head for 2 years now, among others, (Orange 7/15 w/ matching cab; Blackstar HT 5 w/ matching cab and some Crate and Marshall's over the years - 40 +), there are some things to consider -
1. speaker - must use stock or greenback
2. settings - use channel 1 for clean, but with a little higher gain than you would normally use for a clean tone (turn down you guitar / pickup) and for your most robust, HIGH GAIN passages, go to channel 2 and set at 1 o'clock (blue). It evens out nicely if set with Channel 3 (red) on a gain of 3 (9 o'clock) and very low volume. Now you have three equal volumes with significantly different tones for your music (use your P.A. system for volume) - EVH was not an idiot, most just do not think like he does. Joe Walsh used an 8" Fender Champ / George Lynch had a similar approach to tone but with Marshall.
The complaint, including myself initially on this head was the problem with channel 1/2 combo. You will get plenty of gain using channel 3 as your main dirty channel if you keep the gain at 3, and then, higher gain / fuller moments - use channel 2 and you can still step back to a "plenty if volume" channel 1 for cleans. I hope this helps - very versatile if you think!
evh 5150 III 50 watt Head
This is the best sounding amp I have ever played through,period!!!
My favorite amp I've owned. Great cleans, and balls to the wall gains. 3 great channels, The only downside is that the channel 1 and channel 2 share the same volume, and the volume discrepancy is very noticeable. But that shouldn't stop you because it's still a great amp.
It won me over
I have to admit that because I was never really into Eddie Van Halen, I always ignored the EVH 100w which is a dumb reason I know. Also, the price kept me away. I am a gigging musician but my gigs dont pay enough for that investment. So the 100 watt was out of the question. However the 50 watt was more reasonable. Thing is I have been playing a JCM2000 DSL100 for over 10 years so I thought going to 50 watts would be like having half an amp. Boy was I wrong.I was shopping for a backup amp because the DSL100 was becoming unreliable. I had the Bugera Trirec on preorder here and was also contemplating getting a Blackstar HT100. During this wait period, I ran into an Ivory EVH in a shop in NYC. I couldnt help hating on it because I thought it was so overrated. So I was jamming on the Blackstar. The Blackstar did what it was supposed to do. Sounded pretty tight and had a nice crunch but it almost felt like it should be wearing a tie...can't describe it, like it was just missing something, very conservative I thought. So when the kid finished playing the EVH, I plugged in and was blown away by the gain on this little amp. Then I realized I was playing on the blue channel... activated Red Channel and it sounded like gain heaven! made the other amps I played that night feel like grampa amps. I was in love. Even my wife said it sounded damn good...MY WIFE. So I tried to crank it a bit but I could only go so far. I took a chance and ordered it with Sweetwater anyways. Would 50 watts be enough to stand out in a Hardcore punk band where loud is the norm? All I can say is hell yes. it's even made my boost pedal obsolete. Very easy to get too loud in our rehearsal room (on 4). Even live most places are mic'ed so it was way more than enough volume for what I do. I seem to enjoy the blue channel more since I can get a real raw sound out of it, but I indulge in some red now and then. I gave it a 5 because It did blow me away and did so at a great price. Oh and the DSL is now my backup.
This is Defiantly the best amp I have EVER owned! I have been through a ton of different heads, Included 100 watt Marshall’s to Carvin To Line 6, This one blows them out of the water. From the full and Rich cleans9No Twang) That you get from the green Channel to the Blue Channels more hard rock/groove metal tone, it stands alone in power and versatility. Hit the red Channel for Over the top Distortion worthy of the Metal Gods!!! I play this amp through the 4x12 EVH cabinet with a boss NS-2 Noise suppressor Pedal and A Boss DD6 Digital Delay Pedal, and the sound is amazing. I recommend this amp to any and all guitarists, It rules!!!!!!!
An Improvement of an Old Design
I bought this amp not because I am an Eddie fan, but because I know the previous designs were capable of the most articulate and ballsy high gain ever for modern metal. I have a Peavey 5150 and struggled to get good recorded sounds out of it for years, but it took me mere months to get sounds out of this new one. It retains all the massive low end and low mids the original can give you, yet the PRESCENCE knob is much more effective in tightening the amp's sound. It affects the sound at about 3 on the dial whereas I had to crank the original's to 8. The distortion is tiny bit different than the originals-it has a "fizz" added to it that can't be dialed out, but it is a good fizz.My only gripe is that the STANDBY, ON/OFF, and RESONANCE controls are located on the posterior of the amp. I can only vouch for the red channel, I don't use the others.There is a good comparison video of the tone posted online vs a Soldano and original Peavey
I love this EVH Head
Love it. Kicks ***
Best 50w Head In The World. Ever.
Title says it. I wanted an amp that could be used by itself but also able to power preamp simulations with my Line6 Pod HD Pro. I wanted even more. I wanted to carry it easily, not worry about cooling (front and rear vents are best for live-in ATA cases). I use a VooDoo GCP for midi channel switching; the EVH 5150III allows me to do just that. My cab is a Mesa 2x12 vertical that matches aesthetically as well as sonically. I loved how the Peavey 5150 had the power cable wrap mount but the chord didn't detatch....well this amp does both! The even has a 1/4" jack for headphones. This thing just keeps blowing my mind with features. Simply put: This amp has all of the features I would want on a custom amp. There is a reason why it is becoming so popular even with major artists.
The icing on the cake is the free footswitch w/cable and a speaker cable.
You get all of this PLUS Sweetwater's sweet candy. This purchase was by far the best purchase I have/will ever made/make. Thinking about when I bought this amp still makes me geek out.
This amp has such amazing tone. Cleans are shimmering, crunch channel can get really Brown, and the lead channel has sooo much usable gain on tap.. I play a lot of hard rock to extreme metal and could not ask for a better amp. Loving channel 2 with gain about 3/4 with a Maxon OD808 pushing it..... Insane! No matter what type of music you play, this amp really has ALL your tonal bases covered. Best grand I've ever spent
Bottom line up front, this amp head is amazing. I have a Peavey 6505+ 112 combo and this thing along with the EVH 2x12 blows that thing to pieces. The chords sound searing and the individual notes are like daggers with this thing on Channel 3.
Yes there is a volume jump that is undesirable when switching from Channel 1 to 2 but the way i see it you are going to dial 1 or 2 in and then 3. The cleans on channel 1 by the way are very good, and is far beyond what the 6505+ can offer.
This amp is LOUD!! Let there be NO confusion when I tell you that this thing is a LOUD 50 2atts and can easily be used for small to medium gigs.
I've owned several metal amps, to include the holy grail Mesa Dual Rectifier Roadster, and this thing for my tastes hits the spot. The Mesa is a great amp, but the tones I can get out of the EVH 5150 III are far superior for my tastes.
A+, bravo EVH, bravo.
P.S. I owned the 2x12 combo version of this amp briefly and it doesn't sound nearly as good as the amp head and 2x12 cab together, plus it is HEAVY compared to the individual weights of the amp and speaker cab, your back will thank you. Also, the attenuator on the combo amp even at 1w will make your windows rattle.
Super impressed by the head. If you're thinking about getting it, get it. Currently using it in studio ONLY, but it's definitely loud enough to play decent venues. The tone is killer.
Where to begin?
Best. $1000. Ever. Honestly, the lead channel on this amp has such amazing distortion. A lot of people run the Ibanez TS808 in front of this, but I don't. I have tried it and think it sounds too death metal. It sounds Djent, if any of you know what I mean by that.
Clean - Great marks on the clean. It's very easy to get a good clean tone.
Ch 2 - Although I run a midi/rack effects loops, I still don't play with this channel. The volume jump between 1 and 2 (shared channel/EQ/volume) is very drastic. You can compensate with your effects loops by boosting your cleans, should you want this distortion, but I'm too in love with Ch3 to use this.
Ch 3 - I am absolutely in love with this distortion. I play a Schecter C-1 Custom (Royal Blue, Seymor Duncan Custom Custom 59 in the bridge), and I also play a James Tyler Variax JTV-59 through this thing (two guitars, two tunings). This channel on par with Engl. Yes, I have played Engl, Mesa, 6505, Bogner, and I actually own an Egnater Vengeance (my 2nd favorite head on the market). For hard rock/metal/hi gain, basically Van Halen on up to Lamb of God, this amp is as good it gets, literally. (My opinion, but also a very popular opinion in the professional music industry).
My advice/suggestions: Get this amp if you love an awesome distortion. This is the loudest 50 watts you'll every play, I promise. I play mine side by side with my other guitar player's Mesa Triple Rec and my volume blows his out of the water. Get this head and the EVH 5150iii 4x12. It's a tonal monster. Here's my setup, to which I highly recommend, as it sounds perfect.
Guitar (named above) --->
Line 6 HD 500X (pre fx: compressor, EQ, gate, boost, drive, etc.) --->
5150 50w input --->
5150 fx send --->
Digitech GSP1101 (post fx: filters, reverb, chorus, delay, etc.) --->
BBE 382i Sonic Maximizer --->
5150 fx return --->
This is my .02. Does the volume jump between ch1 and ch2 stink? Yes, but you can work around it. The point is you're getting the sound quality of a 2-3000 dollar head here.
I've had this head for 6 or so months now. I'm blown away every time I play it. It comes loaded with 7 JJ 12AX7's in the preamp! Those are some top quality tubes and even a Mesa Dual Rec only has 5 12AX7s. The durability of this amp is great. I've gigged with it since I bought it. No technical hickups whatsoever. The tolex is tough, the wood doesn't dent easily, the knobs and switches are all solid as a rock. If this amp died, I would immediately replace it with the exact same head. I <3 this amp.
Best money I've spent!
Blows away my Marshall in versatility and and clarity. The clean channel is pure. The Crunch on 2 and 3 is AMAZING! Found myself setting volume on 1 and 3 to match and skipping over channel 2 because of the volume jump. Still working on getting my tone with both my les pauls dialed in but right out of the box I love this amp!
I just picked this up and I'm totally blown away by it. I went the AxeFX route for awhile, tried out the Kemper, but I just missed playing a raw tube amp.
What I play a lot of right now is 80's, 90's, and current rock/punk/pop songs for a cover band. Also recently a lot of 80's metal. I'm also always big into the current metal style (ABR, MMF, there's an endless list).
I'm convinced you can't buy a better amp for the money, especially for any type of rock/metal or anything along those lines. The clean channel is crisp and bright, it's no Shiva clean, but it's really damn good. The crunch channel is exactly what you're probably expecting. There's plenty of gain to play just about anything, and it cleans up well for some classic rock.
The lead channel is ridiculous. I have the gain set at about 9:30 (3-3.5) and it's searing. There is so much gain on tap, but it still remains articulate.
Oh, this is amp is loud. REALLY loud.
The shared volume between clean and crunch is my only gripe, but it really is not that big of a deal. It's definitely not as big of a jump as some might have you expect.
If you're considering this amp even the slightest bit, you won't be disappointed with it. Everyone at practice was just as excited to hear it as I was. Get this amp and get rockin' already!
From crystal cleans to brutal metal this thing delivers. I have a Peavey 6505+ that I love but wanted more clarity and articulation and this is exactly what I needed. What I don't like is the power and standby switches are on the back of the amp as well as the resonance knob is on the back. I think the resonance control should atleast but up with the rest of the tone controls. Otherwise amazing amp.
This thing is amazing. I've been using mesa rectos and peavey 5150s since the early 90's, and never thought I would find an amp I liked better, but this thing is it! It is much more organic than the 100 watt version, which I felt was a bit cold and sterile. The one problem with it is the shared eq on the clean and crunch channels. Because of this there is a volume jump when switching from clean to crunch. The good part is this is easily fixed with any midi fx unit since the 5150iii mini has midi switching. You just have to adjust the patch volume on your fx unit to boost the clean volume. The bottom line is this thing will rock your world, you will not be disappointed!
EVH 5150 III Mini 50W Head
I have had my 5150 III Mini with EVH 112 Cab almost a week. This amp covers a lot of sonic levels and is amazing. I use a Digitech RP500 in the effects loop with DiMarzio CrunchLab Bridge and LiquiFire in the neck with an Ibanez RG920. I'm so picky about the tone and this amp delivers on the chunk. I have to say using Monster cables does make a difference. And Sweetwater Rocks!
Works For Me!
I'm an Old Guy. But I love my metal and Heavy Rock. This amp gave me essentially, what I have been looking for.
*I need a great Clean: pretty darn close.
*I need a crunch tone that can go from middy to a flat out fry your face feel: Check!
*I need three channels: The EVH lll has 3 channels but switching from clean to the 2nd channel can be a bit complicated if you want a smooth transition. You can get it, but it takes some time and serious tweaking.
*I really needed a smooth, extremely distorted lead channel that didn't sound like the highs were taking over the world. The EVH accomplished that.
The weight is a bit much for me, but not for an amp this size with tubes(Back issues don'tcha know). I was pleasantly pleased with all the extras the EVH came with(see description on Sweetwater site for EVH lll).
In conclusion; I love the EVH, the tone is versatile and the degree of gain is absurdly wonderful(if you like that). The look is in my opinion, very modern with a tinge of retro. I'm more than pleased with my purchase and my more talented Son, wants one now, and he knows his stuff. I'm sold.
I'm aware, completely, of my curious amp needs, but I'm sure I'm not alone. Not everyone wants to sound like the next guy. The EVH gave me the resources to sound like what was in my head...to sound like me.
Versatile Amplifier, Recommended
Nice amp. The Green (clean) channel is 'ok'. Not the greatest clean I have ever heard but certainly not the worst. It dirties up pretty quickly. I guess you wouldnt buy this amp for the cleans, really, anyway. Skipping over to the 'Red' channel, you have so much gain available it isnt funny, but the tone/presence/resonance controls do a great job of allowing you to sculpt it to your liking. As other reviewers have said, the 'Blue' channel is where this amp really shines. Great Eddie tones that can be dialed back to more traditional classic rock sounds etc. (Wait Eddie is 'classic rock' now isnt he?)
Smells like a Fender amp, seems to be built well. It comes stock with JJ's. A versatile amp that fits in well between my Mesa Express and my Marshall TSL. 4.5 stars because I think the Green channel could be a little better (Its a Fender after all!)
Dealing with Sweets is always easy and painless, my Sales Engineer Ken Davis is a cool guy and has always been very helpful.
I was a little hesitant at first when I bought this amp but that changed quickly. This thing is a tonal monster. It gets anywhere from creamy cleans to ridiculous gain. If you are searching for an great tube amp and don't want to spend $2000 or more then this is your amp.
Cons is that their is a volume jump between Channel 1 and 2. Other than that this is a hell of an amp. You will not be disappointed.
Tone tone tone
The only flaw is channel 1 and 2 share eq and master volume. Other than that it's a beast!! One of the best hi gain amps out there. The clean channel is surprisingly clean. The midi feature is a huge plus. Best amp for the bucks for sure!
First of all some people are saying that this is a lunch box head with no headroom and that`s a ridiculous statement, this head is far from a 5 watt lunch box this is a tonal monster. The clean is good enough, channel 2 is great and channel 3 is insane the gain is massive!!!! I love my Bugera 333xl but the constant failures got me tired and frustrated finally bought this beast which is easier to carry around. I`m very happy with this head and the service at Sweetwater, Bob Mondock is the man.
Why 4.5 stars? Because the volume jump between CH1 and CH2 is BIG. If you adjust the gain at 5 or past 5 the volume difference will not be that much but with the gain below 5 you are screwed.
EVH 50 Watt Head
This is amp is great. Channels 2&3 definetly have that evh sound. While channel 1 has a fender type sound. I love this amp taking that I play a lot of VH and ACDC. The only problem is that the standby switch is switched. On=Off and Off=On. Overall a great versatile amp.
Greathe, but seems to fall apart
I enjoyed it for a while, then the knobs began to fall off of the front. After this the amp all together stopped working and I have yet to figure out why. It was amazing until it stopped working.
Cool little amp for writing and recording. Would never gig with it.
Pros: All three channels sound great on their own. The resonance control is a massive plus. Midi switchable.
Cons: Footswitch or midi must be used for the FX loop. Massive volume jump between clean and dirt channels. Stock tubes were absolute junk.
Overall, I would have loved to see a dedicated FX loop button on the back but I can live without it. For what I needed at the time, this does alright.
Would be a pretty good one-channel amp
I spent a good hour messing with one at my local music store. I thought the second (rhythm channel) sounded decent, almost as good as a Fender Hot Rod Deluxe, though.
Big problem is, when playing channel 2 at the desired level I would then switch to the clean channel. The volume difference was so huge there was no way to realistically be able to use the clean channel in a live situation, the clean channel was so quiet (shared volume knob for channels 1 and 2) you could barely hear it compared to how loud channel 2 was. The only solution would be to turn the amp up for a good clean level and use your guitar's volume knob to adjust or else you'll go from an inaudibly quiet clean to an overly loud rhythm. But adjusting the volume on the guitar obviously changes the tone of the second channel and if you don't do it, you're going to be way, way too loud. No way I could use the amp live to play ballads that kick in to rocking/distorted sections.
The third channel was too hissy to even use. After testing several amps from Fender and Marshall before the EVH, the amount of hiss was shocking. Even with the gain set to 1 and my guitars volume turned off you can hear this loud bed of hiss. Really no way to use it for recording unless you're willing to spend time cleaning up the track afterwards with EQ/noise removal software.
Not the worst amp I've ever played through, but other than using the second channel for recording, I can't see a situation where this amp would be useable. Crazy that Eddie Van Halen would have ever put his name on the thing.
Not as versatile as you'd think or hope.
I've had this amp for over a year now, and I've hated it ever since it showed up. The volume jump from channel 1 to channel 3 is so drastic, that is doesn't even make sense to even have your cleans and distortions on the same amp. Despite what others may say, the cleans on this amp are NOT sufficient enough without 3 to 4 other pedals to dress up the sound. The lack of a reverb knob is also ESPECIALLY annoying. The 100 watt has one, why wouldn't the 50 watt?? The "crunch channel" is okay, but here's where my complaints with this amp really begin. The crunch and distortion channel have a particularly harsh characteristic about them, that can really only be done away with with an EQ pedal. ARE YOU SERIOUS?! If you're just playing (insert common metal guitar company here) tuned to drop C and only playing breakdowns and open strings or power chords, you'll probably love this amp. But if you're like me and want to be able to use different guitars without insane inconsistency with one guitar sounding okay, but the next three having no clarity in tone and a sizzling distortion channel, do yourself a favor, and spend your $1000 on something else. I'm really upset I did a payment plan with this amp, and then to have it be almost impossible to get a good sound out of. Sweetwater is great, always have been, always will be. But this amp, just flat out sucks. TRY BEFORE YOU BUY!!