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EVH 5150 III 50-watt Tube Head - Ivory Reviews

4.5 stars based on 20 customer reviews
Questions about the EVH 5150 III 50-watt Tube Head - Ivory?

Questions about the EVH 5150 III 50-watt Tube Head - Ivory?

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  • from January 29, 2017

    Excellent Amp

    Ok, I've had the amp for just over a year now so thought I'd add my $.02 here versus jumping in all excited justifying my spend and enamored with a bright new shiny object. I play mostly classic rock and gritty blues (the usual suspects). So I have had Peavey (Delta Blues), Line6, Hughes & Kettner, Fender (blues Jr NOS), Marshall (TSL100)...I wanted an amp that could scale both from a clean to dirty sound/tone...additionally I wanted an amp that could play at bedroom/living room volumes without compromising tone at lower volumes..or play at larger gigs; this amp does both--really well. I am mostly interested in addressing 2 things: concerns on the volume jump between Channel 1 & 2; and the stigma that this is a metal head/shredder machine (sure it accommodates that well) BUT This amp is great for classic rock and blue and it far more versatile than you may think. As for the volume jump from Green to Blue...yes it is a bit of a hassle at lower volumes... when cranked out and dimed it's less prevalent fyi. So one thing I have done to accommodate it if I intend to bounce between channels is to put the Red channel gain at about "7 oclock" (lowest you can go) and regulate the volume to where it's transparent between the Green and the Red channel....Blue is in a league by itself - my fav channel for crunch...I don't know that I've heard a better sounding crunch from any amp boutique or otherwise. BUT the volume jump between Green and Blue is significant...so you can spend waaaaay too much time dicking around trying to sort that out....try what I suggested with embracing the Red channel on the lowest gain and it will perform close to the Blue channel...hence you will have a clean and a driven sound with the dB fluctuation at a minimum. It's a great amp with excellent build quality...and again, if you removed any reference to EVH...it would be embraced by a wider swath of musical styles...mostly I have seen the shredder vids that (aside from the lack of skills) pigeon hole this amp as a metal machine only.

    My Sweetwater guy is Ed Needler - the guy is awesome to work with...great company too.

  • from California December 11, 2016Music Background:
    Played guitar for going on 20 years.

    Amp of the GODS!!!!!!

    Great sound, gain, and cool look. Awesome for small gigs and recording.

  • from Kansas October 5, 2015Music Background:
    Working Musician

    I tried but....

    I recently made a review of this amp about 2 and a half weeks ago. It's titled "Mini my ***". And if you read it then you already know I loved the tone of this amp but unfortunately the reliability fell way short of satisfactory. I recieved my first one and the pre amp tubes were bad. Sweetwater took care of it for me and I had a new one in two days. Well I played on my second one for not even 3 weeks and the power tubes went out in the middle of a song, in the middle of our set. Luckily I've learned the hard way in the past and I always bring a backup amp just in case. It sucks but I chose not to get another one of these amps. Last thing I need to do is worry about is my amp crapping out on me. So this is the first bad review on this amp that I could find and I hate to be the one writing it but people need to know what happened.

  • from Kansas September 16, 2015Music Background:
    Working Musician

    Mini my ***!!!

    Wow is this amp awesome!!! There's nothing mini about it. I can get good cleans (not great but hey its a tube amp it's suppose to be a little on the dirty side) out of it. The blue channel is sick. I'm gonna say pretty much what everyone else has. The blue channel is the money maker in my opinion on this amp. It's extremely versatile. The red channel is awesome in its own class as well. I don't turn the gain up past half on this channel just because I don't need it lol. Plus you start getting a little extra noise and I don't think it's worth it tone wise. I did receive a head with some bad preamp tubes but sweetwater took care of it for me. I had my replacement in 2 days!!! As far as how well built this amp is well... only time will tell but it's extremely heavy built. It doesn't look like they cut corners on material to save on cost when it comes to that. Now as far as the volume jump goes I don't know what all the fuse is about. I think it's perfect for a live show. Usually when I'm playing the clean channel the drummers playing soft then when we pick it up I switch to the blue channel and it cuts right through the mix perfectly. I have no complaints about that. And in all honesty it's a small jump. Nothing major. Overall I love this amp. I haven't played on too many high class amps but with owning this it'll be a while before I buy another one. It's simple and straight to the point which is melting your face off with a ton of tone! Awesome job eddie and fender. I'm a rock player and never in my dreams I thought I would own a fender amp to achieve the tones Ive been looking for until I played this amp!!!

  • from San Francisco Ca July 27, 2015Music Background:
    Lead Guitarist ....The Love Below

    Simply the Best

    The richest, smoothest and most beautifully voiced high gain amp on the planet and coming from a long history with Bogner and Marshall that is really saying something . The clean channel is articulate and multi dimensional and the breakup comes on with exceptional character and musicality from pasty Texas blues to classic rock all the way to all out modern metal assault . I am an extremely demanding and difficult customer and the staff at Sweetwater were nothing short of magnificent. Ask for my sales engineer Andy , A knowledgeable , attentive professional who exceeded all expectations by a mile with his integrity. I will never buy from any other retailer ...This is the ONLY place I will do business with from now on .....FIVE STARS!!!!!!!

  • from Salem, IN July 19, 2015Music Background:
    Played rock for 45 years.

    One Mean SOB

    This is one hot amp head. I can't say enough good things about it. You must give it a try if you after a hard hitting head with all the power 99% of us need.

  • from Chicago, IL March 28, 2015

    The Hype is Real

    My five stars are based more on the quality to value ratio than anything else...for the price paid in conjunction with sound quality, it can't be beat. The clean channel is fantastic, and if you bring your own reverb to the table you'll be in Fender heaven. Yes, the volume jump to channel two IS annoying, but as others have said, if you're playing live with the gain set higher for the blue and green channels, it is definitely less noticeable. Red channel throws flames yet stays pretty darn quiet considering how much gain is on tap. I can't imagine turning the gain up past 3 or 4, and will likely never need a boost.

    One last reminder...the resonance and presence knobs are your friends! USE THEM, especially when playing the amp in different rooms or with different cabs! They make a world of difference.

  • from South Jersey November 3, 2014Music Background:
    Guitar teacher/tech/Guitar gear nerd to the max

    This amp... was crafted by a true guitar God, Edward Van Halen, This amplifier does not have 3 channels, there for 3 sounds, more like, 3 channels

    Channel 1... Clean with a good amount of breakup, throw in an OD an you've got tons of options

    Channel 2... can go from light blues, classic rock, modern rock, Metal Rhythm..

    Channel 3... Well this channel just does every single metal sound known to man, the most responsive amp to the volume knob on the guitar i have ever played

    FX loop control, INSANE Low end Shaping abilities, Takes pedals extremely well, took a look around inside the amp, they REALLY do a fine job down at that Mexico fender plant because this is some amazing workmanship

  • from South Jersey October 9, 2014Music Background:
    Basement dweller that occasionally surfaces on a stage.

    Awesome Amp. Awesome Customer Service

    What can I say... It's phenomenal! I've been thinking about buying this amp for months now but concern about being able to keep the volume down to basement levels has kept me from pulling the trigger (all I read was how loud it can be). I do play out on occasion but I spend more time in the basement so good sound at lower volumes is important. I finally came across some forum posts that raved about how good it is at low volume so I figured I'd give it a shot and I'm impressed. It screams at low volumes just about as well as it does on the ear bleeding side of the volume knob. All three channels are great. The clean is Fender clean which I love and cranking the gain up gives you some really sweet break up to the sound. The 2nd channel rips in a classic rock kind of way and the 3rd channel can just plain melt your face off. I was even able to back the gain down on the 3rd channel and use if for leads while using channel two for rhythm. This amp was designed by the reigning King of Guitar and it shows. Eddie and Fender are a match made in heaven.

    As for customer service, Sweetwater and Aaron, my phone rep, can't be beat. Aaron went out of his way to ensure I was satisfied and shipping was very quick. I even got a follow up call to see if everything was OK. There was one small error in my order (accessories) but Aaron went above and beyond to rectify the situation. I was pretty sure customer service was a dead art until I dealt with these guys... it lives! Thanks guys!

  • from St. Louis May 17, 2014

    Awesome Amp

    I've had this amp for about 3 months now and it's becoming one of my favorites. I aslo have a Mesa Boogie dual recitifer and a Marshall JVM so it has some tough competion at my house. All 3 channels of the 5150 III are excellent. Although, I do agree with everyone else that the volume bump from the Green channel to the Blue channel is a little annoying. This would be frustrating in a live setting but I mostly do home recording and jam sessions these days. To be honest I rarely use a clean setting anyway. I use to own a Peavey 5150 but this is a completely different sounding amplifier. The EVH is much more musical to my ears and covers more sonic territory. If you're looking for a versatile great sound rock amp you can't beat the EVH 5150 III for sound quality and price.

  • from Wichita, KS USA September 1, 2013Music Background:
    Performing Musician.

    Love this amp and not even an EVH fan

    From the time I got it out of the box and hooked up to the time it took me to find the tone I was looking for, was literally all of five minutes. And man, what a tone it was. I was hesitant to get this at first because channel 1 and 2 share settings. It was a waste of worry. I get a clean tone I love and my rhythm sound is perfect. I use Channel 3 for Lead work and set it a little louder than channel 1 and 2. Other than my noise gate (an ISP Decimator Pro Rack G), I am using no effects. The other guitar player in my band uses a Mesa Simul-class 2:90 with a Mesa 4x12 and this keeps up nicely. There is no need to get the 100 watt version of this.

  • from Cherokee North Carolina May 24, 2013Music Background:
    I'm a face melter

    Heed my warning.

    My warning is if you don't get this amp I will find you and I will kill you.

    If you play metal or rock or anything get this amp.the clean Chanel is really good for 80s ballads and the like.the next channel is really heavy. Once you get to the 3rd channel people's faces start melting so play at your own risk people. I was originally drawn to the peavey 6505+ because a lot of bands use it but I got this instead because this amp head magically makes your playing 1000x better. Just turn it on and your dreams will come true with this beast. All in all get this amp man.

    Ps: this amp turns you into Eddie van Halen.

  • from Port richey florida April 22, 2013Music Background:
    Classic rock, metal, hardcore, deathcore, experimental guitarist

    Beastly

    I originally ordered this amp through another popular website because a had a 15 % off promo code. The back order date kept getting pushed back and I was getting very impatient so I started calling around all the competitors to see if they could match my price. A few could match the price but had the same backorder dates. I decided to stayput but sweet water kept calling me back to keep me updated. They displayed great customer service and manors. They ended up getting it first and shipped it in a very timely manor. A bag of candy even came in the box.

    The amp sounds superb! The over all tone is very crisp and in your face. The clean Chanel chimes like a fender should. The one down side is that channel one and two share volumes and this causes channel 2 to become way louder and over power channel one. My way around it is to use channel three for my crunch channel and channel 2 for my solo boost channel. Channel three has massive amounts of gain. It could easily be an amazing death metal amp. I don't pass 3 on the gain too often. Channel 2 sounds good it is just so darn loud that I don't use it often. I have heard a lot of people say channel 2 is where this amp shines but it just doesn't work for my band because I need to use the clean channel a lot.

    I'm very pleased with the amp dispite the volume jump issue. The tone that this thing produces is the one I've been wanting to hear and it can make a huge variety of sounds. Sweet water made it even better. Shouts outs to Matt my sweetwater telephone representative!

  • from Knoxville, PA March 14, 2013Music Background:
    Part-time gigging musician.

    Freakin' Fantastic

    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 United States February 14, 2013Music Background:
    Hobby band guitar guy. Been at it 25 years now. Know all 7 notes:)

    EVH 5150 lll 50watt head W/ EVH 1/12 cab

    I have owned a lot of amps. Right now I'm mostly using old VHT pittbulls

    I bought this EVH because I found some fairly impressive demo vids. I didn't expect it to be as good as it is. It's very dynamic which is very important to me, I use my guitar volume and softer or harder picking for my clean to crunch sounds. This amp is very good at that.
    The clean channel is nice - enough about that:)
    The crunch channel is awesome! Set the gain at three or so and get some really bluesy type lead tones that clean right up with softer picking. Dial a bit more gain and straight up AC/DC comes out.

    The lead channel feels a bit like my wah is on to be honest. Turn up the highs and lows and zero the mids and it sounds fairly scooped. There is a ton a gain avaliable but you wont need much of it. Once you set your eq's I can't imaine most people not being happy. It's tight and articulate with very good bass and no shrill highs. Maybe not Pantera but definitely heavy Me likey.

    All in all it is a kick *** buy for the money or for twice money.
    FYI I was mostly playing through a 70 les paul with a JB bridge and APH1-Neck. The other guitar was a old Ibanez RG550 with duncans as well. I play mostly hard rock AIC, Slash and throw in some Hendrixy type stuff for fun.

    So in closing it would be hard to go wrong with this amp. It also comes with a speaker cable so don't go buying one like I did.

  • from VA October 21, 2012

    EVH 5150 III 50W Head

    The EVH Head sounds great. Very dynamic range. Clear, articulated, and definable, even at high gain settings. I was mostly blown away by the Sweetwater customer service department. Great group of people. You've earned "all" my future business. Thanks for an exceptional shopping experience.

  • from Central Illinois October 19, 2012Music Background:
    12 Years Experience

    Straight Foward High Quality Workhorse

    I own a Mesa/Boogie Mark V, two Mark IV's and now this. I bought this amp as more of a plug in and go amp instead of having to fight the Mesa/Boogies all the time. This thing deliver that in spades! Channel three on this baby blows away my Mark V for metal chunk. For leads, it's classic EVH, but I prefer the "liquid" lead of the Boogies. The clean channel on this amp is just okay, and channel two is easily on par with the Mark V's channel 2. This is the quietest amp I own, even running single coils into the lead channel with the gain cranked is playable! The thing I love about this amp is that it has a lot of versatility and quality packed under a smallish hood. All the great reviews about this amp are true. Great price, made by Fender, super high quality, can't go wrong. Just check out the jacks on this thing....it's like they're made of 1/2" hardened steel and then powder coated! I've never seen such quality jacks in my life! Schumaker Transformers I'm sure have a lot to do with the super low noise-level, and high quality sound.

  • from Burnsville N.C. October 11, 2012Music Background:
    working musician

    The Best amp I have ever used

    This amp is awesome for rock, and killer for metal. Sounds very good at low volumes but is killer when you let her eat at higher volumes. The evh 2x12 cab is best with this amp. I ran it therw V30's at first, but they where to harsh to me. I love the V30's for my orange amp, but the G12H 30w speakers in the evh cab lets you get better tones out of the amp. It will go from clean and blues to more gain than you have ever seen in a amp without a boost pedal in front of it. I have been playing for 25years now and this amp blowed me away. I like Marshall , Mesa and Orange and this amp is right there with them all, if not better! It is a real pro tube amp. It takes pedals better than any amp I have ever played. If you are looking for a high gain amp this is it!!!!

  • from Minneapolis, MN September 21, 2012Music Background:
    Hobbyist, Home Recordings

    Amazing

    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.

  • from United States March 21, 2012Music Background:
    Hobbyist

    Great Rock Amp

    Great clean channel that can get an awesome crunch sound when the gain it turned up.
    Unbelievably awesome second channel that was just made for rock.
    Then you have the hot-rodded third channel which is great for lead tones or metal.
    3 great channels, what more could you ask for? It even sound good at low volumes.

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