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Sell EVH 5150 III 100w and replace with 50w???

Discussion in 'Backline' started by Josh Burgess, Nov 19, 2014.

  1. Josh Burgess

    Josh Burgess Member

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    I'm thinking about downsizing and selling off some of my gear. I currently own a Kemper, an original block letter 5150, the EVH 5150 III, a Mesa 2x12, and a Mesa 4x12.

    I've lived in apartments for the last 3 years of my life, which means I can't be extremely loud... but that doesn't really matter to me anymore since getting a Kemper. I use it instead of the amps a good 90% of the time now. This has led me to thinking about selling off the 5150 and 4x12, but I'd still like to keep one tube head and a 2x12 around to play for fun every now and then and to make new profiles with...

    It would be nice to keep the original 5150 too, because I like its more raw and aggressive sound, especially for 6 string music, but I think I can make do with only the 5150 III, as I prefer the tighter sound of it for the more low tuned 7/8 string stuff I play.

    So, I'm leaning towards just keeping the 5150 III and 2x12. With that said, I tend to crank the presence on the 5150 III to get the aggression I want out of it, and I've heard the 50w version is significantly brighter. I've also heard the clean channel on the 50w version has much more clean headroom, and I like very clean sounds with no breakup. So, I'm thinking about replacing the 100w version with the 50w version to complete the downsizing and just keep around a nice 50w 5150 III + Mesa 2x12 mini rig for playing enjoyment & profile making (and portability).

    Any downsides to this? Has anyone else here ditched the 100w EVH for the 50w?

    It seems like there's not a huge price difference between them nowadays on the used market. I think I originally payed $1300ish for my used 100w. It looks like they sell for about $1000-$1100 used now, and it seems like the 50w versions don't sell for much under $800 used now, probably due to high demand. From what I've heard, I think the 50w would probably be more suited to my situation, but not sure if it's worth the hassle with the relatively small used market value difference.
     
  2. Fluffbot

    Fluffbot I like beef jerky.

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    Never heard that the 50w version has increased clean headroom. I had the 100w head and my friend has the 50w. Between the two I'd go with the 50w version no question, it's so much smaller, unlike the 100w version it has a resonance control (HUGE plus!), and is already more power than anyone needs. Never had any breakup problems on my 100w clean channel.

    I wouldn't sell the 100w head to buy the 50w head unless it was a straight 1:1 trade or purchase, in which case i'd 100% do it :p
     
  3. Manicompression

    Manicompression doing it for the kids

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    The 50w also shares tone controls between clean and crunch, which is not a big deal particularly for studio or practice but for live performance it would be nice to have the separate channels. Also worth noting is the effects loop in the 100w is tube driven whereas the 50w is not, i don't know what you would prefer for the kemper or if you plan on using it that way. I have the 50w and i think the loop sounds fine but people have preferences with that sort of thing.
     
  4. drew_drummer

    drew_drummer Dancefap

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    Had the 50-watter. Wished I gone for the 100-watter instead.
     
  5. Ermz

    Ermz ¯\(°_o)/¯

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    The 50W consistently sounded better for us in the studio compared to the 100W models we had in. That said, now that my mic techniques are expanding, I'd be keen to give the 100W another go. Could've been a V30 issue specifically.

    PS. One thing they did on the 50W is increase the gain on the blue channel, so you can run it unboosted if you choose for high gain. Not sure if they made the same update to the 100.
     
  6. guy in latvia

    guy in latvia Member

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    I have the 50w, sounds awesome, no regrets, love it!
     
  7. Josh Burgess

    Josh Burgess Member

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    Any reasons why?
     
  8. Josh Burgess

    Josh Burgess Member

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    Just to add something I left out originally, although the III is tighter than the original 5150, I always boost both of them (and all other amps lol) with a Maxon OD820 for high gain metal tones. I've always preferred the razor sharp, thrashy response you get from boosting with a tubescreamer... It just sounds better to me pretty much always.

    For more rock types of sounds, I like the blue channel for rhythms unboosted and red channel for leads unboosted... but would boost both for metal. So, I'm not sure having more gain on the blue channel would matter to me that much. I'm more interested in the cleaner clean channel and all around brighter tone (on clean channel and high gain channel) in general.

    Like I said, I crank the presence on the high gain channel to get the more aggressive sound i want out of it... No lower than 8, but usually more like 9. I think the 100w amp is pretty dark sounding in general and needs that presence boost to get anywhere near the aggressiveness of the original 5150... but I can do it, and it works. Similarly, the clean channel on the 100w amp breaks up more than I'd like it to, but I keep the gain very low and crank the post gain to get a really strong clean signal, and that works too...

    ...but the 50w is supposedly already brighter to start off with, has a cleaner clean channel, midi functionality, resonance controls, etc.... It just seems like you get more for less all around aside from the whole channel sharing aspect on the clean channel and mid-gain channel, but that doesn't really bother me.

    I'm also kinda curious about that newer 100S Stealth version of the 5150III, but the price is higher for it because it was a limited run. Not sure it's worth spending more money on...
     
  9. drew_drummer

    drew_drummer Dancefap

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    Mainly that for playing live the 50-watter sucked balls. Because of the volume drop between channel 1 and 2. Fucking ruined the amp imho.
     
  10. Josh Burgess

    Josh Burgess Member

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    Ah, I would probably never use channel 2 outside of a recording environment, anyway. As long as I can get a loud & clean signal on channel 1 and match that volume on channel 3 I'd be content.
     
  11. drew_drummer

    drew_drummer Dancefap

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    Yeah, it was a massive limitation for me.
     
  12. Mago

    Mago Austrian Blech Machine

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    I never compared them directly, but I love the 50w. 3 of my buddies have them, and no one of them has any regrets, also not live.
    Never noticed the volume drop Drew mentioned, but I never used it live and it also wouldn't run into that issue live, as I'd only use channel one and three.

    Soundwise the 50w is killer too, as the big one. Some of my favorite kemper profiles I did are with the 50w. Blue boosted is just delicous. Red is tight enough for me without, but a TS doesn't hurt ;)

    If I had the spare cash I'd get the 50w, just to not have to haul around the 6505+ for gigs :lol:
    less than half the weight, smaller size and an awesome clean channel.
    Just plays a bit differently, than the 5150s, but is not a bit less awesome, but I guess you know that since you have a 5150.
     
  13. Skadsson

    Skadsson just a nickname

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    Is there any way to change/mod the volume drop between channel 1 and 2? I think a lot of people wouldn't mind clean and crunch sharing the same EQ as long as there is no big volume drop. Been thinking about this head a lot lately, but if that's not to be changed, I might as well go with a Randall RD amp.
     
  14. Manicompression

    Manicompression doing it for the kids

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    There are some guys online who have figured out how to hard mod the amp so the volume jump is not as prevalent.

    Also, IMO the volume jump between one and two is extremely overstated. I can see where someone like Drew who plays music that kind of lives in those in between points could find fault in it but I dont think the reality of the problem is anywhere near as bad as you would believe reading the forums.

    I run my evh 50w in 4 cable method with a pod hd. I can get around any volume jump or eq sharing issues with this setup, and Im sure any current multi effects unit could do the same. I just use the loop volume send and return levels on the board to manage it most of the time. Sometimes I use one of the EQ effects to do a volume boost after the preamp and to tweak the actual voicing of the clean channel. This works extremely well for me and I think affords me more options than just plugging into the front would. I also use the pod to do my channel switching. Its dead simple to set up this way too.

    In a perfect world it would have 3 distinct channels but honestly since I got mine about 8 months ago I rarely play anything else.
     

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