EVH 5150 III owners...

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Thread: EVH 5150 III owners...

  1. #1

    Join Date: Dec 2013
    Location: MA SSH ole
    ME: Jackson Death Angel
    Rig: Axe FX II-Atomic CLR's

    iTrader: 0

    EVH 5150 III owners...

    Hey guys. About a year ago I was eagerly awaiting the 5150 III combo and was prepared to buy one when released. I was thinking built in power attenuation and reverb would be better than just grabbing the 50 watt head.
    However a friend convinced me to try the Axe FX II... which I love. But... I can't help but wonder if I'm missing anything. Unfortunately no music stores near me carry hi-end/hi-gain or I'd be able to hear for myself. What do you guys think? Have any of you had both and can fill me in on details/differences? I'm still considering buying one even though I am quite happy with the Axe, if not for a backup and true tube tone just to have on hand.
    Please share your wisdom/ experiences with me!

  2. #2

    Join Date: Jan 2014
    Location: Milan
    ME: LTD H-1001
    Rig: EVH 100W Head + Omega Enc

    iTrader: 0

    Well,i have a 5150 III 100 w head...i must be honest...this is the MOST INCREDIBLE amp i've ever had. Tons of headroom,an amazing definition,a true clean channel,a very good crunch tone and an unbelievable lead tone. I'm really in love with this amp and this surely is not limited to metal...anyway,the tonal palette you can achieve with an AxeFx is obviuously larger....i am considering to buy an Axe so i'll be able to use this in the effect loop of my EVH and then i'll have an extra option if i need to play abroad..carrying just the axe can be a life-saver option sometimes!

  3. #3

    Join Date: Sep 2008
    Location: Boston, MA
    ME: EBMM JP6 / JP7
    MA: Martin DC-1E
    Rig: Axe-Fx II XL

    iTrader: 34 (100%)

    I had a 6505+ and an Axe-II at the same time. I had a GREAT sounding 6505+, which I actually sold to Cliff - it's the amp that's in the current firmware. Kostein has been using it here:


    And here:


    Cliff came to my place and helped me tone match it, and it was about 95% of the way there. Once he had his hands on it to properly model it, it became 99.999%, which is plenty good enough for me. I sold it because I simply didn't need it anymore.

    Without writing a big diatribe on modeling vs. real amps, I'll say this - if you run FRFR only, you'll be disappointed. A modeled mic and cab will never sound like a real amp in the room when you are (hah) in the room with it. I like FRFR. I'd say 90% of my jamming these days is through FRFR. It's awesome for recording, obviously, but it also has a cool sound all it's own. It just doesn't have that cab feel.

    I get that cab feel by running the second output of my Axe-II to a Carvin DCM200L power amp and then to a regular Recto 4x12 with V30s. I have a second bank of presets on the Axe that I use w/o cab sims that's tweaked to work with my cab. Doing that, it certainly DOES sound like an amp in the room because it IS an amp in the room.

    You don't have to sacrifice "amp in the room" feel with an Axe-Fx, because you can just run the thing with a regular amp and cab anyway. So even though I sold my 6505, I still have that tone through my regular power amp/cab combo, and since it's in the Fractal I can tweak it in ways that I couldn't with just the plain old amp head.

    Running it wide open, there is (admittedly) a little of that true tube tone missing, but that's more my fault than the Fractal's. I don't really get into the super deep tweaking parameters that a lot of the tube guys do. I play high gain metal and use the same 2 or 3 tones for everything. A roaring tube amp has that tube "spank", and the modeling does get it pretty damn close. In my case, I don't gig and almost never actually wanted to use my amp completely cranked, so it was rare that I ever got the thing running hot enough to get that "tubes about to melt" feel anyway.

    I ran a THD with my Peavey, and I'll take an Axe-Fx over an attenuated tube amp any day. So if you consider that the Fractal sounds awesome at any volume vs. a tube amp really needing to be cooking to get the maximum tube feel out of it, IMO the Fractal is the way to go. It's just about all of the tube amp tone with ten times the convenience.

  4. #4

    Join Date: Oct 2008
    Location: Phx, AZ
    ME: Custom Tele
    MA: Guild GAD F150
    MB: Fender Jazz Bass 24 V
    Rig: Jet City JCA-22H

    iTrader: 16 (100%)

    The 5153 models in the Axe are really really close. I have played both side by side and they sound awesome.

  5. #5

    Join Date: Jan 2011
    Location: Los Angeles, CA
    ME: Gibson LP Custom
    MA: Yamaha APX500
    MB: EBMM Bongo
    Rig: Fractal Axe-FX II

    iTrader: 0

    I think Chris pretty much said it. If you take advantage of the ability to pick and choose different cabs via IR files, you are going to sacrifice a bit of that "amp in the room magic" (though my understanding is that IRs which combine nearfield and farfield profiles can get pretty close). Conversely, if you are willing to sacrifice cab flexibility and marry your tone to just one particular cab, then hook it up to a 4x12 and feel the air blast your butt. The Axe doesn't fall short in its tube amp tone; rather it is the difference between a real live cab and a cab simulation (which basically has that "recorded through a mic" character baked into it) where the differences will be felt.

    If you gig with IEMs, or if you rely on stage monitors fed by FOH, then you aren't gaining anything by going to all the trouble of mic'ing up a 4x12 cab over selecting a cab IR and going direct to the board. The scenarios in which a traditional analog rig beats an Axe these days are relatively few, especially if you already have the AFX.

    Gibson | PRS | Jackson | Fender | Dean | Carvin | Warmoth
    Fractal Audio Systems | Marshall | Fender | Boss
    Ernie Ball | Dunlop | Elixir | DR

  6. #6

    Join Date: Dec 2013
    Location: MA SSH ole
    ME: Jackson Death Angel
    Rig: Axe FX II-Atomic CLR's

    iTrader: 0

    Thanks so much for the replies guys, much appreciated! Thanks Chris for taking the time to share that, very cool stuff. When my bud (Moshwitz) was schooling me on FAS I started searching youtube for demos. That was my introduction to Kostein and Ola, and they sold me. I couldn't believe the tones they were getting with a modeler. I know I never got my XT Live close to that shit. I pretty much use their patches as templates with minimal tweaking. I'm gonna have to try to get Kosteins LOG patch too! I was surprised he didn't use the Mark IV but he really killed it with your Peavey. Maybe a poweramp would be a better way to spend money. I do have a Blue Voodoo 1/2 stack and could run the cab when I'm looking for the extra oomph. Don't get me wrong, I love my CLR's but I guess occasionally I miss the guitar cab...

  7. #7

    Join Date: Oct 2012
    Location: Edmonton
    ME: Gibson Les Paul
    MA: Ibanez single cut
    Rig: AxeFx2/5150ii

    iTrader: 0

    I have an Axe Fx II and a Matrix GT800fx, which is pushing a Mesa DR cab with V30's. I keep cab sims off most of the time when playing with my band SIMPLY because I haven't found a cab sim that gives me that raw, rip you god-damn face off tone that bypassing the cab IR's gives me. Recording is a different story though.

    I have a 5150 II and it's a totally ripping amp. the reason why I'm using Axe more now is simply volume vs tone. I can't gig my 5150ii at my tone volume. I can use the Axe and it sounds great at almost all volumes. My band actually prefers my Axefx tone in room to my 5150ii tone (blind test )

    I also have tried the 5150iii 50 watt head. Straight in it had a solid foundation for a searing lead tone (a tube screamer or 10 band EQ in front would have done the job just right). Crunch was great straight in, and Clean channel was beautiful.

    IMHO, you aren't missing much with your axefx vs the 5150iii. The In room tone of the 5150iii cranked might make your balls tickle a little more when standing next to the cab - but it's relative to how you set up your axefx. You should just order one, try it out for a few months. If you like it great - keep it AND the Axefx. If not - sell it on Kijiji or Ebay. If there are no high end gear stores near you then someone will scoop it up quick for little loss.

    Upgrade to the 12.04Beta firmware. It has improved the sound of the "Cranked" tube amp markedly.

  8. #8

    Join Date: Nov 2010
    Location: TN

    iTrader: 1 (100%)

    I had an EVH 5153 for about a year… best tube amp i've ever owned/played, hands down. After touring with Whitechapel and getting to use the Kemper Profiler, i got an itch to try one out… so as soon as i got home, i sold the best amp i've ever owned to get a Kemper.
    I haven't missed the EVH even once, not for a second.

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