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Sir Groove-A-Lot
Charvel So Cal & San Dimas
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I think this channel has been posted here before, I seem to remember us all commenting on the one they did with Mike Soldano.

This is James Brown of Amptweaker, previously an engineer at Peavey from 1986 to 2004, and worked close with Eddie to develop the 5150, and with Satch to do the JSX.


I haven't watched the whole thing but they get right into his history around the 3 minute mark.

EDIT: Chat about EVH starts around 10 minutes.

EDIT: Around the 13 minute mark, James says Eddie's ethos was to develop an amp that was awesome but that a kid could afford, instead of these guys spending thousands to get their amps modded or release a signature amp... Friedman's face at that moment says a thousand words :rofl:

EDIT: Ok I'm an hour in and thought I'd make some key points for those who don't have the time or inclination to sit through it. Just stuff that I've found really interesting so far...

- He puts to bed the whole myth about "block letter vs signature". People think it's radically different and you often come across people claiming how the block letter is made from better stuff, and often use it as justification to charge a ton more for their second hand head. It's 100% identical down to every component. What happened though was that the company EV (Electro-Voice) were threatening Peavey for having the letters EV-something on their amp, so rather than fight it they just changed it to Eddie's signature. Exactly around that time they started to run out of stock of these particular power amp valves from a company that had gone out of business, so had to move over to a different type of 6L6. That's it. That's the difference. Something you will eventually swap out anyway.

- The 5150 II came about because of the combo. When they decided to make the combo it didn't quite react the same as the 120w head into a 4x12 (duh) so James made some tweaks to it to stop it farting out at high volumes. He then made the same tweaks to a head to demonstrate to Eddie what it was doing. He preferred that so much more to the original that he wanted them to start making them like that instead. Hence the 5150 II was born. However, it really truly is literally exactly the same as the orignal 5150 besides 3 components :lol: which you can do yourself to any 5150, or indeed to any 5150 II to make it like an original. It's just slightly brighter/tighter. That's all.

- The reason the master volume increases stupidly fast (i.e. you can barely turn it up past 1 at home) is because it's a linear pot. During the developmental stage, on one of the revisions, James swapped it out for an audio pot. EVH noticed and didn't like it. He thought the amp wasn't as loud. James explained that it's the same volume, it just takes a bigger turn of the pot to get there, and it now has a more useable range for people playing it at home. EVH responded with "this ain't no practice amp" and wanted it reverted back to a linear pot :lol: Hence why the master volume increases so quickly, and why it basically makes no difference once you're over halfway (because it's slamming the output so hard by that point you're at full power amp saturation)

- Around 2003 James and Ed were actually developing a mini stack of the 5150 (lunchbox head and two 1x12s). They actually made one. But nobody had any faith in it so it got dropped. Fuck. The amount of mini heads that are around now is insane! Before its time I guess...

JSX discussion starts at 1:22:50

- The JSX started out as a modified XXX. James just made Ch2 like a Peavey Classic 50, that Satch liked, but with a few tweaks. It went back and forth a bit, with a couple of switches on it so Joe could hear the difference between the last revision and a new one. That was it. Much less complicated and less ego involved than EVH :lol:
 

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Premium Member
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I've watched (listened to, really) most of the videos on this channel. On Bluetooth headphones while doing chores; it would be unbearable "couch TV".

For more on James Brown, he was also interviewed by the bloke who started Budda (Jeff Bober) here: Amps & Axes - #117 - James Brown from Amptweaker â€" Amps & Axes

The episode with Joe Morgan of Morgan amps (d'uh!) was hilarious because he played some game the whole time while being interviewed. Shall we coin a new word? Cuntemptious.
 

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Sir Groove-A-Lot
Charvel So Cal & San Dimas
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I've watched (listened to, really) most of the videos on this channel. On Bluetooth headphones while doing chores; it would be unbearable "couch TV".

For more on James Brown, he was also interviewed by the bloke who started Budda (Jeff Bober) here: Amps & Axes - #117 - James Brown from Amptweaker â€" Amps & Axes

The episode with Joe Morgan of Morgan amps (d'uh!) was hilarious because he played some game the whole time while being interviewed. Shall we coin a new word? Cuntemptious.
Well, I'm an A/V technician, and some of our roles include sitting at the back of a room during a business conference, and you're only there on standby in case something goes wrong. This is when I watch things like this :lol:

I'll have a look at the Joe Morgan interview. I love abhorrent behaviour like that...

EDIT: Top comment on the video - "Joe seemed as interested in this Tone Talk as he is in dealing with his customers" :ugh:
 

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OldSchool Blacksmith
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- The reason the master volume increases stupidly fast (i.e. you can barely turn it up past 1 at home) is because it's a linear pot. During the developmental stage, on one of the revisions, James swapped it out for an audio pot. EVH noticed and didn't like it. He thought the amp wasn't as loud. James explained that it's the same volume, it just takes a bigger turn of the pot to get there, and it now has a more useable range for people playing it at home. EVH responded with "this ain't no practice amp" and wanted it reverted back to a linear pot :lol: Hence why the master volume increases so quickly, and why it basically makes no difference once you're over halfway (because it's slamming the output so hard by that point you're at full power amp saturation)
I'm guessing thats the same pot in the 6505+? Played one in GC not long ago and at 2 no one around me could talk loud enough to be heard. :lol: Totally went from "barely audible" to "my ears are bleeding" in like a 5* swing of the knob.
 

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I'll have a look at the Joe Morgan interview. I love abhorrent behaviour like that...
He'll still do OK, "'cause 'es the bloke wot makes Tosin's amps, inn'e?"

:rolleyes:

Speaking of which, I saw ANimals As Leaders for free last night. :djent: No Morgan amp onstage, mind...
 

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Hates Richie Kotzen
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Does anybody want to hear the history of the JSX? I mean, why even add that shit. Everybody wants to hear from the designer of the 5150, sure, but the JSX? :lol:

I would rather hear him talk about the VTM 60/120, which he also designed. If you have to pick a second amp to talk about that is way more interesting than the JSX, those are great amps. Rising in profile a bit the past few years too.
 

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Uses more gain than you.
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- The 5150 II came about because of the combo. When they decided to make the combo it didn't quite react the same as the 120w head into a 4x12 (duh) so James made some tweaks to it to stop it farting out at high volumes. He then made the same tweaks to a head to demonstrate to Eddie what it was doing. He preferred that so much more to the original that he wanted them to start making them like that instead. Hence the 5150 II was born. However, it really truly is literally exactly the same as the orignal 5150 besides 3 components :lol: which you can do yourself to any 5150, or indeed to any 5150 II to make it like an original. It's just slightly brighter/tighter. That's all.
Well, not counting the extra EQ and 12ax7 for the clean channel. :lol:

Oh, and an actual bias pot that, once you put in a resistor, can bias the power tubes properly. :lol:
 

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I am Groot
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Is Actually Recording
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- The JSX started out as a modified XXX. James just made Ch2 like a Peavey Classic 50, that Satch liked, but with a few tweaks. It went back and forth a bit, with a couple of switches on it so Joe could hear the difference between the last revision and a new one. That was it. Much less complicated and less ego involved than EVH :lol:
Satch fanboi checking in, but he's always come across as insanely level headed for a famous rock guitarist.
 

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Does anybody want to hear the history of the JSX? I mean, why even add that shit. Everybody wants to hear from the designer of the 5150, sure, but the JSX? :lol:

I would rather hear him talk about the VTM 60/120, which he also designed. If you have to pick a second amp to talk about that is way more interesting than the JSX, those are great amps. Rising in profile a bit the past few years too.
He talks about the VTM early in the video. Right before the EVH talk I think.

Friedman says the VTM was based on Marc Ferrari's Jose-modded JCM, but apparently it's based on Bryan Jay's.
 

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Sir Groove-A-Lot
Charvel So Cal & San Dimas
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Well, not counting the extra EQ and 12ax7 for the clean channel. :lol:

Oh, and an actual bias pot that, once you put in a resistor, can bias the power tubes properly. :lol:
Well sure, but people aren't comparing the amp on the whole, they're comparing the lead channel. The preamp for the main lead channel is identical to the original besides those 3 components. They obviously added the other stuff because they couldn't just release a revised model of the amp without adding other features.

Does anybody want to hear the history of the JSX? I mean, why even add that shit. Everybody wants to hear from the designer of the 5150, sure, but the JSX? :lol:

I would rather hear him talk about the VTM 60/120, which he also designed. If you have to pick a second amp to talk about that is way more interesting than the JSX, those are great amps. Rising in profile a bit the past few years too.
He talks about everything he's done. That's literally the point of this 3 hour video, and all the videos in this series for that matter, to get the history behind the designers/engineers and their products, past present and future. I'm sure he should have contacted you first to make sure he only discussed the ones you like, but I guess he was short on time?

Also, literally the first thing he talks about is the VTM, because it was the first amp he designed at Peavey and is actually what a lot of the 5150 circuitry was based off of.

The JSX is a cool amp, and Satch is a legend almost on the same level as Eddie. As if he's going to just gloss over that because Satch wasn't as much of a cunt as EVH is...

You mean Mike Soldano?
After watching both this and the Mike Soldano one, it's really not that close. Even Friedman and Soldano himself agree that it really hasn't got a lot in common. Now the Rectifier on the other hand... It's a straight rip-off, component for component, of the SLO-100 circuit.

But as for the 5150... James himself says that the Soldano was what Eddie was playing at the time when he came to Peavey, so they were going for that sound, sure, but he actually took very little from the design, and as already stated it was mainly the VTM that they used as a base model for it.

So I think people just assumed the 5150 was a Soldano clone because that's what Eddie was playing right before the 5150 was released, it had a similar voicing and general vibe, so it's no wonder people made the connection.
 

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Is Actually Recording
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After watching both this and the Mike Soldano one, it's really not that close. Even Friedman and Soldano himself agree that it really hasn't got a lot in common. Now the Rectifier on the other hand... It's a straight rip-off, component for component, of the SLO-100 circuit.

But as for the 5150... James himself says that the Soldano was what Eddie was playing at the time when he came to Peavey, so they were going for that sound, sure, but he actually took very little from the design, and as already stated it was mainly the VTM that they used as a base model for it.

So I think people just assumed the 5150 was a Soldano clone because that's what Eddie was playing right before the 5150 was released, it had a similar voicing and general vibe, so it's no wonder people made the connection.
...which is ironic, because maybe it's just I haven't played a Soldano in nearly two decades, but I've never thought that a Rectifier really sounds all that much like a SLO. :shrug:
 

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I am Groot
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...which is ironic, because maybe it's just I haven't played a Soldano in nearly two decades, but I've never thought that a Rectifier really sounds all that much like a SLO. :shrug:
They did really early on, as evidenced by the fifth one ever made (that you got to play). That thing was basically a SLO with a bit more grind.
 

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Sir Groove-A-Lot
Charvel So Cal & San Dimas
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
It's the power amp that makes them seem so different. Soldanos power amps are super clean and hi fi, where as the rectifier series power amps are saggy and boomy. Pretty sure Friedman mentioned they've got pretty puny output transformers too, barely enough oomph to push it to where it needs to be.
 

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It's the power amp that makes them seem so different. Soldanos power amps are super clean and hi fi, where as the rectifier series power amps are saggy and boomy. Pretty sure Friedman mentioned they've got pretty puny output transformers too, barely enough oomph to push it to where it needs to be.
So what you're saying is... SP77 -> 2:90.
 
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