Peavey 5150 Head
Peavey 5150 Head

5150 Head, Tube Guitar Amp Head from Peavey in the 5150 series.

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Hatsubai 03/15/2011

Peavey 5150 Head : Hatsubai's user review

« Not just for that EVH sound »

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The Peavey 5150 made its debut in 1991 with the collaborative effort of EVH to get his own signature amp. It's a 120 watt, two channel amplifier with a shared EQ. However, as many people in Europe discovered, this thing is a wolf in sheep's clothing. Sure, EVH may have designed it, but it does not sound similar to his Marshalls of the past. This thing has a ridiculous amount of gain on tap, and it's been successfully utilized by the melodic death metal scene in Scandinavia.


Layout wise, the amp is very simple. In fact, it's somewhat limiting due to the shared EQ. You only have a clean/crunch button for one channel, along with its own volume knob. The effects loop can be finicky and is prone to dust issues causing the amp to sound like it's shorting out. If this happens, spray some contact cleaner in there and cycle the jacks a bit. The amp also has a preamp out feature, along with a ground select switch to help cancel any hum that you may get due to bad power at gigs.


While the amp is lacking in terms of overall versatility, the sound is where this thing excels. First of all, the clean channel is dismal. If you're looking for an amp with a clean channel, I'd look elsewhere. With the crunch switch engaged, you can get a great EVH sound, and boosting the crunch channel can get you a good metal sound. However, the lead channel is where this thing really excels. This high gain, low midrange grunting amplifier has been famously recorded by bands such as Arch Enemy, Carcass, Dark Tranquillity, In Flames, Machine Head, The Black Dahlia Murder, The Haunted and the list still goes on to this day. For those into more extreme metal, I recommend boosting the lead channel as it gives a tight, percussive sound that sounds absolutely massive.


Even to this day, the 5150 is one of the most utilized amps in heavy metal. This isn't just for the EVH fanboys, and it can actually do more than just metal. Pair it up with some Greenback speakers, put it on the crunch channel, and you can get a great blues/rock sound. While it lacks overall versatility in terms of functions, it is one of those amps that delivers the goods every time. On top of that, they're extremely reliable and have proven themselves on tour for decades. Just be warned -- if you're looking for a good clean channel, look elsewhere.