Peavey 5150 II Head
Peavey 5150 II Head

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

Hatsubai 03/15/2011

Peavey 5150 II Head : Hatsubai's user review

« Similar, yet different from the original »

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With the success of the 5150, Peavey once again collaborated with EVH to create an updated version of the 5150. On the outside, the 5150 II seems similar to the 5150. Peavey added separate EQs, a more elaborate channel switching system so you can switch the crunch channel via the new footswitch, rear adjustable bias, a revised sound and another 12AX7 tube. However, their execution came with mixed results...


The separate EQ was a much welcomed addition to the 5150 II. No longer do you have to compromise between the clean/crunch and the lead channel. The previous 5150 was fixed biased, and it was biased very cold. The new 5150 II has an adjustable rear bias with test points, but it's still not possible to truly bias these amplifiers. The range of the pot is too small to get the tubes to their optimal mA. The test points are also useless as they don't measure tube current draw -- they measure voltage. Why Peavey added these, I honestly have no clue. If you're planning on biasing this with a multimeter, you'll need to get these points modified. Still, the most significant changes are actually in the tone.


With the 5150's huge success, you'd figure the evolution would be even bigger. However, the 5150 II's tone changed compared to the older model. The clean channel has been revised, and we can finally get a nice clean tone for once. That was a wonderful addition to the amp. The revised lead channel, however, came with mixed results. While still having more than enough, the amp has less gain than the previous one. On top of that, the amp shifted its midrange from low mids to high mids. A lot of people found themselves missing the low mid grunt the 5150 delivered. The amp didn't have nearly the track record the original one did because of the revoicing.


The opinions on the 5150 II gets more mixed results than the previous model. Those that love it praise its versatility, more Marshall-esque midrange and ability to cut through the mix a bit better. Those that hate it claim it lacks the famous low, chest pounding midrange that the original was famous for. Personally, I feel it's a great amp, and while it doesn't sound like the original, it doesn't really have to. I feel that it would have been accepted a bit more if it were given a different name when it was first introduced. While I prefer the original, the 5150 II is definitely an amp to consider if you're looking for a somewhat versatile high gain amplifier.