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  1. #1
    Sinner's Swing! jimmy's Avatar
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    04.29.16 @ 07:05 AM
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    A while back somebody on here was talking about "tone" and early VH. There's was link to somebody playing Unchained. It was the "brown sound". Not really all that distorted, yet chunky.

    This made me think, "My 5150 is way to buzzy sounding and too thin sounding."

    I've been playing a lot on the rhythm channel with the Crunch on and distortion on around 8. To my ears, I get a lot more defention of notes, and more of that real fat sound......but at times I wish I just had more gain.

    If I go to swith to the lead, it just has such a different sound, it really thins out.....Is this the problem with only having one EQ for both channels.....and is there a way to make that transition from channel more consistent as far as tone is concerned. As I am writing this, I am thinking this is the stupidest question ever but........I just wish that my lead channels sounded more like my Rhythm channel, just with more distortion.......is this a common problem.......pleas help.
    Actually I think most of us are Dave, Sam, and Mike fans. There's just a small group of people who have strange allegiances and like to get into petty pissing contests that I can't believe everyone on this site isn't bored of. - Brett

  2. #2
    Good Enough
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    03.30.13 @ 09:28 AM
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    Jimmy, I think you nailed it when you asked about one eq for both channels. I don't use a 5150 anymore, but I remember one big problem I faced was the fact that the lead side was always too buzzy and over the top distortion wise. On the other hand the rythm side sounded too flat unless you beefed it up. The problem was when you switched back and forth, well the eq was either good for lead or rythm, there was no common ground.
    The 5150 II got around that by seperate eq for the lead and rythm side. The 5150 II also has a middle channel that's a good mix of the lead and rythm channel.
    I don't use 5150's anymore, but there are a no. of guys on here that do. I think Brett uses a 5150 in his band, but he might have switched. Can anyone who plays a 5150 give our bro some advice on the amp?
    Is there a store in your area that might have one you could try out? Your ears are always the best judge.

  3. #3
    XTC man! homeunit's Avatar
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    09.05.15 @ 12:20 PM
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    I also don't use 5150s anymore but when I did I had the same problem and this is what I did.
    I used the lead channel as my rhythm channel. I didn't run that much gain in the lead channel, maybe 3 or 4, and then used a tube screamer in front for solos and more beef when I needed it.

    I ran the rhythm channel for clean stuff, which worked ok, but not great.
    My Band
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  4. #4
    XTC man! homeunit's Avatar
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    09.05.15 @ 12:20 PM
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    ...just before I got rid of mine, I ran it into a power amp then into two cab which worked great but wasn't really practical, but it worked.
    My Band
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  5. #5
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    12.31.69 @ 04:00 PM
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    I know the problem of which you speak. I think the biggest factor is that when you switch to the lead channel, you get nailed with a ton of high end with the additional gain, which makes it sound buzzy.

    On the other hand, running the rhythm channel, with the crunch on, with the gain at 8, is a setting I would never use. To my ears, high gain settings on the crunch sound is super mud.

    If you are playing with the 'bright' switch set to off, turn it on, and adjust your EQ and presence knobs to compensate. While the contrast will still exist, it should be less drastic. If you are already playing with the bright switch on, you certainly have a problem on your hands.

    While it is impractical in most situations, turning your pre-gains down and the posts UP will eventually kick the power amp into overdrive, which does take off some of the edge of the preamp distortion. Unless you have a power soak of some kind, you'll get enough volume to sterilize an entire country.


    The best advice I can offer that won't really cost you much is to tune whichever channel to the lead sound that you want, and use your guitar's volume knob to turn down for rhythm work. (note: having a treble bleed on your guitar's volume pot helps maintain clarity when you roll the volume back) While your sound won't clean up 100%, it should reduce the drive enough to let you go from rhythm to lead and back.

    Other options: if you are not using your f/x loop, you could make a jumper cable to go from the send to the return jacks, with a resistor in the middle. That way, turning the loop on and off would give you a change in volume, but not drive.

    A switchable EQ in the loop could be set to compensate for the change in sounds between channels. Of course, you'd be stepping on 2 at a time: 1 to switch channels, and 1 to turn the EQ on or off.

    If I was to play live again, my setup gives me 2 channels: lead and crunch. I need to run a separate clean preamp altogether (bypassing the 5150 preamp), which involves a splitter, a 'clean' preamp, and some cable messes. But it works out ok.

    If you really prefer the sound of the rhythm channel, then getting yourself an overdrive unit to go in front of it for lead work is probably your best bet. That way you maintain the same basic tone, but you get more gain.

    Using a 5150 is a compromise, since Ed and Peavey didn't seem to concern themselves with the rhythm channel too much. Your guitar's volume pot may just become your new best friend, though.

    Hope something here helps.
    Don't bark at me...<b>I</b> didn't name ya.

  6. #6
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    03.30.13 @ 09:28 AM
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    I've got one of those old ts-10 tube screamers that I use for pushing the preamp channel on fenders and amps like that when I use my strat at blues clubs, but when I'm with the band I keep an old late 70's mxr distortion + on hand in case my amp farts out and I have to use a different one that I'm not used to. I find I can set the mxr up so I can get the VH sound through pretty well any amp, even a mixing board, and my pickups aren't very hot, about 7.5 to 8.4K ohms. I know it's not for eveyone. I know guys who don't lke using that distortion box, but it's very analogue and has worked for me. Sounds like shit with a strat, but great with humbuckers. I guess that really doesn't have anything to do with a 5150 except maybe you could put in front of the rythm channel and see what happens.

  7. #7
    Sinner's Swing! jimmy's Avatar
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    04.29.16 @ 07:05 AM
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    All great advice. I guess in the long run I should have bought that Marshall [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img]

    I like the idea of running the "stomp box" into the Rhythm Channel for more gain.

    I've never really liked the sound of my amp, unless the post is cranked up to around 3.5.

    I sometimes blame it on my Carvin 212 cabinet. But, it sounds like you get what you pay for.........how much was that Mesa I looked at.....................well, maybe if somehow I double my income I'll think about moving up to one of those triple rectifier things........ [img]smilies/biggrin.gif[/img]
    Actually I think most of us are Dave, Sam, and Mike fans. There's just a small group of people who have strange allegiances and like to get into petty pissing contests that I can't believe everyone on this site isn't bored of. - Brett

  8. #8
    XTC man! homeunit's Avatar
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    09.05.15 @ 12:20 PM
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    you know what Jimmy? Triple Rectifiers are the shit and all ,but I'd try a few things with yours first.

    #
    1) Try it through a 4x12 marshall cab.
    2) Try it with a powerbrake.
    3) Try the stomp box idea, in both channels.
    4) Try it dryer then you ever would and louder.

    A 5150 can work, you just have to mess with them, and if I were you I'd try all the options be fore you give up on it.
    My Band
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  9. #9
    Sinner's Swing! jimmy's Avatar
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    04.29.16 @ 07:05 AM
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    I was just kidding about that Mesa.....It's funny people always talk about great amps in the world..........then someone mentions a Mesa and everyone just seems to quite down and agree that they're the shit, hands down...

    I would like to move up to a new cabinet!

    My 5150 is really overkill for me. I don't really play in a band. (buddy and I play in a garage occasionaly)

    I bought the head without even playing one. I just plunked down the cash and said, "It's gotta be good....Ed's names on it."

    I had already sank about $150 into repairing a $300 amp (Peavey Bravo 112), that was still suffering some problems. Rather than put any more money into it, I decided to go new.......

    The first time I played it...I had the pre gains jacked and the post like on 1......it sounded like piss......I was ready to cry.....After talking to some guys here (Brett) I decided to really "wake up the neighbors" and crank that post up to 3.5. It made all the differnce in the world....

    But like most of us here, we hear somebody elses rig and say, "hey that sounds a lot better then mine." And the hunt for the perfect "tone" starts all over again. [img]smilies/tongue.gif[/img]

    Thanks again for everybodys advice. [img]smilies/cool.gif[/img]
    Actually I think most of us are Dave, Sam, and Mike fans. There's just a small group of people who have strange allegiances and like to get into petty pissing contests that I can't believe everyone on this site isn't bored of. - Brett

  10. #10
    Eruption
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    12.14.17 @ 01:28 PM
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    Dryer and louder. . .some of the best advice I've read on the board. Right on Home!
    www.facebook.com/revery
    If you like cool, rock music, check out REVERY. We've put out two albums, and an EP. We were signed back in '06 and toured the US (our single Popstar Wedding was all over the radio back then). Our latest album, Adora De Phonic is available on Itunes, Amazon, etc.

 

 

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