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  1. #1
    5150 TheCaboKid's Avatar
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    06.24.15 @ 01:26 AM
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    I bought a used 5150 combo and the guy at guitar center told me it made this noise when the pregain was turn all the way up. I got it anyway because he gave me great deal on it. When I turn the pregain past 6 the amp makes this static, hiss noise. What the hell is it? [img]graemlins/wtf.gif[/img]
    "Well, he's an intelligent, well-read guy. But it's like he can't connect the dots somehow." (EVH Guitar World, March 1998).

    GP: "Did you use a pick for "Spanish Fly"?

    EVH: "Yeah, except for the part near the end that sounds like Montoya or something."

  2. #2
    Good Enough
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    03.30.13 @ 09:28 AM
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    It's called gain.
    If it's a steady hiss then it's normal. They're extremely high gain amps and they're known to hiss like crazy.
    If it sounds like it's starting and stopping, then it's probably bad preamp tubes.

  3. #3
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    12.31.69 @ 04:00 PM
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    Originally posted by tribb:
    It's called gain.
    If it's a steady hiss then it's normal. They're extremely high gain amps and they're known to hiss like crazy.
    If it sounds like it's starting and stopping, then it's probably bad preamp tubes.
    I'll take it a step further and say its called too much gain. The pre gain around 5 is more gain than a lot of amps out there. The texture of any kind of guitar tone is gone after 5 in my opinion. But its a pretty good sounding high gain sound at about 4!

  4. #4
    Romeo Delight
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    12.31.69 @ 04:00 PM
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    What Tribb and Larry J said. Even EVH never turns it up to ten. If you do, it is not only noisy, it sounds like mushy shit. Anything above about 4 on the pregain, and you will almost HAVE to use a noise gate.

    Here is an interesting quote on the gain in the 5150, from James Brown (who designed the amp).

    "...It was one of those things where we started out at some reasonable point, and Ed's usual reaction was, let's see what it sounds like if we go past the point of reason...This pretty much goes for working with Ed on every part of the design, from the (5150) cabinets, to the head, to the combo to the guitar-everything. He insists on taking it past the point what's reasonable and then coming back to something...You never nail it by aiming at the target. You almost always nail it by aiming past the target and then coming back to where he wants you to be..."

    From Monitor Magazine, Vol 15, Issue 1.

    It's kind of like putting. If you putt short, you have no chance. If your putt is too long, at least it had a shot at the hole.
    Roger C

  5. #5
    Eruption rolsguitars's Avatar
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    01.22.09 @ 09:08 AM
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    Originally posted by tribb:
    It's called gain.
    If it's a steady hiss then it's normal. They're extremely high gain amps and they're known to hiss like crazy.
    If it sounds like it's starting and stopping, then it's probably bad preamp tubes.
    okay I just got a 5150 combo, now I already have a 5150 120 watt head and as I have mentioned before I really most of the time just use it for a tubed power head since I run digital processors
    anyway the 5150 cobo hisses like crazy wher I have it set, and my 120 watt head is pretty much quite, are you thinking bad preamo tubes there also ?

    setting:
    I use the Rythm channel set on 3 pre, 3 post
    and it hisses to the point that it's very anoying.

    my 120 watt head is on 4 pre and 3 post and you can hardly hear a thing.
    any tips ?
    Rol.

    who's amp stupid [img]graemlins/drunk.gif[/img]

  6. #6
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    03.30.13 @ 09:28 AM
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    Since the gain stages amplify one to the next, etc, one bad preamp tube could cause noise which would be amplified to an extreme. That would depend where in the gain stage the tube is.
    Also, are the tubes in your combo the same type and make as the ones in your head?
    You can try changing the tubes in the head with the ones in the combo and see if that helps, but make sure you keep the tubes in the exact order they wer placed in the head so you can put them back the same way.
    A thin sharpie marker will help there.
    I also had a head that I used with marshall speakers, that was relatively quiet, while a combo I used hissed like an SOB.
    One mistake I made at the time was using a higher gain tube in it, which is stupid considering what the amp does on it's own.
    Have you tried unplugging the speakers and running the cab from your head to the combo?
    The marshall head I have now has just as much gain as the 5150, but virtually no hiss in comparison to the 5150, proving that the amp can be made without the annoying amount of background noise that 5150's are known for.
    What rcrimm said might be a good idea though. You might want to invest in a noise gate.

    [ October 11, 2002, 07:47 AM: Message edited by: tribb ]

  7. #7
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    12.31.69 @ 04:00 PM
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    Rol like Tribb said. The best way to tell if you have a bad preamp tube is to take the preamp tubes out of your head and put them in the combo and see if it still hisses. Then if it stops hissing then one or more of the combo's original preamp tubes were bad. Then to find out which one(s) was/were bad, one at a time replace the preamp tube in the far right position with one of the original preamp tubes. The bad one(s) should make the amp hiss again so you'll know which one's are bad.

    You may also get the hissing to go away just by changing the order of the preamp tubes.

    Also just because they hiss in the 5150 doesn't mean they should be thrown away. Some preamp tubes hiss in some amps and sound perfect in others this true all the up to NOS Mullards.

  8. #8
    Romeo Delight
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    12.31.69 @ 04:00 PM
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    I would almost bet that it is a preamp tube problem. You can also try swapping the order that the existing tubes are in. If the first tube is the noisy, the noise will certainly be amplified by the rest of the gain stages in the order. Sometimes replacing that first or second tube, or the order which the tubes are in, will reduce the noise. If not, tube replacement is needed.

    Looking at the back of the amp, the two far right preamp tubes tend to be the most critical.

    The first tube on the right is the input and second gain stage. The second tube is gain, and more gain.
    The third tube has the final gain stages, but the these are dialed back a bit compared to the first two.

    The fourth tube is the EFX loop driver and return gain, and the fifth one is the phase invertor. Those two shouldn't be all that critical in terms of noise or hiss.

    If none of that helps you have other problems. Possibly a bad cap or resistor somewhere, maybe even bad power tubes (unlikely). The amp shouldn't be all that noisy at "3".

    Ironically, James B designed a nice built-in noise reduction circuit for the 5150 II lead channel, but EVH wouldn't let him use it. He did put a similiar circuit in the Triple XXX, so it is much quieter at high gain settings than a 5150.

    You could mod a 5150 II with the noise reduction, but not the Combo or original 5150. Those share eq between channels, and the circuit would make the rhythm channel really, I mean REALLY suck. I guess if you could live without any clean sounds at all it would work on the original, but I wouldn't recommend it.
    Roger C

  9. #9
    Eruption rolsguitars's Avatar
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    01.22.09 @ 09:08 AM
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    Thanks for the tips I totally appreciate it !! [img]graemlins/thumb.gif[/img]
    I'll gte right on checking it out and let ya know.
    Rol.

 

 

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