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Thread: 5150 Combo Help

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    Eruption F'nRockstar's Avatar
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    10.08.17 @ 07:28 PM
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    Default 5150 Combo Help

    I bought a 5150 combo amp and have been playing it quietly in my apt. I took it to the house I am moving into and turned it up (just to 3 and 4) and I HATE IT!!! I think it sounds like the biggest POS I have ever plugged into (and I have always played crappy crate and peavey Solid state amps). The small hiss doesn't bother me, its the actual sound.

    I love the rythem channel, but the lead channel sounds like crap. Real tinny and feeds back all over the place. Even a little gain causes feedback. I can't get a warm sound out of it for anything. Even with the lows on 10 and the mid and high on zero, it still sounds tinny. I have the preamp set at about 4 1/2 (anymore makes it totally feedback) The Res and Presence are both at about 5 (I have tried them everywhere)

    Could the tubes be toast? The guy I bought it from said they were fine. How do I test them? The amp is loud as all hell. I am playing it straight out of an ErnieBall Axis.

    Thanks in advance for your help (I'm a newbie with tube amps)
    Lets just throw a pound of weed in the fire place, f@#% it!

    Proud owner: Purple Flame Ernie Ball Music Man Axis and a 5150 Combo Amp.

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    5150 DoHalen5150's Avatar
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    10.08.15 @ 11:37 AM
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    Quote Originally Posted by F'nRockstar View Post
    I bought a 5150 combo amp and have been playing it quietly in my apt. I took it to the house I am moving into and turned it up (just to 3 and 4) and I HATE IT!!! I think it sounds like the biggest POS I have ever plugged into (and I have always played crappy crate and peavey Solid state amps). The small hiss doesn't bother me, its the actual sound.

    I love the rythem channel, but the lead channel sounds like crap. Real tinny and feeds back all over the place. Even a little gain causes feedback. I can't get a warm sound out of it for anything. Even with the lows on 10 and the mid and high on zero, it still sounds tinny. I have the preamp set at about 4 1/2 (anymore makes it totally feedback) The Res and Presence are both at about 5 (I have tried them everywhere)

    Could the tubes be toast? The guy I bought it from said they were fine. How do I test them? The amp is loud as all hell. I am playing it straight out of an ErnieBall Axis.

    Thanks in advance for your help (I'm a newbie with tube amps)
    Go check out the new guitarworld with ed on the cover. He talks about how his amps all feedback when cranked...in his opinion thats how they are supposed to sound, and its all about you and your guitar...or something along those lines....perhaps try turning the distortion down...another thing he says is that he keeps his distortion low??? I'm tired, I wish I could remember what the hell he was talking about in the article.
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    12.14.17 @ 12:39 PM
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    I don't know, keep playing with it and try all kinds of settings. Sometimes you just need a bit of time to get familiar with something to be able to take advantage of what it offers. What type of sound are you looking for?

    It could also be that this isn't the amp for you, even if it does have HIS name on it.

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    Eruption
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    07.14.10 @ 09:31 AM
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    Well, I'm thinking that you either don't know how to set the amp up or something is messed up, I have a 5150 combo and my lead channel is not "tinny"...although now that I think about it I'm not quite sure what you mean by "tinny sounding". Also, 5150's have a TON of gain, if you have the volume at 3-4, then to get major amounts of feedback you must have the gain set 8-10. I keep it at around 5, and even with the volume at 6-7, the feedback isn't too bad, yes, it's going to be there, but it's not uncontrollable. If your's is uncontrollable with the gain at a decent setting, then it's probably bad tubes.

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    Atomic Punk fast98dodge's Avatar
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    08.07.17 @ 08:14 PM
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    I have the gain at around 3 to 4 and the master volume around 3 or 4 and it doesn't feedback and has plenty of gain... I turn up the bass to around 7 and set the resonance around 7 and that takes care of the "tinny" sound...
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    I've never felt that the combo sounded as good as the head and a cab, but I think that has more to do with the actual cabinet itself. I EQ my combo about the same as I do my heads, and it produces just a slightly less "thunky" tone as the 4x12. It's hardly ever sounded "tinny," though, EXCEPT: a) when a power tube slipped out of the socket (which blew the fuse), and b) when the speaker cable wasn't completely connected.

    Do the dummy check: Remove the back grill and remove and then reinsert all of the pre-amp and power tubes. Then do the same with the speaker cable. Set the EQs, Resonance, and Presence to about the 12 o'clock position (kind of neutral) and the pre and post gains to about three. See what you get. If it still sounds tinny, it might be time to replace tubes.

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    Hot For Teacher danielleesale's Avatar
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    11.19.17 @ 03:14 PM
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    I have the combo, and use the lead channel. I'm not going to lie, it took me a while to dial in something that I was happy with, but since then, it's been great.

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    04.30.16 @ 03:52 PM
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    Try using the clean channel with the "Crunch" Button engaged.

    I always thought that sounded better than the lead channel.
    How open-minded do I have to be before my brains start spilling out?

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    08.06.08 @ 04:31 AM
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    I felt the same way when I got my combo. Even for the first month or two, I thought about selling it. First of all, be patient and try every single suggestion you read/hear from people on the web. Eventually you will dial in something you like. That's exactly what happened to me. Once I found a setting I liked, I wrote it down and that's the basis for my tweaking.

    A few other tips I found out by goofing with it:
    a) JJ tubes in V1 and V2 position help a lot. V5, V4, and V3 can be lower gain tubes or just try other brand 12Ax7. I found some magic in a few old GE 12AX7 I had sitting around.

    b) Low gain input for a high output pickup. I know this somewhat defeats the purpose of the whole 'over the top' gain structure of the 5150 but its an easy way to begin to tame the buzz. If you choose to do this, you'll find yourself cranking on the RHYTHM channel pre. It's ok. I run my rhythm channel pre at like 9 on the dial and while it seems like its really HOT by the numbers, its actually very Marshall-esque in tone. Lead Pre still rides between 5 and 7.

    c) Try using a buffered volume control on your effects loop. If you can tame the amount of signal going into the loop RETURN, you can CRANK the output dial to 7 or 8 and still play at bedroom volumes. for some reason, this works very well for me and by looking at the schematic, it shouldn't make a huge difference but it does.

    Finally, I personally think the combo sounds best going through a 4x12 with the master between 5 - 7. That's incredibly loud but that's probably how Peavey and EVH tested the amp. They proabably weren't testing it at bedroom levels for tone so I really can't fault them for the tone that way.

    Good Luck

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    Eruption F'nRockstar's Avatar
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    Thanks for the help. I love the rythem channel, however, it doesn't have enough gain for me.

    I am going to try the low gain input and see how that does. I have tried every setting imaginable and the lead channel still sounds like crap at every volume.

    My gain is only set on 4 or 5. Anything more than that just feedsback so loud you can't stand it.
    Lets just throw a pound of weed in the fire place, f@#% it!

    Proud owner: Purple Flame Ernie Ball Music Man Axis and a 5150 Combo Amp.

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    Good Enough nobozos's Avatar
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    My 5150 combo used to eat pre-amp tubes for breakfast. Literally replacing them about every 3 months when I was gigging regularly. Try replacing only the pre-amp tubes, and use JJ tubes.

    I also replaced my stock speakers with Celestion Vintage 30's, and to my ear, it sounded much better.
    "Having an opinion that people disagree with doesn't make you a Douche, arguing with the people who disagree with your opinion and calling them stupid does!" -Me.

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    I've tried several brands of tubes in my 5150s, and I've found Electro-Harmonix to be very reliable. (Anyone know who makes them?) For all the hype about tubes, I just want ones that sound good and can take the beating a high gain amp gives them when I'm playing at super loud stage volumes and in the studio. EH have always been excellent. (The biggest duds: Sovtek.)

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    Quote Originally Posted by AndrewThomas.net View Post
    I've tried several brands of tubes in my 5150s, and I've found Electro-Harmonix to be very reliable. (Anyone know who makes them?) For all the hype about tubes, I just want ones that sound good and can take the beating a high gain amp gives them when I'm playing at super loud stage volumes and in the studio. EH have always been excellent. (The biggest duds: Sovtek.)
    I have to agree with that. EH tubes are usually very reliable. I used to use Sovteks in the power section, but they never lasted more than a couple of months, so I'm using EH in the power section as well. So far so good with over 6 months on them. I don't even play out, that's how crappy the Sovteks are. And don't bother with matched sets of tubes-it's a waste of money IMO.

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    Eruption TheMightyCopenHalenII's Avatar
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    07.16.12 @ 10:56 PM
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    Quote Originally Posted by F'nRockstar View Post
    I bought a 5150 combo amp and have been playing it quietly in my apt. I took it to the house I am moving into and turned it up (just to 3 and 4) and I HATE IT!!! I think it sounds like the biggest POS I have ever plugged into (and I have always played crappy crate and peavey Solid state amps). The small hiss doesn't bother me, its the actual sound.

    I love the rythem channel, but the lead channel sounds like crap. Real tinny and feeds back all over the place. Even a little gain causes feedback. I can't get a warm sound out of it for anything. Even with the lows on 10 and the mid and high on zero, it still sounds tinny. I have the preamp set at about 4 1/2 (anymore makes it totally feedback) The Res and Presence are both at about 5 (I have tried them everywhere)

    Could the tubes be toast? The guy I bought it from said they were fine. How do I test them? The amp is loud as all hell. I am playing it straight out of an ErnieBall Axis.

    Thanks in advance for your help (I'm a newbie with tube amps)
    As someone who's in the exact situation before (except for never playing a tube amp), I know what your problem is already.

    A solid stater, or POD on 2 (give or take) is something you've been cautious with. You're stuck with that mentality of being scared of pissing off the neighbors and getting evicted. When that shit sounds loud to you, go with it. Establish a cutoff time to be playing with the tube amp, or if you're recording on the weekend, fuck it, just let your neighbors know and ask if it's cool. If they're dicks, fuck em. But I know, even with headphones, when my girlfriend's sleepin, I get frustrated that I'm hittin the strings to hard and say fuck it sometimes...but I just moved from a triplex Townhouse to a house, so no more of that shit.
    FUCK THE DUMB SHIT!!!!

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    Eruption
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    Just don't put Groove Tubes in it, those things suck balls in a 5150. I had JJ's and when they got old the only tubes I could find real fast around here were GT. Needless to say, I noticed quite a significant difference, and I was not happy. Tubes do make a big difference when you're picky with tone. I recommend JJ's and Electro-Harmonix for the 5150.

 

 

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