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  1. #1
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    07.31.17 @ 10:58 PM
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    Default Original 5150 Head - What tubes do you all use?

    I have an original 5150 head, the chip board manufacturing date is in January 1991. I have been playing for almost 17 years but technically not the smartest when it comes down to electronics or tubes. Anyways I know this puppy can get alot more growl out of it, than I am hearing. I originally was using Sovtek 6l6s, and Mesa II (Russian...) 12x7s, I mixed up the 12x7's with a cheap JJ type and still didn't like it, I got Ruby GLCMSTRS or whatever they are 6l6s, and it even had less bite than the Sovteks. I finally tried Groove Tube 6l6s, and newer Mesa 12x7s and so far have gotten the best sound out of all those combinations thus far, but still I know it can sound a lot better, there are so many gosh darn tube brands I have no idea let alone the V1, V2, or what a phase inverter tube does I have no clue... And Eddie uses Phillips tubes or did at one point? What the heck...

    I am pretty certain as well the head has not been properly looked at or serviced not once. I took it out of the cab box, cleaned it and to me the electronics look mint and everything is connected properly. But I have no idea if the two big heavy capacitor boxes have something in there that needs to be looked at? No clue. I am getting a lot of white noise (and no it is not because of my outlet or other electronics or background stuff plugged in or running...), even using two different noise gates, and also have a bizarre problem where sometimes when my effects loop is engaged, the output of volume, distortion and overall power is lower than it was without it engaged. If I do not use the foot pedal, and have the loop hooked up, it just runs at that lower output power at all times.

    Anyways you have no idea how many people I have messaged on youtube vids, even the Peavey forum itself, and no one can really give me a straight answer about tube ideas or this fix, they always suggest oh email this person at this website and buy their tube packages or all this nonsense. Us fellow VH and 5150 fans have to stick together please help me!!!
    Last edited by RevolutionMan; 05.12.15 at 08:37 PM.

  2. #2
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    12.14.17 @ 06:36 AM
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    I'm betting on a bad loop. Maybe one of the jacks or something. Probably something internal most likely. I've got two 5150 heads and matching 4x12s. Had them since early to mid 90s. One sounds like a 5150. Gigged with it. Never had a problem. Or changed power tubes. Preamp yeah. Never power. Until a couple years ago. Retube it hoping it would make it sound better. After all the research I decided I wanted it as close to stock as possible. Ruby power tubes and jj preamp. Sounded exactly the same. No difference.

    The other broke down. Stopped working all together. It saw a lot of roadwork. Brought to a local tech who said it was the output transformer. But the amp changed. It has less everything. Less volume. Less 5150 fizz. It sounds way better! Has a great open growl to it. It always kind of sounded that way. It was a little different. But the loss of balls was concerning. Back to the tech. Says everything is operating within specified parameters. So there's a mystery. But it sounds better so it stays that way. What's my point? Find a good tech and get it fixed right. Especially now that there are no more USA made Peavey 6505s. I think the USA made ones will go up in value. There's way to much kill you dead electricity inside an amp to mess around with unless you know exactly what your doing. Worth it to pay someone and have it fixed right.

    I just remembered something! The first head mentioned had/has a footswitch glitch. Sometimes I have to click the buttons on the front of the amp before it realizes the footswitch is plugged in. Bet the same thing wrong with mine is wrong with yours.

  3. #3
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    11.25.17 @ 09:06 AM
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    As for the amount of noise you have, yes...it could be a bad loop. The effects loops are known to have dust issues which can play a part. Worst case scenario is a capacitor failure. Mine had a cap fail within a week or two back in 91, then recently since I sold it to a friend he had another fail in the past month. In his case there was a lot of hiss, but also crackiling, and very little actual sound, but it is rare for these to fail since they did the repairs on the initial run.
    As for tubes...I always like Ruby power tubes, and grew to like JJ preamp tubes.
    I also did swap out the V4 preamp tube for a 12ay7 which tamed the amp a little...Gave it a little more crunch in mid point gain settings, and it ran a bit quieter...not so much hiss.
    It still had all the gain you could possibly want full up, but it turned out to be a very good cheap mod that cost the price of a tube, and a few minutes.
    It's worth it though.
    If you were to try it, you will notice it takes just slightly longer to warm up, but it doesn't effect anything adversely.

  4. #4
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    So you can use 12ay77 types in 12x7 sockets? And what position is V4 I don't really get that because I think some of the V#'s are internal?
    You can use just a spray to clean the inputs correct? And yes I should attempt to find someone to service it properly. What other tube type and brands would anyone suggest to get a more hard rock sound kind of like VH, or like the Fly On The Wall tone or old Cinderella, or Def Leppard, ya know like more crunch than blues and with a 5150, not a Marshall. I had a 100w High Gain Marshall JCM 900 and did not like it and traded it for the 5150 because I have never had one, and a friend also had a 1991 version and their's sounded a lot more wild than mine does and they were still using the original tubes it came with if you can believe it.

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    Im wondering about tubes also.

    My 1991 5150 makes all kinds of noise too.

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    Quote Originally Posted by johnnybeane View Post
    Im wondering about tubes also.

    My 1991 5150 makes all kinds of noise too.

    Sounds like a normal amount of 5150 hiss to me. As for the input. I'm guessing a micro phonic v1 preamp tube. Replace them all if you haven't already. Mine crackles and pops sometimes. Has from day one. Cheap tube sockets are I think the culprit.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by RevolutionMan View Post
    So you can use 12ay77 types in 12x7 sockets? And what position is V4 I don't really get that because I think some of the V#'s are internal?
    You can use just a spray to clean the inputs correct? And yes I should attempt to find someone to service it properly. What other tube type and brands would anyone suggest to get a more hard rock sound kind of like VH, or like the Fly On The Wall tone or old Cinderella, or Def Leppard, ya know like more crunch than blues and with a 5150, not a Marshall. I had a 100w High Gain Marshall JCM 900 and did not like it and traded it for the 5150 because I have never had one, and a friend also had a 1991 version and their's sounded a lot more wild than mine does and they were still using the original tubes it came with if you can believe it.
    Yep.. they fit, but the number is 12ay7 (not 77...may have been a typo?) anyway, yeah they fit fine, and there are others that work too. I think someone told me about a 12au7...I can't verify that.
    As far as the position number, you'll just have to look at a schem. diagram..It's been so long since I did it...and I don't own the amp anymore, but I followed a diagram online years ago. I do remember trying it in a few other positions, just to see what the effect would be, and some positions, like the first and second, either effected the gain too heavily or there was a noticeable difference in the dynamics and response.
    As far as spray cleaner, I would advise against just spraying into the inputs or tube sockets...Remember there are charged capacitors on the board, and those cans generally have a lot of pressure in them which can be a little difficult to control, so overspray or pooling of the cleaner itself on the board from those cans, CAN cause electrical bridging or a short that can severely damage the amp even if it has been unplugged from the wall for a while. Those caps can hold enough amperage to injure or even kill you for days if they do not bleed down enough on their own, which you just don't know unless you have the know-how and tool to bleed off the stored energy.

    To clean inputs, I always used MG Chemicals Gold cleaner, and applied it to Q-tips, or microfiber cleaner swabs, and clean the inputs that way by plunging and turning the swap against the internal contacts with a slight turning in the direction of the swabs wind so as not to allow any fluff to get lodged in the contacts of the inputs.
    You won't believe how much schmutz actually forms on them.
    Some is dirt, from the plugs of the cords you use regularly, but a lot is also carbon buildup from small amounts of electrical arcing that happens when you take a plug in or out of the input.
    There's a momentary arc where the connection is being made or broken, and each time, there is a tiny deposit of carbon left behind. It's very small....but imagine over the course of a year, or maybe several years on an amp that sees regular use. It adds up.

    For cleaning tube sockets, you use an old tube, spray the prongs, then insert ,and remove the tube from each socket several times wiping the prongs periodically, and reapplying the cleaner, and repeating the process. Repeat on each tube socket down the line, removing the good tube, cleaning, then putting the good tube back in it's respective socket.
    Preamp tubes are not usually sensitive to what socket they go into if they are the same type, but power tubes SHOULD NOT be placed in any other socket than what it came out of.

    This will safely remove any dirt film, or carbon tracking residue that can form on contacts, and effect an optimal connection.
    For tube types, or brands, this mod actually tames the amp a bit, at least with the JJ's...Not in a bad way. It takes some of the fizz away, and makes it sound a little more classic tube amp. There's a lot of gain still of course, but the natural crunch is a little more prominent, plus the 12ay7 tube's natural tendency to run less hot also reduces some of the hiss. It won't eliminate it but I was able to run a noise gate a little more open in the loop than the hard limiting kind of amount I had to apply before.

    For brands...It's a bit of a crapshoot over a period of time. For years I hated what JJ had to offer. They were very mid scooped, dark sounding tubes.
    Now they seem great. Don't know why. Manufacturing I'd assume.
    I've always like good ol' Sylvania, or Phillips that I used to get from our local electronics shop.
    The family business was open since the early 60's, and he spent years as one of Vancouver's premier TV repair outlets.
    He literally had tons of old NOS Phillips, Sylvania, and Mullard, tubes, and dirt cheap.
    When the old man passed away in 96', and the son decided to close up the shop, a few of us bought a whack of what he had left.
    I'm still using the last of the Phillips I have in my 70's Marshall, and a couple tube mic pres.
    Last edited by we die young; 05.25.15 at 09:16 AM.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by we die young View Post
    Yep.. they fit, but the number is 12ay7 (not 77...may have been a typo?) anyway, yeah they fit fine, and there are others that work too. I think someone told me about a 12au7...I can't verify that.
    As far as the position number, you'll just have to look at a schem. diagram..It's been so long since I did it...and I don't own the amp anymore, but I followed a diagram online years ago. I do remember trying it in a few other positions, just to see what the effect would be, and some positions, like the first and second, either effected the gain too heavily or there was a noticeable difference in the dynamics and response.
    As far as spray cleaner, I would advise against just spraying into the inputs or tube sockets...Remember there are charged capacitors on the board, and those cans generally have a lot of pressure in them which can be a little difficult to control, so overspray or pooling of the cleaner itself on the board from those cans, CAN cause electrical bridging or a short that can severely damage the amp even if it has been unplugged from the wall for a while. Those caps can hold enough amperage to injure or even kill you for days if they do not bleed down enough on their own, which you just don't know unless you have the know-how and tool to bleed off the stored energy.

    To clean inputs, I always used MG Chemicals Gold cleaner, and applied it to Q-tips, or microfiber cleaner swabs, and clean the inputs that way by plunging and turning the swap against the internal contacts with a slight turning in the direction of the swabs wind so as not to allow any fluff to get lodged in the contacts of the inputs.
    You won't believe how much schmutz actually forms on them.
    Some is dirt, from the plugs of the cords you use regularly, but a lot is also carbon buildup from small amounts of electrical arcing that happens when you take a plug in or out of the input.
    There's a momentary arc where the connection is being made or broken, and each time, there is a tiny deposit of carbon left behind. It's very small....but imagine over the course of a year, or maybe several years on an amp that sees regular use. It adds up.

    For cleaning tube sockets, you use an old tube, spray the prongs, then insert ,and remove the tube from each socket several times wiping the prongs periodically, and reapplying the cleaner, and repeating the process. Repeat on each tube socket down the line, removing the good tube, cleaning, then putting the good tube back in it's respective socket.
    Preamp tubes are not usually sensitive to what socket they go into if they are the same type, but power tubes SHOULD NOT be placed in any other socket than what it came out of.

    This will safely remove any dirt film, or carbon tracking residue that can form on contacts, and effect an optimal connection.
    For tube types, or brands, this mod actually tames the amp a bit, at least with the JJ's...Not in a bad way. It takes some of the fizz away, and makes it sound a little more classic tube amp. There's a lot of gain still of course, but the natural crunch is a little more prominent, plus the 12ay7 tube's natural tendency to run less hot also reduces some of the hiss. It won't eliminate it but I was able to run a noise gate a little more open in the loop than the hard limiting kind of amount I had to apply before.

    For brands...It's a bit of a crapshoot over a period of time. For years I hated what JJ had to offer. They were very mid scooped, dark sounding tubes.
    Now they seem great. Don't know why. Manufacturing I'd assume.
    I've always like good ol' Sylvania, or Phillips that I used to get from our local electronics shop.
    The family business was open since the early 60's, and he spent years as one of Vancouver's premier TV repair outlets.
    He literally had tons of old NOS Phillips, Sylvania, and Mullard, tubes, and dirt cheap.
    When the old man passed away in 96', and the son decided to close up the shop, a few of us bought a whack of what he had left.
    I'm still using the last of the Phillips I have in my 70's Marshall, and a couple tube mic pres.
    Those are great cleaning tips the q-tip seems to make more sense than directly spraying right into the inputs lol. You can't also spray the plug and put them into the jacks to the clean, there is gunk that gets to the back?

    Yes I will just have to try other tubes. I am trying to get a more thick distortion sound kind of like late 80's early 90's Neal Schon stuff like his Double Eclipse tone, or like Night Songs era Cinderella, Fly On The Wall AC/DC, older Def Leppard, Priest, Killer Dwarfs (guy uses and used a '91 5150), or some VH, anyways I think though all those sounds are different, they all share that thick distortion I dunno do any of you know what I'm sayin lol. Anyways that stuff but trying to get the best sound out of a '91 5150 with a hard rock sound not blues rock or modern metal. I don't use rack effects mostly Boss pedals, just an old block letter but metal script on the back MXR Phase 90, a Compressor/Sustainor, old BF-2 Flanger, mxr smart gate and an old T-9 pedal out of my loop and a DD-3 delay, Chorus Ensemble (Sometimes I use a 1985 Rockman Chorus/Delay mini rack for the chorus) in my loop and that's it and running effects through voodoo 2 plus in hopes to minimize noise. I have a Boss distortion pedal which is not very good, that Ibanez Jem dual distortion which is very noisy and I do not use it much. Also have a broken Tokai Chorus pedal which Eddie was rumoured to use at one point but don't remember. It looks cheap and has never worked. Also a 1985 Rockman Sustainor which works but I am assuming for Rockman stuff to run and sound the best use just a power amp rack not a tube head lol. Also I only have one cabinet some Behringer one that can run in stereo, but I do not have a second cabinet, so as far as say TC Electronic rack effects or something they may be redundant with one cab and not get the greatest sound you can right?
    Last edited by RevolutionMan; 05.26.15 at 03:18 PM.

 

 

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