5150/6505 wooly/mushy tone sadness

Discussion in 'Gear & Equipment' started by KVLTO, Nov 29, 2015.

  1. KVLTO

    KVLTO _____

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    Hey there, sorry if this has been dealt with before, if so please point me in the direction and waste no more time on my misery.

    I recently acquired a 5150. Having played two (one a friends 5150 through my cab and the other a 6505 head in a shop through a Peavey 6505 cab). My only reason for getting it was so I didn't have to take my loooovely H&K Duotone out on the road with me. It's already suffered quite a bit and I've only had it 6 months and I don't want to risk ....ing the thing up (any more). It cost more than my organs are worth on the black market.

    So... Excited, I hooked it up at rehearsal expecting the same ultra savage tone I'd gotten before but. No. Just loads of woofy, undefined, mushy, flat sounding upset flowing through the speakers that no tweaking of the passive tone stacks or the active resonance/presence could solve. Nothing like the sound I was expecting. It gets completely lost in the mix too. No definition at all, which is kinda important if you've got one guitar in an extreme metal band. It's all bass. I'd ended up running the bass at 2 and the resonance at 2 to get anything barely useable. (Mids at 7, Treble at 8. Presence at 6)

    Question is thus though, as I'm holding out hope. Do the 5150's not get on well with the Marshall 1960a cabs as a rule? My cab (which is in storage, not at our rehearsal space has G12H's in it and normally sounds the chihuahua's beans).

    I did try it through a Mode 4 cab... but that was even worse.

    Normally i'd go right ahead and swap out all the preamp tubes, but the guy I got it off was using it the same night I picked it up and it sounded great. So I don't understand. They (he) also tunes to B and his tone was right up in my teeth.

    Any recommendations? I can obviously hook it up with my cab, but that would be at our next show and I don't really want to risk it, if the amp has gone pup.

    FYI I'm using BC Rich ASM Pro's (neck through Mahogs with Eboner boards), TB-5 in the bridge's. Boosting it with a Green Rhino... and i'm running into the low gain input.

    End of ramble. Pls send help.
     
  2. jrui

    jrui SS.org Regular

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    here's something come to my mind :

    the pickup , seymour duncan ,especially TB5 doesn't have very high definition,
    try BKP/Lundgren of the passive or try EMG 81/81X of the active
    to me , 5150's not a fast response amp , so mainly I recommend EMG's to give you a quicker attack , so you can dial down the gain a little bit more

    the string , heavier the gauge , boomier the sound ,
    try sacrificing some string tension to gain more clarity

    the setting , dont add too much gain here, both amp and boost pedal, usually set the vol of the pedal at 12 O'clock , don't too much .
    to me usually, I'll keep the 5150's gain at 12 o'clock , pedal's at 12 o'clock, never more
    5150's overall bass response is quite huge , so keep the resonance below 10 o'clock

    yes, 5150 doesn't work very well with 1960a, usually 5150 cuts through very well, so there must be some combination problem here .

    and IF all these don't work , then I think you have only two options :
    sell it or mod it,
    bias mod helps , and you can send 5150 to FJA to get a better mod, even upgrade the transformers.
     
  3. KailM

    KailM SS.org Regular

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    I'd say something is definitely wrong with the amp if you have to run the bass and resonance that low to get an acceptable tone. Almost no "wrong combination" of cab/pickups/EQing would make a 5150 sound like that.

    Have you tried the higher gain input? How does the green channel sound with the crunch switch engaged? Since you are boosting it -- where is your gain set? Also, since your Green Rhino has adjustable bass, try cutting a bit more.

    If none of those achieve satisfactory results, I would first try rolling a new preamp tube through all of the positions. I would also order a new matched quad of JJ 6l6s. Worn out power tubes can sound muffled and lifeless, but usually they lose their low end first. But I've noticed an increase in clarity, cut, AND low end thump every time I've replaced my old PTs.
     
  4. HeHasTheJazzHands

    HeHasTheJazzHands greg rulz ok

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    Something isn't right at all. A 5150 can be pretty wooly, but doesn't sound extreme as you make it out to be. A 5150 can be decently tight enough on its own without a boost.

    Also, not cutting through? Yeah something definitely is not right.
     
  5. KVLTO

    KVLTO _____

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    Thank you guys, I kind of suspected as much. Maybe it got a bit beat up somehow. Or maybe I'm just unlucky with amps.

    I'll give it a new set of JJ's (although it was just recently serviced, perhaps it wasn't all the best service). And some new pre-amp toobs too.

    It already is bias modded.

    I did try the high gain input with the gain set around 2/3 and that was too much for me. Low gain with it set to 6/7 is about the right level. The GR is set all vol, no gain tone at 6 with a cut in the bass frequencies. It is majorly odd as when I played the shop 6505 I had the low gain input around 6/7 and that was just perfect unboosted.

    With regards to strings i'm using drop tune La Bella 13-60's steel strings. Also, the TB-5 for me works real nice with the EL34 HK. But perhaps I'll whack an EMG 81 in there and see what's what. Don't think it will be that drastic though.

    I'll give it a whirl anyway. Thank you guys. Perhaps it's the ....ty rehearsal stock cabs doing it a disservice at the very least. Or perhaps the amp is truly ....ed and the guy has done me one. In which case I'll write a really nasty song about him and play it to my cat.
     
  6. HeHasTheJazzHands

    HeHasTheJazzHands greg rulz ok

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    I'm honestly not sure how good a Marshall cab is with 5150s. It might be the culprit, though, since G12T's aren't as tight, defined, and cutting as a V30-loaded cab. They usually have a strong emphasis on the high and low end. They're the opposite of V30s.
     
  7. TeeWX

    TeeWX All The Br00tz

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    Have you tried it with another cab? The current speakers aren't going to help.
     
  8. xero7

    xero7 SS.org Regular

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    Ditch the rhino get an 808. Don't put jj pre amp tubes in it. Get Chinese pre s and tad 6l6. I ve owned three 5150 s and 5 6505 s. I know the sound ur describing. It's not the hardest sounding amp out there but does what it does well enough. I ve moved on from it for good.
     
  9. HeHasTheJazzHands

    HeHasTheJazzHands greg rulz ok

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    Nah, keep the Rhino. Will help you clean up your sound better than an 808.
     
  10. KVLTO

    KVLTO _____

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    Thank you guys, yeah the Rhino is by far and away a better boost imo, i've got a TS-808 and it spanks it. Much more control over your frequencies there. But i'll take the tube ideas into consideration.

    I have only tried the amp with a 1960a: normally pretty dark/scooped sounding to my ears, so maybe you're right there. The other was a Marshall Mode 4: louder... and ever so slightly brighter than the 1960 - apparently it's got the same speakers as my Zilla has (G12H), but it sounds a million miles away from it. Space miles.

    Either way, both sounded like a pandas breakfast. I reckon i'm going to chance it with my cab at the show. If it sounds like bananas then I'll know i've got some work to do on the damn thing.

    Thank you very much indeed, everyone!
     
  11. KailM

    KailM SS.org Regular

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    The TS 808 is the most overrated pedal of all time IMHO. I'd way rather have the Green Rhino.

    Also, JJs sound phenomenal in my 6505, whereas the Shuguang (Chinese) preamp tubes that came with my amp sounded like crap. I've heard good things about TAD 6L6s, but again, the JJ 6L6GCs I've used sound amazing...
     
  12. Eliguy666

    Eliguy666 V's are Just Better

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    The Green Rhino is a SUBSTANTIALLY better boost than the TS808. The bass cut and mid-sweep controls are things which belong on every boost, and it's far clearer and tighter than any Ibanez. It doesn't clip much, but something's telling me that that's not going to help out here.
    Thick strings absolutely won't account for muddiness unless you're tuned to F# on a 25.5/24.75" scale or something. High tension actually significantly decreases boominess, to the point where more often than not thicker strings will sound more defined. A set of 60s in B standard is perfectly middle of the road.
    I'm just putting my money on it being a preamp issue. Get it in for that servicing and we'll see.
     
  13. NinjaRaf

    NinjaRaf SS.org Regular

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    Definitely sounds like something isnt right. I dont like the original 5150s much because of the low end response, and I think its easy for the low end to get out of control, but this sounds like a bigger issue than just you not liking the tone of the amp.
     
  14. KVLTO

    KVLTO _____

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    Fixed it!

    Tung Sol 5751 in V1, a JJ 12AX7MG in V2 and a TAD 12AX7 RT001 in V5 has done the trick. Much much more response. Think I had a farter in V1 especially as the entire amp has come alive.

    Bass now controllable (although still rolled off a bit...) and punchy. Mids have been brought out subtly and, well... there's treble now.

    Still think I need a new PT section. But I'll need next months pay for that.

    Thank you for your help!
     
  15. NinjaRaf

    NinjaRaf SS.org Regular

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    Awesome. I love when these things turn out to be tube issues. Easy and cheap fix.
     

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