Metal 5150 tones: Friedman BE vs. 5150 stealth vs. block letter vs LBX

Discussion in 'Gear & Equipment' started by narad, Apr 26, 2018.

  1. narad

    narad SS.org Regular

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    So I'm wondering if anyone has compared a good set of these in the context of classic 5150 metal tones. Basically I'd really like something to get those old death metal sounds that were almost all 5150/EMGs, and trying to find the amp that's most justifiable. I throw these up since they all kind of brown sound based amps, but they're not often compared from the perspective of metal. Basically as I see it:

    Friedman: Cleans I would use. Midgain tones that are amazing. Metal? I'm not sure. I'd probably get the BE-50. Expensive.

    5150 stealth: Sounds amazing for high gain / metal, but not impressed by the rest. Expensive for just a high gain sound.

    Block letter: Hard to find in good condition, but can definitely do the metal sound and are overall pretty cheap. Cheap enough to justify just for the iconic sound.

    LBX: Easy to find, cheap, convenient. Downsides: EL84s. I just can't trust EL84s to deliver that sound... am I wrong?
     
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  2. HeHasTheJazzHands

    HeHasTheJazzHands greg rulz ok

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    A Friedman can do metal no problem. Just don't know if it would be in the vein of a 5150. It's more like a Marshall meets a Mesa.

    Have you checked out the PRS Mark Tremonti amp? Seems like it would cover that ground. Great clean, great dirt, 6L6 tubes.
     
  3. narad

    narad SS.org Regular

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    Huh, that's interesting. I recall an opinion that they weren't any good, but I might have just dreamt that after reading the boards before bedtime :) Does sound good on youtube so far...
     
  4. Wizard of Ozz

    Wizard of Ozz Arch-Mage of Metal

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    KSR Gemini

    It'll do it all. Much better solution all around.
     
  5. op1e

    op1e Blood_Lust:Unlimited

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    This is why I have an MTS rig. Marshall, Fender and ENGL loaded in the 3 slots. And I run a 6505mh with my loop switcher for a 4th channel. They make an S1S0 module (or a Trilogy if you can find one) that cover the sound of the I/II/III versions of the 5150. I would have gotten that instead of the MH but I wanted a portable rig for short sets and out of towners.
     
  6. op1e

    op1e Blood_Lust:Unlimited

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    I picked up an unloaded rm100 for $350. You can find them all day with 1 or 2 modules in them 450-550.
     
  7. narad

    narad SS.org Regular

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    Oh yea, the Gemini is on the list already for sure. Would it actually cop those old ... maybe In Flames sort of 5150 tones, or would it be more its own thing? I'm jus curious because if chasing the brown sound with KSR amps, it would probably make more sense to go with the Juno, so -- having no hands on experience -- I could see the case being more easily made that the Juno would be closer to the old 5150 sound.

    Ah, there's just something I feel like isn't 100% there with the MTS or synergy system. I love the idea, and the 5150 is super pre-ampy, which is probably a large part of why the LBX can pull off something similar, but I haven't heard anything that's really felt right. Do you have any clips? But yea, I'm fortunate in basically having a marshall, and fender, and engl amp here, just looking to fill that 5150 niche.
     
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  8. Cynicanal

    Cynicanal SS.org Regular

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    Unless your idea of "old" death metal is very different than mine, most of the old death metal bands were recording their first and second albums before the 5150 even existed. Most of that stuff was JCM800s for the bands that could afford it, Vavestates or solid-state Ampegs for the ones that couldn't.
     
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  9. narad

    narad SS.org Regular

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    More like swedish melodeath stuff.
     
  10. Cynicanal

    Cynicanal SS.org Regular

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    A lot of that stuff was done with an MT-2 into the clean channel of a JCM900 (what amp you use for your clean channel isn't all that important, as long as it takes pedals well). Run the pedal's mid-point high (nearly maxed; to find the right frequency, max the mids knob and sweep around, you'll know the bad frequency when you hear it, put the mid-point there so you can scoop those bees out) and the mids very low (near zero; again, the goal is to notch the bad frequency), level, bass, and treble at around noon (bass a bit lower and treble a bit higher for that colder sound like "Lunar Strain" or "The Gallery"), and the gain at a reasonable value. Lasse Lammert did a demo that shows just how good "MT-2 into clean amp" can sound, despite its terrible reputation:
     
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  11. TheWarAgainstTime

    TheWarAgainstTime "TWAT" for short

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    I own a Block Letter and 5153 50w and have spent some time with the LBX. Block Letter gets my vote every time for sheer brutalz :noodles:

    Never tried a Friedman, but the BE-50 seems promising for heavy sounds, albeit much more Marshall flavored. Also on the Marshall-ish side, there's the Überschall Twin Jet. I love mine to death, and it's the only amp I've heard get more raunchy/aggressive than my Block Letter. Around 3x the price used compared to an OG 5150, but man, it's got that fire :metal: no cleans on it, but the second channel is another nice flavor of hot-rodded medium to high gain
     
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  12. silverabyss

    silverabyss

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    Think you have the HM2 mixed up with with the MT2
     
  13. Cynicanal

    Cynicanal SS.org Regular

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    From Friedman, I'd think the Butterslax would be a much more natural candidate for this than the BE.

    @silverabyss -- nope, I meant MT2. The Stockholm guys used the HM2, but not the Gothenberg guys (aside from At the Gates on Slaughter of the Soul, who used it as a boost for an MT2). First (and possibly second?) In Flames album, both classic Dissection albums, all of the Dan Swano produced Sacramentum albums, first two Dark Tranquility albums, etc -- all of that stuff was Metal Zone into clean channel.
     
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  14. silverabyss

    silverabyss

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    Damn you're right, I thought you were talking about the Gothenburg guys as the Stockholm/ Sunlight Studio guys :donnie:

    Damn I love the SotS tone, it's seriously a MT2 boosted with a HM2? What where they using as an amp?
     
  15. Cynicanal

    Cynicanal SS.org Regular

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    The SotS amp, like everything else done at Sunlight Studios, was a Peavey solid state. Exactly which one is debated -- some people claim Bandit, some people claim Supreme 160 -- but everyone agrees it was the clean channel of a solid state. The MT-2 with the HM2 boosting it was the real key to the sound, though. Also, a funky homemade cab was used on SotS, with two 12-inch speakers and two 10-inch speakers.
     
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  16. narad

    narad SS.org Regular

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    Yea, I don't doubt the MT2 as I used one for years and years, and will probably get another once I get my throne torcher fixed. But for the sake of this topic, if anything can do the 5150 sound, which I feel is the better sound overall (if not playing At the Gates), then that's what Im' curious about.
     
  17. diagrammatiks

    diagrammatiks SS.org Regular

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    The lbx is great for recording and practice. EL84s definitely have a sweet spot that’s lower volume then a pair of 6l6s.
     
  18. sylcfh

    sylcfh SS.org Regular

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    If you can't do metal by boosting a BE-100, you should probably switch to drums.
     
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  19. Cynicanal

    Cynicanal SS.org Regular

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    Well, obviously, nothing is going to sound more like a 5150 than a 5150, and if you're worried about how well an old block letter has been kept, the only difference between the block letter and the 6505 (not-plus version) is the tubes it shipped with.

    I've also got a Twin Jet, and while to my ears it doesn't sound much like a 5150 (I'd say it's more like a Recto with more percussive punch [but don't take "more percussive than a Recto" to mean "tight and dry like a Freyette" or something, we're still talking one really saturated amp]; it's got a bigger bottom than a 5150, and seems a bit darker and scoopier in general), it'll certainly get as mean as you want it to. I'd compare its sound more to something like Immolation on "Unholy Cult" than anything Swedish, though.
     
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  20. NinjaRaf

    NinjaRaf SS.org Regular

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    If you want metal, the regular ass 5150/6505 is the one to get. I have owned 7 Peavey 5150/6505s in various formats, a 5153 Stealth, and a 5153 50 watt, and the one that I still have is a 5150 212 combo converted to a head. The Peaveys have an aggressive ass gain structure that the 5153s do not have.

    Also, why limit yourself to a block letter? 100% the same circuit as the signature 5150s and the 6505s, only difference was the stock tubes at the time. You are just going to pay more for a block letter because of snake oil claims by internet guys trying to get more for their amp than its worth. This has all been confirmed a few times by FJA, and recently by James Brown himself in a tone talk video that you can find on youtube.
     

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