NAD x2: Mesa Mark V and 5150 Block Letter

Discussion in 'Gear & Equipment' started by TheWarAgainstTime, Oct 23, 2017.

  1. TheWarAgainstTime

    TheWarAgainstTime "TWAT" for short

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    This thread is long overdue, but I feel it's still worth posting since it's about two amps I've been talking about picking up for a long, long time :D

    First up is a Peavey 5150 Block Letter. I've had GAS for one of these for as long as I can remember. My old band's other guitarist had one and I briefly owned a 6505 2x12 combo, so while I was familiar with the sound of the amp and loved it, I never actually had my own proper head version. I happened upon a guy selling this one on a Facebook group for a solid price, especially for the condition and having newish Mesa power tubes. To further justify the purchase to myself, it popped up about two weeks before my birthday, so it ended up being a heavy, brutal gift to myself :lol:

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    With my tricked out EVH:
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    This amp gets so brutal so fast, but SSO collectively already knows that :lol: the only amp that can out-anger this one is my Twin Jet, and even that's a close call.

    I've mostly played it through my Mesa Stiletto 4x12, but have also tried it through my Fatbottom 4x12 with good results. Just like when I had the 6505 combo, I have the red channel set up to be a heavy rhythm sound and the green channel to be a medium-high gain solo sound with lots of body and bite. I replaced the phase inverter tube with a balanced Sovtek LPS, put a 5751 in V1, and a Chinese in the FX loop spot. I still run the gain fairly low, but the 5751 helps a good bit with note definition and general clarity, especially on the green channel.

    Next is the Mesa Mark V. I had a first-run Mark V back in 2013-2014 and ended up selling it because my EVH did everything I needed for my band at the time and I thought having two expensive amps was superfluous. Yeah, get your laughs in now... :facepalm: ever since then, I've regretted getting rid of it since the cleans and solo tones I got out from it were second to none. I've picked up a number of other killer amps and cabs since then, but have always maintained that I'd like to get another Mark V when the time/price/my savings were all just right. I managed to find a killer price on this one on Reverb, and it even came with a heavy-duty padded cover that has a big pocket for the footswitch as well.

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    UPS did a H E L L of a job banging it around in transit, though. The box was thrashed and the phase inverter tube had gone microphonic, but the amp itself and footswitch were undamaged otherwise. The seller filed an insurance claim and refunded me a bit of cash for the tube, which was absolutely ace :yesway:

    Again, this amp got a balanced Sovtek LPS in the phase inverter like all of my amps do. I also swapped in an EHX in V1 and a Sovtek in V2. The EHX is a bit brighter, mid focused, and clearer compared to the stock Mesa, which is a nice, subtle change for all the amp channels. Not as noticeable as a 5751 like I have in the 5150 and my EVH, but the cleans on this amp are already stellar, so it doesn't really need the help of lower gain tubes to get there. The Sovtek in V2 just cleans up a bit of mush on the second channel, which is pretty helpful since I'm maxing out the gain on the "crunch" mode.

    I'm running channel 1 on the "fat" mode with the bold switch engaged, channel 2 in "crunch" mode, and channel 3 in "Mark IV" mode with the bright switch engaged, all 90w, diode tracking, and pentode on ch3 on the back of the amp. The sounds from this amp are just unbelievable, and the versatility is the best out of all my amps.

    I'm definitely a happy camper :shred:
     
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  2. InCasinoOut

    InCasinoOut syncopAZN

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    Damn dude, that is a sick collection of gear. Many of my favorites and do wants right there. Congrats!

    How does the original 5150 compare to the 5150 III in your experience? I'm thinking of picking up the 50 watt III down the line to supplement my Mark V 35. Mark for recording, 5150 for taking out to jam.
     
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  3. Gravy Train

    Gravy Train Night Fiddler

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    What a wall of power. HNAD!
     
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  4. TheWarAgainstTime

    TheWarAgainstTime "TWAT" for short

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    Thanks guys!

    InCasinoOut: Compared to the Block Letter, the 5153 is a little smoother in gain structure, but brighter overall, slightly notched in the lower mids, and has much better cleans available. Still plenty of mids, just more focused on higher mids. The volume jump on the blue/green channels is annoying if you don't run the gain around at least 5 or use another piece of gear in the loop to compensate, but otherwise it's a great amp overall. I gigged with mine using a TC G Major to take care of effects and the volume jump. The new el-34 version of the 5153 has concentric pots to eliminate the volume jump, FWIW, so it may be worth getting that version if you need all three channels.
     
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  5. Dineley

    Dineley SS.org Regular

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    Sick to the new amps. Sick to the Bogner and VHT which is your go to for playing Yellowcard??
     
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  6. TheWarAgainstTime

    TheWarAgainstTime "TWAT" for short

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    Good catch with the Yellowcard sign :lol: for as much as I like them, I really need to get cracking on actually learning more of their material

    I have all the amps dialed in for heavier/modern metal sounds that I play most of the time, but the Mark and VHT could do Yellowcard tones all day with the right tweaking. The 5150's and Twin Jet are too modern overall IMO, but the hot rod channel of the Bogner can do a nice chunky rhythm sound like the Ocean Avenue album. Pretty sure that album was all Rectifiers, though.
     
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  7. KailM

    KailM SS.org Regular

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    That's a sick collection man!
     
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  8. cGoEcYk

    cGoEcYk SS.org Regular

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    Nice wall of amps! I am concerned about the Pittbull looking neglected over there.

    I remember that great chunky sound. In the music vid one dude had a Recto stack, the other a Marshall. Could have been for show.
     
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  9. mongey

    mongey SS.org Regular

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    that's an epic stable of amps


    need to run all 5 in parallel and end the world
     
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  10. DudeManBrother

    DudeManBrother Blames it on "the rain"

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    How would you compare the Twin Jet to the 5150? I’ve been patiently waiting for a rev green, but I see decent deals on the twin jets more often
     
  11. TheWarAgainstTime

    TheWarAgainstTime "TWAT" for short

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    It's not completely alone ;) I also have a 50/CL that stays with me up where I go to school, so someday during a break or after I graduate I'll have it and the UL paired up on the big wall of gear :D

    Keep in mind the Twin Jet doesn't really do cleans like the other versions, though I've never tried any other Uber to compare and see how good the cleans really are on a rev green, 2, or blue.

    At least the way I have both amps dialed in, the 5150 sounds pretty similar to what you hear on a lot of albums from bands like Parkway Drive, The Ghost Inside, Machine Head, etc. Very thick, great for chugs, akin to a chainsaw. By comparison, the Twin Jet puts out more focused sub lows, a bit less lower mids in favor of a more Marshall-esque grindy midrange, and more aggression like you removed a bed sheet from the cabinet you were playing the 5150 through. Think flamethrower more than chainsaw. While the controls on the 5150 are very logical (turn up mids for more mids, turn down presence for less bite, etc.) the controls on the TJ all have a very specific interaction between themselves. In addition to the master presence, each channel has treble and its own presence, so you can focus in on a few different ranges of higher frequencies that will make the midrange come across differently and determine how smooth or nasty the top end is. Both Ola Englund and RezaMatix have really good videos of the Twin Jet in action with different settings so you can hear somewhat how the controls interact :yesway:
     
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2017
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  12. Sleazy_D

    Sleazy_D SS.org Regular

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    Damn son
     
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  13. MASS DEFECT

    MASS DEFECT SS.ORG Infiltrator

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    Can the 5150III compete with the 5150 in terms of loudness? Ive been looking to score a 50w myself. My 6505+ is too big to lug around.
     
  14. TheWarAgainstTime

    TheWarAgainstTime "TWAT" for short

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    It can definitely keep up in volume, but would need to be set one "notch" higher to match the 120w head. Like if I have my 5150 post gain on 2, the 5150III would need to be on about 3. Not a massive difference, plus it'll be shaking the neighbor's walls down by the time the volume gets to 4 anyway :lol:

    I've been able to tote around the 5150III and a 1x12 or 2x12 around pretty easily for jams and band practices :yesway:
     
  15. BadSeed

    BadSeed SS.org Regular

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    Congrats, stellar collection. Bogner Twin Jet is the next amp on my list, but you can't go wrong with any 5150 variant for modern metal tones. The original is a classic, and even though I own many more expensive amps, I will always have a 5150 variant in my stable. Every metal dude should.

    As far as the Mark V, awesome amps as well. If I weren't such a god damn knob tweaker, I'd already own one, but I know I'd spend more time tweaking than playing, and god knows I should be practicing a hell of a lot more. Have fun with that beast!
     
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  16. JD27

    JD27 ESP Cult Member

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    That is an awesome set of amps. I still want to get into to the VHT/Fryette game at some point.
     
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  17. TheWarAgainstTime

    TheWarAgainstTime "TWAT" for short

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    Definitely try out a VHT if you can! Most other amps can be described using a comparison to another, like "Oh it's like a hot-rodded Marshall with more low end" or "super loud and clean like a Twin" but VHT has its own thing going on that's very distinct and hard to replicate.

    I still want to try out a Sig:X and/or Deliverance as well :metal:
     
  18. Dawn of the Shred

    Dawn of the Shred MIW Creature

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    Killer rig and collection man!!
     
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  19. TheWarAgainstTime

    TheWarAgainstTime "TWAT" for short

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    Thanks man! It's always changing in some way :lol:
     
  20. Triple7

    Triple7 The Decepticon

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    I started out with a UL, and traded it for a Sig: X, then traded away the Sig: X. All of this was a crazy trade deal to fund a Verellen Skyhammer. My buddy has the UL, and I actually just bought another Sig: X, as I regretted getting rid of the first one. That amp is killer. I have never liked my tone more. I am going to try and get the UL back at some point as well.
     

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