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Discussion in 'Gear & Equipment' started by King Belial, Sep 20, 2020.
If the mods are halfway to buying a second amp, yeah buy the second amp.
Then play in stereo.
There are plenty of amps that are similar in sound to a 5150 that I'd look at before wasting money on modding one, though. Don't get me wrong, the 5150 is my favorite amp. My bias modded head has gone up against amps I paid 6 times as much for and won, but it's based off the Soldano SLO circuit, as are LOTS of other amps. If you're looking to tame fizz and noise, then you want a less aggressive 5150 - so buy a Soldano Hot Rod or SLO. Problem solved.
Wouldn't this do a good job of doing a similar effect?
That or just any kind of EQ pedal where you can tame the extreme highs above ~7 - 8k and above
Just so we're clear....ya do know that the 6505 and the 5150 are the exact same thing, right?
But not the 5150 and 5150 III, like he was talking about...?
He mentioned block letter as if it was different. Whenever I hear people mention that instead of just saying 5150 it usually means they think that old myth about block letters somehow being better than the other 5150/6505 amps
Take heed on transformer "upgrading"... a lot of that is sonic psychoacoutstic trickery.
Same with adding a choke.
I've never understood the need for the bias mod, IF you can still buy powertubes that are in range for that fixed resistor. 5150's and a lot of other high gain amps don't really benefit from running a hotter bias. In fact, they sound and feel tighter/better a little on the cold side.
But if you can't get or know what the correct mV/mA that's needed, then it would come in handy.
Seriously...you can get a long way just rolling preamp tubes to "refine" or coax a richer tone outta a 5150.
Stock/healthy operating 5150/6505...
Good guitar & pickups...
TS/OD808 clean boost pedal....
V30 loaded 4x12...
Always impresses me.
I played an american-made 6505 and a 5150 and the 5150 was more aggressive and had a little more balls. But I'm referring to the evh 5153... not as aggressive as a block letter 5150 made by Peavey
Btw, if you care about bias... the Behringer knockoff Bugera 6262 (6505+) original has adjustable bias, and the Bugera 6262 Infinium version has self-biasing, mix and match, and tube life indicators
Whole amp can be had used for the price of getting a bias mod professionally installed
If anything it's the bias or tubes...but the 5150 and the 6505 are the exact same amp
Bias mod maybe, I’ve gone through a few other “mods” too. Transformer upgrade sounds good but I don’t think it’s necessarily better tbh. It was said earlier but the best things you can do with a 5150 is get fresh tubes in it, get it up past 2 on the volume knob and send it through a good cab, everything else is just sprinkles on the icing. If the 5150 doesn’t do it for you the 5150 II might. If you’re playing the amp turned up against a drummer and you don’t like it then it’s not for you, nothing is going change that. You can convince yourself otherwise after spending the money on mods but I bet you’ll end up selling it if you don’t like it stock.
Btw...you mod an amp because you love it and you want to tailor it to your needs.
You do NOT mod an amp you aren't already in love with. Mods aren't for saving shitty amps
Quoting for emphasis.
Except speaker swaps for combos
They can be pretty shocking
Look up the vids of people on youtube using a Fender/Squier Frontman 15R to drive a Mesa 4x12 to illustrate just how much of a difference. It's fucking unrecognizable.
PS also, master volume mods for quieter use. Some amps just cannot sound good unless the gains are up a bunch.
I think it depends on what you're going for - I've owned at least 10 different 5150/6505s (stock, FJA & Voodoo Modded, etc), plus a 5150 combo, in addition to 2 6505+ heads, plus the combo. I always loved the 5150 tone but it was almost too aggressive for me with its fizzy top end, maybe even too much on the dry side. I'd go through points of loving the amp and then sell it, only to buy something else I didn't like as much and buy another one.
My most recent 5150 is the first I've owned with the bias mod and there's definitely something special about it. I put the same tubes I usually put in my 5150s in it so there's no difference there. The amp responds a lot more differently on the low end than any 5150 I've owned. It's much more saturated, almost as if running the tubes hotter is giving it more power tube saturation at lower volumes, which smooths out the top end a bit as well. It's definitely still the classic 5150 but less harsh, but I could see why someone wouldn't like it as much as the stock amp.
I wonder if that's why I always though my Bugera 6260 sounded a bit sweeter than the real deal....
The bias hotter mod doesn't always sound good to me. It makes the amp sound loose on higher volumes. The stock cold bias keeps it tight and clean on anything above 4 on the volume. You also get some cut on the treble and more bass as you bias hotter. But, I like the aggressive fizz.
The cold bias is also better when you are using modelers through the effects loop. You get a cleaner signal for your preamp models and the power amp stays clean when you crank it up.
The 6505/5150/6505+/5150II power sections are one of the better ones for dicking around with preamps.
Confirming all this. I always felt the high end fizz could always be dialed out with post-EQing anyway. The only bad thing about the 5150 series is that high end fizz, but it's easily tamed.
And as also said; the 5150 power amp is monstrous for running external preamps. I got curious and ran my Ibanez TBX150H's preamp section and my (at the time) Rocktron Piranha pre into it, and it absolutely wiped the floor with the Mosvalve I had at the time. The 5150 power section kept things tight, fat, and chugarific, while the Mosvalve sounded too nasally and muddy.
To each their own. I don't like amps that are overly tight, I feel like they're very limited in tonal options. If I need tightness, I can just throw a boost in front of it, if you want some saturation and sag, you have to buy a new amp. I'm definitely not excited about where modern metal tones have gone in the past few years, though, so our tastes are certainly different.