EVH 5150 III 50W 6L6 vs EL34!

Guitarjon

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I now have both the EVH 5150 III 50W 6L6 and the EL34 so it made a lot of sense for me to make a comparison of both! While I was working on the comparison however, the new 6L6 amp broke down and I had to get a replacement from Thomann. Luckily they sorted it out very quickly and I had my new head within a couple of days! Wonderful! :)

In short: the 6L6 is more tight and bright overall but in most cases the difference is quite subtle. The blue channels, that's where the biggest difference is at as you'll hear in the comparison. The EL34's blue channel is more fat and loose. There still is a difference with the green and red channels though. I don't know whether that's because of the different powertubes, the general voicing of the amp or maybe biasing? Either way, this was a lot of fun!

I hope you find it useful:

 

Adieu

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Here's an idea for a video:
Expensive shiny new EVHs vs. cheapest Peavey Vypyr practice amp's 6505/6534 models vs. used POS Bugera knockoff (6260/6262)
 

Deadpool_25

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Good video Jon! The difference in the blue channels is quite evident and accurate to my own experience so I think you did a good job capturing their essences. Likewise I feel like you captured how similar (not identical) the green and red channels are.

It looked like you kept everything at noon. Maybe consider a video focused on the blue channels. You could dial one in to sound its best (to you) then see if you can dial the other one in to sound similar. Then do it the other way as well.

Another interesting thing is to dial in the EL34 blue channel to sound its best, then see what the green channel sounds like. That was one of the very minor annoyances for me. I tried to dial the blue in to be as modern as I could* but then I didn’t love the green channel tone without readjusting the EQ. I don’t have that issue with the 6L6 or the Stealth.

* In fairness, the EL34 blue doesn’t seem targeted to get modern metal tones so I was kinda asking it to do something it was probably not designed to do.
 

HeHasTheJazzHands

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Preferred the 6L6 on almost every example. Cleans were slightly brighter, I prefer the tighter blue channel, and the red channel is slightly more mean.
Overall besides the blue channel, there's not much difference. I find it funny how the EL34 was advertised as an amp to get Eddie's classic DLR-era sound when 1) no it isn't :lol: and 2) iIRC he didn't even use EL34s. It never came off as remotely Marshall to me, just a slightly different 5150.
 

drb

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Vastly preferred the blue channel on the 6L6 for my tastes, the green seemed ever so slightly warmer on the EL34 and the red seemed almost identical.

Does the 6L6 have more gain on the blue channel than the Stealth? My Stealth's blue channel reacts to an OD well and sounds extremely high gain at noon, but without a boost 2 o'clock it seems less gainy than in the video - on all of my guitars no matter the pickups.
 

Guitarjon

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Good video Jon! The difference in the blue channels is quite evident and accurate to my own experience so I think you did a good job capturing their essences. Likewise I feel like you captured how similar (not identical) the green and red channels are.

It looked like you kept everything at noon. Maybe consider a video focused on the blue channels. You could dial one in to sound its best (to you) then see if you can dial the other one in to sound similar. Then do it the other way as well.

Another interesting thing is to dial in the EL34 blue channel to sound its best, then see what the green channel sounds like. That was one of the very minor annoyances for me. I tried to dial the blue in to be as modern as I could* but then I didn’t love the green channel tone without readjusting the EQ. I don’t have that issue with the 6L6 or the Stealth.

* In fairness, the EL34 blue doesn’t seem targeted to get modern metal tones so I was kinda asking it to do something it was probably not designed to do.

Thanks! Yeah, I already talked and showcased the blue channel with various settings in other videos from the past so in this one I just wanted to keep it simple and showcase it with one setting only. Who knows, I might do another dedicated video in the future though.... Could be fun.
 

narojo

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I love them both. What a great comparison. To me there is a huge difference. 6L6 definitely tighter, but the EL34s have a way of really singing when they're cranked. I feel there is a lot you could do with these amps together. The 6L6 in stereo in clean sounds super awesome. Much better than the cleans out of my 6505+ with 6L6s in it.
 
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Deadpool_25

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Thanks! Yeah, I already talked and showcased the blue channel with various settings in other videos from the past so in this one I just wanted to keep it simple and showcase it with one setting only. Who knows, I might do another dedicated video in the future though.... Could be fun.
You want to make a dedicated blue channel video.

8BD3477F-4B15-4BDC-BEC7-6C02A35C3D9F.jpeg
 

Deadpool_25

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I love them both. What a great comparison. To me there is a huge difference. 6L6 definitely tighter, but the EL34s have a way of really singing when they're cranked. I feel there is a lot you could do with these amps together. The 6L6 in stereo in clean sounds super awesome. Much better than the cleans out of my 6505+ with 6L6s in it.
If you have an EQ pedal, put that in front of the 6505+, set it to a scooped curve, and then try the clean again. It’ll probably shock you.
 

narojo

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If you have an EQ pedal, put that in front of the 6505+, set it to a scooped curve, and then try the clean again. It’ll probably shock you.
YljYmd2N0LRiqWHEqYImbDO4eMr5ASNWL3MDwD2cq_E.jpg
 

narojo

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Former bandmate of mine is selling his EL34 for 800. If I didn't just buy a Diezel...
 


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