Wondering if I should upgrade from my Block letter 5150

Discussion in 'Gear & Equipment' started by decoy205, Feb 16, 2018.

  1. decoy205

    decoy205 SS.org Regular

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    My rig is the standard 5150 and Mesa 4x12. The 5150 is old and it’s having the dreaded volume drop issue. It used to be easily solved with the cleaner in the effects loop or jumping the loop but that’s not working now. My guess is that some old joints have gone broken. I will probably get it serviced and hopefully fix it but...

    I’m using the torpedo live more these days and it got me thinking with all the new options out there is there a new standard for this type of tone but maybe with a few upgrades in versatility?

    Really intrigued by the Fortin designed stuff as well as KSR and even the new 5150iii also like the 50 watt options of late.

    It’s tough to find some of these amps to try so wondering if anyone else has came to this point and what direction they went.
    These days I’m mosttly using it for practice and home tracking.

    Thanks!
    -John
     
  2. decoy205

    decoy205 SS.org Regular

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    Also I had rectifiers for years and I didn’t really get what I wanted from them so those are not really what I’m looking for.
     
  3. bnzboy

    bnzboy Asian Dying

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    not sure if I would call it an upgrade but if you like Mike's stuff then try Randall Satan. The volume is quiet bedroom friendly and it rips. All my OD/boost pedals haven't been used in a long time.
     
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  4. Deadpool_25

    Deadpool_25 SS.org Regular

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    Kinda describing the Invective there.
     
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  5. budda

    budda Do not criticize as this Contributor

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    Retube your amp and get it serviced. Put the new amp money in a bank account and try some amps. You may find the block letter does what you like best.
     
  6. NorCal_Val

    NorCal_Val SS.org Regular

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    Randall Satan is the most intriguing new(ish) amp out there.
     
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  7. DudeManBrother

    DudeManBrother Hey...how did everybody get in my room?

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    Your amp most definitely needs a cap job at this point. I’d get it fixed and see if the magic is still there for you once it’s working again.
    I’d personally keep it(and fix it) and grab a second amp with a different gain structure. Bogner Uberschall, Pitbull UL, Mesa Mark IIc+,III,IV,V,JP2C, Diezel Herbert, VH4, PRS Archon, Framus Dragon, Cobra etc. lots of amps that do a recto type sound or tight as balls dry sound that can be a blast to play on, knowing that old faithful is still in the room whenever you want it.
    Just don’t buy a Kemper! :lol: I’ve had mine for maybe 3-4 years and my tube amp collection has tripled since I’ve had the ability to “preview” all these great amps to the point that I have to grab the real deal.
     
  8. decoy205

    decoy205 SS.org Regular

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    Definitely one of the ones on the short list. I’m curious if anyone made the switch and are happy.

    Been following the thread. Seems like some folks are digging it others not so much. May be a bit too many features for my use although from what I hear of the clean tones they are nice.

    Tubes do not have many hours on them. So I know it’s not the tubes. It’s definitely some kinds of electronics issue. I’m takin it to a tech soon!

    I find the new hiwatt max watt Fortin designed very interesting as well as the Satan and the Archon 50. Even the soldano hot rods seem like they may work with a boost.

    I like using a boost so I don’t mind that.

    Do the EVH 5150iiis have the same loop issues as the Peavey?
     
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  9. decoy205

    decoy205 SS.org Regular

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    Good advice for sure! I definitely think it’s something like caps it’s old and needs a once over at this point. If I fix it and it’s still got the sound I think that’s what I’d like to do is get another amp with another flavor.

    I totally get the Kemper thing as well ha. I would still end up finding a tone I love and just sticking to it so I don’t think that is the route for me. Plus I definitely don’t have a budget for a huge amp collection!
     
  10. budda

    budda Do not criticize as this Contributor

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    Tubes dont have to have any hours on them to have problems. You'll find that most high gain heads are a variant of a 5150, which is a hot rodded marshall with some tweaks.
     
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  11. KailM

    KailM SS.org Regular

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    I've tried many, many high gain heads and here's the conclusion I've come to -- nothing does the original 5150/6505 thing like an actual 5150/6505. They are the perfect balance between "tight enough" and out-of-control balls. I will never part with mine.

    So I would plan on keeping it but definitely try some others with a completely different character just for the sake of having some variety.
     
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  12. jerm

    jerm SS.org Regular

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    Bogner Uberschall Rev 2 is a good option.
     
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  13. Elric

    Elric SS.org Regular

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    You're talking like a dude who just wants to try something new. Jus' admit it! :eddie:
     
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  14. rexbinary

    rexbinary MOD King

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    No I don't believe so. The fx loop on my LBX and my 50w EL34 are outstanding.
     
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  15. man jerk

    man jerk SS.org Regular

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    I sold my block letter last summer to fund a 5150III 50w. Mine was like near museum condition, and I just about cried when I boxed it up to ship it out, but I don't regret it. My 5153 is plenty awesome, smaller and more versatile.
     
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  16. decoy205

    decoy205 SS.org Regular

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    Good point I suppose it could be the tubes.


    That’s the sort of thinking I was expecting ha. I hope I can get it working reliably and maybe add another amp for variety.

    Thanks! That’s good to know.

    Glad to hear that they are reliable and they can take the place of the Peavey. This is the type of experience I was hoping would be discussed.
     
  17. decoy205

    decoy205 SS.org Regular

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    Not gonna lie id love to try all of em. Just trying to narrow it down.:cheers:
     
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  18. budda

    budda Do not criticize as this Contributor

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    If you want a different flavour, find a triple rec and run them in stereo :yesway:
     
  19. decoy205

    decoy205 SS.org Regular

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    My original plan was to get a jcm800 type of amp. Just use em for different styles.

    What I’m getting from this is that most of the high gain standards still stand strong. 5150 dual Recto and Mark V.
     
  20. USMarine75

    USMarine75 The man who is tired of the anus is tired of life Contributor

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    As someone who collects/plays an F-ton of Peaveys over the last 30+ years... The 5150/6505 series is great (I still have 3 different ones). The new EVH 5153 is basically a modded 5150 that remedies most of the usual 5150-esque complaints... The lead channel is smoother, with less of the throaty mid-range rasp. They are still built like tanks. Probably the greatest improvement is the Fender clean channel.

    Also, if you swap out the 12AX7 in the PI spot to a 12AT7 or 12AU7, you'll get much more usable gain all the way up to 10, if you're worried about having "too much gain".

    If you want to go the hot rodded JCM800 route, I can't say enough great things about Splawn. I have the latest QuickRod and it is just amazing. You have 2 OD channels, a solo channel, 3 gears (hot JCM, super hot JCM, and modern hi gain JCM), a fantastic clean (they added another tube to improve the older, poorer quality cleans), a B+ plate voltage drop switch (adds some sag, think variac), and a pre/post-2007 tone switch (I actually prefer the older tone), and mid cut.

    Splawn comes in standard tubing (in this case EL34) or you can upgrade to KT88, if you want more bass and headroom. You probably don't lol. Also, there's the Nitro or Nitro KT88, which is more compressed and more bassy. I think the Nitro sounds like a Framus Cobra personally FWIW (i.e. complaints about bass being hard to control/tame/make usable).

    Scott is also great to deal with, which is a huge plus these days.

    Other amps that I have/can recommend in this area: PRS Archon, Peavey JSX, definitely check out the Soldano Hot Rod 50+, and of course you can't go wrong with a KPA.

    Others I'd recommend: Randall 667, Marshall JVM410HJS.
     
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