Everyone, I guess even toddlers, knows perfectly well who Eddie Van Halen is. Most of us grew up listening to his performances and admiring his craftsmanship. Whether you fancy his music or not, I am sure you cannot deny that he is a true legend. Not only that, but he is also behind the construction of many quality electronic units, including amplifiers. This time he has teamed up with Fender in order to create the amp tailored to any guitarist.
Such signature models are outstanding, since the experience of musicians guarantees that everything that comprises the amplifier is usable on stage and during practices. They always make sure to create something that works wonders, delivers an amazing tone, and can last through a lifetime of utilization. EVH 5150 III 6L6 2×12 combo does exactly that at a relatively affordable price. Let’s continue this article and see, what Eddie had in mind when designing this amplifier.
As I already mentioned, Eddie Van Halen did his best to put together the pack of features that would be suited for metal players and generally anyone who loves high gain. EVH 5150 III 6L6 2×12 is a tube combo with 50 watts of power driving two 12” Celestion speakers and two 6L6GC and seven ECC83S valves in its preamp and power sections. If such power capacity sounds a bit too much for your requirements, this amp comes with a wattage attenuator that allows you to reduce the power to 1 watt. This way your gig beast will turn into a handy home practice tool.
Like its bigger brothers, EVH 5150 III 6L6 2×12 combo comes with three channels: one and two channels share the controls, while channel three has its own encoders. The gain increases as you move from the first (clean) to the second (medium gain) to third (high gain) channel. This amp comes with onboard Reverb which enhances the tonal versatility and gives you a lot of interesting options to experiment with. EVH 5150 III 6L6 2×12 comes with a four-buttoned footswitch that selects the desired channel or activates the reverb.
And of course, it has an in-built effects loop to make sure none of your dist boxes stay out of the chain. Now, this bad boy has a single input for your instrument, a headphone socket for silent practicing, MIDI input for connecting the MIDI controller, an input for your footswitch, send and return sockets for the FX loop, preamp out that can be connected to another amplifier or used for sending the preamp signal to the mixer and two speaker outputs for external cabinets.
EVH 5150 III 6L6 2×12 has quite a standard control panel. As I have already mentioned, the first two channels share the knobs, while the third one has its own set, however, they have similar functionalities. There are couple more encoders that allow you to nail every single characteristic of your sound. Let’s begin.
The first two channels have Gain, Low, Mid, High, Volume knobs, and a channel selector. The Gain is actually a dual concentric control: the inner round knob intensifies the signal on the first channel, while the outer “chicken-head” takes care of the second channel. Low, Mid and High are typical equalizers, while Volume is also dual concentric and operates the same way as the gain encoder. All it does is that is sets the level of each channel. The channel selector allows you to choose between these two channels and illuminates with either green (clean channel) or blue (medium gain) LEDs.
Moving on to the third channel, the equalizers act the same way as the previous two channels. However, the volume knob here is basically a post-preamp gain control. Here we do also have a button that activates this channel. The next in line is Presence, which is in charge of ultra-high frequencies on all three channels. Reverb sets the volume of this effect, while Power Level allows you to attenuate your wattage from 50 to 1. The rare panel features the impedance selector (4, 8 or 16 ohms) and Resonance, which modifies the low-frequency response of the amplifier.
EVH 5150III Combo Sound
Even though I have mentioned that EVH 5150 III 6L6 2×12 is tailored for metal, it does not mean that other genres cannot benefit from the sounds of this combo. It is extremely versatile, offering all shapes and sizes of distortion, as well as useful reverb. Channel one and two are definitely pretty all-encompassing themselves. They give you the option to employ pristine clean tones with depth and character, then crunch it up with a slight break up, enter the overdriven zone and ultimately distort the hell out of your sound for full-on metal effect.
But as you move on to channel three, you step into the parallel universe, where everything is saturated with gnarl, dirt and girth. This channel is the best definition for high gain and offers extremely heavy tones. But no matter how much gain you employ, your sound never loses its definitions. All your techniques are still perceivable and steeped with their true nature. This is always a significant factor since nobody goes through so much trouble for their chords and picking and strumming to be inaudible for the audience. EVH 5150 III 6L6 2×12 can create lush and beautiful reverb. And lastly, the attenuator is a very handy feature, since it tames the beast and takes your sound from stage levels to the whisper of a child.
On the whole, EVH 5150 III 6L6 2×12 is one of the best amplifiers for metal. It simply has it all and delivers outstanding quality from its every cell. EVH is not just a name and a trick to attract more customers. It truly displays the experience and skills of its manufacturers. I will not say anything else. Just listen to EVH 5150 III 6L6 2×12 combo and decide accordingly. Good luck!
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