52 Amplifier Heads, week 52—EVH 5150 III 50-watt head

Today marks the end of this weekly series of dream amplifier heads. I’ve mentioned before that I wanted to end on a high and the EVH 5150 III 50-watt head is certainly going to do that. Is it bigger than any other amplifier I’ve written about in this series? Absolutely. Was it recommended to me several times during the year as I researched amplifier heads? Definitely. Does it allow me to make the sequence 52, 51, 50 (week # followed by amplifier name)? Damn straight it does. I’m clever like that.

As I mentioned at the beginning of this series, I am looking for my first all-tube amplifier head. It’s finally time to move on from the solid state amplifiers I currently own/use. But I am not a gigging musician so I don’t need the loudest amplifier in the shed. So the 5150 III 50-watt head makes perfect sense on account of it being the smaller version of the 100-watt head. Logical right?

OK, it’s not logical, but this is my dream list and I’m clearly not buying all 52 amplifiers I’ve written about. This is most likely too loud for my needs, but damn it. Tone!

Let’s see what’s inside this beast anyway.

  • 50 watts of brutal EVH tone
  • 3 channels (Clean, Crunch and Lead)
  • 7 x JJ ECC83 (12AX7) preamp tubes
  • 2 x JJ 6L6 poweramp tubes
  • Effects loop
  • Master Presence, Channel 1 and 2: Gain, Low, Mid, High, Volume; Channel 3: Gain, Low, Mid, High, Volume and Master Resonance (rear panel) controls
  • 4-button footswitch
  • MIDI input to control channels and effects loop
  • Headphone output

Headphone output. There you go. I can still use this at home. Possible purchase justified!

That is seriously a lot of tube power though right? Nine tubes! Surely that equals awesome tonal options as well as amazing volume capabilities?! Of course it does. How do we know? Well , because of the awesome videos on the Interweb. For example, if Rob Chapman and Ola Englund happened to make videos using this amplifier you’d think they’d sound good. You know they do.

Rob Chapman EVH 5150 II video review

Ola Englund EVH 5150 II video review


That how you write the reaction to that tones available through this amplifier. Those tones are clearly loud as all guitar should be. But let’s say you really did want to own this amplifier head and play it at sensible levels from your home without breaking windows are starting street wars. Would that even be possible?

Yes! Works for me.

Awesome amplifier. Awesome design as well (for all lovers of that classic Eddie Van Halen design). I’d be stoked to make this my first all-tube amplifier head. Let’s see what happens next year (some time after Winter NAMM 2015). That’s when the amplifier head happens.

Disclaimer: I’ve not played through this head. I have not experienced the sound or tone of this head other than through video. That doesn’t matter. It looks awesome, it’s obviously played by winners and I want one.

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