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Rating and Reviews: EVH 5150 III MX Amp Head

Shred with the legendary tone of Eddie Van Halen himself. The 5150 III MX head packs 50 watts of rock power with three channels and easy MIDI integration.

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The Wow Factor
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"Quality, quality, value!" submitted October 10, 2013

By Jay L in St. Louis, MO
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Musical Background: 15 years of playing, studying, performing, recording and exploring.
Music Style: Hard rock
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Overall: Nothing about this amp feels cheap. This amp has a great reputation for its distortion. It has gain for days. I play in a hard rock band (Arythma) which borders on the sound of Breaking Benjamin, Chevelle, Staind, and others of the like and this amp's gain knob on the lead channel never passes 1 o'clock. As far as Channel 3 goes, I am absolutely 100% in love with this amp. The 7 JJ tubes in the preamp are an absolutely beautiful touch to this amp. When I strum an open Drop D chord, the gain absolutely sizzles. I would put this distortion against a Soldano, Rivera or Diezel any day! I can say for sure that I love this distortion wayyy more than a Mesa because my other guitist plays a Triple Rec and even he was like "that distortion is nassssttyyyy." Sheer quality! Now, to the nitty gritty. This amp is loud. I would put money on the fact that this is the loudest 50W head in existence. Holy mother of God this thing is loud! Absolutely not made for bedroom volume. I mentioned earlier that my Channel 3 (lead/high gain) gain knob never passes 1 o' clock, well, my volume never passes 1 o' clock either and my band plays with a loooot of volume. This amp is great for ANY size venue. Again, the build quality is absolutely phenomenal. There is nothing about this amp that feels cheap or half-@$$ed at all. I got the matching 2x12 cab (which I absolutely highly recommend) and there is a really awesome feature that allows you to pair this with said cabinet. Underneath the amp is a bracket system that slides out on the left and right side of the head and you connect it to the 2x12 cab. Once you secure the head onto the cab, it is LOCKED and you can use the really cool feature on the cab where it has some heavy duty legs that allow you to prop the cab back at a 45 degree angle. The head will stay on there, I promise. Again, it's trustworthy, as I said, nothing feels cheap about this amp. So far, I've omitted Channel 1 and Channel 2, and that's for a reason. So far, my review has been all glitter, rainbows and sunshine, but now for the flipside of my review. Channel 1. First off, there is nothing wrong with this channel. It sounds great, to be honest. I said Channel 3 is on par with some $3,000+ heads, and I meant it. Channel 1 on the other hand is on par with the other amps in its price range (1,000), but no higher. This is only my opinion, but I'm extremely well-versed in sound, equalization, recording, and experience in the general field of guitarmanship. The clean is great, but Mesa has this amp beat on the cleans. I have an Egnater Vengeance head and my Egnater definitely has this amp's clean beat. Don't take what I'm saying too far. The amp's clean sounds great, in general terms, but it's not the selling point of this amp. Hopefully this won't turn you off to this amp. The Achilles heel of this amp, in my opinion. Channel 2. The sound is phenominal. It has one of the greatest crunches I've ever heard, hands down. The crunch channel is every bit as good as the sound of channel 3. "So why are you calling it the Achilles heel," you may ask. Because it shares all the controls of your clean and there is an INSANE volume jump when you go from clean to crunch. And I do mean "insane." There is no way in any situation you could make this volume jump sound natural. So, in other words, without special effects processing, you cannot use both channels 1 and 2 on this amp. Now, if you're like me and use a good effects processor, you can have your clean saved to a patch with a boost compressor to sort of compensate the volume. I.e. you can make your clean much, much louder, that way switching to channel two (without the boost compressor), the volume jump would be pretty much depleted. So "where there's a will, there's a way." Bottom Line Pros: The best distortions I've ever heard in my life. Still a great clean channel. MIDI, thank you god! It has MIDI input, which is a life saver! Very solidly built. The neat bracketing system underneath to be used in conjunction with the 2x12. Even though it is only 50W, you can (volume-wise) blow a Mesa Triple Rec out of the water (150W). Bottom Line Cons: Bedroom volume is just not plausible with this amp. The INSANE volume jump between Channels 1 and 2, only being able to compensate by using an effects processor. No parameter controls for the effects loop. Despite the Achilles heel, I am still giving this amp a perfect 10 because it is only $1000 and its distortion is the best I've ever heard in my life. There is not a single recording studio on the planet that would tell you this is a "sub par" amp. The distortion really is THAT good. I'm in love. Plus it has MIDI. :)
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"Blown Away" submitted May 23, 2013

By James H in Dallas, TX
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Musical Background: Been playing guitar for 28 years
Music Style: Rock
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Overall: All I can say about this amp is WOW! I was totally blown away. I couldn't listen to one local before I ordered and almost passed it up because of that but am so glad I didn't. This is by far the best sounding amp I've ever owned. I thought it sounded good at lower volumes but when I jammed with my drummer at volume it really came to life. I have it paired with a 4x12 cabinet and this thing is a beast! I now have the best sound I've ever had and am only using a simple little delay and chorus pedal in the loop for effects. Don't let anyone fool you though it's really a two channel amp the way they have it designed if you want "pristine cleans" but if you don't mind some dirt in your cleans and you set the "shared" gain at about noon there is no volume difference between the channels 1 and 2 and you can then use all three channels. When you kick it to channel 3 however you better be prepared to hold on because you will have awaken the beast inside this amp. More gain than you will even need. Very smooth sounding and not muddy even at high, high gain settings. You will need no boost pedal with this one but you will need a noise gate to tame it.........
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"EVH>Everything else." submitted October 16, 2014

By Mike Rourke in Cape May, NJ
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Musical Background: neighborhood rockstar, haha, i jam at home and play out live sometimes
Music Style: blues, metal, rap, EDM, and Tool, Tool is their own musical genre all together IMHO
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Sound: dont let channels 1 and 2 sharing the same EQ turn you away, im playing an LP custom with a Seymour duncan JB4 in the bridge and the green channel even at half gain is VERY clean, switch to blue and you've got a awesome rhythm crunch tonethe red channel.... Eddie went to extremes to make sure this channel was everything you'll ever need, you do NOT need a boost pedal with this amp, now of course if you play heavy metal you'll use one anyways to tighten up this ALREADY extremely TIGHT! amp nothing about the red channel is loose of flubby (I use Eminence Governor Speakers) this amp has More low end punch than any other, if you have a 6505+, you owe it to your self to get an EVH 5150, its just a better more refined amp imo (dont get me wrong, i still love my 6505+ and still use it) Feature: the FX loop and the fact you can turn your FX loop on/off thru the included foot switch is incredible, the channel switching is INSTANTANEOUS! Zero latency when switching channels. I haven't tried the preamp out or the head phones option so i cant comment on them, but the resonance control is very nice. Ease of Use: this amp could have all kinds of mid boost/cut bright switches this that and the other, but it doesn't need them, the tone is extremely versatile and easy to dial in Quality: amp is on par with Mesa/Diezel Quality, for a made in Mexico product the quality is INSANELY good, not that stuff from Mexico is bad, id rather have my guitars and amps made in Mexico than china any day of the week! They take some serious pride in their work in that Mexican fender Factory! FLAWLESS amp, oh and the transformers are HUGE!!!!!!! Value: This amp is easily on par with any 2-5k$ amps the included footswitch is built like a tank, as is the Amp its self. Free speaker cableMy GAS has been relieved. Manufacturer Support: Probably will not need it, Eddie's version of crash testing something is, turn everything up to 10 on the amp, plug the guitar in, lay it down infront of the cab, let it feedback, close the door, come back a month later and it's still working, we've got a keeper. The Wow Factor: The wow factor BROKE the Richter Scale, amp is amazing at low, medium, and high volumes, the pre amp does all the work so do not be afraid if you cant crank it at your home, this amp's volume is very adjustable. this amp is worth every penny. I was seriously considering a Laney IRT60w head, which is a very very good amp, but this amp takes the cake! Overall: Nothing short of AMAZING! This amp, the 5150 iii 50w head is incredibly well made and sounds brutal, responds to volume knob on your guitar like no other amp i've ever played, you can have a extremely heavy tone dialed in, turn ur volume pot down and have a nice soft crunchy cleanish tone, just like eddie doesIf this amp was destroyed or stolen, i would not even consider buying a different amp, EVH 5150 ALL DAY! THE HYPE IS REAL!
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"Killer amp!" submitted June 15, 2014

By Skyler Smith in APO, AE
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Musical Background: 14 years
Music Style: Metal
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Overall: This head is amazing! If it's good enough for Eddie, it's good enough for me. All three channels sound great. The cleans are beautiful. Channel 2 is great for rock. And channel 3 is awesome for metal. No matter what settings, the amp sound amazing. I also love the headphone jack, so I can play at night. The ivory finish is a nice touch. It stands out from all of my other black amps. The amp is built very well and so is the footswitch. This is a killer price on an awesome amp. Don't let the 50 watts fool you. This thing can get LOUD! It doesn't have a ton of buzzing, or annoying noises, even at higher volumes with tons of gains. I actually don't even use an OF pedal on this amp. I can get all the gain and killer tone straight from the amp. Buy this amp. You WILL NOT regret it!
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"if you could only own 1 amp...." submitted February 23, 2014

By Mike Pope in Fort Jones, CA
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Musical Background: 25 years playing guitar
Music Style: Blues, Metal, Progressive
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Overall: this amp is incredible, it does it all and does it very very well. The deth metal kiddies complaining about it not having enough gain have either has not played through it or just plain don't know what they are talking about.. From crystal clean to MarkV midrange bark it delivers. My only complaint like most is the channel volume jump between channels 1 and 2. Since I find that 1 and 3 and my volume knob on my guitar is all I need with this amp I just don't use it. And FINALLY integrated midi!! Makes my pedal board and racks all play nice. Did I mention volume? Plenty for stage studio or where ever. If you need more your deaf..
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"tone machine" submitted September 8, 2013

By Michael A in Kearney, MO
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Musical Background: Playing guitar for 25 years. Mostly jamming and at home
Music Style: classic rock and metal
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Overall: This amp has tone for any style. It's very touch sensitive, a rare thing in such a high gain monster. Full rich sound with balance and clarity. The blue channel is so versatile it's worth the price alone. THE brown sound in spades. The red channel is mayhem. More gain than you'll ever need but it doesn't hide your guitar's tone. You can go from hard rock to the meanest metal sounds you've ever heard. The clean can get country jangle, warm jazz or old school crunch. More than enough power to hang with a band and all in a compact design. Eddie knows what he's doing!
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"Amazing" submitted September 11, 2014

By Brad Capinjola in Piscataway, NJ
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Musical Background: Professional Musician
Music Style: Hard Rock/ Metal
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Overall: You literally do not need to even entertain the idea of buying another amp ever. 50 watts is MORE THAN ENOUGH. Plus 7 12ax7's and the tubes are stock JJ tubes. It doesn't get any better than this. Crystal clean on channel 1. Early VH and bluesy on Channel 2. Channel three is a MONSTER. All the gain you would ever need. You'll never need an overdrive pedal again. The effects loop is tremendous as well. Couldn't tell you about the midi thing because I'm not a midi guy, but everything on this amp is flawless. I love it. LAST AMP I'LL ever buy.....
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"Killer head" submitted February 17, 2014

By Chris F in Akron, OH
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Musical Background: playing for 30 years, jam at home
Music Style: Metal, classical, classic rock
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Overall: Got the EVH 5150III 50 watt version. Sounds killer through a Marshall 1960 B. Took about 2 weeks of playing with it to get the sound I wanted. I use my Line 6 POD HD300 mainly just for the noise reduction to eliminate the feedback. Definitely worth the $1000
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"Great for recording, Horrible Live" submitted April 22, 2014

By Steve Thomas in Valley City, ND
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Musical Background: Guitar 14 years, Semi-Professionally for 7. Drums- 15 years
Music Style: Rock, Blues
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Sound: Channel 1 - Amazing clean tones. Warm and deep but very articulate highs. All-in-all one of the best clean tones I've had.Channel 2 - OD - Strong overdrive channel. Great sounding, but since it shares all controls with Channel 1, the jump in volume is ridiculous. The tone is powerful and not muddy at all, but you need to choose either Channel 1 or Channel 2 and stick with it if you're playing live.Channel 3 - Lead - Features tone similiar to Channel 2, but with more gain. Since it has it's own controls, its much more versatile. WIth the gain between 4 and 7 you get a strong classic/hard rock sound, 7-10 give you an even heavier tone. There is also a sweet spot just a hair below 1 that gives you an amazing blues lead tone. CONS - I'm really going to hammer down the Channel 1/2 having the same controls as a MAJOR downfall. Both Channel 2 and 3 could use a little more Low end response (not a huge deal, but worth mentioning) Feature: It has all your standard features, I don't feel I have anything to add to the description. Ease of Use: On a Channel by Channel basis, each can get an amazing tone. This would be a great amp for doing any recording, but in a Live setting this amp would be difficult to use without a Boost to the clean, or some kind of limiter on the OD channels. Quality: Beautiful amp, built very well. Value: Like I've said before, it's a great amp, but I think this could use a price cut down to maybe the $700 mark. Manufacturer Support: N/A The Wow Factor: The amp itself I really liked. I am returning this Item, because I don't feel I can use it in the sense that I need to. If it had 3 separate channel controls ( I believe the early models did) I would definitely hang onto this one. Overall: Overall this is a great sounding amp, but the biggest issue, and not one to be taken lightly, is the massive jump between channel 1 and channel 2 in terms of volume. Since the two channels share controls, there is no way around this in a practical sense.
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"evh 50 watt head." submitted October 22, 2014

By David Draper in Duluth, MN
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Musical Background: semi pro...for 25 years
Music Style: Rock, modern country, blues.
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Overall: The amp had a bad preamp tube in v5 right out of the box...but I wanted to try and fix it...so I replaced tubes one at a time until I found the culprit. Also the gain was far more than I would use...so I reduced it by changing a few tubes to 12at7's...WOW!! The amp now is in my preferred gain range...and the clean is amazing. Best amp I've ever used...and I've owned a lot....over 20 years. The midi is a great feature also...I use my fx pedal to switch amp Channels too...sweet. ;) so with a little know how and effort I have my dream amp. Thanks zZounds and evh!
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"Lightweight and Heavy AS Hell!" submitted November 10, 2013

By Britton S in Fayetteville, AR
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Musical Background: I have been playing music for up to near 11 years and I am a professional touring musician.
Music Style: Metal, Groove, Dabble with some jazz from time to time.
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Overall: I play for the metal band "Smoke Signals" and in my band I need something that has a whole lot of balls and crunch but has a lot of clarity. this Amp is absolutely perfect for me. I wish the power and standby switches and the resonance knob were on the front. I'm really excited that i got this head on nothing but word of mouth and a hunch that is was going to be awesome. the second i plugged it in and dialed a 2 minute tone...I was blown awayI haven't had to deal with Tech support so far so i left the stars blank on that one haha
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"ROCKIN HEAD" submitted February 5, 2014

By mike b in pine grove, PA
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Musical Background: been playing in & out of bands for 30yrs..own a fat strat,jackson dinky,&carvin dc400c
Music Style: hard rock,blues rock
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Overall: This head with the 2 12 cabinet has a great punch with plenty of sustain on channel 3. I trully love this thing.I cant get enough of it,I've had it for 3 weeks & play it for hours almost every day.
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"Just the facts!!!" submitted May 20, 2014

By Victor P in San Diego, CA
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Musical Background: 25+ years as a profesional and now as a hobbie
Music Style: Rock, metal, prog, jazz
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Overall: This is a very versatile Amp!!! The tone and color are great right out of the box, I need to play with the effects loop to test it out. I read reviews and saw demos and I couldn't be happier that I got it. This Amp is killer!!!!!
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"This could be the perfect rock/metal amp." submitted April 9, 2013

By Jimmy E in san diego, CA
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Musical Background: 30 year player...man I got old.
Music Style: Rock/Metal & Blues
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Overall: Eddie has given us the perfect amp. 50 watts into the 4 speaker evh cabinet can be devastating loud with no break up at all. Blue channel at 7 oclock gain is rock perfection, red channel is really compressed and rounds out your leads without losing harmonics. Green channel shares gain with blue so it will always be dirty if you want the blue channel to rock. Red channel cannot be dialed down enough to sound like blue so you will always have a dirty clean. The harmonic range of this amp is awesome, pick attack response is awesome. This amp is everything I wanted my Marshall to be, I am afraid that my 2 year old Marshall is as obsolete as my two year old pc. This Evh amp requires two pedals delay & reverb thats it everthing else is in this amps sound. Bought it from zzsounds best deal fast shipping.
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"EVH tone in a box" submitted March 21, 2013

By Brandon H in Dundalk, MD
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Musical Background: Playing guitar for 20 years
Music Style: You name it i have played it.
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Overall: This amp has "balls" plain and simple. Its all about the gain. From 80's hair to modern death this amp will do it and do it well. If your looking for a blues amp or sparkling cleans pass on this one. You can get them both with the 100 watt version but the shared channel on the 50 holds it back
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"Evh 5150 50 Watts" submitted June 2, 2014

By Christian V in Phoenix, AZ
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Musical Background: 25 years of career, professional musician.
Music Style: Hard rock, metal
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Overall: Best amp I've ever had.. And believe me, I've had a lot of them!
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"what a tube amp" submitted June 13, 2014

By Bobby r in Charlotte, NC
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Musical Background: 27 years guitar jam at home now
Music Style: blues rock heavy metal
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Overall: masterful tone. worth the money also very very loud for a 50 watt amp
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"Great Sounding Head" submitted August 22, 2014

By Harvey M in Fort Lauderdale, FL
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Musical Background: Semi - Pro
Music Style: Rock,Jazz, Blues, Prog Rock.
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Overall: Unpacked the amp last night. Great tone, lots of gain and it is very quiet. Very happy with this purchase and would highly recommend this amp.
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No interest. Ever.
It's just as if you paid the whole amount up front!
No paperwork. Nothing to track.
No application to mail or fax, no bills to pay. We automatically charge the payments to your credit card.

We'll wait on your money so you don't have to wait for your gear!

When you checkout, just click the Play as you Pay checkbox to indicate which installment plan you wish to use.

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on most orders $29+

Just $1.99 on
smaller orders

Really heavy stuff might cost you a
little more

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Why fight traffic and pushy salesmen when we'll bring your gear straight to your home, free of charge?

zZounds free shipping is really free!
No hidden charges or hassles on returns.
Fast, reliable delivery
We have warehouses on both coasts, so most shipments arrive in 3 days or less.
We don't collect sales tax. Bonus!
Only NJ residents pay tax during checkout.
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A guarantee so solid, you never have to worry about price when shopping at zZounds

We'll beat any price
Simply click the Seen it for less? link next to the gear you want or call us at 800-zZounds (800-996-8637)
Got a coupon from another site?
Use it with us - we'll beat those prices, too!
Find a better price after buying from us?
No problem. We'll refund you the difference for 45 days, so you'll never regret buying from zZounds.

You'll still get the trustworthy service you've come to expect from zZounds, without paying more for your gear!