Peavey 5150....these were popular????

What?

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As for the PC board discussion, a high quality PC board made with thick traces, plated thru holes, and solder masked, made on a G10 or FR4 substrate, should last the whole life of the amp unless it gets cooked by too much heat. But point to point or turret board construction is of course much better from an amp tweaker's perspective, and allows for component replacement working from just one side of the board. They both have their advantages. I prefer turret board or point to point wiring in my own amps but for large scale production of an amp that will probably never be modified, good quality PC boards are the way to go.

The problem with PCB's seems to be that manufacturers are designing them cheaper and cheaper, closer to the edge of failure. Looking at a PCB from the 80's vs. what is being made today is a very different story.
 

oafyuf

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The ribbon cable connecting the preamp pcb to the power pcb had a burnt plug. I pulled the ribbon cable, inspected and cleaned the pin header then hard wired the boards together by soldering wire jumpers pin to pin.

^^ Exactly this. Hardwiring the ribbon cables, plus sorting the very common FX loop problem the OP found, will toughen up a 5150.
 

anitoli

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Plate resistors will add tons of noise if they are carbon based irregardless of how the gain is set. Just changing them to metal film will eliminate half the noise.
 

myersbw

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Some 5150's are good for open screen resistors. Had two on the bench like that within a few yers of one another.
 

wakjob

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I hear all kinds of stories...
"Throw a 5150 down a flight of stairs or falls off the back of tail gate...plug it in and play the gig."

Whatever.

The 5150 has been some of my favorite record tones ever.
Thanks to guys like Andy Sneap ect...
 

Jethro Rocker

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I don't think that way. After getting my old Fender amps and seeing how they are built and knowing that they have been through multiple owners and still kick ass after 55 years and 46 years and who knows how many hours of play and how many gigs, it just doesn't make sense to me for an amp to be built any lesser, not sounding as good and ending up in a land fill. The reissues of these amps are very different sounding and constructed and have had problems since their initial release. These old Fenders have been reliable and will likely be around long after I'm gone and still be serviceable. Had these amps been built in the modern way, so many players wouldn't own them today and understand what a really good amp is.
Thats the point I am making. Amps with a PCB can still be rocking 40 yeras later with no sign of failure other than electrolytes which all amps are prone to. So why is the 1982 JCM800 built any lesser, not sounding as good or destined for a landfill?
They still might be rocking in another 10 years which makes them nearly 50 years. Not ebery amp built with a PCB is automatically disposable. I suspect my 87 Jubilee will still be at it many years from now too.
 

Matthews Guitars

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What PC boards don't react well to is heat. Get them hot enough, long enough, and they degrade and start to carbonize and become conductive. Once this happens, the affected section of the board is forever ruined.

To avoid this, tube sockets should never be directly mounted to PC boards, not even for just preamp tube sockets, and certainly not for power tube sockets. Any amp that is built that way, you can expect board degradation after enough run time.

Avoiding putting the user operated controls on the PC board is also a way to improve product life. PC boards also don't like the mechanical stress that comes from switches being flipped and knobs being turned, if the switch or potentiometer is directly soldered to the board, regardless of how rigidly the part is attached to the chassis for support. Every time you flip the switch, the mechanical shock of the switch action is transmitted to the PC board and eventually causes solder joint failure.

In mil-spec and aviation electronics, placing commonly used switches and knobs directly on a critical circuit boards is verboten. For that reason.

A JMP Marshall with an ST1 PC board can last as long as one made with a point to point wired turret board, because it doesn't subject the PC board to these stress factors that are to be avoided. The way it's built contributes greatly to its reliability.
 

Giblespaul2001

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Got a friend that has been touring for 30 + years. Since the 5150’s have been out thats all he has ever used. He uses the 1st version Block Letter. He keeps 3 out on the road with him. Let me tell you those things must can take a beating he don’t baby any of his equipment. I watched him take a new black 57 RI that Gibson had sent him and take the strap pins out and drill out the holes and screw in two big ole I hook screws.
 

Sg-ocaster

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I had a 5150......ugh......I traded up my 50w marshall at the time for it in an attempt to satisfy a metal band I had joined at the time......noisy as shit and distorted as he'll......even the clean channel was distorted......what a mistake. Two lessons learned....1) don't try to be something your not 2) don't trade your marshall you like for something you "think" will make you sound like something your not( metal)
 

Buzzard

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And can I take the liberty to ad... never buy gear just for a band. In other words buy what YOU like , cause most bands fail then your stuck taking a loss on gear you wouldn’t normally have gotten.
 

myersbw

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Matthews hit the nail on the head...especially from a service and longevity perspective. So, many love the "Blues" and "Hot Rod" series...but the manufacturing took a tumble for the worse. With many of those amps, folks get cool tone they like, but their meantime-before-failure is directly proportionate to the number of hours of use times how hard they push those babies.

Not many like running through a PTP BadCat...but...I rarely see one on the bench. Only time I had to open one for he bench was a loose FX level pot. (Sure, routine maintenance is expected, but those amps are tanks.) I don't mind jumping in to ANY Dr. Z. They're laid out exceedingly well for the road abuse and for repairs when/if ever needed.

Now, the 5150 I was in had "rugged enough" pcb's...but, the circuit design needs a bit of improvement. And, they didn't design that necessarily for ease of service either. The latter was no biggie...I just had to charge a bit extra for labor.

From an owner perspective (I'll stereotype a bit here), most owners are young (at 61, I can say that) and want the heaviest tone they can get. Which usually means they'll be pushing it hard & loud, too. WHICH usually means the circuits will show their flaws sooner than later.

So, by the time things start smoking & blowing fuses along with cap pops, etc., I'll have some time logged with a repair. But, some of these can be had at the lower end of the US dollar and, even though it's a good buy for the player, repairs can approach 1/3 to 1/2 what they paid for it. And, they get discouraged.

When I see someone contact me for a repair like this I usually drop my labor charge enough to make it not hurt them too much...and, with strong advice to..1 - sell it quick...because, 2- my labor will go to normal if you return this to me for a repeat repair.

In the end, I've made just a little for my efforts...they know they got a good break and usually return with a better amp (and they usually run their prospective buys by me). And, I typically don't see that amp again.
 

Sg-ocaster

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And can I take the liberty to ad... never buy gear just for a band. In other words buy what YOU like , cause most bands fail then your stuck taking a loss on gear you wouldn’t normally have gotten.
Yea that was lesson number 3) lol..........only time I did that mistake....other mistakes have been buying amps others rave about thinking they will satisfy ME.....then I figured out plug MY guitar into perspective amps and see if I actually like it and how I play on it.
 
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Riffraff

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I don't run a boost with mine. I figure a 6505+ has more than enough gain. It wasn't even noisy with a wha when I tried it. You would think that would make it hissy as hell but it didn't.

Thomas Organ CryBaby I got new as a kid in the mid '70s and rarely use, 6505+, Ditto looper in the EFX loop.

 
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JacksonCharvelAddict

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I am not surprised that the 5150 probably had some questionable design choices. Compare the Peavey designs to the early Fender 5153s and I bet those are even worse from a reliability stand point. I spit out my drink when I read the guy was running the gain maxed out. The 5150's I have played I don't think I ever had the gain over 3 or 4 on the lead channel.
 

JacksonCharvelAddict

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The combo that I used to gig had gobs of gain on the lead channel. I rarely used the lead channel, but when I did it was probably in that neighborhood or lower for heavy stuff.

I found it sounded bad when I got it above that. I figured maybe it would sound better at higher volume but I have not had the opportunity to really crank one.
 

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