Played a 5150 Iconic (amazing)

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Maggot Brain

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Just wanted to throw out my experience with the new 5150 Iconic. My local GC finally received some in stock and I just had to take it for a spin.

I would say I am probably the total opposite of the target market and wanted to see how versatile this amp can be. I plugged into the combo and set it to 1/4 power (I think?) and started off with a clean tone (Green channel?). I was immediately impressed, it can go fairly clean but my favorite aspect was there is quite a range of hair in the gain knob. I could dial in nice clean with just a hint of breakup which is my favorite "clean". Now this bad boy really shines with overdrive and has more gain than I think anyone could ever need but has a very wide and usable sweep on the gain knob, plenty of volume and a very hot tone. This amp is 100% perfect for lead work, it just cuts and burns with such a hot tone... I have to admit I REALLY want one!

I played some jazz stuff, lots of blues, my usually Jimi influence stuff and it all sounded amazing. The EQ is very usable and I could dial in everything I wanted, I however left the resonance at 0... It just starts sounding more like the original 5150s with that resonance knob up.

The reverb was better than most modern built in reverb and sounded great with my jazzy and blues stuff. It actually has quite a range on the reverb as well, anything past 1/2 was just soaked in reverb.

The features, the layout, the range in the controls, the versatility... The price! Overall I am beyond impressed, not many amps coming out these days really capture my attention or inspiration. This amp sounds unique but familiar, feels unique but familiar and can do WAY more than just EVH/metal/chugging.

The tone/voicing really sounds like a mix of classic 5150 and Marshall. I don't like the original 5150s or 6505s etc but what they were missing is found in the iconic.

This amp was meant for lead guitar! 😎
 

StrummerJoe

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Just wanted to throw out my experience with the new 5150 Iconic. My local GC finally received some in stock and I just had to take it for a spin.

I would say I am probably the total opposite of the target market and wanted to see how versatile this amp can be. I plugged into the combo and set it to 1/4 power (I think?) and started off with a clean tone (Green channel?). I was immediately impressed, it can go fairly clean but my favorite aspect was there is quite a range of hair in the gain knob. I could dial in nice clean with just a hint of breakup which is my favorite "clean". Now this bad boy really shines with overdrive and has more gain than I think anyone could ever need but has a very wide and usable sweep on the gain knob, plenty of volume and a very hot tone. This amp is 100% perfect for lead work, it just cuts and burns with such a hot tone... I have to admit I REALLY want one!

I played some jazz stuff, lots of blues, my usually Jimi influence stuff and it all sounded amazing. The EQ is very usable and I could dial in everything I wanted, I however left the resonance at 0... It just starts sounding more like the original 5150s with that resonance knob up.

The reverb was better than most modern built in reverb and sounded great with my jazzy and blues stuff. It actually has quite a range on the reverb as well, anything past 1/2 was just soaked in reverb.

The features, the layout, the range in the controls, the versatility... The price! Overall I am beyond impressed, not many amps coming out these days really capture my attention or inspiration. This amp sounds unique but familiar, feels unique but familiar and can do WAY more than just EVH/metal/chugging.

The tone/voicing really sounds like a mix of classic 5150 and Marshall. I don't like the original 5150s or 6505s etc but what they were missing is found in the iconic.

This amp was meant for lead guitar! 😎
A lot of folks have been liking the Iconic.

Good review!
 

Maggot Brain

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A lot of folks have been liking the Iconic.

Good review!
Thanks man!



I missed quite a few points on the features I liked. The Overdrive button is a great feature and eliminates (imo) a need for an OD pedal and with the amp's gain capabilities, a distortion pedal. The Burn button just adds even MORE gain/drive on the red channel but personally I don't see myself using that often for my style. The 2 channels don't sound drastically different IMO but the red channel is definitely fatter/thicker sounding with more aggressive gain and while not bad I found myself returning to the green channel as it's "just right"

It sounded great even at whisper/bedroom volumes but had no problem getting to gig levels either. I believe the preamp only has 1 valve and uses diods(?) but I heard nothing to complain about, sounded fantastic.

I think the Iconic can excel in any genre/style that benefits from some breakup or drive but definitely shines pushing some gain. This has to be one of the coolest new amps in many years.

The biggest point I wanted to make is that this amp is definitly more versatile than just it's targeted demographic.
 

StrummerJoe

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Thanks man!



I missed quite a few points on the features I liked. The Overdrive button is a great feature and eliminates (imo) a need for an OD pedal and with the amp's gain capabilities, a distortion pedal. The Burn button just adds even MORE gain/drive on the red channel but personally I don't see myself using that often for my style. The 2 channels don't sound drastically different IMO but the red channel is definitely fatter/thicker sounding with more aggressive gain and while not bad I found myself returning to the green channel as it's "just right"

It sounded great even at whisper/bedroom volumes but had no problem getting to gig levels either. I believe the preamp only has 1 valve and uses diods(?) but I heard nothing to complain about, sounded fantastic.

I think the Iconic can excel in any genre/style that benefits from some breakup or drive but definitely shines pushing some gain. This has to be one of the coolest new amps in many years.

The biggest point I wanted to make is that this amp is definitly more versatile than just it's targeted demographic.
A distortion/od in the Iconic would make as much sense to me as using one for a Soldano SLO, or other similar high gain amp.

I couldn't imagine needing more.

Just like the man it represents, it's no one trick pony.

=\//-/= FOREVER!!!!
 
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Maxbrothman

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I am getting the impression this is the amp that is really what EVH lovers should have gotten from Fender (in addition to their Plexi) instead of what happened when they bought the EVH 5150III. This and the SLO.


cf5b6886498fc23fe5c7c5683d41b6c9.jpg


eddie_van_halen_uses_soldano_slo_100_100_watt_tube_guitar_amplifier_1_fc1d828e10.jpg
 

pittbull

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The 5150 Iconic really covers the early Van Halen( Van Halen 1 to Diver Down) right out of the box, Ive played many modded Marshall’s and the high priced boutique amps and the 5150 Iconic covers it the best,it’s covers it better( in my opinion) then the original Peavey 5150 and the EVH 5150 III and I’ve also played both of them. The 5150 Iconic is amazing I just wish it wasn’t made in china.
 

Maggot Brain

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The 5150 Iconic really covers the early Van Halen( Van Halen 1 to Diver Down) right out of the box, Ive played many modded Marshall’s and the high priced boutique amps and the 5150 Iconic covers it the best,it’s covers it better( in my opinion) then the original Peavey 5150 and the EVH 5150 III and I’ve also played both of them. The 5150 Iconic is amazing I just wish it wasn’t made in china.
I totally agree with all of this and have admit that made in China is definitely one of the only turn offs/bummers I found with the amp.

I need to do some more reading but I imagine the circuit board and components are fairly run of the mill China production. I'd probably feel more confident had it been made in Mexico at least but I guess had the amp been made in the US it would probably be double the price... It probably could still sell but I believe Eddie wanted his amps fairly "affordable".

Now time will tell about the amps reliability, that aside the amp kicks ass!
 

pittbull

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Maggot Brain is it possible to take a gut shot of your Iconic Thanks
 

StrummerJoe

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The 5150 Iconic really covers the early Van Halen( Van Halen 1 to Diver Down) right out of the box, Ive played many modded Marshall’s and the high priced boutique amps and the 5150 Iconic covers it the best,it’s covers it better( in my opinion) then the original Peavey 5150 and the EVH 5150 III and I’ve also played both of them. The 5150 Iconic is amazing I just wish it wasn’t made in china.
Me too...and there's the rub.

Buy used?
 

PowerTube44

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I keep flipping back and forth on getting one. I won't bore you with the story, but it's still on my list. Lately I've been sort of leaning toward a Fractal FM3 or FM9 instead, but they have their down side, as well.
 

Brad737

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I tried an Iconic combo at GC a month or so ago. For what it is, it’s a fantastic amp. But after having a Peavey 5150 for 30 years, and a 5150III for around 5, the Iconic just isn’t in the same league. IMHO, the Iconic is a GREAT gigging amp…less tubes, cheaper, still sounds pretty good. Leave the “real” 5150s for recording.
 

PowerTube44

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The 5150 Iconic( in my opinion) is more Van Halen sounding(Van Halen 1 to Diver Down) then the Peavey 5150 and the EVH 5150 III.
I agree. The other 5150 amps sound great, but they don't seem to even try to capture early EVH.
 

Len

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I just bought an Iconic head today. Man, great sounding amp. I mostly play classic and post grunge rock, but I wanted something that could get modern metal tones also without a boost pedal (I have Soldano and DSL types amps too).

This amp has a decent clean, 2 great distortion options, and tons of features. It has more lows and highs than you could ever need.

The one thing that’s odd is that there are only 2 preamp tubes. To get that high gain I assume there’s some internal solid state circuitry to get the additional gain.
 

pittbull

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Len I’ve been asking those who have a 5150 iconic head if they would post a gut shot of the amp is it possible for you to do it Thanks
 

Len

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Len I’ve been asking those who have a 5150 iconic head if they would post a gut shot of the amp is it possible for you to do it Thanks
Too much going on for me to take it apart. Also, I don’t care about that level of detail (like the SMT vs thru-component debate) so I don’t want to expend any energy in that direction. Just my preference…
 
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