NAD: ANOTHER 5153? Dude, seriously?

Deadpool_25

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I've posted about having this in a couple threads but am just now getting to a NAD because I wanted to give it a few good workouts.

TLDR:
Pros
- Sounds amazing as expected
- Standout green channel
- Nice reverb
- Sounds great at bedroom through gig volumes
- MIDI is nice to have
Cons
- Heavy and has uncomfortable handles
- Can't use footswitch to turn effects loop on/off

I picked up this 5153 2x12 combo about two weeks ago. I wasn't looking for any more amps at all. I had decided I'd just use my modeling rig and sell all my other amps except for the 50w Stealth.

Then this combo popped up semi-locally for a really good price. I'd read that some people think the 6L6 combo is the best of the entire lineup. I gave it the old "fuck it" shrug and I drove out to get it. For science obviously.

After a quick functionality test I put it in the car. I almost died. It's pretty damn heavy and its handles are the metal flip-out ones which are...not great.

The red and blue channels are exactly what I always expect out of the EVH 5150 III line. I still feel like they have a lot more gain on tap than I need, but I can keep their gain knobs at between 9:00 and 12:00 and be plenty happy. If you know the other ones, this one is the same on the blue and red. Mid-gain Crunch? Mid-focused and tight modern metal? Scooped thrash? Yes, yes yes. Great channels. There's not much else to say.

The green channel is where this amp stands out from the others imo. It seems to have more gain than the other heads. It produces an absolutely glorious sound with the gain, lows, and mids dimed and the treble backed off quite a bit (I don't like too much high end; ymmv). It's not quite gonna do modern high gain but it would be great at up to more classic crunch and high gain sounds. Think Plexi to JCM maybe. I haven't put an OD in front of it but I suspect and SD-1, perhaps with a touch of gain, might even get you close to that modern metal territory.

My first impression was that the green channel wasn't very good for actual cleans but I was too hasty. Even with the gain dimed, it's very dynamic. Backing off the guitar volume a little and picking lighter gets pretty nice and harmonically rich clean to edge of breakup tones. With the gain backed off to noonish and with a single coil pickup it's just a good solid clean with little to no breakup (depending on pickups of course).

My 6L6 50w head definitely stayed significantly cleaner on the green channel even with max gain (I checked it right before it sold). If I remember correctly the EL34 head did too. I just checked my Stealth head and maybe it could get in the same ballpark if I didn't have a 5751 in V1. I don't remember liking its green channel quite this much though.

The footswitch can be used to select channels 1-3 and to turn off the pretty nice reverb, but you can't turn on/off the effects loop. Although you can select channels via midi, I don't think you can turn the loop on or off that way. Not a huge deal but that would be nice.

I've been considering swapping its speakers out for some neo speakers just to save some weight but I'm hesitant to do so because these sound really good. I don't remember liking the separate EVH cabs/speakers this much but I don't think I've owned the 2x12 (only tried them in stores).

I now see why people love these things and I'm glad I picked it up.

EF11A110-F849-4785-887D-4887BAD10DFF.jpeg
 

Kyle Jordan

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You know what would be lighter?

16435921_800.jpg
 

Deadpool_25

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You know what would be lighter?

16435921_800.jpg
But...yuck.

I have yet to hear one I like at all, let alone as much as the 5153s. Maybe just haven't heard/tried one in the right situation yet.
 

Emperoff

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As a fan of combos, I couldn't convince myself to get this one. Even the 112 is goddamn heavy :lol:

The handles are actually awesome. The catch is that they're not designed to be carried by a single person (and probably neither is the amp, considering its weight :rofl:).
 

vertibration

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The idea is to take an hour a day, lift heavy weights, get strong, and never have to worry about lifting heavy amps again. Transform those jello arms. All Im reading is complaining about heavy amps, time to get fit baby
 

dmlinger

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The idea is to take an hour a day, lift heavy weights, get strong, and never have to worry about lifting heavy amps again. Transform those jello arms. All Im reading is complaining about heavy amps, time to get fit baby
We are having some work done in the house and I had to move my Orange PPC412. I picked that thing up and carried it into my living room. 110lbs felt like a thousand lol
 

wakjob

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The last 'Tone Talk' had one of the engineers (Howard Kaplan) on that help design the 5153's and discussed all the differences between them and why.
His favorite is that amp you just bought. (95 LBS!!!) ... and the 50 watt 'S' head. It was a great episode.

Congrats and cheers!
 

LeftOurEyes

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I watched the Tone Talk episode and it's cool Howard Kaplan is living and working in Phoenix area. I may have to take an amp or 2 to him eventually. I still need to check and replace if my Mesa Mark IV capacitors are the ones that blow up.
 

Deadpool_25

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The last 'Tone Talk' had one of the engineers (Howard Kaplan) on that help design the 5153's and discussed all the differences between them and why.
His favorite is that amp you just bought. (95 LBS!!!) ... and the 50 watt 'S' head. It was a great episode.

Congrats and cheers!
Yeah I watched that too. Great stuff.
I watched the Tone Talk episode and it's cool Howard Kaplan is living and working in Phoenix area. I may have to take an amp or 2 to him eventually. I still need to check and replace if my Mesa Mark IV capacitors are the ones that blow up.
Yeah exactly. In fact I just texted him today to ask about potentially doing the full concentric pot mod on the combo. Im glad he's in town because no way in hell am I wanting to ship that amp. Maybe I'll mod the Stealth head too now that I'm thinking about it.
 

Kyle Jordan

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One day Deadpool won't even have furniture or tables or anything. Just sitting on 5150, using a 5150 as a table, and the glow of the hundreds of tubes as light. It's a simple dream. I can see it clearly now.

This and @narad ’s apartment of cases within an apartment are kind of spiritual kin.

Someone needs to make an RV out of rack gear and pedals. Powered by a battery pack and motors from a Model X.
 


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