YouTube heavy hitter Ryan “Fluff” Bruce of Riffs, Beards & Gear has posted a lengthy video demo and rundown of the EVH 5150® Iconic® 80W Head.
With the amps announced over the summer of 2021 but not landing until late December, there’s been much speculation about what this all-new series of EVH amps would sound like.
“When the first images came out on the internet about the 5150 Iconic it was very polarizing in the guitar world,” notes Fluff right out of the gate. “A lot of people had a lot of different opinions. I’m going to get some truths out there and take this amp for an objective spin. Right away, this is not a $900 version of a $2500 amplifier. That is just not what this is. This is a fresh design, which Ed had plenty to do with I would add, that kind of fills a gap in both price point and tone that I think entry level players and gigging budget-minded players have yet to really experience until this amplifier. It has a lot of offer as far as features and tone.”
Fluff starts out with a quick feature set rundown, while also meting out a few quick observations …
“Eddie loves his gain and this has insane amounts of gain on tap,” says Fluff, while also mentioning that he himself is a “big fan of the reverb on this amplifier.”
Following a thorough playthrough on the Green Channel, Fluff gets into the amp’s voicing.
“If you are familiar at all with any of EVH modern 5150III amplifiers, you will be right at home with the 5150 Iconic,” he says. “It has that really nice upper midrange. It’s not muddy. However, this does not sound like the $2500 all-tube big brother. It’s faster feeling. It’s a little crunchier than the other EVH 5150III amps. If I was 20-years old, for $900, this would literally be my dream amp. I don’t think I’ve ever played another amplifier that has packed so many features for so little money than the 5150 Iconic.
The demo proceeds with an explanation of the preamp circuit, noise gate test and a Red Channel playthrough before his final thoughts and conclusion.
“The 5150 Iconic has been in development for years,” remarks Fluff. “Ed absolutely had a hand in its development and this was really made to celebrate Ed’s 30 years in amplifier designing. His contribution has been great as far as amplifier and guitar tones. This lives up to that while also coming in at less than $1000. I think this is a massive, massive bang for the buck for any full-sized amplifier. Consider the fact that the 5150 50-watt head is $1300, $400 more than this thing, and doesn’t have reverb, or noise gate or switchable volume boost. I mean right there, this is every gigging musician’s dream. If you want to get in the realm and the tone of the 5150, look no further than the Icon. I’ve really really enjoyed this amplifier, and I think it is awesome for all sorts of things – including for your tone and mine.”