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EVH amp tone - through the years


ry1633
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Hey all,

 

Like most rock pickers around here, I've listened to Eddie VH since I was a kid and he was a big influence on me and a lot of kids of my generation. In the last decade or so, since he switched to EVH/Fender for his amps, I find that I'm liking his tone less and less unfortunately.

 

I really dig the various Marshall flavors of his tone in years past from VH1, Fair Warning, and 1984, etc. I even really liked the 5150 and OU812 guitar songs also, especially OU812. And I thought the original Peavey 5150 was a great sound for him too. But ever since VH3 and past that into the 2000s when he's going with the newer amps, I haven't liked his tone near as much. It's harsher and spongier all at the same time (6L6 tubes probably), and isn't as ballsy-yet-ear pleasing as it used to be, (but on the other hand his tone on the VH3/Cherone live tour clips that I've seen was really good...)

 

The guy here in my town that does my guitar stuff, did a small internship time at Peavey, and he had heard through first and second-hand sources that when Eddie was there, with each subsequent Peavey 5150 mod, he kept asking for more gain and more highs because his hearing was getting more-and-more shot over the years from the volume. So when Eddie left and took the 5150 name with him, Peavey went back to the original 5150 design and that's their 6505 amp. I've played an original first-generation Peavey 5150 and the newer 6505 and they're both pretty sweet. To my years, better than the new EVH/Fender 5150.

 

And now with the new 5150IIIS that he just rolled out last month, it seems like there's even more gain if that's possible! ha ha! At least they kept the Resonance controls which is a groovy feature. I still prefer his Marshall and early Peavey 5150 tones.

 

Just wondering what the rest of you think, and if I'm the only one who doesn't like his newer sound quite as well?

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yeah I like all the different flavors of EVH's Marshall rig over the years - from VH1 on. Fair Warning and 1984 have killer tone imo. Even OU812 where he went back to more of a straight Marshall with a lil bit less Harmonizer, I really dig it.

 

I just wondered if I was alone in feeling that his newer tone isn't as good with the new EVH/Fender stuff. The new Stealth 5150S just seems too fuzzy (like razor blades chucked at you -- didn't EVH say that in an interview once?) Just wondering if anyone noticed the same thing, and if it's motivated by hearing loss etc.

 

I know Alex Van Halen has had hearing loss - there was an article about someone making custom hearing-aids/monitors for him a few years ago. He always had a least one 4X12" cab straight from Eddie's feed as his guitar monitor!

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Some of that may be because his older recordings were all analog that targeted tape or LP's. Today its all digital which adds clarity but it may also be edgy if the entire recording chain was digital. Older players do tend to want more highs as they tend to loose their high frequency hearing and it really depends on how much of the mixing process he was involved in. You can take an amp with and edgy or fizzy sound and mask that very easily in a digital recording.

 

If it is his live rig then I'm sure that negative feedback will get to him at some point and he'll do something about it. Its likely he has a new equipment endorsement and is using gear given to him for free and getting paid extra to use that gear live. The thing is he's been around long enough where he can experiment with new sounds and not loose his following.

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I was just listening to the Jimmy Kimmel show clips and his tone actually is pretty killer. But I thought his tone on ADKOT was harsher and fuzzier and same with the new Sammy tunes on the BOBW set. I liked the various Marshall variations that he had coupled with Donn Landee's sprinklings of post-prod "jape" as they used to call it. And I also think Andy Johns and Bruce Fairbairn did really killer jobs of modernizing Eddie's tone for the 90s. I really did not like his sound on the VH3 studio album with Cherone - really dry and sorta lifeless-sound imo. But then again, that tour with Cherone, Eddie had killer tone. I remember they debuted the Australia show on MTV and when Eddie kicked into "Unchained" I

 

It's probably a number of factors like:

1. Eddies hearing loss and change in tastes

2. Pro Tools vs. Analog Tape recording and mastering

3. 6L6 vs EL34 tunes

4. The subtle changes in his guitars over the years

 

 

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yeah I really liked the guitar sound on OU812 - better than 5150 I think. Between the songs (needed to be arranged better), the guitar sound, and overall mix, VH3 was a disappointment that could have been a lot better if they'd have fixed those three things?

 

I wonder if EVH/Fender has ever considered putting out a 5150 amp with EL34 tubes in it instead of 6L6's?

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I still like his tone these days. but i admit its a bit shrill. i think its due to the stainless steel frets. i still like his earlier tone. generally, the earlier the better. like his tone in the album 'balance' is amazing.

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