Tube Amp Vs Modeling Software Shootout Part 2: Peavey 5150/6505

Tube Amp Vs Modeling Software Shootout Part 2: Peavey 5150/6505

In part 2 of my amp vs modeling shootout, we put the high gain capabilities of several amp modeling software products to the test by pitting them against a venerable hard rock and metal favorite, the Peavey 5150/6505 tube amp.

High gain amps like the 5150/6505 typically rely on the preamp stage to generate a heavier-sounding, more harmonically charged distortion.

In my previous round of listening tests (see Tube Amp Vs Modeling Software, Part 1), we primarily focused on the sound of a Fender Deluxe Reverb’s power stage being pushed into overdrive. However, while power tube breakup is great for creating tones suitable for a variety of styles such as blues (e.g. Stevie Ray Vaughan) and classic rock (e.g. AC/DC), hard rock and metal guitarists typical favor a more aggressive form of overdrive, often referred to as "high gain distortion". High gain-capable amps like the 5150/6505 typically rely on the preamp stage to generate a heavier-sounding, more harmonically charged distortion sound associated with hard rock and metal styles of music (e.g. Metallica or In Flames). As such, this test compares several software models' ability to emulate the preamp stage distortion of the mighty 5150 tube amp.

Peavey 5150/6505

For high gain duties, I often call on my revered Peavey 5150 amp, the first generation of a line of powerhouse signature amps co-designed by guitar legend Eddie Van Halen himself. Back in the 1990’s, the 5150 set a new standard among high gain guitar amps, and were soon adopted by a multitude of hard rock and metal players alike. While Van Halen and his trademark 5150 brand have long since parted ways with Peavey, the amp continues on as the Peavey 6505, a model still very popular with rock and metal players to this day. For these listening tests, the 5150 powers a closed-back 4x12 cabinet loaded with G12M-style speakers, Van Halen’s favorite speaker model for any of his signature amps. The microphone is a Sennheiser MD-421 positioned on the outer edge of the center speaker cone, just 1” off the cab grill.

Reminder: For best results, be sure to listen to the files on a decent pair of headphones or external speakers.


Peavey 5150/6505 - Heavy Riff

Real Amp

Native Instruments Guitar Rig

IK Multimedia Amplitude

Peavey Revalver


Peavey 5150/6505 - Lead Lick

Real Amp

Native Instruments Guitar Rig

IK Multimedia Amplitude

Peavey Revalver


All product names used in parts 1 or 2 of this article are trademarks of their respective owners, which are in no way associated or affiliated with this website.

Fender, Deluxe Reverb, are registered trademarks of Fender Musical Instruments Corporation.
Peavey, 6505, are registered trademarks of Peavey Electronics.
5150 is a trademark of ELVH Inc.


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