Last fall I bought myself a Peavey 6505 top 120 watts. I must say that this amp is a real monster primarily suited for metal. But despite that fact you can tune in some nice crunch sounds and even pretty cool clean sounds too, but it's angry high gain this amp is created for.
In the wake of the death of "hair metal" and the dawn of thrash metal in the 90's grunge rise and the metal genre was in great need to improve its sound. Peavey saw the window of oppurtunity and challenged Marshall in the fight about the new target group "modern metal generation". Even Mesa Boogie showed up with their "Rectifiers" about the same time, so Peavey were not alone in this trend.
Marshall was initially caught completely by surprise, and has not really recovered from this, but I admit there are some good exceptions.
The first models bore the name "Block Letter Models" and "EVH" was printed on the right side of the chassis, but it was quickly replaced with Eddie's autograph and named them just "signature models". Block Letters amps are very coveted in the secondary market nowadays.
How Eddie was involved in the actual development is harder to find information about, or if he was just cooperating in the marketing phase. However, he used them on the album OU812 later, and the Eddie sound was there, but very far from sounds that 5150 later would be associated with. The tuned down metal genre.
Most modern metal bands like Job For A Cowboy, The Black Dahlia Murder, Black Tide, All That Remains, August Burns Red, Whitechapel took the 5150 to their hearts.
Peavey later changed the namne, for copyright reasons, to 6505 when Eddie broke with Peavey and brought his name into other businesses. 6505 was a nearly exact copy in 5150, although hardcore fans claims that 5150 sounds clearly better. I have not noticed any dramatic differences myself.
This amp has more gain and bottom than most amps in the same genre, and it really has its own character. The characteristic of 6505 is that the distortion is ultra strong, warm, dense and with a punch that kicks you right in the stomach. With an EMG-equipped guitar, you easily get in touch with the same sound as many of the modern metal bands of today. Add a little phaser, chorus and delay and lower the gain and you'll get Eddie Van Halen's more modern tone. Pretty impressive extremes, I would say.
It accept effect pedals very well to. One thing to consider in the context"pedals" is that this amp actually produce some bad noise, especially if you engage a TS9 pedal to highlight the tone a bit. It's wise to buy a noise gate and run it in the loop and in the chain at the same time. I run a Boss NS-2, it works great. The amp gets magical silent.
2 channels, Lead and Rythm
EQ for each channel (Low, Mid, High)
Preamplifiers: 5 12AX7
Slusteg: 4 SL6
Output: 4, 8 and 16 ohms
Input: High and Normal
Weight: 21 kg
If you play metal, you should definitely test this amp. If you play something else you should probably find a more versatile amp. This is clearly a metal monster.
These amps are pretty reasonable cheap today, you will find a 6505 on Ebay in the range of 800-900 dollars.
Rate if you play Metal:
5 zombies (5)
Rate if you play the Blues:
2 zombies (5)