Pawel Kuczynski’s satirical art. Take a moment to look at these properly.
This guy is not even slightly in the area of fucking around
I M A G E R Y
3-way comparison between Soldano SLO, Peavey 5150, and Fender 5150-III.
I don’t normally post stuff other than my own work, because I try to stay out of “internet gear culture” — but this video demonstrates the RIGHT way to do a comparison. Notice that the same DI’ed guitar track has been reamped through three different amps, using the same cab and mic setup, so that they’re controlling for as many external factors as possible. Switching is instantaneous. You can hide the video window to get a truly blind comparison.
It also demonstrates how incredibly similar these amps are. I’m about to have the opportunity to finally implement some 5150 mod ideas that I’ve been working on for a long time, one of which includes a full conversion of the drive channel to SLO values/topology (including converting the EQ driver to a DC coupled cathode follower).
Obviously the first 5150 was conceived as a knockoff of the SLO, though at this point it’s probably an even more iconic sound (due to the amp’s ubiquity, low cost, and reliability). Where it deviates are MOSTLY things like pot tapers, which means that “6 on the mids knob” on a 5150 is more like “8 on the mids knob” on a SLO100. That fact tends to greatly exaggerate the difference in sound between the two amps, because people almost always visually match the settings when they compare. But the total range of control is basically identical in most cases. (The SLO also has a nicer and more traditional power stage, but it’s common and very easy to just add a choke and some 470-ohm screen resistors to the 5150.)
The other major difference is that there are no cathode-follower stages in the 5150, which instead uses a triode with 1-to-1 local negative feedback to get lower impedance for a plate-driven tone stack. The Soldano’s use of DC-coupled cathode followers for both the FX loop send and the tone stack, a la Marshall, yields a ‘harder’ response and significantly more 2nd harmonic distortion (likely responsible for the perception that the SLO has ‘thicker mids’).