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Fractal Audio AMP models: 5153 (EVH 5150-III)


* EDIT: Up-to-date information is available in Yek's Guide to the Fractal Audio Amplifier Models *

5153: based on EVH 5150-III

Eddie Van Halen got his own signature amps, the first two generations in collaboration with Peavey, and the third one with Fender. These signature amps were well received by guitar players in the metal scene. In fact it's hard to find a non-metal video on YouTube featuring this amp. All 3 generations are represented in the Axe-Fx II and AX8. We’ll first discuss the current model: 5150-III, which is a popular amp model among the high-gainers. Eddie talks about the 5150-III. Cliff:

“IMO, it's a very good amp. The build-quality is great and the design is very good. It is similar to the previous versions but voiced a bit different. Personally, I think all of the 5150's have more gain stages than necessary which just makes for unnecessary failure points but the "OMG, this amp has sooo many toobz it must sound awesome" marketing makes it understandable. It's incredibly heavy though.”​

The 5150-III tubes has three channels: Green (clean), Blue (crunch) and Red (lead). On the 100 watts head each channel has its own controls: Gain, Low, Mid, High, Master Volume, and Presence.

Fractal Audio has modeled all 3 channels of the 100 watts head, plus the Blue channel of the 50 watts amp (see below). The Red channel model has the Bright switch enabled, the others don’t.

Click to see Eddie’s real amp settings. Which are identical to the recommended settings in the owner’s manual.

There’s also a smaller 50 watts model with two 6L6 power tubes (four on the 100 watts head), shared EQ controls, master Presence control and an additional Resonance control (model: Depth) and much more gain in the Blue channel. Cliff:

"The 50W version has a different input network than the 100W version for that channel (Blue). The 50W version has about twice the gain as a result. Otherwise things are pretty similar. You can simulate this using the Input Trim knob. The red channels (of 50w and 100w models) are identical."​

There's a more recent 5150-III Stealth model. Its circuit adds even more gain (!) to channels 2 and 3 and makes those channels sound more alike. Eddie demonstrates the Stealth.

This is the first amp model in our series that has a Master Volume. This means that the amp’s distortion is created in particular by the preamp tubes, not the power amp. The Master Volume, which works in the power amp section, is still very important to the tone and feel. You have to decide for yourself what setting in the model works for you best. The default setting is a good point to start of course.

In older firmware versions the Saturation parameter was engaged in the 5153 Blue and Red models. This is no longer the case.

Cliff comments on Power Tube Bias:

“A 5150 uses a fixed bias with no adjustment. Depending on the tubes used the bias can run from average to cold. The model uses average. Some people like a colder sound. If you prefer your amps biased cold, then reduce the bias parameter to taste."​

The EVH amps use cabinets with custom speakers. In the 5150-III these are Celestion G12EVHs. Check this page to see which 5150 stock cabs are available. If you want more choices:

Cab Pack 12 “ML 5153 4x12 UltraRes” provides IRs of a 4x12 5150-III Straight cabinet with G12EVH speakers, created by ML Sound.​

Cab Pack 14 “The 4x12 Collection 2.0 - UltraRes” contains IRs of a 4x12 5150-III Straight cabinet with G12EVH speakers, created by Universal Noise Storage Studio, using the “MIC+DI” method. This Cab Pack also includes Cab Pack 5 with older IRs of a 5150-III cabinet.

OwnHammer also sells IR libraries with the G12EVH speaker.​

You can turn the 5153 amp model into a drive by turning off the power amp modeling. Here's more information.

A selection of YouTube videos:

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Could anyone comment on whether the saturation switches should be engaged on 5150 III and 5150 models since quantum? Many thanks.


Fractal Fanatic
love the way those amps sound in a mix, have never heard one clip or video of them by themselves that i could stand, lol....


Yup, these things stand out like crazy in the mix. I actually like it with the gain fairly low. Very full meaty tone.


Power User
I truly think this amp will be considered among the greatest of all time (at least for high-gainers) in years to come. That red channel is untouchable! Beats a 5150 for me.


Power User
  • A re-voiced second channel for more present, defined low-mids and crunch
  • Enhanced low-frequency range on the third channel
  • Increased gain on channels 2 and 3 to drive your tone to the next level
  • Rear-panel resonance controls for each channel giving you even more powerful lows
  • Newly added adjustable bias control"

I'd be curious to see what people do to replicate the Stealth (if it can't actually be modeled)


Fractal Fanatic
boy I dont know if I was just being a 'believer' but yesterday I was SHREDDING with 5153 quantum. It was just awwwwwwwwesome, and I didnt barely have to add an overdrive even for leads (this is miracle territory for me!)



OwnHammer also sells IR libraries with the G12EVH speaker.​

The OwnHammer Multi-Speaker Collections "212-GTR MAR-66" has IR's of the 2013 15-ohm Celestion T5670B G12-EVH, made in England. To the best of my knowledge, this is an EVH based driver.


"A re-voiced second channel for more present, defined low-mids and crunch"
"Enhanced low-frequency range on the third channel"
Built in AMP EQ.
Tinker with LF in the amp block.

Use your ears to tweak. Or put a request in Wish List for this mod. This thread is about what the amp IS, not about another iteration. Can we stick with what we have on these threads?



New Member
None of these vids feature the 100 watt! The first 3 are the 50 watt and in the van halen clip he's using the stealth.
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