I’m recording another EP for St. Louis metal band, Black Fast.  So I decided to do some testing on my Peavey 5150 to determine which speakers sound the best, what mics to use, and what microphone preamp to use.

You already know I love a good shootout!  😉

Since the test was already done, I decided that I might as well put the results on the ol’ blog.


I’ve got an original Peavey 5150 (the signature version) and a Peavey 5150 straight cabinet with Sheffields on the bottom and Celestion Vintage 30 on the top.   I mic’d the the upper left hand speaker with a 57, just a little bit off center close to where the dustcap ends.  The guitar was a Hamer Studio USA model with Seymore Duncans.  My playing is…..bad.  The recording was done at SmithLee Productions.

Peavey 5150 metal

Mic’d up Peavey 5150 to reamp for preamp test

I recorded myself playing a riff direct input to Pro Tools HD and reamped the EXACT same performance out the head so the ONLY difference you are hearing here is the preamps.  Everything else remained the same.

The preamps used were:

1. Amek 9098 (2 channel 1U version)
2. API 3124+
3. Classic Audio Products of IL VP26
4. Sytek MPX-4A
5. Vintech 473 (switched to 300 ohms)

I’ve included the files (somewhat volume matched, you may have to adjust a little) with the same guitar performance being fed to 5 different preamps.   Click the link below, take a listen and tell me which one YOU prefer!




  1. Julian says:

    1 – Vintech or Capi – both nice on certain parts of the performance(I’m liking the Vintech on the more sustained stuff and the Capi on the more palm mutey type stuff)
    2 – Amek – close 2nd to my ears
    3 – API – the midrange push is too present for my tastes for this genre of playing
    4 – Sytek – too sterile and vanilla sounding for my tastes

    I still say my Burl B1 with AEA r92 in front going into a Ross Martin converter is a golden combination.

    Great shootout, Glitch!! Always love your insight…


  2. Hey man nice shootout! I liked particularly the API or the Vintech best, I think both of them would give you a great tone for the mix! I just found out about your blog and I’m definitely going to be checking your posts out! best of luck! Allan

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