EVH 5150III Combo (with pics) FV-1 Reverb

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EVH 5150III Combo (with pics) FV-1 Reverb

Postby Ice-9 » 17 Sep 2013, 19:23

I was needing a new amp which is smaller than my usual setup so my credit card treated me to an EVH 5150 combo until I am able to sell my older amps to pay Mr. Card back.

My first impressions are good and the sound is great, ch3 is so dirty it's unbelievable whilst ch2 has the definitive Van Halen sound but can be dialled up with different crunch sounds. Ch1 which shares all the ch2 controls goes from clean to dirty very quickly with the gain control.

Now here is my first problem, as ch1 and ch2 share the same gain and Volume pots its near impossible to get a good balance between clean and crunch and not just in volume level between the 2 chs.
Lets say gain is set to 2 and volume set 2, clean is nice and , well clean. Switch to ch2 with both pots still at 2 and it gets very dirty but with a big volume boost. Looking at schematics for these amps it would have been so easy just to have put separate gain pot in for two chls before the relay chl switch instead of 1 pot after the relay, or alternatively 2 main volume pots to balance levels, or better still ch1and 2 could of had separate gain and volume pots. I mean extra build cost would of been nearly nothing.

Listening to the reverb I instantly recognized the characteristic sound of the Spinsemi FV-1, but I'm not too keen on the final sound of this reverb so I thought I'd have a look inside to check it was indeed an FV-1 chip, because if it was I could maybe do something with it.

Anyway as it was apart I took a couple of pics of the internals.

Main PCB
Image

FV-1 mini board on a pcb which also controls the 1watt- 50watt thingy me bob.
Image

You can see the little FV-1 reverb PCB which just clips off from the bigger PCB. There is no external Eeprom so the reverb is coming direct from the FV-1 internal program but I chance that it has the fender software custom wrote to the chips die. I might just plan to make my own FV-1 PCB with Eeprom to the same dimensions as this which means I could have a multi effects and not just reverb, its a shame though that there is no extra controls for this built in meaning only one control pot or drilling holes in the chassis to mount extra controls which I don't want to do.

I will be back with more mod information with this at some point after thinking it through.
It's fairly straight forward, if you want to start it , press start. You can work out the rest of the controls for yourself !

No silicon heaven ? preposterous ! Where would all the calculators go ?
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Re: EVH 5150III Combo (with pics) FV-1 Reverb

Postby Ice-9 » 17 Sep 2013, 23:04

I have been playing around with this amp all day and loving it but I can't live with the volume problem between the shared controls of ch1 and 2, it just makes it unusable in a live situation crippling the amp to a 2 ch amp. either ch1 and 3 or ch2 and 3.

Its time to pull the chassis out and get modding to fix this the best I can, there isn't a specific schematic for this combo version of the 5150III on the fender website but I expect the head version is very similar so I will use that as a guide for modding. I have a pretty good idea what I will try first which is raising ch1 and lowering the gain on ch2 to balance them out, there are just 2 resistors which can be changed. The obvious drawback is that the clean ch will get a little dirtier and the crunch ch will get slightly cleaner but I think both chs have enough scope to handle this and it will be easily reversible. I will see how this goes in the morning when I can crank it up a bit.

It's a bit crap when you have to mod a £1100 amp from new because of a bad design flaw, I could return the amp but think it's worth the mod as i'm really enjoying the sounds it has.
It's fairly straight forward, if you want to start it , press start. You can work out the rest of the controls for yourself !

No silicon heaven ? preposterous ! Where would all the calculators go ?
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Re: EVH 5150III Combo (with pics) FV-1 Reverb

Postby deltafred » 17 Sep 2013, 23:58

I took it from your first post that you wouldn't be using ch3 so my thought was to reduce the gain on it to make it usable.

If you are going to use it then just ignore me of course.
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Re: EVH 5150III Combo (with pics) FV-1 Reverb

Postby Ice-9 » 18 Sep 2013, 01:35

@Deltafred ch3 is a great huge gain lead sound, I love it. So that just left me needing to balance ch1 and 2 between a clean and crunchwhich I think have a plan for, will test that tomorrow.

I have had a look at the reverb tonight as well and have found that the reverb level pot doesn't control any of the FV-1 parameters, it only is there to adjust the level of the wet signal which is a shame but I could build a little board so that I could have the DSP do Reverb/flanger/chorus or phaser but they would just set with no control. I suppose phaser and flanger could work well as Van Halen used those a lot
It's fairly straight forward, if you want to start it , press start. You can work out the rest of the controls for yourself !

No silicon heaven ? preposterous ! Where would all the calculators go ?
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Re: EVH 5150III Combo (with pics) FV-1 Reverb

Postby Ice-9 » 18 Sep 2013, 01:52

REVERB, from the way the DSP board is configured it looks like Fender have opted to use the standard onchip reverb1 with the 3 parameters set in the middle. I don't think they have had there own program burned into the chip.
It's fairly straight forward, if you want to start it , press start. You can work out the rest of the controls for yourself !

No silicon heaven ? preposterous ! Where would all the calculators go ?
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Re: EVH 5150III Combo (with pics) FV-1 Reverb

Postby DrNomis » 18 Sep 2013, 07:45

Have you thought of replacing the reverb chip altogether with a spring reverb, or isn't it do-able without major modding?.... :hmmm:
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Re: EVH 5150III Combo (with pics) FV-1 Reverb

Postby Ice-9 » 18 Sep 2013, 10:35

DrNomis wrote:Have you thought of replacing the reverb chip altogether with a spring reverb, or isn't it do-able without major modding?.... :hmmm:


It shouldn't be difficult to replace the chip with a spring reverb to be honest, but over the last few years a lot of my pedal building has been using the FV-1 chip, I just love the thing and I have a great sounding FV-1 reverb for my circuits and I could have it switchable 'Room/Hall/Plate so it makes sense to play around with this for my purposes.

If I had the bottle to add more pots to the front of the amp and maybe a LCD with a midi port on the back it could have a full multi effects built in. Options for delay reverb etc. I just don't want to take a drill to the face plate and chassis, (yet)
It's fairly straight forward, if you want to start it , press start. You can work out the rest of the controls for yourself !

No silicon heaven ? preposterous ! Where would all the calculators go ?
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Re: EVH 5150III Combo (with pics) FV-1 Reverb

Postby Ice-9 » 23 Sep 2013, 23:45

Here is a schematic of the 5150III with the mods for ch1 and 2 volume balance, this makes the clean and crunch chls usable without having to readjust the gain and volume levels when switching between the two.

Image

The first mod is to change two resistors,
changing R90 from 330K to 100K attenuates the signal when switched to ch2 effectively lowering the volume slightly.
changing R79 from 10K to 33K allows for a larger signal when switched to ch1 effectively raising the volume.

The second mod is to change 1 resistor and 1 capacitor
Changing R104 from 43K to 22K and C58 from 10n/400v to 22n/400v lowers ch2's signal into the tone stack, adjusting both components to these values keeps the freq response intact.

One mod or the other can be used or even both mods together, it is worth doing one firat to see how it works out then try the other or both.
Next I will see what I an do with the DSP to add some more fun to the amp.

I have to add as this is a high voltage valve amp (475v) if you are not sure what you are doing these voltages can be lethal and would suggest having a tech do the mods.

Oops I just realized that the pic may be copyright to Fender and might have to be removed :( Mods remove if needed.
It's fairly straight forward, if you want to start it , press start. You can work out the rest of the controls for yourself !

No silicon heaven ? preposterous ! Where would all the calculators go ?
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Re: EVH 5150III Combo (with pics) FV-1 Reverb

Postby 493dart » 12 Feb 2018, 23:55

I know this is an old thread but...........Ice -9 can you tell me which schematic you are using for this ?


'The first mod is to change two resistors,
changing R90 from 330K to 100K attenuates the signal when switched to ch2 effectively lowering the volume slightly.
changing R79 from 10K to 33K allows for a larger signal when switched to ch1 effectively raising the volume.

The second mod is to change 1 resistor and 1 capacitor
Changing R104 from 43K to 22K and C58 from 10n/400v to 22n/400v lowers ch2's signal into the tone stack, adjusting both components to these values keeps the freq response intact. "



I have one here dated 8/06 , but the parts dont jive with the parts you mention. Can you link me to your scem ? mines a lot different part numbers
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Re: EVH 5150III Combo (with pics) FV-1 Reverb

Postby Ice-9 » 13 Feb 2018, 00:08

493dart wrote:I know this is an old thread but...........Ice -9 can you tell me which schematic you are using for this ?


'The first mod is to change two resistors,
changing R90 from 330K to 100K attenuates the signal when switched to ch2 effectively lowering the volume slightly.
changing R79 from 10K to 33K allows for a larger signal when switched to ch1 effectively raising the volume.

The second mod is to change 1 resistor and 1 capacitor
Changing R104 from 43K to 22K and C58 from 10n/400v to 22n/400v lowers ch2's signal into the tone stack, adjusting both components to these values keeps the freq response intact. "



I have one here dated 8/06 , but the parts dont jive with the parts you mention. Can you link me to your scem ? mines a lot different part numbers


Hi Dart, I wil have to try and dig out the circuit diagrams that were mentioned, due to the photobucket crap they all vanished within the thread . if you can post your diag maybe I can fill in the changes.

PS. this has all been rectified in the new EVH EL34 model with dual concentric pots for ch 1+2, I would love to part ex mine for the new EL34 amp but they want 600 quid part ex. nah I don't think but EL34's do rock.
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No silicon heaven ? preposterous ! Where would all the calculators go ?
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Re: EVH 5150III Combo (with pics) FV-1 Reverb

Postby 493dart » 13 Feb 2018, 00:23

thanks---i have an answer----

there are 2 diff scems i can find so far---

yours is the Vietnam version dated 9/11 = the numbers match up with your parts

theres a dfiiferent one dated 8/06
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Re: EVH 5150III Combo (with pics) FV-1 Reverb

Postby Ice-9 » 16 May 2018, 01:13

493dart wrote:thanks---i have an answer----

there are 2 diff scems i can find so far---

yours is the Vietnam version dated 9/11 = the numbers match up with your parts

theres a dfiiferent one dated 8/06


Not sure on your schematic numbering but my amp had made in Mexico on it not Vietnam ?
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