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Mark V 25/35, 5153 EL34 50 watt, MT 15, what else? 
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I turned 35 last week and nature being as it I'm now obligated to look at smaller more compact amps.
Lately I've been running my Helix into the loop of my Egnater so really I'm looking for something I can do that with or just use the amp normally when I want to keep it simple.

I play punk but gravitate towards more metal sounding tones. Being as such the Mark V:25 is definitely a front runner as the Mark IV is one of my all time favorite guitar tones. Also all the love and clips I've heard of the MT15 sound great too. The 5153 EL34 has my interest as well just because I've always liked 5150s of pretty much all types but am generally an EL34 guy.
I plan to play all of these relatively soon, are there any others that I should be considering?

Compactness is more important than weight. Not really looking for Marshall sounding tones. EL34 preferred but will consider others.

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Fri May 17, 2019 5:22 am
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The mark V25 is the best sounding of the marks. Tone wise I found it better than the full-size mark V, mark iii, and either of my mark ivs. But if you want to play it with a band, it won’t keep up.

The mt15 to me kinda sits between a mark and a 5150. My favorite amp that I have played so far. It’s become my main gigging and practice amp.

The 5153 is an ok amp to me. It doesn’t have the aggressiveness that makes a 5150 what it is.

Peavey also has the 6505mh and now the invective mh is coming out soon too.

Basically I would highly recommend the mt15 hahaha.

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Fri May 17, 2019 5:38 am
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Thanks for the post Raf, I figured you'd have some useful input.
I saw that small invective on SW while looking, definitely will try one if I see it.

So the MT15 holds up with a band but the V:25 will not?
Maybe the V:35 can do a full band ok?

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Fri May 17, 2019 5:44 am
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I love the 5153 50w, but I greatly prefer the 6L6 version and I'm usually an EL34 player too. But they revoiced the preamp for the EL34 version and I wasn't too crazy about it.

I haven't tried the MT15 yet but every review I've read has been positive.

I really don't like low-wattage Mesas, they don't hold up at band volume. Besides, a short head Mark III is pretty compact anyway, so I'd go that route instead.

You should also try out the Victory Kraken though, it fits your requirements and it's a great sounding amp.

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Fri May 17, 2019 6:46 am
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Also, I've been using the Laney IRT Studio and I love it. I'm using the DI and with an electronic background so I can't really comment on how it sounds against a drummer but it seems to be loud enough. The SLS version with the 300w ss power amp is one of the loudest amps I've played though and it's even smaller and super lightweight. In fact, I think the SLS would be a great amp for your application. It's small enough you could probably find a case to carry the amp and the Helix together. The 300w SS power amp would be a great clean platform for the Helix and the amp kicks ass on its own. It also can go DI into a PA if that's ever needed.

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Fri May 17, 2019 6:56 am
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I doubt the V35 will hold up any better. They get their power section juice early, and get real hard to control feedback on at those volumes.

The mt15 transformers are like10x the size of the V25 transformers. And the mt15 runs 6l6 instead of el84.

The irt studio held up fine with the band, too. Just hat little Mesa couldn’t keep up.

Plus, v25 is over $1k used these days. Mt15 is $650 new lol...which is well worth it. I’ve seen used ones as low as $450.

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Fri May 17, 2019 8:28 am
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That Victory amp looks cool. Thats the kind of thing I was looking for, other amps I was unaware of.
Thanks for the feedback on the 5153. Listening to clips I think I'm with you but I'd like to try one for myself if I can.
Also have there been different versions of the 6L6 5153?

This video of the Mark V 35 hits a tone that'd be pretty much perfect for me. What exactly fails with them at volume?
https://youtu.be/Ask8lJ5KVWU

Also I just looked and CME has the PRS, both 5153 50 watt models, and some smaller Freidmans that I'll probably check out this weekend.

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Fri May 17, 2019 8:41 am
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NinjaRaf wrote:
I doubt the V35 will hold up any better. They get their power section juice early, and get real hard to control feedback on at those volumes.

The mt15 transformers are like10x the size of the V25 transformers. And the mt15 runs 6l6 instead of el84.

The irt studio held up fine with the band, too. Just hat little Mesa couldn’t keep up.

Plus, v25 is over $1k used these days. Mt15 is $650 new lol...which is well worth it. I’ve seen used ones as low as $450.


Honestly theres something about the IRT tone that I just don't like. I can't put my finger on it.
Your description of "between a 5150 and a Mark" for the MT sounds awesome. I just wish there was some sort of on board lead boost or something for solos.
But you're 1000% right on the price. Definitely worth considering coming in that cheap.
Hopefully I can get my hands on it this weekend and try it out.

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Fri May 17, 2019 8:46 am
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The 5153 is a badass amp.


Fri May 17, 2019 9:16 am
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At band levels, the v25 just squeals constantly and the low end farts out. Like you’re on the verge of destroying a speaker. The squealing even got past a noise gate lol.

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Fri May 17, 2019 10:23 am
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NinjaRaf wrote:
At band levels, the v25 just squeals constantly and the low end farts out. Like you’re on the verge of destroying a speaker. The squealing even got past a noise gate lol.


Got it.
You don't have issues like this with the MT?

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Fri May 17, 2019 11:44 am
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Crystal Lettucer
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Dollar for dollar, I think the 5150III hard to beat.


Fri May 17, 2019 11:47 am
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sleewell wrote:
The 5153 is a badass amp.


I like them ok.
Theres one at my practice space that I use from time to time but its not my favorite which is why I asked about revs.
Having a hard time finding info about that via google TBH.

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Fri May 17, 2019 11:50 am
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I love the small Mark amps. Probably better for recording than gigging though.

Not a fan of the 5150III. The PRS seems dope. I'd grab that if I was in the market for a small tube amp.

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Fri May 17, 2019 1:47 pm
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K-Bizzle wrote:
sleewell wrote:
The 5153 is a badass amp.


I like them ok.
Theres one at my practice space that I use from time to time but its not my favorite which is why I asked about revs.
Having a hard time finding info about that via google TBH.

The 5153 Rev 2 has the independent controls but the Green/Blue channel and these channels are a bit cleaner than the Rev 1. The Red channel is identical on both revisions. If you are not a fan Rev 1, I doubt you'd like Rev 2, it's basically the same tone with a bit of a difference in gain. I love both versions.

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Fri May 17, 2019 2:34 pm
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PRS Archon? :idk:

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Fri May 17, 2019 4:18 pm
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GuitarBilly wrote:
I love the 5153 50w, but I greatly prefer the 6L6 version and I'm usually an EL34 player too. But they revoiced the preamp for the EL34 version and I wasn't too crazy about it.

I haven't tried the MT15 yet but every review I've read has been positive.

I really don't like low-wattage Mesas, they don't hold up at band volume. Besides, a short head Mark III is pretty compact anyway, so I'd go that route instead.

You should also try out the Victory Kraken though, it fits your requirements and it's a great sounding amp.


I was also going to recommend some of the Victory offerings. The RK50 might be worth a look too.

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Fri May 17, 2019 4:21 pm
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K-Bizzle wrote:
NinjaRaf wrote:
At band levels, the v25 just squeals constantly and the low end farts out. Like you’re on the verge of destroying a speaker. The squealing even got past a noise gate lol.


Got it.
You don't have issues like this with the MT?


Not at all. I’ve got a few videos of it on YouTube at practice and shows. Taking it to our show in Jax tomorrow night. Works great.

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Fri May 17, 2019 5:53 pm
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Hmm.. i wonder what they did that made it sound loud enough for gigs.. Raf can you explain in your words what you think it does differently than say a 5150 combo? Not sure how a 15watt amp can keep up with big amps..


Sat May 18, 2019 8:11 pm
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CrunchBerries wrote:
Hmm.. i wonder what they did that made it sound loud enough for gigs.. Raf can you explain in your words what you think it does differently than say a 5150 combo? Not sure how a 15watt amp can keep up with big amps..



They used 6L6s and full sized transformers. There's an interview on YT with the designer of this amp and he explained he designed the amp as a 50w head than did some tweaks to bring the power down. He said he could convert this amp to 50w in 15 minutes.

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Sat May 18, 2019 9:01 pm
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sweet, ill check that out


Sun May 19, 2019 6:20 am
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I guess they use a lower screen voltage to reduce power output?

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Sun May 19, 2019 6:28 am
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It looks like your doing JUST big tubes

Are you a fan of the Marshall OD tones?

Its funny i played a 5153 EL34 and it RIPPED the first time and so then i went back several more times and it sounded worse each time i played it, :freak: i cant put my finger on it but the damn thing just sounded thin and buzzy each time i went back, Are you considering the regular 6L6 version at all?


:idk:

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Sun May 19, 2019 6:51 am
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Zozobra wrote:
I guess they use a lower screen voltage to reduce power output?


Just watched the interview, seems like he simply uses lower plate voltage, and he said he would have to swap the transformers to get 55 watts. Well thats no secret lol.. maybe the transformers are designed for 15 watts but are just better construction.


Sun May 19, 2019 8:41 am
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THD made three great, compact (in my book; they’re smaller than a Marshall) heads: Univalve, Bivalve, and the Flexi 50. I own the two latter, and I believe they are very much in line with what you’re trying to accomplish.


Sun May 19, 2019 10:37 am
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