PSYCHO A & B – Peavey 5150 and 5150 II

Genres: Hard Rock, Classic Rock, Punk and of course Heavy f**king metal

Uses: Rhythm, Lead, Crunch

SCORE: 9 / 10


We grouped the Peavey models together and the EVH separate because the 5153 is a much different amp. I have owned and enjoyed all three of the amps so when I saw they were included with Thermionik, it was a real selling feature.

Eddie Van Halen had guys doing crazy stuff to amps for decades and that experimentation was instrumental in the evolution of high gain amps and high gain music alike. The 5150 was his first amp with Peavey and it was a game changer. It could do mid gain and high gain extraordinarily well at a great price so they caught on real quick. The 5150 II came out and took the tones even further with more versatility.

After it was released, it spread through music like wildfire. Dimmu Borgir, Arch Enemy, Machine Head, Trivium, In Flames, Unearth, Ted Nugent.. (eww how’d he get in there), Bullet For My Valentine, Gojira, Killswitch Engage, Wintersun, Carcass, Crowbar and … ok you get it, lots of guys used it for big tones.


Both the Psycho A and B are simple, easy to dial in and very effective right from the first note. All of the EVH amps are easy to dial in which is another thing that has made the amps so successful. The plugins are no different in that it was easy to find a very good starting point for whatever tone I was looking for.

The gain is really usable across both plugins but I find the Psycho B to be the tighter of the two. The Psycho B also has a brighter overall tone. The Psycho A has more grit to and meat to it if that makes any sense.

I tossed the Kazrog Stockholm HM2 plugin into the chain for some Swedish buzzsaw tones and the Psycho A was much better for the job. It also sounded better with fuzz and muff pedals. The Psycho B sounded better with boost plugins in front instead.

The EVH tone was easy to get a start on with both of these plugins, as were many other tones from some of the bands I named in the intro. The Psycho A and B are both incredibly versatile so even blues, classic rock, hard rock and a lot of other driven genres are fairly easy to track down in one or both sims.

I have always loved the sound of the 5150 series of amps through Marshall cabinets so I thought I would start there. I found a lot of nice 412 Marshall 1960 matches for impulses. I also pretty well died and went to heaven when I tried the Psycho plugins with the 3 Sigma Audio EVH Stealth 412 impulses. That combo was a keeper for me.


I love both of these plugins and if you like using any type of gain or distortion, you will love them too. If you are a big fan of the real amps, these are really worth looking into.


Posted Dec 1st 2018