I love this little amp, but I had some issues with it. First and foremost, when switching from the blue, (let's say rhythm channel), to the red (lead) channel, there was no boost. In fact, the blue (rhythm) channel was slightly louder! I needed a boost for solos and wasn't getting any. How do I fix this?
My principle goal in buying this tiny amp was to not have to lug huge, heavy pieces of gear to rehearsals or small gigs. I ditched my 100 watt EVH head and (EVH) 4x12 cabinet for smaller stuff. I now have and use 3 cabinets: an EVH 1x12, an EVH 2x12, and recently bought a lightweight, Marshall MX2 12AR Vertical slant cabinet. So, I really wanted to make the tiny LBX amp work with my combo of cabinets.
First off, I have to mention that many will suggest buying the newer EVH 5150 LBXii with adjustable volumes on both channels. I bought this one first, and although it has great separation from clean to dirty channels, with the ability to adjust each channels volume, I didn't like the clean channel at all. It was, well, too clean! I also bought an EVH MXR 5150 Overdrive, which seemingly, gives you an option of a third channel. Both amps, LBX I and LBX II have monster gain, so the overdrive pedal was overkill with these amps.
The EVH 5150iii LBXII, with the (too) clean channel
I read somewhere that replacing the pre amp tube with a JJ "Long Plate" ECC838 would give it a bit of a boost, so I tried that on the red (Full Burn) channel. Nope. No boost! In fact, I'm not sure it did anything at all, tone or volume wise. I left it in there and moved on. ($13.95 TheTubeStore.com).
The little tube that made no difference
The next was move was a tried and true method I used with another guitar player I play in a band with, Drivin' Sideways. He plays out of a vintage, 50 watt, one channel Marshall JCM 800. We usually never have a sound man at gigs, and when he'd go into a solo, it was the same loudness as his rhythm playing. I bought him a MXR Micro Amp, and told him, "step on that when you go into a solo." Works great, so I figured that was my cure for my situation as well. Eureka! The cure for what ails 'ya! ($50.00 used on Craigslist).
MXR Micro Amp- A boost in volume for soloing
Lo and behold, the Boss NS-2 Noise Gate pedal. I had purchased and tried 2 other effects before settling on the NS-2: The EXH Silencer, and the (inexpensive) Donner Noise Killer. Now granted I did not hook these other two pedals up through the effects loop on the EVH LBX, I simply had them in line with my other pedals.Uhhh... Wrong! I can't discredit either pedal because I was probably using them incorrectly. But, after buying the Boss NS-2 and using with the effects loop in the back of the amp, problem solved. ($58.00 on e bay).
Boss NS-2... Suppress that noise!
The two that got away: Donner Noise Killer ($30.00 on e bay);
EXH Silencer ($57.60 @ Sweetwater.com).
Current gig rig in the home studio.
It's only a 15 watt amp... That'll melt your face off.
Eric is a licensed real estate agent in the state of Arizona, and a part time, gigging musician in Scottsdale. Besides guitar playing, he also enjoys, camping, hiking, off road adventures, smoking meats in the back yard, old films, swimming, gardening, USC and Raiders football, Dodgers baseball, LA Kings hockey, travel, photography, and making lame videos.