A quick comparison of the 500 vs 200 series guitars of the same models (Kamikaze and Tiger). I took some photos to describe the differences and measured the neck widths, using a caliper. I knew that the 500 series Kamikaze's neck felt wider, so I started there. Although the differences seem small when you look at the numbers, it's significantly wider when you feel it in your hands.
200: 2.059" (52.2986 mm)
500: 2.254" (57.2516 mm)
200: 1.989" (50.5206 mm)
500: 2.101" (53.3654 mm)
The headstock logo is different. The LTD logo on top of the 500 is silver, the 200 is black with gold outline.
The Neck contour, near the headstock is different. The 500's contour is rounder, and the 200 is bulkier. Will you really notice it? Probably not, but it's there.
The tigers are also different.
There are some major differences in the color, and how it was painted. The 500 is darker, mainly because the black tiger stripes are bigger. Also, there is more red/orange on the headstock.
One thing that I wasn't aware of before, was that the paint jobs were done differently. First, the purple on the 500 is much deeper and richer, than the 200. If you look at the 200, you can see that the black was the last color painted. It overlaps the out ring of purple. On the 500, the purple was the last color painted, which gives it a better look (in my opinion).
The backs of the two models are very different:
The obvious difference is the paint job. The 500 follows the coloring of the front of the guitar.
Just like the Kamikaze, the 200 has a backplate and large cavity. The 500 has no backplate and a small cavity.
I know this is probably a controversial topic, but these are my findings when comparing solid state power amp to a tube power amp.
I have been absolutely loving my Synergy SYN-1, which is a tube pre amp that handles pre amp modules from different manufacturers. I mostly play it through my Seymour Duncan PowerStage into a cabinet. It sounds fantastic. but, I started thinking about how it would sound through a tube power amp. The good news is that the SYN-1 can be used through a head's FX Loop, and completely take over the head. You can use the head preamp, or bypass the amps preamp, and use the SYN-1 as the preamp via the SYN-1's footswitch.
I set up a Shure SM57 and recorded a track with the SYN-1 through a 5150 head with EL34 power tubes. I then changed the setup, and simply went through the Duncan PowerStage. They sounded damn close to my ears.
I then checked the EQ of each of the tracks using Ozone. I set the Ozone EQ points to each of the points on my MXR 10-band EQ. To my amazement, there was very little difference, less than 1db, on each of the points.
MXR EQ Settings to match the PowerStage to the EL34s