ALESSANDRO HIGH END ENGLISH....opinions please!!

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by pirateflynn, Jul 17, 2005.


  1. pirateflynn

    pirateflynn Supporting Member

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    High End English on the way!

    I would really love to know what you guys think. The Bruno UG30 is another amp that has always intrigued me.......comparisons are invited.

    Thanks!

    :cool:
     
  2. Tag

    Tag Gold Supporting Member

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    I have played both side by side at Ultrasound on several occasions. The Allsesandro had a nice feel, but it has one of the harshest and brightest top ends I have ever heard. Ear fatique is not a strong enough word. Punishing high end is more like it. With the treble almost all the way off, it was still brighter than the UG 30 with the controls at noon. The UG 30 is an entire level up. Musical all the way around with the sweetest top end you can imagine. Not a harsh tone ANYWHERE. Crank the presence and treble up, and it will get BRIGHT, but still, no trace of harshness. The bottom on the Bruno is also much bigger.

    I later stumbled on a Working dog Rottweiler, and THIS is a great amp! None of that harshness that the high end model had. It also had a decent reverb (no match for the Brunos though), and had a unique sound that was neither Fender or Vox. A very cool amp, and one that is a STEAL at the price of around a grand new. All around tonewise though, the Bruno is the clear winner to me.
     
  3. MikeyG

    MikeyG Supporting Member

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    Tag there must've been something wrong with that amp. Mine, with the treble off, sounded like Clapton 'Woman' tone.... or darker. And when that amp overdrives, most people describe it as a 'wooden' type tone. Definitely not harsh at all.

    The high end on a good working English, at clean volumes, will be like a Matchless DC30, or a Komet Constellation. And can be tweaked out totally if desired. It's designed to have that Vox AC30 'sheen' if you want it.

    I owned an English for a long time, swore I'd never sell it. But the Constellation unseated it.
     
  4. pirateflynn

    pirateflynn Supporting Member

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    Thanks guys for the replies.

    I know there are some more English owners out there...........Let me know. I'll be happy to give my own tone report after I receive mine and have spent a little time with it.

    Thanks!

    :cool:
     
  5. Dave Orban

    Dave Orban Gold Supporting Member

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    I've owned both at the same time.

    I still own the English. ;)
     
  6. hansoloist

    hansoloist Supporting Member

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    Love that amp. Played it through a 4x12 with Greenbacks and it was friggin' magical. George builds some seriously fine amps.

    I use to own a UG30. They are very different amps. I loved the UG30 clean and mildly overdriven, but it just didn't hold together enough for me when cranked. It's a much smoother, softer sounding amp than the English too. The English is more aggressive, and holds together beautifully when cranked. Great, sparkly cleans too.

    peace
    -jeff
     
  7. jokerjkny

    jokerjkny Member

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    pirate,

    if you dont like the English, i'll gladly take it off your hands. :)

    but i love George's work. its the benchmark i put up pretty much most other amps.

    FYI, if you turn down the mids all the way off, and adjust the treb and bass to taste, you'll get a very cool AC30 like tone. other than my Clark Grifton, its by far one of the coolest Vox tones i've yet to experience.

    also, celestion blues in a 2x12 wired parallel for 8 ohms are a must. brings out the best in its voxy flavor.
     
  8. Ogre

    Ogre Member

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    I have had some experience with a regular-issue English, and I think these amps match up superbly with single-coil pickup guitars. Dial back the highs, boost the mids and watch out! There is an abundance of lows, as well. I hope to try a Bruno someday, but I have not seen one in Austin.
     
  9. v-verb

    v-verb Member

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    Had a standard English recently. Fantastic amp! Only reason I don't have it now is that I traded for a Redbone - I wanted more watts and more of a plexi feel.

    George's stuff is superb and very undervalued!
     
  10. scottcw

    scottcw Low rent hobbyist Silver Supporting Member

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    From the first Bay Area ampfest on a stock English:

    Ron - The name of this amp is intriguing and may refer to George's version of one channel in a VOX AC-30. We definitely had the right speakers for this
    little tone monster. What I saw of it was well built externally and I'd love
    to view the interior guts. It definitely had the look of a hand built amp.
    The English has a single octal tube in the preamp and a second as the phase
    inverter to drive a quartet of EL84s. The 6SL7 (higher gain) preamp tube was a definite improvement over the lower gain 6SN7 that Scott also tried. I've always liked the sounds of Fender amps with octal-tube preamps; The English goes a few steps further by combining an extremely smooth preamp compression with rich Class A harmonics and well-defined notes. The clean tones were delightful, but the overdriven sounds were truly impressive in their musicality. Very refined and smoothly controlled. The Amperex EL84s would be the tube of choice in this amp. If I were to choose a refined, overdriven sound I really liked, this would be it. If you like a more gutsy, raw tone, look to the Dr. Z Prescription to fill your Rx.

    Scott - This amp is incredible for its refinement and sheer musicality. When
    played clean, the Grosh sounds like an acoustic guitar. Think of the sound a
    high-end acoustic guitar with rosewood back and sides with a spruce top. You can hear the wood resonating and the fingers on the strings. Top end
    complexity and detail are astounding. Semi-distorted sounds are ringing and
    complex in the top end with resonant low end that had just a hint of
    distortion. The overdriven sound is very cool, but depends a lot on the tone
    controls. With the amp cranked past 1:00, the bass needs to be somewhere
    between 9:00 and 10:00 or it will overwhelm the speakers and sound muddy. With the bass set correctly, the overdrive sound is very slightly compressed. It has lots of roar yet still manages to retain all the musicality and complexity in the top end. Due to the solid state rectifier, the bass never gets loose or flabby when cranked. The sustain is excellent. When the amp feeds back, it does so musically, not like a banshee wail the way some amps do. The mid control on this amp is very cool. As you turn it down, you get the fundamental note with fewer harmonics. When cranked all the way, the harmonics leap out of the speakers. I would recommend this amp to anyone looking for the ultimate Vox AC30 sound. If you love the guitar tones of the Beatles, Tom Petty, Queen and U2, this is your amp.

    Oleg - The head itself is tiny and looks quite beautiful. How does it sound?
    Beautiful, too, and not tiny at all! When I was told that it's only 14W I
    couldn't believe it. I don't know how much of its tone is due to octal tubes
    (6SL7's) in the preamp and phase inverter, but it's hard to imagine a more
    refined sounding amp. To me it sounds like something a VOX AC30 wants to
    sound like in its dreams. Highs are incredible - very musical and chimey -
    and not a hint of harshness. Lows are THERE, and mids are not overwhelming but very complex. As a matter of fact the MID control more affects the harmonic complexity vs. the volume of mids itself. Distortion sounds as good as clean - very complex and multi-dimensional. Distorted sound felt like Class A, but not as muddy as some of them get. Simply put, so far, it's the ultimate VOX-inspired amp I have ever heard (never tried Bruno).


    From the 2nd ampfest with a high-end English:

    Brian - I'd love to have a stock Alessandro English for just about any gig. It has a really nice, complex clean and overdriven tones and *outstanding* touch sensitivity. It has the most extended, clearest (and without harshness) high end of any guitar amp I've heard except for the high-end Alessandro. It was easy to get really nice feedback with this amp at relatively low volumes. The high-end English is another great amp that is very similar to the stock English except that it has an even more extended frequency range (both high and low). We spent a lot of time comparing the 2 Alessandros. I couldn't definitively say which one I preferred but, in head-to-head comparison, the stock sounded a bit better to me (a slightly nicer midrange) with the PRS McCarty and the high-end English sounded a bit better with my Tele clone. The differences were subtle and I'm not sure that if I heard them in a different room or even on a different day that I'd still feel the same way. I'm quite sure, though, that I wouldn't change my opinion that they are both great amplifiers.

    Oleg - Alessandro made very strong impression on everybody during the last (August) shootout. This time we had a high-end English to compare with a stock one. It was hard to imagine the English could get even more balanced and rich, but there it was. Interestingly enough, the highs are not more prevailing - they are just SWEETER - even more bell-like. Also the lower mids are more present, so single coil guitars sound much livelier. Overall, the sound is even MORE 3D. There was a question in the air: is the difference strong enough to be heard at a gig or at least on tape? Well, I think the difference is strong enough to be recognizable on tape. As for a live situation, it's hard to say. However, if your main axe happens to be a strat (or strat-style), I think the mere FEEL of the high-end version is worth the money - your audience might not hear the difference, but YOU will at least feel it and that will make you play better.

    Scott - As anyone who has read my comments or asked my opinion knows, I am heavily biased toward the stock English over any other amp. I would put it up against any Matchless, vintage Vox AC-30 - you name it. I echo all that Brian and Oleg said about the upgrade. My stock English had Amperex Bugle Boy EL84's and JAN 6SL7's. The upgraded English had George's personal Telefunken EL84's and RCA 6SL7's. The recording we made of the shoot-out was with the tube sets swapped. Later, I recorded each amp with each set of tubes to isolate the differences between the two amps vs. the tubes. It was interesting to note that the differences between the tube sets were nearly identical to the differences between the stock and upgraded English. The stock English had more apparent bass but, through critical listening, I found that the high-end had just as much bass, but it was more extended (deeper) and better integrated with the rest of the frequency spectrum. The bass of the high-end was also smoother - like buttah! In the upper mids, the stock English has a slight (and I mean slight) dip that accounts for our preference with the PRS McCarty. The high-end flattens the dip and therefore, single coil guitars get livelier. I also liked it a lot with the humbuckers, but it really comes down to personal taste. The bottom line is that the frequency response of the high-end is flatter than that of the stock. Finally, the highs of the high-end are improved over the stock in the same way as the bass. Smoother, better integrated with the rest of the frequency spectrum and more extended. Is the high-end English worth another $1K? Well, only you can answer that question for yourself. Taken individually, the improvements are incremental. Taken as a whole, there is a significant improvement on tape and, as Oleg said, the feel of the amp is better in a live situation. To me, it was worth paying for the upgrade. If you want the best, this is it.
     
  11. gregc

    gregc Member

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    I had one and loved it. I'd have another in a heart beat. Good gear!
    gregc
     
  12. Tag

    Tag Gold Supporting Member

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    The English was in perfect working condition with NOS tubes. I believe it is the same one Jeff (Hans) played. On the other hand, Dave Orbans Bruno DID have problems. It had speakers wired backwards, and other problems, along with no reverb. Another member bought it from him, and knew right away something was wrong. He rectified it right away.

    Anyone can go to Ultra and play both amps side by side for themselves. I bought and still own the Bruno. It will NOT be sold. :cool:
     
  13. Dave Orban

    Dave Orban Gold Supporting Member

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    The speakers were not wired that way when I bought it, and it had been properly serviced. For the two or three years that I played it (out of the 5 years that I owned it), it sounded fine, but it did not get me wet... FWIW, I changed out the speakers shortly before I sold it.

    I've since played through two other UGs, both with reverb, and I felt pretty much the same about them as I did about the one I owned. Good sounding amps, but not outstanding. Of course, my ears are not nearly as sophisticated as those of some others on the board...

    EDIT: Bottom line for me is that the UG30 isn't even in the same class as an English, which is far more tonally complex... but, again, given my tin ear, take it with a grain of salt.
     
  14. riffmeister

    riffmeister Gold Supporting Member

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    I heard both amps at the recent NYC ToneFest, both played by Jack and his ES. I thought the English had a tighter, more focused & rockin' overdriven sound than the UG30 which was much looser. Same was true when I heard the DVD.....
     
  15. TNJ

    TNJ Gold Supporting Member

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    The English is a GREAT amp...cleans and overdrives sound exactly what I want to hear out of an EL84 amp. Class A and ClassEE!
    You are in for a treat.
    If you know someone who has a DVD from the NYC Tonefest this year...check it out!
    The UG 30 is another great amp, but I'd prefer the English, after hearing LeonC's ex.
    S.
    j
     
  16. Tag

    Tag Gold Supporting Member

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    I think many guys one here must have some SERIOUS high end hearing loss! LOL!! :D :p ;)
     
  17. scottcw

    scottcw Low rent hobbyist Silver Supporting Member

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    Keep in mind that everyone on here but one has serious hearing loss AND even a couple of guys that do not post here - Oleg T. and Brian. This means only one person's opinion is valid. He will remind you of this no matter how many people disagree with him. Because we all know he can't be wrong.

    Only one person out of over a dozen opinions heard a harsh, overwhelming high end from the English. So trust his opinion and ignore everyone else's, including what your own ears tell you. Why trust your own ears when you can be told what to think by someone else?

    Resistance if futile. Prepare to be assimilated.
     
  18. riffmeister

    riffmeister Gold Supporting Member

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    Yes......this is the beauty of the internet!! :p



    But.....why do they call it the "High End" English??? :eek: :D
     
  19. Tag

    Tag Gold Supporting Member

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    LOL!!!!!!! :dude

    Because it has LOTS of high end!! I guess many guys love that because it really "CUTS THROUGH THE MIX". ;)
     
  20. Tag

    Tag Gold Supporting Member

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    :D
     

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