• New Sponsor: ShipNerd, Ship Your Gear with Us... for less! Click Here.

Thoughts and Questions on Egnator 20 and similar amps

brewbaker

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
859
I've been checking these out cause I'm looking for a dual EL84 amp. Actually I'd like an Marshall 18W-style amp but quieter for recording and home/small club playing but my search has led me to all sorts of other things--Vox Night Train, Blackstar HT-5, Bugera V22, Marshall Class 5, Blues Junior, Crate, (incidentally I'm aware that these are all mass-market products as opposed to boutique or small builder products, not sure if that's significant other than the price point) and finally the Egnator 20.

The specs of the amp sound interesting and from all the video and sound samples I've heard it sounds pretty good. Also folks have written good things about it on the whole. The only thing that bugs me is the double set of power tubes with the variable adjustment. It just seems a bit like a gimmick. Like why couldn't the amp sound great with either pair of tubes depending on your taste? The scheme seems unorthodox but I don't want to be a Luddite about it. And, the maintenance on four power tubes would be unnecessarily expensive and a bother periodically.

The amp I want should have ample clean headroom cause I use pedals for grind, crunch and lead tones. Does the Rebel 20 cut it for this? Also, because this is the way I use an amp, two channel amps don't interest me a whole lot. (The Night Train is appealing as a true single channel amp but can it get into Marshall territory or is it too bright?)

So what are others experiences and opinions on the Egnator and the others I've mentioned? Are my concerns about the tubes unwarranted? Are there amps I should be considering? I'd like to stay under $700 (a used Ghia? Too loud?)

Sorry for the rambling nature of this post but hopefully you can get my drift about the search I'm doing and lend some help--thanks! Happy New Year!
 

TS808

Member
Messages
1,720
I have zero experience with the Egnater but am very pleased with a Blackheart Handsome Devil head that I run through a 2x12 cab. I can get some great cleans from it and it gets a little dirty when needed. The Blackheart takes pedals very well and I like the variable wattage switch between 7 and 15 watts. Makes a good pedal platform.
 

bbutler123

Member
Messages
2,648
I've played the Egnater 20 a number of times, and while it doesn't get bedroom quiet, it gets quiet enough for next room quiet. :)

I thought the dirty tone was was fabulous, and my memory of the clean was very good too.

I'm no expert but I'm very positive about it. I even recommended it to a friend hard enough to talk him into buying it.
 

chunkomatic

Member
Messages
201
i had one for a few months. you CAN get a ton of different tones out of it using the tube mix, gain dial and your git's volume knob. took pedals well for boost and the effects loop worked for me although some users complained about the noise in the loop.

what i didn't like is that it had a very compressed tone when you cranked up the gain. great for palm muting although not exactly what i was looking for. i wanted it to be more "bloomy" and articulate. mine was a bit cold and dark with stock pre-amp tubes, but it did warm up a bit when i swapped out the sovteks. i didn't hate it and only decided to move it when i could get the most money for it via craigslist before the new egnaters came out.

otoh, i'm very happy with my orange dual terror. very warm and responsive. with half-power and half-tube output switches, you can dial it down to 7 watts using only a pair of EL84s.
 

socalscott

Member
Messages
1,938
The Rebel hasn't been praised for head room. Since your a pedal user, maybe 30W range will be a good fit?

The concern of more tubes to maintain is actually reduced due to the reduced power control. Lowered voltage is less heat and less head room.
 

Waxhead

Member
Messages
6,192
For US$599 new the Rebel 20 simply cannot be beat IMO.
Mine is used as a clean pedal platform for small venue gigs.
Nice Series loop and is pedal friendly.
The 6V6 side has more clean headroom than the EL84 side.
There's no tube issues in the Rebel but tone & hum is improved by doing a tube swap.

For more clean headroom, 2 channels & reverb check out the Rebel 30.
The Night Train has no loop so is useless to me.

For the most clean headroom and best tones through the whole range though the Mesa Express 5:25 is by far the best in the small watt range. 2 channel, light weight, great loop and tube spring reverb. A little over your price range but worth it IMO.
 

brewbaker

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
859
Waxhead--I'm not sure the loop is essential for me so the Night Train is still a possibility. Are you familiar with it to know how much clean headroom it has? Or anyone?
 

padavis

Member
Messages
2,348
I just picked up a rebel 20. It was used and for some reason the el84 side if the mix is not work but I will say the 6v6 side alone is great!
I hAve a 5:50 and have a ton of experience with the 5:25 and yea those great doitall low volume capable amps.
 

padavis

Member
Messages
2,348
Just took back the busted used Rebel 20. Picked up a new one. This thing is flat out amazing for my current application. I am not going to gush too much because I know I just got it and I do not want to do that crap anymore where i declare something as the world beating best ever blah blah but I will say at this moment I am really happy with it.
Its pretty loud to my ears. Playin with the right cab I bet you could hold up with a loud drummer. I think it would be a great platform for pedals. It responds really well to changes in volume and pickups on the guitar. One thing I am noticing is how true it sounds to what I pick. If I do a heavier pick it jumps the amp... its cool Ill stop there. I think its worth a pickup if even just to test drive.
 

nodata2000

Member
Messages
386
I run a Rebel 20 head CLEAN into a 2x12. All my dirt comes from my M13. It works. I have no headroom issues and we're pretty loud on stage (though I wish we weren't!)...
 

Waxhead

Member
Messages
6,192
Waxhead--I'm not sure the loop is essential for me so the Night Train is still a possibility. Are you familiar with it to know how much clean headroom it has? Or anyone?
significantly less than the Rebel 20 cause the NT is 15 watts and has EL84's only,
Rebel also has 4, 8 and 16 ohm cab options.
 

SyKrash

Member
Messages
877
I owned one. The blend knob was great for basically capturing those old 'familiar' tones, but also making your own ones. I think it did a relatively good job, but it's nice when an amp company isn't afraid to have their own voice. It's the same double-sided sword that has caused alot of Mesa hate for a long time. They never wanted to capture the sound of vox, fender or marshall and alot of traditionalists always complain about this.

As for clean headroom on the Rebel20, forget about it. It got dirty a litttle too quickly for me, volume knob or not. Also the gain knob was barely at 9 before it started gritting up at gig volume.

I eventually sold mine. It was a good amp, just wasn't what I was looking for. I've always used high wattage amps and wanted to see what the fuss was about switching to low wattage. I guess that type of amp doesn't suit me.
 

Waxhead

Member
Messages
6,192
As for clean headroom on the Rebel20, forget about it. It got dirty a litttle too quickly for me, volume knob or not. Also the gain knob was barely at 9 before it started gritting up at gig volume.

I eventually sold mine. It was a good amp, just wasn't what I was looking for. I've always used high wattage amps and wanted to see what the fuss was about switching to low wattage. I guess that type of amp doesn't suit me.
completely depends on how loud your band is at small venue gigs.
If you're a loud rock band with a heavy hitting drummer (& little ability to reduce your dB output) no 20w amp will ever cut it.

In small pubs I find the Rebel's clean headroom ok set on the 6V6 side with gain at 10 oclock, watts & volume maxed run into a 2 x 12 cab.
Starts breaking up with gain pushed to 11 oclock. I use it as a pedal platform with a Crunchbox, Crazy Horse Fuzz & Maxon OD-9 for dirt.
On the EL84 side it'll start gritting up at 9-9:30 though. I prefer the 6V6 side anyways.

Our other guitarst only has a 100w JCM900 & has to keep the master on 1 to suit the overall balance in small venues. With his JCM on 1 and my Rebel n pedals cranked my rig definitely sounds better (he concedes that too). Once he pushes the master on the JCM to 4 though it's the opposite. But he rarely gets to do that anymore in our local venues.

For bigger venue's I use a 50w Mesa :)
 
Last edited:

Rod

Tone is Paramount
Gold Supporting Member
Messages
23,216
The Egnater 20 is great,,,If you need more headroom , get a 30....
 

Greaser

Member
Messages
682
I've been checking these out cause I'm looking for a dual EL84 amp. Actually I'd like an Marshall 18W-style amp but quieter for recording and home/small club playing but my search has led me to all sorts of other things--Vox Night Train, Blackstar HT-5, Bugera V22, Marshall Class 5, Blues Junior, Crate, (incidentally I'm aware that these are all mass-market products as opposed to boutique or small builder products, not sure if that's significant other than the price point) and finally the Egnator 20.

The specs of the amp sound interesting and from all the video and sound samples I've heard it sounds pretty good. Also folks have written good things about it on the whole. The only thing that bugs me is the double set of power tubes with the variable adjustment. It just seems a bit like a gimmick. Like why couldn't the amp sound great with either pair of tubes depending on your taste? The scheme seems unorthodox but I don't want to be a Luddite about it. And, the maintenance on four power tubes would be unnecessarily expensive and a bother periodically.

The amp I want should have ample clean headroom cause I use pedals for grind, crunch and lead tones. Does the Rebel 20 cut it for this? Also, because this is the way I use an amp, two channel amps don't interest me a whole lot. (The Night Train is appealing as a true single channel amp but can it get into Marshall territory or is it too bright?)

So what are others experiences and opinions on the Egnator and the others I've mentioned? Are my concerns about the tubes unwarranted? Are there amps I should be considering? I'd like to stay under $700 (a used Ghia? Too loud?)

Sorry for the rambling nature of this post but hopefully you can get my drift about the search I'm doing and lend some help--thanks! Happy New Year!
Talking the 2 sets of power tubes, they both sound good. I think a lot of people think it should make it sound like a Vox on the El-84 side, and fender on 6v6 side, like chocolate and vanilla or two totally different flavors...it doesn't really. It's more like Breyer's vanilla vs. Baskin Robbins' vanilla. They do taste different, but it's still the same flavor, but defintely a noticeable difference.

That being said, I love mine. Versatile, and sounds great. has a nice effects loops, and takes pedals well. It's not a plug and play amp, I think it takes a little time to dial it in, I've had mine for over 1 year and I'm still finding new sounds. You just have to have the patience to fool with it and find them.

Also I didn't like the matching 1x12 at all. Just me, I prefer the sound of open back cabs.
 

PatrickE_FenderADV

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
28,111
I dig the Night Train... great sounding Chinese made amp.

I also REALLY love the sound of the Class 5. I plan to get one once they finally fix the rattle issue... but I also may wait to see if they come out with a Class 8 or 10 that may have a little more power and a 12" speaker.
 






Trending Topics

Top Bottom