Who here has Engl amplifiers experience ?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by Rock Fella, Sep 20, 2005.

  1. Rock Fella

    Rock Fella Member

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    Im kinda curious about the Engl Powerball 100 watt head, I keep reading gushing praise about it being an utter beast in terms of gain and having the most singing lead tones. However clips ive hear on HC and on Rocksolid amps demonstrating the Powerball are bloody awful in my opinion, dark sounding , muddy and very shrill solid state leads.

    Anybody who has actually played one , please chip in here, are the statements such as bonecrushing gain married to sweet singing leads actually representative, the clips , being clips, sound nuthin even close to those descriptions.

    gimme your views based on actual usage, id like to know.
     
  2. troublehead

    troublehead Member

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    I got caught up in the Powerball hype. I've also owned 3 other ENGL amps. I'll try and briefly describe each one in my opinion.

    Powerball - decent cleans, crunch channel did not have enough gain (just a dirty clean to me), LoLead channel was great for metal only, Hi Lead worthless to me. IMO the Powerball had horrible lead tones (no sag), then again I'm mainly a rhythm player. Overall tone was scooped, overcompressed, and almost solid state sounding. Very processed sound as well. Non-organic.

    Fireball - one trick pony (metal), more grind than the Powerball (reminded me of a 5150). Horrible lead tones as well IMO. Less processed sounding than the PB.

    Screamer - awesome amp that could do everything from pristine cleans, blues, classic rock, to modern metal. Less compressed and more organic. I really miss this amp. Reminded me of an all tube modeller. It could do everything.

    Thunder - very tight, awesome cleans and crunch. Couldn't do metal without a boost out front. Very little compression. Extremely bright sounding (no presence control) Reminds me of a JCM800

    All the ENGL amps have a very distinct mid voicing. Some like it some don't. The Screamer was my by far my favorite. However, if I wanted a stand alone metal amp, I would get another Fireball. I put some GE 5751 tubes in a few slots on the Fireball and was able to get some decent hard rock tones as well by using the guitar's volume.

    Hope this helps. A few bands actually use the Powerball for recording now: Chimaira, Jag Panzer, Rammstein to name a few.
     
  3. gearo999

    gearo999 Member

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    Screamer - awesome amp that could do everything from pristine cleans, blues, classic rock, to modern metal. WAY Less compressed and WAY more organic THAN THE POWERBALL. It CAN do everything.
    I just sold my Powerball. I still have the Screamer and Blackmore.

    Ummm, yeah. I like metal....


    Screamer
    http://www.gearo.com/Music Clips/Drunken Screamer Clips.mp3

    http://www.gearo.com/Music Clips/Screamer Clip.mp3

    Powerball
    http://www.gearo.com/Music Clips/Powerball_Randall_Cab_Direct_Out2.mp3

    Blackmore
    http://www.gearo.com/Music Clips/Engl Strikes Back.mp3
     
  4. rwe333

    rwe333 Supporting Member

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    How's the Blackmore model?
     
  5. Plexed

    Plexed Member

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    I currently own a Fireball, it really is great for very modern metal sounds, I would not describe the amp as "organic". For the straight up metal it does the job pretty damn good! If your a serious metalhead this could be your amp. It is a keeper for me, as it is my favorite amp when I want hyperspeed rhythms, pinch harmonics & palm mutes! :dude
     
  6. pluto

    pluto Member

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    I had the Savage 120. Overall I was pretty disappointed with it. Very generic sounding overdrive on Channels 3 and 4. I didn't find the overdrive had any real character to it. Channel 1's clean was alright-nothing spectacular and a little spikey on the top end. I liked Channel 2 the most because it was the most organic, but overall I did not like the Savage.
     
  7. p.snail

    p.snail Member

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    It's interesting how different everyone percieves tone. I had an ENGL Savage 120 and to this day it is one of the best amps I've ever heard. I like it better than the Powerball, because to my ear it had a more musical gain to it. I don't play metal, but am confident I could have conjured up those tones easily with that amp. I also think it is a little more sophisticated than the Powerball. There were a lot of contour controls and presence options on that amp that made it really easy for me to get to the tones I needed. I would try one for yourself before you rule it out. I dug the tone of it. If gain is all that matters then buy a Rectumfrier and don't look back. None of the Engls have as much gain as those amps, but I think they have a much more versatile tone than any of the Mesa products. Just my 2 cents.
     
  8. gregc

    gregc Member

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    The Blackmore is great, specially thru a good 4x12. 4 real channels. The clean is pristine, loud n' clean, clean! The crunch crunches like ACDC, and the two lead modes sing with however much heat you want. Ad a footswitchable mid boost and a choice of 2 switchable master volumes that work for all channels and what you've got is the perfect gigging man's amp.... specially if you cover a lot of diverse material. No need for OD, boost, or distortion pedals.
    gregc
     
  9. Braciola

    Braciola Silver Supporting Member

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    I had a Savage 120.
    I found the amp poor to fair at getting a good clean or classic rock crunch (channels 1-3)
    If your into Nu Metal (and I'm not) the 4th channel is where this amp shines.
     
  10. Erik

    Erik Member

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    Of all the Engl clips I've heard, the Blackmore seems to stand out the most...gearo999, your clip confirms it for me. :dude
     
  11. LordRiffenstein

    LordRiffenstein Member

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    Been playing a Savage120 for over 5 years and a Savage SE for 3. Have owned/played about any amp out there since and never felt the urge to sell them. I play anything but metal and use either amp whether doing blues, rock, pop, funk, disco, you name it. Basically, they are MY tone, I stumbled onto the Savage120 5 years ago and to this day I can be amazed by it's tones.

    I have played ALL the Engl amps and I like the Powerball and Screamer combo the least of all. Screamer head is excellent though. Powerball has WAY to much gain for me and I don't care for it's voicing. I can understand the solid state comment as it's very tight sounding.
     
  12. DerekB

    DerekB Member

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    The PB's and Fireball's have been out for ove 3 year's now and I would not really call the fact that many like the amp to be hype at all especially considering that I have never even got one sent back withing my trial period either . I think the Powerball and Fireball have great great lead tones and here's a few clip's

    I did this rhythm clip of a Zakk Wylde BLS song using a Powerball.
    http://www.rocksolidamps.com/MP3/BLS PB 2.mp3
    Here's a Chris Broderick from Jag Panzer lead clip using a Powerball for lead's and Bogner mixed with Engl for Rhythm.
    http://www.rocksolidamps.com/MP3/Tempest rhythm clip (Powerball-XTC).mp3
    And Another from Broderick
    http://www.rocksolidamps.com/MP3/Starlights Fury solo clip.mp3
    Here's a Fireball Lead clip done by my friend Chris Schmitt.(Back Rhythm's are a Pod on Both)
    http://www.rocksolidamps.com/MP3/Fireball Jeff.mp3
    And this is a Powerball lead clip by Schmitt.
    http://www.rocksolidamps.com/MP3/PB Lead.mp3

    Anyway no amp is for everyone but I think both the Fireball and Powerball are awesome for both Rhythm and lead's without a doubt and unlike you Troublehead the Screamer is my least favorite of the Engl's but still a killer amp just different as to what the PB and FB can do.

    Derek:cool:
     
  13. Erik

    Erik Member

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    Exactly.














    (But I still dig the Blackmore the most!!!)
     
  14. pan

    pan Member

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    I just recently sold my Powerball and bought Cobra instead. Powerball is a great amp and I´ll probably own another one in the future. This thing has as much gain as anyone would ever need(I had gain at 9-10 o´clock and it was more than enough), but it can be noisy with anoying feedback stm. The clean channel is quite good(Cobra has better one), maybe a bit cold. I didn´t use crunch channel much(cose of shared eq with clean ch.), but you can get nice ac/dc tones here. This amp is very tight(a bit to much for my taste) and I sold it cose I prefer more sag I get from my Cobra, especially for lead tones...

    Here is a pic of mine...

    [​IMG]
     
  15. troublehead

    troublehead Member

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    I didn't want to come across as bashing the amps. The PB and FB are great for extreme metal and I like I said I would get another FB if I wanted to do that style exclusively. Maybe I should have said that the PB and FB's lead tones don't "suit" my playing style (more along the lines of Down, COC, Trouble). I would rather have a darker, thicker lead tone with some sag. But for big, cutting palm mutes and hyper-fast triplet type rhythms, they can't be beat. The quality of any amp is determined by what the player wants it to do. That is why the Screamer was best for me. I also believe that I would love the Blackmore and Savage, but I have no need for a 100 watt head anymore.
     
  16. gregc

    gregc Member

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    The Savae sounded a lot like the Blackmore head to me. It had more options; more than I needed, more knobs then I wanted. The Blackmore did everything I wanted......and it was cheaper then the Savage. 2 real nice amps, them two!
    gregc
     
  17. LordRiffenstein

    LordRiffenstein Member

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    It should as the Blackmore IS a Savage which less features. RB wanted that tone but with less bells and whistles so that's whay they did. I gotta play a Blackmore again a couple of months ago and it's a kick ass amp. When I bought my 2nd Savage I almost got a Blackmore but I got a great deal on the Savage SE and my spoiled ass thought that the RB would be to limited for me :p
     
  18. gibson5413

    gibson5413 Member

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    I made these a couple of nights ago with the Powerball. I think it is pretty diverse. It's not for everyone so I won't try and add anything else. I think that the amp can do quite a bit depending on who is playing the guitar. Let me know what you think!

    http://www.soundclick.com/gibson5413

    *click on "music"
     
  19. Rock Fella

    Rock Fella Member

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    I extend my thanks to you for puting up your soundclick site for a listen.:dude

    Listened to the trax and i didnt hear nothing that much different from the wealth of rhythm clips that are available, to my ears, no sag, no warmth and no personality within that amp, nuthin wrong with the playing. if beggars belief the sheer lack of clips showing how a powerball sounds with leads. Id complained in the past that the vast majority of clips using this amp were detuned chuggers that allow practically zero insight into how the amp sounds.

    perhaps you would oblige me with some liquid high gain lead tones so i can REALLY hear how that amp sounds.

    again, i appreciate hearing your material dude :dude

    jimmy
     
  20. Cosmic Osmo

    Cosmic Osmo Member

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    I think this clip should shut up a lot of the people who say the powerball can't do leads...broderick really makes that amp shine in this clip IMO. The thing about the powerball is it is *very* tight, which a lot of people don't like for lead playing. For chris's style, it works great. It doesn't work so great for blues and such if you're looking for a saggier tone. It does what it does well, though.

    I personally own a Savage 120, and I think it is much more suited to lead playing than the powerball. With the smooth mode on, it's quite liquid and very, well, smooth! However, it is also very tight, and I don't prefer it for less aggressive styles, although it works great for metal. I get a great rock crunch and lead out of the 3rd channel with the smooth mode on, actually the 3rd channel is probably my favorite. I don't like channel 2 as much, the one thing the amp just doesn't do well is that "barely breaking up" srv tone. I've actually played an oldies gig with this amp before, using mostly channel 3 with the gain set low and the volume knob rolled off for my crunch, and it sounded pretty nice. You can also get some real cool rock sounds by boosting channel 2 with an overdrive.

    The metal tone is actually fairly reminiscent of my roomie's Mark IV, although the engl's lows go lower and the highs go higher. It doesn't have that great midrange *Smack!* that the mesa has though, but together they sound *huge*! The cleans are in the "pretty good for a high gainer" category but they don't cut if for jazz and whatnot. Too flat sounding.

    I've also done quite a bit of tube changing in mine...I've got a pair of NOS Jan GE 6550s in there, biased up hotter than the stock tubes, and that really changed the character of the amp. A lot more organic, warmer. If played metal exclusively i'd probably like the amp better stock, it's edgier and rougher, but as it is I really like the sound.

    All in all, engls have a certain sound that some love and some hate. The leads are definitely not very saggy, so if that's your thing look elsewhere.
     

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