Engl vs. Mesa

Discussion in 'Gear & Equipment' started by eon_shift, Sep 25, 2007.

  1. eon_shift

    eon_shift SS.org Regular

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    let discuss the differences between the powerball and the dual recto the ups and downs of each one which one has more distortion better cleans etc.
    lets keep away from what you can put in front of them to make the tighter or smoother. im trying to make a list of amps and i need to narrow it down and one of these needs to disappear.
     
  2. ShawnFjellstad

    ShawnFjellstad hates womanizers.

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    more distortion? man, both of those amps have more gain than you'll ever need.
     
  3. eon_shift

    eon_shift SS.org Regular

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    youd be surpprised i usually run gain at 10 so id still like to know
     
  4. zimbloth

    zimbloth Nick // Axe Palace Vendor Forum MVP

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    The Powerball has a very scooped, processed, solid-state feel to it. You can crank the mids up but the amp still is not very mid-focused. It is articulate, clear, excellent attack and power.

    The Mesa on the other hand, has much richer mids, more dynamic organic tone, with loads of crunch and bite but not as processed and articulate as the Powerball. Mesas need the Tube Screamers in front of it, eventhough you don't want to talk about that, it is the x-factor for the amp. The cleans on the Mesa are better as well.

    With the right speakers and tweaks, I definitely think the Dual Rectifier is far superior, despite the Powerball's current popularity trend.

    If you are considering an affordable ENGL, I vastly prefer the tone of the Fireball model. It has more character, not as ultra-bright and processed sounding. Obviously the ENGL Invader/SE models are probably amazing and would crush both amps.

    You could also look into a used Framus or VHT for those prices. You should also know the character of the TRIPLE Rectifier might be a lot more to your liking. The Triples have a tighter, more focused and brutal attack/crunch. Definitely the most brutal Mesa amp made (that I've played).

    You can do that with a Line 6 Spider. You won't be doing that with a high-gain tube amp. There's the occasional newbie/lunatic who would dime the gain on a ENGL or Mesa, but for the most part the best tones usually are had with the gain in the 3 to 6 range. Again, a Tube Screamer in front of a tube amp is key. You can run the amps gain lower, but still get the same perceived gain...except it feels better, more liquidity and tight.
     
  5. ShawnFjellstad

    ShawnFjellstad hates womanizers.

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    well, considering that you currently have a solid state amp, i'm not surprised at all that you run the gain at ten. when i had a solid state amp, i did too.
    tube gain is completely different than solid state gain.
    at a certain point, the gain knobs on both the powerball and the recto don't really add more gain, so much as they add more fizz.

    when i played through the powerball, keeping the gain at about 10:00-11:00 was really all i needed to get some very crushing tones.
    the gain knob on the dual recto i used to own never made it past 12:00-1:00, and i got tones suitable to the liking of most brutal death metal fans.

    any more than that, and those amps turn into fizzy balls of noise.

    the recto has a much more lush midrange than the powerball, and had a more organic feel to it. i'd go with the recto.
     
  6. eon_shift

    eon_shift SS.org Regular

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    i guess the real question then is can a mesa dual or triple recto do brutal death metal or would the engl do it better and still be able to pull a john petrucci
     
  7. ShawnFjellstad

    ShawnFjellstad hates womanizers.

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    i wasn't really trying to get a petrucci tone when i played the powerball, so i can't really say for that one.

    the recto, however, can definitely go from brutal death metal to a smooth petrucci-esque lead tone. rectos are much more versatile than a lot of people make them out to be.
     
  8. Metal Ken

    Metal Ken Hates the Air Contributor

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    Dude,do you know how many death metal albums have been recorded w/ Dual or Triple recs?
     
  9. zimbloth

    zimbloth Nick // Axe Palace Vendor Forum MVP

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    All I want to say more about my experience with the Powerball is this.... (Disclaimer: Just my opinion)

    I was in our rehearsal space with the amp, I fired it up, let it warm up, then started jamming on it. I was very impressed by some of the initial tones I was hearing. My bandmate Buddy and I were looking at each other like "we're content with our amps, but this is pretty cool!".

    I was standing to the side of my cab when setting it up, so I wasn't getting a direct impact of the highs just yet. Everything sounded great. It sounded brutal, loud, in-your-face, articulate, tight punchy bass, etc. Then, my bandmate had to run. I stayed and played with the amp, getting the settings just right, etc.

    Within about 2 minutes, my elation started to turn sour, and a sensation overcame me: BOREDOM. It just very quickly stopped being fun to play, the tone was very generic and metallic, perfect for djenting but not really for interesting heavy tone. I also started to realize the solid-state like bass response was fun, but it came at the expense of the the feel of the amp. It has tight bass, but in return the mids and highs are ultra compressed and kind of thin sounding as well.

    I turned on my VHT, just to quickly compare. Within about 10 seconds of playing it, the joy and fun had returned, and I was just like "ahhhh, that's more like it". I whipped out my cell phone, buzzed Buddy who had just left, and I was like "dude, I know this is gonna sound crazy considering i was just raving about the amp like FIVE MINUTES AGO, but this amp kind of sucks". And he said "yeah, i was being polite but lets just say I'm more than happy to stick to my Mesa".

    I guess the point of this is, and of course this is just our opinion, the amp has many excellent characteristics, it has good tone, but it's just a very bland and mechanical sounding amp. Certain amps are more fun to play because of the liquidity fluid feel, the VHT has that AND retains ultimate clarity/articulation. It's odd, the VHT's tone can sometimes sound "dry" (in other words, ultra clear/note definition), but the feel doesn't correspond with that. I believe an amp is an instrument, and a Mesa or VHT, etc... just is a more fun instrument to play through IMO.
     
  10. ShawnFjellstad

    ShawnFjellstad hates womanizers.

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    [action=ShawnFjellstad] thinks, upon reading zimbloth's comments, that you should try to find a used VHT UL/CL or Framus Dragon, as both are incredible amps. [/action]
     
  11. OzzyC

    OzzyC :ubersquint:

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    Lies, I tell you. LIES! :scream: :mad:
     
  12. ShawnFjellstad

    ShawnFjellstad hates womanizers.

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    you're just jealous of the love that stitch and i share.

    :stitch:
     
    Stitch likes this.
  13. loktide

    loktide dotlike Contributor

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    I agree with everything :agreed:

    I AB'ed a Fireball with a Powerball last month and for some reason i liked the fireball way more although i expected things to be the other way around. The Fireball just sounded more raw and growly whereas i couldn't get that sound out of the powerball after messing with channel 3 & 4 and open/focused mids. The cleans on both are pretty much comparable and are well... clean, but that's it.
    Yesterday i got a dual recto borrowed from a friend (which will replace my flextone head for the next months) and while it's definitely waay harder to dial in than the fireball/powerball, you can also get a tight and defined crunch with a TS on front of the modern channel in bold+diode mode. I can see why many people claim it to be farty and undefined, but they have obviously not tweaked it properly.
    Nonetheless, I will most likely be getting a fireball since they are almost 1/3 of the dual recto price here in germany, used of course:lol: New, they're 1000€ v/s 2300€ !!!
    The fireball is certainly not the most flexile amp ever made, but it has one of the best tech/prog-metal tones i've heard.
     
  14. Nick

    Nick Stop the Madness!

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    fireball for the win!
     
  15. LordOVchaoS

    LordOVchaoS NUDE MAN! Forum MVP

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    Quick comparison for death metal tones...

    Zyklon = Powerball ; Cannibal Corpse = Mesa

    They both do death metal very well it just boils down to your personal taste.
     
  16. Stitch

    Stitch Banned

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    :wub:
     
  17. Nick

    Nick Stop the Madness!

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    zyklon are actually both live

    i was practically on the stage when i saw them and samoth was playing a powerball and the lead guy (destructor?!?!) was playing a dual or triple rec.

    it was brutal to say the least!!
     
  18. 7StringofAblicK

    7StringofAblicK Contributor

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    I've owned two dual recs (two channel and three channel) and now have a Pball. I sold the dual for a reason. yes, the duals have more flexibility, but the tone 'i'm' going for is achieved on the pball. I've played two shows with it (at venues I've played the dual with) and both shows I've been bombarted with people praising my tone. Sadly, I never got that with the dual :noplease:; it was still an incredible sounding amp.

    having owned both at the same time I concluded this: the pball cleans were much better. The pball's volume was more useable: meaning, when you turn a knob it gradually gets louder. on my mesa it went from nothing to BAM in the slightest turn of the volume. The mesa EQ is much more responsive, but I enjoy the pball tones (especially with my bloody murder pedal in front).

    apples and oranges. Nick likes apples, I like oranges. Both are great fruits.
     
  19. noodles

    noodles Contributor

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    Having played three Engls now (Fireball, Powerball, SE), I definitely think that the Powerball is the worst of the bunch, for all the reasons that Nick said. It is just too focused in the midrange. This, coupled with the very high damping factor, gives is a very processed sound.

    This is very characteristic of Engls, although the Powerball is the worst implementation. The SE is far more organic, but that tight, focused midrange is still there. It is not necessarily a bad thing, just not my thing.
     
  20. 7StringofAblicK

    7StringofAblicK Contributor

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    My post doesn't feel shit on :lol:
     

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