Which Engl?

Discussion in 'Gear & Equipment' started by Demeyes, Mar 12, 2008.

  1. Demeyes

    Demeyes SS.org Regular

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    I'm going to be on work placement in a few weeks so I'll be getting some money. I think I'd like to try an ENGL head to see what the fuss is about. I've never tried one but I've seen a few live and they sounded good. There aren't any in the shops near me to try out.
    There are a few used Fireballs going around, but lots of people are using the powerballs too. I play in a metal band - progy, old school heavyish - and mostly play metal but a clean would be nice. Needs to have a nice lead tone. Which should I go for? I can pick up a Fireball for less than half the price of a new Powerball. Is it worth it for the extra channel? Volume not an issue really, I prefer less power in tubes so I can drive them, but I'll not be using the thing on a daily basis, just gigs and practice.
    I'm leaning towards the Fireball to be honest. Any reason not to?
     
  2. budda

    budda Guiterrorizer Contributor

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    do you want or need that extra channel?

    none whatsoever from what i gather.
     
  3. ibznorange

    ibznorange Chief Officer/RHLC © Contributor

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    Powerball = pressy pressy super compressy
    Fireball = still compressed, but not nearly as much. I like both, and tbh preferred the fireball, but the powerball is a bit more controllable on the EQ front
     
  4. budda

    budda Guiterrorizer Contributor

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    note: a good cab really helps things :)
     
  5. Demeyes

    Demeyes SS.org Regular

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    I don't think I'll really need the other channels that much. I can use something else to boost my signal for solo work.
    As for cabs, I have a Laney 4x12 but I think I'll pick up a Framus 2x12 for my next head. I'm getting sick of carrying around the half stack.
     
  6. LoyK

    LoyK SS.org Regular

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    I own the Powerball and a Framus CS212 at the moment. But I must say, that I like the Fireball leadsound much more - I thought the Powerball would be a more versatile FB, but that´s wrong. It compresses way too much:( (for me...)

    Go for the FB! If you don´t like it, you can sell it without loosing too much:)
     
  7. Jan

    Jan SS.org Regular

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    I wouldn't even consider a Powerball. Too compressed and sterile from what I've heard (from lots of people and some recordings). If you want smooth, saturated, organic distorted sound, go for the Blackmore (I have played one a couple of times and loved it). It's perfect for heavy rock and classical metal (which is your cup of tea I guess)! It can handle death or metalcore too but might lack some punch or tightness in the low end with fast death metal riffing...

    If you now you KNOW want to play modern metal stuff and don't need like 4 different channels, go for the Fireball (I own one). It's simple, it's relatively cheap but it's a really piss@d off amp. This is why I went for it instead of the Blackmore (although I sometimes wonder if that was the right decision). It's bit one-trick pony though. Perfect for death metal rhythm (haven't heard a tighter, faster responding amp) but no that good for soloing (slightly too harsh). However, use the neck pickup, some boost pedal to get more saturation/clarity and a reverb and you're home.
    It has only one one gain knob for both channels, but it's not really a problem really since the clean channel stays relatively clean even with the dirty channel really dirty. Also, with the right guitar it can be crystal clear - it lacks some warmness though. Here my bandmate's Marshall JCM 2000 definitely wins (have you tried it BTW? It might be what your looking for if you're into classic stuff...). A big advantege of the FB is that despite having only ONE gain knob and EQ for both channels, you get 2 volume settings which you can change with the footswitch and thus you get 2 volume levels for clean and 2 volume levels for the dirty channel. Simple and practical.

    If I had mor emoney, I'd probably go for the Invader but Ive never played one yet. So it's really hard to say.

    So to sum up: PB - sucks!
    Blackmore - VERY cool, might be what you're looking for
    FB - simple and affordable, best modern metal rhythm amp IMO
    Good luck!
     
  8. LordOVchaoS

    LordOVchaoS NUDE MAN! Forum MVP

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    I wouldn't go so far as to say the Powerball sucks. I had one and I actually preferred it over the Fireball. There's things you can do to warm it up. A 5751 preamp tube in V1 or V2 tames the gain a bit and gets rid of some of the compression. I put a tung sol in V1 of mine and a 5751 in V2. The tung sol added some dynamics and midrange harmonics while the 5751 opened it up and added some warmth. Even before that I say that the sterility and over compressed qualities of the Powerball are greatly exaggerated by internet forums. It's not that bad at all! I rather enjoyed that amp. Getting rid of the junk stock power tubes for a set of SEDs helped matters a lot as well! Did you guys see this thread? http://www.sevenstring.org/forum/ge...werball-blackmachine-ceramic-warpigs-vid.html Are you telling me that sounds like ass?

    Anyway... I now own the Invader and it slays the Powerball, Fireball, Blackmore, and any other amp I've ever played be it an Engl or anything else. It's like all my favorite qualities about all the amps I've owned packed into one! Seriously, this amp is capable of nearly any tone you can think of.
     
  9. zimbloth

    zimbloth Nick // Axe Palace Vendor Forum MVP

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    Tube changes did warm up the Powerball, but it didn't solve its solid-state like responsiveness which just made it flat-out not fun to play. I thought the Fireball absolutely CRUSHED the Powerball in both tone and response. :2c:

    I'd love to try an ENGL Invader sometime, but I'm pretty content ampwise right now (plus I'm probably going to pick up a VHT Sig:X and Brunetti thru my store ;))
     
  10. LordOVchaoS

    LordOVchaoS NUDE MAN! Forum MVP

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    At the time I was playing Necrophagist, Beneath the Massacre, etc... type music and the solid state feel with benefits of tubes are what I liked so much about the amp! Of you're looking for responsive, organic tone then yea you're not going to like the Powerball. If TIGHT, djenty, stacatto, fast music is your thing then the Powerball is damn near perfect!
     
  11. Jan

    Jan SS.org Regular

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    OK, maybe I've gone to far saying PB sucks. It's just that other ENGLS are better than the PB, so why waste money on it? But the video you posted sounds really good.
     
  12. VforVendetta00

    VforVendetta00 SS.org Regular

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    yep, the powerball does indeed kick ass, specially that one! :) all said and done my SE kicks its ass anyday! hehehe
     
  13. RussAnderson

    RussAnderson Banned

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    i can get a good lead tone out of the fireball no problems at all .
     
  14. zimbloth

    zimbloth Nick // Axe Palace Vendor Forum MVP

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    My Fireball had fairly thin sounding lead tones compared VHT, Mesa, etc....but for rhythms it's pretty crushing :metal:
     
  15. Desecrated

    Desecrated Guest

    I still think that the blackmore is a great amp, that can be found for a reasonable price on ebay.
     
  16. Xtremevillan

    Xtremevillan im leaving ss.org Contributor

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    +1 I'm most likely trading in my TR to get this Sig:X SOLELY on zimbloth's recommendations.

    Prolly also gonna buy a 5150 just because.
     
  17. RussAnderson

    RussAnderson Banned

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    yep but a tad expensive , its not far of the powerballs price the later having dedicated seperate channels were as the blackmore just has 2 switches ?
     
  18. zimbloth

    zimbloth Nick // Axe Palace Vendor Forum MVP

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    You'll be very happy with that decision I promise. :metal:

    I respect that, it's just that I can get 'tight, djenty, stacatto fast' response out of the VHT as well, while also getting the benefits of organic, rich, tube-like tone. At least, with a boost and a noise gate :)

    I know you had a brief fling with the VHT, perhaps yours was setup differently, but that's just my take :)
     
  19. Xtremevillan

    Xtremevillan im leaving ss.org Contributor

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    Actually to deter this for a quick sec zimbloth I need a speaker cable, two actually, gonna order the Hot Plate, 2 speaker cables, and a bass cable (for friend). any site where I can get them all together (zzsounds?)
     
  20. budda

    budda Guiterrorizer Contributor

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    just because 1 guy recommended it like mad, because he loves the company?

    not knocking nick at all, he knows his shit and is a standup guy, but

    :nuts:
     

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