Engl Invader 100, Axe-fx Ultra, or Mesa dual rectifier roadster??

tightman1234

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Hey! I am new to the sevenstring.org forums, My name is Daniel and Im the guitarist for a progressive rock/metal band in Northern California! Recently ive been looking for a new amp so that I can have the best tone for gigging, but also producing music in the studio.

I have read a lot of reviews on the invader 100, and everyone says it is the best amp that they have ever played, I really like periphery's stuff (Bulb). jeff loomis is one of my favorites along with john petrucci. Right now I am using an ibanez rgt220a, I was thinking about putting barenuckle cold sweat's into it. I also want to buy a john petrucci signature music man. I want a really tight bottom end that is punchy yet defined, and good mids and highs with very good clarity and good harmonics. I just tried the mesa boogie dual recifier roadster for the first time and I really liked the tone, but could tell it wasnt going to be as articulate and clear as I want it to be, but then a lot of people say that putting a tube screamer in front of most any amp will give clarity to the tone. theres a used head on ebay around 1650 right now. I would like to get the cheaper amp, but I want this to be the last amp that i will need, so in the end, I am going to buy the best sounding amp, I also want to get a good deal though.

My band is about to go into the recording/producing stage and I need to get my sounds recorded somehow. I have all of the software and knowledge, I also have guitar rig 4, But I dont have an interface right now. would an axe-fx ultra be good for recording but also for gigging by powering it and sending it through a cab?
 

Samer

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Having played all three of those i would go with the Invader first, Mesa next, and Axe Fx 3rd.

The Axe FX i tired out at a friends house seemed to cumbersome as live rig (at least for me), it had good tone though; the Mesa is bass heavy and not as tight as the engl.
 

guitar4tw

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I just got my ENGL invader 100 (as you can see in this thread), and I can honestly say it's the best sounding amp I have ever played. It is as tight and aggressive as you want it to be, but still very organic and "creamy" sounding. It's simply awesome. Here are a couple of clips from the lead channel recorded through a VERY crappy laptop microphone: http://www.soundclick.com/bands/default.cfm?bandID=1031971 .

So yeah, I too recommend the invader 100.
 

technomancer

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Depends on what you like. If you like to tweak get the Axe-Fx as it is by far the most versatile thing on your list, and you can easily set up a live rig with a MIDI pedal board. It also gives you the best recording option. It also provides more effects than you'll likely ever need.

If you want something you can dial in quickly then go with the Invader.
 

DC23

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I was actually looking at all three of these. The more and more I look and hear reviews, I'm thinking about getting a used Roadster for live use, etc. and an Axe at some point for use especially with recording tones, etc. However, my decisions are guided by availability and pricing. I can get a used roadster and an axe fx for the same price as an invader new or used (factoring in border fees, taxes, etc. here in Canada).
 

Beardyman

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My vote would be for an Axe-FX. It it extremely tweakable if you're into that, but you don't have to get into the advanced parameters. It'll do the tones you'd want out of an Invader or a Roadster plus a ton more.
 

zimbloth

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So we meet again Daniel (I've been having email correspondance with him recently).

The Axe-FX is epic for recording purposes, and while it's good live too in my experiences with mine it doesn't stack up to 'the real deal'. It sounds good but relative to an actual Invader 100 or other great amp it doesn't cut very well and still has that processed tone to it (which really manifests itself on the high-end). Some people swear by special full range speakers but I didn't see much an improvement there either.

If your primary concerns were recording the Axe-FX is the winner there, but if you want something thats incredible live and can also be recorded with (look into impulses if you cant mic) I'd go with the Invader or Mesa. I personally don't like the Roadster though, if you're into super tight stuff like Bulb the Invader is going to be way better for you.

I know some people here love how their Axe-FXs sound live BTW, I'm just sharing my experiences based on when I attempted to use my Axe-FX in a live environment (through several different means).
 

budda

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If you want *really* tight, get the ENGL. If you want pretty tight, get the roadster.
 

tightman1234

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Haha!! Hey nick, Its even cooler seeing you on here! now I know your a guy I can trust to buy my gear from!
So, what I was thinking, since I have recording software and such, I could use an interface and guitar rig 4 to create my sounds, instead of spending 1800$ on an axe-fx. then have the amp for live applications. maybe later on down the road I could buy an axe-fx
So I am going to be doing a lot of recording, but I think an interface and guitar rig can do the job (maybe getting a pod would do the trick too)
 

JohnIce

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The Axe-Fx is ridiculously good for recording purposes. It sounds real... what more can I say? Can't sound more real than real, and it sounds real ;)

For live purposes it needs to be tweaked at a live volume, but once you got it diealed in it's great, I fully recommend it. BUT it's not a plug-in and go unit, not at all. It took me at least a month to get it to really sound as good as I expected.

But if you're playing progressive metal, chances are you want versatility in your sound and nothing beats the Axe-Fx for versatility.
 

vontetzianos

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I own both the axe fx and the roadster, and after two years of tweaking with my roadster, trying a plethora of pedals, tubes, cables, guitars etc etc, I am still more satisfied with my axe fx more than anything I have tried. So much so that I am getting rid of my roadster in favour of something else; maybe a quality sixer or something.

I think the axe, if you've spent enough time with it, will sound as "real" and full as a full blown tube amp. I still maintain that these heavy duty tube amps are only most useful in live situations when you open up the taps, even though they do sound good at lower volumes, and I'm sure a lot of people would agree. I've used the axe fx live before and it managed perfectly, just as well as it managed achieving excellent tone at low volumes and achieving great recording results.

The axe fx is most certainly the most versatile unit, and it's quite easy to dial in a huge crunchy recto-LIKE tone, as well as super tight rhythm tones alla Bulb. If your primary objective is to record, the axe is the obvious choice, and the ultra, from what I read in your OP, is not necessary. The standard model will probably do about 98% of what you require.

How does the switchblade stack compare to the axe-fx and the engl?

When I tried the switchblade about 3 years ago, I wasn't a huge fan of the effects, and I found the overall tone a little dark for my liking, but it's not a bad amp at all.
 

Adeamus

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I wanna chime in here also...

My live set up currently is...

X2 Wireless -> Axe FX Ultra -> VHT 2:90:2 -> VHT Deliverance cab

and it sounds ridiculous. That stated, I got my axe in October and have spent alot of time reading and reworking and reading and reworking. It's not a simple unit by any means, but if you are willing to spend the time with it you can pull off some amazing stuff. Combine that with a real prograde power amp and cab and you've got something that will make soundmen cum.

I just had that happen this weekend. The soundman came up and goes "God, I was scared you guys would be an nightmare to mix, you've got tons of equipment. But is all sounded great and just fit together perfectly"

So, after all that...


...I am planning on buying an Invader at some point in the near year to have in my studio :lol:
 


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