ENGL Ironball 20 vs Fireball 100 (and ENGL amps in general)

Discussion in 'Gear & Equipment' started by Guitarjon, Sep 30, 2019.

  1. Guitarjon

    Guitarjon SS.org Regular

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    I love ENGL amps and I've been a fan for years. I remember having a Powerball around 2006/2007. At that time I sold it pretty quickly, not because I wasn't a fan but I was getting into digital modeling so I sacrificed my ENGL. For years I didn't own an ENGL but in the back of my mind I always knew I wanted another one.

    So I got my Fireball 100 last year and it has been an amazing amp in my collection. The clean channel is very nice and versatile. It can go from dark to super sparkly and snappy and the bright and deep switches really help to sculpt the tone. The clean channel can also do low gain crunch pretty well! I haven't tried this amp with pedals yet but I'm looking forward to experimenting more with my Elektron Analog Drive soon.

    The lead channel is absolutely brutal. It can sound pretty tight in general but with the right eq settings you can really make this amp cut through the mix. The mid and treble controls really do a great job of pushing those frequencies in very musical ways. It has a tonne of gain, more than enough for anybody's needs. It's tight sounding but it does have a certain looseness because of the nice resonance on the low end. For me it's just perfect for metal.

    I got the Ironball last week and it has not disappointed at all. It has a lower wattage rating (20w vs 100) and it has EL84's. I know, I know, some of you 'hate' those small tubes but I'm a fan for a variety of reasons. This amp can sound pretty similar to it's bigger brother but the low end has a bit less resonance and is slightly tighter overall. This does not mean however that it has 'little low end'. This thing still delivers on that front. The right guitar, cab and speaker will certainly help with that. I got this amp to sound pretty darn close to the fireball in this comparison:



    Would love to know your thoughts!

    Anyway, I love these amps but I don't see many posts about them around here so it would be cool to connect to some fellow ENGL fans here. Would love to know which ones you own and what you think of it. Sound examples would be even cooler.

    In the future I'm certainly going to try to get another one. Maybe a Powerball. There are a lot of used V1's for sale often so I can probably get a good deal. I prefer the black look of the Powerball II though and I heard that the circuitry was improved (greatly) on the V2. Has anyone every compared the II?
     
  2. Boris_VTR

    Boris_VTR SS.org Regular

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    They are suprisingly similar sounding (listening on my laptop speakers right now). I'm sure that in the room there is difference in bottom end.
    Unfortunately here on this forums is 5150/recto or nothing. No ENGL cuts in live band mix. Ever. I'm just waiting for post from somebody stating that Savage 120 couldn't cut against iPhone speaker. And at least 3 replies that would confirm that :)
    Richie Faulkner gets great kinda vintage style sound with Powerball II (treble at around 15 o'clock and volume pots to 10 hehe). And this amp should not cut at all in live mix :)
    What probably happens in band practice is that amps are not balanced so one amp is way louder than other. In that case of course one amp is not going to be heard. Even all mighty 5150.
    I like the sound of them both :) I still miss my Fireball 60w :)
    I had 2 ENGL Fireballs in around 2007 and now I own Savage 120 and Savage SE. Maybe I'll buy Powerball 1 for home use :) They are preaty cheap, like 500 euro used.
     
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2019
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  3. OliOliver

    OliOliver SS.org Regular

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    Man. I miss my Fireball
     
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  4. Guitarjon

    Guitarjon SS.org Regular

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    I've seen similar comments but trust me, these ENGL amps can cut through wonderfully. You just shouldn't be afraid of making drastic eq moves as can be seen in the video.

    Which one did you have?
     
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  5. BlasphemyMadeFlesh

    BlasphemyMadeFlesh Deathgrind Demon

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    I’ve got a new Fireball 100 en route, and cannot wait to compare it next to my 5150, VH-140c, 6505+, and Randall RG1503 (all through a MESA Rectifier 2x12 with Black Shadow V30s.) I used to own a E530 preamp 2 years ago when I was experimenting with racks, but sold it after I tried a used Fireball at GC; it smoked the E530 for what I was after. I told myself I would own the FB100 one day. However when I could get that FB100 a few days later, the store told me they had sold it that A.M... dang
    The Powerballs/Fireballs are a different beast than the Savage/Blackmore/E530 which is based off of a different “tone recipe” ENGL has. Been an ENGL fan since early mid-2000s when bands like Dying Fetus, Suffocation and Necrophagist were seen & heard using them live all over Europe.
     
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  6. Boris_VTR

    Boris_VTR SS.org Regular

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    Please create a post when you receive Fireball as I'm very interested in comparison to 5150/6505+ :) Can it cut the mix with these two amps in play :)
     
  7. Boris_VTR

    Boris_VTR SS.org Regular

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    I see that you have 6505. Did you test band practice mix with F100 and 6505?
     
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  8. Guitarjon

    Guitarjon SS.org Regular

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    I have not but I imagine both would do fine. The 6505 has a warmer sound though, more low mids and nice compression.
     
  9. chopeth

    chopeth SS.org Regular

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    Mate, I think you're wrong. The Ironball has 6l6... at least mine.
     
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  10. Guitarjon

    Guitarjon SS.org Regular

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    I'm afraid the Ironball always has EL84's, 2 of them. The type number of the amp is E606 though so maybe that had you confused? EL84's aren't bad though, I love them!
     
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  11. chopeth

    chopeth SS.org Regular

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    You are right! Sorry, that explains why it sounds so different to my main amp, which is 6l6. I love both, anyway. Thanks for the correction. ;)
     
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  12. Guitarjon

    Guitarjon SS.org Regular

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    What is your main amp?
     
  13. chopeth

    chopeth SS.org Regular

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    5153 50w
     
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  14. Guitarjon

    Guitarjon SS.org Regular

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    I see! Great amp! I have the EL34 version. The resonance control can add a lot of that low-end oomph! I bought something cool recently though, it's the Depthfinder by Amptweaker. With that pedal (which is basically a 2 band eq for the FX loop) I can add resonance and presence to an amp. So it works well for smaller amps that need a little extra oomph. Not that the Ironball needs that imho. The EVH 5153 certainly does not need it because it already has that built in to the circuit.
     
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  15. OliOliver

    OliOliver SS.org Regular

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    The 100w. Same as yours. You're totally right, they're very fine amps. Stupid me sold it because it had "too much gain". What an idiot!

    I'm holding out for a Soldano hr50 to pop up, but if not, I'll be replacing my FB
     
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  16. Guitarjon

    Guitarjon SS.org Regular

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    Haha! You know you can dial the gain knob down right? (j/k) Soldano's are SICK though!
     
  17. Boris_VTR

    Boris_VTR SS.org Regular

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    Do you know what frequencies it boost? I heard that 100Hz or 125Hz are basically resonance control like in 5150 amps.
     
  18. MetalHead40

    MetalHead40 SS.org Regular

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    Owned the FB100, Blackmore, and Savage 120 and played the Ironball and Artist edition. Liked the Savage 120 the most. Perfect attack and tightness plugged straight in. Sold the Engl ounce I got the Splawn QR and then quickly sold that ounce the Wizard arrived. Engls are great, but I grew tired of the compression.

    If I had disposable income I'd own either a FB100 or Savage 120 again just to have it in the stable. Honestly though after cycling through a boatload of amps, nothing touches the Wizard.
     
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  19. Guitarjon

    Guitarjon SS.org Regular

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    Very cool that you have a Wizard! I've never tried them. How would you describe the sound? Hot-rodded Marshall? Or more American?
     
  20. Nick

    Nick SS.org Regular

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    Have to say this is one of the best comparison vids I have seen - listening on monitors now but even on my phone it was very obvious how the fireball just had more guts than the ironball. Not to say the ironball sounded bad and in a band mix it may not even matter as youd probably eq the bottom out the fireball.

    My friend just got one of the fireball 100s so I'm quite keen to get a shot of it now.
     
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