NAD: ENGL Fireball 100 (haha, it's insane...)

Discussion in 'Gear & Equipment' started by Guitarjon, Mar 8, 2019.

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  1. Guitarjon

    Guitarjon SS.org Regular

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    I got an ENGL Fireball 100 a week or two ago so I thought a NAD post was in order!

    I've wanted an ENGL amp in my collection for a while but at first I wasn't sure which one to get.
    The Powerball II seemed really cool but it's pretty expensive.
    I also looked at soe of the smaller amps like the Ironball etc but in the end I landed on the Fireball because of the promising sound clips and simple but effective features.

    For heavy music this amp is off the hook!
    It delivers great heavy rhythm tones easily but with the mid boost on it also is capable of very nice leads.
    The clean tones are surprisingly awesome too, very sparkly but full.
    Overall this amp is amazing for in my studio and I bet it would sound great on stage.
    Don't know if the shared eq would be an issue though...

    The clean channel has a great pushed sound too when you bump up the gain, it kind of reminds me of Fender cleans but more refined.
    The bright and bottom switches are very nice too as they help to really dial in the sound for your guitar.
    For instance, with humbuckers the bright switch adds some great clarity.

    The bottom switch can be a little overwhelming with heavy tones but it's super handy to augment the low end with smaller cabs plus it works well if you have a boost in front of the amp to bring back some of the low end.

    It's a little noisy but the on board noise gate isn't there for nothing....
    So I'm glad that they added that feature.

    Does anyone else own one?
    How does the Powerball II compare to the Fireball tone-wise?

    Of course as always I created a short demonstration video.
    Check it out:



    Note the EQ settings (that a friend told me to try) in the video.
    The mid and treble controls are up quite high and the presence is quite low.
    This makes the guitar sit in the mix nicely I'd say! ;)
     
  2. HeHasTheJazzHands

    HeHasTheJazzHands greg rulz ok

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    Given the horror stories about how bad the Fireballs cut in the mix, I'm not suprised by those settings. It cuts really well here though.
     
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  3. Guitarjon

    Guitarjon SS.org Regular

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    Yeah, this amp really needs those mids and treble controls up high to be able to cut!
    At first when my buddy showed me a pic of his settings (which were very similar) I was like, man, that's too extreme...
    But when I tried these settings in the mix it was pretty obvious that this works for me! :)
     
  4. Kovah

    Kovah SS.org Regular

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    Happy NAD and nice demo!

    I'm pretty sure those stories were about the 60W version of the Fireball. I've had mine for 2 years and no issue whatsoever.
     
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  5. budda

    budda Guiterrorizer Contributor

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    Dont judge settings by how they look :lol: :yesway:

    Congrats!
     
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  6. Guitarjon

    Guitarjon SS.org Regular

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    Haha, I know!!
    Sometimes it's harder to do than you might think :)
     
  7. Bentaycanada

    Bentaycanada SS.org Regular

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    Happy NAD! I used to own a Fireball 60, and it was my favourite of all the Engl’s I’ve played/owned. GREAT amp!
     
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  8. TheWarAgainstTime

    TheWarAgainstTime "TWAT" for short

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    Sounds angry :metal: always enjoy your content!

    Sometimes "weird" settings work the best, and this is definitely one of those cases
     
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  9. PrestoDone

    PrestoDone Cork Sniffer

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    Congratz! I have a powerball 2 , and simply love it
     
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  10. Flappydoodle

    Flappydoodle SS.org Regular

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    Wow you're buying a lot of amps recently!

    I've played a PB2 many times and I'm very familiar with it, though I've never mic'd the cab and recorded it. But ENGL isn't too popular on this forum. I think they sound great, and certainly the tone in your video sounds great. I think they nail that saturated, but tight, crunchy but not shrill sound very well.
     
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  11. oneblackened

    oneblackened Tube Amp Dork

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    I like the Fireball 100 more than most Engls. It's a lot meaner and a lot less turbo-compressed than most of their stuff.
     
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  12. USMarine75

    USMarine75 Stairway to Heaven blows Contributor

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    Yup.

    I owned a FB100 for years and i had no complaints. It has this great low mid, smooth dirt tone, that is so unique. It is such an opposite to a raspy mids amp like a 5150. I actually didn’t like it with a boost in front I thought the tone was perfect as is. But it definitely cut through much better than the FB60, which was also voiced differently and not just lower wattage iirc.

    The funny thing is never having heard of Jeff Loomis or Nevemore, I somehow owned a Schecter Loomis and FB100 lol. Honestly, the combo was plug and play. I couldn’t get a bad tone out of it. I preferred bottom on, dialed back the lows a bit, and the gain was prob on 5 or 6 iirc.

    Positives are it has a ton of features like you mentioned! Noise gate worked perfect for me. Had a great loop I’d sometimes use for running preamp pedals. The clean was ok depending on your tastes. Very dry... no sag or chime so it wasn’t magical. No issues with it mixing well with other amps in general. But the only real negative for me was it was a one trick pony. I’ve owned other 2 channel amps that are versatile. This isn’t one. The onboard mid boost is nice but the amp always retains its signature sound and it pretty much had a narrow window of tones imo. But the tone it has is awesome!

    In the end if you want an amp that cuts through you don’t want overly compressed tones anyways... buy a Soldano 50w and you’ll thunder over these 100-120w compressed ones. But as far as smooth, dark, compressed metal amps go, this one is a 10/10 IMO. Congrats!!!
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2019
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  13. Guitarjon

    Guitarjon SS.org Regular

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    Schweet!! :)
    How does it compare to the Fireball soundwise?
    Have you ever compared them?

    Yeah man, I'm becoming an amp addict.
    I do personally think that real amps still sound 'the best' and I'm just having such a blast working with them.
    I just never have to ask myself 'does this sound real (enough)' when I work with the amps, if that makes sense?
    I wasn't aware that ENGL isn't popular on this forum but this does surprise me as I've always thought well of ENGL amps and now that I own this one I can tell you that this amp is REALLY good! :)
    People shouldn't hate on ENGL!

    Thanks! :)

    It sure doesn't need a boost but I might try it for my 8-string stuff or maybe even dropped 7-string baritone stuff...
    You're definitely right about the amp, however I do feel like the cleans on this amp are 'magical' but that's just personal taste of course!
    In my most recent video I compared all my 13 amps against each other in a clean and driven setting and the ENGL had my favorite clean tone tbh.

    I would love to own a Soldano one day btw, that would be sick!
     
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  14. OliOliver

    OliOliver SS.org Regular

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    Had one of these up until a few months ago. Kinda miss it now! Great tone, but really a one trick pony, I found. If ENGL made a Fireball with an independently EQ'd clean channel then I'd probably pick another one up. A bit too saturated for my taste, but can be cleaned up by running an OD (as per tradition for metal) on unity level rather than maxed. That way you get the low cut and maybe some clipping but not pushing the preamp so much. It really doesn't need to be pushed! Cuts through just fine with the highs up!
     
  15. Boris_VTR

    Boris_VTR SS.org Regular

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    Nice demo. I had 2 ENGL Fireballs 60W years ago. Great amps.
    Regarding settings....on my both Savages I have midds at around 15 o'clock. Treble is high also, at around 13-14 o'clock. Difference is that my presence is around 12-13 when I play at home to brighten up the amp.
     

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