NAD: ENGL Powerball II! (My New FAVORITE Amp?!)

Guitarjon

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I got my ENGL Powerball II last week! WOOHOOOOO!

ENGL is one of my favorite brands, I just love them! My Fireball 100 is one of those amps that never lets me down. The cleans are beautiful, very sparkly and chimey and what I really love about that clean channel is that you can push it up to a nice "vintage" overdrive. So it's a clean channel with a large dynamic range. Luckily the clean channel on the Powerball II is just as amazing! The bright and bottom switches are a nice touch too.

The Powerball II has something that my Fireball 100 (or 25) doesn't have and that is the crunch channel. The crunch channel is really cool and it basically bridges the gap between the clean channel and the lead channels. With medium gain it's great for classic rock, especially with the mid boost, and with the gain up all the way you can get some great 80s/90s rock tones!

The lead channel on my FB100 is amazing, tons of gain on tap and plenty of tightness/clarity but without losing that organic tube sound. I was curious to see if the Powerball II would be able to match that because for me personally it's very hard to beat the lead channel of the Fireball. The Powerball definitely has 2 amazing lead channels, both with a unique voice. Perhaps not exactly the same as the FB but not far off either when dialed in. I still need to compare them side by side. Channel 3, the first lead channel has a big, wide and fat sound with a slightly loose bottom end, so great for rock and slower types of metal in general. Channel 4 has a more chunky and tight sound, so more modern basically and great for extended range guitars because of that. Overall the Powerball seems to have a little bit less gain than the FB100 but it still has more than enough tbh. Just a more useable range basically.

The bottom switches are a nice touch on the lead channels, it can make the low end go "ooompppffff" a bit more. The mid boost is also cool for solos! One thing that's very similar to the Fireball is that the lead channels really come to life when you crank the treble and mid controls. It just opens the amp up a lot basically.

The built in gate is also amazing, just as on all the ENGL amps. Very silent and you definitely don't notice that it's there... Anyway, LOVE this amp so much!!

I went overboard with my review this time because I really wanted to experience how a very wide range of guitars sound through the amp. The guitars I use in the video are: Yamaha Revstar Standard, Gibson Les Paul Standard, Gibson Les Paul Custom, ESP LTD Phoenix Deluxe 1000, ESP LTD Phoenix Black Metal, ESP LTD SC-607B1H, ESP LTD SC-607B, ESP LTD NW-44, Ibanez M80M and the Schecter Damien Platinum 9. So all channels and switches are covered. It was a LOT of work but I hope you enjoy it! :)

 

Guitarjon

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I really appreciate the lengths you go to to show all the different tones and styles. How long does it take to put something like this together? Do you do it all yourself or do you have any outside help. Sounds great as usual!

Thanks! This video took me a lot of time. I spent a good amount of over 3 weeks working on the songs and the talking stuff, then the editing etc. It's a full-time job! :)
 

Bodes

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I have a PB gathering dust. Did a few school plays and a bunch of band try-outs (where none of the bands went nowhere), does a lot of sound fairly well

In a band setting with heavy guitars and thick bass, you just have to work a little harder to push through, but that is all about dialling the right settings for the situation (OMG you can't touch the dials). Mostly because when I tried out, they were a guitarist short of a line up and they had 'their' sound, so I had to work towards them.
 

HeHasTheJazzHands

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I have a PB gathering dust. Did a few school plays and a bunch of band try-outs (where none of the bands went nowhere), does a lot of sound fairly well

In a band setting with heavy guitars and thick bass, you just have to work a little harder to push through, but that is all about dialling the right settings for the situation (OMG you can't touch the dials). Mostly because when I tried out, they were a guitarist short of a line up and they had 'their' sound, so I had to work towards them.
They also fixed the "cutting through the mix" issue with the PBII. Voiced to be more midrange-friendly and apparently they started using better transformers?
 

Emperoff

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In a band setting with heavy guitars and thick bass, you just have to work a little harder to push through, but that is all about dialling the right settings for the situation (OMG you can't touch the dials). Mostly because when I tried out, they were a guitarist short of a line up and they had 'their' sound, so I had to work towards them.

- Cut the presence
- Crank the treble
- Profit
 

Dineley

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Will watch video when I get a chance later. As such an Engl fan do you feel the Helix model does a decent job of capturing what you love about them? Just curious as that's a model I don't see get a tonne of action.

Also glad you're enjoying amp your videos are always a treat.
 

Emperoff

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Can we get the savage 120 review next?

I don't get the cutting through the mix thing, just turn the knobs more?

Plenty of people freak out if they have to turn the dials too much from 5. More often than not end up selling an amp if it doesn't sound good at settings between 4-7.

I very my settings depending on the tubes. Right now current settings on my Engl Sovereign are: Bass 5, Mids 5, Treble 10, Presence 2. With other tubes I had bass and mids at 7-8 (the ones I have in there now have a metric ton of low end) and a bit less treble.
 

Bodes

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Plenty of people freak out if they have to turn the dials too much from 5. More often than not end up selling an amp if it doesn't sound good at settings between 4-7.

I very my settings depending on the tubes. Right now current settings on my Engl Sovereign are: Bass 5, Mids 5, Treble 10, Presence 2. With other tubes I had bass and mids at 7-8 (the ones I have in there now have a metric ton of low end) and a bit less treble.

BuT aMpS ShOuLd SoUnD gOoD wItH eVeRy KnOb At NoOn!?!

If that were the case, then amp manufacturers would only install a volume and a gain knob for each channel plus one channel selector button/switch.

Twiddle your knobs until it feels good, fellas. *giggles*
 


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