Saturday, February 8, 2014

Review: Engl Fireball 60 / E625

Hello and welcome to this week's article!
Today we're going to talk about my favourite head: Engl Fireball 60!

Through my career as live performer and mix engineer I had the chance to try many heads, combos, rack systems, and to discover the differences between a tube amp and a transistor or a digital one.
Although I appreciate very much the digital amp modeling world, for the live environment I still love to rely on a tube amp, because their harmonics can cut through every situation (and a transistor amp needs to have 3 times the power in watts to hold up against it), and because a Tube power amp is one of the single parts on the chain of a guitar sound that can really make the difference in terms of tone.
If the Tube Power amp is good, the whole sound will gain an additional roar and a harmonic richness that still cannot be recreated properly in other ways.

The downside of having a tube amp is the fact that to get the harmonic richness you have to drive it at a decent volume, and if you're living in a flat this can be sometimes tricky (and if you try to play a 100w tube head with the volume at 1 it will often sound like crap); that's why many companies have decided to create tube amps of lower wattage, to give the player a full tube sound without disturbing excessively the neighbourhood.
In my opinon the minimum tube wattage to be able to play on a rock or metal band without being covered by the drum sound is 30w, but in the other hand the bigger the wattage is, and the bigger and cleaner the sound will be, not only it will be louder.

I think that I have found the right compromise for my needs with this Engl Fireball E 625: 60watts are more than enough to play live or rehearsing with the band, and at the same time the sound is good enough to play at "bedroom volume", plus this model has so much gain that allows me to play even death metal with a screaming, mid rangey tone, without the need of boosting.

I have bought this head about five years ago, after having used a Peavey 5150 and a Randall rh50t among the others, and after all these years I am still convinced that this is my favourite sounding head.

Specs taken from the Engl Website:

Preamp: 2 channels, Clean, Lead, 3 band EQ, Bright switch, Depth switch, Presence control, 3x ECC83 preamp tubes.

Master Section: Master A/B, 60 watts (1 x ECC83, 2 x 6L6GC power amp tubes).

Outputs: Speaker Outs (2 x 8, 2 x 16 Ohms), fx loop, (parallel to serial adjustable), dual footswitch jacks (Z-3 or Z-4).

Dimensions & Weight: 71 x 27 x 27 cm, 19 kg

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