Saturday, July 20, 2019

Review: Engl Powerball 1 and 2

Hello everyone and welcome to this week's article!
Today we are reviewing one of the most beloved modern hi-gain amps of all times, the "big brother" of the Engl Fireball (which incorporates the channels 1 and 4 of this head): the Engl Powerball!

Engl is a German amp manufacturer among the most popular (together with Hughes and Kettner) and its products are used by countless professional musicians, from vintage rock to the most extreme metal; the product range is very wide and spans among all sizes and volumes, and they are a standard in build quality, reliability and power of sound.

In a world in which amp manufacturers sometimes struggle a bit in finding their own voice among the great classics and often just try to replicate them, Engl has a distinctive timbre: it's a bit nasal, mid-rangey, but not in the trebly way of a Marshall; the Engl tone is full of body, it's slightly less "scratchy" but very musical, and extremely tight, also at the highest levels of gain.

The Powerball is one of the amps of Engl with most controls: it features four independent channels, each one with a different level of gain and independent Eq, plus various switches for boosting, adding brightness, low end or scooping mids, presence, resonance, noise gate and two master volumes.

The sound reflects the name: it's powerful, the 100w tube power amp roar like a lion, but the tone is smooth, with cleans really clean and warm (a feature not very common in hi-gain amps), credible rock crunches and a lead channel that lets you achieve death metal riffs with a fast, tight low end, without even the need for a booster.

If you like fast riffs, versatility, musical mids, tightness, aggressiveness and a tone that remains playable at all volumes (it's surprisingly good also at lower volumes), you must give this amp a try, it might become the regular guest in your rehearsal's room.

Today Engl offers a new version, called Powerball II, which is a general revision of the version I: the main differences are the fact that the eq section is set slightly different (the treble control of the lead channel has been modified from linear to logarithmic to cut more), there are even more controls, and the noise gate has been reviewed by adding a threshold control; the general sound, though, remains the same.

Thumbs up!

Specs taken from the website:

• 4 channels: Clean-Channel 1, Crunch-Channel 2, Lead-Channel 3 and Lead-Channel 4

• 4 Volume control knobs: Clean Vol.-1, Crunch Vol.-2, Lead Vol.-3 and Lead Vol.-4

• Bright and Bottom sound switches for Clean and Crunch

• EQ system Clean and Crunch: Bass, Middle, Treble-Clean, Treble-Crunch

• EQ system Lead-Channel 3 and Lead-Channel 4: Bass, Middle or Middle-boosted, Treble

• Channel switching via two front panel buttons or via footswitch

• Master A and B controls for different output volume settings

• Presence and Depth Punch controls in the poweramp stage

• Stand By switch

• 3 x 1/4″ Stereo jacks for connecting three Z-4 footpedals or a MIDI switching system
such as the ENGL Z-11

• Poweramp Output 2 x 4 ohms, 2 x 8 ohms and 1 x 16 ohms for many speaker options

• 100 Watts output power, 4 x 6L6GC power tubes

No comments:

Post a Comment