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Purchasing an amp advice?

Discussion in 'Backline' started by H-evolve, Mar 22, 2015.

  1. H-evolve

    H-evolve Member

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    Hi all,

    I wanted to ask your opinion on gear. I am thinking of buying an amp, which would be my first tube amp. I am a big fan of the ENGL sound, so I definitely want to buy an ENGL. But I wanted your advice, as I can't decide what would be best for me.

    First of all, as a background to my questions, I really dig the Powerball II, but it is quite expensive, and also quite loud. I don't gig too much, I mostly practice either alone or with a friend in his basement. We also try to record and mix our own stuff (for sure if we want to record our first album we'd go in a studio). So far, we are mainly using the "Line Out" of my friend's amp (Dual Rectifier), into a cabinet simulator, via a Rivera RockCrusher (Wall of Sound). The room we record in has too much reverb to place a mic in front of a cab.

    So, my questions are, is getting an Ironball 20W going to be the best option for me? It seems like a really nice amp, but I was wondering if "tone-wise", 20W is going to be quite different that 100W? I wouldn't expect it to be different, but I'm not an expert.

    Moreover, I don't have a 3000$ budget (ENGL amps are quite expensive where I'm from, and quite rare). So, I was thinking about buying the amp alone and use my Line6 4X12 cab. I think it's got custom Celestions speakers in it, and I read on multiple forums that it's actually a good cab for the price (a third of the ENGL 4X12 price). Just so you know, here, an ENGL Ironball is 1400$ and the ENGL 4X12 is another 1400$. For anyone in Europe, I think they aren't that expensive. But, I don't have that money. And buying used is not an option, since ENGL amps are quite rare here (you can't find anything used for a good price, I made a quick check).

    So, what do you guys think? I know that the new Peavey MH is quite cheap, but I really prefer the ENGL sound. Just a question of taste really.

    Thanks for any advice you guys can give. I'm just trying to get as much info as possible to make the best decision I can.
     
  2. bryan_kilco

    bryan_kilco Member

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    20W should be plenty loud. My buddy has the Orange Tiny Terror, and I think it's only like 15W and it gets loud as hell.

    I'd honestly save up the $ and get what you really want and not just get something else because of budget, if you can wait, that is.
     
  3. atoragon

    atoragon Member

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    tone-wise you should aim from the fireball60w up. below that wattage you wouldn't get enough low end, nor enough clarity. the tubes in a 20w tends to saturate immediately making your tone "dirty" and definitely different from a classic wattage amp.
     
  4. H-evolve

    H-evolve Member

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    Well, isn't 60W going to be so freakin loud that I will not be able to push the tubes and have a shitty tone anyway?

    I do like the Fireball sound (60W or 100W version), but I was under the impression that they would be much too loud for my typical use. Hence having to lower the master volume and have a shitty tone... Unless there is something I misunderstand here.

    Also, what about the cab? I would assume my line6 is not going to be as good as an ENGL cab, just wondering if it would do the job until I can get enough money to buy one.
     
  5. DocSauerkraut

    DocSauerkraut Member

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    With modern amps you get the sound of the preamp rather than the poweramp. So there is no reason to drive the amp that hard.
    If you would use a mic, you should run it loud enough to drive the speakers a bit, but you said that you don't want to use a mic anyway.
    And you would need the same volume with a 20w amp too.
     
  6. H-evolve

    H-evolve Member

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    Well, even though I knew modern amps were not required to be pushed that hard, I was still under the impression that you needed to push them somehow.
    And to be honest, after trying the Dual Rectifier of my friend at low volume, we kind of felt the tone was "weak". So he decided to buy the Rivera RockCrusher and that gave good results.

    I don't know, I'm just not so sure about that statement. From my personal experience, I had the feeling you still needed to push them, which is why I thought 60W or 100W wasn't for me.

    But, if you are right (and then I would be wrong), the Fireball 60W is not that much cheaper than the 100W, so I guess I would go for the 100W anyway. That is, IF you are right! ;)
     
  7. Hankyu

    Hankyu Member

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    I would buy a laney irt studio. It has 15w or 1w for recording and I think with the pull/push funktion on the eq you will get the sound you are looking for. Or an engl e530 preamp running through a poweramp simulation or both and you run the engl preamp through the poweramp of the laney :-D ... and with a kemper you can have every engl amp you want. If I were you I would take a look on the laney and think about it if it has realy to be an engl
     
  8. Delitzsch

    Delitzsch Führendes Mitglied

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    Being able to get the master volume knob and start working the power amp tubes a bit is a good thing, even in metal. You don't want full on power tube distortion, but you want to find that sweet spot where they are adding some character to the mix. Wattage really doesn't mean a whole lot, unless your concerned about having a an ultra clean channel with volume. Club gigs, you can easily get away with 25 watts. Outdoor gigs, you'd be fine with 50 watts. Wattage becomes important if you really need to crank it (which most times you're not going to need to do). Because if you do *have* to crank it and you have a lower wattage amp, you will get that fuzzy unwanted power tube distortion that I was talking about in my first sentence. Power tube distortion may be good for classic rock, but not so much for metal. The more important thing is what type of power amp tubes does the amp have. EL84 sound like junk for metal. IMHO, stick with 6L6, EL34, KT88 and 6550. It all depends on if you want a tighter sound (6L6) versus a more mid-rangey sound (EL34). My advice would be to don't go cheap-charlie. Do it right and do it right the first time. Save up and get the best one for you. Don't settle. And somewhere down the line, I'd look at upgrading that cab as well.
     
  9. Jarkko Mattheiszen

    Jarkko Mattheiszen The FU guy.

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    The chap above me is talking sense. Apart from the EL84 part - that's more about EL84's being low power tubes and thus most EL84 amps aren't designed for modern metal, not about the tubes themselves. Hell, I've ended up using a JCA20 instead the 5150 it was sitting on top of for some metal reamps :)
     
  10. atoragon

    atoragon Member

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    to get a modern metal tone you need headroom. the 6l6 of the 5150 lets the six stages of gain of the head to shape the tone, and the power tubes just adds the low end and the roar. with smaller amps, power tubes plays a totally different role: they colour the sound, makes it more overdriven and mid rangey, which is worse.
    The sound is thinner, without lows and more fizzy, hum, feedbacks etc.
    Much better a fireball 60 with the volume at 1 than a tiny terror with the volume at 8.
     
  11. H-evolve

    H-evolve Member

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    This, is starting to make my choice difficult! Haha!

    It seems not everbody agrees on the topic, but what you say does make some sense...

    I'm still interested on getting an opinion on the cab part as well. I could afford a Fireball, that would top my budget (an even slightly exceed it), so I would need to endure the Line6 cab for some time, until I can get some money for an ENGL cab. Is this a big problem? (keep in mind that in case I would want to mic the ENGL amp, I would use the Mesa 4X12 of my friend I've been talking about).
     
  12. Delitzsch

    Delitzsch Führendes Mitglied

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    Not true. Depends on how much air you are moving. With a 2x12 cab, you wouldn't need to have the Tiny Terror's volume on 8 (I've owned one).
     
  13. atoragon

    atoragon Member

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    what speaker does the line6 cab mount? anyway there are many great cabs that doesn't cost too much, if you can't affort a mesa right away. For example a framus 2x12 with celestion v30. good quality at a fair price.
     
  14. H-evolve

    H-evolve Member

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    From what I know, it's a 4X12 with custom made Celestions (not V30s). But I don't have anything more specific than "custom made"...

    Made a test with a Mini Rectifier plugged in it and it was surprisingly not bad at all. We were going back and forth between the Line6 cab and the Mesa 4X12 cab. There were some differences, of course, but just standing in front of the 2 cabs, my conclusion was that the Line6 was definitely not bad.

    So at least that's it for the cab. I will use the Line6 for some time and get an ENGL cab when I get the money. But with all you've said, now I'm wondering if I go for a Fireball or the Ironball! :loco:
     
  15. 4Eyes

    4Eyes Member

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    I would avoid any higher wattage Engl for low volume use - they really sound bad that way, they need to be cranked. I wouldn't be worried about clarity with EL84s in power amp, Engl preamps are made to be super tight even at full gain settings.

    if Engl cabs are expensive in Canada, then go for Mesa if it's cheaper there, they are both similar in terms of quality
     
  16. Delitzsch

    Delitzsch Führendes Mitglied

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    I vote for the Ironball. If your mainly going to be playing in a small practice room and doing club gigs, then that's what I'd choose. As far as cabs go, I'd also stay away from a 4x12 cab, given your conditions. Again, if you are strictly playing small practice room or club gigs, I'd go with a 1x12 cab. Yeah, I know. It won't look as mean as a 4x12, but it'll do the job just fine. If you think you might be doing some outdoor shows, then I'd spring for a 2x12 cab.
     
  17. H-evolve

    H-evolve Member

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    Thank you for your advice. Both Mesa and ENGL products are extremely expensive here in Canada, or at least on the east coast. They are in the same price range. A Dual Rectifier is the same price as a Powerball II, 2300 CAD$ and both 4X12 cabs are in the range of 1400 CAD.

    So either choice is out of my budget (if I sum up with the head price). But rest assured, I will buy a decent cab as soon as possible. It's just that there might be a year or slightly less between the head purchase and the cab purchase.
     
  18. SocialNumb

    SocialNumb Damn Christians!

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    Hugues Berger, this is way off topic and I'm sorry for it. But since you started this thread, every time I see your name I want a burger. Again, sorry man. On with the conversation. ;)
     
  19. H-evolve

    H-evolve Member

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    Just so I'm clear, Ironball 20W + 4X12 CAB (from either ENGL or Mesa) is around 2600 to 2800 CAD.

    I'd say my budget is closer to 2000CAD.

    I checked and the price of used stuff is almost the same price as new stuff. For example, a guy was selling a Powerball II + a 4X12 cab at 3000CAD. For new, you could find it at 3500.

    But, that's how it is on the Canadian East Coast, we got expensive prices on everything. (A Toyota Corolla is probably 30% more expensive here)
     
  20. H-evolve

    H-evolve Member

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    Hahaha! Not a problem ;)

    But, for your information (if that interests you at all), it's a french name, with german origins.

    Berger pretty much means "Shepherd" in french.

    But in german it would mean "Lives on a mountain". As "Berg" is "Mountain" in German.

    Now, I also feel like eating a burger now...! :lol:
     

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