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

Guitarjon

Well-known member
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! :)

 

MadAsAHatter

Well-known member
Congrats on getting a Powerball. ENGL does make some great amps.
I haven't played one myself but own the Synergy Powerball module and love it. I run it through the loop of either my ENGL Inferno or Morse. Both killer amps by the way. If you ever get a chance to try them you should.

Just thought of a great idea for your channel now that you have a Powerball. Grab a SYN 1 and Powerball module. Run it through the loop of your actual Powerball. Comparison to see if running the module through the Powerball's power section will get it to sound just like the real amp.
 

indespise

Active member
Sounds fantastic, as usual! I love my Fireball 100, would like to try a Savage sometime. But I'm also the kind of player who just goes for one sound, so the versatility of the other Engl's would be wasted on me. You're definitely the kind of guy who will get plenty of use out of the extra channels and tone shaping options.
 

Techdeth

Well-known member
Has anybody ever A/B'd the original Powerball and the Powerball Mark II?

Anybody here played them both?
I’d like to know as well. I’ve kept a Powerball 1 in my stable for recording solos and certain bands need that tone for f I do a local band . Live it mushed out . But I always wondered if it’s the same but can do live better
 

indespise

Active member
Honestly, I think your amp demos are my favorite. Great format, cool riffs, positive attitude, great ear for tone, and they aren't bloated, even with a long one like this. The fact that you come up with different riffs for all your videos is really impressive, and it keeps your content from getting stale.
 

Billelzebub

Member
I got my Powerball II about 3 years ago after using Dual and triple rectos since the mid 90's and it's hands down my favorite amp i ever owned. And unlike my old stable of mesas I did not have to pair it up with something else for recording rhythm tracks. I used just that amp for cleans, rhythms and leads. For the first year and a half i had it i was using my mesa 4x12 and then i got around to buying an Engl 4x12 and it sounds even better now. I can't say enough good things about it.
 

Guitarjon

Well-known member
Honestly, I think your amp demos are my favorite. Great format, cool riffs, positive attitude, great ear for tone, and they aren't bloated, even with a long one like this. The fact that you come up with different riffs for all your videos is really impressive, and it keeps your content from getting stale.

Thanks! I do my best to have as many fresh riffs as possible. I do reuse some riffs here and there but I try to do it sparingly so no-one notices haha!
 

ZEN Amps

Well-known member
Thanks! I do my best to have as many fresh riffs as possible. I do reuse some riffs here and there but I try to do it sparingly so no-one notices haha!
I too enjoy your stuff Jon, keep it coming.

Do you mind me asking about the motivation for always keeping the isolated samples double-tracked? I understand it sounds 'better' (wider, thicker, slicker) but have you received any feedback on this being undesirable?
 

Guitarjon

Well-known member
I too enjoy your stuff Jon, keep it coming.

Do you mind me asking about the motivation for always keeping the isolated samples double-tracked? I understand it sounds 'better' (wider, thicker, slicker) but have you received any feedback on this being undesirable?

It has been mentioned to me once or twice but I simply prefer to do it this way because to me it makes it even easier to hear how a sound works, in and out of the mix. Now this is primarily from a recording/studio perspective but I'm also kind of weird like that haha. When a guitar tone comes from the center I find it less easy to hear how it functions in a full band situation. And to me that's what it's all about. On my channel anyway.
 

ZEN Amps

Well-known member
It has been mentioned to me once or twice but I simply prefer to do it this way because to me it makes it even easier to hear how a sound works, in and out of the mix. Now this is primarily from a recording/studio perspective but I'm also kind of weird like that haha. When a guitar tone comes from the center I find it less easy to hear how it functions in a full band situation. And to me that's what it's all about. On my channel anyway.
Cool, understood - thanks Jon (y)
 
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