Which big brother for ENGL Ironball?

kunos

Member
I love my Ironball for home practice and I'd love to get a bigger ENGL head for live.
What model can be considered most similar to the Ironball voicining wise?
I tried the Retro 50 combo and I liked it, not as much gain as the Ironball but it shouldn't really be a problem since I run the IB at around 50% gain with boost off... hard to say without being able to A/B but the Retro also gave me the impression of being less scooped and compressed.. which is to be expected.

Any other suggestion? Should I go all the way up to the SE E670? PB2? FB100?
 

kunos

Member
well.. as easily predictable I ended up with both the Retro 50 and the PBII and of course still have the Ironball that is now promoted to "living room amp" :p

The PBII was a b-stock.. plugged in and after 10 seconds volume dropped badly, no power tube fault LED on.. I was about to pack and send back but I thought what the heck, could be just a pre tube can it? Cannibalized the EVH Lbx and started to change 1 pre at the time, V3 bang.. problem solved and hello again PBII.

They both sound amazing in their own way, I probably see myself playng the Retro more, might be placebo but it just sounds more expressive. I'd say the PB is closer to the IB when it comes to voicing and amount of gain on tap.
Now I can only hope the day I will be able to unleash the beasts loud live will come soon.
 

MrFlexx

Member
kunos":3ncotgrk said:
They both sound amazing in their own way, I probably see myself playng the Retro more, might be placebo but it just sounds more expressive.
I have the Retro Tube 100 and sold my PBII just about 3 weeks ago for the same reason. They both sound great in their own way, but I ended up playing the Retro Tube 95% of the time and therefore I came to the conclusion that the PBII had to go. Now I only have the ENGL Retro Tube 100 and my Friedman Smallbox and this is the best combination I've ever had...and I've owned TONS of High-class amps like Elmwood, Mesa, Marshall, Diezel, ENGL, Friedman and more.

I must say the most versatile of them all is the Retro Tube. It do everything from sparkling cleans to Jazz, Blues, Rock, Hard rock and Metal. I've never heard a clean channel taking overdrives as good as this one...not even the highly respected Fender Twin. It just adds some kind of magic to the sound that can't be transcribed to words. The crunch is also nothing short of amazing. This amp does it all. I hard-pan-record it with my Friedman Smallbox and every time it puts a grin to my face.
 

Beyond Black

Well-known member
MrFlexx":itr2fj0y said:
kunos":itr2fj0y said:
They both sound amazing in their own way, I probably see myself playng the Retro more, might be placebo but it just sounds more expressive.
I have the Retro Tube 100 and sold my PBII just about 3 weeks ago for the same reason. They both sound great in their own way, but I ended up playing the Retro Tube 95% of the time and therefore I came to the conclusion that the PBII had to go. Now I only have the ENGL Retro Tube 100 and my Friedman Smallbox and this is the best combination I've ever had...and I've owned TONS of High-class amps like Elmwood, Mesa, Marshall, Diezel, ENGL, Friedman and more.

I must say the most versatile of them all is the Retro Tube. It do everything from sparkling cleans to Jazz, Blues, Rock, Hard rock and Metal. I've never heard a clean channel taking overdrives as good as this one...not even the highly respected Fender Twin. It just adds some kind of magic to the sound that can't be transcribed to words. The crunch is also nothing short of amazing. This amp does it all. I hard-pan-record it with my Friedman Smallbox and every time it puts a grin to my face.
I am really glad that I've seen this post. I was contemplating moving my Retro Tube 100 to try a Powerball II. Think I'll reconsider now. :thumbsup:
 

squank

Active member
Beyond Black":1lqcwqms said:
MrFlexx":1lqcwqms said:
kunos":1lqcwqms said:
They both sound amazing in their own way, I probably see myself playng the Retro more, might be placebo but it just sounds more expressive.
I have the Retro Tube 100 and sold my PBII just about 3 weeks ago for the same reason. They both sound great in their own way, but I ended up playing the Retro Tube 95% of the time and therefore I came to the conclusion that the PBII had to go. Now I only have the ENGL Retro Tube 100 and my Friedman Smallbox and this is the best combination I've ever had...and I've owned TONS of High-class amps like Elmwood, Mesa, Marshall, Diezel, ENGL, Friedman and more.

I must say the most versatile of them all is the Retro Tube. It do everything from sparkling cleans to Jazz, Blues, Rock, Hard rock and Metal. I've never heard a clean channel taking overdrives as good as this one...not even the highly respected Fender Twin. It just adds some kind of magic to the sound that can't be transcribed to words. The crunch is also nothing short of amazing. This amp does it all. I hard-pan-record it with my Friedman Smallbox and every time it puts a grin to my face.
I am really glad that I've seen this post. I was contemplating moving my Retro Tube 100 to try a Powerball II. Think I'll reconsider now. :thumbsup:
I'm glad to hear your perspectives here...I loved my PBII and never thought I'd hear another Engl amp top it. Now I'm interested in trying the Retro. More GAS.... thanks, guys.
 

MetalHeadMike

Well-known member
kunos":1xr8ui4e said:
well.. as easily predictable I ended up with both the Retro 50 and the PBII and of course still have the Ironball that is now promoted to "living room amp" :p

The PBII was a b-stock.. plugged in and after 10 seconds volume dropped badly, no power tube fault LED on.. I was about to pack and send back but I thought what the heck, could be just a pre tube can it? Cannibalized the EVH Lbx and started to change 1 pre at the time, V3 bang.. problem solved and hello again PBII.

They both sound amazing in their own way, I probably see myself playng the Retro more, might be placebo but it just sounds more expressive. I'd say the PB is closer to the IB when it comes to voicing and amount of gain on tap.
Now I can only hope the day I will be able to unleash the beasts loud live will come soon.

Congrats!

From memory, I felt the IB was most similar to the PBII when I was A/B'ing them, so I'd agree with you there.

I'd love to try a Retro someday.
 

Beyond Black

Well-known member
squank":2rojg3h3 said:
Beyond Black":2rojg3h3 said:
MrFlexx":2rojg3h3 said:
kunos":2rojg3h3 said:
They both sound amazing in their own way, I probably see myself playng the Retro more, might be placebo but it just sounds more expressive.
I have the Retro Tube 100 and sold my PBII just about 3 weeks ago for the same reason. They both sound great in their own way, but I ended up playing the Retro Tube 95% of the time and therefore I came to the conclusion that the PBII had to go. Now I only have the ENGL Retro Tube 100 and my Friedman Smallbox and this is the best combination I've ever had...and I've owned TONS of High-class amps like Elmwood, Mesa, Marshall, Diezel, ENGL, Friedman and more.

I must say the most versatile of them all is the Retro Tube. It do everything from sparkling cleans to Jazz, Blues, Rock, Hard rock and Metal. I've never heard a clean channel taking overdrives as good as this one...not even the highly respected Fender Twin. It just adds some kind of magic to the sound that can't be transcribed to words. The crunch is also nothing short of amazing. This amp does it all. I hard-pan-record it with my Friedman Smallbox and every time it puts a grin to my face.
I am really glad that I've seen this post. I was contemplating moving my Retro Tube 100 to try a Powerball II. Think I'll reconsider now. :thumbsup:
I'm glad to hear your perspectives here...I loved my PBII and never thought I'd hear another Engl amp top it. Now I'm interested in trying the Retro. More GAS.... thanks, guys.
I had a Fireball 100 the same time that I had a Retro Tube 100, and I moved the Fireball. While I LOVE the FB100, I loved the RT more. The RT is warmer and fatter, with a bit more sag, and a sweeter midrange (EL-34's). Much more organic sounding and feeling.
 

shred-o-holic

Active member
Man you guys are giving me gas for the Retro. Although my Mesa TC 50 is awesome........I own an Ironball as well which is why I read this thread.......
 
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