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Señor Member
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Buddy of mine used to have an e530+Mesa 50/50 combo ans it sounded killer. He made some shitty gear decisions (as one frequently does) and ultimately traded it away for some gear that wasn't remotely as nice. Years later, he wants to recreate it but I'm considering recommending him a head as opposed to hoping for a good deal on a pre AND power amp.

Google tells me the Savage is supposedly closest but the threads I found were all old enough that they've released other heads since then, and I seem to remember more e530 voiced (meaning vintage hot) models in the recent past but can't substantiate that. Ideas?
 

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Hates Richie Kotzen
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e530 + 50/50 was my first rig. Still miss it.

Blackmore is closest. I have had both. I also had an earlier ENGL preamp and a Mesa 2:50 (nicer than the 50/50) and it slayed, but wasn't voiced the same. The e530, Blackmore, and Savage are all very similar.

Tell him to go rack again, the ENGL rack units are better built, the heads are a little flimsy in parts. Pair it with a Mesa or VHT.

Also, I have no idea what you mean by "vintage hot". There are two channels with two modes, and the two higher gain modes have more gain than you could ever need. It's actually a really modern voiced unit. I have no idea how the reviews have changed over 6 years, but when I bought it as a college freshman none of the reviews were even close to accurate. The gain and saturation is way modern. Like every single fucking ENGL ever.

The seperate "high mid" and "low mid" knobs are genius. I always think about getting a e530 back, they are one of the best units ENGL makes/made.
 

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Hates Richie Kotzen
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Also, all ENGLs sound pretty much the exact same. No joke. Pretty much slightly varied flavors of the same modern metal thing.
Nah dude, I had a Blackmore for quite a bit. They all sound pretty much the same. Even the 80s ones like the Straight and the preamps based off the Straight have insane gain.

If anyone doesn't know what the ENGL sound is, this is the best representation. (Other older Gamma Ray albums are better, but the guitar sound on this one coupled with all the sweet pictures of the vintage rack rigs in the video is awesome). They sound awesome out of the box. They aren't as raw or expansive as a lot of amps, but that's the only criticism you could level at the sound. They sound fancy as fuck. A lot of German bands use them. Check out Kreator's "Hordes of Chaos" album. That's an Invader, and the album that made me go through my fanboy phase for ENGL amps.


That's not a knock on ENGL. I'm a big fan of the sound, but they do pretty much one thing. The e530 is going to serve your bud better than the head. A lot of their big touring roster uses the e530 live. Not even the fancier one. The e530 is just a really fucking awesome preamp. Best low volume rig out there too. It has a built in solid state power amp at .5 watts and sounds great into a 1x12. Can power a 4x12 too.

The only reason to not get an ENGL is:

1) Other manufacturers build their heads to higher standards (Rivera, Mesa, Bogner). ENGL is like the German Peavey. Awesome gear, but the build quality is a bit flimsy in places. I've never personally had a problem, but a lot of people do if you are buying one of the $3k. The rack units don't have that problem. All three of the ENGL rack units I've had have been tank like.

2) Some of them can get drowned out live by things like Triple Recs, or anything with massive transformers.

3) The sound isn't raw enough for you.

That being said, e530 + Mesa Poweramp is one of the best rigs in existence. I've had like, 10-12 different rigs since then, and that one still probably sounded the best.
 

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Hates Richie Kotzen
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The Blackmore is an awesome, always underrated amp though. I bought mine for ~$1k and sold it for $900 shipped. The market on those is non existent. Here's a past rig I had. The Engl rack unit is an older 80s one. It was also awesome, but the e530 is undoubtedly better.

 

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Premium Member
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Nah dude, I had a Blackmore for quite a bit. They all sound pretty much the same. Even the 80s ones like the Straight and the preamps based off the Straight have insane gain.

If anyone doesn't know what the ENGL sound is, this is the best representation. (Other older Gamma Ray albums are better, but the guitar sound on this one coupled with all the sweet pictures of the vintage rack rigs in the video is awesome). They sound awesome out of the box. They aren't as raw or expansive as a lot of amps, but that's the only criticism you could level at the sound. They sound fancy as fuck. A lot of German bands use them. Check out Kreator's "Hordes of Chaos" album. That's an Invader, and the album that made me go through my fanboy phase for ENGL amps.


That's not a knock on ENGL. I'm a big fan of the sound, but they do pretty much one thing. The e530 is going to serve your bud better than the head. A lot of their big touring roster uses the e530 live. Not even the fancier one. The e530 is just a really fucking awesome preamp. Best low volume rig out there too. It has a built in solid state power amp at .5 watts and sounds great into a 1x12. Can power a 4x12 too.

The only reason to not get an ENGL is:

1) Other manufacturers build their heads to higher standards (Rivera, Mesa, Bogner). ENGL is like the German Peavey. Awesome gear, but the build quality is a bit flimsy in places. I've never personally had a problem, but a lot of people do if you are buying one of the $3k. The rack units don't have that problem. All three of the ENGL rack units I've had have been tank like.

2) Some of them can get drowned out live by things like Triple Recs, or anything with massive transformers.

3) The sound isn't raw enough for you.

That being said, e530 + Mesa Poweramp is one of the best rigs in existence. I've had like, 10-12 different rigs since then, and that one still probably sounded the best.
Somehow I've nevber really heard Gamma Ray. Not what I was expecting, and I dig the shit out of that.

The Engl doesn't sound bad, but I doubt I'd get on with the compression.
 

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Hates Richie Kotzen
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^That's the ENGL sound, it's high tech and super polished. I moved away from it for more grit, but ENGLs do sound awesome for a lot of stuff. They have a unique saturation/compression type vibe not everyone gets on with.

Gamma Ray is a legendary band actually. Trve speed metal.
 

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HEAVY HACKJOB RIFFER
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Garrett is wise, 100% agree with him. I've had both the e570 and e530 and honestly, for metal I find the e530 to me more suited and as mentioned before, the EQ is more versatile for hi-gain with the two separate Mid controls (Hi Mids and Lo Mids), which I find a lot of amps are lacking anyway.

Also, it must depend on where you are located because getting an e530 here is easier than finding an ENGL head, and the heads usually sell for 3x-4x and sometimes even 5 times more $$ than the e530.

Another thing to consider, if your buddy doesn't find a proper deal on a tube power amp (which, again, are usually fairly easy to find here too so I can't judge from where you are), well he can still use the power section of another head meanwhile.
 

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Like some other guys said here, the Blackmore is built off the Savage technology. It is just more of a plug and play version with less modes and mini-buttons. Maybe a tiny change in the voicing.

Love ENGL compression and saturation though. A little less of that with the Savage; it's more mid-based with grit. My Powerball was my favorite. So tight.
 

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Could be Hitler
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I think the Retro one they make is a bit less compressed than the rest of the line but otherwise I agree with Garrett that they all sound very similar!
It is the Retro and it is hands down the best amp ENGL makes. The Retro is a really really good amp.

 

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Funnily enough, I tried one the other day and it didn't sound that different from my Gigmaster head. Of course that won't be everyone's choice because it's low wattage but when I asked Engl about something similar but bigger, they pointed me towards the Retro.
 

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Could be Hitler
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Funnily enough, I tried one the other day and it didn't sound that different from my Gigmaster head. Of course that won't be everyone's choice because it's low wattage but when I asked Engl about something similar but bigger, they pointed me towards the Retro.
I have a Gigmaster as well ;)
 

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It's funny this thread should come up.

I found myself wanting to experiment with pre and power amps.

Looking on Kijiji I often see the e530 for 400 to 500 Canadian or best offer.

I also see a fair number of Mesa power amps.
a) What is the typical going rate for something like a 2/50?
b) How does it compare to higher or lower wattage versions?
c) Are there other similarly priced power amp brands out there to consider?
 

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Premium Member
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Somehow I've nevber really heard Gamma Ray. Not what I was expecting, and I dig the shit out of that.

The Engl doesn't sound bad, but I doubt I'd get on with the compression.
Gamma Ray > Helloween in my opinion

Gamma Ray had awesome sound on To The Metal album but one of my absolute favorite Engl Savage sounds is this :flex:
 
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