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Dr. Mrs. The Monarch
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1,306 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So guys and girls, Lady Gaga has gone and gotten herself a new amp.

A wild package appears:



We need to go deeper:



On no, there's rape inside!



Wait, no, that was the other thing I ordered for those special parties, here's what's inside:



Get it in place and ready to rock:



I think I'll wear it as a hat. :)



It's a great little amp this Gigmaster 15! First impressions are good, spent a bit of time trying to see what different sounds I can tease from it, and it's pretty damn versatile. The clean channel is fantastic, really warm and breaks up nicely with the input gain turned up. The switchable power section is excellent, I switched it down to 1 watt and with the master volume down to a whisper and it still sounds decent enough, could probably play it at night when people are in bed and they wouldn't hear a thing. But even on 1 watt, this can be very, very loud! I didn't even turn the master up past half way.

It's definitely got it's own sound going on compared to the other Engl amps I've played and owned, not quite sure how I'd describe it, it's not like the Invader and not like the Fireball. It's got it's own character, and that's cool. :yesway:

Now, I didn't bother getting a footswitch with it, even though it can take a 2 button one for switching channels and the mid boost. Because, in usual Engl tradition, shared controls means it's effectively a 1 channel amp. The Input Gain works across both channels, and then for the lead channel you've got a separate Lead Drive, but for a really high gain Metal sound you'll want both the Input Gain and Lead Drive turned up. That said, the way the controls interact with each other is very cool and you can really, really tweak a lot of different sounds out of it. So for a pseudo-2 channel amp, it's certainly far more versatile than the Fireball was. You can get a lot more out of the clean channel, and the mid boost really fattens things up too.

I was kinda wondering if it would take to pedals well, because the Tubescreamer didn't do much for the Fireball at all, but it works well with the Gigmaster. TS7 up front really brings out the brutals. :metal:

And of course, it's small and very portable, which was one of the main reasons I wanted this amp. Dragging the Invader over to someone's house or apartment just isn't practical, so it was always the Microcube I brought with me. It's actually a little heavier than it looks, but still pretty manageable. They say it's 13kg. Not bad.

All in all, first impressions are great and I can't wait to see how it sounds when I'm playing with my bassist friend.
 

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Tr00 Kvlt
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5,914 Posts
Very nice! I was eyeballing the head version of this not long ago. Have you played any other ENGL amps? How do you think the tone is compared to the E530? ( I want a cheaper priced ENGL as my next amp badly).

I see you said its not like an Invader or Fireball.... is the crunch channel completely different, or does it still have a bit of that crushing ENGL tone?
 

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Les Paul Nut
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8,077 Posts
thanks for the review of this amp, glad to hear an opinion from someone I know versus whatever they say on youboob. They are working on a gigmaster 30 so I'm wondering what's getting changed on it.
 

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Dr. Mrs. The Monarch
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1,306 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Very nice! I was eyeballing the head version of this not long ago. Have you played any other ENGL amps? How do you think the tone is compared to the E530? ( I want a cheaper priced ENGL as my next amp badly).

I see you said its not like an Invader or Fireball.... is the crunch channel completely different, or does it still have a bit of that crushing ENGL tone?
I've owned the Fireball, the Invader is still my main amp. And I've played the Powerball, SE and Thunder. I haven't played the E530 though, so I can't really say there.

It's still definitely an ENGL of course, so not completely different to what you expect, that heavy high gain sound's there and there's a lot of gain. It's probably the EL84 power tubes, I don't think Engl has ever made an amp with EL84s before (though I could be wrong) and so it's just got a different character to it. The tone is definitely crushing, I was first playing my JP7 with the D-Sonic in the bridge and standard tuning though it, but later on I was playing my K7 with the Lundgren M7 in bridge, tuned down to A, and holy fuck there's some growl there. Cranked it a little on 5 watts and it's insanely loud, the tone is fantastic, really brutal and heavy. So yes, crushing. :metal:

I'm going to nickname it Noodles, because it's an angry midget ready to bite ankles.

thanks for the review of this amp, glad to hear an opinion from someone I know versus whatever they say on youboob. They are working on a gigmaster 30 so I'm wondering what's getting changed on it.
No problem. But keep in mind, Engls really make my boobs jiggle, so I'm biased. ;)

The Gigmaster 30 I looked at briefly, the main differences seem that they've added reverb and a gain boost (!) but removed the switchable wattage. I think what drew me to the Gigmaster 15 in the first place was the small size and the switchable wattage, so the 30 didn't hold much interest for me. The reverb would be a nice extra, but I probably wouldn't use it and if I needed extra gain (!) I've got the TS7 anyway.
 

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Super Moderator
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2,037 Posts
I've been waiting for someone to review this for a while around here. I used to have the P-ball, and I couldn't keep it around for when I moved into this apartment. So, when I saw that ENGL was making a mini amp, I was totally excited. And just like ENGL, it's totally expensive.

The thing is this: for the money I was hoping to hear better than "good" for a first impression, "decent enough" at low volume, and "not like the Invader or Fireball". Now I'm completely afraid to buy one to find out I can't stand it :lol:
 

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Dr. Mrs. The Monarch
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1,306 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
The thing is this: for the money I was hoping to hear better than "good" for a first impression, "decent enough" at low volume, and "not like the Invader or Fireball". Now I'm completely afraid to buy one to find out I can't stand it :lol:
Hah. Well, let me clarify that a little so. When I said "decent enough", I said that I had the volume down to a whisper, as in turned down as low as possible. Basically what I was doing was seeing just how low I could turn it and still get a usable tone. And that's what "decent enough" applies to. So don't get me wrong, it does sound great at low volume. Switched to 1 watt and the master on maybe 3-4, it's fantastic.

And as for it being not like the Invader or Fireball, well it's not, and that's not necessarily a bad thing. If anything, it's good that it has it's own vibe and voicing. Don't take that to mean "it won't do high gain like other Engls" or anything like that, because it certainly will, it's just a bit different. That's probably down to it being an EL84 amp that it's got a distinctly different voicing to other Engl amps I've owned. I kinda expected that it might sound like a mini-Fireball, but I was actually pleasantly surprised because it sounds warmer.

The thing is, I'm not going to just say it's amazing right off the bat. It took me a few months to really get to know the Invader, and after just a couple of hours with the Gigmaster, all I'm really giving is a rough first impression. It's good. Damn good in fact, and it's pretty much exactly what I wanted out of the amp, so I'm pretty happy with it. I'm sure I'll get to know it better over the next few weeks, I'm really looking forward to trying it out with my bassist friend, and I'll have more to say. But so far, so good. ;)

Don't let this put you off, because I'm quite a fan of Engl and this definitely delivers what you'd expect from them.
I'd say check one out if you can.
 
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