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Friday, August 28, 2015

ENGL "Ironball" (E606)

Bought this mini ENGL amp head from Session Music - Frankfurt, Germany.

You know Germans always make good stuff !

Unboxing started !

ENGL factory packaging is very solid as their amps.

What a beautiful lunch box amp !

This is my ENGL "Ironball" (E606).

Compared to Mesa/Boogie Mark V 25 and mini Rectifier that I had tried side by side at Session Music, Frankfurt,
ENGL Ironball sounded much tighter and much more brutal ! It also has two channel - Clean and Lead.

Just like big brothers - Fireball & Powerball, Ironball has tons of useful gain to handle all range of heavy metal scene
even without any gain boost with it. What a little brutal monster !
Ironball's lead channel has much thicker and rawer mids than Powerball II, and smoother highs than Fireball 60.
When Lead channel engaged with "Gain Boost", you would get more sustain and saturation tone.

Even thought it is a lunch box amp, but nothing is sacrificed for that mini size.
You would get four preamp gain stages which powered by four ECC83 preamp tubes, a pair of EL84 poweramp tubes,
tube buffered FX-loop, built-in with digital reverb, foot-switchable M.V.B (master volume boost) for solo,
and brilliant power attenuator - from full power 20w, 5w, 1w to resistor dummy load.

With that design and size, ENGL "Ironball" (E606) is a professional mini amp head perfect for small gigs and studio recording.

If you fed Ironball preamp signal into Powerball II poweramp section with 6L6 powertubes,
you would notice that Ironball preamp has more upper-mids than Powerball and it had turned to sound more open.
There was no more EL84 compression from Ironball at all when you did that.
I think ENGL has designed Ironball to has more upper-mids and open tone from preamp section
in order to compromise some characters of EL84 powertubes.
And I also believe the compression of Powerball II actually came from its preamp section.

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