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Engl Tube Preamp Featured

 
Musical Instruments:Guitar:Guitar Amplifiers:Electric


Price: $369 to $380 at 3 stores
Searched Engl Tube Preamp in Reviews
 

 

A solid modern versatile tube preamp for a reasonable price. featured

Sound The ENGL e530 is the cheapest way you can get into the ENGL line of handmade German workmanship with the distinctive sound that will set you apart from the crowd. ENGL claims this amp is 4 channels, but it's not - its 2 master channels with 2 subfunctions. Clean (with crunch), and Lead (with soft lead/heavy lead). But don't be fooled, between all these functions, and separate 3/4 band EQ functions - you have an incredibly wide array of tones at your disposal!

On the clean channel, there is a 3 band EQ allowing you to dial in some classic dark tones with humbuckers. I preferred the jazzier sounding tones myself; but thanks to the input gain knob and an incredibly versatile EQ stack you can dial in lots of modern sounding clean tones as well; great for indie rockers as well and just about any style. The bright switch allows you to clean up a dark sounding guitar (I used a Gibson Flying-V, this helped me out!), or with the Clean-Lead button engaged you can add in a whole new spectrum of singing gain or crunching pre-rhythm that is also easily controllable thanks to the tube nature of this preamp!

The Lead channel is where the ENGL e530 truly shines though, in my opinion. Unlike high end Mesa/Boogie amps, this ENGL was very easy to dial in thanks to its additional "Low Mid" EQ knob. When paired with the "Contour" and the high gain button engaged, it is a heavy metal machine! Easily capable of dishing out all the gain you could possibly desire! It would fool you for only having 2 12ax7s, it sounds like units having 5! With the gain dialed all the way up, It can slam out deathcore/metalcore all day long - dial it back to 6 or so and let is sing out classic Petrucci-esque tones. It can shred with clarity and sing through without losing any articulation while all the bottom end remains tight and in tact. It's an incredibly desirable tone! The e530 has some really vocal like qualities that when paired with the right amp can be heard, but is also kind of dense and low-midrangey too. There's a certain gap in its functionability that's hard to explain without using it. It's footswitching compatibility is also kind of iffy; doesn't come with the footswitch, dual jacks for MIDI or ENGL Z-series.

I personally LOVED the e530. I used it with my Gibson Flying-V (sounded MONSTROUS) and an Ibanez RG350DX paired with a Carvin T-100 and Mesa Recto 4x12 with many many other goodies in the studio, and it could do pretty much anything I asked of it in the clean/crunch/crushing gain/shred arena. The bottom line is that for $600 bones it's really a steal to get into the ENGL market, and if I wasn't already a Mesa owner, I would run SCREAMING to this preamp in a heartbeat...and still may just to snatch one while they are still on the market. It's a cool and unique sound; it may be yours!


Reliability GREAT reliability! 2 preamp tubes also equate to less money when swapping tubes (in comparison to 5 for my Mesa!). We torture our gear regularly and this unit held up to our rigors just fine. German craftsmanship at its finest!


Customer Support Wouldn't know much about ENGL's customer support...


Liked about it 1) Low price for ENGL!
2) Awesome, awesome, awesome tones!!!
3) Single rack space!


Didn't like 1) Oddball footswitching/didn't come with footswitch.
2) A little low-midrangey in the lead channel

I would rate it 4.5 stars for the footswitch thing, since ENGL is a top of the line company, but since the price is sooo cheap, this product gets 5!


Overall satisfaction:
 
5.0

By SonicProvocateur
Feb 14, 2010
 
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Excellent preamp - rocks my socks

Sound I play a couple of RGs - '98 Jap RG470 w/DiMarzios (Evo + Air Norton) and an 03 RG1527 with EMGs (81-7 and 707) along with a mexican fat strat. I like to play heavy, thrasy, proggy, deathy metal and a little hint of fusion too. The drive channel on this bad boy is excellent - that proper ENGL mid-atlantic sound (not as loose as a mesa, but characteristic of the sound with a bit of marshall roar to it) the EQ's got a lot of travel on it, and the low mid AND high mid knobs are a great idea for total sculptage. The clean channel doesn't distort in a bad way when turned up gain wise. The drive sound's excellent - and surprising for emulated outs - the speaker emulated out is really good! This is how I use it regularly as I've no space to set up properly + am in a terraced house - I just run it into my audio interface.


Reliability I would imagine I could depend on it, it's pretty hardy looking


Liked about it Great drive sound
Great speaker emulation
Versatile EQ


Didn't like Clean channel can be a little quiet, despite decent sounds


Overall satisfaction:
 
5.0

By vai n maiden
Jan 08, 2010
 
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Price: $369 to $380
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Modern pre without the boutique price tag

Sound 1 space, 2 12ax7 tubes with 2 Channels; contour mode on/off modes for distortion as well as lo/hi gain mode, clean and bypass modes. Ranges from Fender-ish cleans to Recto-territory with a press of a couple switches. Using mostly hi-gain DiMarzios through this pre-amp and most of my axe's sound great for chunky in-your-face rhythm. For leads, not so much as it sounds "thin" on the higher strings. The cleans are "pretty" but not quite natural compared to the cleans in my Mesa V-Twin pre. Noise Suppressor required if you're going to max out the gain although it is not a noisy unit.


Reliability It looks well-built and classy... kinda like a new Mercedes.


Customer Support haven't bothered calling the company... no need to as i haven't had any problems with the unit!


Liked about it Distortion channel definitely carries that ENGL sound while all modes are footswitchable. Lo-Gain is very usable without tweaking your hi-gain setting. Price is also within the affordable range unlike similar preamps, especially ENGL's flagship E580.


Didn't like ... it CAN be midi-controlled using another midi-switching system, like a GCX or an ENGL Z-11 midi switcher. Otherwise, this is a fairly solid unit that's capable of creating a nice range of tones that is unmistakeably ENGL. It also doesn't come with a footswitch.


Overall satisfaction:
 
5.0

By Reginald Galang
Aug 18, 2009
 
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Price: $369 to $380
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Overall satisfaction:
 
4.0

By shredlikeninja
Feb 23, 2010
 
Last updated: March 01, 2010
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Price: $369 to $380
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