NAD -Pic & Review!
I wanted one for long time, so when an ENGL Fireball 100 miraculously came up locally on the used market I snagged it for a real nice price.
Lots of gain, lots of compression, lot's of articulation, lot's of lows, lot's of high, lot's of mids, lot's of volume. Everything I want in a metal amp.
A little review;
The Clean channel is full, lively and really just plain gorgeous sounding for a twisted metal beast of an amp. Chimey, warm, bell like, all that bull**** clean tone rhetoric. It's there.
The Lead channel is a dream to play. It has everything. Smooth playability, yet insanely aggressive sounding. Tonnes of midrange, an abundance of cutting highend, and probably the most and thickest sounding lowend I've ever encountered. All never too much or too little. Just a fantastic eq sweep on this amp.
The gain is all usable. Lower it for mid gain crunch, half it for thrash riffing, or even max it for blistering, lava like modern metal from ANY genre. It NEVER gets unruly, messy or bogged down. It just gets warmer, juicer and more evil at every notch increment. It's not sterile like I was afraid it would sound either. It's very warm and natural sounding. Unlike the FB60 I experienced years ago.
Add in the on board adjustable noise gate, and this amp is at the top of the heap. Everything I want in a no nonsense metal machine, with none of the unnecessary stuff I don't want or need. Very tight, very focused and HUGE sounding.
It is compressed, but that's the nature of the beast. It's a modern ultra high gain amp. I like that though. It's really fun to play.
But the saturated gain and compression dries up when the gain is backed off and more picking dynamics can be had that way if you want it. Although I can lightly pick with a high gain setting and get this really cool soft edgy gain sound that sounds wicked.
As you turn this amp up is has more mids right across the spectrum. High mids, mid mids & low mids. Paired with a quad of V30's and the mid shift button engaged, look out.
Compared to my other amps, it has more low end for sure, and has very tight gain. The JSX's gain is the only amp that comes close to the level of gain, articulation and tightness.
The FB has a certain growl when you riff power chords and open chug that other amps just don't have. It really does sound evil. It's a real winner for me because it does things my other amps don't do and it can't do things that my other amps can.
Plus, I hate pedals and all I need with this amp is a tuner, Which I've been leaving out of the chain anyways and plugging in seperately when necessary. The built in gate is really nice. Not just a noise/hum reducer like the JSX. It has actual feedback and noise gating capability.
It's just plug in and hold on tight.
I'm playing it through a mix of V30's and V12 Legends along with some WGS Retro and Veteran 30's. All sounding great.
Mainly, the amp seems to like my oversized Krank 4x12 w/ V30's. That cab handles the crazy lowend really well.