ConfederateAxe
Thread Assassin
Join date: Nov 2008
1,822 IQ
#1
So i scored this yesterday off of CL -



Brand new. Been played maybe half a dozen times. Footswitch and cover included.

First impressions were...well...impressed!

For those of you who aren't familiar with the Renegade...

Incredibly versatile. I can't tell you how cool it is to have independant tight/deep, bright/normal and wattage-cut switches. The 18 watt mode doesn't reduce the volume so much as the headroom, which is expected. Volume isn't linearly proportionate to wattage.

I really like the Resonance and Presence controls, as well. With these as well as the aforementioned switches, what are normally mods on other amps are stock on the Renegade.

But it gets better. We have not one but TWO master volumes. Master volume (or Main, as it's called) 2 is footswitchable and can be set as a very effective lead boost.


There's also an emulated speaker line-out (with XLR connection) which i've yet to try, Digital reverb with independant controls for each channel, and a "bleed over" function for the reverb that allows the reverb to blend into the other channel when you switch.
Digital reverb has made some vast improvements in recent years, and i must say the reverb on the Renegade is very usable. It's not as lush as a valve-driven, spring tank reverb but oh well. Go buy a Fender.

Then, being perhaps one of the coolest features on any tube amp, and certainly one of the most unique, is the tube mix control. The Renegade sports a pair of both 6L6GC's (OR 5881's) and EL34's. The tube mix function, which is also independant on both channels, allows you to route any portion of the signal through either pair of tubes. So if you desire, you can have 6L6 tone, or EL34, depending on your taste or needs. You can even mix the two to any degree you choose, which makes for some truly interesting tones i haven't heard from any other amp to date.
And to make it easy on the player who is a player and not so much a DIYer, Egnater has provided an easy to use bias test and adjustment on the back panel.

Other pleasant features are a mains voltage selector (if you live somewhere other than the US), footswitchable FX loop, selectable output impedance modes - 4-8-16ohm, a built-in fan to keep the ambient temperature cooler inside the headshell, and an actual power choke, instead of a high wattage resistor, which is more than a large majority of tube amplifiers in its price range, and some even much higher in price (JVM410H, for example).

So, tone-wise, this amp really shines. I ran this amp through a closed-back 16 ohm 2x12 cab with Vintage 30's. I first tried the clean channel, expecting perhaps some reasonable facsimile of Fender clean. What i was greeted with was a tone i have coveted for going on 2 years. Egnater seems to have modeled the clean channel in the Renegade after the early Fender Bassman or Non-Master Volume Marshall. It's a warm, fluid clean with just the slightest hint of grit. I played quite a few gigs with my Fender Vibrolux where i wished it was a '59 Bassman LTD behind me instead. The Renegade's clean channel, coupled with a Tubescreamer for leads, is perfect for several flavors of blues.

Then i switched over to the lead channel, and gaddamn! Incredibly rich distortion. Very fluid sustain that facilitated legato, sweeps and tapping quite well. Pinch harmonics were easy to obtain, and it didn't suffer from that unforgiving, blatty quality that is typical of many Marshall amps with too high of a B+ voltage in the preamp and not enough gain to make good use of it. There was plenty of compression and clip in the Egnater's response.

Rolling back the gain with the tube mix set firmly to EL34 revealed a very convincing early plexi character that is infinitely useful when playing rock, blues, or even country and some pop. Pushing the gain up jacks it into hot-rodded JCM 800 territory. With the help of the tight/deep and bright/normal switch, you can easily shape the tone into a classic 80's butt rock tone, or a more modern tone reminiscent of Alice in Chains, Foo Fighters, or Shinedown.

With the tube mix at 6L6 an almost Soldano character is revealed. This is definitely the setting most recommended when reaching for the more modern metal tones. That being said, don't expect 5150 levels of savagery, but the use of an OD to boost it will do it up nicely for heavier stuff.

Build quality is impressive for the price range, but it isn't phenomenal. The headshell is real plywood, and the knobs and jacks feel solid and smooth, but the amp head is very light compared to others, which means the chassis is likely aluminum, not steel, and the transformers may not be as beefy as their end bells suggest. I would personally love to upgrade the transformers somewhere along the line, but currently only Mercury Magnetics offers a drop-in upgrade, and at $245, one won't be getting anywhere near my mailbox.

Inside, the wiring is reasonably neat and squared away. Many molex connectors, many directly-soldered wires. Solder joints are solid. There are many, many electrolytic capacitors, which means recapping this amp down the road is going to be about as fun as running backwards through a corn field naked.

So in summary, if you're looking for a slamming, versatile amp with enough firepower to do an outdoor gig and enough gain to get your h4rdc0r3 on, and you're on a budget, definitely demo this amp yourself. Egnater has a 3 year warranty and excellent customer service, so don't feel like you'll be left out in the rain if you run into trouble.
Tastes like chicken, if chicken was a candy.
telemetal
Moosey McSmirnoffhead
Join date: Mar 2008
488 IQ
#2
Welcome to the Renegade family. Happy NAD, enjoy it dude
mmolteratx
UG God
Join date: Sep 2008
3,786 IQ
#3
Epic review is epic. And fun amp.
E-peen:
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MatrixClaw
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Join date: Nov 2006
10,723 IQ
#4


Told ya you'd like it!
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Jyrgen
Used Register
Join date: Jan 2010
2,055 IQ
#5
Sweet as an amp can be, HNGD

EDIT: lol wtf it's HNAD not HNGD
Last edited by Jyrgen at Apr 18, 2012,
rocknroll93
Warning: Small Parts
Join date: Nov 2007
501 IQ
#7
Looks sweet..

one day ill be made of money and then I can buy things when I want..
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No.


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Offworld92
One among the fence.
Join date: Nov 2009
7,563 IQ
#8
Very interesting.

I bet Mesa is pissed they didn't implement tube blending first.

I may have to look into these more.

HNAD!
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jpatan
UG's only REAL Llama
Join date: Sep 2009
1,736 IQ
#9
HNAD!! and great review

The renegade is an amazing amp. I had one for a year or two. I was definitely surprised how good the clean channel was. You can dial in some really amazing tones from that amp. The clean channel on 18w is absolutely perfect for bluesy classic rock kinda stuff when you crank it up loud enough for a gig. Has just the right amount of natural breakup.

I actually miss that amp
Quote by tubetime86
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DeathByDestroyr
EDM
Join date: Oct 2008
953 IQ
#10
Quote by ConfederateAxe
That being said, don't expect 5150 levels of savagery, but the use of an OD to boost it will do it up nicely for heavier stuff.


Well... is it just a little drier maybe? Still plenty heavy I bet, just not as much saturation. Maybe it's a little less forgiving to playing ability?

I've been looking into getting a Mesa Dual Rec for a while now... I like the 6505 more BUT I want a versatile amp as well.

It's just not going to get that WARNING: NEVER PRESS CTRL+ALT+2

It's really close to getting that 6505 überchug saturation though isn't it? The clips I heard don't even have an overdrive boosting I don't think.

It's very open-sounding from the clips I have listened. You agree?

Oh, and happy NAD! Super-sexy!
'81 Ibanez DT400
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Last edited by DeathByDestroyr at Apr 18, 2012,
jpatan
UG's only REAL Llama
Join date: Sep 2009
1,736 IQ
#11
It's a pretty beastly amp. I was able to get some pretty damn good metal sounds from mine with a TS9 in front, and some EQ tweakage.

It's not the BEST choice for metal, etc, but if you need something versatile enough to play classic rock and blues, in addition to busting out the occasional down tuned metal riffage, the renegade is one you definitely need to look at.
Quote by tubetime86
He's obviously pretty young, and I'd guess he's being raised by wolves, or at least humans with the intellectual capacity and compassion of wolves.


You finally made it home, draped in the flag that you fell for.
And so it goes
DeathByDestroyr
EDM
Join date: Oct 2008
953 IQ
#12
Quote by jpatan
It's not the BEST choice for metal, etc, but if you need something versatile enough to play classic rock and blues, in addition to busting out the occasional down tuned metal riffage, the renegade is one you definitely need to look at.

Well for me it's more like I need something for down-tuned grindcore, and then can work for a doom metal or blues gig too...

Maybe I'll just get a lot of amps...

HNAD!
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bAngiel01
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Join date: Feb 2011
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#13
Nice! HNAD!
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#15
If all the gear reviews were written this well we could almost buy the gear without trying first..

HNAD
LaidBack
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#16


Making me GAS dude...*searches CL*
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311ZOSOVHJH
G G A - B A B Y
Join date: Mar 2008
7,171 IQ
#17
^ +1

HNAD

Great review, I agree.

Cool amp. Lot of features for a $999 amp new.


The only thing he forgot to mention I think is how cool the footswitch is. You can basically set up 1 channel on 6L6 tubes, reverb, bright and 18 watt mode and then the other channel on EL34 tubes, tight and 65 watt mode and footswitch back and forth seamlessly without touching the amp itself. Great for gigging. Then there is the 'mix' feature which honestly - I never messed with.

Also, doesn't the Mesa Road King allow you to mix tubes?

v....+1 I've played it 5-6 times now and he nailed the review
Last edited by 311ZOSOVHJH at Apr 18, 2012,
gregs1020
Hi mom!
Join date: Dec 2007
10,786 IQ
#18


after reading that i feel like i've played it. great review!
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Offworld92
One among the fence.
Join date: Nov 2009
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#19
Quote by 311ZOSOVHJH

Also, doesn't the Mesa Road King allow you to mix tubes?


You can mix them, but you can't "blend" them. Of course, I don't know how well that actually works, but I'm assuming somewhat well, since there is a "blend" knob (the RK just as switches that let you use up to 4 6L6's & 2 EL34's, combined in any way).
Spin 'round carousel when your horse isn't screwed in.

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Line 6 Pod HD500X
jpatan
UG's only REAL Llama
Join date: Sep 2009
1,736 IQ
#20
Yeah, the RK will let you mix and match tube pairs, but it's not a "blend" in the same way as the Renegade.
Quote by tubetime86
He's obviously pretty young, and I'd guess he's being raised by wolves, or at least humans with the intellectual capacity and compassion of wolves.


You finally made it home, draped in the flag that you fell for.
And so it goes
stratman_13
666lb bongsession
Join date: Jun 2007
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#21
You dick. HNAD!
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lucky1978
Blues Kazooist
Join date: May 2008
920 IQ
#22
HNAD! I've recently joined the Egnater family myself with a Rebel 20. Very versatile amps with killer tone! Cheers
Cathbard
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#23
Yeah, yeah, nice story. Now shutup and take some gutshots.


And HNAD.
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shredftw
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#24
NOM

HNAD dude
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JKHC
Registered User
Join date: Apr 2011
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#26
Ooh. Nice review. HNAD!



Does the tube blend really make that much of a difference to you? At least on the rebel it doesn't seem like that big of a deal.
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CL/\SH
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Join date: Jul 2009
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#27
Oh hell yes
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jpatan
UG's only REAL Llama
Join date: Sep 2009
1,736 IQ
#28
The tube blend isn't like "to the left it's a mesa, to the right it's a marshall" Not really that cut and dry. When I first got mine, I didn't notice a huge difference, but the more I played with it I started to pick out the differences. I thought it sounded pretty amazing on the EL34 side for nearly anything. It just had a little extra something. The 6L6 side seemed a bit more ballsy, and right in between had a bit more volume, and was a good mix of the two. Though once I got it dialed in pretty well, the drive channel mostly stayed cranked to the EL34 side.
Quote by tubetime86
He's obviously pretty young, and I'd guess he's being raised by wolves, or at least humans with the intellectual capacity and compassion of wolves.


You finally made it home, draped in the flag that you fell for.
And so it goes
roamingbard13
needs a nap.
Join date: Apr 2006
1,700 IQ
#29
Love my Renegade...it's the perfect gigging amp. Enjoy!

Gear:
Partscaster/Tele into a bunch of pedals, a Maz 18 head, and a Z Best cab.
losing battle
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Join date: Feb 2007
2,508 IQ
#30
Nice! Hnad
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