#1
Hey there!

My service in the army is ending in about one month, so I am thinking about treating myself with a new amp when I become a citizen again

My budget is around 2k euros. I play mainly metal and hard rock (think from ac/dc to modern heavy like Headless Cross, Empire etc). When I return I have arranged gigs with a heavy metal band (mostly 80s stuff) and recordings with the prog-hard-rock project of a good friend.

I need good cleans, somewhat vintagey crunch and ballsy gain (could have said I need the whole package ) Good effects loop is a must. 2-3 channels also. With my budget I believe I can satisfy most of my needs buying new.

I am located in Europe.

3 amps that grabbed my interest:

The mainstream: 5150III 100w. Tried and true. Cleans are passable to good with some equalizing. I am a bit worried about its crunch. Gain is monstrous.

1st competitor: ENGL Retro Tube 100w. Haven't played it. Hearing some clips though this thing is unbelievably versatile.

Luxury entrance: Fryette Sig:X. I heard this thing some days ago at a guitar shop. I didn't have the chance to play it, and only heard it playing brootz. It seems "fiddli-er" than the other 2, which is not bad.

What are your opinions?

ps: I kinda dislike mesa gain
#2
I have to say, your first two choices are pretty damn good. The cleans on the 5150 aren't great but the distortion is cracking.

I'd go with the ENGL. Lovely sounding beast for many things.
#3
Posting from work, so this might be a bit disjointed, I apologize in advance!

I do have the 50W versions of both those amps actually, so it'll be slightly different, but I am sure not by all that much.
I am happy to answer to any questions though if you have any particular things you're wondering that might be similar for the 50W/100W.

I am trying to get rid of my 5153 50W right now, as the ENGL pretty much does everything I want, and it does it better than the 5153 in my opinion.

I had some difficulty getting a nice classic crunch on the 5153. The blue channel is too gainy in my opinion for that. It's great for 80's metal though...no...actually it's *amazing* for that.

The cleans are quite nice on the EVH too, and with the gain cranked it'll give a decent crunch, but it didn't really resonate with what I wanted as it felt either too weak or too shrill (the shared EQ for Ch1+2 on the 50W doesn't help this.. but you won't have this problem on the 100W)... this could be user error on my part so ymmv.

The red (lead) channel is incredible on the EVH, but it's really aggressive and got so much gain, that you'll probably never ever go over 12 o'clock on the gain.
It'll pull off any modern metal, extreme metal, thrash metal...whatever...it'll do it incredibly well.

The reason I was looking for something else was that the EVH was just too gainy and kinda gritty for me, and I couldn't use it all really for the music I play. I wanted something a bit smoother for the high gain, and that could do really good cleans, nice 70's crunch (Led Zeppelin, early Rush) and 80's rock+metal and modern proggy stuff (both things like Dream Theater-esque, and the various groove metal styles...djent...yeah didn't want to say it..).

ENGL has amazingly pristine cleans (best I've heard so far to be honest), and a drive channel that has usable gain both from the lowest setting to the highest.
I love the gain boost available to you on both channels, which essentially makes this a 4 channel amp... with the upper mid boost switch you could probably say it has 4.5 channels.

I know I probably didn't give many good examples, but kinda busy at work, so trying to sneak this in
Anyway.. the thing that the ENGL Retro can't pull off that well is extreme metal like death metal, black metal...but I got an Amptweaker Tightmetal pedal for that...so I couldn't care less.

Also..the ENGL is really compressed at high gain...more so than the EVH, but it doesn't bother me...I like the way it sounds.
With the gain up high, and the gain boost activated it actually compresses so much that you will experience a slight volume loss compared to when you're not using the gain boost (might be different on the 100W though).

Again...feel free to ask any questions, or if you want me to clarify something and I'll be happy to try to answer.

Both amps are great, so you can't really go wrong... the ENGL is just my personal preference as it fits everything I want an amp to do.
Things with strings:
Ibanez J.Custom, Prestiges, RG8, SR5 bass etc
LP's, Strat, Tele
Noiseboxes:
ENGL Retro Tube 50
5150 III 50W
Orange Terror Bass
#4
I dont really care about uber brutal stuff. I have a pretty good OD (crazy tube circuits) to crank up the second/third channel and a AMT B-drive (based on Bogner amps) to ride on the clean channel if I need more modern/contemporary properties of distortion...

I am leaning towards the Retro already. Any opinions on the Sig:X?

ps: I also play some downtuned stuff on a seven string. How does the Retro handle that?
#5
Quote by Deledhel

ps: I also play some downtuned stuff on a seven string. How does the Retro handle that?

Uhmaaazingly well.

I got a new (well my first) 7 the other day and it's extremely articulate and clear.
It handles my 8 great as well...I actually had a much easier time dialing in a good tone for my 8 on the Retro than the 5150.
I've played some Meshuggah (yeah I got an 8 and I want to play Meshuggah on it..don't hate!), and it's easy to dial in a tone that is mud-free.
Things with strings:
Ibanez J.Custom, Prestiges, RG8, SR5 bass etc
LP's, Strat, Tele
Noiseboxes:
ENGL Retro Tube 50
5150 III 50W
Orange Terror Bass
#6
i love the SIG:X, i have had mine over a year now. used $1000/shipped with original footswitch. i really like it over, very tweakable, almost too many switches and knobs. one thing that i like is i can set my second (of three) to do cleanish stuff light blues, or on the heavy side (only one gain stage lower than the high gain channel) it also has a footswitchable boost. the amp really excels in most areas. and are underrated.
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#9
Thanks for all the answers so far guys!

Quote by Ippon
If you like to tweak, add the ENGL E670, H&K TriAmp MK II, and Mesa Boogie RoadKing II. You might like the Bogner Ecstasy or Rivera KR100 or KR Seven, too.


For some reason I always associated the big ENGLs with power/epic/thrash stuff I ll give it a listen (although it stretches out of my budget by a lot... How much they go for 3k euros?)

From H&K I ve played some tubemeisters and a switchblade and all seemed fizzy (retubing might have fixed that...) and kinda meh...

Mesas and I...we have a love-hate relationship. For example I like Andy Timons cleans a lot. And Petrucci's recorded tone on his Marks is heavy, defined, crispy/round at times and all in all awesome. However! Whenever I played a Mesa IRL I wasn't able to EQ it the way I wanted it and keep its brootz like I wanted them. Making my low-mids more prominent, always made them flubby and muddy, unless I compressed them to hell and back with a ts pedal.

Regrettably Riveras and KRs (which I thought were audiophile amps ) will cost an arm and a leg in custom clearance... The Bogner almost touches the 4k mark! I have the red pedal, and it keeps my Bogner-hunger sated for now

Thanks Ippon!
#10
Quote by Deledhel

Mesas and I...we have a love-hate relationship. For example I like Andy Timons cleans a lot. And Petrucci's recorded tone on his Marks is heavy, defined, crispy/round at times and all in all awesome. However! Whenever I played a Mesa IRL I wasn't able to EQ it the way I wanted it and keep its brootz like I wanted them. Making my low-mids more prominent, always made them flubby and muddy, unless I compressed them to hell and back with a ts pedal.


Well one does not simply just turn a couple knobs on a Mark and get a great tone. Damn I need a LOTR jpg for that
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5150 III 50w & cabs