Vengeance Head review by Egnater

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  • Sound: 10
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reliability & Durability: 10
  • Features: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 9.8 Superb
  • Users' score: 8.3 (3 votes)
Egnater: Vengeance Head

Price paid: $ 1099

Purchased from: Guitar Center

Sound — 10
Played my 7 string Ernie Ball Petrucci, 2009 Les Paul Standard, '89 Fender HM Strat, Custom Shop Fender Strat and custom made Warmoth Dinky with Seymour Duncan '59 humbucker though the Vengeance. All maintained their identity and sounded great. Lovin' the single coils thru the Vengeance, and fuggedabout the humbuckers! Quiet as heck. And like I said incredible cleans to brutal distortion. BUT here's the key... The distortion is heavy and thick for chugging chords, BUT when you play a solo, it doesn't thin out. It sustains and remains thick and full. I play everything from blues to prog to rock to metal and this amp covers all that territory. I can't believe I'm gonna say this out loud, but I actually glanced at my Boogie Mark IV and for a split second thought about selling it. I won't because that as well is an awesome amp, but the Vengeance is unbelievable. The other important thing for me was that I don't need to add an overdrive or other similar pedal to the Vengeance. The distortion is amazing. It doesn't need any help whatsoever.

Overall Impression — 10
Incredible amp with an amazing range of sounds to be had. Great personality and playability. Can't be beat for the price. I know Egnater isn't the most widely known amp company, at least for this type of amp, but they hit it out of the Park on this one.

Reliability & Durability — 10
Build quality is very good and it is built like a tank. Have only had it for a week or so so I can't say much more than that. It also looks cool as hell. It will mostly be used at home so I don't anticipate any issues. I baby my gear and will treat this one with care. Also, the footswich is built very well.

Features — 9
I was looking for a small, well rounded combo for my office so I could play when I had some downtime. This was not on my list or even my radar. BUT, as soon as I played it, that was it! At home I've got an Eleven Rack for recording and a Mesa Boogie MK IV head and cab with an extensive pedalboard, so I was just looking for a small combo amp with alot of features to play in my office when I had some downtime. Bought a 6505 combo, a Line 6 Spider Valve, and even a Bogner Alchemist in the course of two weeks, to try out. I tried the Vengeance the day I returned the 6505 to Guitar Center and Holy Cow! This amp needs to be known by all (although I'm not sure, sometimes that could be a bad thing). It's a 120/60 watt all tube head. It has two channels. Channel 1 is the clean channel, but you can dirty it up as well. The clean sound is awesome. Chimey and bright and full. Add a little gain and you can go from that Marshall-y crunch to bluesy overdrive. Then there's Channel 2. This is where this amp kills. You can go anywhere from thick distortion to Crunch, to Dime, and basically everywhere in between. And the beauty is that it doesn't sound like some other amps where the distortion is this buzzy distortion, or scooped distortion that basically has the same characteristic no matter where you set the treble or bass. It can be warm and soaring, or scooped, or tight and full, and it does not sound sterile or generic. If you weren't looking at it as you changed your settings, you would think there were different amps being played. As much a following as the 6505 has or maybe even the Spider Valve, this blows them away. Played my 7 string Petrucci and the low strings are tight and clear. If I had one negative, and it's really not one that would change my mind on this amp, it would be the reverb. You almost can't go beyond like 10 or 11 O'Clock or the reverb becomes very overwhelming. And even with that there is a positive. Egnater has designed it so that when you go between the clean channel and Ch. 2 the reverb has "spillover" so that there is no abrupt dropout of the reverb as you switch channels. This is a great feature. So, I just keep it around 9 and it sounds great. And I should mention that the footswitch is very nicely laid out. It allows you to switch the mid cut/boost in and out on each channel, engage the 2nd master (for a nice boost) and turn the reverb on and off. You can also control the effects loop for each channel from the footswitch. I want to say that I've read tons of reviews before and this is my first posting of one. I know (because I've sometimes done the same) that some people may read this and say "this guy just loves this amp so much that he isn't giving a true unbiased review". I guess I can always give a bad review for the amps I tried and didn't like, but my point in doing this is to really give a review of an amp that I purchased because I found something that sounded great. We're all on this Quest for the best tone and I found mine and want to share it. And before I move on, some other features include a direct out, effects loop, switchable speaker impedance outputs, and more. I should also say that I picked up a Mesa Boogie 2x12 Recto cab to play this thru and I can't say enough about that either. I tried the Vengeance through a 4x12 Marshall cab and a Bogner 2x12 cab before trying the Mesa cab and no contest. Sounds amazing. One last thing. Another customer in the store tried to convince me to buy a Line 6 Spider IV because he felt it sounded more brutal. Sorry, I'll give kudos to amp modelers and solid state amps when due and there are a few out there that are amazing, but there is no way the Spider compares to the warmth and personality of the Vengeance. As far as I'm concerned there are few amps out there for the price that have the punch, clarity, brutality and character that the Vengeance has.

2 comments sorted by best / new / date

    This past week I started using the FX Loop. I didn't know what to expect (never used one before), but my tone is even better now. More presence and a more balanced overall sound. I'm able to use a lot more gain too. I also bumped up my string gauge a bit more: 13,17,30,42,54,64,75. I almost have as good a tone as Tosin Abasi from Animals as Leaders... Almost
    I have the Vengeance head and I play through a 2x12 cab with Celestion V30's. Excellent sounding amp! For such a high gain monster amp, this has the sweetest and best clean channel you'll ever play or hear. It's not Fender too much high end clean. It has it's own unique and cool voice. It's warmer and more harmonic than Fender's clean. It blows away Marshall's clean, and easily overshadow's most Peavey high gain amps clean. It's closer to a Vox clean with some Randall Jazz thrown in. The high gain channel is full and rich, and the distortion growls instead of being buzzy and fizzy fuzzy. Even on the highest gain settings there is great note articulation even when playing chords. You hear the notes making up the chord and just a fuzzy mush where you can barely just make out the root note. I actually really like the digital reverb in this amp. It's a very smooth reverb with a nice decay. It can become too much as it's tied into the channels volume control and gain. So if you turn up the channel gain or volume the reverb goes up too, and that's something Egnater needs to work on. Once the player sets the level of reverb they want, then it should stay that way regardless of channel volume or gain changes. If you can find one of these heads, then BUY IT! It has some really cool and great tube features that you can't find on other amps, even ones that cost more than double the price. There are external bias test points and adjustments. The test points don't just give some arbitrary reading like some Peavey amps, the test points actually read tube grid current, but it's shown in volts due to a resistor used in the bias test circuit. You can email Egnater if you want a better explanation. The tubes are biased in pairs, so, you can use pairs of any "octal" tube type. For example, you can use a pair of 6L6 tubes and a pair of EL34's, or a pair of KT66's and a pair of 6550's. This gives some really cool tonal possibilities that simply can't be done on most other amps. I've run SED Winged C 6L6's with JJ's EL34's and the one ROCKED. 6L6's and 5881's are cool also. BTW, the amp will run in 60 watt half power mode as well, and when you do that the amp uses the 2 "outer" power tubes. In full power it uses all 4 power tubes.