Price paid: $ 850
Purchased from: private seller
Sound — 8
This amp is a bit of a one-trick pony, but what a trick it is! This amp basically delivers two types of sounds. A nice, sparkly clean tone (not Fender good, but better than most high gain amps), and the most brutal, searing high gain distortion possible. This is perfect if you're into playing hard rock/metal, but not so much for other stuff. I use various guitars w/higher output passive bridge pickups (the DiMarzio Super Distortion being my favorite), and they work quite well with this amp, but with how tight, responsive, and high gain this amp is, you could get a death metal tone w/PAF's no problem. A little tends to go a long way with the bass, treble, and prescence on this amp. If you keep your mids high, and use the other frequencies more conservatively, you can get some fantastic tones. The presence knob in particular is quite sensitive, and there can be a fine line between too little and too much, same with the bass. Overall though, it is still an easy amp to dial in, and if it doesn't have enough gain for you, then nothing does. I never have mine past about 10:30-11 o-clock. As with almost all high gain amps, this amp can be particularly noisy while using high gain, so a noise gate would be a good companion to have along with this beast. Also, you will need to pretty much crank your mids for it to cut through in a live situation, so mid scoopers beware!
Overall Impression — 8
Overall, this is a killer amp for metal styles, and if you're looking for a great, brutal high gain tone in a simple, easy to use amp, then this one is for you. It's also a fairly unique amp to have in the states, it seems (Where dual recs and 6505s are much more commonplace). That is part of why I went with this, apart from preferring it over those options. It's weakest point is probably it's versatility, but in this case, you are sacrificing that for gains in other areas (Versatile amps w/this much gain often cost considerably more). If it were lost, I'd probably replace it w/another Engl model of some sort, or maybe some other boutique high gain amp. There's a lot of great stuff out there these days, but this amp delivers the goods for metal, especially for the price.
Reliability & Durability — 9
I've only had this amp for about a month so far, but it appears to be a very durable, and well built piece of German engineering. (The head is quite big, and weighs in at about 53 lbs or so). The Power tube LED monitors are a nice feature to have, to prevent a major tube failure on stage or while practicing. I wouldn't hesitate to use it live w/out a backup, but a backup is always a good thing to have too.
Features — 8
Here we have, the Engl Fireball E625 head. 60 watts all tube power (4x ECC83/12AX7, 2x 6L6) with power tube LED monitors, 2 channels, shared EQ and gain between them. Dual master volumes, and an FX loop. It's a very straightforward, easy to use amplifier, which is something I particularly like in amps, but may not appeal to others looking for versatility. I'd normally rate this a 7, but this amp gets a bonus point for being incredibly user friendly, without completely sacrificing features.