Price paid: $ 2100
Purchased from: Rainbow Music
Sound — 9
I currently use a Schecter C1+ with stock duncan pickups as well as a Customized Epiphone SG with DiMarzio pickups for my low drop tunings. Whether I'm playing the jazz, or praise music through the schecter, or playing metal with my epiphone, I can always get that tone I'm looking for. On the downside, the entire amp is quite noisy, so if your debating this be sure to get a ISP decimator or something similarly good. The clean channel stays clean all the way to maximum volume (which about rips my face off!) and the amp is loaded with so much distortion that at full gain its barely recognizable. The nicest part of the tone is that when I crank it up and scream sounds from it, the highs don't slice your head off, they are smooth.
Overall Impression — 9
I play numerous different styles, from jazz to metal, and I've been pleased. I've been playing for roughly 7 years and use this with either my Schecter C1+ or my customized Epiphone SG. I also have some effect pedals I use in the effects loop of the amp.
Would this amp ever get stolen, It would take me a while to save up for it again, but it would be worth it. Its definitely a tone king, and I love the versatility of it. I played it side by side to the Mesa Dual Rectifier, and had it not been for the quality of the harmonics and the sustain on this amp, I would've gotten the Mesa. They were very similar, though the mesa does have a little more control for each channel.
Reliability & Durability — 10
For $2100, it better be dependable. I've only owned this for about 4 months and haven't really used it much yet (as the tolex is rather soft and I don't have a case yet). It came with extra tubes, and as with any tube amp, take a few with you just in case. The nicest thing about this amp is the power tube monitoring section. If a powertube goes out, it will light an L.E.D. in the front and reconfigure itself to use the other power tubes without changing the tones.
Features — 9
The Powerball 2 is one of the newest all tube 100 watt models from ENGL. With 4 channels (driven with Ax7 preamp tubes and 6L6 power tubes), you can set up your channels for the tones you need for any style and easily Switch them with an Engl Z9 switch. I play jazz, rock, metal, and blues, and this amp covers all the tones I need with only some minor tweaks. With all the different buttons on the front, you can really shape your tone (such as the bright Switch for the clean channel, the bottom switches on each channel, etc.) The only feature that I wish this thing had built in is a Direct Out, but I'll just have to pick up a Radial JDX.