Price paid: $ 1500
Purchased from: online store
Sound — 10
I use it with my SG Special Faded - I haven't replaced the pick-ups yet and I won't do it anyway. I'm quite happy with the sound ATM. But the most important thing for this review is that I DO NOT PLAY METAL OR HARD ROCK. We play a mixture of rocknroll, Indie pop, punk, but occasionally we do something harder. And this amp can do it all. I play my Powerball through Framus 212 box with 2 Celestion 30 speakers and I'm very satisfied. And now to the Powerball itself. If somebody says that this is metal amp only, he or she hasn't tried it really yet. Clean sound is really clean - depends on your gain setting (I prefer my clean a bit dirty, so I set my gain at 1 o'clock position) - the controls are shared with Crunch mode, so basically you can't have a totally clean sound with a lot of gain on Crunch mode - but as I said - I love dirty clean and it gives me very nice crunch as well. If you want real 4 channel amp - buy Diezel and pay twice the money at least. Lead channel is completely different thing. There are s---tloads of gain on this channel and I use only Soft Lead - I play 2nd guitar in my band so I have no use for High Lead - but it adds a nice kick to your playing and as I say: Better to have the 4th channel and don't use it, than need it and don't have it, right? And if there is too much gain for you on channel 4 just tune your Master volume B for a kick in volume and use channel 3 - works pretty well for me. Engls are pretty expensive, but this thing is worth it and you will hear every penny, cent or in my case crown spent in the sound. It sounds great. Low frequencies are easy to distinguish even in drop tunnings and trebles are nice and smooth.
Overall Impression — 10
So once more - we are not a metal band. We are not even a hard rock band. But I've managed to get a great sound for me from this amp. Together with my SG Special Faded and Framus 212 it is a great counterpart to Stratocaster and Marshall of our Lead guitarist. It is very versatille and it matches my needs completely. I even threw away my Boss Overdrive pedal - I have no use of it now. Before that I had Peavey ValveKing 212 - so you can imagine how thrilled I am to play Engl now. The difference is astronomical. I almost cried when I first plugged it in. I would buy it again if it were stolen or something. I'm extremely happy with Clean/Crunch mode - I actually started playing these channels, because the VK had a shitty clean. I enjoy playing these a lot. I can imagine that this amp can make metal guitarists really happy, but it can make happy almost everybody. Go and Try it if you can, this amp is worth your time!
Reliability & Durability — 10
This thing is built like a tank. Sturdy construction and solid wood. The handle looks OK as well. No plastic on this amp besides the knobs. And the Knobs are fantastic - tunning it is smooth and easy and they are solid as well. There is a plenty of LEDs on the front pannel - so you always know what you are doing at the moment. And those LEDs behind the tubes are a great idea - it really shines! One thing here for reliability - there is a tube control system built-in this beast - if you blow a tube (can't image how...) the system just turns the tube off and you can go on playing and worry about a technician to replace it later - nice thingy to have. But then again - I recommend a case or something - you don't want this amp to be scratched or something. That was the first thing I ordered after buying it.
Features — 10
So we all know what is Powerball about. 2 Channel multimode guitar amp with many cool features like Bright and Bottom on Clean and Focus/Open Switch on Lead. Add two master volumes and Presence and Depth Punch controls and you probably have the right image right now. 4 6L6 power tubes give it 100W of nasty sound =)