NAD. Engl in the house.

Jakedog

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Sold a guitar that was worth a chunk of change. Just came to terms with the fact that I love it, but I do not play it anymore, and I’m not likely to.

Used some of the proceeds to put together the partscaster I started a thread about in the Strat forum, and used some more of the proceeds for this little guy!

B324A1C7-17D9-4CA0-950F-879254D9A835.jpeg

Engl Gigmaster 15 head. I already had the Egnater 112 cab.

The long and short- I’ve been wanting to try one of these for a while. I liked all the demos that weren’t totally gained to the max, and they seem to be a quality product, but I have never been able to find one to try in person. This one showed up used at my local GC, so I thought I’d try it to at least get an idea of the voicing and feel.

I thought for sure I’d need the the 30 watt version for gigging, I’ve never met a fifteen watt amp I considered giggable. Ok, my AC15 was, indoors only, if all I wanted was dirt. But I like clean tones and pedals most of the time.

This little guy surprised me. It has ample clean headroom for a 15 watt EL84 amp. It won’t push hard enough to work outdoors, or in a good sized room without a mic, but for mic’d gigs and small room stuff I think it’ll work alright. It’s much louder than I thought it would be. That’s using singles. The headroom seems to drop quite a bit with ‘buckers.

Controls are extremely useable. Lots of range on the EQ knobs. Separate gain and master for clean tones gets anything from squeaky clean at lower volumes, to some nice edge of breakup and jangle, to full on crunch-land. Lead channel takes over where the clean leaves off. It’s capable of WAY more gain than I would ever use, but it doesn’t get un-musical. I thought I would really dig the mid-boost switch, but so far I don’t. I think whatever frequency it’s set at is disagreeing with my ears. No biggie though, it’s got plenty of mids on its own, and with so much range in the EQ controls, it’s not really needed.

Built in 15, 5, 1 watt attenuator. Balanced out. FX loop so I can add in a little reverb from my HOF mini. Light and compact. Seems very well built. I like that it has that famous Engl gain. I don’t have any other amp with a high gain option should I ever want one. I also like that it’s not the typical Engl gain monster, in that it also sports exceptional clean and low-gain/edge of breakup sounds.

I didn’t think I’d buy it, because as I said, I was convinced that if I liked it I’d be on the hunt for a 30. But I think this will be a great amp for small gigs, and my Deluxe covers the larger ones. If I really need firepower, I can always bring them both and still have plenty of room in the car. Bonus- I still have a chunk of money from the guitar sale in the bank cause this little dude was not expensive.
 
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Tim S

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HNAD! And thanks for the education. I see Engl and automatically think “Oh, Metal — Like a German Dual Rec”. This post challenges my assumptions and I *always* appreciate that.

And anyway, you got an amp with the cool logo!
 

Jakedog

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Update- I finally got a chance just now to plug this thing in with my own guitar and pedalboard, and really mess with all the features. I figured out that the two button Supro footswitch I had in one of my junk boxes works perfectly with it. So, bonus! Because Engl footswitches are not cheap.

I like it even better than I thought I did. One of the complaints about this amp is that the metal heads said it didn’t have enough bottom end. Granted, my Egnater cab is pretty bassy, but still, low end to spare. I’m actually only running the “low” knob about 10 o’clock and it’s got plenty for me.

Low and behold, the gain channel is useable! The only amps I’ve ever found with a useable (for me) drive channel were my old JCM900 4102 combos. This one sounds wonderful. I’m only running the gain knob at about 9pm, and it’s a really fat and smooth OD.

Switching back and forth between two channels with shared EQ pretty much never works. One channel always ends up severely compromised. It’s actually not bad here at all. When I get the clean dialed the way I like it, I can switch to the drive channel and it’s very useable. It’s not perfect, but it’s not “off” enough to keep me from using it live. It’s fine, really.

I didn’t like the mid boost button in the store. It seemed over the top and harsh. With my own stuff, it’s very good. It adds a nice thickening agent to the gravy. Just a little grunt in the right spot.

It is a ridiculously loud 15 watt amp. I honestly can’t believe the volume coming out of this little head. I haven’t had one for a while, but from what I remember I think it’s quite a bit louder than my Tweaker 15 was. The cat and dog have both disappeared. They’re used to noise, so I know it’s LOUD.

It won’t do modern metal. Doesn’t bother me, cause I don’t even play pre-historic metal. But I feel like it would easily do vintage Maiden and other old school stuff. Definitely plenty of gain on tap for classic rock/blues rock. I’m really digging the edge of breakup, jangly, clean thing that I can push from totally clean to light crunch just with my right hand.

I’m really looking forward to gigging it.
 

markal

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Dude, you are now very metal! 🤟🤟🤟

You always seem to get something good out of amps that I would not expect to work for your music. Happy NAD! Enjoy.
 

Jakedog

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Dude, you are now very metal! 🤟🤟🤟

You always seem to get something good out of amps that I would not expect to work for your music. Happy NAD! Enjoy.
I think part of the reason there really isn’t much out there about these Gig Master amps is because I think they’re kind of an epic failure. Everyone thinks of Engl as a “metal amp” company, so if folks aren’t into metal, they don’t consider Engl. Folks who do want an Engl, want a metal amp. This is not a metal amp. Hence the name “gig master”. It’s supposed to do just about anything, and it really kinda does.

So metal folks were disappointed that it ain’t metal, and nobody else even knew to check it out. Works for me. I got it cheap and it kicks ass.
 

Jowes_84

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Engl Amps Are cool. Those small ones Especially. They are bluesier and very non-metal actually.
A friend has one and I’ve played it - if I wouldn’t have too many amps already I’d buy it from him.
Congrats!
Engl amps are based less than 50km away from my home close to the Austrian border.. maybe I should check out the factory one day and see whether they still produce in Germany;)
 

Jakedog

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Just when I think I know you man...

😂
This amp challenges everything we think we know about ENGL. It’s not a metal machine. It’s a really, really sweet little beast. I also don’t typically like EL84 amps. I’ve always said the only ones that were ever really worth owning were the Crate Vintage Club 5212, and the Mesa Boogie Rocket 440.

There is now a third. And this one comes in first place. I want the 30 watt big brother. I’d trade my ‘68 CDR for one tomorrow.

The cleans and edge of breakup tones (which is where I mostly live) are flat sick. And holy cow does this amp love a tube screamer. It’s like they were made for each other.
 

Jakedog

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Engl Amps Are cool. Those small ones Especially. They are bluesier and very non-metal actually.
A friend has one and I’ve played it - if I wouldn’t have too many amps already I’d buy it from him.
Congrats!
Engl amps are based less than 50km away from my home close to the Austrian border.. maybe I should check out the factory one day and see whether they still produce in Germany;)
Mine has a “Made In Germany” label on the back.
 

Cyberi4n

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Would be interested to know just how loud it goes. My Tweaker 15 with two cabs goes to around 106dbs, perhaps a tiny bit more.
 

11 Gauge

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I think part of the reason there really isn’t much out there about these Gig Master amps is because I think they’re kind of an epic failure. Everyone thinks of Engl as a “metal amp” company, so if folks aren’t into metal, they don’t consider Engl. Folks who do want an Engl, want a metal amp. This is not a metal amp. Hence the name “gig master”. It’s supposed to do just about anything, and it really kinda does.

So metal folks were disappointed that it ain’t metal, and nobody else even knew to check it out. Works for me. I got it cheap and it kicks ass.
The two Engl users that I always think of are Ritchie Blackmore and Steve Morse, and I don't associate either of them as having a super high gain or modern metal sound at all.

I'm pretty sure SM has his own signature Engl amp now. Not so sure what RB is currently using. Either way, too bad Engl couldn't at least get some demos with one or both of these guys using the Gig Master.

And maybe slightly semi-related - I picked up a used EVH 5150 lunchbox head some time last fall. This is the original model with the shared controls between the blue and red channels. It's fine in my case, as I only use it for dirty rock stuff, and just stay on the blue channel. Anyway, I'm not a huge fan of EL84 amps either, at least not when it's just a pair of them, and not a quad. Long story short - that little lunchbox head is somewhat stupid loud. I don't think I ever really get it up above 11:00 or so.

...Probably my biggest gripe with the EVH lunchbox is that is has super-emphasized midrange, even with the mids turned down to like 9:00 or lower. You have to pretty much love how Slash's mids sound on Appetite For Destruction, IMO. I think the higher gain crowd actually favors using the blue channel with a TS in front, which I think would be absolute midrange overkill, but I guess it probably works for the average down-tuned scenario. I personally don't play anything other than E standard tuning.
 

tomasz

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Hey @Jakedog, I was looking at ENGLs 15 watters for a while, my drawback was always, that they seemed to be more modern voiced, than chimey at breakup. How are you finding this one in this aspect? They come with a lot of useful features for sure!
 

Jakedog

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Hey @Jakedog, I was looking at ENGLs 15 watters for a while, my drawback was always, that they seemed to be more modern voiced, than chimey at breakup. How are you finding this one in this aspect? They come with a lot of useful features for sure!
The dirt channel is more modern. I don’t use it. I actually find it great sounding for classic rock stuff, if I don’t get the gain over 9 o’clock or so. But I prefer my OD pedals. The clean channel is nothing but chimey cleans, and chimey breakup. It’s just gorgeous.
 

tomasz

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The dirt channel is more modern. I don’t use it. I actually find it great sounding for classic rock stuff, if I don’t get the gain over 9 o’clock or so. But I prefer my OD pedals. The clean channel is nothing but chimey cleans, and chimey breakup. It’s just gorgeous.
Thanks! It looks like I need to grab my guitar and give the ENGLs some good try!:)
 

naveed211

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Engls are a lot of fun!

I really dug them in the mid 00s. I had a Fireball 60. A ton of gain as you said, I think I ran mine at like 10:00 max.

Definitely cool amps to have in the stable and they look bad ass.
 

Chud

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Nice score, JD! I going to have to keep an eye out for a good price on one of those. Looks right up my alley!
 




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