Tony Mckenzie Live
Tony Mckenzie One of Tony's more recent album's is a project called Eniac - this album is a take on Scientific practice and theory applied to the digital world.



The result is an album with a specific style - mainly written on and Engl E670 Special Edition - click for more. ...

you won't be disappointed with this - it's a modern style developed over many years and the Engl can be heard throughout the tracks.

Whether detuned, or regular tuning is your thing, it's all on this album - take a listen and see if you agree.


Engl E670 Special Edition
What's this amp like in use.
There's nothing like owning an amp - you pretty soon find out the quirks and funny things that happen - see how I got on below.
I have been a player of Marshall and Mesa Boogie amps since about 68 so I've had rather a lot of practice with amps.

The Mesa Boogie TriAxis for example, which is one of the Mesa amps I've used can be very difficult to drive - my main site www.tonymckenzie.com shows you how to get the best out of a rack setup for this amp. It's a great amp - especially if you're technology driven but if you're not - then your Ј2000.00 you just spent on one is a bit of a waste.
 

 

So, when I was buying the Engl E670 Special Edition amp at the time I had a choice of the E660 Special Edition - or the E670 Special Edition. I chose the E670 because the E660 Special Edition seemed to be at the end of the run and the E670 had much more going for it - and at a retail price of Ј2700.00 it should have - and would have to be good.

E660 Special Edition E670 Special Edition



The E660 Special Edition has lots of goodies on it - and if you look around these are available right now (Jan 06) so if you're not in to MIDI in a big way then this is probably as good as you might want or need - or your budget will stretch to!

But I bought the E670. The E670 Special Edition is the top of the line head from Engl, it has more features than you can shake a stick at (and I like features - you never know when you will need them!).

I often want a really cooking amp to work with and have in the past bought a model sometimes lower than the best from a particular manufacturer - and later regretted it - and then can't really afford (or justify) buying the one I really wanted in the first place. If you know what I mean.

So in this case, I went right to the top of the pile and bought the E670 Special Edition made by Engl in Germany. I think I made the right choice - there are a few things missing on the E660 Special Edition so I won't be wishing I had bought the E670.


The features that I found interesting were as follows, and the primary reasoning why I eventually bought the E670:

  • Midi Interface fitted (Option on the E660)
     
  • Total of 6 Channels if you're devious
     
  • Enough Preamp even to drive a Strat hard
     
  • Gut Wrenching Bottom End Enhancements
     
  • Dual Presence Controls
     
  • 50/100 Output Switch
     
  • 6L6 Tubes as standard (EL34 Option) (I like the red glow)
     
  • Bias Built in to the Rig
     
  • Studio Out


     
  • Great Loop Features
     
  • Very High Quality Build

These were not all the things I wanted but these went a long way towards the end result.

I wanted an amp that was like a Mesa Rectifier - but had more. The Road King I had was a great amp there is no question - but I could not achieve a great lead tone - a good one maybe, but for me the Road King didn't have that lead tone I wanted. Or at least I couldn't find it in there. It was difficult to set up actually.

The Engl is another world. I really wanted an amp that was very flexible, had all the sounds I needed (easily) and was midi controlled if I wanted it to be. This is the Engl E670.

Now let's talk about the first aggravation I encountered with use...



Lets say the word - Roland. Ok I did it. That feels better - because this is where I found the first bit of aggro - and it was NOTHING to do with Engl.

I bought a Boss GT-8. I had used a GT-6 and a GT-5 previously - the 5 was great - the 6 was not.

The GT-8 looked superb. The sounds you could get through a desk live were also good (not in direct comparison tests - but live through a desk!). And the Boss GT-8 had an implementation of MIDI.

Great I thought - I'll just turn off the amp simulators, save the presets and use the GT-8 to control the Engl E670 as well as having all those sounds wired through the loops of the Engl. What a GREAT idea!

I was right, it WAS a great idea - and I wondered why Boss (Roland) included an analogue switch to change amp channels on an amp via a regular wire? Surely this would increase their costs in manufacture?

 

I was right again - it does. But why bother with this when most switching of amp channels can be done with the on board MIDI of the GT-8?

I was to find out - over the next month or so. I am not a novice at wiring MIDI or understanding the patch changes required to do what I wanted (check www.tonymckenzie.com and you probably will agree).

However - around and around I went. Horst Langer offered all the help DIRECTLY via email that he could - in fact the E670 midi implementation is simple and would switch channel patches if you asked it nicely - that is, EXCEPT with the GT-8 asking it nicely.

I normally use a Ground Control System from DMC Corp. (just like Steve Vai in fact), but on this occasions I wanted a floor pedal to do what it supposed to.

Well - Hey wakeup - you're not going to do it with a GT-8.

 

Like I said, after a month or so - Roland refunded my money.

Every single piece of MIDI control kit I had worked with the Engl - every single piece - but the Roland GT-8 failed miserably - as did the Roland engineers trying to make it work.

Anyway - there's some good news. I spent the refund on a piece of kit that DOES work - the Line6 XT Pro Live Floor Pedal board. That worked as soon as I plugged it in right out of the box. I should have been a Roland engineer!

So that was the biggest problem I had in a real situation.

Now here's another one a little smaller.
 

 


When I got the E670 Special Edition out of the box it looked great and eventually it sounded even better.

But I'm getting older by the day - and my eyes are not what they used to be. So much so, that if I moved more than 1/2 metre away from the E670 - I could not read the settings on the knobs. The chrome on them is great and there's a little black marker on there so you know where to set the knob to.

The problem is so simple - but with the original knobs its a real pain across the stage or studio to see exactly where these knobs are set to - and sometimes that's critical.

The E660 Special Edition has completely different knobs with easy to see markers on them - but they're not chrome and they are off an E660 - perfect! So I asked Engl if they had a set because of the problem I have with the chrome knobs and - hey presto here's a set from Germany.

 

Other things I have found with the E670 are equally no more exciting than the control knobs and are hardly worth a mention.

But one of the features this amp has is a noise reduction on the channels and it is (for recording or live work) superb. When you don't play - there is absolute silence - in fact it's so good that you have to be a little careful - walk too near the amp when it's cranked up and it will open up and feedback - well, wouldn't you at those volumes?

I also found the 1st preamp channel (right at the start of the chain) very useful if I want a Strat to sound like a GREAT rock guitar. I'm not a Strat fanatic (but I can listen to Jimi Hendrix all day) and can't usually get the sounds out of one that the guitar gods can. But with this amp I can!

Sounds easy. It's a very difficult thing to get those sounds like (say) Hendrix - the era was different - the amps certainly were, the volume was mega and the talent unlimited. I have no doubt that you could do it - but not at today's volumes - it's just not the same - except with the Engl E670.

 

Another thing I like about the E670 is the way you can change Tubes from 6L6 to EL34 and back. It's easy because the amp has a bias meter built in to it! No more worrying about overheating Tubes or under driven sounds.

When I used the Mesa Boogie kit - I always had to buy Tubes matched from Mesa - there was no discernable bias control on the amp - it was internal and FIXED with a resistor so I could not get near it - I suppose they sell lots of Tubes - but at their prices I was very hesitant. The UK pricing for Mesa Tubes is extortionate.

Of course, in the case of Engl - I'm sure they will sell you 'Genuine' Tubes. But I get mine elsewhere and this supplier in my view supplies the best tubes there is!

visit www.tubeampdoctor.com - this is a GREAT supplier - funnily enough in Germany too! Here's a picture of some matched 6L6's:

 


TAD 6L6GC-SVT PREMIUM Matched Quartet

 

Trust me - these tubes will change the way your amp sounds and works. I have TAD EL34's in my Marshall and it is a great improvement.

I intend to re-tube the Engl with TAD 6L6's as above in a fully matched set - and for my 123 Euro's (that's about Ј80.00) this is a really great buy.

There's nothing wrong with the stock tubes in Engl. But there are better tubes around and I think these are the best.

I'm not entirely sure where Engl source their tubes from - as I said, I have had no problem with them - maybe they are even TAD tubes - I'll have to ask Horst Langer at Engl about that - I'll update this page sometime with his answer.

I would tell you about other things I've found at the TAD site - but it's best if you visit them yourself - that way I'm not selling someone's kit for them am I!

 


This page is going to be updated from time to time to keep you guys up to date with how the E670 Special Edition fare's with some serious studio work.

Any niggles I find will be on here - just like most equipment there are bound to be a few things here and there - but maybe not? it's very well made and it's German engineering.

I drive an Audi too!

 

 

The above are my Personal Views. All Trademarks Acknowledged.


 

www.tonymckenzie.com  2006 All Trade Marks Acknowledged