Mesa Dual Rectifier vs. ENGL Fireball Shoot-Out


Welcome to The Tone King’s Mesa Boogie Dual Rectifier versus ENGL Fireball 100 Shoot-Out.  Below are 2 videos.  The first video is the full video.  If you came here from YouTube – scroll down to the answer video.  Enjoy & ROCK ON!

Full Video (Scroll down for Answer Only Video)

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Answer Only Video

Torn between the two?  Let Aubrey Singer help you decide.  After watching the video … Check out his Buyer’s Guide by clicking here.

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About the Author: The Tone King | | TTKRocks | REAL reviews for REAL players! ROCK hard, ROCK loud, ROCK ON!

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  1. […] Mesa Dual Rectifier vs. ENGL Fireball Shoot-Out : The … – Welcome to The Tone King’s Mesa Boogie Dual Rectifier versus ENGL Fireball 100 Shoot-Out. Below are 2 videos. The first video is the full video…. […]

  2. […] Mesa Dual Rectifier vs. ENGL Fireball Shoot-Out : The Tone … – Welcome to The Tone King’s Mesa Boogie Dual Rectifier versus ENGL Fireball 100 Shoot-Out. Below are 2 videos. The first video is the full video…. […]

  3. Smart Shredder says:

    I can tell by hearing it. Dual Recs are a weird breed – hard to learn how to use. On the Boogie Board, one guy posted in a posting that I neglected to bookmark, that you need to have the Output above five for it to sound right. This then requires that the FX loop is on – even with nothing hooked to it. This takes some of the bright, buzzy edge off. This is not to say that it must be really loud, as you can turn yer channel’s volume down. Thus, the Dual Rec wasn’t set up right. That being said, the Engl had more body in this shoot-out. Also, kudos for NOT posting on Google-Tube, and for shooting out two gr8 ampz!

  4. Arlantaniar says:

    Well, the Engl is 100% winner, as I expected! Thanks for great review!

  5. rick says:

    i dont like the settings on both of them,,,

  6. lead-k says:

    engl is better than mesa for me, there is more clarity, i think, thx for this video

  7. sye says:

    i think the first one is the messa..

  8. Mike says:

    That was a great demo. Thanks again TTK! I love the Engl amps. I was surpirsed Mesa was so close in tone but Engl I believe won hands down. Thanks for your cool demos. They are educational and helps expose us listeners to some great products we way not have had access to. Thanks and Rock On!

  9. Casketer says:

    Hey dude! Really BIGGEST thanks for this video. Im brand new to amps but after browsing millions of tones of videos i stopped on Mesa and ENGL(what a surprise:-). But as usual for beginners: Which one I love better?:-) And your video just blew all my doubts away! Thanks again!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  10. hevechvy says:

    hey!! 😀 i was right. number 2 was the recto. i was worried since i’ve never heard an engl before. but i knew i was loving the ballsey grind and growl of number two. i’ve planned to buy a recto very soon, but if that growl was an engl, i was going to re-consider. i am so glad that the american amp beat the german one. i knew we could do it.. 🙂 brent.

  11. Wil Spaedt says:

    Engl, easily the more flexible amp with loads more clarity. And I say that not completely based off the videos, but with a Mesa collecting dust as a backup amp after buying the Engl. You have to really work the Mesa to keep it from sounding like a chainsaw stuck in the mud, there is a lot of noise, thats for sure, but little definition, on the Engl you can play a chord and hear actual notes, not just a blast of noise. I’ve used both in practice, on stage and recording, and listened to others use them while I am on bass, and the Engl is better for this simple fact; you can get a Mesa-like tone out of an Engl, but you can’t get an Engl-like tone out of a Mesa.

    -Wil Spaedt
    Earth Burnt Black

  12. SomeoneSomebody says:

    First, big thanks for the video.
    Second, I knew since the beginning Amp 1 was the ENGL, it’s easy to hear that it’s built for Metal playing, ENGL ALL THE WAY

  13. Steven says:

    Mesa Dual Rec all the way.Excellent flexibility.U.S.A all the way!!!

  14. AB says:

    I’ll don’t care about the price, since it’s all about THE sound. Therefore my choice is Engl amps.

  15. Crossoverthesee says:

    I come from germany so my english is very bad but in germany the engl cost the half of the mesa
    mesa 2500€
    engl 1250€
    plus a cab
    i choose amp1

  16. Scott Fury says:

    Awesome neutral shootout, You really have to pay attention to the details rather than critique the tone settings used for this comparison. If you like to heavy riff with legato leads thrown in as part of the rythum (and sing too), there is a huge difference in playability between the two. Due to Engl’s gain structure you get the growl but with the punch and accuracy of a drummer, I.E. very articulate. You have to “work” the mesa a bit more to get the notes out. In addition the Mesa can get drowned out by a 50w marshall id you are swapping out lead parts. The mesa on the other hand has an amazing clean channel which is Engl’s weakness if you like a piano like pristine clean.
    Just like the skills and tone in your fingers, every amp has its learning curve to get the tones you want. You really got to play one as a tube amp is an extension of your finger/guitar chain, not the fixer upper.
    I like the Engl :), and the Valvemaster.

  17. Brian says:

    F@#k’n finally!!! The shootout that I ‘ve been trying to achive myself.I had to know… at those prices and with a younger band to support(with equipment) I can barely afford one, and not the wrong one!!! dual-rectifier time. Thanx T.K.!

  18. Meat Smudge says:

    Oh! And I also meant to ask: What cab were you playing through, and what mic were you using for the cab? Someone else commented that he’d heard both those amps in person and the video sounded nothing like them. Cab and mic are just as critical in tone shaping.

    Plus, people, keep in mind that 2″ computer speakers can only be used as a reference. Of course the real thing in person sounds much much better. Same thing with headphones unless you’ve got a killer sound card and using studio quality headphones, for instance ATH-D40fs (which I *highly* recommend).

  19. Meat Smudge says:

    I have to say, this was a pretty good A/B test. Who cares if it was an optimal tone setting for a band situation? That’s not the point, the point is to set them relatively the same and then pick out the differences.

    I noticed that with your settings (which were reasonable), the Mesa sounded overly scooped. Plenty of presence, but a noticeable lack of low mids. Comparably, the Engl sounded fuller, definitely lacking something out of the high mids, but imo, those are the “nasty mids” and I found myself liking the Engl better all-around. For your leads, the Mesa sounded overly fizzy and not at all articulate. The Engl seemed much more dynamic.

    All in all, the Mesa seems to be geared for straight up metal whereas the Engl gives me the impression it would do it all a bit better than the Mesa without compromising the player’s dynamics. Engl’s are a bit on the pricey side, but I guess once you find something you really like, you can’t put a price on tone.

  20. rickard says:

    i think that youre settings are very bad for this test:( it would not sound very good with these settings in a band or alone with the guitar,

  21. Kendal says:

    I think you should invest in some better recording equipment so that we can really hear what these amps sound like. I’ve got a lot of experience with Mesas and Engls and I’ve never heard them sound like this, especially on a metal or rock recording.

  22. Jeff Gibbs says:

    Mr. Tone King, I have a question, or more of a suggestion for a tone shoot-out.
    I recently bought an MXR Classic Overdrive (Not to be confused with the GT-OD) for $30. Great tone, great price.
    But I’ve been told it’s been discontinued (sadly) because it sounded as close to a Tube Screamer as you can get without the Ibanez name.
    A shoot-out with the MXR Classic Overdrive and the Ibanez Tube Screamer…and maybe even throw in the new MXR GT-OD for comparison. I can totally hear a difference in the GT-OD and the Classic Overdrive, and I much prefer the Classic Overdrive.

  23. […] Mesa Dual Rectifier vs. ENGL Fireball Shoot-Out : The Tone King | […]

  24. CAG says:

    I like both amps for what they offer. Both amps sound very similar, almost identical. You have to listen past the obvious differences. Both amps set with the same tone and volume, yet one is a liitle high and the other a little low. Supposedly both are set up with 6L6 tubes. Both sound good. But I think you probably can turn the front end & treble up some on the Mesa and get more top range, equivalent to the Fireball, with the extra bottom end if you want it. The bottom end is always harder to come by. Though, based on this video’s sound, if you tweak the EQ on each amp, you could make both amps sound exactly the same. The Mesa would most likely be a better amp choice unless you are diehard Engl.

  25. DeWitt says:

    I agree with some of the comments taht I say on the YouTube page. I found both amps to sound a bit ‘fizzy’. However, I am not a metal player and don’t normally go for that type of sound. I lean more towards blues and classic rock. I like to play with a fair amount of gain and I like sustain. In my rig, I don’t even have a distortion pedal. I use a tube overdrive pedal for some extra gain. Just a suggestion, but I would have like to hear how these amps sounded on a good lead run to go along with the chords.

  26. tony93666 says:

    I chose amp #2 after watching video #1

    after watching video #2 I found that amp #2 was the Boogie – which was what I thought it was. Both sound great, but I preferred the punchiness in the low-mids of the Boogie better.

  27. Tim says:

    I guessed it backwards actually. The Mesa is definitely more compressed. The Engl is more open. BOTH are badass,,
    Thanks for this shootout!

  28. tjrvntman says:

    It would be cool if you could call KranK and shoot out your Fireball 100 against A KranK Krankenstien Plus!

  29. Anthony says:

    It was clear which amp was which, I’ve always been more of a mesa mark series kinda guy myself. I currently use the mesa studio preamp with the carvin t100 in the studio and my 5150 for live stuff. This video was awesome, and thanks again TTk!!!!

  30. ModernGuitarist says:

    Yup, I liked the Engl. Didn’t sound as scooped as the D.R. But the Engl was a little too noisy, but a noise gate could fix that.

  31. James Ayers says:

    Aha, guessed right! I know a Mesa/Boogie when I hear one… that chug and low-end are unmistakeable. The Engle sounded really good too! I may have to hunt one down and give it a whirl before I go and by myself a Boogie. Keep these shootouts coming TTK, they give me excuses to go out and try all of these awesome amps! \m/(>.<)\m/

  32. Stormleader says:

    I guess it correctly, I prefer the Engl over the Mesa. The Engl had more… Clarity to it I think. Keep on rocking TTK!

  33. tjrvntman says:

    #1! I Guessed It!! ENGL UBER ALLES!!! Im saving my $ for a Powerball 2…..TTK can you find a Powerball 2 and a Savage for more shoot outs? Thanx for ALL your video demos!!!!

  34. Fahad says:

    I could hear the top end on the Engle. Think Rammstein. Oh those German’s, you can hear the evil and hate in that amp. You got to love it!

  35. […] you’ll hear in the demo, close your eyes and you’ll discover that each head becomes the tonal doppelganger of the other […]

  36. formercakid says:

    Definately, the Mesa sounds better. Warmer and cleaner.

  37. ghalg says:

    engl is just epic, the germans won something for once

  38. Matt Purkis says:

    i got that one right. i only had an educated guess , because i heard the boogie has a hell load of low end bass and low mids.

    aawsome vid, and i’ll leave you off with one of those bad boys right there 😉

  39. rase jasn says:

    Hi awesome video
    no 1 sounds better i think

  40. Tone King –

    Great vid! Keep ’em coming!

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