Engl E305 Gigmaster Head

Tube Guitar Amp Head

  • 30 Watt
  • 2 Channels
  • 3-Band EQ
  • Gain Boost and Mid Boost switch (switchable via front panel or via optional foot switch)
  • Preamplifier ECC83S and power amplifier 4x EL84
  • FX loop
  • Integrated reverb
  • Balanced Line Out (6.3 mm jack) with speaker simulation
  • Speaker outputs for 8 and 16 Ohm
  • Z-4 foot switch optional (not included)
  • Dimensions (W x H x D): 500 x 233 x 255 mm
  • Weight: 12.3 kg
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  • Blues Reference
  • Funk Reference
  • Metal Reference
  • Rock Reference
  • Blues
  • Funk
  • Metal
  • Rock
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Further information

Power 30 W
Power Amplifier Tubes EL84
Channels 2
Reverb Yes
Footswitch No

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4.8 / 5.0
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6 written ratings Read all reviews
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A sure shot if you?re after impeccable tone

Carnivore, 15.10.2018
I had been searching for an ENGL amp to add to my amplifier lineup for quite some time. However, since I only do studio work and do have limitations in terms of space, I has looking around 50 watts or less. In addition, I prefer to retain the flexibility of having different cabs and speakers, so a small to medium head was the target. That left me with 5 options to acquire ENGL tones.

After some investigation, I was sold to the Gigmaster?s tone, and ultimately went for the 30 watts version and not their smaller option (15 watts) mainly because I hoped to have better headroom for my clean sounds. With that choice I lost the power soak (only available on the GIgmaster 15), but that was no biggie for me.

A week after purchase, the amp arrived and I started to fiddle with it every day for hours. Both the tone and the construction quality of this amp is unquestionable. Solid and well designed, is elegant in form and brutal in substance. Chome and leather on the exterior and one of the most tidy chassis I have seen on the interior, for the quality you should expect from a German made amp.

The EQ is vital and useful on the ful spectrum of each band and the onboard reverb (which struck me as extremely subtle in priciple) is classy and elegant, 100% useful. Worth my while to mention that every demo I did see until getting my hands on this amp presented it as brutal mean machine, either exploding with massive mids or monstrously scooped in most cases representing its tone as it is the ultimate german new metal tool. It could be so but -as noted-, due to its fantastic EQ is much, much more than that.

The clean channel is almost beautiful to my ears, Ranging from very organic clean tones with impeccable bass authority and present highs and mids that can cut throught without being brittle or harsh, up to some classic crunchy tones that reminded me of some classic tones that I did not expect to get here. Modern gain sounds, again to my ears since these are also subject to personal preference, are perfect for rock, alt, 80/90 metal and the like. It can do modern metal convingcinly, but I guess you will be more at home with an Ironball or metal master if that is what you are after. Without prejudice, you can get massive high gain retaining note by note definition (exactly what I am after).

I confess that I was somehow concerned that this gain sound could be possible having just one 12ax7 in the preamp section, but an amazing desing proved me wrong. This amp should be included in any serious high gain monster collection, since is more than capable to produce that (say much more than my Blackstar HT or Marshall Origin, yet somehow less than my Peavey 6505 or my Mesa dual rectifier).

In an nutshell: I couldn?t be happier!

Now onto things I did not like so far: (i) the switching possibilities of this amp are clever and many (particularly useful in a live situation) however, I did not appreciate that the amp came with no switch (you can always get one, sure (either the ultra expensive z4 from Engl or a cheap generic thing for ten times less) but if the amp comes with features that could only be accessed with a footswtich, I expected the courtesy. Hell! the amp even came without a power cable! But I imagine you have to cut some corner to get to this price point, and no cuts in quality are to be found here in the amp itself (or even in the impressive packaging), so.... But in any case, to take full profit from the switching capabilities of this amp you need THREE! double switches, and at least one option could not be accessed in any other way that via a footswtich. (ii) Even when this is amongst the most affordable ENGL amps, is still expensive vis-a-vis alternative options which might achieve a similar result. Made sense for a made in Germany amp, but still....
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Total
handling
features
sound
quality

Mannomann

Arne aus G., 16.09.2012
Have the little Engl for several months and am absolutely satisfied. From bluesig clean to heavily distorted are all possibilities available.

The processing shows that "Good old Germany" is still a quality predicate. Woe when she is released. There is not only a small bear, but the post goes. Especially the multiple possibilities of the switchable additional features such as volume boost, gain boost, mid-boost, etc. make the dwarf grow to a sound giant.

It is a pity that the mentioned and other options are to be switched by separate foot pedals (Z4). A nice effects pedal with all possibilities, or direct interfaces for manufacturer-specific pedals. In order to realize the most important functions, I now have two Z4 pedals in use. Actually unnecessary, or ??

Otherwise, there is enough sound for all sound directions. It is not a Marshall, not a Mesa Boogie, but an Engl, Made in Germany. Everything is fine so far???
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