There are hundreds of metal reviews of this amp, but only a few displaying how this amp might sound in genres like blues/rock/hard rock (and those few ones often leave much to be desired). I am not a metal player (I am more of those aforementioned genres) and I know it's predominantly a metal amp, but those few videos got me interested, so I wanted to try for myself and see how the amp might perform for my particular style of playing,
When it comes to build quality, it was obvious right from the start it is a quality made amp. I cannot really comment how the amp holds in the long run, but based on my short experience with it, I would give it 5 stars there.
I must say that I was pleasantly surprised by the clean channel of the amp which is my favorite channel by far. Cleans are surprisingly nice sounding, you don't need to spend much time dialing a good sound. Also, you can dial a perfect amount of grit that responds nicely to the picking dynamics, and the Gain Boost can make it even more juicy. It could easily be used for blues playing and I don't think it would need to be ashamed in front of other, more ''appropriate'' amps.
Lead channel, here the true face of the amp starts to show; by the character of the sound and the way the channel seems to be voiced, it becomes pretty obvious for which style this channel was intended. I am sure that metal players would enjoy it, but I simply wasn't able to dial the sound I wanted. There was always this ''harshness'' or maybe better to say; ''aggressiveness'' to the sound however you set the gain (which of course might appeal to a metal player), I could only somewhat tame it by lowering the volume on guitar a little (I've used a bridge humbucker of Music Man Silhouette Special) and lowering the gain considerably, but that meant sacrificing too much gain and still it was of little help; the character of the lead channel just didn't allow for the more traditional rock/hard rock sound. The result was somewhat better when the clean channel was pushed into overdrive though, but not by a satisfactory amount, besides, that would kinda defeat the purpose for me; I wanted to have a separate Clean channel and I was hoping to use Lead Channel for riffs and soloing. Also, it's perhaps worth of mention that the sound of the lead channel wasn't particularly rewarding when soloing on high frets of the 1st string, it was buzzy and fizzy and not full and round, as I would want.
So all-in-all, even though I was pleased with the Clean channel, the Lead channel simply wasn't for me, so I've had to send it back. It's a feature-packed amp; it has a power soak, a reverb, Gain Boost,
FX loop (something that every amp should have anyway in my opinion, but still it's worth mentioning) , so that's definitely a big plus, but I think that ENGL should take this amp and offer a version with the Lead channel voiced for Blues/Rock (a version which also features three preamp tubes, in comparison with the two of the Rockmaster), this one is just too brutal. :)
Also, one more detail; it would be really nice if at least one footswitch came included with the amp (there are two inputs with possibility of controlling 4 parameters). To not include them and then to sell them so overpriced is silly.