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Sound Quality

Clean is OK. With full Gain and Boost switches it can be slightly distorted like Santana. Rhythm channel is from 80s, with highest Gain enough to play like Paul Gilbert or several AOR bands. Open and sweet sound. Lead channel is Mesa/Boogie like grinder, even you can play Carcass or Devin Townsend with it, with Lead Gain setting at half ! Very good dynamics and sound, one of the best. I used it through a HK VS250 poweramp and several Celestion speakers, sounded well anytime.


Unit is a bit noisy, and can feedback in certain (high-gain) settings, however this could be because of its age and some malfunction. (tube replacement did not solve this problem) Once it became totally silent, then I pushed Line and Instrument output level switch, and became OK so far. Some pots have contact problems... acceptable from units made in the 90s.

General Comments

My unit could be a little bit defective (see reliability), but it does not affects the tone, which is awesome.

I love it, if it were stolen I would get another one.

I wish it had a foot-switchable gain for Clean and/or Contour like Engl E530. I do not miss the amp-simulated output, because I do not need such.

Anyway, this unit can be more brutal than E530, considering amount of Gain and better dynamics. I also like E530 which is a darker sounding unit for the late 90s or even today, but if you need classic (80s, early 90s) sound, soft rock or even death metal, the E520 is for you. It has better clean sound than E530 as well.

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