ENGL E530 Tube Preamp Modern Rock
ENGL E530 Tube Preamp Modern Rock

E530 Tube Preamp Modern Rock, Tube Guitar Preamp from ENGL.

Hatsubai 06/08/2011

ENGL E530 Tube Preamp Modern Rock : Hatsubai's user review

« Great 1u preamp »

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The ENGL E530 is a 1U preamp made for people who need to save space but still want that signature ENGL sound. The preamp is a two channel preamp that features two 12AX7 tubes, independent EQs on both channels with a lo-mid and hi-mid knob on channel two, a bright switch, a contour switch to alter the mid frequency, hi/lo gain switch, clean lead switch, preamp defeat switch, effects loop, line out and even a headphone jack.


There's a ton of stuff crammed into this small 1U preamp. In some ways, it's great, but in others, I wish they would have added more. First of all, it's a very versatile preamp thanks to the various mini switches they implemented into its design. I'll help describe what they do later down the review. One big thing they're missing, however, is MIDI. MIDI is something that every preamp out there should have, in my opinion. It's one of the main reasons to go rack, and the lack of MIDI means you'll need to switch it with a separate MIDI switcher. I'd rather they took out the effects loop and added MIDI since effects loops aren't really needed with preamps.


Most people want to know about how the gain sounds with this thing, and let me tell you, there's a ton of gain on tap. You can get brutal metal sounds no problem with this thing, and there's no need to boost it like certain other amps out there. The contour switch also gives it some extra versatility as it switches the mid frequency. This is great if you want a rhythm channel and lead channel all in channel two. The lo-mid and hi-mid knobs add additional tone shaping elements to really dial in the tone you're looking for without ever losing that signature ENGL sound. The clean on this thing is also really good. It's sparkles and blooms like a nice clean should.


If you're in the market for a high gain 1U preamp, this will probably be my number one recommendation. It's cheap enough to where you don't need to sell a left kidney to afford it, and it sounds good enough to where it'll probably be your main gigging rig. If you have a chance, check it out.