• slaytalera

    splawn vs powerball

    hey guys, ive been listening to clips of amps to decide what suits my style the best, and i think ive narrowed it down to these 2 amps. if you guys could post some clips of these amps...and maybe any other amp that come close to how they sound, would be helpful in my search for tonal perfection(to my ears)

    • slaytalera

      yea i know i have to try them...but the problem is i cant without driving a good 3 hours, to a shop that carries them, northern NJ blows

    • esp_gaijin

      i keep seeing this thread title and wanting to post, but don't know what to say, i love both amps (i own a promod and a powerball ).

      for starters you should specify which splawn, he has several now, though i don't know if they sound a lot diff or not, some reviews say they are more similar than other brand's different models so i dunno.

      anyhoo i'd say for features and price the promod would be the most sensible comparo to a powerball.

      here's all i can think to say i guess :

      promod sounds like a classic marshall style tone, as it's either an EL34 or KT88 amp usually.

      powerball is a 6L6 amp so has those kinds of characteristics.

      powerball's clean is more glassy and more what people think of when they even say "clean" in an amp.
      promod's clean can get some grit happening.
      so which of those cleans you want is your choice.

      promod's highest gain level isn't total saturation like 90s metal or grunge, but almost gets there, and easily gets there with any kind of boost, not just an od but a clean vol boost will push the preamp to saturation if you wish.

      powerball has more gain saturation capable than most anyone needs/uses, just like the peavey 5150; i leave the gain at noon and channel 4 of the pb is all the saturation i need for 90s metal and grunge.

      promod is dryer sound, and less forgiving of mistakes -- if you don't have good hands it'll be revealed. when i haven't played in a while and am rusty and not tight, i can hear this.

      powerball's high gain is more forgiving, but doesn't mean you can play like a slob and sound good -- you'll sound like a slob; but much of grunge infact tries to sound pretty sloshy. you'll still sound tight on a powerball if you play tight, and don't use too much gain.

      on overdrive and varying levels of it, the promod totally wins hands-down.
      it goes everywhere from the not-much-od solo of Zep's Heartbreaker, to acdc's early albums, and on up thru acdc's Brian Johnson albums (back in black, etc. ).

      powerball's ch2 od can be good if you tweak a bit, but often then you end up putting too much gain into the clean channel 1, so that's an issue if you need serious OD and still need serious clean. I manage to get it tweaked to where i can make good use of both ch1 and 2. However IMO no 6L6 amp is going to do great OD tones; I simply prefer EL34 and KT88 for overdrive tones,
      so again is a lot of subjective opinion here.

      the powerball is more easily switchable of tone, LIVE, via Z5 or other methods.

      My splawn lacks in live footcontrol, you can basically only get between clean channel and od channel, so you can't go from clean to overdrive to higain, live, and that's a real drawback / design flaw, IMO.
      To remedy this i set my promod for middle amount of OD then use an od pedal to push it into highgain when needed. I love the sound so much so I can't complain a lot about the lacking of footcontrol.

      Most prominently to me is the question:
      do you prefer 6L6 highgain
      - or -
      EL34 highgain or KT88 highgain (kt88 to me is similar to EL34 but tighter, dryer ).

      I prefer KT88 the most, JMO.
      You can't hardly go wrong buying either a powerball or a promod,
      and new they're around $1900ish and used around $1500ish,
      so if you're unsure then buy a used one and you can come close to breaking-even if you decide to sell it later.

      *small addition
      powerball can sound great even at very low volumes,
      the promod can't get that low and sound right,
      I use a hotplate with my promod and love the results, I had never needed one with the powerball tho.
      I highly recommend the sound quality of the hotplate, fwiw.

    • esp_gaijin

      cobrah just said in 2 sentences what it took me a frigging page to say.

      i am a dork. :o|I|I

    • esp_gaijin

      spartans are so badass, sweeter than ninjas!

      so it's true you kill off your babies that aren't born perfectly shaped? wicked cool.