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Microphone Month 3

Hands On Review: Egnater Rebel-30

The paradigm for guitar amps has shifted radically in the past several years. Today, players are looking for amp solutions that provide tonal flexibility with good tone at manageable volume levels. For playing at home without annoying the family, for rehearsals, for worship band use, for club gigs, for school events… these days, an electric guitar player is expected to be able to match their volume level to the situation.

Fortunately, manufacturers have responded with lower-powered amps, and among the best of these is the Egnater Rebel series. Egnater sent me a Rebel-30 head and two matching Rebel 112X cabs for this review. Once I plugged in, it was clear that this was an amp that could provide almost any tone. It had loads of convenient features and could operate at any volume level, from bedroom to club stage.

The Rebel-30 is a 30-watt tube amp with a twist. It has dual power-tube sections, both 6V6 and EL84. What’s more, you can use the Tube Mix control to “pan” between the tube types, from pure 6V6 to EL84, or any blend in between. This allows you to dial in the exact power-amp tonality you want, from chiming and punchy to smooth and sparkling.

For its front end, the Rebel-30 offers two channels: clean (with volume, bass, treble, tight, and bright controls) and dirty (with volume, gain, bass, middle, treble, tight, and bright controls). Each channel has its own reverb send control for the onboard digital reverb, as well as its own wattage control, which can adjust the output from 1 watt to 30 watts.

There are also an effects loop and a record/line output jack that is speaker compensated. You can route this straight into your PA system or DAW without having to mic up a speaker. In fact, you can hit the Silent Record button, and you won’t even need to plug in a speaker at all. Yet you’ll still get a full-bodied tone that sounds like a “real” amplifier with a mic on it.

The matching 112X speakers are 1 x 12″ cabinets with Celestion drivers. They’re compact and lightweight, making them ideal for on-the-go use or discreet placement at home.

I was very impressed with the Rebel-30. With all the preamp and power-amp control it offers, I could easily dial up exactly what I wanted. This is one very flexible and powerful — yet controllable — amplifier.

Mitch Gallagher

About Mitch Gallagher

Sweetwater Editorial Director, Mitch Gallagher, is one of the leading music/pro audio/audio recording authorities in the world. The former senior technical editor of Keyboard magazine and former editor-in-chief of EQ magazine, Gallagher has published thousands of articles, is the author of seven books and one instructional DVD, and appears in well over 500 videos on YouTube. He teaches audio recording and music business at Purdue University/Indiana University, and has appeared at festivals, conventions, and conferences around the world.
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