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June 2017 Giveaway

Tech 21 Power Engine 60 - 60-watt 1x12" Powered Cabinet Reviews

4.0 stars based on 26 customer reviews
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Questions about the Tech 21 Power Engine 60 - 60-watt 1x12" Powered Cabinet?

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  • Steve L
    from Mid MO USA April 9, 2015Music Background:
    gigging, with 20 years XP

    Not Just for Processors.....

    So I thought this unit was only for the various Tech 21 SansAmp products or other FX processors, but I was so wrong. I recently bought an all tube 5w combo that had an emulated output for D/I recording or headphone use. Well seeing that I have two of the Power Engines that I wanted to try to utilize I plugged the emulated out into the first PE 60 with a balanced out cable "dazzy chained" to the second and now my little 5w combo can now push out dual 60 watt tone with the emulated out of the amp set to a 4x12 setting. Its huge and for home use I only have the PE 60s on 1 (volume) and live for medium to small gigs they're only on 4 at the most. It's crazy awesome tone. Then I run my HD 500x through the amps loop and use all my gear together in a cenergy of kick ***ery.

  • lil' dave
    from Low Country Blues, SC January 11, 2013Music Background:
    Pro Hobbyist, Tone Chaser, Avid Guitar Collector

    Tech 21 x 2= Stereo

    This is a great, very clean base power engine. To me it has a binary organic sound. I have yet to find an amp/or power engine that works as well with pedals or multi effects. Much better with a multi w/volume controls. The only negative is the volume control on rear panel.
    I run a Fender Floor Multi-effects pedal into 2 tech 21 PE 60's and wow, wow. I love to hear my guitar in stereo. It may not be for the guy/gal that is in a live-loud setting. It does have XLR out for PA's
    With the Fender Floor I use the foot pedal as the volume control. With some tweeking of the Fuse software I get studio quality sounds and tones. I am very pleased with this power engine. Oh! You can have more than one, run them in a chain for the live gigging musician.
    We use the studio boards to clean up our sound and tone when recording. So, why not do it on the front end. I listen to music on high fidelity equipment. I want my guitar playing to sound the same.
    That is why I am proud to endorse this power engine and endless possibilities. I have been searching for this tone and sound quality for near 25 years. I would recommend a Tech 21 Power Engine 60.

    from austin texas June 10, 2012Music Background:
    lead player in a country band..been playing for almost 45yrs now.



  • Dave Z
    from Fort Wayne, IN February 8, 2011Music Background:

    great with pod hd500!

    Sounds fantastic with pod hd500! Thanks to sweetwater for this recommendation! When dealing with a complicated product like the pod hd500, it's nice to have a very simple power amp, one less layer of complexity to worry about. It's extremely loud if you need it, and sounds as good, or better then any of my combo amps at high volume. I initially was going to buy line 6 dt50 to go with the pod hd500, but glad i didn't waste the money.

  • Customer
    from January 31, 2016

    Great Powered Cab

    Very good sounding powered cabinet with what seems to be a very flat frequency response. It's been very useful for practice and has plenty of power. Even though the controls are in the back, which at first I thought was a problem, it's not really. I had plenty of adjustability with what I used to feed it as long as the gain was in the range of where I needed it.

  • Mad Bomber
    from New York October 20, 2014Music Background:
    Guitar player

    Perfect with Line 6 HD Pro X

    I've been using the PE 60 for about 6 months now. I run a Line 6 HD 500 Pro X into it as I am in 2 cover bands and need a wide range of tones. The PE provides amazing clean volume for the tones I produce in the Line 6. People are blown away by the little cabinet and how good it sounds. I've played small venues, open air festivals and a big theater using it and it delivered in all the places. This replaced a much bigger output section I had that consisted of a big power amp and two 12" Yamaha speakers. I bought a second one as a backup, but have not had any issues with it at all. My only complaint is that the EQ and volume controls are very small and on the back of the amp. The 4U case I bought from Sweetwater locks onto the top via the grooves in the case and the handle of the amp.

    if you are still showing up to a small venue lugging a huge 100w beast and 4x12 cabinet you are crazy. The PE keeps up with the best of them and gives you complete control of your sound without sacrificing tone for volume.

  • Carp
    from Ohio September 9, 2011Music Background:

    Great for what I wanted

    I wanted this to use with a podXT. I was never happy with the XT through the front of a tube amp, but with the PE60 it sounds great and is plenty loud and pretty quiet. I just set the controls of the power engine at 12 o'clock and I have more volume than I ever need. The speaker sounds good for any tone I require. I have tried this with a Boss ME-50 and a line 6 M13 and the volume is somewhat less than I need so I would guess that aspect has more to do with your pedal characteristics than the PE.

    I wish the on off toggle and light were in a more convenient location
    (like on top) as it would be easier to access as I use an amp stand and the back support is where the switch is. Other than that, it is everything I needed at a decent price.

  • Burke-ATL
    from Atlanta, GA September 2, 2011Music Background:
    Lead guitar, student

    Very Versatile, Clean Piece

    Got one of these several months ago for band practice and small gigs, using a Boss ME-25 in front of it. Simple. Gets loud but not 2x12 loud so ideally live you are running direct out into a PA of some sort or you can daisy chain them if you need more on-stage oomph. Still, the 60 watts sounded great by itself in a couple small bars. Records well and very quietly, 12in speaker a requirement. EQ is very sensitive and if you are fiddling with it constantly you are doing something wrong. Same thing with vol. Run your default clean tone in and tweak the EQ. Mine's a mild scoop. Done. Vol is either practice or gig. DOES need a light in the back, however. Will slap a little LED battery powered one in there ASAP.

  • Rick
    from Oregon July 11, 2011Music Background:
    Studio engineer, Pro Musician 30+ years

    Nice, remarkably nice!

    I have several Rocktron preamps (Chameleon 2000, Prophesy ll) I have used in the studio for several years and have struggled to find an adequate solution for bringing the studio sound to the live arena. From multiple guitar amps to stereo amps powering mulitple speakers, nothing could reproduce the sound I get from plugging directly into the mixing board. Finally I heard about the Tech 21 Power Engine 60, and after reading through the reviews I decided to try one out. I was very impressed with the sound reproduction that came out. It was almost identical to the studio sound.

    My first live performance with it showed the one flaw (hence the 4.5 stars). Just one is really not loud enough to project a full meaty sound anywhere except in a very small club. I solved the problem by buying another one and they sound (and look) awesome now.

  • Alex Edwards
    from Atlanta January 10, 2011Music Background:

    Great for Pedals!!!!!

    I got this to use with my Digitech RP500 so that I could take advantage of the amp modeling. This simple amp does exactly what it is suposed too. It can be very load if you need it. The Celestion speaker is clear and very true in sound. Since there is no pre-amp you can utilize your pedals modeling and get all the sounds you desire. I would give it a 5 if the knobs (Volume, tones) were on the top. I am totally happy with this purchase. Sweetwater is the best!!!!! They called to make sure it got here ok and everything. Class Act!!

  • Phil
    from Toronto June 13, 2017Music Background:
    Playing for two decades

    Pretty Impressive

    This is a very quiet loud amp. Some of the reviews mention a hiss/hum but I literally can't tell when it's on (not hyperbole), so I think those folks need a power conditioner. But since it's solid state, I guess I don't have to worry about forgetting to turn it off for a week.

    This amp has ample headroom, it's more than loud enough to jam and gig with, and it has an XLR out you can run to the PA.

    I'm using my Tech 21 with a POD XT Live and it does a great job on all the Celestion-based tones. My Marshall, Mesa and Orange tones all come out really great. My Vox, Fender and JC120 tones are less convincing. But a Celestion speaker just can't sound like a Jensen or Roland speaker. I pair this with my JC120 sometimes and the combination is quite nice, I also pair it with a 30W Valvetronix and the two compliment one another nicely. Neither the Vox or the JC120 are as good at British tones as the Tech 21, it's not a gimmick, it's a pretty good option for modelling.

    Short of a 1500 Watt full range monitor cabinet it's the best option, and hands down the best option in this price range. And I like that it is it's own amp and not a full range monitor. It looks really, really nice in person.

  • Customer
    from June 1, 2016


    Nice cab. Light and great sound. Using line 6 firehawk fx. Work great with the boss gt8 also

  • Customer
    from June 1, 2016


    Nice cab. Light and great sound. Using line 6 firehawk fx. Work great with the boss gt8 also

  • Ricardo X
    from North of Chapman Ranch, Texas July 20, 2015Music Background:

    A little noise, but who gonna use this in a studio?

    The Seventy80 Asian-manufactured driver is a pig and I think needs to be replaced with a quality driver matching the high quality of the PE60. I selected an eight-ohm Eminence Tonker. This box is delightful with the Tech21 Character preamps plus I use an MXR Carbon Copy to approximate ambiance. It has a light amount of noise when cranked, but for stage or rehearsal use a bit of noise is just what's around anyway. The PE60 is compact and light, even with a good speaker. I think this is one valid way to approach transportable guitar amplification, especially with the endless multitude of gizmos that sound great through it. The ON-OFF switch requires reaching in through the back to operate, and the four variable controls are small and will require a flashlight in a typical club environment. You do carry a flashlight, no? Also, the mains cable is the typical detachable bit. The input is located on the bottom of the chassis and, again, requires reaching in through the back. This is all pedestrian stuff. The PE60 can be a real problem solver, and I highly recommend it.

  • Stephen Lederle
    from St Robert, MO March 13, 2014Music Background:
    Experienced musician (20 yrs), giging musician, recording musician

    Better than most Traditional Amps (for fx processors)

    I bought this amp because I am a HUGE fan of multi-effects processors. I've used Boss, Digitech, and Zoom (currently using the G5). The problem I was having was that when I used any brand of amp it was coloring my tone too much. I loved what I was hearing when I recorded direct in and when I used headphones to monitor the output, but the sound coming from the amp was TOTALLY different. I would have to spend so much time messing with all the preset settings and the amps EQ knobs just to get an "OK" tone. Then when I'd get back to my studio at home I'd have to spend the same amount of time undoing all those settings. The Power Engine 60 is as close to getting the straight processorís tones as you can get without having studio monitors. The knobs on the back are awkward to adjust and the amp buzzes and hums at loud volumes. I started simply going through the PA systems whenever I gig out and just use the PE 60 when I'm jamming at the house. Overall it's betting than most but not the best way to monitor your multi-effects processor. It's really light weight and has a great vintage amp look.

  • Scott Bump
    from Massachusetts January 15, 2014Music Background:
    Hobbyist Guitarist

    Perfect for Multi-Effects Users

    I exclusively use multi-effects pedals (GT-100). I needed a new amp for rehearsals and recording, but I did not want to spend a lot on a guitar amp that would just add a redundant pre-amp. I absolutely love the PE 60. It is quiet and clean with that excellent Celestion sound. It is very solidly built but very lightweight. It gets really loud, but sounds excellent at quiet practice levels. The only ding is the positioning of the controls and input jack and no front power indication. This is a keeper.

  • Corey Worrell
    from July 29, 2013Music Background:
    Singer, Songwriter, Musician

    Great with BOSS GT10

    This PE60 works well with my BOSS GT10. It doesn't model the sound output of my GT10 and that makes me happy.

    60W is more than I need and I generally don't turn up pass 3.

    It is well made and attractive. My disappointment is that all the knobs are at the back of the amp and since i play with the amp facing me it is extremely difficult and awkward to adjust.

    Other than that, it works well for me.

    I would advise you to also buy the case for it as it protects the material well.

  • ed englerth
    from Hastings MI 49058 March 31, 2013Music Background:
    guitarist, singer, songwriter, producer.

    just what i needed

    great box.... makes whatever I send into to it louder without twisting the tone all up. light weight, tuff. great looking. yeah!

  • Customer
    from September 12, 2012

    Easy to use, great for guitar, lightweight, light on power.

    Bought this unit to play guitar and synth through a Roland GR55 in a working band setup. On the plus side, it is light as heck, a breeze to setup and has great guitar tones ... coming directly from the Roland. With no tubes it is on the weaker side power wise. Guitar is OK, but the piano and organ patches have no more headroom .. two of these would be great and would allow for a stereo setup that is light and easy to work with. Excellent for mid size gigs for the guitarist using a full pedalboard.

  • Kevin
    from Indiana April 22, 2012Music Background:
    Studio and song writer

    Nice idea for Modeling pedal boards

    I gave this 4 stars, well you still need to EQ a little and I say little cause think about it - you have an HD500 running a Bogner with a 4x12 cab - a 1x12 is not going to give you exact sound will it? But other than that it sounds really great and the size it not huge and the weight is nice too. I know so many Tube people out there do not care for modeling but to pull off really close sounds - is good enough to me. I dont know about anyone else but my ears are not that great anymore, after so much time with loud music - I have a hard time really discerning absolute tube tone versus modeled tones, so for me personally - great amp!

  • Rodney Kofler
    from Plover, Wi September 28, 2011Music Background:
    Musician, Hobbyist Recording Engineer.

    Tech 21 Power Engine/Eleven Rack

    I'm completely satisfied with my Tech 21 Power Engine when used with my Avid Eleven Rack! The sounds I create in Eleven Rack come through the Tech 21 exactly as they sound in Eleven Rack, which is what I was looking for.

  • Jeffry Siewert
    from Kernersville, NC September 16, 2015

    Good product but.............

    Overall, the Power Engine is a quality amplifier. It is well built, and does everything as advertised. However, I have been running a Line 6 POD HD500 as shown in their video and it is a bit deceiving. It does color the tone if you are running a cabinet emulator. The Power Engine 60 was designed to work with amp simulators such as the Tech 21 Sansamp. The Power Engine 60 is an open back cabinet with a Celestion guitar speaker. If you are running a POD HD500 with a closed back 4x12, it will change the tone. If you want to run a speaker emulator, you are better off with a Full Range Flat Response powered PA speaker. But if you are running an acoustic guitar straight in, or an amp simulator it works great.

    Besides the misrepresentation when using an speaker simulator, the only negative quality I can note is that the controls are in the back, which is awkward.

  • Mel B.
    from Buffalo N.Y. May 17, 2013Music Background:

    A Little Noisy

    Works as advertised but I get what seems like a rushing noisy (not loud) at idle & even not connected. Good sound, Good value

  • Joe
    from IA August 1, 2015Music Background:
    Cover band

    Good sound, finicky with power supplies

    This is going to be a long review, so buckle in.

    There was one review that mentioned that this was bad with modelers. I have a GT-100 and I like what it does overall. The GT-100 has a lot of flexibility with EQ, however, so it could be that it has all the tweakability I need. I just set the controls on the Power Engine at noon and get all amp modeling (clean, dirty, and everything else) from my processor.

    It also takes stompboxes very well. I have used a ZVex Box of Rock, Keeley Stahlhammer, and a Catalinbread Sabbra Cadabra and each sounds amazing. The Stahlhammer and Sabbra Cadabra are a little more flexible; if you use this as a platform be sure to use amp modelling pedals that have a TMB stack for best results.

    On to the rough part now. When I bought the Power Engine I took it straight to our rehearsal space. At the rehearsal space I noticed a loud ground hum coming from the amp. I chalked it up to dirty power. I took it to a gig a few nights ago and it was still there, so I chalked that up to the neon signs. Finally I brought it home and ran it side by side with my high gain amps, which didn't buzz nearly as much at full volume and full gain.

    Turns out there is a known ground problem with this setup that Tech 21 has addressed with a hack instead of a re-design. It can be remedied by plugging an XLR connector with pins 1 and 3 jumpered into the XLR input while using the 1/4" input. If your processor has an XLR out you should be OK. On top of that, the amp doesn't like to see digital switching power supplies. When switching from my 1 Spot adapter to 9V batteries a good deal of the hum was reduced.

    Tech 21 should work to fix this problem. They should also include an XLR connector for their proposed hack. A recommended list of power supplies would also be helpful. I have ordered the parts to make an adapter so hopefully the hum is reduced and I can continue to use my GT-100. If not I will have to buy an analog adapter to run a few of my amp modelling stompboxes out front.

  • Robert
    from Florida August 27, 2011Music Background:
    Gigging musician in a rock/pop/worship band

    Lightweight in Several Ways

    I bought this for use with the HD500 for rehearsals and as a personal monitor during live performances. It weighs very little compared to most amps with a 12" speaker -- which saves visits to the chiropractor.
    My biggest complaint is that all the knobs, the power switch, and the power-on light are on the back. Since the amp faces me during shows, I have to fumble around or crane my neck over the top make adjustments.
    It does what I need it to do, but there are amps out there that cost less and do more.

  • That Dude
    from Syracuse, NY March 22, 2013Music Background:
    Pro level gigging musician, recording artist, producer, engineer

    Great purely for preamps, horrible for full on modelers

    First I'd like to preface this review by saying that the PE60 is fantastic at what it was originally designed for - as an extension cabinet for their Trademark series of amps that feature multiple preamp types going into a clean cabinet to feature the wide array of tones that the Trademark is known for. Somewhere along the line, Tech 21's marketing department decided that they should shift their focus from that to making it appear as if it's a great solution for amp modelers from every manufacturer in the world. Take that with a grain of salt. If you have ever played a POD, GT, RP, Eleven Rack, Amplitube, Guitar Rig, etc. through a true FRFR configuration (PA speakers, floor wedges, bi-amped studio monitors), then you know you are getting the ultimate representation of your gear's tonal range and flexibility.

    The Power Engine 60 sits uncomfortably in the middle ground. It's not nearly as nasty as running full modeling (models of guitar amp, speaker cabinet, mic, effects, etc) through a traditional guitar amp with pre and power amps coloring your sound, but it's not anywhere near high fidelity as running through FRFR. It sounds like someone put a thick blanket over your sound, and no amount of tweaking will get you where you want to be. You will be stuck with an awkward compromise which is neither here or there.

    That being said, if you've been struggling with running a modeler through a traditional guitar amp and you want the look of a traditional guitar amp on stage with you, then the PE60 will sound worlds better than what you're used to and will certainly fit the bill. However, if you're not concerned about people asking questions as to why you want to plug straight into the PA, or having your own personal active PA speaker, or keyboard amp on stage as opposed to a real guitar amp, then kudos to you for breaking the status quo.

Questions about the Tech 21 Power Engine 60 - 60-watt 1x12" Powered Cabinet?

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