Developed by Brainworx for UAD hardware and Apollo interfaces, the ENGL Savage 120 is unapologetically geared for ferocious metal tones. I’ve used the other UA/Brainworx ENGLs—the E765 Retro Tube and E646VS—for years now to get big, hard, aggressive sounds, both on guitar and bass. But the Savage 120 is a slightly different animal.
It’s got four channels, dual three-band EQ, Depth Boost, Rough/Smooth, Contour and Presence, which gives you some extra tonal control. My ears hear this amp as having more targeted, quick-acting presence, and while the distortion is quite savage, it’s not that fake, crunchy stuff that’s not useable.
My Gibson Les Paul Custom and Ibanez 7-string sound especially good paired with the 120, and it’s definitely a screamer. It’s also Unison-enabled, which means you can track through Apollo interfaces with near-zero latency—something we guitar players always appreciate.
One slightly overlooked feature of these plug-ins is the inclusion of the built-in FX Rack, which includes Vintage delays, EQ filters, a Power Soak circuit and the all-important noise gate, because this thing is a monster.
Universal Audio • www.uaudio.com
Brainworx • www.brainworx.audio