E 610 Savage 120 Head Review

manufacturer: Engl date: 01/04/2012 category: Guitar Amplifiers

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Engl: E 610 Savage 120 Head
If you are looking for a unique mid rich tone for your metal playing and not the typical scooped sound this amp is amazing.
 Sound: 9.5
 Overall Impression: 9.5
 Reliability & Durability: 9
 Features: 9
 Overall rating:
 Reviewer rating:
 Users rating:
reviews (2) pictures (3) user comments vote for this gear:
overall: 9
E 610 Savage 120 Head Reviewed by: Talentless, on december 11, 2009
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: £ 1600

Purchased from: Thomann.de

Features: This is a 2008 Engl Savage 120 Head I believe. I'm not going to give you all the features as they are, look on the Engl Site for that. I will however explain a few of them in a bit more detail. The amp is crammed with features, there are so many buttons and dials that you don't know where to start. 4 Channels, and rough/smooth mode on channel 3 and 4, which does make for a total of 6 different voicings right? Wrong. You are forgetting all the other buttons and dials such as contour, depth boost, lead boost, switchable presences, not to mention the fact that this amp has a very sensitive EQ, you really can squeeze just about any sound you want out of this amp. Very versatile indeed. Midi switching works fantastic, the only thing I really wish was that I could switch more with it, you can only switch channels, presences, master volumes and rough / smooth mode with the midi setup, would be nice to be able to turn depth boost, contour, lead boost etc on and off with midi too. Switchable effects loops too however I only use one because I use a rackmount for my effects. It also has outputs for 4, 8 and 16 ohms. What more could you want out of a tube amp? Ah yes, its noisy on channel 4 so those of you Who don't use external effects from stomps or rack would want a built in noisegate, I however do not. // 9

Sound: I use a Rocktron prophesy for effects and I primarily play with a highly customised Ibanez S520 EX, I've had all the electronics swapped out with high quality parts (CTS POTS, switchcraft switches and sockets, new capacitor etc.) and I have bareknuckle warpig pickups in the beast too. I also have a Fender strat that has had similar treatment and is boasting 3 bareknuckle trilogy suite single coils, however my Ibanez is my primary guitar. I play mostly metal, not mids scooped out buzzsaw metal, I have my own tone with the mids cranked and let me tell you, this amp growls and barks like a mother. The quality in tone is simply incredible. The other guitarist in my band uses a Line6 HD147 and he is left in awe when he hears my wailing leads and my grunting growling rhythm tone. That however is not all this amp does, I have dialed in amazing early rainbow, early whitesnake and ACDC tones from the amp, because of the channel setup you can get amazing versatility from this amp. One warning I will give youm, if you are the kind of player Who just wants that scooped out sound stay away from this amp, it has relentless mids that are hard to dial out. I however love mids and play with them cranked through my Engl XXL Celestion V30 cab, this amp sings. 10 for sound, beautiful is the only word I can use to describe the sound that comes from this amplifier. That dream tone you hear in your head that sounds almost like a voice, thats the sound I get from this amp. // 10

Reliability & Durability: I have had a few problems with the amp in the year that I have owned it so far. When I first purchased it within 2 weeks the power amp tubes blew, however these were replaced by thomann with Sovtek tubes and I haven't had a problem with them since and problems with modern production tubes are widespread. Secondly the midi input port on the back became loose because of my mishandling, this caused the amp to constantly Switch channels, I had this repaired locally for 40 and reinforced. Both these problems were early on in the amps life and since then I have had 0 problems with it. I would use this amp without a backup at a gig as I have been using it about 4 months now in rehearsal for 2 hours every week and had no problems, however if I could afford it I would buy another savage to take with me just incase. // 8

Overall Impression: If you are looking for a unique mid rich tone for your metal playing and not the typical scooped sound this amp is amazing. For lots of other genres I'm sure it would be exceptional too, the cleans are shimmering and bright, or deep and warm depending how you EQ, the distortion is to die for, and there is such a broad range of tones and gain levels to squeeze out in between that the possibilities with this amp are endless. I have been playing for over 8 years now and am currently in a band called No Love Lost based in Birmingham in the UK, I have through rehearsal rooms played through many marshalls, peaveys, and a few solid state H and K amps. They don't come close, my tone from this amp is simply godly, and cuts through the mix like no other. I have found my dream gear already so early on in my career and would recommend this amp without question. Overall I will give it a 9 because of the technical problems when first purchased, but for sound... It gets a 10 for sure! // 9

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overall: 9.5
E 610 Savage 120 Head Reviewed by: CV334, on january 04, 2012
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Features: I am reviewing a 2011 model Engl Savage that I recently purchased from Musician's Friend. My initial impression of this amplifier was that it was extremely well-built both structurally and aesthetically. The amplifier has four main channels - Clean, Crunch 1, Crunch 2, and Lead. The channel switching is dual-binary: Button 1 = Left/Right channel, Button 2 = Top Channel, Bottom channel. Clean = Top Left Crunch 1 = Top Right Crunch 2 = Bottom Left Lead = Bottom Right There are two effects loops with a wet/dry pot as well as various MIDI controls and other features as well. This amplifier has quite an arrangement of signal-shaping features such as buttons for brightness, contour, lead boost, etc, as well as two separate master volumes and two presence pots. The presence pots also have a "depth boost" option that really fills the sound out beautifully. Initially, I wasn't really impressed with the sounds I got from the amplifier (please read on to understand why). It felt very bland without reverb for my taste. The gain was excellent but the overall tone just didn't feel right regardless of my settings. However, as soon as I colored the tone with a slight delay and chorus, it was absolutely amazing. The number of tonal combinations are seemingly endless - I can easily achieve the quintessential "Engl" sound, a djenty distortion, a Rectifier-esque organic sound, and everything in between. The clean channel is amazing as well. The amp spends most of its time in the Lead channel, due to my love for metal. However, the crunch 1 and 2 channels are excellent for obtaining a variety of rock tones. Turning down the volume pot on any of my guitars allows me to get a nice Clutch-reminiscent tone in Crunch 1. Crunch 2 lets me get a tone similar to a slightly-overdriven Diezel heard in some songs by Tool. I am very impressed with the versatility of this amplifier. As for power... I have owned only a few tube amplifiers, but have tried many. Lower end amplifiers really need to be cranked before the distortion is desirable. That is not the case with the Engl. I can turn down the channel and master volumes to near nothing and still obtain an excellent sound for practicing - less than 70db if you can believe it. There seems to be a threshold where the volume fills in nicely, but below that threshold it is still excellent and well-suited for low-volume practice. I shouldn't have to note that this is a tube amplifier, but I would like to point out that the layout and aesthetics are beautiful. There are two LEDs that light up the two large power tubes centered in the amplifier. I wouldn't have minded seeing a built in reverb, but honestly it's probably best that I use reverb in the effects loop so the signal isn't fully saturated. I wouldn't have minded seeing a built in reverb, but honestly it's probably best that I use reverb in the effects loop so the signal isn't fully saturated. I also would have liked to have seen a visual indicator for the tube circuits like the Powerball II has. If the Special Edition E670 would be a 10 in features, the Savage 120 would be a flat 9 in my opinion. // 9

Sound: I tested this amplifier with the following guitars: Schecter C-1 Hellraiser FR - EMG 81/89 Schecter C-7 Hellraiser - EMG 707s PRS Custom 24 - Stock 59/09s Breedlove Atlas 12 - Fishman Pickups (clean channel, of course) This amplifier suits a wide range of sounds, but is mainly suited for metal in my opinion. The lead distortion channel with the lead boost activated gets close to the tone Jeff Loomis had on several Nevermore albums as well has his solo record. A slight EQ tweak will obtain a tone similar to Fear Factory. With the presence and treble up higher, the amplifier comes close to the sound of a Mesa Rectifier, but with slight obvious differences. An untrained ear would most likely not notice the difference. The amplifier is only noisy when the gain is cranked up in both the individual channel and lead boost. I had a major problem with A/C hum and RF interference due to a horribly placed antenna array in our neighborhood. I power conditioner took care of this problem and reduced the noise down to just that caused by the amplifier. The noise is no worse than any other amplifier I have used with comparable levels of gain. With a slight noise gate either pre-amp or in the effects loop, the noise levels drop considerably. However, an ISP Decimator or similar unit might be the best option to consider. At lower levels of gain, any basic noise gate or suppressor will perform just fine. The clean channel only becomes slightly crunched when the gain is above 5. This break-up occurs only on my guitars with active pickups. The PRS's pickups colored the clean channel beautifully. Turning down the tone knob and coloring the signal with delay and chorus gave me quite an amazing range of tones. I am extremely happy with how versatile this often-overlooked channel is. The distortion is the reason why I bought the amp. I was torn between the Mesa Triple Rectifier, Mark V, Powerball II, and Savage 120. The determining factor was ultimately how "tight" the distortion could be at low frequencies. The Savage lends itself perfectly to "djenty" tones amazingly well when compared to the other options. Fast picking on the lower strings doesn't turn the signal into an unintelligible mess. However, the Rectifier and Mark V have a more distinguishable "organic" tone regardless of how close the Engl can get. The Powerball II was the only other choice, and I read/heard from PBII owners that they preferred the sound of the Savage for various minor reasons. The Savage is also not as much of a "tweaker" amp when compared to other high-gain amplifiers on the market. The sound that this amp delivers is incredible to me. As I mentioned several times, I love coloring the signal with various effects and running side-chains for Devin Townsend-style synth-esque effects. Alone, the amplifier is ok, but with slight chorus/reverb/delay, it is amazing. // 9

Reliability & Durability: I do not have enough time spent with this amp to be able to determine how long it will last. As I mentioned earlier, the construction is excellent. Functionality wasn't sacrificed for aesthetics- both were top priorities to Engl. I have had no issues with the amplifier, but again I don't have enough experience with it to make a solid conclusion. The amplifier came with two extra pre-amp tubes. From the many reviews/testimonies I have read, this amp is extremely durable and the tubes last for years if properly warmed up prior to use. // 10

Overall Impression: I mostly play various genres of metal. I know that genre is a very touchy subject, so I will simply list my main influences: Jeff Loomis (Nevermore), Mikael Akerfeldt (Opeth), Devin Townsend (SYL, DTP/DTB), John Petrucci (Dream Theater), Pete Witchers (Soilwork). I have been playing the guitar for 13 years, and own/have owned a decent amount of gear. I did my due-diligence and homework before purchasing this amplifier and I am extremely happy with the product on the whole. I always chuckle at the "if it were stolen/lost" question. I would never lose this amp because it doesn't leave the house. If someone attempted to steal it, they would get shot in the process. End of story there. This is an excellent amplifier that serves a wide range of musical styles and desired tones. Of course, my favorite part about it is the djenty "Engl" tone from the A# string on my C-7. Overall, I'd rate the Engl Savage a 9.5/10 for the reasons listed above. Normally, I'm the one poking fun of the items unfairly rated at 9+, but this amplifier certainly deserves an exemplary rating. You will not be disappointed. // 10

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