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Gear and Technology

Review: Universal Audio Engl Savage 120 Plug-In

By Rich Tozzoli. The Savage 120 glories in an unabashedly modern aggressiveness and punch.

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.

Review: Universal Audio Empirical Labs EL8 Distressor

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.

Rich’s Tozzoli’s Gear of the Year, Part 1 

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 •

Brainworx •