Tonal comparison of ENGL amps???

Discussion in 'Gear & Equipment' started by Gmork, Sep 3, 2019.

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  1. Gmork

    Gmork SS.org Regular

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    Can those with experience with the main engl heads give a VERY brief bullet point comparison of them all??

    Ive only played the FB100 but like it so much that im now beyond curious how the others compare tonally. Figured itd be nice to see em all together in an easy to digest post
     
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2019
  2. BrutalRob

    BrutalRob SS.org Regular

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    that´s something that I would really be interested in as well. Though that new Savage Mkii got me curious since the savage has a legendary status for death metal
     
  3. OliOliver

    OliOliver SS.org Regular

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    I've owned a Retro 50, a Fireball 100, and two Invader 100s (MK I).

    My favourite was the FB100. It was simple, balls to the wall pure metal, and a pretty decent clean channel, too. Very saturated and scooped, but totally usable. Apparently the original Fireball had even more of a scoop inherent to it. The gain knob has a reasonably large range on it so is pretty versatile, but don't expect to do anything less than the large umbrella of "high gain". You can dial it to be tight, or loose, and you don't necessarily need an OD in the front. I used one with the level around unity just for the low cut and mid boost. Great tones! Why the hell did I sell it?!?!

    I hated the Retro. It's been a loooong time, but it just didn't feel good to me. It certainly has a more retro vibe, as the name suggests, and is aimed more at rock. It can do metal when boosted and in high gain mode, but not as well as the Fireball. It's an odd, almost Marshall-y vibe, but not as mean as a Marshall can be. It was smoother, and almost had a sort of sag going no matter the volume. I am basing this purely off of years old memory and not that much time as the owner.

    The Invader (MK I) - Channel 3 is insane. More mids and brighter than the Fireball, but less low end, I found. It was hard to get a palm mute that would hold and let the low end rumble. Still a lot of fun, however. Good for mid to late 2000s metal tones, can nail As I Lay Dying's An Ocean Between Us tone almost exactly. Great if that's your thing. I found every other channel basically unusable for me. The clean was bland, lifeless. Ch2 was... I don't even know what it was aiming for, maybe something more akin to the Retro as in mid-gain. Channel 4 was god damn ugly. Very saturated and fizzy, almost Recto-ish in a way, but not cool like a Recto. I have one for sale for anyone who lives in the UK and wasn't completely turned off by my statement there.

    That's as far as my experience goes, hope it was helpful.
     
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  4. KnightBrolaire

    KnightBrolaire Thy Fart is Murder

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  5. Boris_VTR

    Boris_VTR SS.org Regular

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    I had 2 Fireballs 60 and was happy with it. Nice clean and very good high gain channel. I did couple of rehearsals with other guitaris having 5150 and it was sounding very good. But it wasn't battle of volumes, so mix was nice. I also recorder demo and it was fine.

    Savage 120 and Savage SE are pretty similar for bedroom playing. I would presume that difference is bigger when playing with band at louder volume. I don't play them side by side so I didn't do direct comparison. They have nice clean that can be shaped bright or darker..doh. Stays clean with active pickups. Crunch 2 can do blues/rock tones but I just don't care for that. I usualy use Lead Channel for everything metal related. Decent saturation. Personally I believe it has enough bass, but compared to rectifier is like only 20%. But here I'm implying that rectifier has this boomines that is too much imo. It is great for fast palm mutes. For solo I use smooth mode since it's a little to harsh on rough mode (I have mids at around 13 to 15 o'clock, treble at 13). When volumes are up, it gets really bright. I did raise master volume to around 14 o'clock to make it a little darker but it didn't have affect (Savage SE). But this was me listening in rehersal room. Maybe mick could pick it up.

    I just love my ENGL's for home playing. They sound nice even at conversation level. I just lover bass to 10h, mids to 15h, treble 12-13h and boost presence to around 15h. That way my 7 string is having enough clarity.
     
  6. Sdrizis89

    Sdrizis89 SS.org Regular

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    I own an Engl Savage 120 and absolutely love it. It's tight without a boost, can still take a boost if you want to get even tighter. The lead channel, where most of us will be, has more than enough gain for anything you could think of. The tonal shaping abilities using both gain knobs, rough/smooth, depth booth, and lead boost, give you so many added flavors. The lows are never boomy but very powerful, almost like the amp is boosted already by a pedal when it isn't. Way more than passable clean channel, Crunch channels can do blues, classic rock, hard rock, and more very well. My only issue is that the footboard switch does not have an FX loop switch, which to me is a little stupid on their part. I made one on my own using a pedal configuration and made my own little FX switch.
     
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  7. BrutalRob

    BrutalRob SS.org Regular

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    The only Engl I have some experience with is the ironball. I sold it since it was a rather smooth tone. very clear, but to smooth for my tastes.

    The fireball I only tried at a musicstore once. Seemed rather dark with again rolled off highs.

    Would love to try the new savage
     
  8. nightlight

    nightlight SS.org Regular

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    I own a Savage 120 and a Fireball 100.

    Both amps have a very compressed gain structure that I like a lot. I don't mean it's closed sounding, it's more like aggression, they respond really fast to your playing and both can sound brutal.

    I'd say the Savage is the more refined of the two amps, has more channels and is probably user in more styles, even though it's a "metal" amp. It's a very smooth sounding amp, great for styles like thrash or melodic death metal.

    The Fireball on the other is more like a one trick pony, but it does that trick ("metal!") exceedingly well. The Fireball has a lot more bass than the Savage, especially with the low switch and it really pairs well with guitars tuned low. I think they did a similar thing with the Savage MKII, which has a depth knob instead of just a deep switch on the MKI.

    I don't think either amp has to be boosted really, they have lots of gain on tap. I still prefer the Savage to the Fireball though, mainly because I like it's distorted tones more.

    Both amps have killer master volumes, anywhere from whisper quiet to monstrous.

    If you want to hear a Fireball 100 breathing... fire, skip to the 1.26 mark in this video I did comparing different high gain amps. I think the common complaint about it being dark is because of the depth switch being on, which isn't really necessary.

     
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  9. Boris_VTR

    Boris_VTR SS.org Regular

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    I don't think that Savage mkii has depth knob. I still see only depth boost switch, only this time is only one button (previously it was one per presence).
     
  10. Wizard of Ozz

    Wizard of Ozz Arch-Mage of Metal

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    Without writing a 500 page novel...

    I like the Engl SE and Savage 120 the best. I'm very interested in trying the new Savage 120 MKII ;). The SE and Savage sound the best to me and do pretty much everything good... although the heavy, modern, metal-thrash tones are their forte. The SE has more bass, chunk, and bottom and is the thicker sounding amp... the Savage 120 is more compressed (which is saying a lot by Engl standards) and has more high-end cut, more Marshall mid-sound, and not as much bottom/bass even with the depth boost on... not as modern sounding, like a modified Marshall 2203.

    The PB/PBII are more towards the SE sound, but not as smooth, produced, and polished sounding. The PBII and new FB100 are pretty dark, modern, thumping sounding amps as far as Engls go. Very modern, dark, tons of bass and bottom (tweakable with the depth knob... all Engls should have this depth knob)... and tons of gain. Very chug friendly. These are more straight forward plug-n-play type amps... less tweak-able vs the SE & Savage. If you prefer dark amps, start with these.

    The Invader and Invader II are my least favorite of the Engl line. Jack of all trades, master of none... decent clean and crunch tones... but not an amazing killer high-gain lead or rhythm sound to be found... which the other Engls can all do. Everyone likes the added channels... but the amp is basically the Powerball 2 with separate channels, EL34s, and a slightly different eq curve... less scooped more even/flat eq.

    The Blackmore Sig is closest to the Savage 120... but more raw sounding, a little less gain and less features. The Artist Edition is the Engl-ized idea of a modified Marshall amp, with 4 gain stages and EL34s. People looking for that modified Marshall sound of the mid-80s to early 1990s should check out this sleeper amp.

    Never tried the Morse, Retro, Inferno or Smolski.

    HTH.
     
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  11. Wizard of Ozz

    Wizard of Ozz Arch-Mage of Metal

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    Engl should have added a depth knob like the PB has. No clue why they stuck with the old "depth button". It works... but a depth knob lets you tweak more.
     
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  12. Boris_VTR

    Boris_VTR SS.org Regular

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    Do you have feeling that Savage 120 is missing some bass? I believe it is fine, but when you play side by side with Rectifier....its just ridiculous how much boomy Rectifier is. Not sure if it is all usable when bass player kicks in.
     
  13. lurè

    lurè Fake Shredder

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    Only had a PBII and, as said previously, they're very dark and compressed and have the tendency to disappear in the mix vs other amps ( 5150, mesa mark..) but maaaan, chugging through a 4x12 oversize cab was so pleasing.

    The other guitarist in my band has an Invader; is a nice amp with cool MIDI switching but I'm not overwhelmed and I prefer the PBII, plus I'm not the biggest fan of EL34.

    The Blackmore's is more "open", less compressed, less gain but can get pretty brutal if boosted. You won't find as many switches or channels as the Invader or PBII but I think its strength is being simple and sounding good.
     
  14. nightlight

    nightlight SS.org Regular

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    My mistake. You're right, there's only a button. The MKII has a noise gate, a better clean channel (allegedly) and more gain in crunch 2.
     
  15. thrashinbatman

    thrashinbatman SS.org Regular

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    It's definitely not as bass heavy as the Dual Rec, but IMO that says more about the Dual Rec than the Savage. The Savage has just enough low end to hang. With the bass at noon and the depth boost I have a thick, mean tone, which is all I need. You can get just absurd with the Dual Rec. But if you're in the market for one, you probably aren't for the other. The two amps are in most ways very different from one another. They're both great at what they do but it's not the same thing.
     
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  16. Wizard of Ozz

    Wizard of Ozz Arch-Mage of Metal

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    No... not when you look at what it is. The Savage 120 is more Marshall 2203 and the rest of the Engl amps just have more bass by design (closer to Recto levels)... like the PB2/FB100/SE. The Blackmore which the Savage is based on is the same. It's not missing bass per se, it wasn't voiced to have it by design. There are plenty of other Engls with the big, huge, modern bass heavy sound. The Savage is one of Engls first amps released way back when, and you can see and hear is clearly based on a modified Marshall design. The Savage cuts better because of this and stands out more in a mix. Right tool for the job and so forth.
     
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  17. Wizard of Ozz

    Wizard of Ozz Arch-Mage of Metal

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    This +1.
     
  18. nightlight

    nightlight SS.org Regular

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    Just thought I'd bump this thread with a big thumbs up for the emulated output on Engl amps like the Savage.

    I think it's eminently usable for a live situation where you don't want to
    mic the cab (therefore preventing issues like feedback).

    Thanks to the great master volume on Engls, you can also keep your stage volume low while pushing a really good signal to the FOH.

    I shot a vid demonstrating the emulated out on the Savage. Just a single tracked guitar down the centre with some reverb. No editing whatsoever. Not a tome I'd want to use on a recording, but for live, I think it's really, really good.

    https://www.instagram.com/p/B2O5smGnZZK/?igshid=1q5nr31kx5jl1
     
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  19. Boris_VTR

    Boris_VTR SS.org Regular

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    Do you guys use Contour ON in Savage 120? It should boost upper mids (from 1.2kHz upwards) and cutt lower mids at around 500HZ. Some say that it cuts throu mix less and other say that it cuts better :)
     
  20. Gmork

    Gmork SS.org Regular

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    Hijacking my own thread for a sec but does anyone have settings for a gsp1101 to emulate any ENGL amps?
     

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