Randall Satan Ola EnglundKey Features
- Tubes: Two 6L6 and two KT88 power tubes, six 12AX7 preamp tubes.
- Output: 120 watts.
- Channels: Overdrive and clean.?
- Controls: Dedicated 3-band EQ and controls for preamp gain and volume on each channel, mid-boost switch, sweep, bright and 3-way voicing switch for clean channel, “6irth” and “6rind” frequency controls for overdrive channel, master presence, depth, and volume.
- Additional Features: Series/parallel effects loop with send level adjustment, raw and cabinet-emulated line outputs, speaker outputs for single and multiple 4-, 8-, and 16-ohm cabinets.
The Satan is the result of a two-year collaboration between Swedish death metal master Ola Englund, renowned amp engineer Mike Fortin, and Randall Amplification. Its roots stretch to Englund’s Fortin Natas amp that he’s used for brutalizing listeners with Six Feet Under and The Haunted. With the sound and feel of that amp in mind, the Satan was designed from the ground up with a customized tone stack, gain structure, and EQ to suit Englund’s needs.
Two pairs of 6L6 and KT88 power tubes dish out 120 watts of bone-crushing power while illuminating the amp with a haunting crimson glow. Clean and dirty tones are processed via five 12AX7 preamp tubes. A sixth 12AX7 processes the signal of the amp’s series/parallel effects loop.
Each channel has its own discrete gain, volume, and 3-band EQ controls, and is governed by master controls for presence, depth, and overall volume. The clean channel sports switches for added brightness and three selectable voicings. The gain channel features a “Kill” switch for boosting the upper mids, as well as knobs for changing the frequency sweep of the EQ. There’s also a cabinet-emulating XLR output with an unfiltered line out jack, multiple speaker outputs, and separate inputs for using passive or active pickups.
Judging from the amp’s name, it might come as a surprise that the Satan’s clean tones are actually quite good. Using a Les Paul Custom with the clean channel’s midrange scooped and the presence at 1 o’clock yields one hell of a crystal-clear tone. Flipping the bright switch allows even more fidelity and treble to pass through without adding any painful “squeak” to pick attack. The voicings shift between being more-or-less bass and mid focused, and both are extremely useable. Compared to something like a big blackface Fender, it’s pretty cold and stiff-sounding—but impressive for a metal-oriented amp.
The Satan’s gain channel is a thrash lover’s dream, and it’s easily one of the clearest and heaviest-sounding Randall has ever offered. With a Les Paul, the lows are both massive and consistently tight, regardless of how the EQ is set. In fact, its voicing is so tightly wound that introducing any sort of low end sag is next to impossible. While providing the overdrive plenty of headroom to breathe, the power amp’s 6L6/KT88 combo has the stopping power of a punch to the chest. The combination of all these qualities gives the Satan an uncommon capacity to handle the lower registers of dropped tunings and 7- and 8-string guitars.
The “6irth” and “6rind” gain-frequency controls function brilliantly and deliver a wide range of gut-wrenching distortion tones with minimal fuss. Instead of turning up the treble and presence for a razor-like edge—which, in a lot of cases, adds unwanted harshness and buzz—turning the “6rind” knob revoices the gain itself. This lets you introduce more treble before the EQ without the risk of your sound mutating into a can of bees. You can sweep from the early thrash tones of Trouble, Metallica, and Celtic Frost to unrelenting bowel-shaking tones in the vein of Meshuggah and Lamb of God. With that in mind, don’t expect to hide mistakes behind the Satan’s overflowing rivers of gain. This amp will not hide your mistakes, and requires a surgically precise picking hand to coax its tightest and most awesome metal tones.