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Marshall Plexi Super Lead 1959

Guitar Amp Emulation Plugin by Softube
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Marshall Plexi Super Lead 1959
Marshall Plexi Super Lead 1959 by Softube is a Virtual Effect Audio Plugin for macOS and Windows. It functions as a VST Plugin, an Audio Units Plugin, a VST 3 Plugin and an AAX Plugin.
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The undisputed alpha dog of rock and roll guitar amps, the Marshall 1959 Super Lead amplifier is as legendary as the music it helped create. From Jimi Hendrix to Jimmy Page, Duane Allman to Eric Clapton, the Plexi's snarl, sustain, smoothness, and raunch defined the sound of rock.

Developed by Softube, the Marshall Plexi Super Lead 1959 plug-in is an expert emulation of this 100-watt British classic.

Softube enlisted legendary AC/DC engineer Tony Platt to capture exquisite cabinet and microphone simulations using his tried-and-true mic recipes. Producers and guitarists can choose from 50 Platt-designed presets or craft their own tones with the plug-in's onboard mixer.

Key Features:

  • The world's only authentic and licensed plug-in emulation of the classic Marshall Plexi Super Lead amplifier.
  • Three different microphone combinations — FET, Valve, and Dynamic.
  • Onboard mixer features microphone level, pan, and global two-band EQ.
  • 50 presets designed by legendary AC/DC engineer Tony Platt.
  • Requires a UAD-2 DSP Accelerator or Apollo Interface available from authorized dealers worldwide.

The Plexi's design was essentially commissioned by Pete Townshend of The Who, looking for more power, volume, and grunt as true high-voltage rock began to explode in the mid '60s. Eric Clapton traded in his 'Bluesbreaker' combo for a Super Lead when he founded Cream in 1966. Jimi Hendrix, for goodness sake, played a Super Lead at Woodstock. Need we say more?

The first Marshall full stack was created for the Plexi. Initially the super-powerful, 100 watt amp was paired with a huge 8x12 speaker cabinet, but soon the preference shifted to two 4x12s, one straight and one angled. It's hard to overstate how much of a cornerstone this amp is. Rock simply wouldn't look or sound the same without it.

Your own personal legendary engineer.

We retained the services of Tony Platt, engineer for AC/DC on some of the most face-meltingly rocktastic albums of all time, to capture impulse responses from a perfect era-appropriate 1960BHW cabinet with a variety of expertly placed vintage microphones. Nothing comes close to the mix-ready magic of these sounds. We built a world-class engineer, who knows the amp like an old friend, right into the plug-in.

The channel strip

In addition to the amp itself, the plug-in provides a complete setup and workflow for getting mix-ready sounds. Three different microphone combos – FET, Valve, and Dynamic – were recorded by Platt at Kore Studios in London, and the results can be blended and tweaked in the side panel of the plug-in.

Each microphone has its own volume and pan settings, just as you'd expect working in a top-class studio, so you can mix your own ideal sound right there in the plug-in. This is more than just an amp sim. It's a complete workflow for an amazing mix-ready guitar tone.

Detailed and versatile tone

Two channels, a lead and a rhythm, each with both high and low gain inputs, can be combined (or 'jumped') for a wide-range of sounds. Go from a warm, gritty twang right up to a searing wailing rock god solo scream, and never let The Man stand in your way.

Angus Young played one in AC/DC. Jimmy Page played one in Led Zeppelin. Graham Coxon, Johnny Ramone, John Frusciante, Slash. The versatility of the 1959 ('1959', by the way, being a model number rather than a production year), and the ease with which it produces fantastic harmonically rich sounds, defined a genre and a movement.

Don't compromise with lesser rigs. Don't put up with pretenders. Get the one and only Plexi Super Lead 1959, and ground your tone in pure rock.

Perfect for Amp Room

Plexi Super Lead 1959 comes with modules that are fully integrated into the Amp Room ecosystem and sound exactly the same as the native version of the plug-in. If you already own Amp Room, you definitely need this amp.

Amp Room is the pro audio guitar and bass platform, designed with sound quality as top priority. It's just like having a real amplifier with a miked up speaker cabinet in a high-end studio – with the added convenience of more options to patch in any kind of studio tool you need anywhere in the chain.

In short:

  • A faithful emulation of Marshall's own reference Plexi Super Lead 1959 amplifier from their museum, built in 1967, combined with an era-correct 1960BHW speaker cabinet recorded by famous engineer/producer Tony Platt.
  • Both a native plug-in and a module for Amp Room, the pro audio guitar and bass platform.
  • Microphone selections and placements by Tony Platt, captured in famous Kore Studios, London.
  • Over 50 finely tuned presets designed by AC/DC engineer Tony Platt.
  • Three different microphone combination setups available — FET, Valve, and Dynamic.
  • Three separate mics per setting, two close and one room.
  • 'Channel Strip' includes pans, volume faders, and solo for each mic, plus a two band 'Main Out' EQ.

{See video at top of page}

Latest User Reviews

Average user rating of 4.00 from 1 review
Marshall Plexi Super Lead 1959

Reviewed By Faydit [all]
February 9th, 2023
Version reviewed: 2.5.55 on Windows

Althogh this plugin meanwhile is quite old, it still is one of the two or three really good and authentically sounding 1959 SLP plugins, which I have heard up to now. I know a lot more, but usually they hardly have much to do with a typical, real Plexi tone, at least not for my eaars, so programming a good Plexi plugin seems to be some sort of "Holy Grail" for programmers, which separates the wheat from the chaff.

The amp section itself still sounds good for my taste and it also enables all possible linking options, which is essential especially for a Plexi, if you want to authentically cover the whole sonic range.

Not so happy I also am with the trashy look, vintage museum piece, ok, but the black knob and the sticker rather disturbs my eyes than it pleases them.

The tall 1960 BHW cabinet with G12H-30 Celestions is in principle a good choice, but I also had liked some alternatives, at least an additional pre-Rola G12M cabinet, maybe also some 75Hz and 55Hz Blackbacks, EVM-12L's or even some V30's or Scumbacks.

But what I dislike most and what is annoying me every time again is the - for me - strange Tony Platt channel strip, especially the microphone section. You have to choose, if you only want to use dynamic, FET or tube microphones but you cannot combine them or adjust position and distance individually, even worse, there is no even a Royer R121 is availabe, which for me, especially if it comes to Marshalls, in most cases is the best choice in combination with a SM57. And also no C414 or SM7B. Ok, these may be Tony Platt's favorites, whyever, but the "industrial standard" is a different one.

Nevertheless you can adjust - even with these strange, predefined limitations - some good, usable cabinet/microphone sounds by yourself or in the worst case you can deactivate the speakers and microphones completely and use some external IR's instead, which I mostly do meanwhile.

Alternatively the additional, but also within Amp Room usable Softube Celestion Speaker Shaper can be a good alternative, as you can widely customize your own cabinets/speakers in it and also have acces to not all, but some typical Celestion speakers, which you individually can modify and customize even more.

As this Plexi plugin itself is not really cheap, I had expected some more flexibility concerning the cabinet/speaker/microphone section, as already mentioned. Some competitors offer different cabinets or also a built-in IR-loader, while Softube's solution is for my taste and for the price a little too limited, if not to say, very modest.

Also another alternative voicing to this museum Plexi would have been a good idea, eg. the one of the newer 1959 SLP HW reissue or maybe the one of a Studio Vintage, to be able to compare the sounds and differences directly, maybe even better the one of an Arredondo modded Plexi.

If Softube anyway has already modelled the basic amp circuit, these different voicings could not have been so much additional work but would have justified the high price much more, I think.

Despite of my complaints for me still (one of) the best sounding Softube amp plugins from the Marshall collection, while some others - like the 2203 - do not really convince me very much.

I would have given five stars for the amp section itself, but due to the GUI and even more the strange, unflexible channel strip one point is deducted.

Another one I should have deducted for the price-performance ratio. For this price I had expected a more flexible, more modern state-of-the-art, more user-friendly channel strip with different cabinet/speaker options and individually adjustable and combinable microphones, not only for levelling but also concerning distance and placement. Plus at least another alternate Plexi voicing. But I do not, as the amp sound itself - despite of my complaints and critics - definitely deserves more than three stars.

The plugin market is overcrowded and meanwhile, also at least some competitive products at the same if not even higher level are available, so at the moment the amp simulation itself still sounds and works good, but some of the other features, like the channel strip are not really anymore state-of-the-art and urgently need some update and modernization in my opinion.

One idea eg. could be, to replace the existing, annoying channel strip with a built-in Celestion Speaker Shaper or at least a limited version of it with eg. only 412 cabinets but all speakers and speaker editing options.

Nevertheless recommended, if you look for convincing Plexi tones, can live with some disadvantages and are willing to accept them at this price. In other words, good programming job, but in certain aspects an unfortunately wrong product management in my opinion.

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