Still a very rare gem, although this plugin meanwhile is not the newest one.
A tube power amp plugin alone sometimes really can be helpful and in this case this plugin really does a very good job, even more, as it is widely adjustable and tweakable and it sounds good and very convincing.
The only thing I miss is a "little brother", which means, an EL84 / 6V6 power amp, maybe switchable from push-pull to single ended mode and maybe with additional pentode / triode switching.
I have a recording studio with several hardware preamps...a Mesa Triaxis, Mesa Rectifier, and ENGL E530. I also use THU IR cabinet / IR management software. I was actually getting pretty good tones with just the preamps, but i was also searching for a power amp plugin sim for some time. The signal chain was just not complete without a power amp to create the tone and feel of a real amp. Well i tried a lot of plugin software and the Torpedo Two Notes hardware unit...they just didn't sound good to me. So finally i read an article about the TPA-1 from Igniteamps. I was amazed at the realism of this plugin and how the various power tube combinations sound. This plugin really sounds like a power amp is connected in my signal chain. I can feel the difference in the lows and air movement from my studio monitors as well as the extra body in the tone high gain, and clean guitar sounds now have. Can't believe a beautiful piece of software like this is free when there is so much mediocre stuff out there for a lot of money. And it gets better...i am using the TPA-1 as a power amp sim between the output of my Boss GT1000 core AIRD amp model outputs, and the THU IR plugin. The TPA-1 has added another level of realism to the GT-1000 AIRD amp models that make them sound as good as any amp models i have heard including the latest from Fractal for a lot less money.
This thing is amazing....just download it and try it out. You will be glad you did.
This is an absolute gem of a plugin! I've never owned a separate guitar poweramp but I image this must be a really good approximation of how it would sound. My normal use for this is with a ampsim plugin that don't have a built in poweramp, Ignites own The Anvil and Mercuriall SS-12 are examples of this. It's also great to use on ampsims where you can bypass the built-in poweramp simulation.
Note that this one is not supposed to be used on it's own but in a signal chain after the preamp but before the speaker cabinet emulation. A typical scenario would be something like this:
On the front panel you have controls for volume, depth and presence. Increasing the volume gives you that nice poweramp saturation that to my ears sound really pleasing. Depth controls low-frequencies and presence (as usual) high frequencies.
Looking at the back of the plugin you find controls for:
tube bias voltage.
amount of sag.
feedback level (the amount of signal that goes from the output back to the input).
choice between different models of power amp tubes (EL34/6L6/KT88).
feedback (a model of the interaction between poweramp and speakers) and.
overall output level.
Tweaking the bias, sag and feedback controls allows you to have very detailed control of the poweramp characteristics and also how it feels to play.
Feedback control settings are dependent on what type of IRs you use - your really should read the manual for best results here :).
This is a great sounding power amp simulation with an outstanding level of tweakability. As far as I know there are no other dedicated VST powerampsims, so there is really no competition to compare it to. Hopefully someday someone will model a MESA 2:Ninety or something similar. But the lack in choice is not a problem when the only choice you have is as good as the TPA-1. Big thanks to Ignite for giving this away for free.
Ignite Amps updated a number of plugin to a new major version in 2018 at the same time incorporating newer modelling technology - I'm very much hoping that this plugin receives the same treatment.
I absolutely love the tone/character/saturation of this thing. I don't just use it with guitar. Along with Sonimus Britson (Vintage Flat), T-Racks EQ 81 and and EQP-1A it is on every one of my tracks in a mix. The blend of these four ingredients in my spice rub makes everything sound delicious to me. Ignite Amps is incredibly generous to offer the TPA-1 for free.