Not many VST distortions sounded great in the early 2000's. Much less free ones. This is one of the oldest VSTs that remain on my DAW's VST list. It holds up well.
As noted by another review, it certainly isn't going to excel in the subtle presence of a soft-driven tube amp (neither did any plug-in in 2002). It does do well in being tortured to create mangled sounds.
Personally I like this plugin. I tested it with a tone and analyzer so I could understand its sweet spots and limits. It can be pretty subtle or a very agressive, like a real tube. With everything at minimum setting, it still produces some subtle harmonics, ideal for the master buss if the mix needs to sound a little more round and full. With higher settings I got a saturation similar to tube preamps and in mode 2 I added some more agressive distortion to an electric bass. Overall it is a useful tool for me and it is free so thank you Voxengo.
i`m sorry ...i try to be as fair as i can ... but a tube is something else ... this is more a simple nonelinear distotion to me. when do the developers at voxengo learn, that the distortion of a tube doesn`t necessecerally have to be audible ? it`s the subtle way of compressing with nomlinear distortion that makes a tube a tube ... then the sound gets punchier and louder in average, without the peaklevel being affected. otherwise vocals f.e. would be allways audible distorted when sent through a tube micro or tube amp. its the wrong name for that plugin. it should be labeled with "gutar amp-like overdrive" or something like that. anyhow, this plugin doesn`t make your sound any louder or punchier without audible unwanted sideeffects.its free though, so go give it a try and hear by yourself. maybe you find it useful. me not at all.imo you simply cannot put it on the summarized mix, like they say at voxengo. well ... you can do it, but it only souds good when the plugin is set to 0 amounts. sorry again, but this has to be said. i don`t mean no harm.