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S-Gear [read all reviews]
Reviewed By Mats Eriksson [read all by] on 7th September 2019
Version reviewed: 2.52 on Mac.
Last edited by Mats Eriksson on 7th September 2019.
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This S-gear has been upgraded now, from 3 amps to 5. And an added tuner, and as well a Room Thing and Mod Thing. It still caters to the traditional kind of player that is brought up with 70s-80s hard rock, and not so much modern day high gain metal. It has a response and feel that - for the price - is really what the others are missing out on. It has this "break-up" in between cleanish and half-crunch, that is smooth and seamless especially when volume knob on the guitar is used. Having used it now since it's inception, I tend to fall back on using two amps only, the later Tweed (just 3-4 knobs) or the Duke. Together with cab sims. And assorted IR's. It hasn't as of yet nailed that AC-30 top boost but version 3.0 is in the works. The thing that sparked my interest was the Stealer which is a take on the obscure Park amps that was made by Marshall too. It had something that I liked in the response and when you cranked the treble up the distortion didn't become too unbearable.

It could be bettered in some contast, especially when scrolling up and down the preset window. But generally speaking, simple layout, easy to get grip of. In the few times I've opened up Guitar Rig 4 again, after I bought S-Gear, I get so annoyingly pissed off by its unwieldy GUI in the Guitar Rig preset. I thought how on earth I could even ever cope with that unwieldy thing. S-Gear is way much more readable. But as it is, I want to have resizable graphics. I know I know. Very few have this feature anyway. But I think that it's important.

MIDI and hooking up events to tracks in other DAWS are no problems, at all, changing presets fast, and the most useful feature that they have included is in that in each preset, you have an A and B amp. I e you can keep the effects, the cab, and all the other things so you really don't need to completely change to another patch which makes it loads effects and reverb all over again. Which means that you can have overspill delays, between distorted and undistorted sounds. Very useful feature, but maybe not that unique.

But still today, since it's inception in 2011 (I think) it's still heads and shoulders above the rest of them, regarding these few amps, it has nailed. All the other may have more bell and whistles and thrown in the kitchen sink too, but bang for the buck in the amp side of thing, they're still ahead of the game.

Halls of Fame 3 - Free [read all reviews]
Reviewed By Mats Eriksson [read all by] on 14th July 2019
Version reviewed: 1.0 on Mac.
Last edited by Mats Eriksson on 14th July 2019.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
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No, I don't like registration procedure either. It came in ONLY German on my part, and I had to register all kinds of things already just as if I were buying a real license. Best Service? A name change would be appropriate, to Worst Service, because this one beats all the former unwieldy and cumbersome registration process of any manufatcurer, software or whatever out there. You can't change language to English either. And as such the - alleged stellar reverbs - about the actual reverbs aren't sufficient and stellar enough to justify going through those ordeals, even if you try to register and buy it for real. If this is what is required for downloading a free version, I don't want to know about any real registration procedure for a real bought/licensed product.

As for that, when I finally got that free version installed, it failed to register on several hosts, both VST and AU, as I ran it on a modern Mac. Unwieldy and cumbersome, even when finally installed and opened it. Ok, enough of raining on their parade.

Other software that accepts loading IRs from Bricasti and everything else fares just as well, in terms of sound quality, Arts acoustics, and whatever else there are out there that accepts IR's (well done IR's), will produce just as similar results. The thing is you can't free up the IRs of this one and use it in whatever other (better) GUI reverb plugin there is out there. Ok, sound quality? Well, the IR's are certainly well done, but as with Bricasti IR's and especially QRS (Quantec) they fall a little short. As a freeware, there are others that performs equally as good, I can't judge the bought/registered version, but the basic reverb is the same although you can't save, or edit as much. QRS sounds flat as a pancake, at least compared to the real hardware thing. I don't say it's totally useless, but for us that wants to try out free version before one plunges into the real deal, there are alternative options that has better GUI, and easier to load 3rd party IRs on. And of course, better registration procedures...(I mean, c'mon what have these guys been smokin'... really?).

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