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Reviewed By Faydit [read all by] on 17th March 2021
Version reviewed: 1 on Windows
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
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There are a lot of Vox simulations available, but up to now they did not really convince me very much, even less as I've been playing a real Vox for years - decades ago.

This one is - in my opinion - not only the most authentically sounding simulation of this iconic amp, I also like a lot that it includes the authentic 3 channels, 6 inputs plus Reverb and the Vibro-Trem circuit.

I totally had forgotten how great a Vintage AC-30 really sounded and still today sounds. So does this DC-30 simulation. Playing immediately sounded very familiar and resulted in very convincing tones - at (bed)room level - which has been absolutely impossible with the - in reality - incredibly loud real amp due to the vintage single volume design of the circuit.

The Vib-Trem channel is great for typical clean(er) Shadows or Beatles' guitars but also for these typical late 60's Italo-Western soundtrack guitars with a lot of reverb and tremolo. The built-in Vib-Trem unit sounds incredibly good and unique, very different from most pedals. Retro tube tones to die for.

The Normal channel is great for these typical warm, sweet Brian May tones, Normal and Brillant channels both can give you typical Rory Gallagher or Status Quo tones, but not only, Ritchie Blackmore also played AC-30's before Deep Purple Mk. II (Think of "Hush" or "Concerto for Group and Orchestra", Jeff Beck and Jimmy Page also in their early Yardbirds years, as well as the - in my opinion - completely underrated Terje Rypdal and a lot of other great players.

The additional Link/Bridging option here extends the sonic possibilites and is especially very useful for overdrive tones.

Basic tone is excellent, but what I really like is that these very unique, vivid Vox harmonics sound very accurate here, the gain range is very exactly the one of the real amp, also the reaction to attack is very authentically. My only complaint - if one - could be that treble in the bright channel at higher gain and treble settings may sound a little bit too sharp and still a little too digital for my taste. The real amp also is capable of a lot of very intense treble, maybe even too much at certain settings, which also can sound very biting, even too sharp, nevertheless the authentic treble tube breakup still shows some more sweetness at the same time, which I miss here a little, compared with a real AC-30. Nevertheless too intense treble sharpness easily can be compensated with the Cut (Reverse Presence) tone control as well as with the additionally built-in harshness control here.

But this is complaining at a very high level, most other AC-30 simulations, I know, are miles away from the beautiful, in general very convincing, authentic tones of this simulation. Concerning all other sonic aspects this simulation feels and plays very much like the real amp.

As the AC-30 has a rather mid-scooped sound, it also works well with pedals with some mid boost, Tube Screamer, SD-1, OCD, Klon Centaur, Zendrive are a good choice. My personal favorite is the SD-1, as it's tone additionally adds more harmonics than eg. a Tube Screamer, which even increase the already great harmonics of the amp. (If you know "Ambiguity" from Terje Rypdal (Chaser album from 1985), these are exactly the tones you get from this combination.).

Alternatively also an equalizer pedal in front can be a good choice to add some mids, without altering the amp's tube tone itself too much, which also makes the tone more similar to a Plexi, but generally the AC-30 always sounds sweeter, more harmonious, less rough than a Plexi, with more singing sustain but less dirt at higher volume settings.

The built-in cabinets sound good, the Vox cabinet of course sounds great, but also the Twin cabinet with the JBL's sounds very interesting, a quite different, but convincing voicing, but the simulations also works well with a lot of other speakers/cabinets.

An AC-30 simulation in this quality has been long overdue, as this amp is - in my opinion - even today one of the best sounding allround amps with a very unique tone, which you hardly can get out of any other amp. (Or out of any other amp simulation - in this case.).

In the future a Marshall 1959/1987 Plexi simulation in the same quality from Nembrini Audio would be highly appreciated from me, but also a Hiwatt DR-103 or maybe a Dover DA-50 simulation.

But at the moment this plugin certainly will become one of my favorite amp simulations. Great work.

Reviewed By Faydit [read all by] on 9th February 2021
Version reviewed: 1 on Windows
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Simple, useful, nice, effective.

Sounds really good, loading IR-files works well. A simple soulution, if you want to use IR's but don't need any additional editing except from mixing level.

An option to store one or more different IR folders and their content would be nice maybe in a future version.

Reviewed By Faydit [read all by] on 5th December 2020
Version reviewed: on Windows
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
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To be honest, Rectifiers never have been my favorite amps. But this plugin sounds excellent. It also seems to sound a little bit different to some other Dual Rectifier simulations, which I've heard or tried up to now.

I've noticed a more dynamical reaction, a generally more aggressive, more transparent sound with less fender-like politeness and compression, which I noticed on other Rectifier simulations, instead with more of an almost British voiced directness and rawness, nevertheless the tones still remain typical, excellent Rectifier tones.

Apart from a lot of other great tones for me the real secret weapon of this plugin is - really surprising for me - the Pushed voicing of channel 1. It not only creates the expected decently crunched Tweed amp tones, but at higher gain settings you also get some (for a Mesa Boogie) astonishingly great sounding and very dynamically reacting JTM/JMP Plexi tones, with the additional advantages of a really good working tone control plus even more fine-tuning options due to the very effective Bold/Spongy and Tube/Diode switches. Maybe with more of this typical Mesa Boogie low-end, but this is not necessarily a disadvantage, and also can be reduced easily if wished by reducing Bass.

This voicing alone would be worth the plugin. In fact it was the main reason for my purchase.

I also noticed, that the 3 different voicings of channel 2 and 3 seem to be better balanced than on some other Rectifier simulations, so the different voicings also seem to be better usable, as they all have their different, special qualities.

A great sounding all round amp.

Reviewed By Faydit [read all by] on 5th December 2020
Version reviewed: on Windows
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Tones to die for.

Simply the best, most naturally sounding and reacting simulation of an EVH amp, I know.

Great, convincing tones, authentic feeling and reaction of a real tube amp while playing, good built in cabinet selection, but also the IR loader works fine. The Cleaner is - additionally to the regular tone conrtols a good idea, as it allows reducing (too intense) low end or high end sizzle. In most cases it anyway is not really necessary, as the plugin anyway sounds top notch, but it can be used for some additional tone shaping as well.

Reviewed By Faydit [read all by] on 1st December 2020
Version reviewed: 2.7.0 on Windows
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Interesting plugin, good sounding, natural saturation combined with nice, more or less decent modulation and other sound shaping options. Some presets even remind me a little bit of a Leslie in slow mode.

Reviewed By Faydit [read all by] on 1st December 2020
Version reviewed: 1 on Windows
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Very interesting concept! Can sound really strange or weird, but also very good. Sound quality also seems to be very good.

Some presets and a manual would be helpful. Nevertheless a great idea.

One wish - concerning all your plugins: I miss an ASIO implementation on the standalone versions, as the ChowCentaur already has it. Also an on-off bypass switch would be fine.

Reviewed By Faydit [read all by] on 30th November 2020
Version reviewed: 1.2.0. on Windows.
Last edited by Faydit on 1st December 2020.
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One of these plugins, for which I've been waiting for years.

Not only is it long overdue, that especially this pedal gets a good sounding plugin release, this one also sounds excellent. As it is also usable as standalone solution, it even sounds fantastic without any additional amp simulation or cabinet IR.

Great, very natural tone and response. Convincing alternative to Tube Screamers and other pedals. Should also work well with bass, synthesizers, organs, ... I think.

All I miss is an on-off bypass-switch.

(One issue(?) I've noticed is, that in neural mode the display shows porcessing but sometimes the signal is not routed to the output, you don't hear anything, or sometimes only after some time, or the signal routing stops abruptly. The same happens sometimes, if you switch from traditional to neural mode. Also in neural mode some plugins, which are connected to the output of the ChowCentaur seem to receive a signal, other don't. But in traditional mode everything always works fine.).

Reviewed By Faydit [read all by] on 23rd November 2020
Version reviewed: 1 on Windows
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Sounds and behaves even better than the real gear! Much more flexible too, due to a lot of additional features.

Reviewed By Faydit [read all by] on 22nd November 2020
Version reviewed: 1.1.2 on Windows
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
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Although the plugin has some disadvantages, which mainly seem to be issues of the real gear, not of the programming itself, it sounds very unique and excellent, if you're looking for vintage tube (amp) tones with a lot of individual character.

The amplifier section sounds fantastic, but it also can – if you wish - sound really noisy without the noise reduction properly adjusted. Great vintage tube amp tones, at higher gain settings you get extremely naturally and musically sounding crunch and even great overdrive tones with the right harmonics, good dynamic reaction and a typical tube saturation.

One of – if not – the creamiest, smoothest tube saturation / overdrive, I've ever heard from a plugin. Usually I complain about too much (digital) harshness of most – so called - tube simulation circuits, I know, especially at higher gain/saturation settings, whether they are amp simulations, equalizers or compressors, here I personally sometimes would like a little more addditional treble bite and rawness, but this additional bite you also can add with the equalizer section, if adjusted as treble booster.

I personally use this plugin mostly with electric guitar, as this amplifier has it's very own, unique sound with a very special character, some early breakup tube amp tone with a lot of sweet, singing sustain and very good harmonics reproduction, also with good dynamic reaction, ranging from clean through crunch to even excellently sounding tube overdrive, which I hardly can compare with any real (guitar) amp, as even most vintage (guitar) amps, I know, cannot produce these kind of tones, modern amps anyway not.

Maybe these tones are comparable to some late 50's, early 60's British audio or studio tube gear or amps (Mullard, Watkins, , , , ), it is neither really a typical Tweed nor a typical Plexi tone. Basically some sort of fuller bodied, harmonically richer and well balanced, very musically sounding vintage tube tone.

The plugin sounds excellent in combination with guitar, but also should work well with other instruments, I think, if you're looking for a lot of vintage voiced tube breakup colouration and saturation.

The tone section works fine, if you adjust it properly, allows good fine tuning, as you can boost or cut individually selected frequencies, obviously the Tone Level control works reverse, boost needs turning counterclockwise, cut turning clockwise.

The limiter/compressor section basically would sound great, but unfortunatey at more intense attenuation settings the output signal increases again, if the input signal gets weaker, so it reacts more like a swell pedal, which in most cases practically is not very useful or the desired result, rather some creative effect, even if this may be the authentic reaction and behaviour of this circuit. Some additional setting options would be useful to be able to adjust this section so, that it works like a typical limiter/compressor.

The three different sections, amplifier, equalizer and limiter/compressor can be activated individually, which is a useful feature.

I also noticed that the signal output is extremely high at higher gain settings, even more with equalizer in boost mode, so an additional master / output volume control would be helpful.

The quality of the tube simulation and the very unique sonic character of this plugin – apart from these smaller issues - are excellent. Nevertheless I think, some people will like this plugin, because of it's unique character, others will not, because of the same reasons.

Reviewed By Faydit [read all by] on 15th November 2020
Version reviewed: 1 on Windows
1 of 2 people found this review helpful.
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Very good sounding, useful plugin (at least for me). Generally works with all audio sources or instruments, but I mainly use it as an additional gain and tone shaping stage in combination with electric guitars and (vintage) amp simulations.

You don not really get the huge amount of gain of a typical guitar tube amplifier preamp, but you get very convincing, authentically sounding, clean to slightly crunched tube tones, which work fine as additional tube booster in front of eg. an already good sounding Tweed, Vox or Plexi simulation. Bass also sounds great through this plugin, alone, but also in combination with eg. an Ampeg simulation the tone really improves - for my taste.

For more overdriven tones you can also cascade two or more of these units, which also seems to work very well.

Mixing triode and pentode character allows good control over even and odd harmonics. The tube simulations really sound - and also as important – behave and react very authentically to the input signal, in terms of attack and dynamics, which is not always taken for granted if compared to some other tube simulation plugins, I know. Here you get very tube typical tones and behavior and a very realistic harmonics reproduction.

Bass cut, circuit temperature and circuit power control allow good fine adjustment, as well as the three different, selectable tube types.

For me one of the most realistic sounding and reacting tube circuit simulations, I know. Good tones at a low, fair price, if compared with some other, similar products from competitors, which sonically did not convince me more, to be honest.

Nevertheless my personal wishes for maybe a future upgrade would be an additional treble cut, a mid-notch or even boost/cut with adjustable or some selectable frequencies between 250Hz and 2500Hz and also more gain or an additional gain boost option or alternatively a second, swichable triode stage.