(Version reviewed: 1.0)
The Chandler GAV19T is an amp that I was not even slightly familiar with in its hardware form prior to the review. I hadn’t heard of the company before impulse buying the plugin either but I am glad I did.
Many producers have the hardware version of the amp in their in-house wall of amps because of is unique sounds and extremely wide range of abilities. Having a unique take on a variety of tones can be invaluable for recording purposes.
The plugin is based on the 19-watt Chandler GAV19T which is an amp inspired by vintage amps from Selmer, Marshall and VOX. It comes along with a cabinet section and Brainworx’ usual nice serving of tools to ensure users have the ability to fit things into a mix.
Again, Brainworx have smashed the looks on this one. It’s one of the nicest looking sims I have ever seen. I always say looks are just a bonus but when you see a sim that looks this damn good it gets the ball rolling in the right direction. Did I mention it looks really slick? The GUI in general is easy to use and laid out as clearly as possible to maximize workflow and lessen the learning curve.
The first notes I hear every time I used this plugin are pure magic. It’s warm and full of detail. The tone has a really British cut to it, it reminds me of a Vox, vintage Marshall or perhaps a bit like a Park. The controls are very different from most so they do take some getting used. Once you do however, it’s a really fun amp to tweak. I strongly suggest going to the Chandler page to read about the controls, their values and how the amp is built. Read the run down HERE.
The variety of tones available with the way you can change, shape and distort the signal is incredible. If you spend time, you can really get a quality and unique tone for a number of applications. With the high values in each knob, you really have almost an endless amount of variations and angles on everything from blues to doom metal.
Start light with a really nice blues lead tone that cuts nicely. From there, a variety of cleans and slightly driven cleans with truly honest body and warmth. It was really easy to get nice lightly driven country and blues tones with only a little of the amp’s boost.
Just when I think I’d found the sims comfort zone, I started adding gain from the amp. Instantly I am floored because the gain is just awesome. Punk, hard rock and other gainier tones suddenly became the comfort zone. The amp really does have a lot of tone characteristics that you don’t really hear in any other amp anywhere. Sometimes it reminds me of one thing one minute and something very different the next.
My comfort zone with this plugin is with the nice spongy and lightly compressed tones. From here I can either play as is for lower gain stuff with a nice mid bite or… I reach for the fuzz and muff plugins. The stoner rock and doom tones that the Chandler can throw out regularly blow my mind. Thick, heavy, full and still perfectly musical while still being unique is a real feat for a sim. This sim paired really well with the Waves PRS Blue Sierra/V9 for a wall of stoner/doom goodness that has that “honking” mid range available.
The Chandler comes with the standard Brainworx onboard stuff like a gate, delay and some filtering tools. It can stand on it’s own with little to no processing needed for recording. Simply hit the FX Rack tab and all the tools will appear. Brainworx never include fluff in these sections, everything is always useful and well designed.
The impulse selection inside the Chandler is pretty awesome; they really picked a full selection of impulses that mesh really well with the amp. There wasn’t a single impulse that sounded off or out of place. Going into my own selection of impulses, it was easy to find a ton of cabs that sounded great as well but it would be nice if Brainworx put in a toggle bypass for the loader like they have for the other components. To bypass simply go to the bottom of the cab list and select the last option that can easily be seen in all caps.
UPS / DOWNS:
The Chandler is one of the all out best amp sims I have ever used and it has now become one of my go-to sims for a number of uses. I have used it for so many different genres and applications in the years that I have had it. I would recommend the GAV19T to anyone for anything outside of modern high gain tones. I do however caution that this is quite a rare bird on a number of levels so if you buy it, take your time.
The FREE and unrestricted trial is available now for anyone that wants to give this one a go. Head over to Plugin Alliance now to get the ball rolling!
See more – Official Plugin Alliance Chandler demo