(Version reviewed: 1.1.2)
Here we have the Guilty Pleasure which is the signature plugin for Black Veil Brides guitarist, Jake Pitts. I am pretty familiar with BVB as I have a guitar student that has asked me about his gear, style and songs on more than one occasion. I appreciate his tone and playing but BVB isn’t really in my wheelhouse. I was hoping his solid tone would make its way over to the sim.
The Guilty Pleasure has an old Sunset Strip bar band look to it. I really like the looks a lot, the design is solid and the layout is the same as a few of the other JST offerings with panels that contain pedals, the amp, the loader and more goodies to play with. JST tossed in a boost, reverb, wah pedal, tuner and many other ways to change the tone inside the plugin but if you choose, you can bypass any part of the plugin in favor of your own stuff.
Out of the gate, it sounds like a mix between a Marshall 800 and a 5150 but I can’t really put my finger on it. I had looked up his gear in the past and found that he has used all sorts of amps over the years so really; this plugin could be a number of amps in one. I feel like most of the JST offerings are usually original creations that blend various amps, which isn’t a bad thing at all as long as you aren’t looking for authenticity.
JST put this out there as “the ultimate high gain” plugin so I skipped right over everything out of curiosity. I love the high gain right from the first second, it’s useful, articulate, versatile inside genres that require gain and distortion and it’s easy to get a really tight high gain tone with the Guilty pleasure.
You can chug or shred your way through a ton of different gain friendly genres with only subtle alterations. The onboard boost pedal is my favorite of all the boost pedals on the Toneforge plugins. Not sure what I like about it, it just brings out the better qualities of the sim. The Guilty Pleasure also responded well to a variety of outside boost pedals. Just bypass the pedal section and you are good to go. I personally really enjoyed the sound of the TSE 808 boost with the amp sim.
The impulse section is simple and effective, JST has a knack for matching the sims with good cab selections but with such an arsenal of impulses, it would be nice to see more impulses with the Toneforge plugins. Updates with 5-10 impulse response files would be really appreciated.
You get a few panels with pre and post processing, pedals, a tuner and more to play with. JST really does give you everything you need for a complete sounding signal chain. I really like this plugin for leads, it’s kind of a secret weapon for the right solo and mix. It’s a one trick pony but it’s a pretty solid trick.
UPS / DOWNS:
Again, don’t dismiss this one because you don’t like the dude’s band. This is is a seriously killer high gain sim. Versatility here is an issue though, it really only does hi-gain genres effectively for my taste. The high gain market has some real heavy hitting sims in it that may beat out the Guilty pleasure for lower prices or even free. The Toneforge sims that came before the Misha suite could probably all benefit from being a tad cheaper being that the market is starting to become very competitive. As always I do have to mention that JST do have sales quite frequently so always be on the lookout.
See more – official JST demo