This Waves Supermodels plugins are a 3-pack of licensed plugin products based on three of Paul Reed Smith’s amps. The PRS Dallas is based on the a rare 50 watt amp of the same name that is now only available through the PRS Custom Shop. It’s a single channel, 6L6 powered “American style” amp designed to minimize some of the downsides with classic 6L6 setups with how the signal is distorted when the amp is turned up.
The Dallas is a standalone plugin but it is only available in the PRS Supermodels bundle and not separately. Each amp comes complete with a boost section, cabinet section and a couple additional tools like a tuner and poweramp controls. The bundle is reasonably priced but does go on sale often as Waves almost always seem to have some sort of a sale going on.
The GUI is cool, crisp and well-designed. The entire PRS Supermodels pack is full great looking GUIs that are easy to navigate. I would absolutely recommend the entire bundle for beginners to professional level users that want everything on one panel but still have little tone shaping extras.
I could see this amp working really nicely with heavy compression for an Animals as Leaders tapping clean tone type thing. You can really give the tone a full body with reverb. The Dallas is flat out one of the best and most useful clean tones that you will come across.
When pushed by the compressor out front, the amp responded nicely with a country clean that had some push. From there I went from southern rock to Dire Straits and The Cure, all of it was pretty easy to dial in and sounded pretty close. The cleans and driven cleans are nice as is but when adding some nice 212, 112 and 410 (guitar not bass) open and closed back IRs. The picking response is pretty crisp and lively but to really bring out the full quality, outside IRs were needed.
When I hit the boost pedal and took some time to tweak things and all of the sudden I was in hair metal heaven with the Dallas. Sometimes you get surprised by a piece of gear when it gives you something you didn’t expect it to in a good way. Like finding an extra burger patty in your burger or finding money in an old pair of shorts. This unexpected trip down to Mulletville is a welcomed one. The onboard boost section is pretty decent but the Dallas also seemed to match up really well with a number of boost and drive pedals for blues, rock and a lot more.
The cabinet section provides a fair bit of options but overall, the entire Waves Supermodels bundle of amps are better with a separate IR loader and IR selection. I found the internal IR section to be laid out very well but bypassing the internal loader for a separate loader and IR selection brings out better quality and an improved feel with a number of 412 and 212 options. To be honest, 90% of the best tones I have been able to pull out of the Waves Supermodels 3-pack have been with my own loader and IR selections. Premium IRs can make a big difference with even plugins that have strong cab sections but in this case, premium IRs can give the bundle more worth.
The Dallas can provide a lot of great tones and I have used it a lot since it’s release. I have used it for clean but it really shines when the amp is pushed and driven. I used it for blues, southern rock, classic rock, a couple brit pop type songs and I pull the Dallas out when I feel like playing along to some classic rock. It’s not the most versatile plugin ever but it does what it does really well.
On the down side, I question why Waves went with the Dallas and not the Super Dallas given the amp’s EL34 power section and association with players like Derek Trucks and Warren Haynes. The regular Dallas is a bit of a harder sell. The cabinet section is pretty weak overall and the plugin’s tones do suffer as a result. However as mentioned, a loader and selection of quality IRs can bring more life from the amp.
There is a lot of value in 2/3 of the amps in the PRS Supermodels bundle and it goes on sale for real low prices fairly often. Keep and eye on the Waves sales and you will likely see the amps on for a steal.