News Tips / FAQ

Reader / F.A.Q #1

#1 – “Why are your reviews always delayed by a month? I looked for the new Tonality review for a month and still no review.” – Cristiano M

Thanks for the kick in the butt however, reviews here are delayed for a reason, allow me to explain. See when I get a plugin, my first thoughts are to just jam on the plugin, get acquainted and write a lot down on my notepad.

Normally a proper review takes me about a month to finally post because I want to make sure I know the plugin inside and out. I believe a review should involve intimate knowledge of a plugin and I will personally never understand these people that put up reviews of a product after a couple days or even hours. A person or multiple people put much of their hard work and time into this plugin so reviewing it in only hours or on the spot is just plain unprofessional in my opinion. I think there’s too much of a rush to be “FIRST” and I can’t imagine developers appreciate rushed reviews.

That said, I will take my time with the FULL review but we also put up new plugin announcements, pre-reviews, soundclips, videos and more in the meantime. We don’t get plugins 2 months in advance like some and I refuse to rush a review because no one gets anything out of a half assed effort. I hope you understand and thanks for your patience!

#2 – “What is the best amp sim for metal?”

I get this question several times weekly and I can’t always comment on it because there are just too many high gain amp sims to choose from. If you send this question to us, please send it along with your budget, your goals tone wise aka “I would like to sound like _______” and basically just more details. Even with details, it really depends on the player and their preferences. Also please check out our YouTube and SoundCloud for tone examples before emailing because you may find answers that way.

#3 – Why do you give Positive Grid and their products such a hard time? – Blaine H

Positive Grid has a stellar marketing team and great graphics people but in the world of guitar tone, the tone always wins for me. I have given all of their products hours, days and months of attempts but I just don’t feel an amp sim should require so much effort and processing to pull something I enjoy out if it.

I think Positive Grid would yield better results if the were to take their component count down to focus fully on a smaller number of higher quality components. The same goes for the micro-customizations for Bias Amp and Bias Pedal. They would be good to take some of the options out and focus on perfecting a few of the more useful options. That said, there’s no question Positive Grid has incredibly talented people working over there and I don’t think we have seen anything close to their best products yet.

My suggestion to you is that if you enjoy their products and get what you need out of them, please continue to use them. Just chalk this up as a difference of opinion because after all, we all have different ears and different needs in a plugin.

#4 – How do you test impulses? This seems like a hard thing. – Gio B

After I spent a very long time trying to think up a scoring system, I realized that it was pretty much impossible to score one developer vs. another because everyone has their own ways of doing things. Another thing to many people look for different things in an impulse response. Everyone also has mics that they love and hate so it’s hard to test mic models and positions that I don’t find at all appealing even though I respect that others enjoy them.

When I test an impulse pack, I first select three amp sims that I know are based on amps that sound great through the specific cab being featured in the pack. (Example: JCM800 + 1960B 412 or Mesa Boogie Rectifier + Mesa OS 412). Then I dial in the ideal tones for the ideal applications (Example: Mesa OS 412 + mid to hi-gain tones or 1960B 412 + rock etc). I spend time going through the files and folders while I go through tones. I use no processing, no EQ, absolutely nothing but the amp sim, loader+impulses and occasionally a pedal or two. You cannot get the whole feel of an impulse with processing on it.

#5 – I see you have ask guys what their no.1 studio gear is, what is your no.1 studio gear for guitar? – Joe W

If you are asking what I feel is the most important thing in a home studio, I have to say a decent interface and a higher quality monitor. I see a lot of players and youtubers with bad monitors in their videos, even though they are playing a $5000 custom guitar on the newest hi-tech plugin. I find it confusing because with bad monitors, you will not hear the high quality of your guitar or get the best out of the newest in amp sim technology. I always advise that people skip the low quality monitors and go straight to a middle end set. A good interface, middle-end monitors like a Yamaha HS series or Adam Audio T7V are fantastic for the price and will allow you to mix at a much higher level. Pickups are also very important for a good guitar tone, much more important than the myth of “tone woods” (a conversation for another time).

For a guitarist playing with amp sims at home, for plugins I would advise to have a few amp sims for different uses, a versatile collection of impulses, a good quality EQ, a saturation plugin and really just collect whatever you can find and afford. With so many developers offering amazing software for FREE and low prices, it makes it a bit easier to save up for monitors.



If you have any questions, criticisms, complaints, suggestions and rants you’d like us to answer or comment on, feel free to email us at honestampsimreviews@gmail.com

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