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Gear without plugins

Version 1.0

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Many amazing developers have created plugins based on a great deal of the best and most popular guitar and bass gear ever made. I am happy with the huge assortment of amps, pedals and other components that have been covered in plugin form to this point. I am also more than content with the completely insane selection of impulse responses on the market. That said, there are a few things I would really love to see turn up sooner than later.

I will be adding and subtracting from this from time to time. If you have a piece of guitar or bass gear you feel should be on this list, contact us to let us know. I will update the version number when I have updated.

AMPS:

The VHT / Fryette Pitbull

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This amp is a beast but it’s a versatile beast with a whole lot of lovable qualities. Tons of bands have called upon the Pitbull to provide huge tones for a wide range of styles and genres. Clean to high gain and with a boost out front, it’s one of my favorite amps out there. It’s definitely an underrated amp that I would love to have in plugin form.

To my knowledge, there is not even one plugin out there that models the VHT Pitbull, not even one in a full-amp suite. Whether it be the Ultra Lead, CL 100 or even the classic, it would be great to see someone release a high quality version of the amp. I don’t believe it will be long at all until we get our first VHT/Fryette-inspired plugin. I wait with anticipation.

THE RIVERA KNUCKLEHEAD

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Another great amp with a pretty solid list of users and not much to see on the plugin market for the big or little Knuckleheads. I read some theory that the Poulin LeGion was based on it but otherwise, this is an amp that has never been tackled and I am not sure why. Not sure how it would do as a standalone single-amp sim but in a multi-amp plugin, it could fit in nicely and act as a nicely addition to two or three more popular amps.

It’s an amp that can be used to create quality tones for really anything

ORANGE ROCKERVERB & THUNDERVERB

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If you have a look at pretty well every impulse developer’s website or product line, you will find at least one impulse pack based on an Orange Cabinet of some dimension. What you won’t see around much are high quality amp sims based on Orange products outside of full-amp suites.

Amplitube’s licensed Orange products for example, are fun for jamming on but what about Orange products for those that need a little bit more? Kazrog’s Thermionik covered the Dual Dark (which has since been discontinued).and Black Rooster Audio’s FREE TT-15 covered the Tiny Terror but I am kind of suprised no one has done an Orange Multi-suite with amps like the Rockerverb, Crush or Thunderverb.

The list of bands that have or currently use these amps is astounding so I would think plugins based on them would likely sell pretty well.

MARSHALL VALVESTATE

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This is a weird one and I am not entirely sure why I want this to exist but I do. I feel like this amp would sell reasonably in plugin form, as I know there are many fans of the tones it’s known for. The amps were the first solid-state and cost effective amps Marshall produced so naturally, many people jumped onboard quickly

The Valvestate somehow ended up at the heart of the 90s death metal, hardcore and punk rock scenes for a time and it was that era that I believe would make the Valvestate a good seller as a plugin if priced accordingly. I had one and I would buy the plugin in a heartbeat. Chuck Schuldiner / Death tones would finally be properly attainable in a plugin.

These aren’t expensive amps at all and there’s probably one sitting at a pawn shop near you right now so it would be a potential low risk / high reward scenario for a developer.

MESA BOOGIE MARK SERIES

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I find it odd that the Mark series amps really only exist in full-amp suites. Amplitube’s Mesa amps give you an idea of the real sound and Kazrog’s Thermionik gave a couple of them a go with solid results but having high quality plugin versions of the Mark IV or V would be awesome. Imagine multi-amp suite that covered the Mark IIC+, JP-2C, Mark IV and Mark V? Add in some really nice Mesa half back and OS cabs.

I firmly believe a Mark series inspired suite would sell very well. If it has to be one amp at a time, I think the JP-2C and Mark IV amps are easily popular enough to have a plugin sell really well. All of these amps are easy to find and rent so it sure could happen.

VOX AC30

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Another extremely popular series of amps with no real high quality plugin doppelganger. Thermionik covered a couple variations of these amps that were decent and VOX did their own suite that didn’t really pan out but I believe this amp deserves a very high quality plugin version.

The EL84 tubes have a sound that I don’t think has ever been fully realized in digital form. There’s a sound to these tubes that has seemed to be a bit of a mystery throughout amp sim history but that’s the beauty of innovation and development right? Somewhere, someone is working on a next level way to emulate EL84 tubes and maybe we will get a VOX AC30 in the near future.

I believe a truly accurate AC30 sim would sell a boatload of units and add another great hardware product to the plugin realm! I would also note other killer amps from Dr.Z, Matchless, Badcat and other companies should also be considered for later development.

ADA MP1

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The 80s and 90s brought more than a few real giant turds in the digital gear department but there were a few real gems as well. One of those gems was a preamp called the MP1 by ADA. It had a number of overdrives, chorus, EQ and other features. There was also a whole bunch of mods that could be done to the unit so some of those could be something a developer could add for that cherry on top.

The original unit needed a power amp and cab so these would ideally be part of the plugin. Having a variety of tubes in the power amp section would make for even more tone options.

The Triaxis has been done, the PSA has been done so I hope the MP1 is the next piece of gear to get tackled. Some say it’s got an 80s sound to it but I disagree. It was used by many guitarists in the 80s and 90s but they used it for 80s and 90s music so they are associated. I believe the MP1 would thrive in modern applications.

PEDALS

KLON CENTAUR

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There’s a few of these out there in full-amp suites and a few of them are fun but it sure would be incredible to have a pedal plugin dedicated to the Klon Centaur. Part of the reason I believe these are not seen often is because the originals are other-worldly expensive ($2,000-$4,000USD) so it’s an expensive venture for a developer to tackle for a plugin. Sure, there are many schematics and even more clones but to do it right, having the original would ensure more detail.

Even though original builder, Bill Finnegan is now building Centaurs again on a small scale, the price on the originals are still priced in outer space. If there is someone out there that owns one of these and wouldn’t mind a developer measuring the components and studying the pedal a bit, I know of a company that will make one. No damage whatsoever will occur.

BOSS HYPER FUZZ

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The Boss Hyper Fuzz is kind of like the Boss HM-2 in that they were both adopted into genres and became a common sound inside those genres. Where the Swedish death metal bands made the HM2 their own, the FZ-2 was taken in by the stoner/doom crowd. Both pedals also have an absolutely unmistakable sound to them that isn’t everyone’s cup of tea.

Now, I am not actually sure how many people would buy this plugin because it’s popularity comes mainly from a community of musicians that for the most part, swear by analog gear. Another factor going against it is the price. The FZ-2 carries a used price of $200-400USD which isn’t an investment everyone wants to make for a pedal plugin that may only appeal to a smaller demographic. I know I would sure love it!

Again, as in the case of the Centaur, if someone out there would be willing to lend the pedal to a developer for the purpose of developing a plugin, contact us here at HASR and we can get you in touch with a developer.

IMPULSE RESPONSES

THE VADER 412 CAB

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These cabinets are huge and they weigh a ton but they sound incredible. A friend of mine owns one of these and no matter what amp he’s put through the Vader cab, it has sounded monstrous! I have always figured it would show up eventually but it never has.

It’s true, not every cabinet that sounds good live, sounds good recorded but I would like to find out! I think ambient room mic files might help unleash the full power of this beast.

Impulse responses won’t capture the feeling of standing in front of one of these tuned in B while chugging away but you won’t need two people to lift it and you’ll also likely have fewer chiropractic bills later in life.

Coach T