Fuse Audio Labs have some fantastic products to say the least. Their lead designer has done some terrific work on plugins for both Brainworx and Black Rooster Audio. The background is key because both of those companies have nothing but high quality products in their lines.
The F59 is based on the 1959 Tweed (5F6-A) Bassman circuit, which is a very popular amp from throughout music history. For 50 years, various Bassman models have been used by some of the best guitarists and bass players in music as well as tone enthusiasts worldwide.
The GUI and graphics are simplistic and easy to use. Some people require a graphics extravaganza to take a plugin serious these days and you won’t get much in the looks department here but you will get a lot of really great tones.
The first note was an eye opener, partially because my monitors were up really loud from the night prior but mostly because from the first note, I was sold. This happens rarely in the industry but when it does, it’s welcomed. I don’t just mean the first tone from the amp was great, I mean from the first strum of a chord, some products just tell you what’s what right away. The 59 did that and then some.
The plugin features a choice between bright and normal and another switch for a low and high, which gave me a ton of tones to play with. When I say low and high, don’t think low and high gain but rather clean to overdrive. The bright was perfect for the low and the normal matched better with the high for my tastes.
From crystal cleans to a snotty but articulate dirty side, there’s a number of tones available across all the controls. With the addition of OD/boost/distortion, modulation and delays, the F59 can be used to create just about everything in the clean to mid crunch area. The amp doesn’t respond well to a lot of gain because that’s just not what’s it meant for but when you add some dirt, the results can be quite nice.
The internal impulse is a straight shot, one shot deal. No mic options or positions, just one really good sounding matched impulse that works for a lot of applications. It would be cool to see a little more flexibility in the internal impulse section but they do provide a bypass so it’s not a big deal.
If you’d like to use your favorite impulse responses with the F59, flick the switch to turn the cab off, add a loader after the F59 in your chain and use any cab you like. The F59 played well with a number of packs that I tried. The VX MMMC and The Bassman cabs from Ownhammer were my favorites but I tried 110, 112, 210, 212, 215, 410, 412 and blends of all of them over several hours spent with the plugin, all with great results.
The original BASSman amps functioned as bass amps obviously and this plugin functions nicely as a bass amp sim. I found turning off the internal cabinet in favor of my own 210, 410, 810 and 115 options.
UPS / DOWNS:
There’s not much to this plugin but there isn’t a whole lot to the original bassman either and yet with what little the amp seems to offer, so many tones are available. The Bassman’s versatility has been emulated well in this plugin and with the plugin version, it’s really easy to use tons of cabinets and effects to shape the tone.
The price is more than reasonable for the quality of tones available inside this plugin. I would absolutely recommend the Fuse Audio Labs F59 to anyone and I think this plugin will be another strong plugin to prove the vintage capabilities of amp sim software.
Some sound examples of the F59: