Ignite Amps have been putting out top quality freeware for a long time. One of their most useful FREE plugins is their TPA-1 poweramp simulator. This is NOT an amp on it’s own but instead, just the power section that needs to be run with a preamp or preamp type pedal. It works for guitar, bass and even keyboards.
The GUI is easy going and simplistic on the front but like the other Ignite Amps plugins, there’s a back panel accessible with the arrows on the front. The back panel grants access to the oversampling, tube selection, sag and more. EL34, 6L6 and KT88 tub options will ensure that the amp/preamp/pedal takes on the characteristics of the type of tubes you select.
I’ve had this plugin for years and it’s been well used the entire time. It has maybe a little less importance than it once did with most amp sims coming out these days having a dedicated and non-bypassable power amp section but that wasn’t always the case. For a while, a lot of amp sims were coming out as preamps or they had power sections that just weren’t overly convincing so I would reach for the TPA-1 to make things sound warmer and more realistic.
The power section is the area many companies struggled with earlier on and some still do so this plugin can come in handy if the amp sim you are working with has a power section with a bypass.
IMPORTANT: If you want this poweramp to work properly, it must be placed between the preamp and impulse loader that you are working with. So PREAMP (Amp sim) – TPA-1 power amp and then the impulse loader (Nadir 2.0 in our case). However there is one case that I break the rules for.
Having independent pre and power sections gives the user the unique ability to have an actual effects loop. You can run modulation effects in this section with nice results. You can also put a boost, OD or distortion pedal in this spot to increase saturation however I advise researching exactly how to set the pedals up to do this properly before giving it a shot.
It would be great to start seeing more poweramp plugins like this around the market but for now, this is one of the only options available.
UPS / DOWNS:
It’s a great plugin to have to get more warmth and realism in your tones AND IT’S FREE but it is getting on in years so an update from Ignite someday would be very cool to see. I strongly advise picking up all of the Ignite Amps products from their website and their KVR for their quality and multitude of quality applications.