The name of this amp is Crunck which some might associate with the slang “Crunk” (meaning crazy & drunk) but when I say the name of the amp, I actually picture something else. To me, Crunck sounds like a name fitting for that one giant henchman every bad guy has that’s like 7ft tall, 400 pounds and isn’t very smart. A mountain of a man that can’t do math or read but makes up for it with sheer intimidation and annihilation. Plus, I bet he’s a nice guy if you get to know him.
The Crunck amp is a Nembrini original meaning it’s not based on anything but rather an in-house creation. V1 came out a bunch of years back and was actually Igor Nembrini’s first creation. I recall trying it at some point and that it was pretty heavy. I thought about it one day out of the blue so I asked Igor what ever happened to it and he just happened to be about to release a brand new version of it. What are the odds?!
The GUI is simple and effective which is great for any amp sim user. Basic controls and a cabinet bypass is all you get but it’s also all you need in this case. This amp dials in quickly but has a lot more than one strong tone to it. The controls give users the ability to achieve a lot with few controls and little effort. The middle and master controls offer a lot of value and influence the tone greatly but really all the knobs do a lot from ear to ear.
Mid to high gain and onward is the idea with the single channel Crunck and it does all of that very effectively. The chugs are otherworldly, the saturation is perfect for trem picking and with a little delay, you are in Shred City in seconds. It’s a damn metal machine with tones for days that can blend into just about any style of heavy playing. The Crunck also has a hard rock side that pushes a mid gain wall of sweet articulate chords.
I would advise to watch how high you set the gain because in some situations, turning it up all the way added a bit of fizz to the tone. I found the edge of it typically started when I went over about 75%. There are a lot of amps in hardware and software history where the drive knob only created extra noise passed a certain point so that’s something to watch in general from amp to amp.
There is a single 412 impulse response with V30 speakers. I don’t know much else but I assume it’s a blend of a 57 and something else. It’s a nicely matched cab for the Crunck but there’s an easy bypass if you get bored and wish to explore more options. I found the Crunck to be somewhat picky about the impulses it matched up with. I had success with many Mesa Boogie 412 OS / Oversized impulse packs but otherwise the success was fairly randomized as far as brands go.
When boosting this amp sim, watch the mids on the amp sim and the settings on the pedal or pedal plugin. When the mids start getting cranked up, the amp can start to react a bit differently and so boosting would just create a mess. Just be mindful of the mids and don’t create a tone that you will end up having to process a lot.
UPS / DOWNS
As far as FREE amp sims go, this one sounds really damn good. It’s fairly limited as to what it can do but the things it can do, the Crunck does very well. You can download it, install it, open it in your DAW and be crushing and chugging your way through walls in two mins flat. I have done a few great sounding demos using only the Crunck, an EQ and a limiter for the guitar chains.
There’s not really a downside to this plugin – but our scoring has to stay consistent regardless of whether the plugin is paid or free. The single IR is a limitation and the amp sim really is only geared towards one sound. With no real versatility outside of heavier genres, a little more has to come off.
The Crunck is definitely now part of an elite group of freeware products that provide professional level results. It actually matches up really well with the Ignite Amps Emissary!
See more: Nembrini Audio demo of the Crunck-V2