WAVES PRS BLUE SIERRA / V9
** HASR TOP PICK **
Genres: Rock, Stoner Rock, Doom, Desert Rock, Blues, Jazz
Uses: Rhythm, Lead, Clean
SCORE: 10 / 10
We had serious issues with the Waves installation and licensing program and we aren’t the only ones. The Waves installation and licensing process is one of the all out most frustrating experiences in the business. We felt that this needed to be mentioned as part of each waves plugin we reviewed.
This one is pretty damn cool because it’s a sim based on an amp that is basically kept in a vault. The V9/ Blue Sierra is a custom in house creation by a master amp builder at PRS that is covered in a nice looking Paisley material. I was very excited to try this amp out, I went in thinking I was getting a jazzy type amp and again, I ended up surprised.
Every amp in the PRS Supermodels bundle looks amazing. Great graphics, nice layouts, simplistic but detailed controls and it all came together for a nice first impression.
All three of the PRS Supermodels have completely different control panels and completely different sounds. The thick low end of the Blue Sierra immediately told me what I was going to use it for. I dropped in a couple of my favourite fuzz pedals and in no time flat I was deep into desert rock / stoner rock territory. The onboard controls really allow you to create a commanding wall of disgusting (in a good way) saturation. I always say, a good stoner rock tone or song almost makes me want to have a shower. It’s like the tone gets humid, sweaty and sticky.
I cranked up and spent almost three hours creating stoner rock atmospheres with the V9 / Blue Sierra. I went through 10 fuzz pedal plugins, compressors, a couple hundred impulses, delays and I think at one point I think I caught myself smiling due to the sheer enjoyment of the moment. It felt like the home version of standing in front of a wall of amps. It’s obviously not the same but it also doesn’t involve the neighbourhood calling the cops.
I used a whole bunch of boosts but none really felt right because the amp itself just doesn’t sound great boosted in my opinion. However, when I decided to go in the fuzz / muff direction, Audified’s Multi-Drive Pedal Pro and Kuassa’s Efektor Fuzz handle the job with flying colors.
There’s really no way to make this amp crunchy but that’s not really it’s purpose either. If you are looking for a crunchy tone, you will get two other amps in this pack capable of all the crunch you need and more. The V9’s strength is in the low end, low mids and probably suited to rhythm work in my opinion. I was able to get a nice fuzz tone type lead that you might compare to the lead at the start of the original version of “American woman”. You know that fuzzy sustained almost e-bow sounding lead that almost blends in more than it stands out. I really didn’t try too hard to get a useful lead tone because the V9 for my tastes doesn’t really need to do it.
The included impulses like it’s PRS bundle pals are also really well chosen for the V9. When I switched to my own selection, I found a nice range of Orange 212 and 412 impulses that hit the mark but the amp also took on another sound with Marshall 412 impulses. It wasn’t overly picky with what impulses I threw at it so really just experiment and find what catches your ear best.
UPS / DOWNS:
This was the only amp in the pack that I wouldn’t have given top marks because I don’t find it overly versatile however the one thing it does well, it does extremely well and the sim is simply so incredible that it needed a perfect score. I found my new favorite stoner/desert rock amp and this one is at the top of the list for our Stoner / Doom plugin feature.
It’s a thick beastly plugin when you need something specific. It has a very specific tone that some may find useful and some not but we loved it.
Posted Dec 1st 2018