Genres: Anything needing high gain
Uses: Rhythm, Lead, Crunch
SCORE: 7.5 / 10
The tone forge series of plugins deliver a full signal chain from gate to post effects. The Menace is the signature model for producer and JST founder Joey Sturgis. I was pretty glad to give this one a shot because all the demos I watched were pretty top shelf. It’s not based on any single amp as far as I know but I could be wrong.
The looks are simple, effective and well designed. The majority of JST sims have a similar layout with a few panels for different sets of components. It’s easy to use and easy to bypass things if you need to. I like that the sims have a similar flow because it just makes for less of a learning curve between sims.
The sim is easy to use and it’s easy to get a good starting point tone. I had a thick crunchy tone in seconds. It’s articulate at even the higher gain settings which is the quality shining through. The controls provide some value and do alter the tone quite a bit which is nice but at really high gains, it started to thin a little.
It has onboard pedal plugins, which includes a TS boost. The boost is decent and does mesh well with the amp but I used a few of my own as well with solid results. The ignite amps tyrant screamer sounds crushing with the Menace and since it’s FREE, you could try that combo as well with only about two seconds work.
TF Menace has a built in impulse with a variety of mic options. If you aren’t much for tweaking and tinkering with impulses, it’s more than enough but if you are the type to do so, you can easily bypass the impulse for your own loader and impulses. I had a lot of success with impulses from JST’s own Conquer All series of impulses. Check out all of the JST impulses, they are pretty high quality while being affordable.
I crushed and chugged my way for a couple hours of riffing and tinkering with processing and it eventually came out pretty much immaculate. All I used was a little EQ and saturation after the sim and loader and the tone was mix ready.
I wouldn’t put the Menace with the next gen level sims but I also wouldn’t call it anything close to low end either. It’s a very reliable middle ground that has quality tones and ease of use on its side. JST puts the Menace in with a lot of their bundles and their bundles can be an endlessly handy bunch of plugins to have. They also have a lot of sales so sign their mailing list and wait for the news. The Menace is a capable amp sim but it’s capabilities are fairly limited. It does however provide 2-3 very good tones that can power the guitars in a professional quality mix.
Updated April 6th 2019