10 Amp Sims That Deliver Big Tones

No tubes? No problem. Here are a handful of plug-ins that won't wake the kids or bug the neighbors.

Whether you're trying to keep the dBs down or you need a wealth of amps, cabs, effects, and mics at your fingertips, this collection of plugins will help you realize the tone in your head quickly and easily.


IK Multimedia AmpliTube 5

In addition to official emulations of Fender, Mesa, Orange, and Wampler gear, this robust plug-in also features a DAW, looper, and much more.

$199 street
ikmultimedia.com

Line 6 Helix Native

Packed with dozens of virtual amps and effects, this gateway into the Helix ecosphere mimics the tones of the company's hardware units in handy plug-and-play form.

$399 street
line6.com

Kuassa Matchlock

A decidedly Fender-flavored setup, this trio of amp models aims at copping Fullerton's greatest hits with two options for each amp and seven different types of mics.

$49 street
kuassa.com

Native Instruments Guitar Rig 6 Pro

The latest iteration offers a rack-based visual setup that allows you to customize every part of your signal chain right down to mixing up to eight mics together via the virtual mixer.

$199 street
native-instruments.com

Neural DSP Archetype: Cory Wong

Based on AI technology, this collection of amps and effects curated by the internet's favorite guitarist is targeted for players who are looking for clean and low-gain tones.

$144 USD street
neuraldsp.com

Overloud TH-U

This all-in-one suite offers hundreds of amp, cab, and effects options, including officially licensed gear from Randall, DV Mark, Brunetti, and THD.

$299 street
overloud.com

Positive Grid Bias Amp 2 Elite

Not only does this plug-in offer accurate models of legendary amps, it allows you to design your own amp from the ground up and includes technology to match either a mic'd amp or recorded track.

$179 street
positivegrid.com

Universal Audio Fender '55 Tweed Deluxe

If you dig the classic tones of one of Leo's best amps, this plug-in offers a faithful recreation and adds the ability to mix and match legendary mics.

$99 street
uaudio.com

Waves PRS SuperModels

This collection include two of the company's most popular models—the Archon and Dallas—plus an amp that was never released: the Blue Sierra/V9, which was an early version of the J-MOD 100.

$35 street
waves.com

Scuffham S-Gear

Covering tones from vintage tweed-style combos to '80s high-gain heads, this collection offers five amps, a handful of effects, and more.

$99 street
scuffhamamps.com

A maze of modulation and reverberations leads down many colorful tone vortices.

Deep clanging reverb tones. Unexpected reverb/modulation combinations.

Steep learning curve for a superficially simple pedal.

$209

SolidGoldFX Ether
solidgoldfx.com

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A lot of cruel fates can befall a gig. But unless you’re a complete pedal addict or live in high-gain-only realms, doing a gig with just a reverb- and tremolo-equipped amp is not one of them. Usually a nice splash of reverb makes the lamest tone pretty okay. Add a little tremolo on top and you have to work to not be at least a little funky, surfy, or spacy. You see, reverb and modulation go together like beans and rice. That truth, it seems, extends even to maximalist expressions of that formula—like the SolidGold FX Ether.

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Megadeth founder teams up with Gibson for his first acoustic guitar in the Dave Mustaine Collection.

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The Atlas Compressor offers up an extensive library of compression options and allows for transformation into a bass specific compression machine.


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