It’s all about the crunch tone

Since a few days, we’ve been tweaking Vandal’s guitar amp tube stages for the ability to deal much better with slight overdrive. That’s a tough one, but I think we’re close to getting that nailed. We’re aware of the fact that delicate, responsive crunch is what divides a good amp from a bad one.

Here’s the current status, a video by Dimi Nalbantov:

What we did is basically fine-tuning the biasing of all affected preamp tubes (2 in ‘classic’ mode, 3 in ‘british hybrid’, 4 in ‘modern high gain’) as well as changing the tube character in particular.
We now have different models of tubes stuffed into the virtual circuits. In some stages we got more or less 12au7 behaviour and 12ax7 tubes when more gain is needed. Apart from ‘mu’ (amplification factor) and characteristics, each tube got implanted its own tonal response. We now got even more degrees of freedom than before, yabbadabbadoo…

It should be audible that we progressed somehow. The whole amp is now more responsive to volume change on the input and reacts a lot nicer on slight overdrive settings. It ‘breathes’ more, hopefully.

We still got stuff to do soundwise… so check back often 🙂


4 Responses to It’s all about the crunch tone

  1. resident21 says:

    New tones are better.

  2. geareview says:

    I’m a reviewer who focuses on guitar-related software and hardware. I’m currently running an ongoing comparison of amp modelers at a few different musician forums, with the master thread here:
    I am also a contributor to

    I just wanted to say that, working with all of these amp modelers, I have access to many different directions of what is “state of the art,” and I am still very excited about your product! I think it will be a very worthy contribution if you can fulfill your stated goals. I will be watching this project with continued interest.

  3. angrymeister says:

    Sounding Good guys, I’m hearing nice things that are emerging as you go along with it. Keep up the great work

  4. ludmillus says:

    April 04, 2009
    Vandal is a milestone in amp emulation!
    I had the chance on the Frankfurt Trade Fair to
    play it and I love it.
    Me and my guitar can`t wait the release of SAM 11!

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