AcmeBarGig’s Preampus Week Plugins: Go get ’em, they’re free and rad!

A big thumbs up to my buddy Ken at AcmeBarGig. He has really become a mighty fine programmer of guitar-related DSP, and the last week was his proudest yet, releasing a new virtual amp head every day of the week. These are all based on his latest modeling technology and they have great tone and feel. They are, as described, amp heads, so make sure you’ve got a cabinet sim after them; I recommend LePou’s LeCab 1.10 IR loader, with either the quality included IRs courtesy of the fine folks at, or IRs of your preference (I personally use ReCabinet Complete for my IR needs, covers all the bases very well).

To put it in the words of a KVR poster, the heads do feature some “dink humor” in their naming scheme, so consider them PG-13 (hey, rock n’ roll hasn’t ever been politically correct!) There are seven to choose from, but I recommend grabbing all of them since they’re free and all sound different and quite nice. You’re sure to find a flavor or two (or three, or four, or…) that suits you perfectly.

Here’s a little sample of what I am affectionately referring to as “D-head” to keep my blog family friendly.

D-Head is thick and has tons of ba- er, guts! For effects I’m using Bionic Delay, a great free delay plugin I favor, and IKMM’s fantastic CSR Plate Reverb. I am also using Softube Acoustic Feedback up front (see my last blog post for more on that). The cabinet sim is LePou’s LeCab, with two IRs from Recabinet Modern 2.0’s Randall XLT 4×12. But the tone is all D-Head!

As a bonus, all of the Preampus Head series have Ken’s new Treble Master pedal built in (which you can turn on and off, of course), so you’ve got a ready boost to kick things into high-gear with any of the amps. Experiment with different combinations of the various gain stages available – most of the amps have Input Gain and additionally another Gain control, sometimes referred to as Power Gain, and then you’ve got the Input Level adjustment AND the controls on the Treble Master. Quite versatile results can be had from different combinations, so have fun playing with these heads! Just don’t tell anyone in your excitement that you’ve been off fooling around with…. you know. 😉


8 Responses to AcmeBarGig’s Preampus Week Plugins: Go get ’em, they’re free and rad!

  1. Ken McLaren says:

    HAHA…Those names sure do make it hard…damn now I’m doing it..Anyways, those names sure do make it difficult to keep a straight face while describing them eh?

    You know how many people asked me to name them differently while in development, I almost did, but I’m really glad we stayed with the names the way they are..
    Thanks for the wriye up man its appreciated, and, you go LePou in there too which is great!

  2. geareview says:

    I think it shows a good sense of humor, always good to be able to laugh about the biz 🙂

    You and LePou are two of my favorite people in the freeware scene, consistently put out great products and really LISTEN to people, both your testers and the end users. I use your stuff and his stuff regularly, LeCab is my go-to IR loader these days (rest in peace, KeFir, you were alright but the new hotness reigns supreme).

    Keep me informed of what’s on the horizon, mate, and keep an eye on the blog – it’s going to be a lot more active from now on. I’m settled in and ready to rock.

  3. Jason says:

    Thanks for testing these. I’ve been reading about them as they have been released but haven’t had the time to mess around with them. They do sound fantastic from your clips. I think I’ll have to fool with the Knuckle this weekend. Also, here’s hoping everything is going smooth as possible with the move/job.

  4. geareview says:

    Thanks much for the positive thoughts my way, Jason. It’s going pretty well, Tasha’s starting to really bond with her kids and I’m working more and more on my music and reviewing (as you can see from the heightened rate of posting :))

    Our puppy is even getting over his fear of boxes and electrical cords, which is a good step for him… He’s a half cocker spaniel, half miniature poodle, or “cocka-poo,” four months old and adorable! He keeps me company here during the day when Tasha’s at work. His name is Leon but I call him little man.

  5. blaknoize says:

    The D Head is definatly my favorite of those, bit too much wet delay for me will have to try out bionic delay though, Im using the IK studio reverb at the moment along with Epicverb which to honest I think I prefer.

    I have tried out DIG too but didnt get along with it seemed a bit too processed sounding, have to have a look at these…

  6. geareview says:

    First, on the delay, yeah it was too wet for me, too, I turned it down significantly in the subsequent clips as you probably heard. I forgot that Bionic Delay allows 100% wet, so I had it set at like 44% but I was thinking that 100% is 50/50… Oops. The other clips have it closer to 20% and don’t sound so soupy as a result. Still I think you can hear the tone of D-head through the haze of delay, and it sounds good (to me!)

    Second, Bootsie’s plugins are great. There’s no shame in preferring his stuff to commercial alternatives. However I am really getting along with CSR. I love its Plate algorithm, I have trouble getting Epicverb to sound as nice, big and warm but not washy and in the way when I’m going for that plate sound. KarmaFX Reverb is a good, very CPU light freeware reverb that has a pretty respectable plate sound, though, you might want to check it out.

    As far as DIG, Ken will tell you that he considers DIG to be very much in the past… It was his first amp sim software, based on very early AcmeBarGig modeling technology. He is using totally new technology now in almost every respect, and the results are substantially better in both his and my opinion. DIG was important for him learning to do what he’s doing now, and for laying the ground work for what has come since, but he has learned a great deal since then and developed impressive computer amp tech which DIG couldn’t possibly match for sound or feel.

  7. blaknoize says:

    I downloaded all of the ‘heads’ I will give em a go next time I fire up Reaper and let you know how I got on…

  8. blacknoize says:

    Had a quick try of them all, have to say the best one was Gimme Head :0

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