American Clean MKIII

Based on the clean channel of the Mesa Boogie MKIII, this has been a standard of Amplitube for years.

As you’d expect, this is all about the clean tone. There are plenty of toys to play with – treble boost, rhythm (pumps up the mids), deep (boosts the bass), a slightly crude 5 band EQ and a decent presence knob

I preferred it with all these toys switched off – the basic tone is sweet and mellow, not unlike the American Tube 1, but with a boosted mid that gives it the slightest touch of grit. With a Strat or Tele it sounds especially good and feels like it has been voiced especially for the single coil. Version 3 of this model is undoubtedly the best yet.

American Lead MKIII

Of course this is based on the lead channel of the Mesa Boogie MKIII

(is it a bit cheeky to split one amp into several models?) Once again this is a veteran of Amplitube so lets see how the MKIII of the MKIII stands up.

With the master volume right up and the lead volume right down, there is a very gutsy blues tone that never goes near clean but has a rich grainy character. With this setting, all the toys on the clean channel that did not really make sense really come into their own here. The Deep, Rhythm and Shift setting really fill the tone out without making it muddy. This is a great Texas blues tone and with a bit of fiddling works well for Peter Green licks as well.

With the gain kicked up, things get less interesting. It’s not a bad tone, but it quickly gets muddy. So I found it really to be a one tone beast, but it is a really good tone.

American Tube Vintage

Here we go, the eternal, classic, Bassman. I’ve played a million of these on sims for the past 15 years and none of them seem to sound the same.

Right, the presence  and reverb knobs are very, very sensitive and I found them pretty useless turned past one. But keep it very subtle and you’ve got a tone that really barks with a humbucker but is very fluid with a single coil in a similar way to the Clean MKIII. Bass notes do muddy up quite easily  though. The impression I got was that this was still quite a crude model that had not been updated with the same success as some of the other Amplitube models  – perhaps because there is another, very official Bassman in the Fender Amplitube pack.

Whatever the reason, this must be seen as a disappointment

American Vintage B

This is one of the original Amplitube Hendrix models and is based on a silverface Bassman. After the disappointment of the Amplitube Bassman, can this do any better?

Oh yes it can – this has a much darker quality to it. The clean tone is sensational – thick and sinewy, focused and powerful, a million miles away from a sweet, glassy Fender tone but much closer to a really good Marshall clean channel. With a bit of gain, a humbucker takes off but there is always a definition to the strings totally missing in the American Tube Vintage.

I’m not sure how versatile it is – I think I’d prefer to use the American Tube 1 if I was playing Little Wing, but there are 2 very good tones there for not a lot of money. I really enjoyed this one.

Right I’m off to my bed now = more amps soon…..