After having so much fun with the Triple, the Marks and that very pleasant TA-30, we are back in what many believe is prime Boogie territory, the Dual Rectifier. My review of the Triple (right here) pretty much covers the essentials of this amp, the controls are the same and the sound sculpting is the same.
If appearances are pretty much identical, then differences in sound are very subtle too. The Dual felt like it had slightly
less clean headroom and the cleans were not quite as flexible or as articulate. The Triple felt slighlty livier with overdrive as well
But the lead channel on the Dual is astonishing. It is not so much the amount of gain, with an ampsim you can always throw more gain on, it is the weight of the tone, there is a physical impact that you feel in your chest. It is something that you get from a really good amp (for example, a Mesa Boogie?) but I’ve never really had this effect from an ampsim.
Of all the Boogie models I’ve played over this review, it is the Dual that really gave me the best skull-crushing lead tone, if you will, the classic Mesa Boogie tone, tight, focused and relentlessly agressive.
I think IK and Mesa Boogie have done something remarkable with this package. I’ve played ampsims for years, but I’ve never really treated them as amps before but as some kind of effect. That model does not have the exact sound you wanted? Move onto the next one!
But here, I experimented. I barely used the presets at all. Instead I tried every combination of tone and volume against single coils and humbuckers. I found that the smallest adjustment could have a massive bearing on tone. I read through the amp manuals to work out how the controls worked together.
What I did was I just treated these as amplifiers, not amp sims. I’ve never been uncritical of Amplitube, I could never get a good sound out of the Slash package and iOS Amplitube was always deeply disappointing with it’s lack of flexibility. But the Boogie collection is simply astonishing – it has made every other Boogie sim out there obsolete, yes it is even better than Scuffham’s model. These models are all brilliant achievements and they all add a range of sounds and flavours that any player would love. The cleans are superb, the overdrives warm and responsive and the high gain tones simply bludgeon you with power, not with fizz.
Better than Revalver, better than Bias, if this is where IK’s game is, then next months Amplitube 4 is going to slayus. You want a better Boogie tone? You better buy a real Boogie amp then.