fbpx

ReValver 5 Review: The Underdog Amp Sim?

ReValver 5 Review
[DISCOUNT] SAVE 10% ON The Mastering Framework

ReValver 5 is now powered by HeadRush, a product we recommend often. But how does it hold up to other amp sim programs for your home studio?


ELECTRIKJAM’s Opinion

ReValver 5:

ReValver 5 has some interesting features compared to other amp sims of its ilk. This amp sim is powered by HeadRush FX, a famous competitor to Line 6. But ReValver offers much more than most plugins on the market.


chris horton

With actual Peavey Amps to choose from, ReValver 5 has some awesome options. The effects are awesome, and the analog feel just adds to the experience. More people need to know about ReValver!

— Chris Horton, ELECTRIKJAM

ReValver 5 Review

Quality of Amp Sims

★★★★★

Effects Options/IR Options

★★★★★

Price

💰

Best For

Metal, Gaze, Blues, Rock

Overall

★★★★★



ReValver 5: HeadRush At Home?

I had no idea that ReValver even existed until recently. We have often pushed the HeadRush products, especially the FRFR cabinets since the quality is outstanding for the price.

Even looking with a cursory internet search, I could not find much about ReValver 5. Since the merge with HeadRush, I guess people just have not discovered it yet.

Because with the HeadRush features added, this is a powerhouse workstation for guitarists, and I cannot understand why it is not the most popular thing on the market right now, since the merge with HeadRush.

But we have also often recommended the HeadRush FX units as well, since each unit has been a great alternative to the bigger brands like Line 6. HeadRush offers similar quality, at a better price.

But just like Helix Native, HeadRush has merged with the newest version of ReValver. This is a great amp sim that we got to check out, and it offers a lot of the same features as HeadRush.

The thing is, there are a lot of amp sim programs these days. The most popular is probably Neural DSP, followed by STL Tones. Beyond those two, you have Positive Grid as well.

But ReValver did not start as a HeadRush product, in fact it was originally a Peavey product. This is why we have the “real” names of amps inside the program. Instead of something like a “PV 6505” you get the actual amp Peavey name and design.

But actually, you can trace the roots back further to Eleven Rack, which was made by Avid Tech. The same company that makes Pro Tools. I know producers that still swear by the Eleven Rack units!

ReValver had a rather loyal following when it was mostly Peavey amps, and users raved about how accurately it captured the amp tones. Last year, HeadRush merged with Peavey, resulting in the newest edition we have today.

Today we are going to go over the stand-out features of ReValver 5 and talk about how the HeadRush amps and effects were integrated. This is an extensive amp sim, so we cannot cover everything, but we will give you the goods.

Amp Models

ReValver 5

ReValver is the only amp modeling software to offer officially branded Peavey and Budda amp and effects models. These models were developed with the aid of the original equipment engineers and are the truest digital models of the originals.

The ReValver Peavey 6505 and 6505+ models are the most faithful reproduction of the famed 5150 on the market. At least, that is the claim from the company, and I tend to agree.

There are over 50 amp models to choose from, and many of them are great for clean tones. This is an issue that I had with more “metal-focused” amp modeling programs, but there is no lack of vintage clean tones here.

You also have a great bass amp, if you like to play bass on your recordings. But this amp sim is mostly guitar focused, and it has everything you need to start recording.

The Fender-style amps do a great job of getting those bell-like tones from single coil pickups. These amps also work well with pedals, just like in real life, should you want to add some dirt.

The AC30 and AC30 BOOST models are also very faithful to their real-life counterparts. These are bright and crispy, with a great natural overdrive that reacts well with your guitar’s volume knob.

The Mesa Boogie and ENGL style amps are also great, however the Mesa Rectifier amp doesn’t quite have the same punch as a “real” recorded amp with a mic in front of it.

The star of the show is by far the Peavey models. I have owned the real versions of almost all of these amps over the years, and they sound almost identical using the intended IR settings.

The HeadRush amps are also fantastic, with the TWEED models being the star of the show. These sound very transparent, making a perfect canvas for a pedalboard setup.

Where most amp modeling software lets you edit high level properties of an amp model, ReValver allows you to tweak models at the schematic level – an industry first.

Change resistor values, tube types, tube parameters and more to create an amp model that is truly and uniquely yours. This is a crazy feature that I have not even considered yet!

All of the amps are great, except the Budda amps. This is just a personal thing, since I don’t like these amps in real life. I imagine you could tweak these with the IR to make is sound different, but these are just not my style.

I have often said that STL Tones AmpHub is my go-to modeling program, but I have been using ReValver almost exclusively for two weeks. This has a lot of legit amps that you cannot find elsewhere.

User Interface

ReValver 5 Review

The UI that ReValver offers is a little “old-school” when it comes to design, but it is customizable. The important part is the function, and how easy it is to access everything.

You can blend two different amp models together, creating a dual signal path with a dual pedalboard/outbound section. This is a really cool way to A/B sounds when you are recording guitar.

The actual amp interface is clear and concise. These look just like their real-life counterparts, and works the same way as well. So if you know your way around a 6505, you will have no problem getting a great tone.

The INPUT section has a noise gate, tuner, and the ACT loader that we will address later. You can really dial in the input section of your rig, almost like having a rack system built-in to your home studio!

The OUPUT has a master EQ that I have found to be the most important tool this program has to offer. There is also a compressor, a save/load feature, and a blender for dual signal paths.

The blender for running dual signal paths is amazing. If you plan to use a clean amp blended with your high gain amp, this can dial in your perfect blend.

Otherwise, the whole ReValver experience is very intuitive, and welcoming for new users. You don’t have to use any of the input/output options to dial in a killer tone, but a studio rack system is there for you if you need it.

Impulse Responses & Effects

This is where things get really cool when it comes to ReValver 5. Do you have a favorite IR or effects from another amp sim program that you love? maybe you have a bunch of custom IR settings that you have saved.

You can load those into ReValver, without any issue. Just find the file folder on your computer and add the effect or IR to ReValver. The RIR2 impulse loader allows you to add your own impulse responses and save it.

But even if you couldn’t do any of that, the sheer volume of choices you have for IR and effects is vast. You have every type of effects you could imagine for both the input and output sections of your rig.

Many of the effects have been licensed, like the Digitech Whammy. It works just like the real one, and the DROP pedal is included as well. Like the real variants of these pedals, there is a bit of lag.

Any effect you can think of, from tape delay to multi-chorus is here. The stereo effects sound great, like ping-pong delay and chorus.

If I had to criticize any part of the effects, the overdrives are all very similar. But I find this to be true in real life as well. Some are good for boosting a high gain amp, others are good for making a clean amp dirty.

When it comes to the cabinets available, you have the matching cab for every amp. But you also have variant versions like 2X12 or 1X10 to choose from as well, with several different mics to choose from.

The mics are all the same ones you would find in the studio. You have famous ribbon mics, the SM57, and some alternatives you wouldn’t expect. There is a lot here to play around with!

If ReValver does not feature what you want, you can load it in. No other plugin has this compatibility that I know of, and it is a game changer for studios.

If you cannot find the tools to build a tone with what ReValver has to offer, then you might not be able to dial in a tone on ANYTHING. There is something for everyone here, and this plugin is not missing anything.

ACT: Audio Cloning Technology

ACT (Audio Cloning Technology) not only takes ReValver’s cabinet modeling and EQ matching to the next level, but it also allows the user to mold and shape the sound of the guitar itself, cloning the sound and characteristics of other instruments, such as acoustics, folk instruments, and even other electric guitar and pickup combinations.

I did not play around with this feature much, but Positive Grid has something similar, where you can profile your guitar and change the sound. The difference is in the details, and how this technology actually works.

The 1 minute video below will describe how this works better than I can. But basically, you can turn your guitar into just about anything you want. It can be a Strat, Les Paul, Acoustic, Nylon Acoustic, or even other more exotic instruments!

ACT modeling in action.

This video demonstrates just how easy it is to “clone” your guitar. Again, I have not really tried this feature out…yet. But this can be a an absolute weapon in the studio, where time is money.

Cons

While ReValver 5 has definitely blown me away with all of the features it has to offer, I do have a minor gripe or two regarding the software.

The biggest issue by a long shot, and this may be a deal-breaker for some, is this sim still uses iLok. You need to have a USB device plugged in, and it can be very buggy to get working.

For example: ReValver kept suggesting my camera on my computer as the USB device, instead of the USB stick I had plugged in. After a few tries, it finally read the stick-drive, but my camera cannot hold a license!

Another is going to be the presets. If you just scroll through the presets of ReValver, you probably will not be impressed. You really need to design your own tones, and that takes time to get right.

If you can live with having an external USB device, then this might be the perfect amp sim. It was not that long ago that we all had iLok devices on our keychains if we worked in a studio. So it did not bother me.

Wrapping Up & Final Thoughts…

ReValver is an absolute powerhouse that honestly has no limits. You can customize everything endlessly, or just put an amp and cab together and play.

ReValver 5 does stand out in a load of of other amp sims. It is different in almost every aspect from other amp sims. I mean, it is nothing like any plugin that I used in the last two years.

This can be a bad thing if you are used to Neural DSP or STL Tones, who have very similar layouts. Personally, I enjoyed the UI and the detail that it provides when it comes to dialing in a tone.

ReValver does not just cater to metal fans, which is a breath of fresh air in a world where every amp sim is marketed as being good for “metal” or “shredders”. There are great clean tones and blues tones here too.

Maybe ReValver is not popular yet because it has not been marketed properly. I don’t work in advertising, but there are very few reviews out there at the time of writing this article and little social media presence.

Electrikjam works with AIR Music brands, and InMusic Brands regularly, so that is how ReValver was finally brought to my attention. This is an outstanding amp sim, with groundbreaking technology that no other amp sim features! It should be the talk of the guitar community right now!

So if you have used amp sims in the past, and maybe they didn’t work out for you, then ReValver might be right up your alley. This amp sim is going to be a massive studio tool for me going forward.

I am almost begging you, give ReValver a try. It may not be the most popular plugin right now, but the versatility and sound quality is honestly next level. Try it for free, by checking out the site.

Pricing

ReValver

You can download ReValver 5 for free! This gives you a few different amps to try out, as well as some effects to get a feel of the amp sim. This is a great way to get started, and then decide which bundle suits your needs.

I was given the “Producer” Bundle for review, and it has everything you need to record guitar at home or in the studio. Once you have a few presets saved, getting a demo down has never been easier.

Even the most expensive bundle is less expensive than most SINGLE plugins you find for guitarists. The Producer Bundle is almost limitless, and half the price of most Neural suite plugins.


PROS

Actual licensed amp models, with realistic sounds compared to the real-life counterparts.

Effects that are almost endless in capability.

Excellent IR loader, allowing you to use your own IRs.

ACT cloning technology that can turn your guitar into just about any stringed instrument.

Endless customizing options for amps, IRs, and effects.

Seriously competitive pricing for such a sophisticated piece of software.

CONS

iLock is slightly outdated, and can be buggy to get setup.

The amount of options can be overwhelming.

Presets are just ok, and they could be a better representation of the plugin. Making your own tones from the ground up is the best approach.

[LEARN FROM A PRO]

Master Your Music To A Professional Standard Even if You’re A Total Beginner

This step-by-step framework is the exact process I use to master music professionally. It is the culmination of 20+ years of experience, condensed down into a single, easy to follow workflow

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Pin It on Pinterest