There’s plenty of choice when it comes to getting the Mesa/Boogie sound in the box, with IK Multimedia’s Amplitube probably being the most comprehensive and best-sounding on the market. It’s also fairly expensive, though nothing too serious in comparison to a real Mesa/Boogie rig. Although most guitar sims (including free ones) and FX units on the market will do a fairly good impression of California classics like the Dual Rectifier and Mark IV, having one more option never hurts.
Mercuriall Audio introduced an interesting take on modeling the Mesa/Boogie sound with ReAxis – an emulation of the Triaxis rack preamp that’s based on classic Mark series circuits. The sim is a result of Mercuriall’s latest achievements in modeling technology, with each preamp tube having its own mathematical model. For further authenticity, ReAxis is compatible with presets from the original Triaxis pre-amp – meaning you can load them and even export them for use with your hardware preamp.
In addition to the Triaxis, ReAxis models two power amps (push-pull, classAB & single-ended, Class A) with both 6L6 and EL34 power tubes, two 4×12 cabinets (Bogner Uberkab with V30 and G12T-75 speakers & Marshall 1960B with Greenback and JBL K120 speakers), three mics (Shure SM57, Sennheiser MD441, Royer R121), and a choice of effects pedals (noise gate, wah, 5 overdrives, chorus, delay, and reverb). Up to 8x oversampling and sample rates up to 96kHz are available, too.
As fans of Mesa/Boogie’s thick and rich-sounding amplifiers, we’re pleased to have ReAxis at our disposal. Those lush Mark-series tones never seem to get old, both for lead and rhythm work. Furthermore, the choice of Uberkab 4×12 as one of the featured cabinets is smart – the Bogner is an overlooked alternative to Mesa’s traditional cabinets that delivers a musical, refined tone with no lack of tightness and heaviness.
Price and availability
ReAxis is available in 32 & 64-bit VST, AU, and AAX formats for Windows and Mac computers. It costs $90, which is reasonable compared to competing products.