Free Guitar Amp VST Plugins

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This article lists free guitar amp VST plugins. For more music software, return to Free VST Plugins.

Whether you’re a guitar player or not, having a good guitar amp emulator or two in your plugins folder can be helpful. Much like a good saturator, guitar amps can color a sound, adding anything from subtle warmth to full-on distortion.

If you’re a guitar player without access to a sound-proof studio, these kinds of VSTs are essential for bringing DI’ed signals to life. However, they can work well on synthesizers, drum machines, samples—pretty much anything that needs an injection of saturation.

This list focuses on guitar amplifier sims. While some may contain cabs (speakers or cabinets), many are just the head.

Many offer multiple amp types and are capable of providing several different kinds of tones. If you’re new to the world of guitar amps, it can be useful to experiment and see what works best for your type of music.


AmpliTube 4 Free by IK Multimedia

AmpliTube 4 Free by IK Multimedia

AmpliTube 4 Free is, as you would expect, a free version of software giant IK Multimedia’s comprehensive guitar sim package, AmpliTube 4.

The free version on offer here includes nine stompboxes, four amps, five cabs, three mics, two rack effects, and a chromatic tuner, which should be more than enough to get you started.

If you wish to expand your kit, unlock additional amp models via in-app purchases.

Download: AmpliTube Custom Shop


Blue Cat’s Free Amp by Blue Cat

Blue Cat’s Free Amp by Blue Cat

Blue Cat’s Free Amp is a guitar amp emulator based on Blue Cat’s premium Destructor and Axiom plugins. With three different models (Classic Clean, Classic Drive, and Modern Drive) and matching cabinet emulation for each virtual amp type, there’s plenty to work with here.

The tone ranges from clean to crunchy, with a proper sweet spot that favors a clean sound, a rarity for guitar amp VSTs.

Download: Blue Cat’s Free Amp


Boogex by Voxengo

At its heart, Boogex is a guitar amp simulator, able to impart tone ranging from distorted to clean and jazzy.

Boogex can load speaker cabinet impulse responses (some are included) and can also be used as a plain stereo convolution processor when its amp stage is turned off. It also has a reverb module taken from the company’s excellent OldSkoolVerb reverb.

Download: Boogex


Amped Roots Free by ML Sound Lab

Amped Roots Free by ML Sound Lab

Amped Roots Free is the free edition of ML Sound Lab’s software bundle, which was made with the help of guitarist Ryan “Fluff” Bruce. Amped Roots Free includes an amp designed for metal with a built-in cabinet simulator and two effects pedals.

Download: Amped Roots Free


Amplifikation Lite by Kuassa

Amplifikation Lite by Kuassa

Based on one of the amps featured in Kuassa’s Amplifikation One guitar processing software, Amplifikation Lite has three channels (clean, rhythm, and lead) and a built-in cabinet impulse response loader. The cabinet loader is helpful for when you want more than just an amp head.

Download: Amplifikation Lite


Cypress TT-15 by Black Rooster Audio

Cypress TT-15 by Black Rooster Audio

German effects company Black Rooster Audio offers Cypress TT-15, a component-based circuit simulation of the Orange TT15 Tiny Terror amp head. Orange amps are famous for their tone, and this emulation has a similar sound and identical control layout.

Cypress TT-15 also has a 2×12 cabinet simulation that can be bypassed should you wish to use an alternate cab impulse response.

Download: Cypress TT-15


NRR-1 by Ignite Amps

NRR-1 by Ignite Amps

Back in 1999, Ignite Amps built the NRR-1 tube preamplifier for Fleshgod Apocalypse guitarist Cristiano Trionfera.

The software version is a digital emulation of that same preamp that features Ignite Amps’ third-generation triode modeling engine and three channels: clean, rhythm, and lead. It’s particularly suited to metal and other heavy genres.

Download: NRR-1


Crunck V2 by Nembrini Audio

Crunck V2 by Nembrini Audio

Nembrini Audio’s relatively new Crunck V2 plugin is a high-quality guitar amp sim designed for rock and pop genres. With its easy-to-understand layout, it’s particularly suited to beginners. It also includes an IR-based cabinet simulator with 30 built-in cabinet impulse responses.

Download: Crunck V2


Ace by Shattered Glass Audio

Ace by Shattered Glass Audio

Ace by Shattered Glass Audio is an emulation of a Fender tube guitar amp. With its clean tones, it’s great for indie rock, pop, and other genres that don’t require a high-gain guitar sound like metal.

This amp, which is heavily optimized and light on the CPU, also features a built-in cabinet simulation and two different circuit models.

Download: Ace


L12X Solid State Amplifier by Audiority

Audiority’s free L12X Solid State Amplifier is based on the Marshall Lead 12 head of the late ’80s, which is renowned for its ability to get very loud. This emulation has two channels (clean and boost), a contour knob for a more scooped tone, and an additional boost overdrive stage.

Download: L12X Solid State Amplifier


bx_rockrack V3 Player by Plugin Alliance

bx_rockrack V3 Player is the freeware virtual guitar amp plugin by Brainworx. It features a limited collection of amp models and presets from the full version of the software. There are 26 presets in total, based on eight different guitar amplifier models.

The plugin sounds very good. However, the options for customizing the included presets are very limited. That said, bx_rockrack V3 Player can be valuable if you’re only looking for a great-sounding virtual amp to jam on.

Download: bx_rockrack V3 Player


Guitar Rig 5 Player by Native Instruments

Like AmpliTube 4, Native Instruments’ freely downloadable Guitar Rig 5  plugin is a fully-featured all-in-one guitar solution, with amps, cabs, effects, and more.

It’s great for everything from subtle warmth to full-on effects madness, and it sounds lovely on synths.

Guitar Rig 5 Player is a free, cut-down version of Guitar Rig 5 Pro and includes a British-style tube amp plus a matched cabinet and 13 effects and sound modifiers. Note that Guitar Rig 5 Player comes as part of Komplete Start, a bundle of free instruments and effects.

Download: Komplete Start (includes Guitar Rig 5 Player)


For more freeware plugins and instruments, return to our Free VST Plugins page.

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This article was written by two or more BPB staff members.

47 Comments

  1. Mr Le Pou’s work is above all. Be sure to send him $$ if you use his stuff. Mixed with the right cab IRs he hits it out of the ballpark … check out his ENGL …

    • Could you please guide me as to how to use cab IRs?
      Do I need to download them from somewhere else or are they already here?

      • You forgot all of the Nalex plugins!! Gerbert, Uber, Crunchman, Ninja… Where’s Proto Four and Raven Volcanic by Vadim Taranov?? Those are all killer amps!! I also love Lepou, Nick Crowe and Ronald Passion for their contributions!! The list was very good just incomplete in my opinion!!

        • Tomislav Zlatic

          on

          Hi Chirs, thanks for the tips! I also love LePou’s amps. I’ll consider adding all of these to the article, thanks for your suggestions.

    • Absolutely agree. Some of these other ones are good to varying degrees as well, but none of these are as good as the LePou stuff. Only free ones that are close are the Nalex Crunchman (Get that one immediately if you haven’t already), and to a lesser degree the Ninja and The Emissary are also excellent.

  2. Hey Tomislav,

    you mentioned SimulAnalog Guitar Suite, but did you know that there is an excellent skin for it, & stereo versions of all the plugins? I swear it makes it sound better having an awesome GUI, LOL! ;)

    You’ll find links to download them here; http://requietus.blogspot.co.uk/2008/12/simulanalog-guitar-suite-gui.html I opened both RAR files & they’re clean & safe.

    Breath new life into the excellent SimulAnalog Guitar Suite with these top notch GUIs!

    Regards,

    Jack.

  3. I was using the lepou lecto and the lecab in logic X and they don’t sound right at all. I’m hearing allmost exactly the dry guitar tone as if the plugin wasn’t there or wasn’t on. Yes im sure it is on.

    as for the lecab, as soon as i turn it on it explodes ( in a bad way.)
    if i turn the volume all the way down it’s silent but if i creep it up it will stay silent untill it blows up again.

    anybody else getting this?
    maybe i should reinstall it

    • I’m sure you have thought of this but did you check to make sure the direct monitoring on your interface is off? That’s what it sounds like to me. If you aren’t sure, listen to it before and after you turn it off. There is a notable difference. Also, I turn my audio input volumes all the way down. Some people like to use a direct box but i never do and it’s fine.

  4. Anyone serious about grabbing a good free guitar amp simulator should also visit this blog: http://www.grebz.fr/simulator_freeamp_eng.php

    The guy is a guitar nut (in the good sense) and has demos of what most of the amp sims sound like. He also has some of the older free versions which don’t seem to be available elsewhere (ie. acmebargig which seems to have vanished).

    Personally, my favourite amp sim at the moment is the wagner aharp from Nick Crow http://nickcrowlab.blogspot.com.es/ It doesn’t have the nicest looking interface but to me it sounds great.

    I found the lecab sounds good but it is too CPU intensive (for my machine) when I have multiple instances of it so I use reverberate LE instead. You have to tweak the settings with the IR’s but you can make it sound good if you do.

    • To get em working in FL studio, drag the DLL files to C:/Program files/Imageline/FL studio/Plugins/VST/here.
      Then open FL studio, open Channels tab in the menu, then click on Add one. click on Refresh(fast), now find your plugin. tick the checkbox and close the window. Now in the mixer, while choosing the plugin, click on Add one and follow the previous process again. you’ll be finding your plugin now :)

  5. Lexie Snyder

    on

    Fantastic piece , I learned a lot from the info , Does anyone know where I could possibly get ahold of a template MD Comptroller MW508 version to edit ?

  6. I’ve installed the x86 dll into my VST folder under windows 10, but it’s not showing in ableton (32 bit) – any ideas? Weirdly enough, NRR1 shows just fine.

  7. You should try Nick Crow Lab’s tubedriver. It’s one of the best. Only its preamp’s treble and bass knobs seem to be not working.

  8. California Sun is one I found recently. Flip that switch to clean, add some saturation, reverb and delay and hear that old school vibe.

  9. Should make sure these are all actually free. they are not or are not any longer.
    MLSound Lab Amped IS free for example, but it stops your sound on occasion and pops up an ad asking you to download other amps. so its not actually usable, due to the surprise interruptions.

  10. Amplex by NaLex is pretty interesting and worth a mention imo.

    Also where’s the free virtual guitar list you used to have here?

  11. Guitar rig 7 is free and the best sounds. A distortion plugin pedal added for extra but the dynamics are incredible. Roots is awesome for free, doesn’t do less distortion well, just full on but it is fun. Swanky Amp is okay too

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