Mercuriall Tube Amp Ultra 530

Mercuriall Tube Amp Ultra 530 Review

I’ve reviewed a couple of Mercuriall products now so I thought it was time to take a look at the Tube Amp Ultra 530. This plugin is based on the ENGL E530 preamp. It’s an interesting choice so have Mercuriall captured the magic of the popular metal preamp?

Mercuriall Tube Amp Ultra 530

The layout of the Ultra 530 is pretty simple and easy to use. The top half of the screen has all of the expected preamp controls whilst the bottom half contains the various tube options, speakers and mic placement. No manual is needed as it’s all very familiar and logically laid out.

The preamp itself has four channels thanks to the high/low gain switch which operates on both the Clean Gain and Low Gain section. Although it’s a four channel amp, I think most people will only use two of these. The high gain option on the clean channel and the low gain on the lead channel are nice to have but neither of them really contain any magic to my ears. Switch to either full clean or full-fat lead however and this is a great sounding plugin.

The clean tones are bright and full. I can’t imagine anyone who is only looking for clean tones being tempted away from other options but there are some very nice sounds available. Add in some chorus and it sounds beautiful. I’ll be honest, I wasn’t expecting the clean channel to sound as good as it does so it’s a very nice surprise.

Mercuriall Tube Amp Ultra 530 Screenshot

Channel four is pure metal. Engl amps are a very popular choice among metal guitarists and this plugin certainly captures the ENGL sound. It’s not a subtle sound but it really cuts through a mix. The plugin reacts well to the way you play and palm muted chugging sounds very beefy. I was really impressed with the way it handled my 7 string guitar. There was no muddiness at all and all the notes could ring through clearly. This isn’t always the case. It also works well for lead tones as the individual notes are well defined with a strong attack.

As this is an older plugin there is no option for the now common IR loader. Luckily the provided speaker options provide all the tonal options you really need thanks to the massively adjustable mic placement section. This is a really nice feature if you like to fine tune your tone.

One big miss, in my opinion, is the lack of a noise gate. It’s a pretty essential feature with any high gain amp to keep things tight so it’s a shame you have to use another plugin for this.

It would have also been nice to have reverb and delay included, especially when other Mercuriall plugins I’ve tried have had such good sounding effects. They can always be added with other plugins but it’s nice to find everything you need inside one plugin. It is pretty faithful to the original preamp though so perhaps it’s wrong to expect more extra features to be included when they weren’t on the ENGL. Mercuriall have added a number of extras already and the main sounds are great so it’s hard to complain.

Conclusion

I’ve kept this review pretty short because I haven’t gone into detail with the many extra buttons and things like the tube and speaker options. This is because I didn’t find I needed them. The basic tone is so good I quickly found the sounds I was looking for without endless tweaking. I always think this is the sign of a good product. It’s nice to have the extra features if you need them but I’d rather spend my time playing than constantly turning virtual knobs and pressing buttons.

I think that’s my biggest plus point for Mercuriall Tube Amp Ultra 530. For the metal guitarist who wants to get a great tone with minimal effort, this plugin should definitely be on your shortlist. Mercuriall even offers a cut-down free version of the plugin on their website so there is no excuse not to give it a try. You might find it’s the perfect choice for you.

Rating – 9/10

The Mercuriall Tube Amp Ultra 530 is available from https://mercuriall.com for $59.99

Mercuriall Tube Amp Ultra 530 Demo Video

Mercuriall Tube Amp Ultra 530

9

Rating

9.0/10