Positive Grid BIAS Amp 2 Review

Positive Grid BIAS Amp 2 Review

Positive Grid are one of the big boys of guitar plugins. The first edition of BIAS Amp along with BIAS FX have been hugely popular products. With BIAS Amp 2, Positive Grid are looking to build on that success and take amp modelling technology to a different level.

BIAS Amp 2

BIAS Amp isn’t your normal amp plugin. Simply put, it’s a tone tweakers dream. In it’s simplest form it can be used like many other amp plugins. There are a wide range of amps to choose from within the menu which cover a wide range of styles. No matter what your style, you’re likely to find an amp to fit your needs. There are even bass and acoustic amps.

So far, it’s just like the majority of amp plugins and you could use BIAS Amp 2 just like this. Pick an amp model, tweak the controls on the front panel and away you go. BIAS Amp 2 has a little trick up its sleeve though. The number of amps available is pretty much never-ending and that’s before you even think of designing your own. ToneCloud features hundreds of extra amps made by Positive Grid and other BIAS Amp users. Simply search for an amp, musician or genre and you’ll find lots of amps you can audition and download if you like how they sound. And all of this is free. This feature alone gives you insane value for money. Naturally, not all of the amps on ToneCloud are amazing but there are plenty of great ones and new amps are constantly being added.

Need More Options?

So far we’ve found a huge range of amps available to anyone who purchases BIAS Amp 2, but the biggest feature is the amp designing technology. Instead of having just an amp front panel and cabinet section like other plugins, BIAS Amp 2 gives you the ability to tweak inside the amp too. There are different sections for preamp, tone stack, power amp, transformer, cabinet and two EQs. Each of these sections contains a number of options for changing how the amp sounds and reacts. There are far too many settings to list here and that might be the only problem. If you aren’t an expert in valve amps you’re unlikely to know what most of them are for. Dive in and start making changes and it doesn’t take long before you start to get to know how it all works. I have no idea how accurate these settings really are but it is fun and interesting to flick through the options and make an amp sound the way you want it to. You can use the amp designer to slightly modify an existing amp or you can literally go to town and change everything to make your own unique creation.

Bias Amp 2 Review

Still Not Enough?

The Professional and Elite versions of BIAS Amp 2 also include Positive Grid’s Amp Match technology. Feed in the signal of a real amplifier or an audio file and this clever feature creates a match of the tone. There is a video on the Positive Grid website explaining how it works far better than I could. In use, sometimes it works brilliantly, sometimes the results aren’t great. A lot of it is down to the quality of the information you give it to work with. You really need to give it the purest tone possible to get decent results. A poor quality mp3 of a guitar tone with effects all over it isn’t going to give good results. When it gets it right it’s like magic.

The regular version of BIAS Amp has a feature-packed cabinet section with different cabinet models and microphones. This alone gives you plenty of ways to change your tone. Also included in Professional and Elite is an IR loader. With so many amp plugins now including an IR loader as standard, it’s a shame it is only included if you pay extra. I think an IR loader is now an essential feature because good quality IRs can really improve plugins and help you to get the sound you want.

In Use

However you choose to use it, BIAS Amp has a lot to offer. Every kind of amp imaginable is covered one way or another. And if it isn’t, you can either wait for someone else to make it or you can create it yourself. With so many options available I think it’s pretty normal that not all of the amps available are going to be fantastic, especially some of the user-created ones on ToneCloud. There are more than enough hits to make it worth skipping through the misses though. The ability to preview amps before you download them is a huge plus point because it means you don’t have to download the not so great ones.

With the good amps, they can sound as good as pretty much any other amp simulator currently available. The overall sound and the way they feel when you play through them is up there with the best of them. Having so many tweaking options can seem a bit daunting at times but I found it’s a great way to personalise the tone of any amps you like in a way you can’t usually do with other products.

Conclusion

It doesn’t really matter what style of music you play, BIAS Amp will have you covered and that’s one of it’s biggest strengths. There are just so many choices on offer. The asking price is fairly high but that’s because they give you so much in one package. There is so much within Bias Amp 2, it’s impossible to cover in any great detail within a review. You really need to download the demo version to get a feel for it all. It certainly won’t be right for everyone. If you are easily distracted you might find you spend more time tweaking than playing. Just remember, you don’t have to use all of the options. You can literally search for the amps you need, download them and put them to use. However, if you want to tweak an incredible amount of different parameters or try to match certain recorded guitar tones, it’s hard to find a better choice.

Rating 9/10

The Positive Grid Bias Amp 2 is currently available from Positive Grid for $99 if you want the Standard package, $199 for Professional and $299 for Elite. They often have offers available so the prices can be much lower – Please visit them HERE

Bias Amp 2 Demo Video

Positive Grid BIAS Amp 2

9

Rating

9.0/10