The Kuassa Amplifikation Matchlock amp simulator is the 3rd generation of Kuassa’s circuit-matching technology which tries to mimic Fender amps. To be precise: Twin Reverb, Super Reverb and Custom Vibrolux Reverb were modelled.
I bought the VST shortly after it was released. A couple of weeks later the RE version was introduced. Both versions I’ve used for this review.
No reverb or tremolo effects are included, which feels a bit strange because the Amplifikation Vermilion has these effects included, so why not also include them with Matchlock?
VST/VST3/AU/AAX versus RE version
The VST/VST3/AU/AAX version looks good and has a functional GUI:
The Rack Extension version of Matchlock for Propellerhead Reason uses less screen space and looks similar like the other Kuassa amp sims:
On the back of the RE version: CV inputs for modulating the input and output signal and for the low, mid, high and volume controls of the amp. You can also choose oversampling: 1x (no oversampling), 2x, 4x and 8x.
The RE version lacks the option to load custom Impulse Responses. Not really an issue since you can use the Reason RV7000 for loading Impulse Responses.
Matchlock offers 5 different cabinets: Concerto (1 x 12), Black Deluxe (1 x 12), Hot-Rotted (1 x 12), Black Twin (2 x 12) and Tweed Bass (4 x 10). And it comes with 7 mic types: Shure SM57, Sennheiser MD421, Sennheiser MD441, Shure KSM313, Royer R121, AKG C414, Neumann TLM103.
How does it sound?
The sound of Matchlock blew me away at first try. It’s capable of producing all the typical Fender sounds. You can drive it from super clean to crunchy tones. And you’ll have a hard time making it sound bad. Only when overusing the Bias and Sag controls you can make the Matchlock to sound bad (which can be a nice thing as well by the way!). But in general the tones which come out of this piece of software can be described as authentic sounding. It has that classic sound we all know so well from the classic records of the past.
What also impressed me are the cabinet and mic combinations. I bought some custom Celestion Impulses (G12M_Creamback_Closed_2x12) a while ago but found myself preferring the cabinet and mic combinations of Matchlock. They are without nasty resonances and the different cabinet and mic settings are great for making subtle changes in sound.
The Matchlock is also the perfect amp for using with additional pedals. Stick an overdrive pedal in front of it and you’ll can make it scream nicely. Even when turning the mids and highs all the way up on this amp, even with the bright switch on, this amp never makes you feel you’re playing a software amp sim. It does feel like a real fender tube amp which was miced up nicely. It’s really that good.
Sound examples by me
Let me show you a couple of examples. Me using my custom build Telecaster with the Volume and Tone Control wide open.
Both pickups using the Twin Reverb (Amp A):
Neck pickup using the Super Reverb (Amp B):
Bridge pickup using the Custom Vibrolux Reverb (Amp C):
That is a great sound in my opinion.
The Kuassa Amplifikation Matchlock amp simulator is currently my favourite amp simulator. At the moment I am doing sessions and the Matchlock seems to work nicely in all situations. It’s always feels nice to play and sits in the mix nicely. And it is super easy to get great tones.
I am not a fan of heavy overdriven tones. I want my amps to sound clean or a little dirty and Matchlock is the perfect amp for this. I love it.