The Marshall “Plexi” Super Lead plug-in is the first amp to bear the name Marshall that isn’t actually an amp – the first authorized plug-in. It’s been built by Softube for the Universal Audio plug-in of DSP, arriving in May.

This is a reference 1959 Super Lead borrowed from Marshall themselves. The model number is 1959, built in the year 1967.

Now, it’s nice to have in UAD format, because you can mix and “reamp” and track and add effects and the lot in real-time on UA’s Apollo hardware. It’s also nice to see Softube doing the development; to my ear, they’ve done some of the best modeling work out there. (I got to meet with them most recently when visiting Sweden – they’re basically a boutique shop of modeling wizards.)

You have the amp, but of course you get to choose how to hear it. You get mic selection options (FET, valve, dynamic) and placement. There’s even a channel strip with pans and faders for each mic, plus a two-band EQ.

In other words, this plug-in is really a studio environment containing the historic Marshall reference amp as much as it is an amp recreation per se. And that recreation involved a collaboration with engineer Tony Platt, who himself worked with Marshall as well as on AC/DC’s Highway to Hell and Back in Black. (That is, if Tony’s name didn’t ring any bells, or ringing tinnitus.) So you have Tony’s work in Kore Studios London with all the options you’d have if you were a recording engineer.

US$199 – not bad, given those details. And actually, I wonder if some people will choose to just focus on this one model, if they love this sound, rather than every single possible choice, as you might get in a do-everything guitar amp bundle.

UA has new audio interface hardware out today, but I think the amp is kind of the nicest story, so we’ll catch up with the other bits later on. And we have a backlog of UA models to talk about, particularly as they live on the Apollo.

New Apollo Line of Interfaces (including FireWire and Windows support):

Marshall Amp Plug-In —