IK Multimedia has unveiled its latest TONEX package, the ODS Legends Signature Collection, bundling the sounds modeled from four highly-exclusive Dumble tube amps – taking the legendary tones (or, at least, a version of them) to a far greater number of players.
Few names inspire more reverence among tone geeks than that of Howard Alexander Dumble, the legendary modder and amp builder. However, if you’ve not, er… stumbled upon a Dumble in your playing career, well, that’s no surprise.
Dumble’s builds command crazy prices on the used market and are so scarce that the vast majority of players will likely never see one, let alone play, or even own one. As such, the latest TONEX pack is the latest attempt to open up Dumble-like tones to a wider audience.
The Overdrive Special is considered Dumble’s crowning achievement. Partly inspired by Robben Ford’s modded-Fender Bassman, the two-channel amps are prized for their transparent, open clean side and rich, harmonic overdrive channel.
Included in the ODS Legends line-up is a cross-section of Dumble Overdrive Special builds drawn from across the decades, including a 1979 Dumble ODS 50-watt head, a 1983 Dumble ODS 100-watt head, a 1984 Dumble ODS 50-watt combo and a 2004 Dumble ODS 50-watt combo.
We dread to think exactly how much that line-up is worth, but some lucky IK Multimedia employees got to spend time with all four.
The amp models were reportedly all sampled in Ocean Way Studios, in Nashville, TN, a renowned Music Row facility, which uses a converted church as its live room and captured via a Neve preamp.
“All amp and pedal settings were dialed in by tone experts to a variety of sweet spots from clean to overdrive and meticulously captured in between recording sessions,” says IK Multimedia.
“This collection of 20 Tone Models recreates the very essence of these vintage treasures and makes them finally accessible to all discerning tone aficionados. Utilizing IK's cutting-edge AI Machine Modeling Technology in conjunction with the Ocean Way's sonically perfect environment has produced incredible results.”
One clarification to offer is that Dumble’s amps were all custom-voiced for the individual players who commissioned them, so idiosyncrasies are quite literally built-in.
However, a glance at the feverish used market for them will tell you it’s not an issue for most players when it comes to the real thing.
Likewise, no tube amp emulation has fully figured out how to model pant-flapping physical air movements, or the smell of toasting tubes, but the sounds on offer here seem first rate. Given the hype, though, we'd love it if IK Multimedia would share an A/B test with the originals.
Regardless, we think this could be the digital pack that tempts many previously hardcore analog devotees into taking their first steps into the realm of digital tone – from a point of pure curiosity, if nothing else.
As a final temptation to any wavering analog addicts out there, the firm is throwing in models of an original Ibanez Tube Screamer and, you guessed it, a Klon Centaur – two pretty-much-unobtainable pedals – alongside the amp emulations.
In terms of pricing, currently IK Multimedia is running an introductory offer of $49.99/€49.99 before it rises to its normal $99.99.
Compare that to the $400,000+ (at an extremely conservative guess) it would cost to assemble to the real-life collection and, well – even if it only gets you 10% of the way towards the real thing – the ODS Legends Signature Collection starts to look like excellent value.
If a real-life amp remains your thing, though, then you might want to check out Mark Tremonti’s signature amp, the MT-100, which has three channels – including one designed to emulate the guitarist’s Dumble Overdrive Special.
For more information, head to IK Multimedia.