Just when you thought you had them all, UA releases the 55 Tweed Deluxe for UAD-2 hardware and Apollo interfaces. For this Fender-licensed recreation, UA found a set of ’55 tweed Deluxe amps and spent a few years digging into the bones of them before releasing this plug-in.
One of the coolest details that I liked about this ‘55 is the choice of three types of vintage speakers: the stock 1955 Jensen P12R for classic tones, a 25-watt ‘greenback’ Celestions for more edgy mids and a 120-watt JBL D120F for cleaner sounds. Another nice touch is the ability to mix and match my favorite guitar amp mics, with a Beyer M160, Sennheiser MD 421, Royer R-121, Neumann U67 and Shure SM57, all set up in the ‘sweet spot’. The Mic Mixer area lets you select the mic, pan, level, Off Axis, filtering and Mute, as well as a Master Volume.
Simple like the classic original, users have Instrument and Mic input jacks, Mic Volume, Instrument Volume and Tone. The stereo instance of the plug in lets you pan each mic to create a cool blend as well. What truly makes the 55 classic is the “5E3” circuit with 12AX7, 12AY7, 6V6GT AND 5Y3GT tubes. Plugging in my favorite Telecaster, I was loving the feel and tube tone immediately.
Clicking through the speakers, I settled on the greenback when pushing the volume up to get that tasty breakup. No doubt, this thing rocks! Simple, yet full of tones, the best way to learn this little guy is to quickly run through the presets, which take you from clean to mean. For me, my favorite sounds from the 55 are the thick, nasty and beefy ones with that classic, small Fender amp tone. I found it very useful to adjust the speaker choice during mixdown, where it really makes a huge difference in where the guitar sits in the mix. Small, classic Fender amps like the 55 have a special sonic place in the mids, and I’m glad to have this one in the back pocket.