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SoftAmp FM25

AXP's picture

SoftAmp FM25

Latest Version: 
Last Update: 

SoftAmp FM25 is a virtual-analog model of the Fender Frontman 25R combo amp. The Frontman is a versatile solid-state practice amplifier for electric guitar. It's equipped with 10" speaker, has 2 channels that share a 3-band equalizer, and a spring reverb. The current issue sports a classic "Blackface" look.

"Huh, a solid state Fender practice amp model. Now that is an interesting choice" - was the initial response from one of the beta testers. The reason for that choice is simple: Frontman 25R was the first guitar amp I've ever owned. To my best knowledge its digital model did not exist, so I decided to fill the gap. And after all, who needs yet another incarnation of say, JCM800? :)

This VST model is a tribute to the original design and faithfully models all its essential features. It is mainly intended for quick and simple recording of draft tracks as well as for some live jamming whenever you don't feel like setting up a more sophisticated amp simulator.

This one runs straight out of the box, looks exactly like a guitar amp and has everything you need to start playing - clean and distorted channels with speaker simulation and a reverb!

As usual, it's got all the conveniences associated with AXP plug-ins, like a stereo processing capability, high quality anti-aliasing oversampling and switchable speaker simulation.

All controls are carefully mapped to produce linear sound pressure level changes, i.e. they are linearized in dB scale.

In addition, there’s a special switch added late in the beta test cycle – the “AXP Mod”. It does two things:

  • Replaces all gain stages with vacuum triodes (each based on the SoftAmp 3OD algorithm)
  • Alters the tone stack’s middle control frequency response

Yes, you’ve read it right, with a flip of a switch a solid-state amp becomes a tube one and the real fun begins! You already knew I couldn’t stand the temptation to do something like this, right?


Some reviews:

Version History: 

1.0.00 - 20 Mar 2014 - Initial release


sastopeit (not verified):

Thanks for all the sweet plugins - keep up the great work! :) Just sent a little appreciation via PayPal. I'll look into posting an article on about one of your plugins, hoping to encourage more people to donate.


RexXx (not verified):

... and a donation from me. Thanks for your plugins!

AXP's picture

Hi Rex, 

that was very kind of you, thank you!

AXP's picture

Hi Felix,

thank you, I appreciate that!

sastopeit (not verified):

AXP's picture

Great job, thanks a lot!

Alex (not verified):

Just wanted to drop by and say I really appreciate all the work you put into these plugins. They sound great! I'll be sending a donation your way when I can. Rock on!

AXP's picture

Hi Alex,

Thanks a lot for your feedback :)


I really like your vsts, Is that free to download and use?
if so thank you

AXP's picture

Hi Bosimon,

Sure, they are free. Just go ahead and use them!

You're welcome

Steven (not verified):

A real great gift for us . Let me first test it ....

FAT THANKS and my best wishes for you and all your projects !

Greets from switzerland

AXP's picture

Hi Steven,

thanks! I hope you'll like it.

Simon (not verified):

I don't know whether it sounds like a Frontman, but it sounds great with a strat—a little heavy on CPU, but some really, really nice and useable tones, both clean and dirty. Great job!

AXP's picture

Thanks Simon, glad to hear!

Cody (not verified):

love your amps man, and heres some food for thought...I usually use your amps for bass synths and synth leads, kicks, etc. but I lack a little oomph sometimes from 3OD. if all 3 triodes could be activated in series maybe itd remedy that. also if you were to make a vst with the charbooster character and saturation sections going into 3ODs triode, plate, and cathode setup finished with a bypassable cabinet along the lines of gt youd have pure gold man

AXP's picture

Hey Cody, I'm glad you like them and thanks for your feedback.
I suggest you to keep an eye on this year's Developer Challenge ;)


Cody (not verified):

cant wait man! id never need another tube amp again! sweet :P I forgot one thing from my prev. comment that I meant to mention, the three older plug's stereo modes switch back to mono whenever I (in FL studio) close its window and then pull it back up with the effect rack, is this a known bug?

AXP's picture

Hi Cody, I've just released a new amp sim. Even though it's not exactly what you have suggested, I hope you'll like it! The bug with stereo is not known, I'll see if I can reproduce it here. Thanks for reporting it.

Michl (not verified):

Thank's a lot for that great piece of software.
It sounds really fantastic for my last blues rock project in the studio.

Keep on rocking


AXP's picture

Thank you :)

I'd be glad to give it a listen when it's done.

Paul B (not verified):

This is another amazing amp sim, played clean through the full range of distortion. I never knew the Frontman had so much balls! You really have a lot of programming skill Alexander!

AXP's picture

Thanks Paul,

Having played through this amp for many years I would say that it's the speaker that is the weakest link in the chain. When played through an external cab it sounds really good for a small practice amp.


ViperITB (not verified):

A wonderful plugin, I love its sound and use it a lot - thank you! :)

AXP's picture

Thanks, great to hear that!

Messel (not verified):

Crashes Cubase 9 Artist 64bit and Cubase 8 LE 64bit

AXP's picture

Thanks for reporting it. I will see if I can get a hold of a trial/demo version of Cubase to test it.

Matt Winkler (not verified):

Great stuff! I like the unusual choice of amp and settings. Sounds about as good as most professional amp sims to me and loads much faster, much appreciated!

AXP's picture

Thanks Matt, glad that you appreciate my strange choices :)

I will hopefully find some time this year to do some more unusual amps/effects.

adstrg (not verified):

Great on bass too! For that vintage-y type driven bass sound. Just put a bass IR after and you're done. Great work man, thank you very much!

AXP's picture

Thanks! That's an interesting twist to it, I need to try that myself.

kstn (not verified):

Классный амп, вот то что мне нужно было. Еще бы под мак версию для полного счастья бы)

AXP's picture

Спасибо! Пока нет - под Мак никогда ничего не делал и знаний нет. Рано или поздно придется освоить :)

Thwacko (not verified):

This plugin in so good it's ridiculous. It's SO hard to find a good clean guitar amp sim, and this one is so punchy and crisp. Others I've tried are muddy and dull. It takes virtual "pedals" well too, plus sometimes I disengage the "Speaker" and use IRs after it and that sounds great, too. Such a great job on this, you should be proud of yourself.

AXP's picture

Thank you so much. It was a very interesting project for me, since this was the amp I've learned to play on and I think I've known all its ins and outs. Modeling it, as well as adding the tube mode "AXP mod" switch was especially fun.

Sheldon Miller (not verified):

great plugin. You should modify the EQ response when the IR impulses are turned off ... because when they're off, the bass is too much even when at 1, the mids sound different, there's not even treble response. What i'm referring to, is across the board with any IR I load with it. HOWEVER, as I said before, the EQ settings DO sound appropriate when the IR is loaded. So yeah, just set it up that the EQ response balances out when the IRs are not on, and when they're on the original EQ is fine. Cheers.

AXP's picture

Hi Sheldon,

It's an interesting observation, thanks for elaborating. With the internal IR turned off, the output is matched to the real circuit. I don't think that adding any extra EQ'ing is the right thing. Currently using external IR's is similar to using a different speaker with a real amp. I believe being "balanced out" is too subjective. I've used it with external IR's myself for a bit and didn't notice any problems. I will try it again to see whether I can confirm your observations.

Lautaro (not verified):

Hey! I was looking for this, tried it out and sounds great! Thanks for giving away this free! Also the UI is great and all, it reminds me when i used to play with this amp. I Apprecciate very much.

AXP's picture

Thanks! It's indeed a nice toy. I'm not a big fan of realistic UI's, but here I've closely mimicked the layout for the nostalgic factor.

ege (not verified):


Even better than many paid plugins. Please make something new. Even if you don't make something new, I love you so much dear developer <3

AXP's picture

Thanks a lot! I'll do my best to find time to create something new!