Hi there! I'm a firm believer cabinet is the most important link in the chain regarding guitar tones (apart from hands of course), so I recently did a comparison between different softwares that enable Impulse Response loading, to check if they do have sonic differences and, if yes, which one behaves better with the same impulse.
DISCLAIMER: this is not a "good tone" sample test, it's just to show how sonically different these softwares/plugins are between each other. In fact, I just tweaked a decent tone in 5 minutes with my Axe II and recorded a first take boring riff with the cab block bypassed.
Gear used in this shootout:
Amp: Axe-Fx II (TS808 drive->5153 amp block)
Guitar: Carvin CS4 Drop D tuning
Impulse: Telos IR#4 from Redline4, download here: The best impulses since s-preshigh... And they're free ! - Ultimate Metal Forum
Fractal Audio Axe-Fx II (UltraRes IR quality):
Redwirez MixIR 2:
Ignite Amps NadIR (Extreme quality setting):
TSE X50 v2 (8x oversampling, highest quality):
Also here's a zip file with all the wavs included:
Wav files are much better quality, but if you want something quick here's Soundcloud links:
Axe-Fx II sounds the best along with X50 v2 - both very good, punchy, musical and transparent representations of the impulse. Unfortunately I don't own X50 v2 but one of my students does, so he helped me out with the comparison.
NadIR is 95% there, only a hair darker with highs rolled off a liiiittle bit.
MixIR 2 seems to add more aggressive upper mids which I personally don't like, and LeCab is the worst, adding lots of noisy highs/presence.
Differences in the end are very subtle, all these softwares can work with no issue within a mix - also with some Match EQ applied the slight differences would disappear. Although I know from now on that if I need to use something out of my Axe-Fx II, it will most likely be X50 v2 or NadIR.
Hope you enjoyed this shootout! If you want to hear any other free IR loader plugins added to this comparison, feel free to suggest