Saturday, April 9, 2016

DrScythe Reviews III - Kuassa Cerberus

You could ask yourself: why even bother with bass amp modeling? Often enough the bass is recorded and mixed as a DI track. Even live some bass player don’t use an amp. So why spend time on creating a versatile piece of software for basses? Then on the other hand there are still a lot of bass amps out there so there are also a lot of people who’d like an amplified bass sound. Like me. And I am so happy that the team of Kuassa decided to create this. I know that giving away the final verdict at the beginning is kind of pointless but I would like to make something clear at the beginning: I bought this and I am just so satisfied with it that I wanted the world to know about it. So here we go…

I decided to do this review with the help of the screenshot so can easily see what I am writing about.


1. I’d call this the ‘management panel’. Input, Input level, Presets, Gate, Quality-Switch – you can see them so I won’t list everything in detail here. I love the option to compare presets and the master CAB-switch. While it works I’d say that the preset window is somewhat clumsy in terms of handling but I don’t know any better examples (or at least none with other flaws) so I’ll let it pass. Personally I tried the Dry-Wet-option once but to be honest: it only makes sense if you really change the sound via Cerberus.

2. Now it’s time for what you could control on the real thing (if it were the pictured rack device). VALVE gives you an extremely rich and fat tone and if you crank up gain it will slowly begin to become something on the border between heavy saturation and overdrive. It will keep an extremely low punch if you don’t cut out the bass via EQ or Cabs what is really great. FET behaves a lot more, well, behaved. It’s clean to hell and back. It can feel a little sterile at times but you have to force that. It’s a lot more flexible if you’re willing to use all the other controls (including those on your bass). DRIVE is self-explanatory. It features a slightly generic sound but it’s usable. Personally I would put TSE B.O.D. in front of VALVE or FET and call it a day. COMPRESS does is job subtlety but effective. You can use it as a nice support up to noon and from there it acts more and more like a ‘drunk bassist’s best friend’. I don’t use CONTOUR myself a lot. It feels like a scoop at the mids which cleans up a little but I prefer shaping my tone with the EQs.

3. What more of an EQ-section do you need? LO effectively controls the bass its working point was chosen very well. The Boost really adds a lot of punch. I wouldn’t use it unless your bass sounds really thin or you want to have fun. But for recording tasks it just blows up the whole bass too much. Maybe if you’re using a pick and a pickup close to the bridge. LO MID and HI MID will help you massively adjusting Cerberus to your liking or manipulating the sound to quite extreme settings, especially when using the FET mode. HI and its boost option can be used for slightly dull basses and I really like to use those when playing with my Epiphone T-Bird Pro. Especially while recording because I can remove too bright sounds quite easily but not recover them from a rendered but dull signal. Excellent work here!

4. To answer the introductory question of No 3: A graphic EQ! I am not particularly fond of those but after I tried a Mesa Mark V I know that they can be really helpful. In this case I have to say: I don’t need it. It works fine but I am happy with what the regular EQ does and so I never switch it on but for reviewing purposes. If you want to know something specific about it you might want to check it out yourself as you can download Cerberus from

5. CAB and MIC selection and a MIX bar. I like most of the included cabs and mics although I mainly use the 8x10 one (which most probably is a SVT-cab-simulation). This section is quite unspectacular but functional so…that’s it. Better to hear some stuff later on.

6. The mics can be positioned freely although one can hear the changes quite intensely. So I think it would’ve been better to just offer 3 or 4 distances and the two angles. Maybe a choice between cone and cap but that’s all you need. But it feels and looks nice. So no complaints here ;)

7. If you don’t like the included cabs you can load yours here. There’s also a Limiter and a Master Output Level. They all work perfectly fine. There’s not much to say about here because I don’t know which IRs you would want to use and I only checked the function once.

So now over to some samples. I used my father’s 1974 Framus S-380 (Jazz Bass) and my own C-tuned Epiphone T-Bird Pro. Settings were as shown.

First the pure DIs









I love it. Do I need to say more? It’s really fantastic. VALVE, slight compression, Contour off, EQ adjusted to T-Bird or Framus, 8x10, done. Pure fat and warm growl.

Sounds (!!!)
Preset management
Ease of use
Drive a little boring

Lots of options
Available as Standalone
Price and value

PS: I used it on every DrScythe-song since 'Destiny':

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