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AudioThing Valve Exciter Comparison Review at Age Of Audio

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After making the Valve Exciter demo for AudioThing, waiting to write a full review, we decided to do a small test comparing it with other Exciter plug-ins, also called Harmonic Enhancers or Aural Exciters.

So we tested the following four plug-ins:

  • AudioThing Valve Exciter
  • Waves Aphex Vintage Aural Exciter
  • Nomad Factory Cosmos
  • P&M Clarisonix



We have to say that, even if all of them are Exciters, they have different targets and of course different specifications. For example Aphex Vintage Aural Exciter has no controls for the low-end. We tried to match the different parameters, where possible, trying to focus on the Exciting effect rather than the bottom/low-end.

Let’s listen to the two demo, the first one with drums and Fender Rhodes, the second one with electric guitars. We used Scarbee Vintage Keys for the Rhodes, Logic Pro X Drummer and a Epiphone sampled for a custom sample library.

In both demos Cosmos and Clarisonix sound quite similar to each other, clear and bright. Probably a little bit too much for drums but really interesting for Rhodes and electric guitars. We have a completely different sound, instead, with Valve Exciter and Aphex Vintage Exciter. The first seems “warmer” but less open, very good on the snare but less on the Rhodes, while the second seems definitely more open and bright, highlighting the guitar.

This test wasn't a rank or competition, but just a demonstration of these plug-ins. We think that it’s useful to have at least two or more of them to cover more tasks. Another significant point is the difference in price and specifics of them. For example Valve Exciter has a section for valve emulation with ovedrive, while Cosmos has more controls for tuning the different sections.

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