NOTE: Full review to be posted in June when we finish our website updates, thanks for your patience. Pre-Reviews will feature the new X/5+ scoring system.
SCORE: 5 / 5
The NeuralDSP Archetype: Plini is the signature plugin for.. yep, you guessed it, Plini! This guy is an absolutely fantastic player hailing from Australia. His skill and unique prog type style are both fantastic.
Plini uses a lot of different tones and seldom will you hear even a second of tone on his albums that isn’t perfect for the part.
The plugin fell out of the sky in the form of some cloaked imagery to stir the masses into a frenzy. It was a curveball for sure and I enjoyed the release. The whole suite contains three amps, four pedals, a cab sections and more.
The plugin looks calm, cool and collected. It’s sharp and everything is wonderfully laid out in every way. There’s a lot of soft and smooth colors in the GUI which is very easy on the eyes for long sessions. This factor is a huge plus for me.
I started with the hi-gain amp and right away, the amp seems familiar for some reason. I found it incredibly easy to navigate and the starting point tone was awesome. The navigation and dialing things in was all so effortless. I felt that it sounded a bit better with the middle knob between 4-6, pushing the mids just seemed to be a bit much, especially if the boost was engaged. The bright switch is a great way to bring out a little more sheen or brilliance in situations where your tone just needs a pinch more to cut a mix properly. This amp sounds a bit like an Engl but also a bit like an EVH/Peavey at times so I am not 100%. For lead or rhythm, this amp sounds awessome.
The white crunch amp is my favorite in the suite. It’s warm and punchy, there’s a ton of play and versatility across the dials. I was able to get this amp to do just about anything I wanted it to do as far as genres and styles. I took it from a dirty clean to punk then over to metal and hard rock to end the journey in doom territory (with the assistance of the Audiority Big Goat and Blue face). This amp is the star of the show for me and I can’t be too sure what it is based on but it sounds a little like a Rivera at times.
The clean amp took more time to dial in for me. It could have been operator error but I felt it had a bit of drive on it even with the drive nearly off. I was able to use the pedals to get some truly killer tones for country, blues, jazz, rockabilly, atmospheric tones and some awesome driven cleans with no pedals at all. I need to spend more time with this amp but I really liked the time I spent riffing on it.
The cabinet section is from ML Soundlab and if you like their products, this one will surely impress you. With the internal 412 cabinet, you get a nice selection of mics as well as the ability to seriously customize your tones. On the downside, when the plugin is designed to be versatile, a 412 closed back doesn’t always hit the mark so it would be cool to see a separate 212 open back cab option option in there for those looking to really connect with the cleaner side of the plugin. That said, there is a bypass for the cab and an internal loader if need be. Archetype: Plini responded well to every impulse I threw at it. No complaints here.
The pedals are all awesome as well. The suite includes a pre-FX section with a compressor and boost then after the cabinet in the post-FX you’ll find one of the best delay pedal plugins I have ever used with a reverb pedal that doesn’t disappoint either. In the middle, there’s a great EQ you can use to shape things nicely or bypass. Overall the included pedals are all very useful and very high quality.
I feel like NeuralDSP has done something to fix the CPU usage because I recall the first version of Nameless Suite being CPU heavy when you switch to the higher quality / oversampling but over time, that seemed to go away completely to where the plugin doesn’t get too hard on things even with a few instances of it running in a mix. This of course depends on your computer but I am speaking more about the fix over time than anything else.
UPS / DOWNS:
No downs about this multi-amp suite at all, it’s another A+ plugin from a company that consistently upped their game. There were some that wondered about what the quality of the eventual non-Fortin products would be like and I was also curious myself but Archetype Plini has silenced and satisfied all the curiosity in a flash.
No matter what you want it to do, it can do it with no assistance from outside impulses or plugins. The raw tones have a lot of quality all by themselves and amp sims that require zero processing to not only sound good but also mix well are rare. I highly recommend this plugin.