The Soldano SLO100 is an iconic amp and it’s been the flagship product for Soldano since it was released in 1987. It’s an amp with such a legacy that Mike Soldano built a company around it. It’s been used by everyone from legendary guitar heroes on stages all over the world to weekend warriors that just want to blow the doors off the house once in a while.
Nembrini Audio has created what is, in my opinion, the first really high quality and truly authentic plugin based on the Soldano SLO100. Not familiar with Nembrini Audio? You might be more familiar than you think. If you have tried any of the guitar or bass products from Brainworx, you have used Igor Nembrini’s work. Those products all speak worlds towards the quality you get with Nembrini Audio.
Nembrini Audio’s products all look classy, smooth and realistic. No skulls or flames required, just a nice looking amp and a nice GUI. The GUI boasts simplicity, flexibility and functionality. There’s a simple drop down style menu to get to the impulse section and other features, which makes for a good workflow.
The BST100 features clean, crunch and boost channels with the clean and crunch sharing an EQ and master. The clean tones are bright, full of life and warm to the core. I switched the cabinet to the 212 option in the cabinet section which really brought the clean tones to life. I tried a selection of my own 212 open back impulses which, turned up even more really great tones. This shows why guys like Stevie Ray and Mark Knopfler reached for the SLO100 for it’s lower gain abilities.
Flip the switch over to the crunch and even with the gain on 1-2, the crunch is just so pleasing in so many ways. Roll the gain up and as you go, the amp just keeps getting better. The crunch channel is crunch heaven and for a guy the loves the crunch side of amps more than most things, this is a huge selling feature. I put a few tube screamers on the crunch channel and it tightened things up in just the right places. Lead work on this channel is also a real pleasure, the picking response and sustain are both impressive. This channel worked great with a huge selection of open and closed back 212 and 412 impulses.
The boost channel is where the SLO100 and it’s plugin companion, the BST100 can get a little tougher and touchier to dial in. The great tones are absolutely not hard to find but variables like pickups, guitar, pedals and such can affect the tone more than the other channels. If you are using a boost of any kind on the boost channel of the plugin, you will want to turn down the tone knob on the pedal and then bring it up slowly until you get where you need. The boost channel is already pretty stacked in the mid frequencies so the modern 0-10-10 boost settings just create needless harshness. This channel will do any mid to high gain application without an issue and a mid range that works perfectly for modern metal styles.
The cabinet section operates very nicely but sound wise, the interal cabinets could sound a little bit better. A button brings a kind of popup or drop down menu with a nicely laid out set of features. Here users get to choose from a number of cabs with a variety of mic and position options. There’s a little mixer to control the mix between the mics and the addition of an ambient mic that gives a nice room sound.
I recommend turning the room mic off completely as I found it only came in handy with clean tones. The Ambient mic is on by default but it’s easy to mute or turn the fader down. After that there’s a selection of impulses from ChopTones, an impulse loader for your own IRs, a gate and more.
UPS / DOWNS:
This is yet another master level creation from one of the masters of amp sim building. The Soldano SLO100 goes from being semi-neglected to inspiring one of the best amp sims on the market. I know there are many tone purists out there that aren’t sold on plugins yet and this is one of those products that I believe will change some of those minds.
The regular price is on the high end of the scale but it’s worth every dime in my opinion. Nembrini, like many other developers will have sales so if you want to wait for a lower price, sign up to developer mailing lists or follow them on social media to stay connected to the deals.
If you already use the plugin – check our BST100 presets in the Preset Vault