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REVIEW: Nembrini Audio Cali Axis – Mesa Boogie TriAxis plugin

Nembrini Audio Cali Axis Review
Nembrini Audio Cali Axis offers a virtual Mesa Boogie TriAxis preamplifier plus a full guitar rig for your DAW

Nembrini Audio has just announced the new Cali Axis virtual tube amp software. It is based on the Mesa Boogie TriAxis preamplifier and comes with a power amp section, plus an added suite of effects, speaker and microphone emulations.

Cali Axis

The latest Nembrini Audio plugin suite is called Cali Access and as mentioned above it is based on the Mesa Boogie TriAxis preamp.

They were kind enough to send me a copy to review and I have been running the software on my Apple Silicon M1 Pro MacBook Pro under Logic Pro as an Audio Unit plugin.

Nembrini Audio Cali-Axis

Key Features

It comes with 8 separate modes for the Mesa-based preamp and these include the Mk I, Mk IV and a modified British lead mod amongst them.

The main preamp section itself has a very similar layout to the original Triaxis rackmount unit. This software mimics the original digital displays for each parameter, along with virtual buttons to adjust the different parameters.

Preamp Modes:  RHY/LD1 /LD2

  • Green = Vintage Fat Rhythm,
  • Green = Vintage Mark 1
  • Green = Mid Gain MK IV Lead,
  • Yellow = Modern Bright
  • Yellow = Gain Boost MK I Lead
  • Yellow = Classic MKII Lead
  • Red = Classic British Lead
  • Red = Searing MKIII Lead
Cali Axis front panel
Cali Axis front panel


I found the preamp model to sound just as I was hoping, it certainly has that Mesa sound and it has plenty of growl if you want it.

Plus, I was also impressed by the clean and the light overdriven tones, as they are very responsive and respond really nicely to playing dynamics.

Sure, it will do all-out overdriven Mesa all day long, but a lot of software is not as great at doing mild breakups.

Thankfully, this is not the case with the Cali Axis plugin. I’ve long been a fan of Nembrini Audio’s software, as they really are very good at dialling in the character of different styles of preamps and amplifiers.

If you want a versatile software rig, then this one is certainly worth checking out and it is also super affordable. Which makes for a winning combination.

EL34 Power Amp and Cabinets Nembrini Audio Cali-Axis
EL34 Power Amp and Cabinets

Power Amp

The power amp section is modelled on four EL34 virtual tubes with presence, resonance, volume and power switch in class AB push-pull configuration.

The EL34 power amp suits the Mesa preamp really well and it is easy to use. I found that if I went through the various built-in presets first to get an overall patch together, then tweaked the power amp and preamp together, I could get great results pretty quickly.

I would then fine-tune these with the virtual speaker cabinets and effects sections.

Virtual Cabinets

The setup for virtual cabinets and microphones is really intuitive. I also liked the built-in selection of cabs on offer.

  • VH 4×12 P50E: based on VHT 412S 4×12 with Eminence P50E speakers.
  • VH 4×12 V30: based on VHT 412 4×12 with Celestion Vintage 30 speakers.
  • MRH 4×12 T75: based on Marshall* 1960B 4×12 with Celestion G12T-75W speakers
  • MB RECT 4×12 V30: based on Mesa Boogie* Rectifier 4×12 with Celestion Vintage 30 speakers.
  • HK 2×12 P50E: based on Hughes and Kettner* TM 212 with Eminence P50E speakers.
  • BG 2×12 V30: based on Bogner 2×12 with Celestion Vintage 30 speakers

They also include four virtual microphones for the built-in virtual cabinets including the DYNAMIC 57: based on a Shure SM-57 dynamic microphone, a RIBBON 121: based on the Royer Labs R-121 ribbon microphone, a CONDENSER 414: based on an AKG C 414 condenser microphone and finally a DYNAMIC 421: based on a vintage Sennheiser MD-421 dynamic microphone.

If these aren’t what you are after, then thankfully users can also load their own Impulse Responses into the IR loader and blend them to taste. The Impulses Loader lets you load up to three 3rd-party impulse responses and blend them.

This setup is a great way to really sculpt the tones and get them to fit into a mix, or just to help you dial in the sound to how you like it.

Again, the simplicity of this setup is a real winner for me, as I really don’t want to read manuals when I’m feeling creative.

It is easy to use and very versatile, without the need to use anything else to tweak it.


The suite also comes with a nice selection of core effects and these are a great way to make your signature guitar tones stand out.

Users can also select, enable and change the order of the single FXs, which really helps when you are chasing a specific sound.

FX section
FX section

They include two filters which are used to tame the high-end and low-end rumble, plus a noise gate to keep any hiss at bay.

Then there is a compressor, modulation, delay and reverb section. They are all simple to use and are easy to dial in.


The whole Cali Axis plugin suite is a fully-fledged virtual guitar rig setup for your DAW and it is also a very versatile one.

I could dial in everything from smooth cleans and mild crunch up to far heavier gain tones with ease. The overall Mesa character is certainly there and it responds very nicely to playing dynamics.

And I found myself knocking out everything from sleazy Stones-esque/Black Crowes-style riffage to tight higher gain rock riffs, through to singing solos. It will do heavy gain with ease and so if you need something to chug with, it has that down.

I used a variety of guitars, with humbuckers, P90s and single-coil pickups, which all kept their character and it responded really well to volume changes from my guitars as well.

My recent article on Recording Great Guitar Tones on a Budget features a lot of Nembrini Audio’s free software plugins. These are also well worth checking out and include, a free virtual amp and lots of great virtual effects.

System Requirements

Mac (including Apple Silicon) or Windows and runs under VST2, VST3, AAX or an Audio Units-compatible host and requires a free iLok account.

Introductory Pricing

The price is normally $137/£110 for this software, though currently, Nembrini Audio has Introductory Pricing of $29.99/£24 which is a complete steal for this bundle.

A real no-brainer really, as it is a well-laid-out and super versatile virtual guitar rig.

Runs on Apple iOS

They also do a version for Apple iOS which is $9.99 and runs on iPhone and iPad.

More Information






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