#1
Hello there!

Just looking for some opinions, to be honest, i dont need any more gear, but being a fat slob, i like to get new stuff and was looking around and saw this axe-fx amp/modeller/fx unit, and was wondering if its worth getting (in a rig with just a stereo power amp( tube) ), compared to my current setup and love affair with tubed equipment.

my current setup is: Gibson LP ->Wah->Fulldrive2->custom X88 preamp (soldano clone,3 channel, MIDI enabled all tube)->GMajor 2 (yes i know, why ruin the tube sound? but honestly, 24bit ADDA conversion is not noticable unless the unit is shit, which it is not) -> VHT2:90:2->orange cab

now to be honest i do not need a axe-fx set up, because it would be a waste of money i think, UNLESS it is actually so good that would it be able to replace my whole current rig AND then some. The only reason i'm looking into it is because my rig would be cut down in size and increase varity (i'd go from the heavey ass rack unit to a smaller unit with just the Axe-FX and 2:20 power amp i think)....

So let me know what you think, musical styles are rock, hard rock, heavy rock, and some metal, also a garden variety of cleans and what not (classic tones).

another idea would have been to just replace the x88 for an e580... but it would not change anything as the main difference in rigs is mainly size and weight...

Thanks!
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#2
Axe FX is a brilliant system that sounds pretty much as good as the original amp its based on and its massively versatile, but before investing in one I'd consider wether you really need the level of versatility it offers, when for the price you could almost definitely buy one very high end valve amp and a boutique pedalboard and use ALL the features of that rig instead of just a few of the features of the Axe FX system, or wether you really do play enough different stuff to justify one. Also, if you buy one I'd strongly reccomend you buy it with one of the matching atomic amps reactor active/powered monitors
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#4
^ This. I tried one out and was immediately frustrated by it.

I'm sure if you read the manual and practiced using it the process would become easier, but I think there's something to be said for the simplicity of a few knobs and a circuit that's a straight-up tone machine.

It'd be great for people who love endlessly tweaking every minute detail of their sound.
Everyone is entitled to an opinion.

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#5
I played one for a year and sold it to go back to tube amps. It's great at what it does but in the end just wasn't for me.
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#6
There are just as many positives and negatives in terms of practicality.

Personally, if you into a particular sound - I'm sure that you could find your ideal amp at a good price rather than spend time tweaking.
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#7
Quote by AcousticMirror
it's not nearly as easy to dial in as your set up.


That’s true, but it only has to be dialed in once, and then you just save a preset to use again later. So it probably saves time in the long run. Not that that excuses the across-the-board awfulness of modeling hardware interfaces.
#8
I think there's a computer front end too though that you can use to program stuff with. I kinda like that. But, I dunno. I'm more of a nerd then a guitar player.
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#9
Quote by AcousticMirror
I think there's a computer front end too though that you can use to program stuff with. I kinda like that. But, I dunno. I'm more of a nerd then a guitar player.

Yeah, they brought out the Axe Edit thing, you can tweak even more than you can with just the Axe's interface itself I think, but you need a MIDI interface.

EDIT: If you do go the Axe, the best option (IMO) is to go with a FRFR powered cab rather than a guitar power amp and cab, that way you can make the most of the power amp and cab sims in the AxeFX.
Last edited by littlephil at Jul 21, 2010,
#10
There is a computer front end you can use via midi, it's like the pod software in beta stage.
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#11
I heard that there's a dude just straight up writing patches for it and stuff. that sounds cool.
i want one to hax it.
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#12
Yeah, they are really hard to get used to at first. I still haven't really figured out how to use the interface proficiently and I've had like 5 Ultras come through here lately

They do sound awesome if you know what you're doing though. I've obviously never tried your preamp, but I'd definitely think it'd give it a run for its money. The effects are definitely better than the G-Major though.
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#13
I think it would replace your gain sounds but not clean. It sounds very compressed and two dimensional on the clean models IMO. Great on the distorted sounds though, I'm picking one up when I can for gigging.
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#14
Quote by PerpetualBurn
I think it would replace your gain sounds but not clean. It sounds very compressed and two dimensional on the clean models IMO. Great on the distorted sounds though, I'm picking one up when I can for gigging.

Really?

Without tweaking, the clean sounds were awesome for me. The gain presets definitely needed some work
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#15
w/e. I'm buying one so I can run slave outs from three amps into it and i'm programming it to make duck noises. duckoder.
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#16
Interesting responses, the youtubes sound really good on e dialed in, I think my main concern is the dsp, it's not that I don't trust it, it just feels like I've always been a tube purist even though I run my whole sound through the g major lol, I guess it takes little steps. The only experience vie had with dsp aside from the g major (I think dsp is brillian for fx) is the line6 stuff which IMHO sounds like garbage, especially anything with a spec of overdrive. I wish could try one out. I'd definatly like to increase the portability of my rig as well and make it as simple as possible.

I wouldn't want to use the fr cabs just because I'm not a fan of cab modeling, I'd use this unit as mainly a preamp.
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#18
Well by preamp I mean it will act as stomp fx, preamp, post fx (delays chorus, pitch, reverbs) and signal router, really want to try and rig it in stereo with one signal delayed at 2nd for depth...
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#19
Quote by Professor Fate
Interesting responses, the youtubes sound really good on e dialed in, I think my main concern is the dsp, it's not that I don't trust it, it just feels like I've always been a tube purist even though I run my whole sound through the g major lol, I guess it takes little steps. The only experience vie had with dsp aside from the g major (I think dsp is brillian for fx) is the line6 stuff which IMHO sounds like garbage, especially anything with a spec of overdrive. I wish could try one out. I'd definatly like to increase the portability of my rig as well and make it as simple as possible.

I wouldn't want to use the fr cabs just because I'm not a fan of cab modeling, I'd use this unit as mainly a preamp.

Line 6 stuff can sound very good if you know what you're doing. Almost every CD that Joey Sturgis has recorded/mixed/mastered was done with POD Farm, and the tone on those CDs is very professional.


But, getting away from Line 6 stuff... The Axe actually pulls off some very convincing tones. There are some things I don't think a solid state amp will ever be able to model, such as the sag on a 3 Channel Mesa Rectifier amp (every modeling I've ever heard of one gets close... but the loose bottom end is still quite there). But, if you're going for a 2 Channel tone, it can get you very close (there's actually a video on youtube comparing an Axe with a Recto that someone posted from the Sneap Forum. The next time I get one in, I'm going to do some clips of it modeling some amps, see just how close I can come to the tone I got with the others. Could be interesting.
Quote by Dave_Mc
I've had tube amps for a while now, but never actually had any go down on me
Quote by jj1565
maybe you're not saying the right things? an amp likes to know you care.





www.SanctityStudios.com
#21
Quote by AcousticMirror
mclaw is there a big dif between the ultra and the standard?

No idea, never tried the Standard.
Quote by Dave_Mc
I've had tube amps for a while now, but never actually had any go down on me
Quote by jj1565
maybe you're not saying the right things? an amp likes to know you care.





www.SanctityStudios.com
#22
I tried one out last month when I was in Toronto. Yeah, it was confusing but had some great sounds. I still think they should be cheaper, and will get so in the next few years as more companies produce something similar. I've never found that rolling back the guitar volume worked too well with any SS gain setting compared to tube though.
#23
Quote by Tempoe
I tried one out last month when I was in Toronto. Yeah, it was confusing but had some great sounds. I still think they should be cheaper, and will get so in the next few years as more companies produce something similar. I've never found that rolling back the guitar volume worked too well with any SS gain setting compared to tube though.


Where in Toronto did you try one out?
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#24
in the studio definatly would use one, but live i`d still prefer the simplicity of a pedalboard that i can adjust on the fly
#25
Quote by Tempoe
I've never found that rolling back the guitar volume worked too well with any SS gain setting compared to tube though.
Works great with my Ampeg. Of course it may still be too dry and rough for you rock musicians, but makes my black metal sound awesome and evil and folky and stuff.

Now back to the subject of modeling. The pros of using it for gigging are insane, we already know that. Do you really want to actually replace your amp though? You could simply replace the g-major and still keep that awesome rack setup.
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#26
No I'd still keep my current setup I like it, though it feels like sometimes I can't get the sound I want since the clean channel is pretty much a jtm45, crunch is jcm 800 and lead is slo100, and those are the tones I'm restricted too, and the advantage I see of the axe fx is that it would have those, plus alot more without the need to adjust knobs
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#27
Quote by Professor Fate
No I'd still keep my current setup I like it, though it feels like sometimes I can't get the sound I want since the clean channel is pretty much a jtm45, crunch is jcm 800 and lead is slo100, and those are the tones I'm restricted too

I wouldn't mind being restricted to that, tbh.
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#28
Quote by Kanthras
I wouldn't mind being restricted to that, tbh.


well i agree i love my setup, but i wish the pre-amp would be more modular... maybe another gain stage, but i don't think it would sound good, i tried the evh 5150III, and looking at its schematic it's got freaking 6-7 stages! but it's gain is only alittle bit more than on my setup.
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#29
i've done some pretty decent research on the Axe, and this is what i know

1: the DSP is the best that Cliff, the owner of Fractal, can get pretty much, there are better but you don't even want to think about the price (think over $4000 for just that ONE part, i've looked) so the processor is pretty much the best you're going to get

2: the axe CAN be complicated IF YOU WANT IT TO BE. you can just stick an amp model and some effects and it sound pretty good, but if you want totally tweakability, you can go even as in depth as like the speaker distortion, the power source, the tube's age etc, but you don't HAVE to go that in depth

3: the effects are pretty much flawless, john petrucci and steve vai use the axe for effects because of how good it is, there are somethings it can't do, like infinite reverb, but you can still kind of fake it, but most of the things it can't do are very obscure

4: the ultra has more memory, a better processor, and more effects (like a vocoder, pitch shifting and harmonizing, etc) but cost more, standard is about 1600 USD ultra is now 2100 USD

5: there are 344 slots to store patches.... no one needs that much, period.

6: cliff constantly updates and adds new models and issues with the axe fx, like the bogner uberschall model has been completely reworked several times to get it just right, and with the last firmware update they added like 4 amps

lastly 7: there is a specific Fractal Axe fx midi controller in the works, but it has yet to go into production, and there is no date that has been set, so you may not want to hold your breath on that


hope that helps some
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#30
OP's basic rig has some similarities to mine. I looked at the AxeFX, but in the end decided that I would rather just have a three channel rack rig. And if you're finding you rig lacks percieved gain, I would look really hard at the 2:90:2. I don't like VHT power amps and never have - either a Soldano SM-100R or a Rivera TBR-5 would probably be a better pair with your preamp. I find VHTs can just suck the life out of a Soldano-style preamp.
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#31
Quote by Metalmaker
i've done some pretty decent research on the Axe, and this is what i know

1: the DSP is the best that Cliff, the owner of Fractal, can get pretty much, there are better but you don't even want to think about the price (think over $4000 for just that ONE part, i've looked) so the processor is pretty much the best you're going to get

2: the axe CAN be complicated IF YOU WANT IT TO BE. you can just stick an amp model and some effects and it sound pretty good, but if you want totally tweakability, you can go even as in depth as like the speaker distortion, the power source, the tube's age etc, but you don't HAVE to go that in depth

3: the effects are pretty much flawless, john petrucci and steve vai use the axe for effects because of how good it is, there are somethings it can't do, like infinite reverb, but you can still kind of fake it, but most of the things it can't do are very obscure

4: the ultra has more memory, a better processor, and more effects (like a vocoder, pitch shifting and harmonizing, etc) but cost more, standard is about 1600 USD ultra is now 2100 USD

5: there are 344 slots to store patches.... no one needs that much, period.

6: cliff constantly updates and adds new models and issues with the axe fx, like the bogner uberschall model has been completely reworked several times to get it just right, and with the last firmware update they added like 4 amps

lastly 7: there is a specific Fractal Axe fx midi controller in the works, but it has yet to go into production, and there is no date that has been set, so you may not want to hold your breath on that


hope that helps some


I need that many patches for my llama in heat vocoder.
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#32
yea i'm looking at the differences between the standard and the ultra, i'm really considering getting one beside my current rig, unfortunately i don't have the funds to start tweaking with different PA's as my VHT i was able to hunt down at a not too far guitar store for about 60% of the price of the "fryette" 2:90:2..... plus the only PA's available in my area are engl ones...

anyway, still looking around, just thinking about different PA possibilities for the Axe FX, but still on the fense.
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#33
I've heard some great tones from the axefx but the disadvantage of i dont think they will hold there value give it a few years and they'll be like old tech when the next big breakthrough in modelling comes out. Just like anything like that really. I wouldnt pay the price personally i'd rather just have a nice tube rig for the same price. If you can afford it and already have a nice rgif but want one for flexability i dont see why not though.
#34
I've heard some great tones from the axefx but the disadvantage of i dont think they will hold there value give it a few years and they'll be like old tech when the next big breakthrough in modelling comes out.

That is true, but if you actually make a living off of music the Axe-FX will pay for itself in the money saved on buying amps, cabinets, effects pedals, cables, power adapters, etc.. Three Axe-FX units in one rack could be everything a guitarist needs for an international club tour rather than a van full of gear and spare parts. And if you want to set up a small studio at home a single axe-fx can replace tens of thousands of dollars worth of gear, which could allow a kid right out of music college to start recording top-notch guitar parts for TV and commercials.