My name is Jim, and I'm a live tone tweaker. There. I said it.
I need to have TONE KNOBS when I gig. Period. End of story. I'm not going to get into a long(er) technical post as to why this is the case, but let's just say that for the types of gigs I'm doing now, I need to have the ability to "globally" tweak my tone over the course of a gig as the night progresses. Many of you who are familiar with the sonics involved with relatively small clubs know what I'm talking about as a room starts out slow, and then progressively fills over the course of the night (humidity changes, bodies absorb sound, ambient noise level goes up, etc.).
Long story short - I've replaced my Crown solid state power amp with a Gallien-Kreuger 1001-RBII (got a very sweet deal from a local GC on an open box and saved about $140). The head has lots of power, is bi-amp ready (as are my 15" coaxial speakers), and putting the AxeFx in the effects loop gives me the best of all worlds. I've got it set up on a fairly clean setting, so when I change "flavors" and add a tube Amp Model, it still translates quite well. To boot, the GK tone stack is quite desirable on its own. Of specific key value are the Contour knob and the 4 tone knobs (Lo/Lo-mid/Hi-mid/High). A twist of the contour knob brings the overall tone from a honking classic "middy" tone to mid-scooped metal or pop/slap funk. (If FAS ever does get around to modeling bass heads, you'll see most popular models feature a contour/enhancer/mid-scoop/voicing knob or switch of some type, and/or a tunable mid-frequency band...not sure, then, how they would go about this with the existing Amp block architecture...and...I don't think they're too concerned LOL!)
Now, I had been hoping that there would have been a firmware update that would have: 1) allowed the Amp Block's tone knobs Bass/Mid/Treble and Presence to be accessible to modifier control, thus allowing them to be assigned to ABCD front panel knobs on a preset-by-preset basis - or - 2) that there would be an alternate type of Global EQ, such as a 4 band para or semi-para EQ, with level for each band assignable to the ABCD knobs. None of this has happened nor does it appear to be on the radar....and so be it. This is not a gripe or complaint. I love the AxeFx and it is as close to ideal a processor as I could ever have hoped for ('scuse me, while I wipe my chin...).
But I'm a practical guy and I gots ta have quick access to tone knobs for gigging. I'll have better impressions on how well this works (or not) after a couple of show. Right now, though, loving it!