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Amp sims have low gain and little-to-no distortion?

lrt75914

New Member
Hi guys,

I had my fair share of trouble with tube amps and finally decided to take the
plunge and give amp modelling a try. The Axe FX III seemed to be the obvious
choice since the thing sounded so damn good in all of the demos I listened to.

I have, however, not been able to dial in any good sounding patches that sounded
anything close to the videos that are available on youtube. I tried to replicate some of
Leon Todds patches and all the amps seem to lack a lot of gain. The 5F1 model
barely breaks up with my Fender Baja Tele and the Input gain turned to 10.
I reset all the system values and tried to adjust the instrument input level,
but nothing really helped.

Is there any system parameter that I have to tweak to get the right amount of
gain out of the amp models or do I have to perform an initial setup that I somehow
missed in the user manual?
 

FractalAudio

Administrator
Fractal Audio Systems
Moderator
Did you buy it used? If so do a system reset. The global Power Amp Modeling might be turned off.
 

bradlake

Axe-Master
did u buy it new? you did the reset system parameters in the Global menu? what are you monitoring thru? have you tried stock presets or making your own? Leon has many excellent presets on AxeChange for free download, try those, you can access AxeChange thru the Axeedit app.
(his user name here is @2112 ). if you are building your own, try to post one here for our help. you will. get there!
 

is9582

Power User
Can you try making a new preset, starting from a blank slot, and just use four blocks: Input 1, Amp, Cab and Output 1. Plug your guitar into the front input. Plug some headphones into the headphone jack on the front of the AxeFX3 (just above the front guitar input), or listen via the monitors you already have connected. Link the four blocks together and you should hears your guitar, which is just the first step. In the Amp block, choose the Atomica High amp, which has gain galore, even without making any adjustments. On the Cab you can use anything, just to see if it has decent gain. You can later change to a different cab of your liking. Is there decent gain?
 

GreatGreen

Power User
You're using a Baja Telecaster, so your bridge pickup is going to sound a bit thin and twangy. That's just how those guitars sound. I have one and love it, but I don't think it would be my first choice for a big meaty distortion sound.

If you want a big fat distortion tone, like with real amps, your best bet is going to be to use a guitar with a bridge humbucker. If that's not an option and you want to try to emulate a humbucker type of sound, try going to the Input tab of the Amp block and cutting some high end from the guitar before it hits the amp, and then try boosting the guitar's signal further by turning up the guitar's input signal into the amp block or going with a boost pedal before the amp block.

But... if you're trying to emulate a humbucker, remember that your guitar still physically has a single coil bridge pickup, so one thing you won't be able to emulate with that single coil is the noise reduction characteristic of a humbucker. So you're going to need to be pretty aggressive with noise gating if you want to sculpt the signal of a single coil pickup into a big humbucker and preamp distortion-centric sound and NOT have the background noise and squealing be just as loud as the actual notes you play.
 
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JoKeR III

Power User
You're using a Baja Telecaster, so your bridge pickup is going to sound a bit thin and twangy. That's just how those guitars sound. I have one and love it, but I don't think it would be my first choice for a big meaty distortion sound.

If you want a big fat distortion tone, like with real amps, your best bet is going to be to use a guitar with a bridge humbucker. If that's not an option and you want to try to emulate a humbucker type of sound, try going to the Input tab of the Amp block and cutting some high end from the guitar before it hits the amp, and then try boosting the guitar's signal further by turning up the guitar's input signal into the amp block or going with a boost pedal before the amp block.

But... if you're trying to emulate a humbucker, remember that your guitar still physically has a single coil bridge pickup, so one thing you won't be able to emulate with that single coil is the noise reduction characteristic of a humbucker. So you're going to need to be pretty aggressive with noise gating if you want to sculpt the signal of a single coil pickup into a big humbucker and preamp distortion-centric sound and NOT have the background noise and squealing be just as loud as the actual notes you play.
Sorry but this is just incorrect. Yes, single coils have lower output and distinct tone but they won't reduce gain to the level the OP is describing. I have a couple of telecasters with Nocasters and Fralins and they do meaty high gain with the Axe-Fx III very well. In some cases they sound better than humbuckers.

all the amps seem to lack a lot of gain. The 5F1 model
barely breaks up with my Fender Baja Tele and the Input gain turned to 10
There is a setting somewhere that's causing your issue. Trying to replicate it, by turning OFF the Power Amp Modeling in the SETUP > Global Settings menu gives me the same results you're describing with my Axe.

Check the Input 1/Instrument level in the SETUP > I/O menu as well. If this is set to 0 (zero), it has a similar effect.

With the Power Amp Modeling ON, using my Tele with the Nocasters, the 5f1 has a great mid-gain crunch with the Input Drive at 10. Turn the Modeling off, it's just a bold clean.
 

lrt75914

New Member
Thank you so much for your help and support thus far. I really appreciate it.

can you share a patch you've been having trouble with?
See attachment. :)
Did you buy it used? If so do a system reset. The global Power Amp Modeling might be turned off.
I bought it brand new from www dot g66 dot eu. Maybe someone else fiddled around with it before they shipped
the unit, but I already did a system reset, flashed the newest firmware and restored the factory preset banks.
The power amp modeling is turned on, though.
did u buy it new? you did the reset system parameters in the Global menu? what are you monitoring thru? have you tried stock presets or making your own? Leon has many excellent presets on AxeChange for free download, try those, you can access AxeChange thru the Axeedit app.
(his user name here is @2112 ). if you are building your own, try to post one here for our help. you will. get there!
I use Sony MDR-7506 studio headphones and a pretty swanky guitar cable. I don't have access to better studio monitors but I think the
signal path should be sufficient enough to test the amp simulation. I did download some of Leon's presets through AxeChange but none
of them seem to be working for me.
Can you try making a new preset, starting from a blank slot, and just use four blocks: Input 1, Amp, Cab and Output 1. Plug your guitar into the front input. Plug some headphones into the headphone jack on the front of the AxeFX3 (just above the front guitar input), or listen via the monitors you already have connected. Link the four blocks together and you should hears your guitar, which is just the first step. In the Amp block, choose the Atomica High amp, which has gain galore, even without making any adjustments. On the Cab you can use anything, just to see if it has decent gain. You can later change to a different cab of your liking. Is there decent gain?
The preset I attached to this post was made from scratch. I did try the Atomica High model and there is a lot more gain on tap - which is to be expected. However it's no where near the amount of distortion I would expect from a high gain amp.
You're using a Baja Telecaster, so your bridge pickup is going to sound a bit thin and twangy. That's just how those guitars sound. I have one and love it, but I don't think it would be my first choice for a big meaty distortion sound.

If you want a big fat distortion tone, like with real amps, your best bet is going to be to use a guitar with a bridge humbucker. If that's not an option and you want to try to emulate a humbucker type of sound, try going to the Input tab of the Amp block and cutting some high end from the guitar before it hits the amp, and then try boosting the guitar's signal further by turning up the guitar's input signal into the amp block or going with a boost pedal before the amp block.

But... if you're trying to emulate a humbucker, remember that your guitar still physically has a single coil bridge pickup, so one thing you won't be able to emulate with that single coil is the noise reduction characteristic of a humbucker. So you're going to need to be pretty aggressive with noise gating if you want to sculpt the signal of a single coil pickup into a big humbucker and preamp distortion-centric sound and NOT have the background noise and squealing be just as loud as the actual notes you play.
It's not that I want a humbucker sound out of my telecaster. I have a Fender Jim Root Jazzmaster that is loaded with an EMG Het Set and even
that guitar does not seem to be able to drive the amp models the way I would expect it to. Those EMGs should be able to overdrive a real twin
reverb with ease, but the amp model stays crystal clear at any volume. As for the tele, a buddy of mine has a Mesa Boogie Mark V 35 and that thing absolutely screams on every single channel - provided the volume is high enough.
have you tried a different amp model? maybe that one doesn't break up with a tele.
As far as I know tweed champs, when using a tele, should start to break up at noon and deliver a nicely overdriven sound when the amp is wide open. Leon Todd used a tele in his 'fender tweed models' video and he got a nice mid-gain crunch tone out of his axe fx.
Sorry but this is just incorrect. Yes, single coils have lower output and distinct tone but they won't reduce gain to the level the OP is describing. I have a couple of telecasters with Nocasters and Fralins and they do meaty high gain with the Axe-Fx III very well. In some cases they sound better than humbuckers.


There is a setting somewhere that's causing your issue. Trying to replicate it, by turning OFF the Power Amp Modeling in the SETUP > Global Settings menu gives me the same results you're describing with my Axe.

Check the Input 1/Instrument level in the SETUP > I/O menu as well. If this is set to 0 (zero), it has a similar effect.

With the Power Amp Modeling ON, using my Tele with the Nocasters, the 5f1 has a great mid-gain crunch with the Input Drive at 10. Turn the Modeling off, it's just a bold clean.
Tried everything you suggested but the sound remains the same. The model is mildly distorted but nowhere near the amounts of gain one would
expect from a maxed out tweed amp and a 1x8 speaker.
 

Attachments

chris

Legend!
As far as I know tweed champs, when using a tele, should start to break up at noon and deliver a nicely overdriven sound when the amp is wide open. Leon Todd used a tele in his 'fender tweed models' video and he got a nice mid-gain crunch tone out of his axe fx.
sure. but have you tried another amp anyway?

solving problems doing the same thing might not lead to solutions. try an obvious high gain amp like the Friedman HBE. if that sounds clean, then something is going on in the signal path.
 

iaresee

Moderator
Moderator
The model is mildly distorted but nowhere near the amounts of gain one would
expect from a maxed out tweed amp and a 1x8 speaker.
Tried your preset with my Silver Sky. That's precisely what I'd expect from the 5F1 Tweed model, dimed. You can adjust the Input Trim beyond 1.00 if you want to hit the front of the amp with more signal.

What are you basing the assumption on that a 5F1 should be more distorted than what you're getting?
 

lrt75914

New Member
sure. but have you tried another amp anyway?

solving problems doing the same thing might not lead to solutions. try an obvious high gain amp like the Friedman HBE. if that sounds clean, then something is going on in the signal path.
I have. I have tested the Tweed Twin, BF Twin Reverb, Super Reverb, JCM800, JTM 45, Mesa Boogie Mark 2C, Diezel VH4 and Friedman amp models.
It's not that there is absolutely no distortion present in any of these amp models. It's just not enough. I've played my guitars through my friends Mesa Boogie Mark 2, Mark 5 and Mark 5 35. There just is a lot more gain present when I play through the physical amps than what I can get from any of the amp models. A dimed Mark V should give me a high gain sound and not mid-gain crunch when using my EMG equipped guitar.
Tried your preset with my Silver Sky. That's precisely what I'd expect from the 5F1 Tweed model, dimed. You can adjust the Input Trim beyond 1.00 if you want to hit the front of the amp with more signal.

What are you basing the assumption on that a 5F1 should be more distorted than what you're getting?
There are enough youtube videos out there of people playing their Teles through a dimed Tweed Champ. That and I can compare what
my preset sounds like to what Leon Todd can get out of the Tweed Champ model. His preset sounds way more saturated.
 

chris

Legend!
I have. I have tested the Tweed Twin, BF Twin Reverb, Super Reverb, JCM800, JTM 45, Mesa Boogie Mark 2C, Diezel VH4 and Friedman amp models.
It's not that there is absolutely no distortion present in any of these amp models. It's just not enough. I've played my guitars through my friends Mesa Boogie Mark 2, Mark 5 and Mark 5 35. There just is a lot more gain present when I play through the physical amps than what I can get from any of the amp models. A dimed Mark V should give me a high gain sound and not mid-gain crunch when using my EMG equipped guitar.
ok that's all i was asking. sounded like you only tried one amp.

can you try using physical Input 2 or Input 3 on the rear, and be sure to change the Input Block on the Preset grid. just as a test. do these other inputs react the same way?
 

iaresee

Moderator
Moderator
There are enough youtube videos out there of people playing their Teles through a dimed Tweed Champ.
Teles with hotter pickups present a higher signal. Turn up input trim like a suggested. Have you tried that yet?
That and I can compare what my preset sounds like to what Leon Todd can get out of the Tweed Champ model. His preset sounds way more saturated.
Have you looked at @2112's preset to see how he gets his sounds? I don't see a video where he uses an 5F1 Champ model -- can you point me to one? Leon is pretty good about documenting what he does and giving out presets. You can use @AlGrenadine's excellent FracTool to look at the settings for any preset even if you don't own an AX8.

In this video he uses a Tweed Deluxe model, which is quite different from a 5F1, and uses the amp block's boost button to saturate it. Which is equivalent to what I suggested earlier about turning up input trim.

This clip is your preset, your preset but with Input Trim at 1.5 and then your preset but with Input Boost on (which, IIRC is the same as Input Trim at 4.0 -- a +12 dB boost to the input signal, see wiki here):

https://www.dropbox.com/s/5t2o4y84nnlx6th/5F1 Champ for lrt75914.wav?dl=0
 
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lrt75914

New Member
ok that's all i was asking. sounded like you only tried one amp.

can you try using physical Input 2 or Input 3 on the rear, and be sure to change the Input Block on the Preset grid. just as a test. do these other inputs react the same way?
Sorry if I sound a bit cranky. I'm doing my taxes at the same time.;)

Just went through all the inputs and they all reacted the same way. My unit, however, just started 'stuttering'.
The gain seems to be jumping all over the place. At first I thought my cable was faulty but it seems to be
doing that with all my cables/guitars.

Teles with hotter pickups present a higher signal. Turn up input trim like a suggested. Have you tried that yet?

Have you looked at @2112's preset to see how he gets his sounds? I don't see a video where he uses an 5F1 Champ model -- can you point me to one? Leon is pretty good about documenting what he does and giving out presets. You can use @AlGrenadine's excellent FracTool to look at the settings for any preset even if you don't own an AX8.

In this video he uses a Tweed Deluxe model, which is quite different from a 5F1, and uses the amp block's boost button to saturate it.
I've looked at videos with a lot of different pickup configurations and they all sound a lot more saturated than my presets.
I'm not sure if I'm allowed to post any links yet, but the name of the video is 'Axe-Fx III Fender Tweed Models (Plus Magic Six Settings Explained)'.
 

chris

Legend!
Just went through all the inputs and they all reacted the same way. My unit, however, just started 'stuttering'.
The gain seems to be jumping all over the place. At first I thought my cable was faulty but it seems to be
doing that with all my cables/guitars.
and all inputs? hmm. if you can record video or audio of this, it will help us troubleshoot.
 

iaresee

Moderator
Moderator
I've looked at videos with a lot of different pickup configurations and they all sound a lot more saturated than my presets.
I'm not sure if I'm allowed to post any links yet, but the name of the video is 'Axe-Fx III Fender Tweed Models (Plus Magic Six Settings Explained)'.
This is the video for anyone interested:

 
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