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AX8 vs Atomic Amplifire

pat6969

Inspired
I do prefer my AX8, but I was impressed with the Atomic. I liked it better than the Helix.
FWIW I don't have anything bad to say about any of them. Even the cheap stuff is impressive.
It's hard to go wrong these days.
Well stated Clint and a classy reply. I had a little vomit in my mouth until I read your post. I hit reply to give you kudos and promptly exited out of this thread! Lol! I own an AX8 by the way.
 

fremen

Fractal Fanatic
One thing I can objectively say that the AX8 offers is that the models sound and perform just like the amps they represent. If other modelers sound different from the AX8, and I know the AX8 sounds like the amps (ask @Larry Mitchell about our experience shooting a video together last week.) one can draw certain conclusions from this. While the next statement is subjective I believe it is also true: I think most people will tell you that Fractal Audio is widely recognized as having the best amp modeling in the industry.

Another thing that's objectively better on the AX8 than on all other similar products is the quality of many the effects. You can experience this yourself, for example, by listening to the reverbs, multitap delays, or pitch shifter set to 100% wet. The number and style of effect offerings is also extremely impressive in my opinion.

Finally, the one thing that no competitor can offer is Fractal's undying commitment to continual improvement, backed by a community of artists and customers that genuinely care about great tone and gear that is inspiring to play. This makes owning an AX8 exciting. It has great compatibility on many levels with the Axe-Fx II: cabs, amp and effect block settings, the concept of the grid, so there are a lot of fantastic resources you get from this overlap as well.

Please recognize that I work for Fractal, but I was a customer here first.
+1 on That. I have an XL+, AX8, Atomic and Helix, and also have access to a Kemper when I want, and for me Fractal modeling/effects is above everything else. But how you tweak them matters a lot too :) All are capable of great tones imho, but I have more pleasure playing my Fractal rig
 

DropTheSun

Veteran
I have a Axe Fx2 and Atomic Amplifire. I actually enjoy using both units and can have great tones with them. Here is couple comparison clips i have made:

Axe-Fx2

Atomic Amplifire

Blindtest: Axe-Fx2 - Atomic Amplifire - Axe-Fx2. Clips are in that order:

In the end of the day. I'll choose Fractal Audio. It has THE BEST amp modeling, effects, IR packs and customer service.

Amplifire is not a bad unit at all. It's size and tones are very nice as well. It is a great bang for the bug.
 

cyberk9

Inspired
For realistic sound nothing beats a Fractal..IMO...and I have tried many other's...Fractal does firmware updates like almost every month sometimes more often giving me free amps, cabs, constant improvements on the sound....I don't see any other manufactures with this kind of Grit to constantly improve upon their products....to me it's a no brainer...IMHO.......I'm really not saying this cause I drink the Fractal Kool aid...if I thought they were slacking I'd be outa here....................:D
 
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Wildwind

Veteran
Selling my Amplifire after a year. Been playing Axe-Fx II for four years. Not a fair fight, not even close. Fractal ruined me. Best money I've ever spent and I'm about to spend more on an AX8 and stop the bleeding for all time.
 
I have both the AX8 and the AF12...while i agree that you cannot really compare the too....i love both as i have gotten the AX8 and the AF12 to both sound incredible...in their own way....lately i have been using both live with an a/b pedal and yowza when i have both playing at the same time...will keep both as i am very very happy with them
 

ak301

Inspired
Hi just joined today. I've been trying choose either one for the last month and I haven't been able to come too a conclusion. Is there anyone here who has had both of these units? Which do you like better? Are there any significant pros or cons to these units?
Quick answer: Had both, not close for me, Amplifire got replaced as a B Rig by a HX Stomp, neither touch the Fractal

Both the Atomic and the Stomp are very very good units that can be set up to sound very good. However, whenever I play those units I think they're really great sounding digital songs, whereas the Fractal always sounds and feels like the real thing coming out of my cab

YMMV
 

Pete1959

Inspired
Over two years ago, I bought an AA3 as a backup to my AX8. I liked a lot of the tones but the oddball Send/Return setup of the AA3 was a no go for me and sold it. Bought the Atomic Amplifire Box as soon as it was released and kept it until recently.

Personally, if the AA6 or more specifically a lower priced AA12 were available at the time, I would still have that today. Especially with the firmware updates of recent which I still follow up on. I like the simplicity of the AA12 and having my laptop on a mic stand tweaking is pretty much what I do with my AX8 and AX8-Edit or FracPad anyway.

I liked the Atomic products I own and unless FAS releases a new floor pedal modeler (AX8 Mark II ?) in the next year, I might just get myself and AA12.
 

Schmokes

Inspired
Those of you who haven’t tried any Atomic equipment since the latest update really owe it to yourself to try it again. It’s a huge improvement in what was already stellar tone. And the addition of the new twin and Archon are really excellent. Kudos to Atomic for continuing to support the whole line, including the 6 year old AA3 (see, it can be done).
 

BCy2k

Inspired
I was an early adopter of the Amplifire back when it came out. I gigged mine for about 3+ years and at the time it was the best modeler I'd personally used. Until I got my AX8, but before I got my AX8, I got an FX8 (the original one). Because of the timing when the latter initially became available (back then I don't think the AX8 had even been announced yet) I ended up using the FX8 with my Amplifire for about a year or two. The Atomic effects were decent, but bland. The FX8 + AA3 complemented each other very nicely at the time, but I wanted a smaller rig. That's when I decided to get an AX8. I knew Fractals effects were way way better than Atomic's. I figured I needed to hear & feel for myself what the difference between Atomic amp modeling & Fractal amp modeling really was.

Long story short, now I gig my AX8 all the time. There's really not much comparison in my mind. AX8 wins in every conceivable way IMHO. YMMV

I sold my AA3 after one of the recent firmware updates that made it clear future effects updates for the Amplifire would favor the AA6 & AA12, but not the AA3. Which I found ... hmmm ... disappointing. What ended up happening was Atomic said the AA6 & AA12 would continue to get new effects & amp modeling support, but due to unknown (and previously unspecified) differences between the AA3 and the other two, they would not receive future effects updates, though they would get future amp updates. This was not part of the deal as far as I was concerned (seems like I'd read they actually claimed the AA3 would still get everything the AA12 & 6 would get at one point) and more than anything else, this is why I decided to bail on Atomic. I was thinking I'd still hang on to the AA3 as my backup, and possible rehearsal rig, but I sold my AA3 immediately because I knew their value was inevitably going to plummet very quickly. Go to Reverb or ebay and you'll see what I mean. If you're wondering why there's no shortage of AA3's FS all over the place, this has a lot to do with it IMHO.

It's a decent sounding and gig-able unit, right up until it gets compared to an AX8. That's my 2 cents.
 
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Schmokes

Inspired
I sold my AA3 after one of the recent firmware updates that made it clear future effects updates for the Amplifire would favor the AA6 & AA12, but not the AA3. Which I found ... hmmm ... disappointing. What ended up happening was Atomic said the AA6 & AA12 would continue to get new effects & amp modeling support, but due to unknown (and previously unspecified) differences between the AA3 and the other two, they would not receive future effects updates, though they would get future amp updates. This was not part of the deal as far as I was concerned (seems like I'd read they actually claimed the AA3 would still get everything the AA12 & 6 would get at one point) and more than anything else, this is why I decided to bail on Atomic. I was thinking I'd still hang on to the AA3 as my backup, and possible rehearsal rig, but I sold my AA3 immediately because I knew their value was inevitably going to plummet very quickly. Go to Reverb or ebay and you'll see what I mean. If you're wondering why there's no shortage of AA3's FS all over the place, this has a lot to do with it IMHO.
Kind of ironic that you are posting this here while the II continues to receive support and the AX8 fades into obscurity. I applaud Atomic for adding the new amps/update to the AA3, when they could’ve just as easily let it and called it a day.

And even better, Atomic actually came out and told everyone that the AA3 was running out of room and wouldn’t be able to get the pitch feature. They could’ve just left the AA3 owners twisting in the wind like Fractal is doing with the AX8 users right now. A little communication goes a long way.
 

Eman7422

Inspired
If there was never another Ax8 update, I would continue to use it happily for many years!

It is more than I ever expected or hoped for, period!

If they make a new one, I may upgrade one day, but honestly, I doubt that it would be for some time. What I get out of the AX8 is absolutely wonderful!
 
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BCy2k

Inspired
Kind of ironic that you are posting this here while the II continues to receive support and the AX8 fades into obscurity. I applaud Atomic for adding the new amps/update to the AA3, when they could’ve just as easily let it and called it a day.

And even better, Atomic actually came out and told everyone that the AA3 was running out of room and wouldn’t be able to get the pitch feature. They could’ve just left the AA3 owners twisting in the wind like Fractal is doing with the AX8 users right now. A little communication goes a long way.
Exactly when did Atomic "come out and tell everyone the AA3 was 'running out of room'" before they released their pitch block firmware? I'll wait for you to post a link, but I'm not going to hold my breath because I know that's simply not true. It never happened. They didn't say anything about it until after they released that update. Prior to that release they had in fact given AA3 owners the exact opposite impression. More than once. Directly from the top. I'm not the only one that was put off by this little "surprise" either. Check around. Check how many AA3's are FS on Reverb vs how many AX8's are listed currently. There are about 5 times as many AA3s listed as there are AX8s. You may not know why that is, but I have a pretty good idea why so many AA3 owners are parting with them.

As for the AX8, if you're trying to imply that Atomic is more straightforward with their customers than Fractal is, or that Atomic does a better job producing lot's of updates, I couldn't disagree more based on my personal dealings with both companies.

I knew what was happening when I bought the AX8. I've already received more than my money's worth from my AX8, and it's paid for itself several times over after less than a year of owning it. The AX8 amps are night & day better than the AmpliFire's (IMHO) and the effects are too. And that's before we start counting how many different amps & effect types are being offered from each unit.

Atomic will forever be playing catch up to the AX8. Even if the AX8 has already received the last firmware update it will ever receive. Something to think about.
 

Schmokes

Inspired
Exactly when did Atomic "come out and tell everyone the AA3 was 'running out of room'" before they released their pitch block firmware? I'll wait for you to post a link, but I'm not going to hold my breath because I know that's simply not true. It never happened. They didn't say anything about it until after they released that update. Prior to that release they had in fact given AA3 owners the exact opposite impression. More than once. Directly from the top. I'm not the only one that was put off by this little "surprise" either. Check around. Check how many AA3's are FS on Reverb vs how many AX8's are listed currently. There are about 5 times as many AA3s listed as there are AX8s. You may not know why that is, but I have a pretty good idea why so many AA3 owners are parting with them.

As for the AX8, if you're trying to imply that Atomic is more straightforward with their customers than Fractal is, or that Atomic does a better job producing lot's of updates, I couldn't disagree more based on my personal dealings with both companies.

I knew what was happening when I bought the AX8. I've already received more than my money's worth from my AX8, and it's paid for itself several times over after less than a year of owning it. The AX8 amps are night & day better than the AmpliFire's (IMHO) and the effects are too. And that's before we start counting how many different amps & effect types are being offered from each unit.

Atomic will forever be playing catch up to the AX8. Even if the AX8 has already received the last firmware update it will ever receive. Something to think about.
No reason to get so emotional. Based on the fact that the AA3 is 2 years older, was less than half of AX8’s price, and has had 2 upgraded models released after it, if you can’t figure out why there are more AA3’s than AX8’s on sale on Reverb, there’s very little I can do to help you.

All the best!
 

hippietim

Fractal Fanatic
I think it's time to chime in with "it's a great time to be a guitar player" and we all just agree to move on.

This sort of petty tit-for-tat ain't changing anyone's mind. It never has and never will.
 

cragginshred

Fractal Fanatic
I've been with Fractal since 2011, however, after hearing Satchel's (Steel Panther) Atomic tone and being frustrated with FAS taking so long to fix the X/Y instant switching I departed to Atomic for a season. Although their clean tones are amazing out of the box and the 5150 tones were really close the Satchel's I ultimately got frustrated due to a lack of amps to choose from, poor plexi models and few delays.

Ultimately I heard Fractal finally fixed the latency with pre set switching I came back to FAS! Couldn't be happier. Here is some Satchel Atomic clips tho :)


My current Ax8 live tone

 

flynv

Inspired
I have both an A12 and AX8 and if you put them up for a "true" blind test 99% of people can not tell them apart. We did it.
Now for the truth, I'm 64 and don't have enough time left on this earth to figure out everything the AX8 can do. The simplicity of the A12 might just get to stay. I don't want to deep dive anymore and the AX8 is a tweakers heaven or hell. But if you can't get the sound you're looking for out of the AX8 it's NOT the AX8's fault. The A12 has less of everything but unless you're trying to run 4 delays at a time any of the higher end modelers will not disappoint. Both are a quality product with ability's way beyond what the normal weekend warrior would ever use. My problem is if I want a Marshall, or if I want a Vox, or if I want a Fender you get the point. It's about getting what the song requires and that can be accomplished for less than $1500. Far cry from 1969.
 
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