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Axe FX 2 --> Axe FX 3 Upgrader Person

Andrew Male

Experienced
So, having owned the Axe FX 2 and MFC for several years I finally bought an Axe FX 3 Mk2 and FC-12. Just a quick summary on where I am so far after a week or so.

I started by porting my presets across using frac-tool (amazingly useful, although it doubled all my delay times for some reason).

Then I set up a custom layout on the FC based on Perform 1, changing colours for my colourblind eyes, very useful.

The above took me about 30 minutes and I was ready to go.

Observations on features
  1. What immediately hit me was the sheer number of factory cabs vs the 2, which is fantastic, they've all been useable so far
  2. Naming scenes, great feature, especially with the FC text displays, I'm already going through and giving names to everything
  3. Channels vs X/Y offer a lot of scope within 1 preset and will allow me to consolidate
  4. The FC-12 is just flat out awesome, the best foot controller I've owned
  5. I don't miss the 3rd row of footswitches from the MFC, at all
  6. The Axe 3 UI and screen is great
Observations on sound

So I plugged in, put on my Blue headphones and honestly, I wasn't ready for the jump in sonic improvement from the Axe 2.

I thought how much better can it be right?

Wrong.

The difference is utterly astounding, with the most overriding adjective being pleasing. Everything sounds glorious and now I'm excited every time I turn the unit on. Throughout the entire sonic spectrum there is improvement, the low end sounds tight and chunky, the high end sounds incredible. I play all the way from clean, edge of breakup, to filthy metal and all of it sounds better. I don't know if it's the 32/64-bit FP precision or the improvements to the modelling (probably both) but compared to Axe 2 Ares the difference is huge (In my opinion).

This is only week 1 too, with Cygnus just around the corner!

So if you are like me and holding onto the Axe2 because you're not convinced it's worth the upgrade, just know that there is a jump and it is worth it.
 
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Gregmang

Fractal Fanatic
So, having owned the Axe FX 2 and MFC for several years I finally bought an Axe FX 3 Mk2 and FC-12. Just a quick summary on where I am so far after a week or so.

I started by porting my presets across using frac-tool (amazingly useful, although it doubled all my delay times for some reason).

Then I set up a custom layout on the FC based on Perform 1, changing colours for my colourblind eyes, very useful.

The above took me about 30 minutes and I was ready to go.

Observations on features
  1. What immediately hit me was the sheer number of factory cabs vs the 2, which is fantastic, they've all been useable so far
  2. Naming scenes, great feature, especially with the FC text displays, I'm already going through and giving names to everything
  3. Channels vs X/Y offer a lot of scope within 1 preset and will allow me to consolidate
  4. The FC-12 is just flat out awesome, the best foot controller I've owned
  5. I don't miss the 3rd row of footswitches from the MFC, at all
  6. The Axe 3 UI and screen is great
Observations on sound

So I plugged in, put on my Blue headphones and honestly, I wasn't ready for the jump in sonic improvement from the Axe 2.

I thought how much better can it be right?

Wrong.

The difference is utterly astounding, with the most overriding adjective being pleasing. Everything sounds glorious and now I'm excited every time I turn the unit on. Throughout the entire sonic spectrum there is improvement, the low end sounds tight and chunky, the high end sounds incredible. I play all the way from clean, edge of breakup, to filthy metal and all of it sounds better. I don't know if it's the 32/64-bit FP precision or the improvements to the modelling (probably both) but compared to Axe 2 Ares the difference is huge (In my opinion).

This is only week 1 too, with Cygnus just around the corner!

So if you are like me and holding onto the Axe2 because you're not convinced it's worth the upgrade, just know that there is a jump and it is worth it.

you are REALLY gonna dig the FW 16 beta !
 

FatWreckMike

New Member
So, having owned the Axe FX 2 and MFC for several years I finally bought an Axe FX 3 Mk2 and FC-12. Just a quick summary on where I am so far after a week or so.

I started by porting my presets across using frac-tool (amazingly useful, although it doubled all my delay times for some reason).

Then I set up a custom layout on the FC based on Perform 1, changing colours for my colourblind eyes, very useful.

The above took me about 30 minutes and I was ready to go.

Observations on features
  1. What immediately hit me was the sheer number of factory cabs vs the 2, which is fantastic, they've all been useable so far
  2. Naming scenes, great feature, especially with the FC text displays, I'm already going through and giving names to everything
  3. Channels vs X/Y offer a lot of scope within 1 preset and will allow me to consolidate
  4. The FC-12 is just flat out awesome, the best foot controller I've owned
  5. I don't miss the 3rd row of footswitches from the MFC, at all
  6. The Axe 3 UI and screen is great
Observations on sound

So I plugged in, put on my Blue headphones and honestly, I wasn't ready for the jump in sonic improvement from the Axe 2.

I thought how much better can it be right?

Wrong.

The difference is utterly astounding, with the most overriding adjective being pleasing. Everything sounds glorious and now I'm excited every time I turn the unit on. Throughout the entire sonic spectrum there is improvement, the low end sounds tight and chunky, the high end sounds incredible. I play all the way from clean, edge of breakup, to filthy metal and all of it sounds better. I don't know if it's the 32/64-bit FP precision or the improvements to the modelling (probably both) but compared to Axe 2 Ares the difference is huge (In my opinion).

This is only week 1 too, with Cygnus just around the corner!

So if you are like me and holding onto the Axe2 because you're not convinced it's worth the upgrade, just know that there is a jump and it is worth it.
Can I ask a few questions - how do the stock cabs compare to the Axe 2, and has the drive block been improved? I can rarely could useable sounds out of either...I'm still on the Axe 2 XL but am saving like crazy to get the Axe 3 MkII!

thanks :)
 

unix-guy

Legend!
Can I ask a few questions - how do the stock cabs compare to the Axe 2, and has the drive block been improved? I can rarely could useable sounds out of either...I'm still on the Axe 2 XL but am saving like crazy to get the Axe 3 MkII!

thanks :)
All of the Axe Fx II factory cabs are included, plus 2048 new ones from both Fractal and popular 3rd party IR creators.

The Drive block was overhauled and improved quite a bit.
 

LoPaN

Inspired
I had the same experience, I never felt the Axefx2 was lacking anything it served me well for years, I plugged in the 3 and the sound and feel improvement was really evident, played for a while then plugged the 2 back in and it sounded well let’s say very fake sounding. I love the FC12 too it’s amazing what you can do with it especially with per preset.
 

squealie

Inspired
I'm of the opinion, that if you stick to the FAS amps on the 2 that it sounds amazing, feels amazing. I'm still learning the 3. There's a feel thing that is great with the cygnus versions. There are sims on my Ultra that feel amazing and sound great too.

I bought the 3 because I was having major FOMO. For that alone, it's worth having. But the previous Fractal boxes are still killer compared to the houseful of line6 crap I have on shelves.
 

squealie

Inspired
Can I ask a few questions - how do the stock cabs compare to the Axe 2, and has the drive block been improved? I can rarely could useable sounds out of either...I'm still on the Axe 2 XL but am saving like crazy to get the Axe 3 MkII!
IMOHO. If you can't get 'usable' sounds out of the Axe-fx2 then you are barking up the wrong tree. AxeFx2 is a seriously great box. The 3 is better in every measurable way...but it ain't gonna be a switch from suck to rule.
 

FatWreckMike

New Member
IMOHO. If you can't get 'usable' sounds out of the Axe-fx2 then you are barking up the wrong tree. AxeFx2 is a seriously great box. The 3 is better in every measurable way...but it ain't gonna be a switch from suck to rule.
Yeah usable was the wrong word. Just got quicker results by using IRs from OH etc. I have just received my Axe FX 3 and agree it is better - the IRs are great so far and I'm finding it's less work to get great tones.

Thanks guys :)
 

Dramelot

Power User
I owned the ultra early adopter, then one of the first AX2 Mk1. I use it allot! But I believe its time for a 3
 

Fashion Foul

New Member
I too owned the Axe Fx II and upgraded to the Axe Fx III.

I didn't care for the II too much. It was difficult to navigate through the menu and to alter settings and I just had a difficult time getting the sounds that I wanted so I just kept using a mic on cabs for recording.

I got the III because of the ease of using Axe Fx Edit to dial in sounds and presets and having it interface with my DAW. It has made my workflow so much more efficient. Plus, I am getting much cleaner guitar in my mixes now. Also, if I had known that the III has an ampeg simulation I wouldn't have purchased my SVT-3 Pro for bass.

The only thing that I hope we'll see in future firmware are some more bass amps. Maybe even some FAS bass amps.
 

unix-guy

Legend!
I too owned the Axe Fx II and upgraded to the Axe Fx III.

I didn't care for the II too much. It was difficult to navigate through the menu and to alter settings and I just had a difficult time getting the sounds that I wanted so I just kept using a mic on cabs for recording.

I got the III because of the ease of using Axe Fx Edit to dial in sounds and presets and having it interface with my DAW. It has made my workflow so much more efficient. Plus, I am getting much cleaner guitar in my mixes now. Also, if I had known that the III has an ampeg simulation I wouldn't have purchased my SVT-3 Pro for bass.

The only thing that I hope we'll see in future firmware are some more bass amps. Maybe even some FAS bass amps.
Axe-Edit exists for the Axe Fx II as well...
 

Fashion Foul

New Member
Axe-Edit exists for the Axe Fx II as well...
Ha! That would have made life easier. I probably wouldn't have sold it if I had known that. I would put it direct line into my mixing board and it was tough to navigate on the screen. The III is so dialed now that it opens the doors to a whole new dimension of sound. Anyway, I'm glad to have gone back to Fractal, it's a lot easier than dealing with recording cabs.
 

unix-guy

Legend!
Ha! That would have made life easier. I probably wouldn't have sold it if I had known that. I would put it direct line into my mixing board and it was tough to navigate on the screen. The III is so dialed now that it opens the doors to a whole new dimension of sound. Anyway, I'm glad to have gone back to Fractal, it's a lot easier than dealing with recording cabs.
I forgot that it wasn't there initially, but there was shortly after I got my first one in mid-2013. So if it was before that then you may have been without.
 

Gregmang

Fractal Fanatic
I forgot that it wasn't there initially, but there was shortly after I got my first one in mid-2013. So if it was before that then you may have been without.
Remember how problematic AxeEdit was WAY back ? I think right after I got my II, Cliff said we shouldn’t use AxeEdit.

Look how far we’ve come ! It’s top notch now and has been for a long time.
 

squealie

Inspired
Edit on the 2 is flawless as far as I can tell.

Edit on the Ultra/STD has it's headaches because of the interface problem (whatever you use as a MIDI int)

Hell, I still can't get Java 7 to see my MIDI interface and play with my Behringer controller.
 
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