• We would like to remind our members that this is a privately owned, run and supported forum. You are here at the invitation and discretion of the owners. As such, rules and standards of conduct will be applied that help keep this forum functioning as the owners desire. These include, but are not limited to, removing content and even access to the forum.

    Please give yourself a refresher on the forum rules you agreed to follow when you signed up.

Axe-Fx 2 still worth grabbing?

misterpete

New Member
So I find myself going back to a studio solution. I don't play live, that's unlikely to change anytime soon, and tube amps are a bit too much for home. I'm deciding currently between a Fractal and a Kemper - Line 6 is out, never liked their amp sims.

I don't, however, have the money for a full on Axe 3. WAY out of my budget. I'd be looking at a second hand 2, or maybe an FM3 depending on limitations.

My question really is do the units now sound so vastly different that the 2 is no longer the tonal powerhouse it once was?

I should state that I barely use effects, so paying loads of money for the horsepower of the 3 seems a little redundant to me. I'm always just a drive/gate/amp/cab guy, with maybe an EQ and a reverb for leads. Certainly none of the all out effect patches going - at most, maybe 2 amps and 2 impulses in a patch.

I'll only be using it at home for recording, and running it through Yamaha HS5 monitors.

Would I be selling myself short by still grabbing a 2 if I'm just using it primarily for amp and cab modelling and recording?
 

jljesse

Inspired
To answer your question: no, I don't think you're selling yourself short. Lots of people have used Axe-Fx II's to great effect live and in the studio and they still sound great in 2021.

unix-guy's suggestion is spot on: since you're a "meat-and-potatoes" player who's not using lots of effects an FM3 could serve you really well. Cheers and good luck with the tone quest!
 

lauke-lux

Fractal Fanatic
There's been reported a little bit of latency with FM3 recording on DAW, so if you're recording a lot and using midi over USB to control your device you might prefer the II. Personnally I prefer the tonal performance of FM3, slightly more organic whatever that means btw, which is why I actually put on sale my Axe Fx 2.
Otoh the ultrares cabs on Axe Fx 2 permits a slightly better bass response, but the FM3 on the latest FW really matches up very nicely.
You can't loose with any of both choices IMHO.
 

Bodde

Fractal Fanatic
Sure. The Axe fx 2 was good enough three years ago or so. I don't see why it would not be good enough today.....
 

Sleestak

Power User
The AxeFX II is a fantastic unit with great tones and power. You can probably find a good deal on one. I loved mine, and used it for many tours, recordings, and gigs. I use a III now, and while it's awesome, the II was also mighty awesome. It was the first processor that really sold me on selling all of my tube amps.
 

Repartee41

Inspired
I just got a used II Mk1 a couple months ago, and it blows my mind how good it is still. Not to mention the latest firmware is only a year or so old. The II will absolutely do what you want to do with it, and much more. I'll be sticking with my II for a very long time.

If the only thing holding you back from an FM3 is dual amps, I'd get the FM3 anyways. I bought the II thinking I'd use dual amps a lot more, but really there's not a situation I can find where it's beneficial, if you can't create the tone you want with one amp you haven't tried hard enough, especially with the tonestack parameter where you can basically combine two amps in one (I've combined a JTM45 tonestack in a 50w Plexi plus some other adjustments to create a killer JTM50 tone that I love).
You can already use two separate impulses (4 IIRC) on the FM3 with one cab block to mix and match all you'd like.
 

squealie

Inspired
As a guy with a axe-2 since 2014, and saved pennies for a year to get a 3 (arrived tuesday) ... the 2 still rocks. As does the original (ultra)

There are guys still tweaking the EQ on their Boogie Mark 3s.
 

DJD100

Experienced
If you're real FX Hog like I am, the Axe II is stronger CPU-wise than the FM3, in spite of the additional channels in the FM-3 (X/Y in the Axe II, A/B/C/D in the FM-3).

I run long chains of parallel FX in my Axe II along with a tube preamp, so it's doing power amp sim, cab sim, and lots of FX that the FM-3 couldn't run.

That said, if you don't need the Axe II's extra horsepoewer and standard FX needs are what you go with, get the FM-3. I'm sticking with the Axe II at this point in time due to it's 2U form factor, and no additional space in my rack.
 
I am a Axe fx 2 user and find that i do use 2 amps quite often in my patches. For me it wont be an upgrade to a FM3 so its either an Axe 3 or nothing.
I have actually decided to wait for the axe 4 to come out (when ever that happens)

the axe fx 2 is certainly not obsolete.

you could probably pick up an axe 2 cheaper than an fm3
 

GlennO

Fractal Fanatic
Vastly different? No. One thing to keep in mind though, the AxeFX II won’t work with new Mac computers.
 

Muad'zin

Fractal Fanatic
The Axe FX II is still the next best thing to the Axe FX III/FM3. It was the king of the hill before the Axe III, none of the competitors have stepped up to the plate since. Maybe Neural will, but the jury is still out on that one.
 

Harm

Experienced
Axe 2 is awesome. Much more cpu room to put blocks in. My ax8 is always telling me that cpu is overloading. Fm3 has the same room for stuff as the ax 8. Difference is that the effects and amps are improved meaning everything uses more cpu. So yes fm3 has more cpu but because the blocks are more demanding you end up with the same limitations (approxamently). Axe2 sounds awesome.
 

Repartee41

Inspired
Vastly different? No. One thing to keep in mind though, the AxeFX II won’t work with new Mac computers.
They released an update to AxeEdit resolving that issue a few weeks ago, check the Axe-Edit subforum for the new release.

It's incredible how long FAS supports their products
 

GlennO

Fractal Fanatic
They released an update to AxeEdit resolving that issue a few weeks ago, check the Axe-Edit subforum for the new release.

It's incredible how long FAS supports their products
An AxeFX II driver for Apple silicon? I haven’t seen any news on that.
 
Top Bottom