• 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 3, FM3, and some advice

Mowgli86

Member
Hi all, I’m new here so please bear with.

I’ve been using my beloved Mesa Boogie Mark V25 for about 4 years now, the thing changed my life, (and my ear drums) and let me get the long searched for Metallica tone in my own house. Problem is, the damn thing is so loud I’ve already got tinnitus, and attenuators all seem to sound terrible (currently tried the Ox Box and Tone King Ironman II mini) as unless the speaker is pushing air it just never seems to sounds the same.

So instead of gambling £1000 on a Waza Tube amp expander which may result in the same issue, I thought about going digital, and using the fractal straight into some studio monitors to achieve some lower volume home friendly tones. The Axe Fx seems like a bargain compared to either paying £2000 for another amplifier, or £1000 for something to just turn mine down.......

Knowing that artists like Metallica use these, and watching Leon Todd rip it up on YouTube has all made fractal the choice for me ahead of either the kemper or helix, but coming from the tube amp world I’m really looking to achieve some easy to dial in tones with minimum fuss. Has anyone made this step and found it simple ?

I’m on the waiting list for the Axe Fx 3 Mk2, and wondering if it’s complete overkill for home use compared to the FM3 ? And could I connect both direct to some powered monitors and get straight to just browsing presets ?

All advice is welcome, cheers
Ben
U.K.
 

Harm

Inspired
Well, if you think second best is good enough when you are spending money....lol.
but seriously, you can be very content with just the fm. Its a great unit. But you just have limitations that the axe 3 doesn’t have.Just think of whatyou want to do with the device and see which suits your needs best. I personally would always go for the best I can aford.
harm
 

Mowgli86

Member
Thanks Harm.
Price isn’t really the issue, just thought maybe the Axe Fx 3 was far more complex than I need for just spinning through presets made by other users.
 

Joe Bfstplk

Fractal Fanatic
Hi all, I’m new here so please bear with.

I’ve been using my beloved Mesa Boogie Mark V25 for about 4 years now, the thing changed my life, (and my ear drums) and let me get the long searched for Metallica tone in my own house. Problem is, the damn thing is so loud I’ve already got tinnitus, and attenuators all seem to sound terrible (currently tried the Ox Box and Tone King Ironman II mini) as unless the speaker is pushing air it just never seems to sounds the same.

So instead of gambling £1000 on a Waza Tube amp expander which may result in the same issue, I thought about going digital, and using the fractal straight into some studio monitors to achieve some lower volume home friendly tones. The Axe Fx seems like a bargain compared to either paying £2000 for another amplifier, or £1000 for something to just turn mine down.......

Knowing that artists like Metallica use these, and watching Leon Todd rip it up on YouTube has all made fractal the choice for me ahead of either the kemper or helix, but coming from the tube amp world I’m really looking to achieve some easy to dial in tones with minimum fuss. Has anyone made this step and found it simple ?

I’m on the waiting list for the Axe Fx 3 Mk2, and wondering if it’s complete overkill for home use compared to the FM3 ? And could I connect both direct to some powered monitors and get straight to just browsing presets ?

All advice is welcome, cheers
Ben
U.K.
The FM3 can do well to cover the 'bear necessities', but is less powerful than the AxeFX3. The big boy isn't really more complex, just capable of more all at once. If you like to run 2 amps/cabs at once, you'll need the big one. If you like a more produced sound with a good number of effects at once or on standby, you'll need the big one. HTH....baloo-bear-the-jungle-book-disney.jpg
 
Last edited:
If price isn't the issue and you aren't gigging, I'd go with the III. I own both, and the III has a lot more horsepower. I would guess that there's more presets available specifically for the III than the FM3, although you could import III presets to the FM3 and tweak them to work.

When you bring traveling into the mix, the FM3 shines.

Either way, the resale is great on these, you can't really make a mistake.
 

mr_fender

Fractal Fanatic
FM3 and Axe III have most of the same capabilities and complexity (their UI is almost identical). The Axe III has more hardware I/O, more USB I/O, and can run more instances of blocks. If you tend to keep things simple (guitar, amp, and a couple of pedals), the FM3 will likely be plenty. If you're a kitchen sink rig kind of player with a pedalboard the size of a surfboard, the Axe III is definitely the way to go.
 

Mowgli86

Member
This is all excellent cheers guys.
Just saw Leon Todd’s FM3 overview, it looks ridiculous !
Is there any reason you can’t load the same Axe presets into it ? I’m definitely more of a simple player, I’ll probably dial in some tones I like and use mostly those for ages: C++ rhythm / lead, JCM800, and a clean.
I love the all in one (tuner, looper, and foot switch) that it offers, as I hate cables everywhere.
 
You can load the exact same presets for the III into the FM3. However, the FM3 doesn't have as much CPU power as the III. So when I loaded my "kitchen sink" preset into the FM3, I found it exceeding the CPU. I eventually split it into three different presets on the FM3, and it works great for my needs.

There are also limits on the types of blocks available. Only one amp block is available, along with only one cab block. These are posted in the Fractal Blocks guide. On page 3 there's a matrix of the differences between the FM3 and the Axe-FX III.
 

Mowgli86

Member
Thanks Slipstream, had a quick look and I’m not sure anything will be holding me back by purchasing the FM3. Am I right in thinking you still have 4 amp channels available to assign in the FM3 amp block, but can only run one at a time ? Whereas the III can run both side by side ?

Also does anyone recommend a good set of studio monitors to start out with ? They’ll need to sound best with a high gain rhythm tone. The plan is to run either the Axe Fx or FM3 straight into these and use the fractal as the interface, as my MacBook is from 2009.....
 

yyz67

Power User
Am I right in thinking you still have 4 amp channels available to assign in the FM3 amp block, but can only run one at a time ? Whereas the III can run both side by side ?

Yes. FM3 supports one AMP block with 4 channels (one at a time). The III supports up to two AMP blocks each with 4 channels (one channel at a time); thus two concurrent amp models can run at the same time.
 

PBGas

Inspired
I use the III at home as my main unit for recording and playing. I have been taking my new FM3 to rehearsals and it has been amazing. I'm still trying to figure out everything on it but it is coming along nicely. I have to program my MC-3 switch to turn off/ON a few FX for certain songs. Either way, I am very happy to have it for a smaller and lighter setup to carry around that packs a huge wallop to FOH as far as tone goes!

Either way, one unit can back up the other at a gig so all covered!
 

Budda

Power User
You ordered the 3 so stick with that.

Get a good pair of headphones. Volume seems to be your issue, so that will let you blow your ears up without disturbing the whole place.

Thats my two cents, anyway.
 

Mowgli86

Member
Thanks guys.
Buddha I’m now on the list for both, but trying to decide. Suppose I’ll have to take whichever I’m emailed about first! Currently use (I know it’s not a fair comparison) the Boss Waza Headphones which are awesome, but I want some monitors to get manageable levels instead of running the units through my Mesa and 1x12 cab.

The Axe III is gonna be way too much for me I think, certainly not worth twice the money than the FM3 for my needs, and I could use the difference for the powered monitors.......
 

guizmobro

New Member
Regarding headphones, I recommend beyerdynamic. I had the DT770 pro (80 ohm) and just bought myself the dt1990 for Christmas. I’m driving my headphones with an spl phonitor one, which has crossfeed, but that’s more relevant for music than a stereo guitar signal.
 

Budda

Power User
Thanks guys.
Buddha I’m now on the list for both, but trying to decide. Suppose I’ll have to take whichever I’m emailed about first! Currently use (I know it’s not a fair comparison) the Boss Waza Headphones which are awesome, but I want some monitors to get manageable levels instead of running the units through my Mesa and 1x12 cab.

The Axe III is gonna be way too much for me I think, certainly not worth twice the money than the FM3 for my needs, and I could use the difference for the powered monitors.......

Monitors arent quiet. Headphones are quiet.
 

MikeD

Inspired
Just my $.02... the FM3 cannot run the new version of drive blocks and the new version of the pitch block as they are too demanding for the FM3. AX3 is much more versatile for connection options.

If any of those is important to you then I would consider the AX3 as the choice. Also the AX3 would be 'future proof' for any updated and more demanding firmware features. If you want to stay current and run the newest and latest firmware then AX3 is the choice. I'm not trying to rain on your parade but these are things to think about. Again, FM3 wins for cost and portability.

I have both but if I could only have one it would be the AX3 but it really depends on what, and how, you want to use it for now and the near future.
 
Top Bottom