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Axe-Fx 3, FM3, and some advice

randyman

Inspired
Like many others on this forum, I’ve spent decades buying instruments and gear. And over the years, when making the choice between spending more and getting the best I can afford, and spending less and settling for less “in the short term,” I’ve found two things to be inarguably true:

• You will never regret the extra you spend to get the best you possibly could. Never.

• You will always regret not spending a little extra, and settling for less than you really wanted. It will haunt you every time you play the guitar you settled for, instead of the one your heart heard calling.

I know that this doesn’t map directly to your question, and many people are perfectly happy with the FM3. Still, a lot of those people also wind up with Axe-FX IIIs. Consider how you’ll feel if you find yourself running into the limits of the FM3 … and be proactive.

(Ultimately, though … you can’t go wrong.)
 

Joe Bfstplk

Fractal Fanatic
• It will haunt you every time you play the guitar you settled for, instead of the one your heart heard calling.
I can personally vouch for this, and it is an expensive lesson when it's a Ricky 360/12 you settled for when you really wanted a 620/12 or 660/12....
 

waylander69

Inspired
Hi
I got my fm3 3 months ago and loving it.
I play mine through a matrix 800 power and matrix 212 cab , which I used with my axe fx2 mark 2 , btw hasn't been played since i got the fm3.
I think that if your not recording in a studio enviroment then small speakers can't push the air and you miss out on the feel, especially when thinking about frfr systems. The fm3 is ideal for me because I work away from home for 2 or 3 weeks at a time and then I use headphones but when at home I use the amp cab system which definitely give that little bit more.
One problem of the axe fx 3 route would be the need for a pedal controller, I found this when I bought fxii , cant live without ease of preset / scene switching , fact .
I know I dont need an fxiii but I can see me upgrading one day in the future , more likely when I retire or the fx4 is released ;)
Cheers
G \../
 

Mowgli86

Member
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.
Very good point. Future proofing is definitely important as I build my studio. I can always add a floor controller if I need to use the looper etc in the rack unit. Buy cheap, buy twice.......
 

Mowgli86

Member
Like many others on this forum, I’ve spent decades buying instruments and gear. And over the years, when making the choice between spending more and getting the best I can afford, and spending less and settling for less “in the short term,” I’ve found two things to be inarguably true:

• You will never regret the extra you spend to get the best you possibly could. Never.

• You will always regret not spending a little extra, and settling for less than you really wanted. It will haunt you every time you play the guitar you settled for, instead of the one your heart heard calling.

I know that this doesn’t map directly to your question, and many people are perfectly happy with the FM3. Still, a lot of those people also wind up with Axe-FX IIIs. Consider how you’ll feel if you find yourself running into the limits of the FM3 … and be proactive.

(Ultimately, though … you can’t go wrong.)
No that’s still really relevant, and the same reason I thought a Mexican strat would be ok, then went and swapped it for an Xotic after a week......
 

Budda

Power User
Well they’ll be quieter than my cranked tube amp and cab.

And that may be what puts you off though. The iii or fm3 will sound like a cranked amp at tv volume. But if you dont start enjoying your current rig until your phone vibrates on your desk, then said tv volume may feel like driving a luxury car at 40km/hr and wondering why it doesnt feel like driving a '91 camry at 90km/hr. The luxury car is better in every way, but going slow isnt exhilarating.

I run my iii into 4" monitors at low volumes and I enjoy it a lot. It is decidedly more fun at higher volumes though lol.
 

Mowgli86

Member
And that may be what puts you off though. The iii or fm3 will sound like a cranked amp at tv volume. But if you dont start enjoying your current rig until your phone vibrates on your desk, then said tv volume may feel like driving a luxury car at 40km/hr and wondering why it doesnt feel like driving a '91 camry at 90km/hr. The luxury car is better in every way, but going slow isnt exhilarating.

I run my iii into 4" monitors at low volumes and I enjoy it a lot. It is decidedly more fun at higher volumes though lol.
I feel you Budda, and for that reason I’ll never sell my Boogie. But for daily use I need something more useable and better at non hospitalising volumes. Plus I’m fed up of using headphones as the only alternative
 

Mowgli86

Member
Some seriously useful info cheers all. I’ll stick with the Axe Fx iii, maybe an FC6 one day, and the Adam A7X monitors. I’ll run it straight into those, and hope my 11 year old MacBook can keep up with Axe Edit ! If not it’ll be a laptop in addition to the rest......

This is why I started this journey, instead of another amp and Waza Tube amp expander, I can make a studio with endless top quality tonal options
 

Mowgli86

Member
Hi again all.
Any recommendations for some good quality headphones to use with my fractal ??
playing mostly high gain tones, and don’t know if I should have open back, closed back etc ? Never owned a pair purely for music / playing guitar.
Had the Beyerdynamic DT1770 and 1990 recommended so far.......

cheers in advance
 

is9582

Power User
@Mowgli86 A quick computer related note. I too have an old MBP, but decided to pick up one of the new Mac Mini M1 units. It sits above my AxeFX3. This thing is crazy fast and affordable. I went with the 8GB of RAM unit and bumped the SSD to 512GB.

Oh, I too have the Adam A7x monitors and I love them. I’m retired and not gigging nor recording for anything but fun, and have some Bose headphones. They certainly aren’t flat or reference, but still prove enjoyable for these older ears! 😏

Best of luck on your Fractal acquisitions! Lee
 

Budda

Power User
Hi again all.
Any recommendations for some good quality headphones to use with my fractal ??
playing mostly high gain tones, and don’t know if I should have open back, closed back etc ? Never owned a pair purely for music / playing guitar.
Had the Beyerdynamic DT1770 and 1990 recommended so far.......

cheers in advance

The ones you listed are great for mixing, but I'd look at regular casual listening headphones (not designed for studio use) unless you plan to record and mix your own stuff. Closed-back will give you more thump, which you'll probably want at lower volumes ("why do my palm mutes sound weak???")

Whatever the standard cans for listening to an ipod or discman (yeah i said it) will be fine.
 

Mowgli86

Member
@Mowgli86 A quick computer related note. I too have an old MBP, but decided to pick up one of the new Mac Mini M1 units. It sits above my AxeFX3. This thing is crazy fast and affordable. I went with the 8GB of RAM unit and bumped the SSD to 512GB.

Oh, I too have the Adam A7x monitors and I love them. I’m retired and not gigging nor recording for anything but fun, and have some Bose headphones. They certainly aren’t flat or reference, but still prove enjoyable for these older ears! 😏

Best of luck on your Fractal acquisitions! Lee
Mega helpful cheers Lee !
 

Mowgli86

Member
The ones you listed are great for mixing, but I'd look at regular casual listening headphones (not designed for studio use) unless you plan to record and mix your own stuff. Closed-back will give you more thump, which you'll probably want at lower volumes ("why do my palm mutes sound weak???")

Whatever the standard cans for listening to an ipod or discman (yeah i said it) will be fine.
Haha thanks Budda. Problem at the moment is I can’t try any out in stores etc, and the Bose I have are wireless......
Thump is what I’m after 👌🏾
 

Budda

Power User
Haha thanks Budda. Problem at the moment is I can’t try any out in stores etc, and the Bose I have are wireless......
Thump is what I’m after 👌🏾

Return policy is your new best friend haha. I'd say most $80 cans should be fine.
 

touch33

Inspired
“free returns” not, but the Audix 150 studio phones are a pair you won’t want to return. Closed-back for thump with balance, über comfortable.
 
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