• 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, HS8 Studio Monitors and a Sonic Epiphany

shorerider

New Member
I normally do not post in forums, but my recent experience I believe warrants it. I am writing this post for anyone who is chasing the "tubes in the room" tone and feels slightly underwhelmed by the sonic experience of playing through cheap or small studio monitors, or headphones, thinking it may be instead the due to the sound quality of the Axe. Well, I have just learned it is most definitely NOT!

I have been an Axe FX 3 user since last fall, previously coming from a Line 6 Helix. For the past 10 years I have used modellers exclusively due to living constraints and have always used a pair of M-Audio BX5 5-inch studio monitors for sound. I've always thought them to be more than serviceable monitors. Well, lately I've been hanging out at music stores playing through tube amps again, and even though I found the AXE to be great as a modeller, playing through a 2x12 tube amp was producing a lot of agony and want. I figured the only way to cure the grief was to sell the AXE and go back to playing an amp again. I settled on a Mesa Lonestar Special, but during my last trip to the music store I decided to take a look at studio monitors. The salesman sold me on trying a pair of Yamaha HS8 monitors, and if it didn't work out for me I could easily return them. I figured it's worth a shot before I plunk $2500 on a new amp and have to sell the Axe.

When I got home and A/B 'd the HS8s and BX5s at a very low volume I thought, OK, there is a somewhat noticeable difference in sonic quality. But when I turned up the volume a bit, I was slapped dizzy. I had no idea how incredible this unit could sound. The low end thump and highs that were previously missing from the BX5s. Wow. I felt like I was in a trance for about 3 hours. I can safely say I have no interest in buying a tube amp! If you are on the fence about the sound coming out of your unit and are wanting the "amp in the room" sound, do yourself a favour and spend the extra money on a nice pair of larger monitors. I can only say that hearing is believing.

It must be a combination of the larger drivers capturing both low and high end frequencies that were missing from the BX5s. Has anyone else had a similar experience? I've been playing for 30 years and I can't remember having such a sonic revelatory experience as last evening. I even burned dinner leaving it in the oven! My family was not impressed.
 
Last edited:

bradlake

Axe-Master
Yup, this is one of the Commandments of Fractal...spend as much as you can on monitors....the FAS guys know this, and when I got to play and hear the FM3 and AxeFX III thru a pair of 4000$(EACH) Meyer wedges at AxeFest last month, I had an ECliffany™ similar to yours...and I have big monitors (CLR and XItone)...everything’s relative.....
 

GBM

Member
I normally do not post in forums, but my recent experience I believe warrants it. I am writing this post for anyone who is chasing the "tubes in the room" tone and feels slightly underwhelmed by the sonic experience of playing through cheap or small studio monitors, or headphones, thinking it may be instead the due to the sound quality of the Axe. Well, I have just learned it is most definitely NOT!

I have been an Axe FX 3 user since last fall, previously coming from a Line 6 Helix. For the past 10 years I have used modellers exclusively due to living constraints and have always used a pair of M-Audio BX5 5-inch studio monitors for sound. I've always thought them to be more than serviceable monitors. Well, lately I've been hanging out at music stores playing through tube amps again, and even though I found the AXE to be great as a modeller, playing through a 2x12 tube amp was producing a lot of agony and want. I figured the only way to cure the grief was to sell the AXE and go back to playing an amp again. I settled on a Mesa Lonestar Special, but during my last trip to the music store I decided to take a look at studio monitors. The salesman sold me on trying a pair of Yamaha HS8 monitors, and if it didn't work out for me I could easily return them. I figured it's worth a shot before I plunk $2500 on a new amp and have to sell the Axe.

When I got home and A/B 'd the HS8s and BX5s at a very low volume I thought, OK, there is a somewhat noticeable difference in sonic quality. But when I turned up the volume a bit, I was slapped dizzy. I had no idea how incredible this unit could sound. The low end thump and highs that were previously missing from the BX5s. Wow. I felt like I was in a trance for about 3 hours. I can safely say I have no interest in buying a tube amp! If you are on the fence about the sound coming out of your unit and are wanting the "amp in the room" sound, do yourself a favour and spend the extra money on a nice pair of larger monitors. I can only say that hearing is believing.

It must be a combination of the larger drivers capturing both low and high end frequencies that were missing from the BX5s. Has anyone else had a similar experience? I've been playing for 30 years and I can't remember having such a sonic revelatory experience as last evening. I even burned dinner leaving it in the oven! My family was not impressed.


"slapped dizzy" just made my day!!!!
 

Techboy57

Inspired
Good monitors are critical in making your Axe Fx translate properly to a "well-tuned" P A. I play with IEM's live and it sounds the same as when I dial my sounds in at home. To be able to get a realistic level, set your monitors to at least 94 db SPL C weighted at home. A few months ago I purchased a pair of EVE Audio SC207 Monitors and what a difference it has made in my sounds. Cheap monitors equal a cheap sound.
 

MojoBodies

Member
OP, just curios, have you ever played the Axe Fx III through a guitar cab? 2 x 12 or 4 x 12? When I got mine a couple weeks ago that was one of my requirements to see if I could get that amp in the room with it. I have a few tube amps and 2x12 cab plus I have a tube works Mosfet amp. I hooked the axe Fx III to the Mosfet Amp hooked up to my G-Flex 2x12 and with a little tweaking after turning the Cab sim off bam there it is. Just like playing through a tube amp. Now I want 4x12, go big or go home... LOL
 

shorerider

New Member
Good monitors are critical in making your Axe Fx translate properly to a "well-tuned" P A. I play with IEM's live and it sounds the same as when I dial my sounds in at home. To be able to get a realistic level, set your monitors to at least 94 db SPL C weighted at home. A few months ago I purchased a pair of EVE Audio SC207 Monitors and what a difference it has made in my sounds. Cheap monitors equal a cheap sound.
OK thanks for the tip I'll figure out how to do that once I get my hands off the guitar, although it's hard to imagine the sound getting any more realistic. It is still a head-shaking experience. That Duo Verb preset, with pushing the input gain to about 11 o'clock and the input trim to about 1230-1 (just before it start to get overloaded and flubby) --- My goodness, it's just incredible. That edge of breakup tone with the tube "thump" I've always missed from modellers - I never thought a modeller could be capable of sounding like this.
 

shorerider

New Member
OP, just curios, have you ever played the Axe Fx III through a guitar cab? 2 x 12 or 4 x 12? When I got mine a couple weeks ago that was one of my requirements to see if I could get that amp in the room with it. I have a few tube amps and 2x12 cab plus I have a tube works Mosfet amp. I hooked the axe Fx III to the Mosfet Amp hooked up to my G-Flex 2x12 and with a little tweaking after turning the Cab sim off bam there it is. Just like playing through a tube amp. Now I want 4x12, go big or go home... LOL
No, but now you have me wondering - did you make the jump from monitors to a cab? That was another option I was considering before I purchased the HS8s. Again, its just hard to imagine it getting anymore realistic - the sound coming through the speakers has not left me wanting in the least. I have an Eric Johnson strat dialed into the Duo Verb preset with the input gain and input trim juiced a bit and it is sonic heaven.
 
Ha, the timing of this is fantastic. Just hooked my HS8s up for the first time since I got the Axe 3 and should get to use them tonight. Very excited.
 

GotMetalBoy

Power User
@shorerider Did you have the M-Audio BX5 Gen 1 or Gen 2 ?

I have a pair of M-Audio BX8 Gen 1 and recently got a pair of Adam Audio T7V and they sound so much better than my M-Audio BX8 Gen 1. I almost bought a pair of Yamaha HS8 instead of the Adam Audio T7V but they weren't on sale.


Has anyone compared the Adam Audio T7V and Yamaha HS8 ?
 
Last edited:

MojoBodies

Member
No, but now you have me wondering - did you make the jump from monitors to a cab? That was another option I was considering before I purchased the HS8s. Again, its just hard to imagine it getting anymore realistic - the sound coming through the speakers has not left me wanting in the least. I have an Eric Johnson strat dialed into the Duo Verb preset with the input gain and input trim juiced a bit and it is sonic heaven.
Not exactly... I'm new to Axe Fx III. I wanted to recreate that tube amp to a guitar cab when I bought it... That was main test to see if I was going to send it back or keep it. I listened to a lot of YouTube clips and it sounded awesome but I wanted to know if it could re-create the tube amp sound in a traditional guitar rig set-up. I just got a pair of Electro-Voice ZLX-12P monitors to test out too. So I will see how that goes.
 

Deasnutz

Member
I did hs8’s when I bought my axe 3 also. I prefer them to playing through my Mark V power amp/1x12cab, at least now. Finding the right IR combo was crucial. I’ll have to upload my Petrucci preset with the Recto added, it crushes for rhythm.

Anyone tried the Hs8s subwoofer? Curious if it would provide any benefit or realism.
 

shorerider

New Member
I did hs8’s when I bought my axe 3 also. I prefer them to playing through my Mark V power amp/1x12cab, at least now. Finding the right IR combo was crucial. I’ll have to upload my Petrucci preset with the Recto added, it crushes for rhythm.

Anyone tried the Hs8s subwoofer? Curious if it would provide any benefit or realism.
Mind sharing what IR's have worked well for you?
 

shorerider

New Member
@shorerider Did you have the M-Audio BX5 Gen 1 or Gen 2 ?

I have a pair of M-Audio BX8 Gen 1 and recently got a pair of Adam Audio T7V and they sound so much better than my M-Audio BX8 Gen 1. I almost bought a pair of Yamaha HS8 instead of the Adam Audio T7V but they weren't on sale.


Has anyone compared the Adam Audio T7V and Yamaha HS8 ?
I had the Gen 1 (bought in 2008-9). It has no acoustic spacing switch on the back. I have heard the Adam stuff is great, but considering I just bought a guitar the budget was already blown with the HS8. Did you compare to any other monitors before buying?
 

shorerider

New Member
What would be a noticeable upgrade from Yamaha HS monitors?
I have read that the Presonus Sceptre S8 competes with the very best monitors out there. "3-D" is the word I have seen to describe the sonic experience. Would love to have tried them, but out of my price range at the moment.
 

GotMetalBoy

Power User
I had the Gen 1 (bought in 2008-9). It has no acoustic spacing switch on the back. I have heard the Adam stuff is great, but considering I just bought a guitar the budget was already blown with the HS8. Did you compare to any other monitors before buying?
I wasn't able to compare monitors because there's no music stores in my area that have any in stock. I bought my pair of Adam Audio T7V new on sale for around $400. A pair of HS8 would have been $700. I also have an old KRK Rokit 10s subwoofer that I use with my monitors.

I found this video that compares the Yamaha HS7 to the Adam Audio T7V:

 

Rex

Legend!
Yes. Good monitors make a real difference. And there's no such thing as thump without volume. :)
 
Top Bottom