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Axe-Fx 3 preamp vs Synergy amp quality question


Just curious for player Have tried both
Do you think axefx3 Can par the feel and quality of synergy amp module ? Or even Better , Im on the edge to decide to sell the synergy amp with the axefx3

Ps : I feel synergy amp way Better than kemper Amps in the term of dynamic


The short answer is yes. I sold my SYN2 and 4 modules about six weeks before buying an Axe-FX III. I really liked the Synergy stuff, to the point where I was ready for it to replace my Randall 667, but I couldn't cover the ground I needed with two slots. I was probably going to need a second SYN2 and maybe flip a few more modules. I was open to that despite the additional cost and effort of flipping more modules, but Synergy seem to have some ongoing problems getting new products out the door, and even filling back orders for existing products. I got tired of waiting.

I'm really particular about pick attack with single notes. I like a crisp, immediate pick attack, and I've been able to dial in a lead tone with the Axe III that's as good as or better than what I get with my Randall 667, and better than a lot of tube amps I owned on the way to the 667. Dynamics as well. Dirty tones clean up with my guitar volume, responds to picking intensity, etc.

I may decide I don't even need my 667 any more, but I need to get a few gigs under my belt with the Axe III before making that decision.

Hope that helps.


A friend of mine is heavily stocked with Synergy and for me, I can't help but feel that the lack of power amp behavior is a real soft spot for the modular setup. A lot of these amps are very heavily influenced by the behavior of their power section. With the Synergy you either run a tube amp and everything takes on that color, or you run a neutral amp and basically have no power amp coloration of any sort. (Compromise: use an IR shot through a non-neutral power amp and run the Synergy into a Mooer or Torpedo or something.)

The Axe-Fx, on the other hand, has the ability to do proper power amp simulation and integrate that into the output. For that reason, I think it's a superior result for both tone and feel.


Power User
As @Promit pointed out, the Synergy stuff is kind of a compromise over actual amps. And Axe-Fx III captures the feel and quality of real amps bang on IMHO, so...


Fractal Fanatic
I would expect many of the synergy preamps to be inferior to their AxeFx counterparts. They are replicating preamps that often have 3+ preamp tubes and multiple channels with cramped 2 tube PCB ckt.

Some may sound good since many are done in partnership with OEMs etc but the physical limitations are hardwired into the system.

The Axe has no limits in what it can do in the digital domain and preamp tone and feel has been nailed for a long time now. IMHO. I came to Fractal from tube preamp rack rigs and it was an awesome choice.


Ok I get it, from the term of technology axefx3 is beyond anything and from my experience using axefx2 Kemper ax8 Synergy has something that I can’t get from all that maybe because the synergy is more to analog approach , or maybe the hate of learning curve thing . I will give a try to axef3 before I sell the synergy , thx for your sharing guys


I guess I don't necessarily see the Synergy stuff as inferior. I got great tones out of every module I tried, even the ones that weren't really the tones I was looking for. The modules seem to be voiced with the decoupled power amp in mind, and they responded like a tube amp. I think a lot of it depends on whether a guy is wanting to mimic the sound of a specific amp, or just looking for a canvas upon which to create great tones. For the latter, the Synergy stuff is as good as any tube amp that I've ever owned.

That said, I don't find anything lacking with the Axe-FX III in terms of tone or feel, at all. Plus, I've gotten amps and cabinets to choose from beyond what I ever could have gotten with Synergy, and drive pedals, effects, etc. I don't know if I'm quite ready to say that tubes don't matter, but as a 49 year old guitar player who's been playing tube amps (that included Synergy) for 30+ years and who still has all of his hearing, I'm finding myself quite happy with the Axe III.


Honestly, I think Synergy is a desperate attempt to save the tube amp industry, which is why all of these tube amp makers have come together to make one product. I can guarantee that a $400 VH-4 Module doesn't sound nearly as good as a $4,400 VH-4. That's just the reality of the methodology of tube amps and analog technology. It's kind of bittersweet because everyone loves tube amps. Fractal wouldnt exist without them. But they are holding on to a technology that we are watching and experiencing become inferior with every firmware release. Amp modeling is the evolution of tube amps. It's the next species. Fractal is using a lighter while Synergy is rubbing sticks together. It just is what it is.
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