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Axe-Fx II "Ares" Rev 1.00 Firmware Release

BillyZeppa

Power User
Maybe stupid question, but this is new to me.. I have axe fx 2 mk1 quantum 10.01 and naked amps 700 presets, what happend when I put Ares in my axe? Sounds naked amps presets different then... or is it better just keep quantum 10.01.. Is there in Ares something new overdrives/distorsions or effect types? Thanks
I bet a lot of us are wondering the same thing. I am. Hopefully there will be a 'translation' process as per previous FW increments where some consistent minor tweaks will be identified to realign the latest FW to the AustinBuddy standard.. :)
 

SeeD

Power User
Maybe stupid question, but this is new to me.. I have axe fx 2 mk1 quantum 10.01 and naked amps 700 presets, what happend when I put Ares in my axe? Sounds naked amps presets different then... or is it better just keep quantum 10.01.. Is there in Ares something new overdrives/distorsions or effect types? Thanks
Be sure to BackUp all the presets. This way you can give it a go, and if you don't like Ares. You can go back to 10.01
 

Armageddon

Member
Time for me to post here too.
First of all I want to thank Cliff and Fractal Audio for this Firmware. I was sure Q10 would be the last one, but I was wrong.
This is a great gift for us that are still on the Axe 2 (and may stick to it for a while).
Now to the second part of the post...
I think many will flame me, but I did not feel any noticeable improvement after having updated from Q10.01.
I flashed my firmware last weekend and did a rehearsal. The sound was great, but just as usually. My bandmates did not notice anything, even after I explained that was the new firmware partially based on the Axe 3 modelling ...
Is the change so subtle or do I have to buy myself a new pair of ears?
Having followed the progression from Q6 to Q10 I can say there were changes and improvements. But I'm wondering what's in Ares. I was expecting more noticeable changes or more quality.
Maybe I should do an A/B test in the studio...
 

Joseph Lee

New Member
Is the change so subtle or do I have to buy myself a new pair of ears?
Having followed the progression from Q6 to Q10 I can say there were changes and improvements. But I'm wondering what's in Ares. I was expecting more noticeable changes or more quality.
Maybe I should do an A/B test in the studio...
I’ve only spent an hour with the official Ares update...the biggest difference is the much improved clarity and openness of the amp models. That was apparent as soon as I hit a chord.

I loved, loved, loved the last Quantum. Ares Beta was definitely a step up. I found the interaction of certain deep editing features were improved. Better interaction between Speaker Drive and Speaker Compression, for example. Gain was bumped up a bit on a lot of models. That seemed to be the biggest complaint about Ares Beta. I noticed a bit more gain, but I still preferred Ares Beta. Felt better under the fingers.

Ares 1.0 is night and day to both the Beta and Quantum, imho. I thought my Marshall presets lost a bit of gain, but it could be the added clarity and openness that has me thinking I’m hearing less gain. The Marshalls sound punchier and tighter. The low end is clearer and more open. With Ares Beta, the neck pickup on my ES was muddy and tubby, even with the bass on “0”. Figured it was the Alnico 2 magnet swap. With Ares 1.0, I can dial up the bass and the neck pickup rings clear and focused.

Ares 1.0 is a beautiful thing! Call me silly, but I actually shut off my Axe after auditioning the new firmware, just so I could see the new Ares emblem pop up on the display! Was like being a kid on Christmas Day!
 

Singtall

Experienced
I loaded the new firmware and my presets sounded good until I got to the bass guitar presets, and they had way too much gain. Tried three different basses thinking something was wrong with my bass but they all sounded distorted. I had to back down the gain and master output to around 2-3 to get the clip lights to stop flashing. I haven't googled to see if anyone else had that problem.
 

Roland

Experienced
... I think many will flame me, but I did not feel any noticeable improvement after having updated from Q10.01...
This has happened to me with several firmware updates. For a while I wondered whether there was a crowd of fan boys who praised every update regardless. Then there was an update which sounded very different to me, but other people were saying they didn’t hear any difference. I came to the conclusion that we play differently, and listen for different things in the sound. FWIW, I don’t find much difference in the latest release. Maybe a slight improvement in clarity. That view might change when I gig it for the first time on Saturday.
 

Decimator

Inspired
I notice a fuller sound on most presets. Also the feel and response seem better. Everything seems to sit nice in the mix as well. Cliff has me so stoked about getting the new update that I find myself checking here everyday just to see if it dropped yet.

The thing is I already got way more than I ever expected with the current firmware. My fragile little mind can not even fathom how it could be improved even more.
 
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deathbyguitar

Experienced
I loaded the new firmware and my presets sounded good until I got to the bass guitar presets, and they had way too much gain. Tried three different basses thinking something was wrong with my bass but they all sounded distorted. I had to back down the gain and master output to around 2-3 to get the clip lights to stop flashing. I haven't googled to see if anyone else had that problem.
That's a known bug that will addressed in the next firmware version.

Also I remember your YouTube videos from way back when where you and your nephew were reviewing different Rocktron preamps and such. Time flies.
 

Armageddon

Member
I loaded the new firmware and my presets sounded good until I got to the bass guitar presets, and they had way too much gain. Tried three different basses thinking something was wrong with my bass but they all sounded distorted. I had to back down the gain and master output to around 2-3 to get the clip lights to stop flashing. I haven't googled to see if anyone else had that problem.
I have my own bass presets too, but I did not try it since I updated to that firmware. I will try next weekend. If the gain is higher I will notice it for sure.
 

HarrySound

Experienced
Eagerly awaiting the updated version. When that happens I’ll be good forever.
I’m not fussed about cathode flows or anything eles like that. It’s all great.
Would like a few drive models. Like a BD1 but hey...I could just buy one.
 

Rex

Legend!
Ares upgrade, for me, instant gratification.
1) clean and clear touch sensitive dynamics
2) seemingly broader dynamic range
3) "stringyer" sound. More string nuance heard. More complex tone. More guitar identity heard.
4) easier to dial in tone, more playing, less tweeking
THX
Yes to all four.
 

BillyZeppa

Power User
Ares upgrade, for me, instant gratification.
1) clean and clear touch sensitive dynamics
2) seemingly broader dynamic range
3) "stringyer" sound. More string nuance heard. More complex tone. More guitar identity heard.
4) easier to dial in tone, more playing, less tweeking
THX
Cool. Is that at the same equivalent level of gain?
 

lauke-lux

Power User
Time for me to post here too.
First of all I want to thank Cliff and Fractal Audio for this Firmware. I was sure Q10 would be the last one, but I was wrong.
This is a great gift for us that are still on the Axe 2 (and may stick to it for a while).
Now to the second part of the post...
I think many will flame me, but I did not feel any noticeable improvement after having updated from Q10.01.
I flashed my firmware last weekend and did a rehearsal. The sound was great, but just as usually. My bandmates did not notice anything, even after I explained that was the new firmware partially based on the Axe 3 modelling ...
Is the change so subtle or do I have to buy myself a new pair of ears?
Having followed the progression from Q6 to Q10 I can say there were changes and improvements. But I'm wondering what's in Ares. I was expecting more noticeable changes or more quality.
Maybe I should do an A/B test in the studio...
Not so surprising for a unit that already comes close to the real amps, if not better, since FW7 pre Quantum.
As usual....all is in the details ✌!
 
Ares upgrade, for me, instant gratification.
1) clean and clear touch sensitive dynamics
2) seemingly broader dynamic range
3) "stringyer" sound. More string nuance heard. More complex tone. More guitar identity heard.
4) easier to dial in tone, more playing, less tweeking
THX
Related to your second point, the biggest difference I heard after I installed Ares was that the sound was way more consistent as I increased volume on my mixer...almost like there was an automatic adjustment of the Fletcher Munson curve as the volume was cranked. Previously, things would get a bit harsh at higher volume. I know that this is why you should dial in patches at higher level, but I am a basement warrior, so I have set mine for lower volumes. Nice that patches sound good now on occasions when I can crank it!
 

bobmichigan

Inspired
Cool. Is that at the same equivalent level of gain?
. . . well, once a tweaker, always a tweaker. (Im working on that),
but for the most part, I find that I can control quite a range of gain or intensity with the output volume on the guitar along with the tone controls.
 
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