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Axe FX III + FC6 Impressions

Jarick

Inspired
Wanted to give some thoughts from my first week with this beast...

First off, thanks to @merlyn4life for the great transaction; I purchased his Axe 3 + FC12 from Canada and it arrived very quickly and in great shape!

Quick background, I owned and sold the AX8 twice. Played around with other modelers such as Helix and Kemper and toyed with going tube amp + pedals. But I'm a home-only hobbyist and like to play at low volumes, so ultimately digital makes the most sense. I was on the FM3 wait list but decided to take the plunge and go with the big unit for future-proofing, more power, more switches, etc.

Coming from the AX8, the Axe 3 is largely familiar. The blocks and placement are more or less the same and the tones are generally in the same ballpark. But there's so many available it's crazy! You feel like a kid in a candy store with all the drive and delay and other blocks that can be used simultaneously. I'm generally a KISS guy so usually only have an amp, cab, and a few effects running. And I've not really cross the 50% CPU usage yet.

I will say there is the sensation that the amp tones are a little cleaner and brighter, almost like there's more fidelity and bandwidth. I'm finding that amps, in general, seem to be a little quicker and easier to dial in and to explore compared to the AX8. The new "authentic" view in Axe Edit helps quite a bit to only show the original amp knobs and switches.

Another improvement I've noticed early is the cab block. The new cab mixer with four different slots is really great. I can very easily dial in tones by selecting a factory cab and mixing a dynamic and ribbon to taste, then adjusting the high/low filters. It's much more intuitive than going through a selection of pre-mixed impulses that lack context. Historically I've gone down the IR rabbit hole terribly and have 100,000+ files on my computer, but I've barely loaded any yet because there's so many good options already on the device.

Last thing I'll touch on in this first post is the FC controller. It's really rugged and well-built and easy to program. I likely won't scratch the surface too deep in terms of using the switches but for scenes, effect toggling, and tap/tuning it's great. I do think I'd feel like 3 switches would be very limiting. 6 switches is a nice amount. 12 felt like overkill for me. I could see some kind of FM8 being a sweet spot for a lot of people.

I'm still working to build out my core patches for humbuckers and for single coils. I'd like that to cover most of the ground and be fairly simple. I'll probably check out the Austin Buddy patches and am interested in the Cooper Carter class as well.
 

lqdsnddist

Axe-Master
Remember you can add up to 4 external switches to the FC’s, so you can’t do things like have a colored ring, but you can have external switches do stuff like bank select, tuner, tap tempo etc, which frees up the internal switches for other stuff.

Isn’t quite a Fc7-10 bit does more than “just” 6 switches alone
 

Joe Bfstplk

Veteran
I am using FC12 plus 3 pedals and 2 stand-ins, so an "FC14" for now, with 2 more switches and a knob on the way. This gives me room on the FC itself for [tap-tempo||reveal-hold], two bank-program selects layered [1||3] and [2||4] on the left end, and scene [+1||goto 1] and [-1||---] on the other as my MAIN layout, and 7 other switches to do whatever with per preset. I rarely have to use my PEDALS layout. I guess I could get by switching layouts after selecting a preset if I had an FC6, but I don't need to....

BTW, I snagged @merlyn4life 's EV-2 pedals. Thanks again, boss!
 

lqdsnddist

Axe-Master
Remember with the layout link feature you can have the FC automatically switch to a layout when you select a preset. I have mine so go automatically to my scenes layout with the preset selection so I don’t have to switch back. It’s a pretty handy feature
 

Joe Bfstplk

Veteran
Remember with the layout link feature you can have the FC automatically switch to a layout when you select a preset. I have mine so go automatically to my scenes layout with the preset selection so I don’t have to switch back. It’s a pretty handy feature
That does sound useful, especially for the FC6. If you put scene +1 and -1 on stand-in switches, you could get the FC6 to cover almost what my MAIN FC12 layout does, which has proven to be more than adequate for my per-song presets. My kitchen-sink "jam mode" and "amp demo" mode presets still have enough buttons to need the FC12, though, but maybe I am spoiled, and don't just smell that way.... :D
 
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MortenVedel

New here
Remember with the layout link feature you can have the FC automatically switch to a layout when you select a preset. I have mine so go automatically to my scenes layout with the preset selection so I don’t have to switch back. It’s a pretty handy feature
How do you do that? I`ll tap once for preset-select, and then hold for layout (scenes) - so your suggestion would spare me for one “hold”
Mortenvedel
 

Joe Bfstplk

Veteran
@lqdsnddist - is that what this is about:


So I could add a Tap Layout 4 as shown in the pic on each of the four Preset-in-bank switches residing in slots 7 - 10, and it would automagically jump to Layout 4 in addition to changing the program?
 

Joe Bfstplk

Veteran
Just totally re-did my alternate pair of layouts, moved my primary pair out to 5 & 6 for storage, and made the alternates my new primary.

This is awesome!

Now that I am rearranging things, though, the labeling on what was my Layout/Bank stand-in switch is out of date and a little odd.

So it's"Littler-bank" and "Bigger-bank" now o_O with "Reveal Hold" and "Tuner" under them on Hold functions.
 

Jarick

Inspired
If anyone’s interested I loaded up my first preset, the “Dirty Thirty” which is a combination of the Dirty Shirley and AC30 amps. Covers most bases I think. I’ll be working on more and loading them up, let me know if you like them!
 
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