Axe-Fx III Impressions with Matrix GT1000FX


I received a Matrix GT1000FX power amp to use with my AF3 (cab block bypassed) and Mesa Boogie 4x12 cab. All of the amp models I tried have incredible punch and clarity! I had been using the DV Mark Multiamp, and it's a really good lightweight unit with good mid-range that sits well in the mix. But, it sounds very compressed when compared to my AF3. I'm not knocking the Multiamp, but I played it right after jamming on the AF3 and noticed a really big difference.

On the AF3, I used the JP2C model with settings posted on Mesa Boogie forum, and I was surprised at how well the yellow channel sat in the mix. I was thinking that wouldn't be the case because the preamp EQ was set to 4 and the Graphic EQ 750 slider was set at -5.5. It sounded very good with those settings, but I think I will tweak the high end a bit. I'm not if it should be done in the preamp EQ or graphic, so I'll have to see what works. On the red channel, I pushed 750 to -5 and increased the level, preamp gain, and bass just a touch. Sounds amazings. I've never had such a great live sound with these kinds of "mid scooped" EQ settings. I think these Boogies are way different from most amps I've tried. My guess is that the Boogie Mark series have copious mid range and the cutting a bit in the graphic EQ doesn't remove you from the mix.

I tried using the Petrucci factory presets with the band but I found that the low end was not as tight as the JP2C. I didn't try to edit those scenes, because it looked complicated, and I was rehearsing with the band. I didn't care for the high end as much. This is strange to me because the JP2C is a Mark2C+. It must be that the preset was customized to be used with the cab models, which I bypassed because I was using a real cab. Or maybe it wasn't meant to be use in a live setting with a band.

Finally, I tried the Friedman HBE. That's a mean amp! I pushed the mids way up and kept the treble around 4. I'm always afraid to push the highs and lows when I'm playing with a band, but I'm not familiar with these amps. In any case, I think it would actually sound better in a live setting with the highs above 5 and with lower bass settings than I tried. Great amp! I REALLY LOVED it through my studio monitors with the Chris Broderick cab model.

I had some problems getting a good sound through my EV ZLX 12P PA speaker, and not with just the AX3. I can't get good sound from my DV Mark Multiamp direct either (Cab sims were on in both cases). I know these units both sound really good in a recording, so I'm taking a chance and ordering a pair of the 12 inch passive Xitones. I have my fingers crossed, as these cabs have have been getting great feedback from most of you. I really hope this works, because there's no way I'm hauling that heavy Boogie cab to any gigs. I still have a pair of DV Mark lightweight 4x12 cabs that will do the job, but I'd love to use the Xitones if they sound great.

Finally, my bass player owns and Bogner Uberschall, and he wanted to hear what it would sound like on the AF3. So I pulled up the Euro Blue with stock EQ settings. I hit a few chords (really punchy!), "Yes, that sounds like my amp."

The only other issue will be where to place the AF3 when I'm not using a traditional cab anymore!
The Axe & Matrix are a killer combo with a real cab. Mark series amps, as you have seemingly discovered, are indeed very different beasts as the bass/mid/treble controls are pre-gain. This means the 3 band EQ shapes the feel of the distortion while the graphic EQ, being post gain, is used to shape the tone.

Keep in mind that running an FRFR is going to be a very different experience to using a guitar cab. There are a lot of tips on the forum for getting your FRFR to react more like a traditional cab if you search for them.

@yek put together a very comprehensive guide to all the amp models (including suggested settings and cabs) that is well worth exploring if you're unfamiliar with some of the amp models.

I've also got a series of Youtube vids called 5 Minute Tones where I dial in different amps and effects as quickly and as as straightforward as possible.

Leon, your videos are enormously helpful. You are an excellent guitarist and clear communicator. I have used some modeling amps, but nothing with all of the options of the AX3. I always loved the sound of the axe fx units, but I didn't think I'd be able to dial in a good tone because the AX3 has so many options. I spent a few weeks watching your videos trying to learn. I would not have bought the unit if your videos were unavailable. Those 5 min tone videos are great, and they convinced me that I really could get some great tones without having to do all of the deep editing if I didn't want to. So thank you! And Ragdoll rocks \m/.
I just pulled the trigger on;

Axe fx3
EV-1 expression/volume pedal

Matrix gt1000fx 2u
Matrix fr212
Furman power conditioner

Pretty massive purchase for me. Once in a lifetime splurge. Pretty excited.

This forum has been helpful along the way, thanks! Also really enjoying the YouTube channel Leon, great work. 👍

58C38603-84EE-4658-A50A-30A7E1686629.jpegWaiting... staring into space... at what’s to come 🤤
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