• 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 III vs. vintage 80s Rack

Blix

Inspired
Hi- Any idea if the Mitigator uses a rechargeable battery inside, or single use battery?
Mine lost all its presets, and there is a battery inside 3.6v lithium I want to replace,\but not sure if I need a
rechargeable one?
It doesn't say much on it
Always use single-use batteries.
 

bread

Experienced
The new multi tap delays are superb. I wish there was a TERC block but to be honest I get just about everything I need for my 80s band from a dual delay and 2 multi tap blocks.
 
My 1994-1998 Disney rig was this little box and a ADA MP1 w/a Quadraverb.

Ancient Cab Sim....LOL
 

Attachments

  • 20211023_161812.jpg
    20211023_161812.jpg
    1.6 MB · Views: 39
Last edited:

Dr. Faustus

Inspired
I never had money to accumulate much gear back in the day. I had to sell stuff any time I wanted to upgrade. I got every penny out of the few devices I used until they succumbed to various failures that I cannot source parts for. Super-easy way to get going was an MP-1 and the Peavey Classic 50/50 stereo tube amp which started the damn rack off at something like 30 lbs. by itself.
I felt like I could fake just about any tone with this rig. I kept the same effects and put the them in the loops of a pair of Peavey Classic 50 combo amps (1 1x15', 1 4x10") and that became "my" sound after I learned how good a Classic 50 combo sounded with a TS9 in front of it.
Those little guys ought to be in the Axe, but I've got mine stashed safely away. I labored for hours at a time dialing in preset names and organizing the different patches, getting everything to play together well over MIDI. I was so proud of it when it was in shape. I also did so much damage to my car moving this thing around. Bit off more than I could chew, weight-wise. I managed it, but it wasn't pretty.
 

Attachments

  • ADApics1.jpg
    ADApics1.jpg
    1.5 MB · Views: 37

Joe Bfstplk

Axe-Master
I kept the same effects and put the them in the loops of a pair of Peavey Classic 50 combo amps (1 1x15', 1 4x10") and that became "my" sound after I learned how good a Classic 50 combo sounded with a TS9 in front of it.

I had the Tube FEX in my rack with a Quadraverb 2 and a slaved Knight KM15 tube hi-fi monoblock on a homebrew reactive dummy load 20-ish years ago. Its mid-gain and clean channels were lifted out of the Classic 50 combos. Great sounding unit, that, especially through the KM15....

Those little guys ought to be in the Axe, but I've got mine stashed safely away.

I second this. They were great-sounding amps for the $$$ and punched far above their weight....
 

artzeal

Experienced
If you really want 80's type rack sound from the Axe FX3, degrade the signal quality until it sounds right. Its important to degrade the signal quality of the signal in appropriate ways to sound authentic. Add in noise (pink or white) and hum appropriate to the number of effects in use, so you have a noise floor about 15db to 20db below the output level. You probably also want to make regular use of reducing bit depth and slew rate where possible in blocks that have that as an advanced parameter. Use filters to compromise frequency range and LFO for some modulation wobble. I don't miss the 80's era rack stuff any more than I miss recording to cassete tape or ADAT, or the horrific sounding PAs of the era. 90's era rack gear was much more useable, but still, way too much time tweaking and programming instead of playing guitar. The sublime tones from distorting tubes and saturating transformers and tape, or the harmonic richness from the inherent instability of vintage components in a Moog or some other synths aren't salient features of most rack gear, thus there's not many that offer anything that the high fidelity of today's tech can't emulate or accomplish much better.
 

stm113

Power User
I had that gear in the 80's and 90's, including Eventides, Egnater M4 modular rack preamp, Tri-Axis, JMP-1, Art SGX2000... tons of shit.

I replaced everything with the Axe-FX Standard back in 2006

View attachment 90315
View attachment 90317
View attachment 90316
My rig right before getting the axe fx Ii in late 2011 was the Randall MTS preamp and the Boss GT-Pro. I sold the Randall. I still have the Boss. It’s really a cool unit, I wonder if I could convince anyone to buy that since I am getting out of the rack game all together.
 
If you really want 80's type rack sound from the Axe FX3, degrade the signal quality until it sounds right. Its important to degrade the signal quality of the signal in appropriate ways to sound authentic. Add in noise (pink or white) and hum appropriate to the number of effects in use, so you have a noise floor about 15db to 20db below the output level. You probably also want to make regular use of reducing bit depth and slew rate where possible in blocks that have that as an advanced parameter. Use filters to compromise frequency range and LFO for some modulation wobble. I don't miss the 80's era rack stuff any more than I miss recording to cassete tape or ADAT, or the horrific sounding PAs of the era. 90's era rack gear was much more useable, but still, way too much time tweaking and programming instead of playing guitar. The sublime tones from distorting tubes and saturating transformers and tape, or the harmonic richness from the inherent instability of vintage components in a Moog or some other synths aren't salient features of most rack gear, thus there's not many that offer anything that the high fidelity of today's tech can't emulate or accomplish much better.
You forgot loose, wiggly cable jacks on the back of the rack units.
 

guitarnerdswe

Fractal Fanatic
Here's my rack from ~89/90. It grew a bit after (don't have a photo of final version). The last version added Nady 650, Second Quadraverb, Rane SM26, Alesis 3630, and the ADA amp died/was replaced with a 2 space Rocktron Velocity 300.

The signal chain went something like Nady > Bradshaw > Kasha Rockmod II > Hush Loop > Mono Loop out to Rane > Quadraverb (x2) , IPS-33B > Rane Stereo out > Bradshaw Stereo In, Bradshaw stereo out to BBE > BBE > Velocity 300 > DL Monsuen 4x12 wired as 2x12 stereo with G12T-75. The Alesis was in a mono loop for clean sounds. The dual Quadraverb set up was done so I could change patches and have delay/reverb tails. The Bradshaw provided analog channel switching for the Kasha as well as midi for the Quadraverbs and IPS-33B. Occasionally I'd throw a Crybaby in between the 650 and the first Bradshaw input.

The weight of the rack got to a point where I split the power amp off to it's own 4 space so I wasn't killing my back trying to lift it in/out of a hatchback.

Never quite got the clean sound I wanted (Rocco's 80s clean patch nails it), but the dirty/lead sound was great.


View attachment 90431
Man, that takes me back to when I had Neal Schons old 3+ preamp, a VHT Classic, and a Rocktron RSB12. I remember the switches on the foot controller being the loudest I'd ever heard.
 

artzeal

Experienced
You forgot loose, wiggly cable jacks on the back of the rack units.
And all that unbalanced RCA cabling. And phono preamps. There was a lot less EMI back then though. Some of the rack gear from the mid and late 90's on is worth playing or having though: and I am referring to guitar centric gear: Lots of cool pro audio recording gear in every era.
 

DBraz

Member
This was my last rack setup before I moved onto the Ultra and very quickly after that the AXE FX 2. All of the weight was a right pain. I'm glad to have reduced it to something more manageable for live use. At home and for recording nothing touches the AXE FX 3 direct in my opinion.

These days I have the Axe FX 3 with an LXii, all in a 4 rack bag, with some Scumback loaded Bogner cabs and I couldnt be happier.
 

Attachments

  • Rack setup.JPG
    Rack setup.JPG
    851.4 KB · Views: 36

Rick

Fractal Fanatic
At one point I was using a Soldano X-99 and a 4 space Soldano power amp, all in that beautiful purple. The sound was as impressive as the look. I wouldn’t want to lug all of that around today, but admit I wish I’d kept them both. It‘s very rare to see either, especially the power amp, but you never see them together.

I’ve consoled myself with an Axe Fx III Turbo, so I’ll survive. :)
 

Admin M@

Administrator
Fractal Audio Systems
Moderator
I only found one photo of my old rackmount rig, and it's definitely not as fun as these others.
 

Attachments

  • E7F3F4A0-6E28-4BE5-BCC3-D91F94BF35A3_1_105_c.jpeg
    E7F3F4A0-6E28-4BE5-BCC3-D91F94BF35A3_1_105_c.jpeg
    168.6 KB · Views: 43

Admin M@

Administrator
Fractal Audio Systems
Moderator
Correction, here's one more photo of that particular gig rig -- Zentera based with an Axon 13-pin component too. I think this is 2003.
 

Attachments

  • Monosnap - 211111 15-17-01.png
    Monosnap - 211111 15-17-01.png
    3.2 MB · Views: 39
Top Bottom