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Axe-Fx Ultra in 2017

frostkald

New here
Hi !

I planning a long time to join to fractal family,and I thinking about to buy an Ultra because It is in good price. Yeah I know the Axe 2 is way better,But i don't have any chances to save more money. So what do you think guys,Is it worth i in 2017? Or go and buy a Line 6 Helix?
 

scjurgen

New here
Save more money, work... ;-) However, Helix is now also available in an LT version that might be affordable if you really can't wait and save more money.
 

zenaxe

Fractal Fanatic
In addition to the above good Advice, I will note that if you already have a controller and rack (like I did when I came into Fractal camp) the Ultra is a great unit for the money; I would not trade mine for an AX8 or Helix, TBH.
 

Matt_B_77

Forum Addict
As a former Ultra owner (now XL II + owner) I would go for an AX-8 over an Ultra any day of the week.
 

Rick

Fractal Fanatic
Depending on what the Ultra is selling for, I'd have to concur with those here. The AX8 is a great device, and sounds great. I have a friend that raves about the Helix and what a great unit it is "for the money,"so that's an option. All that said, I began my Fractal odyssey on the Ultra, loved it, and am confident I could still get great sounds from it today. If I had a great deal on one and that was my option, it is still a powerful unit.

Here's an Ultra recording I've always liked. This tone works today, tomorrow... whenever.
 
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Musikron

Inspired
I was in the same boat and got an Ultra. The AX8 may be "newer/latest and greatest" but it's less flexible and powerful in a lot of ways, and I honestly think the Ultra sounds better . I have no regrets.
 
I was in the same boat and got an Ultra. The AX8 may be "newer/latest and greatest" but it's less flexible and powerful in a lot of ways, and I honestly think the Ultra sounds better . I have no regrets.
Not to say that the new stuff doesn't sound better, but I do think it's worth noting that - to me personally - the biggest improvement between the first and second generations is the feel and pick response.
 

Musikron

Inspired
The Ultra feels plenty nice to me, better than many heads and rack setups I've ran. I think the biggest upgrade to the II is gonna be a couple little UI tweaks, and a bit more headroom (I've maxed out a fe presets already).
 

DJD100

Veteran
For those still using an Ultra, I've found when using the Ultra's Amp Blocks that defeating the power amps, and replacing them with the Two Notes Torpedo's tube power amp sims offers a big improvement "IMO" (it's subjective, but much better feel, bloom, and pick response when driven "IMO"!).

I usually use my Ultra for FX only with tube preamps and the Two Notes Torpedo CAB for tube power amp sims (the Ultra is much more powerful than a AX8!), but when I go lighter the Ultra's guitar amp preamps sound quite good with the Torpedo CAB as well).

EDIT: I've found a way to use the Ultra's Tube-Pre for a pseudo tube power amp sim with my tube preamps which now sounds as good as the Torpedo's, and here are the details...

a) I set my tube preamp's tone stack as flat as possible (typically bass and mid up, treble down, but it varies). The Seymour Duncan Tone Stack Calc for Windows works well for this!

b) I then instantiate a amp block with the Tube-Pre, and then pick a tone-stack for my rather flat sounding tube pre. I set the Tube-Pre's gain to zero, Master Volume to ten.

c) I then turn on the Tube-Pre's power section by turning Sag up from zero, and while leaving the Tube-Pre's tone stack flat, adjust the various power amp parameters to what I need considering the gain structure and tone of the tube preamp, and the selected tone stack in the Tube-Pre (I'll look at the modeled amp's power amp settings for ideas and tweak from there etc).

Leave the Tube-Pre's gain at zero and make up gain elsewhere as needed (Level, FX Loop etc, you;ll need quite a bit).

I've tried it with relatively clean through edge-of-breakup Fender/Vox, to pushed mid-gain modded Marshall/Mesa type tones with good success.

It doesn't really bloom as good as the Torpedo's tube power amp sims, but aside from that easily as good seeing that this is all subjective in nature.

So, my bad above, sorry!
 
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bradlake

Axe-Master
With the Ultra, you won't need to worry about those pesky firmware updates that that make us delighted and crazed...
 

zenaxe

Fractal Fanatic
For those still using an Ultra, I've found when using the Ultra's Amp Blocks that defeating the power amps, and replacing them with the Two Notes Torpedo's tube power amp sims offers a big improvement "IMO" (it's subjective, but much better feel, bloom, and pick response when driven "IMO"!).

I usually use my Ultra for FX only with tube preamps and the Two Notes Torpedo CAB for tube power amp sims (the Ultra is much more powerful than a AX8!), but when I go lighter the Ultra's guitar amp preamps sound quite good with the Torpedo CAB as well).
Probably placebo. ;) If you become familiar with the Ultra's power amp deep editing controls it has great feel and response, IMHO. Just more work intensive than the II or 2N. Although I'm sure this is a fun exercise for folks who have access to both units. The shortage of cab slots and the standard res IRs are more notable limitations in the Gen1s, IMHO, 2N would definitely be great for this. Also, I am note sure if the 2N has more resolution/length on its IRs than the Ultra, if so that would be a good thing too.
 
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mwd

Forum Addict
The Ultra is still a totally viable option. I don't look at the subsequent models as 'new and improved' as much as I see them as totally different beast. There are several stellar patches, amps and models on my XL, no doubt, but honestly I have several patches on my Ultra that sound better than my XL, in my opinion, and the preset changes are seamless and instant. I still use my Ultra thru a Strymon Big Sky as my live rig by choice.
 

DJD100

Veteran
Nope, definitely not placebo, try it (I've owned the Ultra since it first came out, and have modeling experience from the POD 1.0 thru Axe II/KPA etc, plus I see no need for the the so called Ultra-Rez IR's (just a standard IR with a decimated tail).

I typically use the Ultra with various tube preamps, but also with the Ultra's modeled guitar preamps when I need to travel lighter etc (along with the T_CAB).

The Torpedo CAB holds 500 standard IR's, and 32 Two Notes cab sims with real-time adjustable mic positioning, reverb/room sim, tube power amp sims (single ended and push-pull EL34, 6L6, EL84, KT88), and comes with a software editor and IR capture/mix software, plus the WOS III plugin. The TN cabs are about the same as the Ultra's (roughly 2048 point), which is more than enough to capture the freq response of a cab (use a room sim for room tone etc).

The TN tube power amp sims that really wake up the Ultra's preamps IMO, but of course it's subjective.


I'd buy a AX8 if it was more flexible in it's foot switching, but alas it can't do what I need (3 looper switches and 5 scene switches without changing modes).

EDIT: I've found a way to use the Ultra's Tube-Pre for a pseudo tube power amp sim with my tube preamps which now sounds as good as the Torpedo's, and here are the details...

a) I set my tube preamp's tone stack as flat as possible (typically bass and mid up, treble down, but it varies). The Seymour Duncan Tone Stack Calc for Windows works well for this!

b) I then instantiate a amp block with the Tube-Pre, and then pick a tone-stack for my rather flat sounding tube pre. I set the Tube-Pre's gain to zero, Master Volume to ten.

c) I then turn on the Tube-Pre's power section by turning Sag up from zero, and while leaving the Tube-Pre's tone stack flat, adjust the various power amp parameters to what I need considering the gain structure and tone of the tube preamp, and the selected tone stack in the Tube-Pre (I'll look at the modeled amp's power amp settings for ideas and tweak from there etc).

Leave the Tube-Pre's gain at zero and make up gain elsewhere as needed (Level, FX Loop etc, you;ll need quite a bit).

I've tried it with relatively clean through edge-of-breakup Fender/Vox, to pushed mid-gain modded Marshall/Mesa type tones with good success.

It doesn't really bloom as good as the Torpedo's tube power amp sims, but aside from that easily as good seeing that this is all subjective in nature.

So, my bad above, sorry!



Probably placebo. ;) If you become familiar with the Ultra's power amp deep editing controls it has great feel and response, IMHO. Just more work intensive than the II or 2N. Although I'm sure this is a fun exercise for folks who have access to both units. The shortage of cab slots and the standard res IRs are more notable limitations in the Gen1s, IMHO, 2N would definitely be great for this. Also, I am note sure if the 2N has more resolution/length on its IRs than the Ultra, if so that would be a good thing too.
 
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bobmichigan

Inspired
I'm selling my Ultra for $685 original owner excellent cond. including rack bag and exp. pedal
I hate to sell it but car repairs caught me off guard.
 
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