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Axe FX vs. real amp

HiveMind

New Member
The Logic here is somewhat flawed sewing that first you won't compare amp to amp model but rather amp model to preamp model.
The experiment described in my OP was intentionally designed to isolate the preamps for comparison. Any perceived sense of flawed logic is based on an assumption that I am trying to expose some imperfection in the Axe, and has been escalated by a debate which has strayed from my original desire to draw on the real experiences of other users.

It seems the Axe equally satisfies the needs of two types of users; ones who use the Axe as a platform to create the "sound in their head" and those who seek to recreate historically accurate guitar tones. I like being able to do both, without compromise.
 

Ed DeGenaro

Experienced
No, it's flawed because an amp is a cohesive unit, that is why after the 80s pre/power amp rack craze we all went back to amps. So reducing it to the Axe as pre-amp only, using a BOgner XTC pedal into power amp speaker sim or just speaker sim should do the trick the same.

As for identical settings, take two amps consecutive serial numbers biased the same way with tubes from the same batch and identical settigs are unlikely to garner identical results.

As for the types of users...I dn't worry too much bout that. It works as a standalone, it works as an fx processor it's simply put a great piece of kit, but it is after all...gear...just gear nothing more nothing less.
Can I get my ideas from my head to my hands to my ears quickly? Yes..done

Side note..."real" amp with gain will act very different to a noise gate than any modeller. That to me is a bigger deal than any perceived supposed latency or "feel" difference between the two.
 

Dillonski

Inspired
I personally think that it is irrelevant if it sounds like the real amp or not. I mean, it does sound like the real deal but thats not the point of the Axe-Fx in my opinion. The Axe-Fx gives amazing tone in a convenient package and with the amount you can edit the Axe-Fx, it can sound like anything you want it to.
 

ksandvik

Experienced
The little I know of my four tube amps after many years of gigging, they sound different every time, from subtle to big changes -- based on the tube warmth stage, wear-down, speaker config, acoustic environment, guitar used and so on and so on. Yes there's a specific Marshall/Mesa Boogie/Fender/Bogner et rest sound but even as so the actual final sound could have a variation that is just impossible to capture at a specific time.

Actually a Fractal is better in that you always get the exact starting tone you dialed in.
 
Yes, OP.

If you turn off poweramp and cab modeling, the Axe-Fx will replicate the exact sound of the real amp's preamp such that plugging the Axe-Fx into the real amp's physical poweramp and cab sounds completely natural and, in the tests I've personally run, almost indistinguishable from the real thing.
YES!!!! My favorite real amp in the world is the Marshall JVM with the JCM 800 as a close second. (Both amps have identical power amps by the way) The JVM based models in the Axe Fx II *NAIL IT*. Same with the JCM 800 models
 

Bodde

Fractal Fanatic
I agree 100%. However, I would *really* like to see where you would take us with your own ideas. And I don't just mean in terms of amp modeling. Everything is on the table as far as I'm concerned.
Yes that is basically what I was saying too. Really would like Fractal to go that direction. Creating new sonic things instead of copying. They are already doing that of course but I personally would like the focus more on that aspect. I see all those new interesting things happening now with some pedal designers.
 

5150

Inspired
Have any of you who own an actual amp modeled in the Axe performed the following A/B test?

1) Set all real amp and model controls identically
2) connect axe to fx return of amp
3) configure axe with cab and power amp sims off
4) match volumes and compare

Does the signal from the axe truly equate to the signal at the fx send jack of the amp? Please relate your experiences with this, as I no longer have any examples to compare.

Yes. I did this exact test with my Axe FX Ultra, about five years ago, comparing the Axe to a VHT head that I owned at the time. I don't recall what model I used for this test (don't recall if the original Axe had a VHT modeled in it or not) but the sounds I got were identical. It took all of five minutes of back-and-forth to nail the VHT's sound.

I have not done it with the Axe FX II, if only because I haven't felt the need.

What I have done though, is take the Axe FX II to a friend's house -- a friend who owns many glorious amps. Running the Axe into a power amp, and into real cabs produces tones that are indistinguishable to their real world counterparts.

The Axe is a truly stellar device.
 
Yes. I did this exact test with my Axe FX Ultra, about five years ago, comparing the Axe to a VHT head that I owned at the time. I don't recall what model I used for this test (don't recall if the original Axe had a VHT modeled in it or not) but the sounds I got were identical. It took all of five minutes of back-and-forth to nail the VHT's sound.

I have not done it with the Axe FX II, if only because I haven't felt the need.

What I have done though, is take the Axe FX II to a friend's house -- a friend who owns many glorious amps. Running the Axe into a power amp, and into real cabs produces tones that are indistinguishable to their real world counterparts.

The Axe is a truly stellar device.
I can vouch for that as of this morning...my Matrix power amp arrived and I set it up and plugged it in...used a pair of Mesa 2x12 slant recto cabs I had lying around and ran through a few presets I created last week to match a couple of the amps in my collection that I use a lot...I WAS running it into my Roland KC-880 with the AxeFx speaker block on and they sounded really great even with that setup.

Anyway I turned it on and things were sounding pretty nice but then I remembered I still had the speaker blocks on so I turned them off. That's when shit got real.

Honestly, at this point I don't know where Fractal can go from here beyond hardware upgrades that allow more amp and effect block types at the same time (more drive blocks, more delay blocks, etc.) The software is amazing. I've waited 20 years for digital modeling to finally make good on it's promise. I still have a hard time believing what I'm hearing coming out of my speakers.
 

Clockwork Creep

Power User
One person said, that the Axe through a matrix and a cab still doesn't sound as good as a real guitar amp through a cab. And it's the fault of the matrix, not the axe.
How accurate do you think that is?
 

∞Fractals

Power User
Are the Matrix GT series amps really FRFR? I was led to believe they are for guitars and "colored" for guitars - true or false?
 
One person said, that the Axe through a matrix and a cab still doesn't sound as good as a real guitar amp through a cab. And it's the fault of the matrix, not the axe.
How accurate do you think that is?
I'd say not very based on my admittedly limited experience with the Matrix...but I was pretty impressed by it right off the bat. It did everything I hoped it would do right off the bat based on my having used my AxeFx with my Roland KC-880 keyboard amp. I found it to be very amp like and responsive and it was transparent enough to really let the power amp modeling do it's thing. I'm sure I'll have more insight after a week or so with it. I've been getting so much more playing in between rehearsals since getting the AxeFx. :D
 

HiveMind

New Member
Wow, Ed. Did you really edit this post to pimp your music? Now you have not only insulted my logic, but have destroyed the conversational flow of this thread, and given it a soundtrack that sounds like what the cable company loops while I'm on hold. Well done, sir, you've just hijacked a thread: do with it what you will.
 

barhrecords

Axe-Master
One person said, that the Axe through a matrix and a cab still doesn't sound as good as a real guitar amp through a cab. And it's the fault of the matrix, not the axe.
How accurate do you think that is?
I was doing my A/B with a Crown XTi. Not the greatest power amp by any stretch.

Was still easy to get real close to the amp using the exact same cab.
 

Ed DeGenaro

Experienced
Wow, Ed. Did you really edit this post to pimp your music? Now you have not only insulted my logic, but have destroyed the conversational flow of this thread, and given it a soundtrack that sounds like what the cable company loops while I'm on hold. Well done, sir, you've just hijacked a thread: do with it what you will.
If it was for sale there be pumping if it was about the speaker sim then obviously not
 

Jason Scott

Fractal Fanatic
Is it irrelevant whether the Axe can faithfully reproduce a particular amp, cab, effect, etc? In my opinion, the answer is it depends. Yes, it can and does matter quite a bit assuming an artists vision involves the sound of a specific amp, cab, effect, etc. for a given song. And no, it's probably irrelevant assuming the guitarist has no specific sound in mind when playing or writing. However, if a guitarist wants to replicate the tone of their favorite artist(s), and those tones are based on real-world amps, cabs, and effects, then yes, it can matter whether a model is accurate, in my opinion. Very much so.
 

lauke-lux

Power User
Never did it this way. Howbeit, yesterday night our band did a supporting act in a local bar. They were playing handwired plexis, marshalls etc. and had a great sound with that. It is surprising to see how many people that are in tube amps don't take time to lift up their nose and look around what's on the market (and btw i'm fine with that, everybody can get his kicks). Howbeit, big was my surprise when after the gig the guitar player of the main act praised our guitarsound this way : "that Behringer FCB1010 footpedal you use without an amp, I didn't believe in it at first sight, but it really kicked the hell out of here, great great sound..". I answered, that the FCB pedal was just a cheapo footcontroller and that all the sound power was in the rack unit I used, from fractal audio...then we started a long long long discussion with a lot of beer..guess i've become a bit FAS representative yesterday...just for fun.
BTW : I go direct into FOH on output 1 and to a simple dBtechnologies FM12 floor unit in front of me as a stage monitor
 
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