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Axe II vs Axe III... DIFFERENCE now vs Difference in 6 months from now??


So far, I've read there's just a tiny difference between the sound performance of Axe 2 vs Axe 3.
Can any current users chime in more on the differences in feel, tone, & if the Axe 3 works any better In the context in a mix?
Also if they are close in comparison now, how much longer until the Axe 3 blows the Axe 2 away since the Axe 3 will (I'm assuming) get constant FW updates.


What we need is someone with time travel technology, so they can go back in time from 6 months or a year in the future, and tell us, first hand, how different their III sounds in 2019 verses how it sounded when they first got it in March of 2018

Short of that, I don't see how anyone can know how different it will sound in 6 months or a year....

I would wager though that Cliff isnt' going to make it sound worse


I think people need to chill with these Axe FX 2 vs Axe FX 3 comparisons. It's not like the Axe FX 2 is suddenly going to degrade to a plastic $20 Danelectro pedal when the Axe FX 3 comes out.

The Axe Fx 2 is an incredible product, and hundreds, if not thousands, of extraordinary albums have been recorded with it. There have been countless videos and audio clips comparing the Axe FX 2 to a real amp and the differences are indistinguishable. Axe FX 2 users have made it abundantly clear that it can easily replace a tube amplifier. Until guitarists decide that tube amp emulation isn't good enough anymore, the Axe FX 2 will continue to be a relevant and capable piece of gear for a very long time.
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I guess I need to apologize for and asking a simple question. Very basically I know from the info on this site that the Axe III is a tiny bit better than the Axe II sound-wise, and it is obvious that the 3 will only get better thus the separation between the 2 and 3 will become greater over time. A tiny bit of difference I'm not worried about but when the 3 becomes noticeably better by more than a tiny bit that's when I need to sell other gear to start rocking some 3's.
Why does this matter to me? Very simply I'm just personally trying to figuring out a budget on when I should sell my 2's and upgrade to 3's, that's all I am very sorry if I offended anyone for my useless question.
Btw, when the axe 2 came out in 2011 I remember many in the forum saying It was notice Li way better than the Ultra, & man were they correct. I'm sure there will be a time where the 3 will be above and beyond the 2, just wanting to know how long that will take. Perhaps there will be a software update tomorrow where, Bam all the sudden the 3 wipes the floor with the 2. This is not an unprecedented event. And I would have a bunch of gear up for sale right away.
Thank you.


Fractal Fanatic
Difference now, you can buy the AXE-FX II but not the AXE-FX III
6 months from now, most likely the scenario is reversed due to the brutal price point on the II right now



I guess I need to apologize for and asking a simple question.
I first have to say that I doubt anyone here was "offended" by your question. It's just that your question is completely impossible to answer. Not one person alive, including the entire engineering team at Fractal, and Cliff himself is capable of giving you a satisfactory response. Mostly because it haven't happened yet, and secondly, because it's FAR from a simple question.

It's like asking Leo Fender, back in 1954, at what point he thinks his new invention, the Strat, will become a legendary icon among guitars. Until it happens, we just won't know.

And with a product like the AxeIII there are just far too many variables. Is there room for improvement? Sure, but will everyone see those improvements as "better" who knows. There are still people that claim that 9.xx is missing something that 8.xx has, over on the AxeII forums, so it's anybody's game at this point. Personally, I would bet on it massively improving, then again, there is the whole argument that we are coming close to diminishing returns, but until some crazy guy in a Delorian pulls up and says he's from the future, and the Axe-FX III has taken over like skynet, I'm not gonna worry about it, and neither should you, or anyone else.


Fractal Fanatic
We know from the specs that the Axe III has a lot of unused potential. After seeing what Cliff can do the last few years, I'm sure he will find some uses for that potential. If you've kept up with the bits of info we've gotten on the III you can already see this. I think we have an exciting ride ahead!


Power User
Assuming I had the cash I would buy the III today even if it came with a disclaimer that it would sound exactly like the II for the next 2 years. I know from the years that I have been part of this community that the III will go far beyond what we will ever expect.


I think at this point we should be looking to the III for the added features and processing power. Not to mention the constant firmware updates that we will surely get with that purchase. I am excited to see how the new pitch block works and I'm just excited for the III in general. It is impossible to expect a world of difference in amp modeling because in reality there isn't a world of difference between the II and the real amp! It will just continue to get slightly better and better and has the power to support those improvements.


Fractal Fanatic
Went through this during the last lifecycle. I loved my Ultra and wasn't planning to upgrade. Now there were things with the ultra that we'e still shortcomings but not end of the world stuff. The AxefxII was initially a modest improvement but there were a few things that were implemented that were game changers. If we look at what we had and could do and the quality from that release compared to the last product line, the initial release of the II and today it is light years. I look at the Axefx as a box and the software development as what I am paying for. FAS has kept innovating for years now and hasn't shown any signs of letting up. Long story short we are in a great place with the AxefxII, but to be a part of what is in store you will have to upgrade the box to experience it.


The II sounds so good right now, that I'm not on the waitlist for the III. Eventually I will get it, but I will wait until the market volatility on the resale value dies down and they have plenty of IIIs in stock. I think we are mostly past the point of night and day differences in modeling upgrades anyways. I expect by the time I get one, Cliff will have probably more or less perfected the modeling in regards to those last couple of algorithms he wasn't able to run to completion on the II. I'm also looking forward to a few of the effects upgrades like improved tracking on the pitch, but I don't really use those things that much.


I think we'll see a lot more development in effects quality on this new box as opposed to amp simulation updates.
I would expect to see amp updates as well... the amp sim offering is pretty inclusive, but there are a few notable absences... Victory Amps comes to mind. And, in addition to some added amps, I would expect continued improvements to what’s already there.
Exciting times.
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