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Best power amp for a real cab with the Fractal Axe FX III


Fractal Fanatic
Here's a demonstration on how to tune your AxeFx settings to suit your speaker cabinet:

The new speaker impedance modelling actually makes it even easier than this - just scroll until you get one that thumps you the way you like it.

I've done loads of gigs with the Matrix driving my guitar cab from one channel and the bass player's cab on the other. Handy piece of kit.


VHT amplification was founded by Steve Fryette in the late 1980's. Steve sold the VHT name in 2009 and changed the name of his company to Fryette. The 2/50/2 models that were made before 2009 are VHT branded and the new ones are Fryette branded but there have been no design changes (to my knowledge).
very helpful thank you, what cabs would you recommend I use with this for class 80s through 90s rock? not modern metal


I am currently using a Duncan Powerstage 200 with a variety of different real cabinets to great effect. The main thing that I want to mention is don't be afraid to use tweaked cab blocks on top of real cabinets. Yes, this can often sound terrible. But not so in combination with certain real cabs, especially smaller sealed types. It's all in a little tuning that's not complicated, even by ear.

Andy Eagle

Power User
I have a Mesa 2x12 recto and EV thiele and a custom built all ply Marshall 4x12 vintage 30 and the 2/50/2 works great for the things you want .
I also have a pair of Xitone passive wedges with F12x200s that I use the Matrix with. The best tone rock tone is the 2/50/2 and the Marshall cab no surprise there. I am super picky and didn't buy an axe3 to have 300 PV bandits available at the touch of a button ( most fr fr solutions are this in truth.)

Andy Eagle

Power User
Oh and I still have my VH4 to keep me in touch . I also practice through a DV Mark multi amp and that is better at some things than axe (low gain and clean.)


I have a 2/50/2 as well as an older Matrix solidstate amp and have also used the FX return of other tube amps.

The 2/50/2 is great and certainly on the more neutral side for a tube amp. very good punch, but I prefer the matrix with the axe FX. Just less fiddly to get a good sound. With the 2/50/2 I’d prefer to turn off the power amp models and use the axe FX as preamp-only but not all models really pair well with the 2/50/2 as the power amp. It also imparts a certain ‘sameness’ to all the models since I am using the same power amp for them all.

I used to try to run full amp models into the 2/50/2, and that works for some, but not the majority. The ‘double power amp sound’ is not great, in my opinion

on the other end of the spectrum, I’ve run the axe FX into the FX return of my mesa dual rectifier and while it sounds huge and awesome, the rectifier poweramp is so coloured that everything basically just sounds and feels like a slightly different flavor rectifier.

i use real guitar cabs, never really got along with FRFR but I also haven’t tried anything nicer than some mid-tier PA stuff, and studio monitors.

I have an oversized Marshall 4x12 with V30’s, a home-made 2x12 with h75 creambacks, and a Zilla 2x12 with V30/K100 combo. All work great.


Power User
I had a GT1000FX, I don't recall being particularly impressed with how it sounded through my 2016 4x12 EVH 5150 IIIs cab. I must have been doing something wrong as so many above sing it's praises. Is there a trick to getting it to sound great with the Fractal? If yes, can those of you who have one and have liked it, can you please say what cab you were using and what settings on the GT1000FX?

I hear you have to turn the master volume on the GT1000FX to at least above 2 o'clock for it to sound its best. This will also be deafeningly loud so just use your Axe-Fx's Output knob as your Master Volume instead.

I've heard the reason this happens is because the master volume control on the Matrix, when turned low, will attenuate some frequencies more than others, so you get a "weak" sound when the Matrix's volume is set low. Setting the Matrix's master volume relatively high will get you much closer to a truly flat response from the amp.


New Member
The Boss Waza is a Swiss Army knife for guitarists whereas the rockcrusher is simply an attenuators...probably the most useful gadget I have got for my space...

it’s applications are quite numerous.., one of which would be to use as a 100W clean neutral amp for your fractal (I go into the return of the Waza fx loop), and it can also add a headphone out for the ax8, add fletcher Munson compensation, add fx loop to an amp that doesn’t have one, fx (limited but with the fx loop they are simply there for completeness and convenience), you can turn a 5w tube amp to 100W, ..it’s a load box, fx loop, ir loader, rec out, headphone out, 100W amp with programmable stuff...

Just read bout the Boss Waza Tube Expander. I'm a little confused. Is it essentially the same thing as my Rivera Rock Crusher?
How is it different besides offering Cab IR and effects? What does sound great is to run a real tube amp through the River Attenuator's line out with the EQ off into the the line in on the Fractal as then you get all the goodies in the Fractal besides the amp block however, IMO, that kind of defeats the purpose of the Fractal...as the amp blocks are it's claim to fame. Would appreciate your commenting on my Rivera vs. the Boss Waza


I have a Rocktron Velocity 300 on sale on Reverb that I used to use with mine before I got my Friedman ASC-12. Thats only 1 rack space and it has Presence and Resonance knobs for each channel. That worked good for me with my Mesa 2x12.

kostas Look

guys can anyone help? i saw that at namm 2015 jason richardson has in his rack as a power amp a QSC PLD model !! any thoughts? is this better than other solutions !which are its pros ?


guys can anyone help? i saw that at namm 2015 jason richardson has in his rack as a power amp a QSC PLD model !! any thoughts? is this better than other solutions !which are its pros ?
Looking at the specs I'd say that's complete overkill for an Axe Fx.

They are designed for pro audio PA applications. And the smallest one is 17+ lbs! And fairly expensive, too.

I'm sure it would work fine, but I would much prefer the Matrix amps as they work well, cost much less and are way, way lighter.

kostas Look

im new to this so this is the reason i asked !! so you think these PA type power amps are not appropriate for axe fx ? like QSC, CROWN etc


im new to this so this is the reason i asked !! so you think these PA type power amps are not appropriate for axe fx ? like QSC, CROWN etc
I don't think you need all the "fancy" features the particular models you asked about provide.

Ultimately, what you really want is clean, flat amplification. A PA type power amp is totally fine for that, too.

But the PLD-4.2 is the smallest one in the series. It weighs 17-18lbs... The Matrix GT1000FX or GT800FX is about 6lbs.

When I have to move my rack, that extra weight is important to me.

I see you've posted the same question on 4-5 threads. Why are you specifically looking at the amp? Just because you see someone you admire using it at a trade show 6 years ago?

If so, maybe try to see what he uses today? Also, maybe he was using it because it was provided for him to use at the show?
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