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Best power amps for Axe fx 3

wtfoley3

Member
I bought my Axe in December and built a rig around it with a Matrix Amplification GT1000-FX-1U single space amp and a pair of Mission Engineering Gemini 1P (1x12”) cabinets Running stereo. Very happy with results. The Matrix is excellent and they took very good care of me when I had an issue that was no fault of theirs (long story). I wanted to minimize the height of my desktop rack so I bought the 1-space amp. If I had it to do again, I would have bought the 2-space amp because its fans are significantly quieter.
 

touch33

Inspired
Let your speakers be your guide. I’m using an old Crown D75 driving a pair of JBL 4408 studio monitors — and, when I want to get louder, I add a Quilter 45 driving an EVM-12L in a custom cab as a LF supplement.
No fans here — quiet as a mouse and sounds terrific.
 

Triaxis75

Inspired
Cant really go wrong with the matrix. Clean power, little coloring. I used to use a mesa 2:90 power amp and it sounded great. There are several that are really good like that. Big problem is you cant turn off that coloring that it naturally does. I went Matrix so that I can control of every aspect of gain/drive/coloring. Very happy with it.

Oh ...and it can push some.volume with ease.
 

dr bonkers

Fractal Fanatic
Vendor
Let your speakers be your guide. I’m using an old Crown D75 driving a pair of JBL 4408 studio monitors — and, when I want to get louder, I add a Quilter 45 driving an EVM-12L in a custom cab as a LF supplement.
No fans here — quiet as a mouse and sounds terrific.
I have the old Crown too for playing. It's great. I tried the Matrix but didn't find it as neutral as the Crown.
 

Djenter

Inspired
Matrix may seem appealing but I hear people in double drop Thall tunings saying there is issues with low end. And im always skeptical of getting any proper low end out of anything fitting in one rack space.
Has anyone tried Seismic Power Amplifiers? So far ive tried their cables and they are whey better than this Yorkville junk thats very faulty.
Its all China made but so is JBL and EV.
It seems like seismic has some entry level amps for about 200, and some very beefy higher end 500 dollar 2 channel ones too. Im thinking maybe one of those. I just hope I can run a 16ohm cab I have in addition to the usual 8ohm.
Here is one of their Mid-level 2 channel MBG-4000 for just under 300. This looks very serious for the money. Hopefully it sounds serious too.
Screenshot_20210424-111900.png
 
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touch33

Inspired
If you’re extremely lucky the Seismic gear is worth the small amount you paid for it. It’s difficult to imagine that Seismic has somehow invented a type of magic (creating serviceable amps that sell for far less than anyone else) that other manufacturers can’t seem to figure out. There are no technological secrets that allow Seismic to undercut the prices of every other amp on the market.

It’s also difficult to comprehend spending $$$$ on the best modeler in the known Universe and then hobbling it by listening to it via the lowest-cost amp and/or speakers you can lay your hands on. I’d spend my money on a beat-up-yet-functional name-brand quality amp (whose FTC performance ratings are at least published correctly) before I’d toss it away on the lowest-cost new amp on the market.

You really do get what you pay for with new equipment (if you’re lucky). Trust me — Seismic knows what their amps are worth and have priced them accordingly, and I guarantee you they are still making a profit...
 

Djenter

Inspired
If you’re extremely lucky the Seismic gear is worth the small amount you paid for it. It’s difficult to imagine that Seismic has somehow invented a type of magic (creating serviceable amps that sell for far less than anyone else) that other manufacturers can’t seem to figure out. There are no technological secrets that allow Seismic to undercut the prices of every other amp on the market.

It’s also difficult to comprehend spending $$$$ on the best modeler in the known Universe and then hobbling it by listening to it via the lowest-cost amp and/or speakers you can lay your hands on. I’d spend my money on a beat-up-yet-functional name-brand quality amp (whose FTC performance ratings are at least published correctly) before I’d toss it away on the lowest-cost new amp on the market.

You really do get what you pay for with new equipment (if you’re lucky). Trust me — Seismic knows what their amps are worth and have priced them accordingly, and I guarantee you they are still making a profit...
Good point. Ya nevermind that idea. Im on my way to meet my supplier, he is selling one of his Demo EV Precision CP1800 power amp units for 600US. This one should be a no-brainer.

But since its class H poweramp but uses a conventional transformer, do you reccomend me leaving power amp simulation on in the AFX3?

I mean im already getting a beefy transformer on a 35-40 pound EV so that should provide some transformer beef right? Am gonna run it stereo to a couple oversized Marshall Mode 4 cabs.

(Sorry havent read the manual yet but I will start reading that tonight. Ive just been playing with the 3 through my yamaha HS7 monitors and am beyond amazed.)
 
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Djenter

Inspired
Also, I went with an EV solid state power amp becauise I find rack tube poweramps to be whey overrated and unnecessary and unless a person is blasting it to get powertube breakup (and going through power tube changes more often) I just don't understand why a person would go with a tube power rack for the AFX3. Even to cabs without cab sim.

And if the afx3 gives a tube power amp simulation then what more than the heavy duty and whey underrated EV power amp do I need to be golden? Also, believe it or not, the best guitar amp heads ive ever heard in my life are 1) a Randall V2, (solid state 400 watt poweramp and only the preamp section is tube), and 2) believe it or not a Peavey Supreme 100 fully solid state head which I got for 150 dollars. LOL. It does not have the transistor-like buzz at all. It just has the perfect sound to me at least for high gain.
 
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unix-guy

Legend!
Matrix may seem appealing but I hear people in double drop Thall tunings saying there is issues with low end. And im always skeptical of getting any proper low end out of anything fitting in one rack space.
They make a 2U Matrix as well... But what does that affect? The circuitry either handles it or it doesn't.
Has anyone tried Seismic Power Amplifiers?
So you'd trust SA over Matrix?

But since its class H poweramp but uses a conventional transformer, do you reccomend me leaving power amp simulation on in the AFX3?
Power amp modeling is about the distortion/color added by a tube amp. I seriously doubt the transformer in a solid state amp is going to be giving you the same result.
 

touch33

Inspired
What I’d consider is finding the cleanest (low THD @ full power) amp that you can, and the EV fills that bill. The general idea is to let the AxeFX do all of the “heavy lifting” tone-wise and let the FRFR amp/speakers accurately replay that sound, adding/subtracting nothing — hence the “flat response full range” that the FRFR abbreviates.
 

Djenter

Inspired
What I’d consider is finding the cleanest (low THD @ full power) amp that you can, and the EV fills that bill. The general idea is to let the AxeFX do all of the “heavy lifting” tone-wise and let the FRFR amp/speakers accurately replay that sound, adding/subtracting nothing — hence the “flat response full range” that the FRFR abbreviates.
For sure.
But in this case, we are talking about feeding sound for a more traditional setup like an actual guitar cabinet being fed by the EV power rack. So no cab simulation and no FRFR in this case. Although on a side note, I have noticed interesting results with a line 6 vetta 2 head with cab sim that was accidentally turned on feeding a Splawn cab with what I thought were good speakers. It sounded unbelievable. But when I turned the cab sim off, it wasn't as nice of a sound from the eminence speakers in the Splawn. But the v30 cab sim in the vetta 2 made that cab sound incredible.
 

Djenter

Inspired
Excuse the need to be politically incorrect in a bit but the OP had requested that the purpose of this thread is to get our Afx3's to sound as massive as possible. Sorry Matrix fans.

Managed to so far pay for a QSC RMX 2450 Power amp at about 300US, and my source was nice enough to allow me to borrow an EV CP1800 on loaner to see if its as good as they are saying it is, in which case I would pay up the difference if thats true.

They said the EV whey under-priced and compares to Brystons and other whey more expensive power amps.

That I have to witness and will definetly update if this is true or not once I A/B the EV and QSC.

But I hope I figure out how all this speaker resonance matching works in the AFX3 tonight to do all this correctly because I only have a couple days to borrow.

But I highly doubt a Matrix would touch even the QSC. This is physics. You simply cannot get the beef out of something that light weight without the crazy transformer. It doesn't take a degree in rocket science to realize what anyone with even a drop of common sense would realize.

And I do see scores of forums you can even search where people complain about "something missing" in the low end of those Matrix powerracks. Im therefore going to ignore that brand completely moving forward. Lol
 
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