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Best power amps for Axe fx 3

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.

Ive done by A/B-ing and decided to go with the QSC as for the money its a good steal. The EV was prolly a tad better.
But with either setup, i noticed that it sounded better with power amp simulaton on. Even to the marshall cab. Is this normal?
 

unix-guy

Legend!
Ive done by A/B-ing and decided to go with the QSC as for the money its a good steal. The EV was prolly a tad better.
But with either setup, i noticed that it sounded better with power amp simulaton on. Even to the marshall cab. Is this normal?
Power amp modeling provides the character and color of the tube power section of the amp... If you're using a solid state amp then you want it on.
 

paulmapp8306

Fractal Fanatic
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
Ive had a Matrix next to a high end QSC, and a high end crown, and even some older Lab Gruppen amps. Litterally in a rack A/B/cd ing them Matrix is just as good, just as big sounding. Low end MAY be a little light when down tuning a lot - as its no longer a 20-20k PA amp (that it started out life as). I never noticed and dont have the specs (or a matrix to hand to try.

It is what it is. many people like really old HUGE transformers. They dont really change the sound that much TBH. Its a tiny tiny amount in reality.

Re the power amp modelling - YES you need that.... Even the speaker resonance bits. Valve amps use output transformers and their interaction with a speaker is frequency dependant - hence the AFX having that modelled. If you using a SS amp however they dont have output transformers so you dont get that interaction naturally.

FWIW - im currently running a Semour Duncan Powerstage when I run a feed to the desk. I have a Fryette Power Station I use when only using the amp/cab. That's because I have to compromise either amp/cab or FRFR to FOH if I use the Fryette in duel mode (because that speaker resonance is either on or off). There is a VERY slight edge to the Fryette - and for the absolute purist that the way, but honestly there not that much in it even between those distinct different amp design. SS amp to SS amp...... not much in it. Class A/B (that the matrix is of course - as were all the other amps I tried) is better than D or H (not for subs but for guitar range frequencies for sure). it just sounds a tad sweater.
 

Djenter

Inspired
Matrix marketing states "looser" power amp feel for its solid state to feel more like a tube amp. So do they expect people to run this FRFR or to a cab? Nothing was clear to me with what they reccomend.
 

Larry Ball

Member
Might be a dumb question, but I have a FM3. If I got an Axe-Fx III, do you have to run a power amp? I have 2 Friedman ASC-12 powered FRFR. So I would think it would work the same as with the FM3. I have searched the forums and googled, but haven't found a definitive answer. I see a lot of info about running power amps with the Axe, but when the cab was mentioned it was a guitar cab or a passive FRFR (unpowered). So my question is can I start out with an Axe playing at home into my Friedmans that are powered? And then later look into getting a power amp if that improves the tone.
 

la noise

Power User
Might be a dumb question, but I have a FM3. If I got an Axe-Fx III, do you have to run a power amp? I have 2 Friedman ASC-12 powered FRFR. So I would think it would work the same as with the FM3. I have searched the forums and googled, but haven't found a definitive answer. I see a lot of info about running power amps with the Axe, but when the cab was mentioned it was a guitar cab or a passive FRFR (unpowered). So my question is can I start out with an Axe playing at home into my Friedmans that are powered? And then later look into getting a power amp if that improves the tone.

Yup.

No need for a power amp.... unless you chose to later run into some passive, unpowered speakers.
 

Justincase

Experienced
Might be a dumb question, but I have a FM3. If I got an Axe-Fx III, do you have to run a power amp? I have 2 Friedman ASC-12 powered FRFR. So I would think it would work the same as with the FM3. I have searched the forums and googled, but haven't found a definitive answer. I see a lot of info about running power amps with the Axe, but when the cab was mentioned it was a guitar cab or a passive FRFR (unpowered). So my question is can I start out with an Axe playing at home into my Friedmans that are powered? And then later look into getting a power amp if that improves the tone.
You only need a power amp with passive cabs.
 

Joe Bfstplk

Axe-Master
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.
Love the old Crown D series amps. Great sound and no fan noise. Had a D75 years ago. Not sure what happened to it. Piped vocals and monitors through a DC300 back in the 90s. I think the drummer still has it.
 

Larry Ball

Member
Those asc-12 have 500watt class G amps built in. I bet those freaking rock.
Dude, it's like I can't stop playing now. It sounds much more authentic and all the presets sound better. I thought they sounded great before... I've been playing for the better part of the day, 14 hours, like a kid on Christmas morning.
 

Justincase

Experienced
Dude, it's like I can't stop playing now. It sounds much more authentic and all the presets sound better. I thought they sounded great before... I've been playing for the better part of the day, 14 hours, like a kid on Christmas morning.
I went the cheaper route and built a couple celestion f12-x200 cabs and bought a cheap 530watt per channel class H rack amp. Sound and feel phenomenal. Both cabs including the Amp $650. They get freaking loud at 200w rms 500w peak
 

Larry Ball

Member
I went the cheaper route and built a couple celestion f12-x200 cabs and bought a cheap 530watt per channel class H rack amp. Sound and feel phenomenal. Both cabs including the Amp $650. They get freaking loud at 200w rms 500w peak
I think those Celestions are the ideal cabinet setup right now. Especially since they give the cabinet specs to build them. Good on you!
 
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