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FM3 or Line 6 HX Stomp as multi FX

NeoSound

Fractal Fanatic
Talking about modelling algorithms, l6 runs them, FAS delays are just digital delay that adds distortion and EQ to approximate how the equipment might sound. Cheaply.


I have the l6 stomp that I like for what it is but much prefer fas effects and modeling in every category. I do agree having effects presets are nice, which is what the l6 stuff has baked-in but with far less flexibility and tweakability than fas. That being said, it's ok to like different things but arguing l6 has superior delay algorithms and fas is cheap is bullshit imo.
 

Randalljax

Fractal Fanatic
Line6 has improved the algos
i still prefer FAS but the amps
like REVV ,FreidmanBE100
matchless all sound good especially w the right irs
 

Jarick

Experienced
Short answer: for emergency backup and for simple effects, the Stomp is a great unit. It's relatively cheap for the features and crazy small. But if you really want to get into amp modeling or have richer sound, the FM3 would be a better choice.

Longer answer:

While I love the usability of the Helix, and I think it works great for the cleaner tones and P&W thing, I never loved the high gain tones, and some of the effects were lacking (reverb, pitch block). I've been very happy with the Axe FX 3 for sound and usability, but when I started to get my house ready to sell a few months ago, I needed to downsize. So I picked up a Headrush Gigboard and HX Stomp as a little grab and go modeler.

The Gigboard is neat for first-time modeler users but I found so much was lacking for amps, effects, and features that it always felt like a compromise. The HX Stomp is really cool for cramming a lot of tech into such a small device, and the effects are very usable. But for standalone modeling again it feels like a compromise, both for the higher gain amps and the limited CPU power.

I ended up selling/returning those and waited for the FM3. I figure the FM3 will give me the amps, effects, and features of the Axe 3 while being a lot more portable. But I use it as a standalone modeler so I want the richer sound and flexibility.

Here's a size comparison of the three. The FM3 is the same size as the FC6. The Helix is a lot bigger than any of them.

49643939622_8088d4116a_b.jpg
 

Andy G

Inspired
None of them are analog or tape or BB algorithms, they are just plain digital that you can add distortion to. Helix actually does the algorithms. FAS is 100% digital. Let's argue about it

Sure, FAS doesn't include an ACTUAL tape head and reels in the FM3. So yes, they are plain digital. But so is the Helix. Unless they've managed to squeeze full circuits (tape and all) for a couple of hundred amps and effects into a small floor based unit...

What matters is the modelling algorithm used to simulate an analog delay, or tape delay etc. And I'm pretty sure Cliff's algorithms are world-class (not going to comment on the Helix as I've never used one).
 

Jarick

Experienced
Delays are very good in the Helix. They are also very good in the Fractal. The Fractal has more options to tweak and fine tune while the Helix is a little more plug and play.

Maybe you are confusing the Fractal with Kemper? Kemper does not have individually modeled delays but has a bunch of settings which is meant to help emulate different delay effects. Personally I found it a huge pain to deal with (like a lot of stuff in the Kemper) and I much preferred both Helix and Fractal.
 

GotMetalBoy

Power User
I have an Axe-Fx II XL+, Axe-Fx III, RJM Mastermind GT 22, Liquid Foot+ PRO+ and 12+ and a Helix Floorboard. I was going to get the HX Stomp but got the Helix Floorboard because it has a built in expression pedal and I wanted an all in one solution. Another deciding factor was I got the Blue Limited Edition Helix which I think looks cool and it also came with a nice Line 6 gig bag.

I think the Axe-Fx III sounds the best but I like the simplicity and portability of the Helix. If I use the same IR's for the Axe-Fx II, III and Helix, they all sound a lot more similar. There's tons of good comparisons on YouTube.

WARNING!
@bgrizzmayne If you decide to get a FM3 as a backup and ask for help on here about advanced features to make it sound closer to your real tube amps, be very careful with your wording because the fangirls on here will get their panties in a bunch and jump all over you because they will take it as you saying the FM3 doesn't sound as good as a real tube amp even though you're just a newb trying to learn what all the many features do. You will also have a similar experience on the Line 6 forum but I find it worse on here because FAS is considered the Holy Grail of modelers, which I do agree it is :)
 

chris

Legend!
WARNING!
@bgrizzmayne If you decide to get a FM3 as a backup and ask for help on here about advanced features to make it sound closer to your real tube amps, be very careful with your wording because the fangirls on here will get their panties in a bunch and jump all over you because they will take it as you saying the FM3 doesn't sound as good as a real tube amp even though you're just a newb trying to learn what all the many features do.
what?
 

RalphNYC

Inspired
I just got my FM3 invite and I'm really on the fence about it, given that I have the Stomp and it fits in my gig bag. For me, fitting in the gig bag is a really big deal when it comes to gigs and rehearsals, which combined are only about 5 times per month, but still.... I love the Fractal sound though.
 

jbsn

Member
I just got my FM3 invite and I'm really on the fence about it, given that I have the Stomp and it fits in my gig bag. For me, fitting in the gig bag is a really big deal when it comes to gigs and rehearsals, which combined are only about 5 times per month, but still.... I love the Fractal sound though.

I now own (or have owned) the Stomp, AX8, FM3 and Axe 3. The Stomp is the most compact yes, but other things equal, I’d say you need to buy a slightly bigger bag or a case you could mod a bit to get it done.

Side note - it would be really sweet to see Fractal drop an even smaller, simpler modeller as a desktop unit. Basically an interface with a limited supply of essential effects and amps, a sort of super-Pod except actually sounds good. Affordable enough for a middle class 15 year old to get for Christmas. I mean I see people shelling out $100+ for software apps and they need an interface besides...
 

ruso

Power User
Hey Fractal users!

I run a big pedalboard and suhr pt15 IR. A traditional setup with direct to FOH. Recently, my power supplies died on me at a gig. ive had so many tube amps die that I always bring a backup amp.

I was going to purchase an HX stomp for my board. It’d serve as a multiFX device and an emergency direct to FOH device so I’d be covered for backups.

is the FM3 better than an HX stomp for multi fx in light amp modeling situations? The FM3 is much larger and harder to get, plus more money. But do you think it’s worth it?

Personally, I’ve owned both, and I feel the HX Stomp is inferior to the FM3 in both effects and amp modeling. But having owned one, for the purpose of a compact effects unit and backup for your amp, the HX Stomp would be a viable choice.

With that said, you’ll most likely get biased suggestions here being this forum is operated by the manufacturer.
 

RalphNYC

Inspired
I now own (or have owned) the Stomp, AX8, FM3 and Axe 3. The Stomp is the most compact yes, but other things equal, I’d say you need to buy a slightly bigger bag or a case you could mod a bit to get it done.

Side note - it would be really sweet to see Fractal drop an even smaller, simpler modeller as a desktop unit. Basically an interface with a limited supply of essential effects and amps, a sort of super-Pod except actually sounds good. Affordable enough for a middle class 15 year old to get for Christmas. I mean I see people shelling out $100+ for software apps and they need an interface besides...
I've owned the AxeFX II, the III briefly, and the AX8. I think they are all great. I've owned the Helix, the HX Stomp (still have), the Kemper Profiler, the Atomic Amplifire (a few models), the Avid 11 Rack, the Mooer and some Zoom and Boss stuff (still have the GT1000).

Before covid, I'd been gigging with nothing but the HX Stomp and it was great. Easy setup, great sound, light weight. But yes, a bit more limited, but I can't think too much about patches and switches during gigs anyway.

I feel that all of these boxes get the job done. I think the Kemper and Fractal sound the best, but with different workflows, and I think the differences between all of top brands are pretty subtle. I spend more money on keyboards/synths these days, which is my latest infatuation (2 years now).
 

artzeal

Experienced
FM3 sound and feel is substantially more amp like and effects are much richer and far more customizable. If that's what's most important, get FM3. Other priorities may lead to other choices.

There are nearly infinite variations that can be done with Drive Pedals in the FM3 if you want to design your own. With most of the over 40 Drive Models the Clip type, clip shape, and clipping source can be modded with about 18 diodes, op amps, transistors, LEDs, high or low plate voltage tubes to change or create a custom dirt box: If you want more chew and less bite from a RAT: swap in the component that satisfies the palate. Or just tweak the stock EQ in a Tube Screamer: a hint more bass extension and less mid push for a perfect match to the guitar. The possibility of really useful customization alone puts the Fractal kit ahead of the pack. And that's just in the Drive block. The delays and mod effects can be taken for a ride around the solar system when you're ready.
 
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felken

Inspired
In on the list for an FM3. I needed an effects unit for my amp in 4 cable method. So I tried a stomp and changed to an hx effects. I wanted the stomp to work for me as an effects unit and a backup if my amp died. The lack of 2 outs like an FM3 is a deal breaker for me on the stomp. Also i want more switching capabilities so the hx was a better fit.
I am planning on getting the FM3 and selling my axe2 when my time comes.
 

jbsn

Member
To clarify my previous post a small bit, HX stomp will more than get the job done if you can play, provided you can work with a modest effects chain (or, can work in conjunction with external effects if you can’t). It’s really, really good just not as good as Fractal.

there’s definitely more dialing in though and the presets aren’t that great.
 

myconsumerclub

New Member
Id be debating what to get as well but I am thinking in terms of FM3 vs the full AxeFXIII. I had an LT and I have native now so I sold it and now I am thinking fractal.

Even with a fractal I still want a tube amp as well for the fun of it not the need. I just think they look cooler on stage and that matters too.

For FX I need to add a Dry Bell Univibe and a Neo Ventilator II plus on the front end I want to use the Vibe inside an LA Lady which serves as a midi controlled loop and a boost in front of the fractal with the Dry Bell vibe and an EHX attack decay for backward guitar FX in that loop plus outside the loop I need a Digitech FreQout in the front for feedback and Ebow like sustain FX.

Then in the back end loops for additional stereo FX I want a Meris Hedra and the Ventilator and possibly a Ravish Sitar and put that in the loop of an HX effects. If I did want to get another Helix it would be a rack unit and only because I would want to use its ability to switch tones on Variax if I had one.

Also I want an SY1000 mostly for modeled classical guitar stuff and a Sim-One.

That is three of the Axe FX loops for these FX units if I need more I can feed them with mono feeds and mix them down with line mixers and feed the stereo out to one of the fractals stereo returns. If I did add an extra delay it would likely be a source audio nemesis.

This is my dream rig and that tube amp would either be a HK triamp or that new midi Diesel. If I need more reverb that can be done in the box with plugins.

Live I need my computer for keys anyway so I can use it for FX as well if needed.
 

JD_

Inspired
Anyone using the Strymon Iridium as a backup? Just got one and still evaluating it. I play classic rock and metal, and the Plexi model doesn’t seem to have enough gain for me, so I’m trying it with various drive pedals. The Fender/Vox models would work as a backup for a church gig, but would need delay pedals too. Seems like the Stomp might be better for me (strictly as a backup to my III or FM3) given the built in effects and more models.
 
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