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Hating my Axe FX, any last words before I sell?

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Mark_D

Member
Im running same setup (Axe II > Matrix GT1000FX > NL212) but with cab sim ON! Yap, that’s right, and it sounds a blast!




That’s exactly the problem I had when cab sim was OFF.

My first thought was 'did he just say FRFR and cab sims OFF!?'

Granted I'm not familiar with the particular gear he's got, but that sounds like the problem to me.
 

Coldsummer

Experienced
It never ceases to amaze me just how helpful members of this forum are. On other forums the OP would be given short shrift and plenty of abuse instead of the helpful and non-judgmental advice offered here.
 

Zwiebelchen

Fractal Fanatic
It never ceases to amaze me just how helpful members of this forum are. On other forums the OP would be given short shrift and plenty of abuse instead of the helpful and non-judgmental advice offered here.
To be fair, the community members lurking these forums sometimes serve the helpful advices with plenty of abuse. ;)
 

simeon

Axe-Master
to the OP. my suggestion is to try running it like this...

axe > matrix > NL - with cab sims on

axe > matrix > whatever cab you're using for the jcm800 - with cab sims off

don't try to compensate for overall tonal bias by using the amp controls. what i mean is...if everything sounds too bright, then use the global eq to correct it, not the amp controls.

also - don't touch the advanced parameters. at all. you shouldn't need to. if you cant get a great tone just by using the basic amp controls, then something else is messing up your sound and no amount of advanced tweaking will solve it (as you've discovered).

simply changing the cab (real or IR) that you're playing through will affect your tone more dramatically thatn anything you can do with advanced parameters.

my feeling here is that the matrix cab is the culprit. i bet if you run the axe into the matrix and your real cab with poweramp sims on and cab sims off, you will have a very, very different experience.
 

clarky

Axe-Master
to the OP. my suggestion is to try running it like this...

axe > matrix > NL - with cab sims on

axe > matrix > whatever cab you're using for the jcm800 - with cab sims off

don't try to compensate for overall tonal bias by using the amp controls. what i mean is...if everything sounds too bright, then use the global eq to correct it, not the amp controls.

also - don't touch the advanced parameters. at all. you shouldn't need to. if you cant get a great tone just by using the basic amp controls, then something else is messing up your sound and no amount of advanced tweaking will solve it (as you've discovered).

simply changing the cab (real or IR) that you're playing through will affect your tone more dramatically thatn anything you can do with advanced parameters.

my feeling here is that the matrix cab is the culprit. i bet if you run the axe into the matrix and your real cab with poweramp sims on and cab sims off, you will have a very, very different experience.

sterling comments suh ! !

OP - Sim makes a very important point here…
the eq controls in the amp block basic page are 'tone' centric.. wind up the presence for example and you'll hear the extreme highs get fried [which may or may not be a good thing.. that's up to you]..
however, if you feel [using the example above] that you have basically the right tone [gain wise] but would like to strengthen or calm the extreme highs, either go to the amp block's eq page and fine tune it in there, or pop a GEQ block after the amp and fix up the EQ there..

the NL cabs can be very bright.. I think this is what's doing the damage in your case..
the NL's are superb cabs, but they're nothing like a traditional 2x12 cabs.. they are something unto themselves and so need to be treated as such.. especially with respect to EQ..

jack your real 4x12 into the Matrix..
if you have a pair of 4x12 cabs, even better.. jack them both in, hook up in stereo..
then shut off the cab emulation in the Axe.. this will be more like the playing experience you are used to..
so then crank it and go wipe out the street..

and then hopefully your next thread will be "OMG and I was going to sell it!!"
 

clarky

Axe-Master
The potential prob is… If Scott don't use NL212 cabs, he'll dial up a beautiful tone through his rig, that may not fair so well through the OP's rig.

I'd suggest that once Scott has managed to rescue the OP's tone, the OP should then try:
- use a GEQ to address the EQ differences between Scott's monitoring and the OP dials-in to his own NL212
- swap out the NL212 with a traditional cab, cab em = off, and use a GEQ to dial-in to the trad cab
 

Flyingmd

Member
Its not gonna work for everybody and life is way too short. You should not have to spend so much time tweaking your tone although all the advice given is excellent advice, the bottom line is, if your ears dont approve and you were happy with your prior set up, I would just go back to that and get rid of the axe or just use it as an effects processesor. And while the advice given is excellent, everybodys ears and definition of the tone they want are different. There is absolutely no reason to try to convince anyone that the axe is the shit for them because it just may not be so.
 

Stringmanipulator

Power User
If you decide to sell it, I still believe we see each other again down the road :)
.. but no matter what, I wish you good luck, and I hope you find something you can
be satisfied with and enjoy

:)
 

voes

Fractal Fanatic
Vendor
...I'm sick of this 'magical black box'. I plug into my JCM800 -> 4x12 and have a pretty basic time dialing in some usable tones. I load up a JCM800 into my Matrix rig w/ Axe FX and the same story as above....I have to tweak 5,000,000 knobs to make it not sound bad. The real JCM800 sounds good at almost every basic setting.

Set up a new patch with only using an AMP-block (try the JCM800 model since that's what you like). Connect to the Matrix and your 4x12 Cab

Use only the basic parameters.

If this still doesn't give you a good sound, then IMHO the Axe-Fx is not the right game for you.
 

Rocket Brother

Power User
Hey man,

I live in Kansas City, but I don't gig with my Axe II/Matrix rig. But I'd be willing to try to help you out if we could work out a place/time. Just PM me, and we'll go from there.

Take Thomas-Hawk up on the offer, it's great to be next to someone who is used to dial in tones on the Axe.

JCM800 sounds alright with a strat to me:

Jcm 800 nearly stock settings

Jcm800 with a tubescreamer in front:



.... curious, have you ever listened to your JCM800 recorded? Could you post them as a tonal reference to what your ears want to hear?

I usually can find pretty great mix ready tones with most amps in the axe fx pretty fast. Sure, not all are my cup of tea, and some amps sound downright bad.. but I'd first blame the amp circuit before the axefx.



And for good measure, a deluxe reverb:

Check out Tylers presets and try those in your Axe II. You can find his presets at his website Tyler Grund's Axe Fx 2 Website

Share a preset with me via email and let me see/hear what you are doing. Share your rig setup and what your influences are. Share a clip (if you could) of what it sounds like for you; and a clip of the rigs you do like if you could.

I'll try to help you by working that preset and sending it back to you. Quite often that 'jumpstarts' guys and gets them rolling.

It's not about tweaking it to make it sound bad; and there's no reason at all to be tweaking it to keep it from sounding bad. That's a red flag that you are over thinking it. The best sounding presets I have are actually VERY simple with nothing to do in them; I make them look complicated because I need each thing in the routing to DO something specific... strip it back to what I actually use 99% of the time and it's an amp, a cab and a slight bit of reverb and a hint of delay. That's it. It's sometimes more about the methods people use in their approach it than anything else.

Long story short - if you reach out to me via PM or email, I can try to help you. Might not work for you at all; but it might be worth a shot if it did work out.

Definitely take Scott up on his offer - you'll get great help and pointers and very likely the problem you are having will be identified so you know exactly what to do and what not to do going forward when crafting your own presets.

to the OP. my suggestion is to try running it like this...

axe > matrix > NL - with cab sims on

axe > matrix > whatever cab you're using for the jcm800 - with cab sims off

don't try to compensate for overall tonal bias by using the amp controls. what i mean is...if everything sounds too bright, then use the global eq to correct it, not the amp controls.

also - don't touch the advanced parameters. at all. you shouldn't need to. if you cant get a great tone just by using the basic amp controls, then something else is messing up your sound and no amount of advanced tweaking will solve it (as you've discovered).

simply changing the cab (real or IR) that you're playing through will affect your tone more dramatically thatn anything you can do with advanced parameters.

my feeling here is that the matrix cab is the culprit. i bet if you run the axe into the matrix and your real cab with poweramp sims on and cab sims off, you will have a very, very different experience.

Try the different cab approaches that Simeon lists above.


Also try using the Axe Fx as a virtual pedal board into your Deluxe Reverb to see that the pedal and Fx sims in there are really top notch.
I.e. the BB pre in the Axe easily sounded as good as the real BB I used to have.
You can even use a Bogner Blue amp with the power amp bypassed (globally or SAG at zero in the amp block) to emulate a Bogner Blue pedal. I had borrowed the Bogner Blue pedal and wanted to buy it - until I did that Bogner (pre)amp as a pedal trick into my Carr Rambler, where I actually preferred the virtual pedal over the real pedal into the real tube amp (Carr Rambler).

My advice would be to try all the above - and if none of that helps, sell the Axe II
 

SockPuppet

Inspired
I can actually relate to this. I've been an Axe FX owner since the II Mark 1 came out. I was really struggling for the first year and a half to get a decent tone out of it, but I could hear the potential in sound and what other people were getting out of it. So I was reading around the forum and one guy suggested that I should try to set a preset up with an amp and cab block, choose an IR that I like and just scroll through the amps until I find something that I like (without looking at the amp names).

I'm kind of in the same ballpark as you are tone wise (I like blues:ish classic tones except i like it with a modern touch). I wrote down the amps that I liked and waited a couple of hours to let my ears reset, and then I did the same thing again with the amps that I wrote down. Oddly enough the amp that I liked the most was actually the 5153 Red and the Brit Pre. I then took that preset and removed the cab block and hooked everything up to my Matrix GT1000FX and my Zilla 2x12. And as I expected it sounded like crap. The low end wasn't there, and the highs sounded like they were kind of sticking to the dust cap of the speaker (instead of getting that 3D dispersion that I'm used to). I started adjusting some settings but got the same problem as you have, a kind of blanket over the sound. Something that really helped me with this was turn my output 1 up on the axe fx to full and just use the matrix for overall level - blanket was instantly gone and I'm completely blown away by the sound.

My point is: Maybe you are looking at the wrong amps for your liking. This can sound insulting to someone who's been using for example a JCM 800 for 10+ years and knows what that amp should sound like. But what I've learned over the years is that the axe isn't exactly like an amp head, it can either be your downfall or you just click with it.

My other point is: Try the turning up the output on the axe all the way up and make sure your presets aren't clipping and just use the Matrix for overall level. (some might oppose to this since to my understanding most people like to run the level of the output at around 6, but I like it all the way up)

And my third and final point: As some people have stated, maybe the Axe FX isn't for you - in that regard of using it as an amp modeler. Sometimes you just have to bite the bullet and look at what makes you happy. If you like the tone of your JCM 800 then go for it. I think the most important thing with this unit is for it to act like a tool for your creative process and not hold you back.

I really hope that you will make it work for you because it is really awesome once you make it work for you. I wish you all the best in your musical career regardless of your choice to sell it or not :)
 
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