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I might drop the dime - Kemper, Helix users and Axe-FX III now?

Discussion in 'Axe-Fx III Reviews' started by Conley Shepherd, Jan 14, 2019 at 1:52 PM.

  1. Conley Shepherd

    Conley Shepherd
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    Checking to see who has had the Kemper, Helix and are now FX III users.

    In all the reviews and demos I have seen, the Axe is far superior to the other units. I don't care about profiling any amps. I am more interested in the actual FX and occasional amps for recording. I play in jail, Prison, church and homeless ministries with my gear and don't play anywhere else for now.

    I have a GW major with ground control pro and a Mesa Mark V.

    I am looking to upgrade for mostly FX, editing software and kickin sounds.

    so, out of the Helix, Kemper and AXE-FX III, how much better is the AXE? What do you like and wish were better?

    I got a hole in my pocket and likely gonna drop that dime. I appreciate any feedback y'all!
     
  2. peteri

    peteri
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    Had a Helix, got an AX8 and now a Axe III

    Moment I got the AX8, modelling made sense and I sold the Helix.

    For me you can get good sounds of the Helix for sure, but it felt like I needed to jump through hoops, to work in a way which I wouldn't in the real world.

    Fractal felt like the real world, the tone controls are where I'd put them on the real amp, the amps sound like the ones I've owned, if I change the speaker or reverb it just all reacts as I expect.

    Honestly - for me, Helix not even close.

    Kemper I've played a bit through one - it's a different concept with the profiling which I don't like so much, and the lack of editor etc. It sounded great when I tried, but the effects and number of updates in the Fractal blew me away.

    What I wish was better? Klon modelled absolutely, you can get very close to - but I love the compression in the KTR and really only the other thing is one or two 'missing' amp models (I'd love a L5 for the BB King sound).
     
  3. bshaw92

    bshaw92
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    I've had a Kemper since 2012. Tried the Helix and the AX8 and the AXE Fx Ultra prior to the III. I switched to the AX8 for simplicity for a while (2016) and then started doing A/B's with the Kemper and AX8 after a while. Started using my Kemper again. The Kemper and AXE 3 are in a little different league in my opinion.

    If you have not compared them and just want a good sound you will not go wrong with any of the items you mentioned. You could use a Joyo American Sound into an HX Effects and it will sound good (I have this as a back up).

    The Kemper provides an accurate representation of the amp (the cabinet can make or break the profile). It is light and easy to set up and with the remote it gets most everything you could want. It does however provide a tonal quality of its own that is not part of the original amp - which is why I tried the 3. The 3 provides a very accurate representation of the amp and does not add an additional character to the amp sound.

    Both the Kemper and 3 have the amp bounce and resonance that make you smile when playing a tube amp. The other units are close, but miss that mark a little. The possibility to have multiple inputs and outputs along with the sound quality caused me to switch. You could literally have 3 people...or more connect to your 3 with effects. The possibilities are more than I would ever need, but the sound and feel are what won me over. The prior iterations were not up to the Kemper at that time. Whatever "magic" is being used in the 3 works and works well. I still A/B the 3 against my amps weekly and I'm very happy with the results.

    I would love to be able to find something in the lower price range that matches the way the amp sounds and feel, and believe me I've tried, but I haven't as of now and so I'm a Fractal convert.
     
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  4. jamn4jc

    jamn4jc
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    I currently own all 3... KPA, Helix and Fractal (AX8/FXII/FXIII). The KPA has seen the least amount of use. The Helix has some cool features that I like (Snapshots, assigning controllers, and scribble strips are excellent) and many features that I will never need. I think the Fractal tones are much better and once the FC6/12 start shipping that will address my biggest need/wish (displays and flexible layout). I wrote this a while ago about the KPA vs. the Axe-FX. http://jamn4jc.info/2018/04/time-to-choose-fractal-axe-fx-or-kemper-profiling-amp/
     
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  5. Admin M@

    Admin M@
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    Fractal Audio Systems Moderator

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    Just a side note. @henryrobinett works or used to work with music in prisons.
     
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  6. Conley Shepherd

    Conley Shepherd
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    thanks guys, I am pretty sure the Ground control pro is a good footswitch for the 3, wouldn't it? It would kill me to spend another $700 to get a footswitch. Are you guys using any midi pedal at all with the 3?

    Appreciate the feedback so far!
     
  7. Conley Shepherd

    Conley Shepherd
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    Thanks for the link, Nice article. I have a friend who has the Kemper and it was not real easy figure stuff out when he brought it over. We hept losing presets when using the pedal and couldn't figure why. To tell you the truth, lack of an editor was an issue with me as well. Line 6 has great editors. I have had the dream rig and a few of the HD footboards. I have had 3 variax guitars and with the limited lifespan/sunsetting of support from Line6, I swore off ever getting another line 6 product. Very glad I found the FX III. Going to get it and give it a go. Does Fractal have a good return policy (jic)? I seriously doubt I would return it listening to Cooper demo the daylights out of the unit. :)
     
  8. bshaw92

    bshaw92
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    I've been using a Line 6 HD500x for some time now. Works great.
     
  9. Conley Shepherd

    Conley Shepherd
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    do you use it as a midi controller? That is more of what I meant. I have and HD500 as well still. that only has about 7 hours on it.
     
  10. bshaw92

    bshaw92
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    Yes. I have a thread I put together which shows the layout and setup. It will be the same for the HD500.
     
  11. unix-guy

    unix-guy
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    In my opinion, no.

    You have to use hack methods or preset mapping to use Scenes and not sure you can use Channels at all.

    Additionally, the button layout options are very limited (I'm sure you know that already?)
     
  12. Heinzi

    Heinzi
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    I´d say Axe Fx and Kemper are top of the line- then comes Line 6 an Headrush which are really a league below the other two units.
    Ampsoundwise it seems to me some prefer Kemper, some Axe Fx (for reasons I don´t know). Flexibility, Effectquality- and routingwise there´s no discussion - Axe FX beats em all.
    Line 6 and Headrush don´t really get the modellingquality of the benchbark units but are quite superior to the common 500,- units. Anyway both are very userfriendly and the headrush is very easy to handle with the touchscreen - I wouldn´t hesitate one moment to play a gig with them, but if i had the choice I´d go for kemper or Axe Fx with a slight preferation of the FAS.
     
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  13. dongzo

    dongzo
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    You can get good sounds from all of the them, but if you want superior versatility and want to be in FX heaven, go with the axe :)
     
  14. Conley Shepherd

    Conley Shepherd
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    Thanks again for the feedback. Right now, my main FX unit is the G-major 2. I have a ground control pro and love it. I haven't looked at the midi mapping of the AXE yet. Gonna do that today sometime. Looking at the tutorial that Chris did was pretty informative and the front panel is really user friendly for editing. I love that. The software looks nice too.

    How is the patch switch time delay? Is there any lag at all? I guess it would be the scene changes I guess. Still need to get that scene and patch relationship sorted in my mind. My X32 has them too with shows and scenes.

    I am totally gonna pull the trigger on the AXE in time to have it shipped today. Just trying to find out a few more things so I can make a good decision based on what I want which is first -0 stellar FX, then good amps. I have a mesa mark V so I am good with the amp for the most part. I will have a good replacement for my G-Major 2 and a lot more. Not sure I will be using all four inputs, but that could be good for re-amping in my recordings.
     
  15. Conley Shepherd

    Conley Shepherd
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    where is that thread? I would like to look at it.
     
  16. peteri

    peteri
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    If you're planning on only using the Axe for effects, why not look at the FX8? That's it's primary purpose.

    Assuming you want the III -

    Patches - there is a small delay I'm guessing, I've never noticed because it's not something I can ever imagine you'd need to do mid-song. A patch is a song think of it that way

    Scenes - these are the sections within a song, there the delay is extremely short - quicker than a channel switching amp, if that is too long for you - you can with some simple programming get no delay (basically have two amp/effect chains active the whole time and use a multiplexor at the end to switch what you're hearing). I can't believe the scene delay would bother anyone who's ever switched amp channels it's that quick
     
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  17. DaAxeMan

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    I own all three and actually use the Helix as a midi controller for the Axe Fx 3. That worked out great.

    The Kemper sounds great but no editor makes it a terrible option.

    The Helix is only good (other than midi) for acoustic patches along with a variax guitar.

    The Axe 3 by far has the best tones and best editor in the history of editors.
     
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  18. bshaw92

    bshaw92
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  19. Conley Shepherd

    Conley Shepherd
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    I dropped the dime on the AXE III - now waiting is gonna kill me more than the price did!! Is there FB users page for the AXE III
     
  20. #20 GuitarDojo, Jan 15, 2019 at 10:12 AM
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2019 at 10:21 AM
    GuitarDojo

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    There is FB P&W Axe Page....
     

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