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If you're not sure...the FM9 is a beast!

I'm upgrading from an AX8 and owned a AXE FX II and Ultra before that. The FM9 is a tremendous leap in every category. I've gigged hundreds of shows on the AX8 since I got it years ago. The FM9 is a substantial upgrade in every way that matters to me.

First things first, sound quality. FM9 is just much more touch sensitive, and has a MUCH lower noise floor. I've noticed where I used to have my noise gate threshold up on previous iterations I'm actually able to turn it down now and have noticed a much cleaner noise floor across the board. This translates into me being able to be more dynamic and work the volume on my guitar in situations where previously that wouldn't have been optimal. Clean and pushed sounds I find a really big difference over previous hardware as well. I didn't anticipate that but was really surprised at how organic the cleans sound. Esp that pushed cleans that have a just a little hair or break up in them. I know is cliche to say those adjectives at this point. But I def find myself playing and being really inspired and excited to program sounds. Heavy sounds seem richer to me too and there's more air and most welcome to me - bloom.

All the UI improvements, colored switches and customizations and layouts, the full color screen. I could go on and on. To keep it short, if you're coming from an AX8, the FM9 is badass and you will not be disappointed. I think it's a major hit for Fractal. One thing I'm loving is the dual function switches, I've just scratched the surface with holding the Delay switch down to increase feedback and modulation rate to get some cool run-away analog style delay sounds while it also controls the EQ Frequency in the Filter Block. Nothing ground breaking, but programing it is a lot easier on the FM9.

If you're coming from an AXE-FX III, you're loosing some power obvi. But if you're not using that much horsepower, not having to bring out a rack and dedicated foot pedal is pretty awesome.

As a working musician that's in the trenches grinding it out, the FM9 checks off so many boxes for me. I played a show to about 500 people on Saturday with it barely dialed in and got a boat load of compliments on my tone. When it comes to pedals and electronics, I don't buy the latest and greatest just for the hell of it. I have a mortgage. Gear is like an iPhone to me, I expect to use it for years until it breaks or something REALLY compelling causes me to upgrade.

The FM9 is a very worthy upgrade!

Bravo Fractal!
 

LancerS

Inspired
I too am also coming from my beloved AX8...I didn't see the utility for me personally with the release of the AXE III and decided to sit out on the FM3 as well because at the end of the day if you use an AX8 the FM9 is logically just the next step. Thanks for the review, the FM9 is the workhorse replacement for the AX8 that we all were pretty sure would eventually make it's way to market. I didn't jump in until 28-Aug-1000hrs cst but I have been patiently waiting for this for a long time anyway and your review confirms what many of us who still use the AX8 were hoping for.
Thank you for sharing your experience.
 
I too am also coming from my beloved AX8...I didn't see the utility for me personally with the release of the AXE III and decided to sit out on the FM3 as well because at the end of the day if you use an AX8 the FM9 is logically just the next step. Thanks for the review, the FM9 is the workhorse replacement for the AX8 that we all were pretty sure would eventually make it's way to market. I didn't jump in until 28-Aug-1000hrs cst but I have been patiently waiting for this for a long time anyway and your review confirms what many of us who still use the AX8 were hoping for.
Thank you for sharing your experience.
I was in the same boat. The FM3 for me was, from a functionality stand point, a step back with the amount of switches it has compared to the AX8. I would have needed to purchase additional foot switches to make it work and I didn't want the extra expense and cabling and set up. The FM9 in comparison is the perfect solution IMHO. The price to feature ratio is stellar considering the new AXE-FX III with FC-12 is $3200.00. FM9 offers this really sweet spot of performance and price for me.

Other features I'm really digging is the various metering views. You can view all the entire layout block's in & out levels of your entire chain to see if you have any gain staging or clipping issues right on the individual blocks. Very cool. Then a master metering section for all the I/O too. I'm sure AXE-FX III guys are used to this but for AX8 guys it's a great feature.
 

Pete1959

Inspired
Another AX8 owner here who purchased the FM3 and now the FM9. I love the FM3 and despite its lack of switches and CPU issues, it handled basically every situation I needed. Probably had to do that however with extra presets to conserve CPU and prior to the FM9, I was considering buying the FC6 to replace my DMC-3XL MIDI switcher.

That being said, wow! Migrating my presets from the FM3 suddenly dropped a significant amount of CPU allowing me to add the extra amp, improve the quality of reverbs, and add a third expression pedal.
Only been a little more than a week and am still rehearsing with my FM3 as I tweak the FM9. Seriously considering keeping both. Thanks FAS for yet another great unit in the FM9.
 

jazzgtrl4

Experienced
Same here full time musician and hundreds of gigs with the Ax8....i had an Ultra in 09, then AxeFxII.....and just got the Fm9 on friday..wow this thing is killer. Was funny i bought a III and Liquid foot Jr+ so i could run that rig and as a backup for my Ax8...when this came out i sold the LF Jr and now im thinking about selling my III dont think i need it..i didn't need all the horse power that thing had anyway to be honest..the FM9 is more than powerful for me
 

HAhN SOLO

Inspired
Same here full time musician and hundreds of gigs with the Ax8....i had an Ultra in 09, then AxeFxII.....and just got the Fm9 on friday..wow this thing is killer. Was funny i bought a III and Liquid foot Jr+ so i could run that rig and as a backup for my Ax8...when this came out i sold the LF Jr and now im thinking about selling my III dont think i need it..i didn't need all the horse power that thing had anyway to be honest..the FM9 is more than powerful for me
Just got the invite for my FM9. My III is up for sale now, as I also don't use all the horsepower, and really want to downsize my load in/out.
 
Another positive chapter to add to my experience from a show Saturday.

I have a dedicated acoustic pedalboard that I tweak yearly, most of it stays the same but I may swap something in and out if I find a more efficient way of doing things. I spent a couple days last week sort of cloning my AC pedalboard into the FM9. Played a couple shows over the weekend and was very happy. It's not quite there YET, but nothing really is until I play a half dozen shows on something and get everything tweaked out and dialed in so I can cover everything the way I need to. But wow, it's already about 85% there and I only spent a couple hrs working up a rig from scratch. The absolute best part is that because the FM9 has so much I/O I can still incorporate a couple of pedals that I can't quite duplicate inside that FM9. But I can already see I'll be able to replace my AC pedalboard.

This is absolutely HUGE for me for a number of reasons. Firstly, Eliminates an entire 2nd dedicated pedalboard. My Pelican case and cables is all I need now for any show acoustic or electric. Saves space in the car. Days where I have doubles with an AC gig in the afternoon and electric at night and I may need to haul PA for one or both of them - the extra space saved is huge to have one rig that does EVERYTHING. Also, just less to maintain and cart around and deal with.

It might not sound like a big deal, but one less pedalboard in the car means I can take another guitar with me, or just simply traveling lighter and easier, or if the wife is coming with me it means I don't have to give her shit and tell her not to pack so much for the trip. LOL, which is always a huge plus!
 

jazzgtrl4

Experienced
Another positive chapter to add to my experience from a show Saturday.

I have a dedicated acoustic pedalboard that I tweak yearly, most of it stays the same but I may swap something in and out if I find a more efficient way of doing things. I spent a couple days last week sort of cloning my AC pedalboard into the FM9. Played a couple shows over the weekend and was very happy. It's not quite there YET, but nothing really is until I play a half dozen shows on something and get everything tweaked out and dialed in so I can cover everything the way I need to. But wow, it's already about 85% there and I only spent a couple hrs working up a rig from scratch. The absolute best part is that because the FM9 has so much I/O I can still incorporate a couple of pedals that I can't quite duplicate inside that FM9. But I can already see I'll be able to replace my AC pedalboard.

This is absolutely HUGE for me for a number of reasons. Firstly, Eliminates an entire 2nd dedicated pedalboard. My Pelican case and cables is all I need now for any show acoustic or electric. Saves space in the car. Days where I have doubles with an AC gig in the afternoon and electric at night and I may need to haul PA for one or both of them - the extra space saved is huge to have one rig that does EVERYTHING. Also, just less to maintain and cart around and deal with.

It might not sound like a big deal, but one less pedalboard in the car means I can take another guitar with me, or just simply traveling lighter and easier, or if the wife is coming with me it means I don't have to give her shit and tell her not to pack so much for the trip. LOL, which is always a huge plus!


Thats awesome! yep..ok so i play in a country band too...My Tele with the Mr. Z amp is what i use...nails the chicken pickin/ modern tones forsure...then i bring acoustic guitar (Godin Mulitac Steel) then i double on Mandolin..So my Axe 8 does it all...For the acoustic guitar patch i use a IR i did of my Eric Clapton Martin..I get complements on my acoustic tone all the time at gigs..For mandolin i use a Eastman electric mandolin. I use an IR that a guy did of Gibson F5 Fern so i get that airy acoustic tone but on an electric 8 string mando, they actually come with a mini Lollar pickup that is designed for it. works great...I just use Tube pre and these IRs for my acoustic stuff and then effects.


sooo now im just putting together the same type of patches for the FM9
 
I'm upgrading from an AX8 and owned a AXE FX II and Ultra before that. The FM9 is a tremendous leap in every category. I've gigged hundreds of shows on the AX8 since I got it years ago. The FM9 is a substantial upgrade in every way that matters to me.

First things first, sound quality. FM9 is just much more touch sensitive, and has a MUCH lower noise floor. I've noticed where I used to have my noise gate threshold up on previous iterations I'm actually able to turn it down now and have noticed a much cleaner noise floor across the board. This translates into me being able to be more dynamic and work the volume on my guitar in situations where previously that wouldn't have been optimal. Clean and pushed sounds I find a really big difference over previous hardware as well. I didn't anticipate that but was really surprised at how organic the cleans sound. Esp that pushed cleans that have a just a little hair or break up in them. I know is cliche to say those adjectives at this point. But I def find myself playing and being really inspired and excited to program sounds. Heavy sounds seem richer to me too and there's more air and most welcome to me - bloom.

All the UI improvements, colored switches and customizations and layouts, the full color screen. I could go on and on. To keep it short, if you're coming from an AX8, the FM9 is badass and you will not be disappointed. I think it's a major hit for Fractal. One thing I'm loving is the dual function switches, I've just scratched the surface with holding the Delay switch down to increase feedback and modulation rate to get some cool run-away analog style delay sounds while it also controls the EQ Frequency in the Filter Block. Nothing ground breaking, but programing it is a lot easier on the FM9.

If you're coming from an AXE-FX III, you're loosing some power obvi. But if you're not using that much horsepower, not having to bring out a rack and dedicated foot pedal is pretty awesome.

As a working musician that's in the trenches grinding it out, the FM9 checks off so many boxes for me. I played a show to about 500 people on Saturday with it barely dialed in and got a boat load of compliments on my tone. When it comes to pedals and electronics, I don't buy the latest and greatest just for the hell of it. I have a mortgage. Gear is like an iPhone to me, I expect to use it for years until it breaks or something REALLY compelling causes me to upgrade.

The FM9 is a very worthy upgrade!

Bravo Fractal!
Couldn't have said it better! Your'e absolutely correct in everything you say here. I have a III and love it, but there's something else going on with this unit. Hard to explain - has to be experienced :)
 
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