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Ignoring the amp models: "This thing is a monster"

Chris Hurley

I've been a Fractal user for a long time now. The headline amp modelling feature is easily the best in the business as far as I'm concerned and I've tried all the major players multiple times. As much as I love the Axe-FX III for the amp models, I'm really appreciating the other features right now. Stuff that doesn't get as much fanfare and really deserves to.

I'm into the Randall/Synergy modular preamp stuff right now. There is something about the tactile experience that I enjoy as much as the tone, and the tone can be great when all the pieces come together. I've dialed the Fractal models to where I couldn't tell them apart but the knobs on a regular amp scratch a certain itch for me that I enjoy scratching.

When I'm playing a more traditional tube amp setup, there are still a lot of utility features that I need and appreciate. Any one feature can usually be had easily enough but when you add a few together, you start to wonder "I wish there was something that could do a couple of these things at one time."

I searched and searched and never found anything that even approached what the Axe-FX III can do as a "Tube Amp Improver", even if you don't use the models. I remember being somewhat disappointed when I read of a famous artist that was using the Fractal "just for effects" but man it can do a lot in that duty.

EQ before and after the amp... This is just huge right here. It turns 1 amp into 10 or 20 amps.

Routing to different outputs for different connections... Need a FOH feed? You've got it. Want a wet/dry/wet rig? no problem. It has so much I/O- you've got boxes of swiss army knives.

Effects! Whatever you need is in there.

It solves so many problems in one box. Oh yeah, and it dabbles in amp modelling too.

As Scott Peterson famously said "This thing is a monster!" Well worth the money and easily the best music gear purchase ever.


I completely agree. I have a Swart stereo amp, and just having the ability to use it as a virtual pedalboard that can send individual chains of effects to each side of the amp, with channels and scenes on everything is amazing. Just so, so versatile.

90% of my playing still just uses the AF3 alone though!


Fractal Fanatic
Axefx3 is a rare instance where I see the best solution also being the cheapest solution from a value perspective - I get that it can be a lot to spend on a modeller initially, but if you're in the market for a premium rack based modeller, Axefx is a really good value for what you get out of it.


Fractal Fanatic
Downside to having an axe fx is that a visit t a music store is less fun. You do not need anything anymore....
Yup - between Axefx, online shopping, and being a lefty player, I have no reason any more to go out to guitar stores, though I miss the days I used to make my weekly trek to check out what's new etc


Yup - between Axefx, online shopping, and being a lefty player, I have no reason any more to go out to guitar stores, though I miss the days I used to make my weekly trek to check out what's new etc
Ha! I am a lefty too. Except for the occasional squire, or Yoko guitar there isn’t a lot to try out, so for the guitar department it wasn’t worth a trip. Now with the axe obsoleting all pedals, amps and speakers all you can do is look at slides, strings and capos. Lol.

Brian Coonan

Power User
Back in the pre-pandemic world when I'd go to a guitar store and either play through an amp or hear someone playing through an amp, I'd always think "I like my sound better" and that was with the AX8. With the III it's even better. I never ever look at amps or effect pedals anymore.
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