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Is the Axe II still worth it in 2022 for bedroom player


New Member
HI Guys , first time on the forum .

I was wondering if the Axe FX II was still worth it in 2022 . The reason is it can be found at around 1100/1200 canadian ( around 850 u.s ) on local ads . The Axe fx III is close to 3000 . But the FM 3 is close to the AXE II price so is it better to go FM3 ?

Im a bedroom player that played with a cheap interface ( ik stealthplug ) and some software like GUitar rig 5 and i tried some other through headphone . But the result has never been quite satisfying , lots of extra noise , and playing in front of my computer is not my big thing . IR have helped making guitar rig 5 sound decent To get a decent sound , i would need to update my audio interface and buy good plugins .. si i think i would rather go for a Axe fX than spending 500-600 in plugins /audio interface

I was considering either the FM 3 or the AXe fx II through headphone for bedroom practice . Anyone have been able to compare the 2 ?

The axe fx Ultra is even cheaper , but i think back then , you couldnt load IR in the axe fx Ultra ( correct me if im wrong ) . And i know ( from playing with plugins , how IR are important to have good sound ( they can make a night and day difference ) .

- Is the Axe fx II and MKII version the same software and the same sound ?

I play punk rock , thrash metal and other palmuting riff with distortion , i dont use much effect . and im a bedroom condo player and i play through headphone and will probably play through them for another 20 years .

I would like once and for all to have a good sound .

any suggestion .

Thank you


I have them all. But still use my Axe-Fx II (mark 1) for live shows. There is some really cool stuff in the new Gen 3 units and the FC controllers for sure. My main reason is the stability of the discontinued units.

The Gen 3 units are still going through some pretty drastic changes, at an incredible pace. If you use a lot of presets, it can be daunting to keep up.


Fractal Fanatic
This December 23rd will be 9 years since I bought a second-hand Axe-Fx II MKI. I've been using it nearly every day since and still love it! Like you, I'm a basement (not bedroom) player and don't gig, so it more than meets my needs.


New Member
Axe ii never gets out of style. That thing of beauty will forever be relevant. As a bedroom player? You're sure in for a big ride.


non gigging unfinished basement player here 😁 with Ax2 spdif'd onto the end of Ax3 mostly to provide Reverb, Synth, and some addrd Fx instances + routing (mad scientist kitchen sinker 🤪). Imo Ax2 still blows away other more current mfx brands I've owned wrt amp and fx quality, however, compared to Ax3/Fm3/Fm9, Ax2-mk1 is showing it's age in those areas. The biggest thing I run into using Ax2-Mk1 to extend Ax3, is the lack of channel supoort in many block types - ie, if I want to have a GEQ varying across 4 scenes I need to use 4 GEQ blocks in Ax2-mk1 (yikes!) instead if 1 in Ax3. If I were looking to buy a used Ax2 I would look for an XL at good price since afair almost all blocks in those have x/y channel support. Based on OP's described needs, I would go FM3 to maximize Amp tone quality, have supoort associated to new, and to have some footswtching capability built in.
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I am getting ready to try and sell mine, although I would prefer to keep it.
My FM9 is out of the box but not played yet.

If you are not a lifelong real amp purist, the II is already crazy good and a mature piece. You may only regret it if you've played a newer gen, so just don't play a newer gen :) (as I haven't played the newer gen either, this is conjecture)

So then it depends on the price. You can see deals now for both the II and the MFC for $1,000, soon probably even less. It can then become a no-brainer if you had good hope the unit will still last a long time. The power supply still seems an easy fix, but seems you can't get the LCD anymore, which is a little surprising and worrisome, as the reported fails for some make it look like they may not last 20 years...

If I wanted to keep it as long as possible, some of my tips would be...
  • keep LCD contrast at its lowest (if there is a control for it)
  • watch where you plug in the USB (you can get fireworks if you plug it into the wrong port)
  • try to find a way to protect the USB port from accidentally breaking or being used very often (like a small extension cable)
  • don't max out CPU for everything you make
  • don't leave it on when you don't need it
  • always wait some 5-10 secs after powering down, before you power up again
  • pull out the plug when not in use, unless you have failsafe overvoltage protection & stuff
  • ...
Soundwise, there are plenty examples of even 10 years ago that would give most people strong GAS.

But you could research what has improved the most and if that is very important to you. Besides the amps, that also seem to be the drives, for example, that have received criticism for many years. I have personally never missed better drives, because I was historically not familiar with using drives and real tube amps much.

Oops & wow... If the FM3 is that close in price, I would for sure go for that for bedroom purposes.

BTW 1: That its firmware is complete can indeed be a great plus. I would get an austinbuddy preset pack for it probably (Black Friday is around the corner), as the official presets were not updated to the final firmwares, IIRC.

BTW 2: The II actually has more blocks and features than buying the FM9 in some ways.

BTW 3: The Ultra w/o a real cab has near-zero feel to it. I see it more as an awesome and superior POD ;) — and a piece of history I'm still keeping.
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Definitely worth it! Although I've had the AFX III for a while now, I still have the AFX II in the studio and I'm certainly not going to sell it just yet.


You can load up to 10 aftermarket IR cabs in the ultra/standard. The Axe FX II sounds the same in all version (g2, mk2, xl, xl+). I think it comes down to needs, and it sounds like you don't need a whole lot. You might just be happy getting a neural DSP plugin and RME babyface and saving a ton of money.


I have an fxII and I upgraded to an FM3 a year ago for mobility (still have the FX2).
The FXII is awesome but you'll need a midi controller for changing presets and flexibility , however the FM3 already has 3 switchs expandable to an extra 4 very cheaply,
If you can live without IR capture and Dual amps go for FM3 oh and it has extra amps the FXII doesn't
G \../

Greg Ferguson

I'd get an FM3 for $999. Current software and on the continuous upgrade path.
I agree.

The FM3 has all the advantages of the updated firmware, and continues to be supported with additional updates.

I had a AX8, and the difference in sound between that and my FX3 when I got it was audible, but when Cygnus was released it became a big difference, especially in the feel when playing. The new release has affected the feeling and sound again and it is now a major difference. That firmware runs on the FM3, and it is still amazing me to hear the baby of the bunch putting out sounds like it does.

I’d recommend reading through the FM3 Wiki page to get a feel for what it can do in comparison to the older units. Also the comparison between the current models, and the FX2 and FX3 is useful to position the capabilities of each.

Just got message FM3 on sale - no brainer now!
And then there’s that.


I just rebought the AxeFX 2 since I last had one maybe 8 years ago if not more. It’s still in transit. I’ve been gigging 10 years straight now and I’ve tried all kinds of real amps and modelers - just a cover band playing around town. I’ve learned that form factor is #1 and then price and sound. The fractal stuff sounded amazing right out of the gate. I’ve listened to comparisons of the Standard and the 2 and 3. I’ve owned the 3 briefly. I owned the Ax8 years ago. The sound on all these units Iives up 100% to this day. So you pick your form factor and your price.


I had the pleasure of playing the II recently. It was an eye opener how much nicer everything has become with the III. That said, I am really enjoying the differences between them. It's a beautiful sounding modeler.
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