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JP-2C Axe-Fx III and Real Amp in Cabinet

Snouttrout

Inspired
I am a big fan of the AxeFx3 JP-2C model, but I am wondering about some things after I bought the real JP2C amp. The first thing I noticed with the real amp with a real 2x12 Mesa Boogie Cab is that you have to turn the channel volume up to at least 4/10 before it sounds good on channels 2 and 3. That's when it comes alive and gets punchy. The other thing is that if I turn the channel volumes up to 5/10 or 6/10, then I can use less gain (The amp has very little noise even with the channel volumes this high and 7/10 or 9/10 on the gain. No noise gate was needed and I play metal. That's just crazy.).

Now, I've tried running the AxeFx3 > matrix GT1000FX > same cabinet (cab IR off in the AXEFX of course). I will note that it is impossible to get the graphic EQs to match with modeled amp, because the real amp doesn't have the dB indicator haha. But, the punch seems to missing when I use the AxeFx3 into the matrix and real cabinet. So maybe I'm doing something wrong with the AxeFx3. It's hard to explain, but the real JP2C with a real cab has a punchiness to it that isn't really like adding more bass or low end. The distorted channels (2 and 3) are incredible tight and focused, but there's still plenty of gain.

Now, I have tried the FM3 with the real JP2C while utilizing the four cable method, and that is absolutely heavenly. But I'd rather not use such a complicated setup live. (Lighter is better too.) Also, the amp is REALLY sensitive to the graphic EQs, and it's easy to bump those controls when moving the real amp. I usually only have a short period to set-up my rig for any live show. So I'm looking for tips concerned with the modeled amp and how to get it to sound more punchy.

I hope that makes sense. This is not meant to be a criticism. I'm trying trying to see how to get a more perfect sound, and the AxeFx3 and Fm3 are incredibly customizable.
 

IronSean

Experienced
Another thing to note is that the Master control on the Axe and the Channel MASTERs on the JP-2c likely have a different taper. So experiment with the Master control on the Axe and see if you get similar behaviour to the real amp. You can use the Axe volume controls to keep the volume consistent while experimenting. And try and do this test at the same volume as the JP-2C when you're listening to it.

I've also heard the Matrix amps have a sweep spot around 4-6 on their volume dials as well where things start hitting like they should, that could be worth experimenting with as well.
 

Snouttrout

Inspired
Another thing to note is that the Master control on the Axe and the Channel MASTERs on the JP-2c likely have a different taper. So experiment with the Master control on the Axe and see if you get similar behaviour to the real amp. You can use the Axe volume controls to keep the volume consistent while experimenting. And try and do this test at the same volume as the JP-2C when you're listening to it.

I've also heard the Matrix amps have a sweep spot around 4-6 on their volume dials as well where things start hitting like they should, that could be worth experimenting with as well.


Matrix amp 4-6, I didn't consider this. Thanks. I recall hearing that 6 was the sweet spot, now that you mention it.
 

IronSean

Experienced
That's a good point, there's a handful of other things like do you have it set to SS PA + Cab mode for the Solid State power amp and cab? I think that's the one you use with Matrix stuff.
 

Snouttrout

Inspired
That's a good point, there's a handful of other things like do you have it set to SS PA + Cab mode for the Solid State power amp and cab? I think that's the one you use with Matrix stuff.

I'm not sure what you mean here. Is there some setting in the AxeFx3 that allows you to select SS PA + Cab? Not that I'm aware of.
 

Snouttrout

Inspired
Another thing to note is that the Master control on the Axe and the Channel MASTERs on the JP-2c likely have a different taper. So experiment with the Master control on the Axe and see if you get similar behaviour to the real amp. You can use the Axe volume controls to keep the volume consistent while experimenting. And try and do this test at the same volume as the JP-2C when you're listening to it.

I've also heard the Matrix amps have a sweep spot around 4-6 on their volume dials as well where things start hitting like they should, that could be worth experimenting with as well.

That's a good idea. I might be able to turn up the channel volume on the AxeFX and bring the level back down. Maybe that channel volume needs to be pushed more.
 

IronSean

Experienced
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On the advanced page of the Amp block there's an output mode you can set to SS PWR AMP + CAB which changes which parts are simulated account for it being a real cab, but not a real power amp (and thus, power amp modelling is still enabled).
 

artzeal

Experienced
I did try this but it seems to change the low end character. It didn't really give me the punchiness.
Yes, it will do that, until you get it right. Fortunately there are controls to raise and lower the resonant frequencies, Q, etc. Even when the IR is a match for the speaker, it may not be a close match for being in the real world cabinet as well. The punchy resonant frequency is often a higher frequency than I expect. A convenient way to get after this is to use the looper to cycle a riff, and adjust the cabinet resonant frequency parameters until it gives the punch you're after. Well, to the extent that the Matrix can replicate it. Should be able to get close. Good luck.
 

skydog

Inspired
My experience has been that an actual tube amp pushes a lot of air. Are the volumes identical? You’ve mentioned some fairly high volumes on the amp. I realize the SS amp‘s power rating, but it usually seems like apples and oranges, especially in anything less than a large hall. It might be the punch you’re missing.
 

FractalAudio

Administrator
Fractal Audio Systems
Moderator
My experience has been that an actual tube amp pushes a lot of air. Are the volumes identical? You’ve mentioned some fairly high volumes on the amp. I realize the SS amp‘s power rating, but it usually seems like apples and oranges, especially in anything less than a large hall. It might be the punch you’re missing.
Yup. It's volume. People compare a 100W tube amp on '4' which is deafeningly loud to a modeler into a SS amp at speaking volume and then say that there's a "lack of punch".
 

Snouttrout

Inspired
View attachment 75529

On the advanced page of the Amp block there's an output mode you can set to SS PWR AMP + CAB which changes which parts are simulated account for it being a real cab, but not a real power amp (and thus, power amp modelling is still enabled).

This is interesting. I thought that using a "flat" SS power amp--as the matrix is supposed to be--would allow you to leave those settings alone. That's a setting I have not tried. Ideally, I'd like to run through a cab on stage and the FRFR to FOH with the FM3. I will try this, though, and see if it helps.
 

Snouttrout

Inspired
Yup. It's volume. People compare a 100W tube amp on '4' which is deafeningly loud to a modeler into a SS amp at speaking volume and then say that there's a "lack of punch".
I had the 1000 Watt matrix in bridge mode into the same 2x12 cab and it was very loud, but maybe not loud enough??? I definitely know not to compare the tube amp loudness to that of solid state amp.

Should I change the output to SS PowerAmp plus Cab in the amp section, or leave it in FRFR mode for the Matrix Power amp and real cab? I had been leaving it as FRFR to be honest because I wasn't aware you could change it in the amp block.

I normally use the the FM3/AXEFX3 in FRFR mode with a matrix power amp and into a couple of XiTones.
 

Snouttrout

Inspired
My experience has been that an actual tube amp pushes a lot of air. Are the volumes identical? You’ve mentioned some fairly high volumes on the amp. I realize the SS amp‘s power rating, but it usually seems like apples and oranges, especially in anything less than a large hall. It might be the punch you’re missing.
I will give this a try a let you know how it turns out.
 

Snouttrout

Inspired
Have you tried to match the resonant frequency of the impedance curve in the amp block to that of your cabinet?
I have only tried changing the different impedance curves; I haven't tried to match the actual cabinet's impedance. I need to check that out. Thanks for the tip.
 

mr_fender

Fractal Fanatic
Tube vs solid state doesn't matter when comparing volume at a particular output wattage. Watts are watts regardless of the device.

In bridged mode into an 8 ohm cab, the Matrix is capable of 10 times more clean output than a 100 watt rated tube amp into the same cab. Also keep in mind that the output volume change is logarithmic, so that 10 times more output gives you 10 dB more volume or roughly twice as loud. That said, you also have to keep in mind the power rating of the speakers as well. Mesa 2x12 cabs with Vintage 30's are rated for 120 watts, so trying to push a full 1000 watts into them for any extended period of time would not be a good idea unless you like blown speakers.
 

Snouttrout

Inspired
Tube vs solid state doesn't matter when comparing volume at a particular output wattage. Watts are watts regardless of the device.

In bridged mode into an 8 ohm cab, the Matrix is capable of 10 times more clean output than a 100 watt rated tube amp into the same cab. Also keep in mind that the output volume change is logarithmic, so that 10 times more output gives you 10 dB more volume or roughly twice as loud. That said, you also have to keep in mind the power rating of the speakers as well. Mesa 2x12 cabs with Vintage 30's are rated for 120 watts, so trying to push a full 1000 watts into them for any extended period of time would not be a good idea unless you like blown speakers.
There is no way I would turn it up all the way, but I will certainly be careful.
 

Tom Morris

Power User
Been down this road recently. JP2C with a mesa upright 212 V30s. Tone match with a IR capture of the cabinet is gonna get you closest, plus an additional bit of EQing for whatever your playing through. Soon as I get my stuff set up again I will try and find my setup and share it. Im on to another amp this month LOL so I will have to dig it out of a backup. Was my live setup with Friedman ASM-12s wet dry wet rig.
 
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