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New To Fractal, Question About Using Mesa Gear

TSJMajesty

New Member
Hi All, First Post...

I'm Tom, and I just received my Axe-FxIII Mk2 today, and wow, so far I'm loving it! Been playing a long time, but only recently got serious again. Been a rack gear head (LOVE me some stereo rig) going back to ADA MP-1 (still have it), and recently picked up some used Mesa amps & a 2nd 4x12 cab. I'm a huge John Petrucci fan, so I strive for his tones. With all the Mesa gear I have, I'm totally set for the basis of a killer stereo rig (had one years ago, but had to sell some stuff), but I needed to acquire some quality effects, since I only have a few Boss pedals.

I was considering Strymon, TC, Eventide..., but then I thought, I'd probably spend the same money on those to get everything I need, but still not have the ability to be super versatile (I love all sorts of classic rock, especially the late great EVH, Rush, Pink Floyd), so I figured I'd pony up to get a multi-effects processor, since they've come so far. Once I started reading about the Axe Fx III, I was sold! I guess you could say I bought it primarily for the effects (but went for the flagship since it has so much more to offer.)

So I'm not yet into full-blown modeling, especially since I don't own FRFR speakers, so I set up my Axe today and ran it through my Mesa 20/20 Dyna Watt, into the 2 4x12 Recto cabs. So far I'm very happy with not only the sounds, but also the feel, response, and the way that the effects don't seem to mess with my tone.

I already came across the Petrucci preset, and OMG does it kill! Pull Me Under, Metropolis, Breaking All Illusions... They all sounded effin aMAZing! But I'm wondering what you guys think about keeping to a hybrid-style rig, and how it will affect my ability to cop other tones I love, like for example, Van Halen 1? I guess I'm just not yet to the point of completely eliminating the tubes. Even though I only own Mesa amps, I have other choices to throw in the equation, since I also have a Tri Axis pre amp, and a 50/50 and 2:90 power amps.

Lugging gear around isn't a factor, right now. I'd appreciate your thoughts, as well as getting to know some fellow FAS users.
 
Hybrid rigs are great! I have my Axe-FX III wired in to my Mark III, Triaxis and pedals. It's set up so that I can use any preamp I want through either the Matrix power amp/4x12 or go through IRs to the computer. I have a post in the "post your rig" thread with pics and a signal diagram.

Welcome, and enjoy!
 

luke

Fractal Fanatic
A hybrid rig prevents you from enjoying half of the unit’s features. If you don’t need the amplifier or cab features, I suppose it’s okay, but still having more stuff running means more opportunities for failure. If it’s good enough for major touring acts such as Metallica and Def Leppard, perhaps it’s time to rethink how good your basement tone needs to be.
 
A hybrid rig prevents you from enjoying half of the unit’s features. If you don’t need the amplifier or cab features, I suppose it’s okay, but still having more stuff running means more opportunities for failure. If it’s good enough for major touring acts such as Metallica and Def Leppard, perhaps it’s time to rethink how good your basement tone needs to be.

Metallica still uses amps in the studio. The Axe-FX is an amazing machine and it sounds great but a real amp does sound just slightly different. Not saying "better," just different.

I also find it very useful to have the real amps around when I'm building a tone in the Axe-FX as a reference.
 

Budda

Power User
If you dont want the money from selling other gear, keep it.

If you have other places to splash some cash, sell away.

I usually sell to buy, so its not a conundrum for me lol.
 

luke

Fractal Fanatic
Metallica still uses amps in the studio. The Axe-FX is an amazing machine and it sounds great but a real amp does sound just slightly different. Not saying "better," just different.

I also find it very useful to have the real amps around when I'm building a tone in the Axe-FX as a reference.

I owned over fifty amps a decade ago. They were all boutique or vintage, running premium NOS tubes, etc. My live rig consisted of four slaved heads feeding two 24 space racks. I’ve replaced it all with this:


4BD4D115-C15E-4F28-88E5-EC8D71D7C924.jpeg

My tone has never been so consistent or use so easy, and I’m only tapping 20% of its capabilities. If there was a better option I’d buy it.
 

Harm

Inspired
Hi All, First Post...

I'm Tom, and I just received my Axe-FxIII Mk2 today, and wow, so far I'm loving it! Been playing a long time, but only recently got serious again. Been a rack gear head (LOVE me some stereo rig) going back to ADA MP-1 (still have it), and recently picked up some used Mesa amps & a 2nd 4x12 cab. I'm a huge John Petrucci fan, so I strive for his tones. With all the Mesa gear I have, I'm totally set for the basis of a killer stereo rig (had one years ago, but had to sell some stuff), but I needed to acquire some quality effects, since I only have a few Boss pedals.

I was considering Strymon, TC, Eventide..., but then I thought, I'd probably spend the same money on those to get everything I need, but still not have the ability to be super versatile (I love all sorts of classic rock, especially the late great EVH, Rush, Pink Floyd), so I figured I'd pony up to get a multi-effects processor, since they've come so far. Once I started reading about the Axe Fx III, I was sold! I guess you could say I bought it primarily for the effects (but went for the flagship since it has so much more to offer.)

So I'm not yet into full-blown modeling, especially since I don't own FRFR speakers, so I set up my Axe today and ran it through my Mesa 20/20 Dyna Watt, into the 2 4x12 Recto cabs. So far I'm very happy with not only the sounds, but also the feel, response, and the way that the effects don't seem to mess with my tone.

I already came across the Petrucci preset, and OMG does it kill! Pull Me Under, Metropolis, Breaking All Illusions... They all sounded effin aMAZing! But I'm wondering what you guys think about keeping to a hybrid-style rig, and how it will affect my ability to cop other tones I love, like for example, Van Halen 1? I guess I'm just not yet to the point of completely eliminating the tubes. Even though I only own Mesa amps, I have other choices to throw in the equation, since I also have a Tri Axis pre amp, and a 50/50 and 2:90 power amps.

Lugging gear around isn't a factor, right now. I'd appreciate your thoughts, as well as getting to know some fellow FAS users.
Hi, I started a bit like you. Had a mesa 2:90, a marshall 4x12 and a mesa 2x12. I get your thought, but here is what I found out: If you want tochet the maximum from the axe you have to go frfr. Unless all you want is mesa sounds and build your own presets, that is. You know the old saying: if you want a marshall sound, buy a marshall, want mesa, buy a mesa. If you go frfr the axe can give you that. Also: there’s a wealth of presets going around. Factory and user presets (and vendors of course) you will always need to tweak them to make them work. And think of the weight difference and ease of use! I sold everything I had since having the axe for a year..

Harm
 

TSJMajesty

New Member
I owned over fifty amps a decade ago. They were all boutique or vintage, running premium NOS tubes, etc. My live rig consisted of four slaved heads feeding two 24 space racks. I’ve replaced it all with this:


My tone has never been so consistent or use so easy, and I’m only tapping 20% of its capabilities. If there was a better option I’d buy it.

I guess the thing that I'm hesitant, not disagreeing, but "hesitant" is the best word..., to accept, is that the Axe Fx3, along with quality FRFR speakers, will truly capture all those "hard-to-put-your-finger-on" nuances that tube amps have. My first amp was a Peavey Classic 50 that I traded (due to sales guy talking me into how good solid state amps were) for a Yamaha G100 2-12 combo. I tried to love it, but if I was being honest, I hated it. It was the amp Geddy Lee used live when he played guitar on Xanadu, so of course that affected my decision, lol! Bought a JCM 900 50 watt half stack and never was happier (until I went stereo with my Mesa 50/50 and ADA MP-1.)

I realize that's a poor comparison, since modeling tech just keeps getting better. But over the years, I kept hearing how digital technology still hadn't quite captured those tube amp nuances. But if I'm hearing you (and others), the time has indeed arrived...? Plus, when I switched to a stereo rig, other than playing in stereo, my goal was to simplify things, ie, not use 2 amp heads, but instead put everything into a rack. So I guess slimming down to just the Axe, a foot controller, and speakers would be keeping to that idea. (That last sentence is my smarter self talking to my stubborn half I suppose, haha!)

Thanks very much!
 

TSJMajesty

New Member
Hi, I started a bit like you. Had a mesa 2:90, a marshall 4x12 and a mesa 2x12. I get your thought, but here is what I found out: If you want tochet the maximum from the axe you have to go frfr. Unless all you want is mesa sounds and build your own presets, that is. You know the old saying: if you want a marshall sound, buy a marshall, want mesa, buy a mesa. If you go frfr the axe can give you that. Also: there’s a wealth of presets going around. Factory and user presets (and vendors of course) you will always need to tweak them to make them work. And think of the weight difference and ease of use! I sold everything I had since having the axe for a year..

Harm

Yeah, this is a whole new world for me. So I guess your saying that if I want JP's tones only, I'm fine (damn that Petrucci preset is inspiring!) But to really nail, say, EVH, with my gear, it'll still fall short?

Thanks!
 

TSJMajesty

New Member
If you dont want the money from selling other gear, keep it.

If you have other places to splash some cash, sell away.

I usually sell to buy, so its not a conundrum for me lol.

Good point! And it looks like, the way things are going, with digital tech pulling in more and more players, the market for used 'old-tech' gear will just keep growing, and simple supply & demand economics will continue to drive prices down, so if I'm being smart, selling that gear sooner rather than later would be wise. Would you guys agree?

Thanks!
 

pauly

Fractal Fanatic
Welcome Tom,
if you want to specialize in a small range of sounds, hybrid will be fine. If you want the versatility the axe fix gives you, have a go with some high quality studio monitors first.
Its a brave new world now. The days of ‘it sounds digital’ are basically gone from most brands, and the fractal modelers are best of breed. In your position, I’d be looking at spending big on a couple of full range stage monitors.... the more you spend here (well unless it’s some overpriced dog) will enhance your long term satisfaction.

Hi All, First Post...

I'm Tom, and I just received my Axe-FxIII Mk2 today, and wow, so far I'm loving it! Been playing a long time, but only recently got serious again. Been a rack gear head (LOVE me some stereo rig) going back to ADA MP-1 (still have it), and recently picked up some used Mesa amps & a 2nd 4x12 cab. I'm a huge John Petrucci fan, so I strive for his tones. With all the Mesa gear I have, I'm totally set for the basis of a killer stereo rig (had one years ago, but had to sell some stuff), but I needed to acquire some quality effects, since I only have a few Boss pedals.

I was considering Strymon, TC, Eventide..., but then I thought, I'd probably spend the same money on those to get everything I need, but still not have the ability to be super versatile (I love all sorts of classic rock, especially the late great EVH, Rush, Pink Floyd), so I figured I'd pony up to get a multi-effects processor, since they've come so far. Once I started reading about the Axe Fx III, I was sold! I guess you could say I bought it primarily for the effects (but went for the flagship since it has so much more to offer.)

So I'm not yet into full-blown modeling, especially since I don't own FRFR speakers, so I set up my Axe today and ran it through my Mesa 20/20 Dyna Watt, into the 2 4x12 Recto cabs. So far I'm very happy with not only the sounds, but also the feel, response, and the way that the effects don't seem to mess with my tone.

I already came across the Petrucci preset, and OMG does it kill! Pull Me Under, Metropolis, Breaking All Illusions... They all sounded effin aMAZing! But I'm wondering what you guys think about keeping to a hybrid-style rig, and how it will affect my ability to cop other tones I love, like for example, Van Halen 1? I guess I'm just not yet to the point of completely eliminating the tubes. Even though I only own Mesa amps, I have other choices to throw in the equation, since I also have a Tri Axis pre amp, and a 50/50 and 2:90 power amps.

Lugging gear around isn't a factor, right now. I'd appreciate your thoughts, as well as getting to know some fellow FAS users.
 

Bruce Sokolovic

Experienced
Yeah, this is a whole new world for me. So I guess your saying that if I want JP's tones only, I'm fine (damn that Petrucci preset is inspiring!) But to really nail, say, EVH, with my gear, it'll still fall short?

Thanks!
Not really. If you wanted to reproduce the sound of maybe a fender champ or blues JR you may fall short in that case, but not by a lot. The only real reason to use an amp and cab with the axefxIII is you prefer to hear that sound while monitoring. It will sound better than some crappy wedge monitor on stage and give you a more familiar experience. For me it’s not worth lugging the gear. I find if I get the wedge off access from my ears the sound improves. In ears are a whole other situation I can’t make happen in my band.
 

Budda

Power User
I guess the thing that I'm hesitant, not disagreeing, but "hesitant" is the best word..., to accept, is that the Axe Fx3, along with quality FRFR speakers, will truly capture all those "hard-to-put-your-finger-on" nuances that tube amps have.

Things have more or less been there for a decade. The trick is to play the new rig just as loud as the old rig.

I went from an '83 JCM800 2203 w/ Orange 412 with a Blackface twin reissue + FX8 rig to the III and monitors.

At no point did I miss my amps, or the 125dB we ran them at.
 
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