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On the fence...help me jump off :-)

So, I'm just on the edge of making the Axe-Fx III purchase but need a bit more coaxing. I'm coming from an old school hardware background, play multiple genres (jazz, fusion, prog metal, free jazz, experimental, etc), currently use a Boogie Triaxis, Simul-Class 2:90, Lexicon PCM81, rectifier cabs, etc, etc, but have also used amp sims for the last 10 years off and on for home recording and limited live performances in the jazz, free jazz, improv arena. My biggest complaint of the amp sim plugins (I am currently using several -- Neural DSP Fortin, Archtype, Mecurrial Reaxis, Engl, etc) is that they are noisy as "f**k and produce a lot of hiss, even with no guitar or input activated in the signal chain. I guess you get what you pay for, and a $120 plugin can't be expected to do the work of an audiophile quality product. What's interesting is that I see this complaint all over forums, going on for years, so it is clearly an issue, yet when I contact support for these plugins and comment on this, they refuse to take accountability for the quality and just defer to the canned responses and recommendations regarding DAW audio settings, guitar cables, etc.

I have looked at the Kemper Profiler Rack, but do not think it meets my own needs. For one, I don't necessarily want a piece of gear that just clones (profile) other amps, but would prefer more customizability. I am more than comfortable with a technical user interface. The Axe-Fx III seems to allow this sort of customization. True?

Any other thoughts that may put me over the edge? Is it worth the $2300? Will I truly be able to ditch all my pedals, rack effects, etc?

Finally, thoughts on transitioning initially with a more hybrid approach and running the Axe-Fx III into my tube power amp and cabs, de-activating the cab/pwr amp simulation on the unit? (So essentially using the Axe as a pre-amp and fx unit).

K-
 
gonna have to disagree with you about gainy plugins and noise: they’re simulating gainy tube amps, which are noisy as hell. any accurate simulation is going to accurately simulate the noise too.

for me, the axe iii is definitely worth the $, but your mileage may vary.

the axe III works great into a power amp and cabs... but if you’re looking to simulate amps that get their gain from the power stage you might be happier with power amp sims on and a solid state power amp.
 
"gonna have to disagree with you about gainy plugins and noise: they’re simulating gainy tube amps, which are noisy as hell. any accurate simulation is going to accurately simulate the noise too"

I am not referring to that noise by design. I am referring to hiss and white noise generated by the plugin, outside of the aim of simulating the natural and expected noise of a tube amp. There is a reason why there are signal to noise ratio specs....because not all products are created equal and not all noise is by design. I know what sort of noise a tube preamp and power amp make (I've been dealing with it for almost 40 years), and this is not the same as the hiss I am referring to with amp plugins. My tube system does not create this sort of background hiss and white noise. And even if the hiss were simulated, how ridiculous is that? Accurately re-creating noise....something ironic rings with this. But I stray from the subject here. :)
 
gonna have to disagree with you about gainy plugins and noise: they’re simulating gainy tube amps, which are noisy as hell. any accurate simulation is going to accurately simulate the noise too.

for me, the axe iii is definitely worth the $, but your mileage may vary.

the axe III works great into a power amp and cabs... but if you’re looking to simulate amps that get their gain from the power stage you might be happier with power amp sims on and a solid state power amp.
I plan to so some experimentation. Who knows, I may be so happy with the cab/amp sims of the Axe that I just dispense with my beloved and heavy Boogie power amp and cabs altogether and go directly into the PA! Talk about convenient. Carrying around heavy cabs and amps has never been at the top of my list of fun things to do. I'm going to experiment using my current plugins first. Today at rehearsal I am using the Fortin suite, bipassing and amp and cab sim, and going into my Boogie Power Amp and cabs. Next week, I will bipass the power amp and cabs as well and go directly into the PA.
 

boyedav

New here
Like some of the others have suggested, there's no one-size-fits-all answer. That said, I've been playing almost 30 years, and for 29 of those I was certain that my primary "serious" guitar rig would only ever be tube-based, with high-voltage preamp circuits, no diodes, etc. After a few months with the Axe-FX III, I had no misgivings about selling my tube head and outboard gear. I used to care a lot about whether the sounds were created with tubes or silicon, and now I only care about how something sounds. It's a different beast, and something different to learn, but I'm dialling in better tones than I ever have with the dozens of tube amps I've owned. I've been able to get closer to my ideal tones than I ever have. That's just me. YMMV.

I would also underscore what someone else said about the 15 day trial. Pull the trigger, give it a workout in your home with your own gear. Worst case, you eat the cost of shipping. Or if 15 days isn't quite enough, the resale on these things is often close to new anyway. To me, it was worth taking the extra time.
 
Like some of the others have suggested, there's no one-size-fits-all answer. That said, I've been playing almost 30 years, and for 29 of those I was certain that my primary "serious" guitar rig would only ever be tube-based, with high-voltage preamp circuits, no diodes, etc. After a few months with the Axe-FX III, I had no misgivings about selling my tube head and outboard gear. I used to care a lot about whether the sounds were created with tubes or silicon, and now I only care about how something sounds. It's a different beast, and something different to learn, but I'm dialling in better tones than I ever have with the dozens of tube amps I've owned. I've been able to get closer to my ideal tones than I ever have. That's just me. YMMV.

I would also underscore what someone else said about the 15 day trial. Pull the trigger, give it a workout in your home with your own gear. Worst case, you eat the cost of shipping. Or if 15 days isn't quite enough, the resale on these things is often close to new anyway. To me, it was worth taking the extra time.
This is good to hear, especially from someone who was born before the era of virtual amp technology. :) How long did it take you to tear off the bandaid and sell your hardware tube gear after getting the Axe? :)
 

markyd

Inspired
but would prefer more customizability. I am more than comfortable with a technical user interface. The Axe-Fx III seems to allow this sort of customization.
I think that the most important thing for me is that the tweakability of the AXE has allowed me to finally have "MY TONE." The tone that I have always wanted is really impossible to attain in the "real world." The fact that you can experiment with almost every amp parameter easily is an amazing thing.
 

firmani99

Inspired
Just do it. For the price of a reasonable head, you get hundreds of amps, effects, and so much more. I have a Dual Rectifier, Triple Rectifier, Mark IV, Mark V, Quad Pre, and a TSL100 and I have literally not used any of them since I got my II, 3 years ago. Time to start unloading some gear!! I also now have to unload the II.
 
Last question....well, not the last I'm sure if I buy this thing, what major guitarists out the are using the FX III? And I don't mean that they have one at home and endorse it, but are using it as their main rig for live gigs and performances? Fractal's site has a crap load of guitarists in their list, but I'd like to know who is using it as their main rig. I'm having some problems finding a legit list on the web.
 

bradlake

Axe-Master
Last question....well, not the last I'm sure if I buy this thing, what major guitarists out the are using the FX III? And I don't mean that they have one at home and endorse it, but are using it as their main rig for live gigs and performances? Fractal's site has a crap load of guitarists in their list, but I'd like to know who is using it as their main rig. I'm having some problems finding a legit list on the web.
you are underestimating the legitimacy of the official Fractal artist roster, virtually all of them are using orhave used their Fractal units live , either as a full rig replacement , 4Cm, or as an all inoneFX unit.
 

Toopy14

Fractal Fanatic
Last question....well, not the last I'm sure if I buy this thing, what major guitarists out the are using the FX III? And I don't mean that they have one at home and endorse it, but are using it as their main rig for live gigs and performances? Fractal's site has a crap load of guitarists in their list, but I'd like to know who is using it as their main rig. I'm having some problems finding a legit list on the web.
Well, there aren’t too many artists more picky about their tone than The Edge from U2.

Edge went from this;

FA4D23C2-0347-4872-B456-CE3620B9103B.jpeg

To this;

19358F45-A036-450B-9829-38BB77BA56BD.jpeg

So what does that tell you about the product? :)
 
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