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Pete Thorn with Axe-II

Axisman5150

Experienced
I agree that the tone doesn't grab me from the video (except for the Buttery)but I knew Youtube is notorious for screwing that up, but when you listen to Scott's direct clips that he's posted on here, you can hear those subtle nuances that would be difficult to do on the Gen1's.
 

ultracarl

Member
I personally will get the axe II, Scott's clips did it for me. I will keep the ultra for comparison and if the difference is not what I expect I can always return the Axe II.
Its the feel that people are talking about that you can't see on you tube. Although I do crave these video clips but I do take them for what they are. I think everyone is trying to
be very helpful to the members of the forum and should be thanked for the time, effort and in my opinion honest opinion.
 

cheopsnet

Inspired
+1 with Scott here

It is funny to me that, when it comes to e-forums about gear, the pickiest people are usually not the best sounding players / seasoned players. One needs to recognize, first and foremost, that the player makes 80% of the sounds: Give a Japanese Strat to Jimmy Page or a Ukulele to Derek Trucks, and it will still sound like beautiful music.

Second, I feel I am reasonably knowledgeable when it comes to amps and most of the time, some people are nit-picking about things that to me have no impact on the sound. ‘A Les Paul has better sustain with no pickguard’…WTF??? I have good ears and I am sorry that is total BS.

To come back to the discussion, the Axe Fx sounds really good. Pete Thorn recently recorded the ‘real amp’ versus ‘Axe Fx II simulation’ in blind test mode, and nobody had a clue. Enough said! In his demo of the clean-gain tones, Pete Thorn clearly stated he did not have much time to dial in the tones. Whether he exaggerated or no, he did not have months to get accustomed to the new settings, so let’s not base our assessment of the Axe II on this video..

It is time for all of us to stop putting the blame/highlight on the gear and start playing music with what we have, whether it is an Axe Fx II or Jack Black’s portable marshall from School of Rock!
 

steadystate

Fractal Fanatic
Pete is a fantastic player and has my utmost respect.

I, like others, find many of these tones to be piercing, harsh, and abrasive. However, I will not use them to judge the unit in any way. I know the II will meet my expectations. Tone is a personal thing. Some of my favorite tones are considered 'mud' by others. To each his own.
 

Richard_G

Inspired
(...)I know the II will meet my expectations.(...)

+1.

I was extremely pleased with my Ultra and have complete faith in Cliff's ability to impress me once again. No clips or endorsements or forum rants necessary, Cliff has already convinced me.

I really could have been happy just keeping the Ultra. But I want to be part of the next part of the journey (new firmware etc). I also want to support his efforts on improving what was already the best guitar processor on the market even though competitors weren't even getting close.
 

Vance

Member
Truth here. Much truth.

I don't understand what Standard/Ultra owners want to hear - there is no quantum leap forward to take. Incremental steps? Sure. More this or that? Sure. Quicker to dial? More responsive to your dynamics? Perhaps.

But really, if the Standard/Ultra are so short of hitting the mark as many current/past owners seem to want to make it... I don't know what to tell them.

I hear and feel a difference in person playing the Axe-FX 2. I like the difference. You can add more bass in without adding any flub. You can add more highs in without it getting shrill. But the Standard/Ultra are damn fine pieces of gear and frankly, I'd still take either of them over any number of given amps if I *had* to choose one rig to take to a show or a session.

Guys - it's YouTube. They are clips, not gospel. Folks are clutching at straws trying to listen critically to YouTube clips; they are not high resolution audio. You are hearing lots of artifacts from their own compression scheme on YouTube. These are clips cut direct; there are not amps demonstrated on YouTube - not one - ever recorded direct into the DAW. So if you prefer 'recordings' (ahem, vidoes) on YouTube of this or that amp over something cut
direct, you are missing the boat.


Hi, Scott. Thanks for all you helpful info/explanations/sound clips.

First of all, let me say that I am not a current owner of an Axe FX yet. The day I finally decided to take the plunge on an Ultra, the Axe II was announced.

Please don't anyone take this the wrong way, but it seems all along the beta testers have said the difference is HUGE between the standard/ultra and the Axe II. But, all along I wondered how the testers could be claiming such a huge difference when many of the same people had previously stated that a well dialed-in standard/ultra was nearly indistinguishable from a real tube amp in most cases. Then when the AxeII arrived, many people (NOT the beta testers) acted like they had to have the axe II as if the standard/ultra was not that impressive. To me, it either sounded like a tube amp or it didn't. I don't understand why the announcement of the II seemed to change some people's opinions about what a real tube amp sounds like. Mark Day said the difference between the ultra and axeII will blow you away, and I'm pretty sure we'd all agree that he probably has the best dialed-in ultra on the planet. Anyway, I think that is why so many people are questioning these clips, because they are expecting to be blown away based on the comments of the beta testers........which will never happen if the ultra truly was so close to the real thing. I really hope I'm not offending anyone with this comment, but it's just how I see it.
 

TylerDurden

Member
The longer we wait for the release - the more these threads remind me of Lord of the Flies.. Thanks for your clips Pete! Nice work..
 

dk_ace

Experienced
Truth here. Much truth.

I don't understand what Standard/Ultra owners want to hear - there is no quantum leap forward to take. Incremental steps? Sure. More this or that? Sure. Quicker to dial? More responsive to your dynamics? Perhaps.

But really, if the Standard/Ultra are so short of hitting the mark as many current/past owners seem to want to make it... I don't know what to tell them.

I hear and feel a difference in person playing the Axe-FX 2. I like the difference. You can add more bass in without adding any flub. You can add more highs in without it getting shrill. But the Standard/Ultra are damn fine pieces of gear and frankly, I'd still take either of them over any number of given amps if I *had* to choose one rig to take to a show or a session.

Guys - it's YouTube. They are clips, not gospel. Folks are clutching at straws trying to listen critically to YouTube clips; they are not high resolution audio. You are hearing lots of artifacts from their own compression scheme on YouTube. These are clips cut direct; there are not amps demonstrated on YouTube - not one - ever recorded direct into the DAW. So if you prefer 'recordings' (ahem, vidoes) on YouTube of this or that amp over something cut direct, you are missing the boat.

To the comments about the bass without flub and the highs that aren't shrill, that is no longer an issue in Gen 1 units as of FW 11. You could get around it before, but that is one of the things Cliff directly addressed in FW 11. The Axe I and II now share that in common. I had workarounds for it in FW 10, but they're completely unnecessary in FW 11.

D
 

robertkoa

Member
I'm guessing but I think he dialed these tones in on the bright , edgy side to drop into a mix, the way he hears them.

Solo'd guitars from a mix often sound a bit different than you'd expect compared to the big, lush sounds we all may want to hear from a guitar NOT in a mix.

Either way it's just the way he heard/played these clips, not a brick wall in the unit- wait 'till you've heard dozens of clips to see if there IS a wall( and preferably tried one ).



There's already a few demos like the Mike Young clips that demonstrate the beautiful warmth and clarity and rich harmonic structure possible from Axe 2 and we're going to hear a lot more of those types from others , I think, also when recorded direct, there may be a few more tricks to get the full warmth some of us like to hear.

Also delays etc. tend to warm up harsh edges and most of these are pretty dry.

I'm just a spectator still assessing a possible Axe 2 for my needs, but if I did a few demos and went the OTHER way- real warm and saggy and smooth- you would not assume "the Axe 2 has no balls or edge" so let's not jump to too many conclusions here.

I'm also quite sure that Pete could warm up and pretty up and EFX up and soften the edge on those clips and get them more to some of our tastes , but that's probably not what he was going for...........just a guess, feel free to correct if I'm wrong.
 
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stefherbuel

Inspired
Solo'd guitars from a mix often sound a bit different than you'd expect compared to the big, lush sounds we all may want to hear from a guitar NOT in a mix.

hi robertkoa i agree with you but that brings me a question that i asked in the gear page forum and post it here, because i find this very interesting :

when i hear the intro of "ain't talk about love" van halen , "stiff upper lip" or "overdose" from acdc and all the guitar from big rock n roll legend riff when they play the riff ALONE in the record with no other instrument :

the sound is very pleasant and i would say GLORIOUS to my ears.!!

that's one thing that i don't understand ... that's a real question , i'm really interested and curious about that, if someone can explain to me i would appreciate, thanks !
 

casketshrine

Inspired
This is probably the best Axe II demo so far. Way better than the Tone Merchants stuff, which was pretty awesome too.
 
It doesn't sound much different than my Axe-Fx Standard to my ears. It still sounds compressed and when chords are played it's like all 6 strings are amalgamated into 1 tonal sound instead of it being richly complex.

Welcome to the characteristics of Impulse Responses. The IR Emulates the cab, which isn't the same as micing up a real cab. Put the Axe II through a cab and then tell me what you think. Ever tried putting a real tube amp through an IR?
 

bkrumme

Experienced
hi robertkoa i agree with you but that brings me a question that i asked in the gear page forum and post it here, because i find this very interesting :

when i hear the intro of "ain't talk about love" van halen , "stiff upper lip" or "overdose" from acdc and all the guitar from big rock n roll legend riff when they play the riff ALONE in the record with no other instrument :

the sound is very pleasant and i would say GLORIOUS to my ears.!!

that's one thing that i don't understand ... that's a real question , i'm really interested and curious about that, if someone can explain to me i would appreciate, thanks !

You're talking about songs that have been mixed and mastered. Those sections of the songs have EQ/Compression/other effects on them to MAKE them sound good. Once you get to the part of the song with the whole band, those EQ/Compression/etc. settings are different.
 

AlbertA

Fractal Fanatic
Welcome to the characteristics of Impulse Responses. The IR Emulates the cab, which isn't the same as micing up a real cab. Put the Axe II through a cab and then tell me what you think. Ever tried putting a real tube amp through an IR?

Huh? You are mistaken, or have based an opinion based on crappy IRs.
 

R.D.

Power User
Welcome to the characteristics of Impulse Responses. The IR Emulates the cab, which isn't the same as micing up a real cab. Put the Axe II through a cab and then tell me what you think. Ever tried putting a real tube amp through an IR?

I haven't personally, but I've worked with lots-o-guys that have and once it's been recorded, I'd defy anyone to tell the difference !

What ( or who's ) IR's are you using ?

Making "good" ones can be really tricky .... Do you have any confidence that they were done properly ?
 

bkrumme

Experienced
Welcome to the characteristics of Impulse Responses. The IR Emulates the cab, which isn't the same as micing up a real cab. Put the Axe II through a cab and then tell me what you think. Ever tried putting a real tube amp through an IR?

Huh? You are mistaken, or have based an opinion based on crappy IRs.

AlbertA: Agreed

Binary: You can't judge an IR based on your "in the room" sound. You have to base it on the recorded sound. A guitar cab in the room will sound completely different from and IR through studio monitors...simply due to the nature of the listening environment and the nature of the speakers.
 

gendefect

Inspired
FYI. Pete posted this in a similar thread over at TGP:

With all due respect to the guys who think things are too bright, I think that alot of guys just don't realize how bright and edgy alot of what we consider "classic" tones really are. I GO for bright tones because you need that high end, IMO, to cut through a band and a mix. EVH, Pete Townsend, alot of Page, the tones are BRIGHT brash and snotty. Not really that pleasant to listen to on their own but in a mix they are just right.

I learned this when I put an Ecstacy blue channel up against a 67 plexi in the studio. I finally got what all the fuss was about- the plexi was like a wild horse, bordering on out of control- whereas the Bogner, while a nice sounding amp and fun to play through, coming out of a Bogner 2-12" sounded "like an already recorded guitar tone, coming out of studio monitors".

If it's too pretty, it ain't going to move you and cut through like the classic tones we all know and love did.

Anyways, these are stock speaker sims as well- in my Axe Ultra, I have Red Wirez greenback/57 on cap edge sims loaded, and those sound even brighter than the stock speaker sims. And I use em! Because they sound really real. You can take my word for it or not, but I sit in front of studio monitors all day listening to a greenback mic'd with a 57 through API's- I know what it sounds like. The Red Wirez are really close. For some reason, this tester Axe 2 I borrowed didn't have any Red Wirez IR's loaded (I think the production Axe 2 is supposed to come stock with a bunch of Red Wirez IR's).
 
I've tried most of the recabinet libraries, the mesa from redwirez, various IRs from the Sneap forum (My favourite is one from the Guitarhack library). Granted my experience is with lesser "modellers" but i've tested a marshall AVT150 and a Hughes & Kettner Trilogy through Mesa cab & SM57 in various positions against many IRs of the same rig and positionings.

[QUOTE:AlbertA]You can't judge an IR based on your "in the room" sound. You have to base it on the recorded sound. A guitar cab in the room will sound completely different from and IR through studio monitors...simply due to the nature of the listening environment and the nature of the speakers.[/QUOTE]

I agree. Though i maintain that simply due to this (and my own experience), IRs are not "quite the same". As far as i'm concerned The Axe FX responds better with impulses than real tube amps which impresses the hell out of me!
 

Scott Peterson

Global Moderator
Moderator
Vendor
Hi, Scott. Thanks for all you helpful info/explanations/sound clips.

First of all, let me say that I am not a current owner of an Axe FX yet. The day I finally decided to take the plunge on an Ultra, the Axe II was announced.

Please don't anyone take this the wrong way, but it seems all along the beta testers have said the difference is HUGE between the standard/ultra and the Axe II. But, all along I wondered how the testers could be claiming such a huge difference when many of the same people had previously stated that a well dialed-in standard/ultra was nearly indistinguishable from a real tube amp in most cases. Then when the AxeII arrived, many people (NOT the beta testers) acted like they had to have the axe II as if the standard/ultra was not that impressive. To me, it either sounded like a tube amp or it didn't. I don't understand why the announcement of the II seemed to change some people's opinions about what a real tube amp sounds like. Mark Day said the difference between the ultra and axeII will blow you away, and I'm pretty sure we'd all agree that he probably has the best dialed-in ultra on the planet. Anyway, I think that is why so many people are questioning these clips, because they are expecting to be blown away based on the comments of the beta testers........which will never happen if the ultra truly was so close to the real thing. I really hope I'm not offending anyone with this comment, but it's just how I see it.

The longer we wait for the release - the more these threads remind me of Lord of the Flies.. Thanks for your clips Pete! Nice work..

Where is the post that says the difference is "HUGE" - because I know of one other posting beta tester (JavaJunkie) besides myself. And neither of us has posted anything of the sort that I am aware of. The "2" has me excited and I'll post what I feel sometimes choosing more 'colorful' language; but let's be real.

To the comments about the bass without flub and the highs that aren't shrill, that is no longer an issue in Gen 1 units as of FW 11. You could get around it before, but that is one of the things Cliff directly addressed in FW 11. The Axe I and II now share that in common. I had workarounds for it in FW 10, but they're completely unnecessary in FW 11.

D

If you like Firmware 11; you'll love the "2".

hi robertkoa i agree with you but that brings me a question that i asked in the gear page forum and post it here, because i find this very interesting :

when i hear the intro of "ain't talk about love" van halen , "stiff upper lip" or "overdose" from acdc and all the guitar from big rock n roll legend riff when they play the riff ALONE in the record with no other instrument :

the sound is very pleasant and i would say GLORIOUS to my ears.!!

that's one thing that i don't understand ... that's a real question , i'm really interested and curious about that, if someone can explain to me i would appreciate, thanks !

Those recordings are still mixed, EQ'd, compressed and mastered. These direct tracks are.... played. Raw.
 

barhrecords

Axe-Master
On the too bright or not enough nads issue, the beauty of Axe I platform (and I believe the Axe II platform) is you can have it either way... that's pretty sweet.

Dial it up massive and rough wth low end that rattles the walls or pretty it up to a studio sound... whatever you want :)

Richard
 
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