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Power amp challenges

jhsg

Member
Hi everyone,

I have an axeFx 2 with a mesa 2:50 power amp running into a Orange ppc412 cabinet.

At low volumes, I get the best sound I could ever hope for but as soon as I turn it up in band setting the sound seems too smooth and doesn't have enough bite / cut. I also find that it sounds good in isolation but when the rest of the band comes in, I either can't hear it myself or when I turn up the band are telling me I'm too loud. I also find that I get a lot of ear fatigue from it compared to using real amps.

One thing that I am thinking it around people saying that I shouldn't be using cab sims with a power amp / real cab but I find without it the sound is thin and horrible.

As I said above I love the sound at low volumes but I'm close to ditching the setup and going back to using old school tube amps.

Has anyone had similar issues? Has anyone got any hints or tips to overcome these problems?

Thanks,

John
 

JD Scanlon

New Member
Hi everyone,

I have an axeFx 2 with a mesa 2:50 power amp running into a Orange ppc412 cabinet.

At low volumes, I get the best sound I could ever hope for but as soon as I turn it up in band setting the sound seems too smooth and doesn't have enough bite / cut. I also find that it sounds good in isolation but when the rest of the band comes in, I either can't hear it myself or when I turn up the band are telling me I'm too loud. I also find that I get a lot of ear fatigue from it compared to using real amps.

One thing that I am thinking it around people saying that I shouldn't be using cab sims with a power amp / real cab but I find without it the sound is thin and horrible.

As I said above I love the sound at low volumes but I'm close to ditching the setup and going back to using old school tube amps.

Has anyone had similar issues? Has anyone got any hints or tips to overcome these problems?

Thanks,

John


I just got my Axe-FX II a few weeks ago, and have had a very similar experience as you. It sounds awesome at my computer desk, but as soon as I try to bring it into a rehearsal studio and connect it to a guitar amp of some kind, the tone falls apart.
 

paranoid

Fractal Fanatic
you need mids to stand out in a band mix, which you may have when playing softly. Bass and treble show them selves when it gets loud. now that is where the rest of the band is in the mix.
 

unix-guy

Legend!
You are getting bit by Fletcher Munson... Our ears hear midrange much better than highs or lows at low volume.

Dial in your tones at gig volume if possible.

Also, when using a tube power amp and a real guitar cab, it is recommended to turn off both cab modeling and power amp modeling.
 

FractalAudio

Administrator
Fractal Audio Systems
Moderator
If you have cab sims on with a traditional guitar cab you are using the product incorrectly. Low-cut and high-cut are NOT required or recommended in this scenario.
 

Wolfenstein98k

Power User
Cliff is right, I didn't read much of the OP - don't use cab sims. It might sound thin when quiet, but blast it - it should solve your problems.
 

GotMetalBoy

Power User
If you have an Axe-Fx II XL+ and live in the USA, it will never sound good but I can help you out and buy it off you half price ;)

Make sure you disable the cab sims in the Global settings but try with and without the power amp sims. I used to leave it enabled when using my Mesa Boogie 290.

Are you using a factory preset or one you created?

Do you have the newest firmware installed?

I've noticed that a lot of the factory presets sound thin but if you reset the Amp Block they sound a lot better. Also, try different amp models and don't just use the ones you know. Some of the amp models may not sound authentic but they sound awesome. A lot of people liked the original HBE model even though it supposedly didn't sound authentic because it was based off a prototype.

I never look at the amp model and just turn the knob until I hear something I like.
 

SteveW

Inspired
I use a Mesa 4 x 12 cab with cab sims turned OFF. I am going through the Axe FX II plus and a Matrix GT1000. It sounds like shit with cab sims on, obviously...

At low to mid volume, it still sounds great, but I spent quite a bit of time dialing in the tones / presets to get there, and that's really what you need to do OP.

When I was going through the Mesa DR amp and the Axe, it was a colored tone and not nearly as flexible as using a non-colored power amp like the GT1000. It just takes some time getting used to in terms of dialing in tones!

And FWIW, I agree totally with the post above!
 

Desmo808

Experienced
I had a similar experience when I first got the Axe FX, when I was still using a regular guitar cab. I had cab sims on, went through a 2x12 with Vintage 30s. I thought it sounded okay at low volume, but it was horrible at anything above bedroom level. I quickly learned that regardless of how cool it sounded at low volume with cab sims, the way to go was to remove the cab sims and readjust my presets. I have learned a lot since then, so I hope this will help:

One thing that I am thinking it around people saying that I shouldn't be using cab sims with a power amp / real cab but I find without it the sound is thin and horrible.
What you're doing is piping a cab through another cab, resulting in all sorts of weird things going on. A cab block mimics the response curve of a real cab; putting a cab sim through a real, physical cab further squishes the IR through the physical cab's own IR.

If your sound is weak and thin with cab sims off, adjust the settings of the blocks in your preset so it isn't weak and thin. You can achieve just as rich and full a sound from your setup without cab sims, since you are using a real cab.

as soon as I turn it up in band setting the sound seems too smooth and doesn't have enough bite / cut.
That's because putting a cab sim through a real cab is compounding one IR curve with another. The result will be dark and muddy.

I also find that I get a lot of ear fatigue from it compared to using real amps.
That's because you're using it in a way that you never would with a real amp. You wouldn't mic a real cab, only to feed that signal into yet another amp & cab. A cab sim is an IR of a miked cab.

I also find that it sounds good in isolation but when the rest of the band comes in, I either can't hear it myself or when I turn up the band are telling me I'm too loud.
The Fletcher Munson effect has been mentioned, but in this case, it seems more like the basic tone is dark and muddy to begin with, and increasing the volume is just making loud dark & muddy.

Adjust the settings of your preset so it isn't weak and thin with the cab sims off. I think you might have grown accustomed to the dark sound of a sim IR through a physical cab IR at low volume, which is why having no cab sim seems weak and thin. Keep at it, and your ears should adjust. Good luck.
 

∞Fractals

Power User
The product designer and owner of FAS has responded to you directly; make sure you use the product as designed first, then later if you feel the need to vary the signal path with creative rerouting ... have at it. But for now, as others have mentioned, don't use a cab block while playing through real cabs, and get your core tone dialed in at gig volumes.

Have fun, I just realized it's time to go jam. :)
 
Been an Axe user since the Ultra time and been using modeler kinda speakers and love the sound, ive been awarded best tone in town :).
Well just bought a Mesa 2x12 RectoCab and a Orange Rockerverb ry to connect to my Axe and had the same problem. Sounds thin and fizzy to my ears, but well i guess ill have to remove the IRs from the signal and start all over. I hope i find the patience to do so....
 
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