• We would like to remind our members that this is a privately owned, run and supported forum. You are here at the invitation and discretion of the owners. As such, rules and standards of conduct will be applied that help keep this forum functioning as the owners desire. These include, but are not limited to, removing content and even access to the forum.

    Please give yourself a refresher on the forum rules you agreed to follow when you signed up.

Questions From A Prospective AXE User

Greeting and salutations. I'm intrigued with the AXE FX after much research. I currently am a user of the Randall Modular Tubes Systems model amps. I intend to continue using these amps, because I love the tones I'm getting from the pro-modded modules. I have a few questions is some of you veteran AXE users could chime in, I would greatly appreciate it.

1. If the AXE FX II is rated a 10- 10 being the highest- then what would you rate overall the Axe-ultra? i.e. how much of an improvement is the II? The II is currently running about 1,000 dollars more on Ebay. Is the II 1,000 dollars better?

2. How realistic is the tube simulation? How many of you have A/B'd your tube amps to the amp sims? Could you tell the difference, in say, a blindfold test?

3. Is the waiting list getting any faster? The II is going on, what, a year in production?

4. Where can I find an updated listed of available amps after the II manual was released?

5. Do you plan on staying with AXE, or do you think you might give the Kempler profiling amp a look?

Thanks in advance. I really would like some input before I make my choice.
 

symphx

Fractal Fanatic
Suggest reading everything on this board as many of us have. All your ? are answered, they are all opinions; most people on this board like their axe. Everything is opinion and matter of taste. ps would you buy a Pentium chip computer still?
 

TheGoatLord

Experienced
Greeting and salutations. I'm intrigued with the AXE FX after much research. I currently am a user of the Randall Modular Tubes Systems model amps. I intend to continue using these amps, because I love the tones I'm getting from the pro-modded modules. I have a few questions is some of you veteran AXE users could chime in, I would greatly appreciate it.

1. If the AXE FX II is rated a 10- 10 being the highest- then what would you rate overall the Axe-ultra? i.e. how much of an improvement is the II? The II is currently running about 1,000 dollars more on Ebay. Is the II 1,000 dollars better?

5.01 was a game changer for the II and regardless of sound, it plays $1000 better

2. How realistic is the tube simulation? How many of you have A/B'd your tube amps to the amp sims? Could you tell the difference, in say, a blindfold test?

In many cases, the axe sounds better than my tube amps micd up. I've owned some very high end boutique tube amps and while some don't sound exactly the same, it would be hard to say that one sounds better than the other

3. Is the waiting list getting any faster? The II is going on, what, a year in production?

You're talking about eBay so why do you care about the wait list?

4. Where can I find an updated listed of available amps after the II manual was released?

The wiki is always a good place to start Axe-Fx II Wiki Home - Axe-Fx II Wiki

5. Do you plan on staying with AXE, or do you think you might give the Kempler profiling amp a look?

The kemper and axe do very different things and are made for very different reasons. For my personal needs, I have no interest in going down the kemper route. The axe is FAR more than I could ever get through or want.

Thanks in advance. I really would like some input before I make my choice.
Hope that answers some questions for you!
 

immortal_soloist

Power User
1. If the AXE FX II is rated a 10- 10 being the highest- then what would you rate overall the Axe-ultra? i.e. how much of an improvement is the II? The II is currently running about 1,000 dollars more on Ebay. Is the II 1,000 dollars better? Ok to answer your first question,I personally know and believe that both products are worth a 10 out of 10. The reason is that both are different animals. The Ultra for it's time was a phenomenal piece of gear and actually it still is,many folks stil buy an Ultra and don't go back to the tubes. The Ultra with a lot of tweaking could get the the tube tone that you want like 95% of it for sure. With the II it's a lot easier to dial in and there are more nuances that can be heard if you have a strong ear and you can get it to sound 100%. I know some people even got 100% out of the Ultra when it came to tube tone. So the question is,is the 1000 dollars extra worth it...Absolutely! I sold my Ultra recently and got my II yesterday I felt an immediate difference.
Like when the II came out first I didn't want to buy it. I didn't find much of a difference tonally and to me it was just that there was more space and the ease of the USB feature and easier connection to the foot controller.The Ultra was so deep that I couldn't be bothered,it wasn't until firmware 4 where I started to see why the II exists. I currently have version 5.2 and it breaths tube. What I could get with the ultra spending hours to tweak takes a few minutes with the II and it's dead on in terms of replication. So if you want an Ultra you won't regret it as I have gotten that thing to sound tighter than a tube amp,in my honest and humble Opinion. The II is a lot more crystal clear detail wise and extremely tight in it's tone. Let's put it this way,I have played tube amps and most of my "Gear Acquisition Syndrome" was over with the Ultra and with the II the gap is closed now. Had I not been satisfied with the Ultra,there was no way I would have bought a II. It's absolutely fantastic and I can't explain enough how good both the Ultra and the II sound you need to have one of them and spend an ample amount of time to know what I am talking about. The other thing is routing capabilities. Certain things that you can't do with a real time tube amp and effects chaining is possible with the II and the Ultra,so it makes the impossible pretty much possible. I'd like you to hear the recent clips that Guthrie did for jam track central. His late night session jam tracks are something that will give you a good idea of the IIs capabilities. And what he did is tweak a bit of the factory presets,minor tweaking. And seriously it sounded better than his Cornford,seriously I was blown away. The biggest thing is these things aren't digital really,the technology is but not the out put. These things are like real amps. My experience was when I had the ultra I gave someone my guitar and they used my patch,the sound was different than what I would do. So it really reacted as a real amp,so basically what you put in to you get that out of it.

2. How realistic is the tube simulation? How many of you have A/B'd your tube amps to the amp sims? Could you tell the difference, in say, a blindfold test?
I think I already answered this in the first question. But I saw someone that had a Mark V and he did a comparison between the patch he made with the Ultra and the V and quiet honestly I couldn't tell a difference. My ears are quiet strong so I have no problems in differentiating. I saw a comparison clip of the Peavy 5050 and the Axe FxII and to my ears the II sounded better than the Peavy,this is before I even bought the II. So this is not an opinion based on the fact that just cause I have one,it's the best thing out there. But yea I did a lot of research,read a lot of posts even when I was an Ultra user and then finally took the plunge to buy the II. In short yes you can't really tell a difference when you A/B it with a real tube amp. Maybe the ENGL Powerball might need a bit of work,but I haven't tried it yet with my new firmware. But still it's very close from the previous firmwares especially from the Ultra hearing other's doing comparison videos and audios of the powerball simulation. Also everyone's set up is different and so no one can make the final judgement about the powerball. Cause I know some folks that were unhappy with the simulation of that one amp. I have JBL monitors that really give things out clearly and I have never complained about any simulation. Sometimes people can't admit that this box can do it all,because it's not that big in size and it doesn't have all those connections and stuff while it does pretty much the same things or even better a lot of times. You will find folks that are biased about their tube tone and that's fine I suppose. Sometimes the ear is just in love with something they were in love with from the first day. But there are many people that have sold their tube amps and use the Axe Fx for everything. That says a lot right there,it's all a matter of opinion and taste. And let's just suppose that the ENGL on the Axe is not convincing,so what there are a million other amps on it that sound even better than the original thing.

Here is a link of Guthrie's recording with the Axe FxII:
Guthrie Govan 'The Late Night Sessions - Series 1' - YouTube hear it for yourself :).

3. Is the waiting list getting any faster? The II is going on, what, a year in production?
The waiting list has become faster,initially it took about 5 months but now it's 3 months.
I am a successful waiting list customer and it took a bit less than 3 months honestly.
4. Where can I find an updated listed of available amps after the II manual was released?
There is a dedicated page of the Axe FxII on wiki. Honestly There are so many
amp models on this already you'll have your hands full with tonal options.
Anyhow here is the link Axe-Fx II Wiki Home - Axe-Fx II Wiki
5. Do you plan on staying with AXE, or do you think you might give the Kempler profiling amp a look?
I plan to stay with the Axe FxII. The firmware 5.2 upgrade is so damn impressive. Honestly it really depends on what you are looking for.
The kempler will model one aspect of the amp per patch. The Axe Fx is like an amp you tweak,you get your tones and you make your own dynamic voice.
The kempler concept is cool but I think it won't put the Axe FxII down for what the Axe FxII is specially with the new firmware on it. There are more upgrades coming up.
And The Axe FX will be getting a profiling feature of it's own very soon. The IR cabinet capturing is already present on the Axe FxII :).

With all this said,the decision is yours but if you ask me it's totally worth getting the Axe FxII. You will not regret it. I know for a fact that I don't regret it one bit.
Cheers.
 
Last edited:
If you want to really hear it there is a series of you tube vids by soloaweek where he plays a 2-3 second riff with each patch on the axe 2 direct into pro tools- He has only done through bank b but it says he will post c soon.
Here is a link Every Axe-Fx II Preset - Bank A - Part 1 - YouTube
This first video gives links to the following ones. Also if you listen to some of his other vids he is using it plugged in and mic'ed (I think)
I found this quite useful in my decision to buy one
As for the wait- i gave in and ebayed mine and am still on the list (4 months now)
So far I'm very impressed. Clearly having spent on great tube amps more than a few times this is a value component and extremely high quality sound and effects- for that alone it's worth the price of admission in my opinion.
 

paullypj

Inspired
If you want to really hear it there is a series of you tube vids by soloaweek where he plays a 2-3 second riff with each patch on the axe 2 direct into pro tools- He has only done through bank b but it says he will post c soon.
Here is a link Every Axe-Fx II Preset - Bank A - Part 1 - YouTube
This first video gives links to the following ones. Also if you listen to some of his other vids he is using it plugged in and mic'ed (I think)
I found this quite useful in my decision to buy one
As for the wait- i gave in and ebayed mine and am still on the list (4 months now)
So far I'm very impressed. Clearly having spent on great tube amps more than a few times this is a value component and extremely high quality sound and effects- for that alone it's worth the price of admission in my opinion.
2. How realistic is the tube simulation? How many of you have A/B'd your tube amps to the amp sims? Could you tell the difference, in say, a blindfold test?

I sold a 3,000 engl e 580 after abing the two of them... BTW the axe was running through mackie studio monitors the engle through a boogie 2/100 and stero 2 x 12s (that engl btw is a beautiful preamp ) that should tell you something.
 

Cooper Carter

Fractal Fanatic
Vendor
If you want to really hear it there is a series of you tube vids by soloaweek where he plays a 2-3 second riff with each patch on the axe 2 direct into pro tools- He has only done through bank b but it says he will post c soon.
Here is a link Every Axe-Fx II Preset - Bank A - Part 1 - YouTube
This first video gives links to the following ones. Also if you listen to some of his other vids he is using it plugged in and mic'ed (I think)
I found this quite useful in my decision to buy one
As for the wait- i gave in and ebayed mine and am still on the list (4 months now)
So far I'm very impressed. Clearly having spent on great tube amps more than a few times this is a value component and extremely high quality sound and effects- for that alone it's worth the price of admission in my opinion.
For all my videos, the Axe is running direct into ProTools.
 
Top Bottom