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Return to the Axe

Jan Geerts

Inspired
3 years ago I sold the II, because despite lugging two 412s about with the Matrix 1000, I never felt like I was playing on a real amp. The sound was great, but I missed pressure.
So, a couple of years of various heads and pedals followed until I bought a modeler again, mainly to play quietly in the evenings. It was a Headrush. Very easy to program, and the amps, chorus and flangers sound really great. Verb, delays, and things like crystals, much less. I took it for small gigs, instead of the huge board with 3 H9s, CE1, various drives and the Roland MS8. And it sounded great in the return of my Marshall heads.
So, I decided to go for the Axe again, but not FRFR, I learned pretty soon years ago that was not my thing. Btw, the real clincher to go for the Axe was I missed those Simeon ambient presets on the 2.

Now the III, with power amp modeling engaged, sounded weird through the valve heads (1987X clone and a DSL20) In contrast with the Headrush, which sounded and felt excellent (except for the more esoteric delays and verbs)

My sounds are mainly plexis and Deluxe Reverbs, so I tried the Friedmans as preamp, which was very good, but too modern for me, and the Fenders sounded sterile.
So, I ordered an Orange Pedalbaby to see how that went.
And that went swimmingly. Now with the power amp modeling engaged, it sounds and feels like I'm playing on Plexis and DR's. The modeling has evolved a lot in those years, but a lot of praise goes to the Pedalbaby too. With the tone controls in center position, there was again that lack of pressure, but the bass control took care of that.
I also went through the pedals in front of a DR, a good number of those pedals I've owned and got to know well, and that was really a wow moment. That totally sounds and feels like the real thing. In a handy package. The FC12, now connected with a regular xlr cable (hoora!), is the right size and convenient in all aspects too.

I work in a music shop, or did before the pandemic, and played on a DRRI daily. I'm now playing through a custom 212 cab with scum back greenbacks, so that's not the same, but the modeling is spot on. Including the reverb. I have a really bad back, and can't lift a DRRI, so this 5kg box with Marshall, Fenders and fantastic effects is a blessing.

Coming from the H9s and the Headrush, I do find one thing very odd: the blocks don't have any presets. At all. Right now, I have all the time, so tweaking and searching isn't a problem at all, but I still find it odd.

Am I going to sell my 1987X? Noooooo, I cranked that in the studio last year, and any decent drive and CE1 into it set clean, is home for me. But for practicing and performing, the III is much more convenient. I really don't see how this can get any better. Hats off to Cliff and co, excellent work
 
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Jan Geerts

Inspired
As far as I can see, there are no presets in the Block Library. You can create them, but they're empty otherwise. Global blocks, I have to figure out still.
 

yek

Moderator
Moderator
You build the Block Library yourself. You save your favorite blocks there. The Block Library is personal. There are indeed no "stock" blocks in it.
 

Jan Geerts

Inspired
I only remember the sound of my 1987x cranked from the studio almost a year ago, because at home that would mean damaged ears and windows plus mad neighbours, but set clean since last week.
Today, I made a clean 1987x patch through the Pedalbaby and regular cab. And it is spot on. Spot on. Couldn't tell I wasn't playing the real thing or not. Sound and feel, completely there. Second wow erlebnis. Amazing piece of kit, that.
 

Jan Geerts

Inspired
Well, a couple of weeks later.
I came for the Plexi's and Deluxe Reverb, it seems I'm staying for the Dweez Bassman, AC30 and JC120 :oops:
 
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