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Side by side comparison

jrh_67

Inspired
5150 III head
EVh Cabinet = Sounds Great!

Axe Fx II
poweramp sim = off
cab sim = off
Axe II 5150 preamp dialed in to where the knobs basically match the real amp.
patched into the effects return of the 5150 head to use as the power amp
same EVH cabinet

sounds basically the same!

This setup works great for me because the power amp section of the 5150 head was modded and I can still use it with the Axe.

I love this amp but now I can not only have "my" modded amp but still also have all the other amps in the axe at my disposal...

Have to admit I'm liking this thing more and more every day...
 

seeu22

Inspired
Yeah, I have been using my Axe II with a vht 2502 power amp and a bogner 2x12 cab. It is indistinguishable from the rest of my tube amps. Using the axe as a preamp and effects processor may not give the user quite the same flexibility as going FRFR, but it sure sounds amazing and still is very flexible.

Neil
 

jrh_67

Inspired
I would like to try a FRFR cabinet one day but I'm afraid I'll spend a fortune on one and then not like it...lol
 

jdosher

Inspired
Yeah, I have been using my Axe II with a vht 2502 power amp and a bogner 2x12 cab. It is indistinguishable from the rest of my tube amps. Using the axe as a preamp and effects processor may not give the user quite the same flexibility as going FRFR, but it sure sounds amazing and still is very flexible.

Neil

I've been very happy using a regular guitar cab (2x12 as well) since it helps to give some consistency to my sound across presets, and helps give your time-tested, standard guitar amp in the room sound. I'm sure some see it as a limitation (and argue you can just stick with one cab block and run FRFR), but limitations like that aren't such a bad thing. I also used to run a VHT, a 2/90/2. The VHTs are great sounding amps. I made the leap to a Matrix recently though and have been pleasantly surprised.
 

zenaxe

Fractal Fanatic
Using the axe as a preamp and effects processor may not give the user quite the same flexibility as going FRFR, but it sure sounds amazing and still is very flexible.

+1. You are locked into your cab(s) (I use the power amp modeling on the Axe with flat SS power) but you just get a straight, legit, amp in the room sound instantly. It is much better than any traditional head setup that way... Just make sure you like your cab which you would have to do with a regular rig anyway (and few people complain about).

Having gone from a rack tube preamp/power amp rig to a 'Fractal as a preamp' rig has made it a totally trivial move and the rig is smaller, lighter, more reliable, and a million times more versatile.
 

jrh_67

Inspired
To you guys using SS power amps..

how does it feel/sound compared to a tube amp?

I know, I know, I've heard all the blah, blah, blah on the solid state amps but can they REALLY sound and feel like a tube power amplifier?

I've been using tube amplifiers for over 30 years and just find it hard to believe solid state amps can sound as good.

Of course I NEVER thought I'd be happy with a "digital" preamp either so the longer one lives the more one learns...lol
 

jdosher

Inspired
To you guys using SS power amps..

how does it feel/sound compared to a tube amp?

I know, I know, I've heard all the blah, blah, blah on the solid state amps but can they REALLY sound and feel like a tube power amplifier?

I've been using tube amplifiers for over 30 years and just find it hard to believe solid state amps can sound as good.

Of course I NEVER thought I'd be happy with a "digital" preamp either so the longer one lives the more one learns...lol

I've gone out on a limb a couple times now and said that I like the sound of my Matrix 800 BETTER than my VHT 2/90/2. The 2/90/2 is 98W/ch, so it's not like I was getting any power amp saturation, or "tube crunch" out of it. I kept working into larger and larger tube amps to try to get lots of clean headroom. What I've found is that the SS amp gave me a lot more headroom and punch - essentially faster transient response and less sag - when I want it, and then using the amp block in the Axe I can dial in as much, or as little, tube characteristics as I want. I really thought it would be a compromise to move to an SS amp, but it's really been the best of both worlds.

Oh, and just to put it into some context, I'm not going for a super-tight, punchy new(er) metal sound, or a crystal-clean clean sound; I'm very much into your pretty standard medium-gain rock tone, I just found that I can get it quite easily with the Axe+Matrix combo all the while having a lot more adjustability in the behavior of the power amp (virtual in this case) by it being an Amp block in the Axe. As far as tube amps go, I've come full-circle and I've gotten into low-power tube amps - an Egnater Tweaker 15 recently, but it's for an entirely different application than my main rig, and it's constrained to a much more narrow range of sounds. It's fun though to get back to basics: guitar, meet amp. Amp, meet ears.
 
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schlagdog

Inspired
I ran the axefx and my EVH50w head together and the are REALLY close doing that. Its actually the only head I own that the axefx models that sounds amazingly close when using its power section and just the axefx pre. The others 5150,6505+,orange rockerverb 50, Splawnquickrod, and mesa triple rec sound not even close when using their power sections and the axefx preamp. Which to me means that amp is modeled amazingly great and the others not so much. I run that amp 4CM and have an amp block in there and switch it on and off in scenes so when I use that head and just use the axefx for effects I can use an amp model for a clean sound and the 5153 for everything else. Took a while to figure out until I did it in scene mode and works amazingly perfect. I also have the Matrix GT1000 and it is great but its a little dull if you try and get the actually 5153 to try and sound exact without using its real power section. Still pretty close but just is missing a little something.
 

jrh_67

Inspired
I ran the axefx and my EVH50w head together and the are REALLY close doing that. Its actually the only head I own that the axefx models that sounds amazingly close when using its power section and just the axefx pre. The others 5150,6505+,orange rockerverb 50, Splawnquickrod, and mesa triple rec sound not even close when using their power sections and the axefx preamp. Which to me means that amp is modeled amazingly great and the others not so much. I run that amp 4CM and have an amp block in there and switch it on and off in scenes so when I use that head and just use the axefx for effects I can use an amp model for a clean sound and the 5153 for everything else. Took a while to figure out until I did it in scene mode and works amazingly perfect. I also have the Matrix GT1000 and it is great but its a little dull if you try and get the actually 5153 to try and sound exact without using its real power section. Still pretty close but just is missing a little something.


How do you control volume levels with the 4 cable method?

I have mine setup 4 cable at the moment and turn the head to 1/2 volume and control the volume with the output 1 knob. If you use the amp head for volume how do you control the volume in the modeled amps when needed?
 

schlagdog

Inspired
How do you control volume levels with the 4 cable method?

I have mine setup 4 cable at the moment and turn the head to 1/2 volume and control the volume with the output 1 knob. If you use the amp head for volume how do you control the volume in the modeled amps when needed?

Are you using the the head for everything except effects? I know when I set it up I have the amp model output set way lower or it's super loud. I have both outputs on the axefx maxed out. I remember it took me quite a while to even set it up in the patch and you have to do it in a scene. I'm using the 5153 head for all my gain. Then I can just switch to another scene and it just runs the Boutique 2 for a clean tone. I wanted to be able to set it up like a Digitech 1101 where you can use its amp Models or your amps preamp in a 4CM.
 

Hellbat

Fractal Fanatic
I would like to try a FRFR cabinet one day but I'm afraid I'll spend a fortune on one and then not like it...lol

Do what I did and take your AxeFX and your favorite guitar to a dealer and try out three or four different monitor solutions. If none of them tickle your fancy, then nothing lost but some time rocking out. Of course this depends on you having a good relationship with your local music instrument retailer. Mine is always happy to give me time because they know chances are, if I'm looking, I'm serious and will eventually drop some cash.
 

Cagey

Experienced
I would like to try a FRFR cabinet one day but I'm afraid I'll spend a fortune on one and then not like it...lol

I had that same concern because good units are pricey, but it turned out to be unwarranted. In fact, the FRFR I bought (Atomic active CLR wedge) opened up all sorts of possibilities I didn't have before. Using one of those (or something like it), you can let the Axe create the tones you want from a wide variety of cabinets, rather than being locked into the sound of a specific dedicated cabinet. If you can manage to get two of them, you can get even more magical. I seriously doubt you'd be sorry to go the FRFR route.
 
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