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Sold my Axe III .... bought an AX8

DrProgNerd

Regular
Great insight and info...thanks for sharing! When I used my 'Big Board' the Kingsley's were, well...'King' and my top choice for OD pedals - over my Klon and KoT. I've owned every Kingsley OD pedal except the Page, which is more of a boost though anyway. I was, at that time, using the Juggler/Squire/Constable tube preamps, matching these with any Kingsley tube overdrive pedal was a great match. However and in my particular case the Jester didn't sound quite the same with the AX8 but...the LightSpeed (LS) sounded amazing and has become perfect compliment as an Low-Med OD choice as a front-end boost/OD pedal for the FAS amp models. The transparent nature of the LS allows each FAS amp model to retain its unique character but...will be either a great clean boost, extra grit/drive stage or a full overdrive pedal to the modelled FAS amp and depending its Gain settings. When using the Jester in this same manner, it wasn't nearly as 1.) transparent 2.) sounded a bit thick/thin...not quite right 3.) was just a standard sounding OD/Dis. pedal. This really surprised me as I have much experience with Kingsley pedals, owning 12 of them (some twice) and both v1/v2 on some models. I very much love Kingsley products but and for me they didn't really jive with the AX8 as I had hoped. Maybe and as stacking analog devices, works so well together...stacking digital ODs with digital devices is a better choice as well, the ODs I use from my H9 with the AX8 are some of the best I've ever been able to come up with!

Never owned a Klon – wasn’t scared of the price-tag – I just figured if I could get 90% of the way there with a Klone, it made more sense. I guess the closest I came was an ARC Klone V2 – which I loved.

I owned a KoT for about 5 minutes once. Lol !!! I was on the list for a year – just GLUED to the countdown – chomping at the bit for the day my KoT would show up – and when I got it ……. uh ……. When I got it ……uh …… I thought ……. “So what? That’s IT?” Tried to ‘get it’. Stepped away for a couple of hours – came back with fresh ears. Same reaction. Came back the next day – started from scratch ….. more “So what?” I sold it and made the profit – so it wasn’t a total loss but – other than the Mesa Mark V – it was the biggest gear disappointment I’ve experienced.


It’s funny how subjective tastes can be – because I thought that when I paired my Kingsley preamps with my Kingsley OD’s – it was very mushy. I liked stacking digital with tube drives. I thought the digital or analog drives – into tube drives – was a nice pairing. You get the tightness from the digital, but the ‘body’ from the tube drives.

I did like the Lightspeed when I owned it. I got it in a multi-pedal trade – so I didn’t plan on it sticking around. I knew before it arrived that I was turning it - but I would get one again.


I have never owned a big box V1 Kingsley – but I’ve owned every other one with the exception of the Jouster and the Bard. I’ve had two V2 Minstrels, 2 Jesters, Page, two V2 Pages, two Page DS’s, All the Squires, Constable V1 and V2, two Maiden D’s, a Maiden BF, Harlot, Harlot with Bass switch, your Juggler of course.

They are all varying degrees of awesome – but the Jester just ‘does it’ for me. The Page DS was my favorite of the Pages – for its headroom – but they all had a narrow sweet-spot – and were worthless to me above 1:00.

I hesitate to bring this up in a Fractal-centric environment – but what the hell …. Let’s stir the pot. Lol !! :


I’ve owned two Axe-Fx II’s, two AX8’s and the AIII. I haven’t found a drive in the units that feel and sound the same as individual drive pedals. Now …. Maybe I’m just not good at dialing it in. I completely accept that possibility. I would actually love to be proven wrong and have someone show me the error of my ways. But there is a boldness – a girth that I get out of pedals like the Jester, Xotic RC-V2, Vemuram Galea, JHS AT+ - that I’m not finding in the AX8. Is that what you were getting at with your comment above?

Don’t get me wrong – I love the AX8. It IS my rig now – and will be for the foreseeable future – but I don’t see ever giving up drive pedals. Thoughts?
 

aens

Inspired
It might be the lack of FC-12, but I'm also preferring my AX8 over my Axe FX III at the moment. I love how easy it is to use. I also loaned almost all my drive and fuzz pedals to a friend a week ago but don't miss them at all yet. This is strange, but I can't be any happier!
 

John Ganske

New here
Never owned a Klon – wasn’t scared of the price-tag – I just figured if I could get 90% of the way there with a Klone, it made more sense. I guess the closest I came was an ARC Klone V2 – which I loved.

I owned a KoT for about 5 minutes once. Lol !!! I was on the list for a year – just GLUED to the countdown – chomping at the bit for the day my KoT would show up – and when I got it ……. uh ……. When I got it ……uh …… I thought ……. “So what? That’s IT?” Tried to ‘get it’. Stepped away for a couple of hours – came back with fresh ears. Same reaction. Came back the next day – started from scratch ….. more “So what?” I sold it and made the profit – so it wasn’t a total loss but – other than the Mesa Mark V – it was the biggest gear disappointment I’ve experienced.


It’s funny how subjective tastes can be – because I thought that when I paired my Kingsley preamps with my Kingsley OD’s – it was very mushy. I liked stacking digital with tube drives. I thought the digital or analog drives – into tube drives – was a nice pairing. You get the tightness from the digital, but the ‘body’ from the tube drives.

I did like the Lightspeed when I owned it. I got it in a multi-pedal trade – so I didn’t plan on it sticking around. I knew before it arrived that I was turning it - but I would get one again.


I have never owned a big box V1 Kingsley – but I’ve owned every other one with the exception of the Jouster and the Bard. I’ve had two V2 Minstrels, 2 Jesters, Page, two V2 Pages, two Page DS’s, All the Squires, Constable V1 and V2, two Maiden D’s, a Maiden BF, Harlot, Harlot with Bass switch, your Juggler of course.

They are all varying degrees of awesome – but the Jester just ‘does it’ for me. The Page DS was my favorite of the Pages – for its headroom – but they all had a narrow sweet-spot – and were worthless to me above 1:00.

I hesitate to bring this up in a Fractal-centric environment – but what the hell …. Let’s stir the pot. Lol !! :


I’ve owned two Axe-Fx II’s, two AX8’s and the AIII. I haven’t found a drive in the units that feel and sound the same as individual drive pedals. Now …. Maybe I’m just not good at dialing it in. I completely accept that possibility. I would actually love to be proven wrong and have someone show me the error of my ways. But there is a boldness – a girth that I get out of pedals like the Jester, Xotic RC-V2, Vemuram Galea, JHS AT+ - that I’m not finding in the AX8. Is that what you were getting at with your comment above?

Don’t get me wrong – I love the AX8. It IS my rig now – and will be for the foreseeable future – but I don’t see ever giving up drive pedals. Thoughts?
Both the Kot and Klon sounded fantastic with my Kingsley preamps, I had an ARC Klone v2 and liked that pedal as well. I've since sold all three pedals but, now I'm curious how they might do and as opposed to the experience I had with the AX8/Jester combination. I imagine maybe more similar to what the LightSpeed currently does when combined with the AX8. I remember selling a Kingsley Harlot because the sound could easily be a bit abrasive with even my analog preamps...kind of what I personally experienced with the AX8/Jester combo - unfortunately. This is not at all a dis on Kingsley pedals but and for me personally I like what non-tube OD/Dist pedals provide me when using the AX8;)
 

DrProgNerd

Regular
Both the Kot and Klon sounded fantastic with my Kingsley preamps, I had an ARC Klone v2 and liked that pedal as well. I've since sold all three pedals but, now I'm curious how they might do and as opposed to the experience I had with the AX8/Jester combination. I imagine maybe more similar to what the LightSpeed currently does when combined with the AX8. I remember selling a Kingsley Harlot because the sound could easily be a bit abrasive with even my analog preamps...kind of what I personally experienced with the AX8/Jester combo - unfortunately. This is not at all a dis on Kingsley pedals but and for me personally I like what non-tube OD/Dist pedals provide me when using the AX8;)
Since reading your last post, I looked into light/medium drives - including the Lightspeed. I sold my Xotic RC-V2 recently and miss having a pedal without the tube-sag. I emailed Daniel at Port City and he hooked me up with a Sahana Drive. Kind of an obscure pedal - but I've owned a couple Port City Pearls and three of his cabs - and if the quality of this drive is anywhere near the quality of his amps/cabs, then I'm in for a treat. I expect that it will be an 808'ish kind of drive - which is exactly what I'm looking for....something that gives a little push and bite to the front of the AX8. It should go out next week if the snow stops dumping on them.
 

TheRobotCow

New here
Hi everyone, actually this is my 1st post here! I'm actually trying to decide between the Ax8 and Axe Fx3. This thread has given me some pretty solid insight. I think the only bad thing about the Ax8 I can think about is that it gives me FOMO. Fear of missing out. But taking a realistic view of how i'm going to use it as of now(98% at home and 2% jamming with friends when i get a chance), i think the Ax8 is the best choice. But I can't say that i'm not curious about knowing when the next generation of Ax8 is heading our way.
 

DrProgNerd

Regular
Hi everyone, actually this is my 1st post here! I'm actually trying to decide between the Ax8 and Axe Fx3. This thread has given me some pretty solid insight. I think the only bad thing about the Ax8 I can think about is that it gives me FOMO. Fear of missing out. But taking a realistic view of how i'm going to use it as of now(98% at home and 2% jamming with friends when i get a chance), i think the Ax8 is the best choice. But I can't say that i'm not curious about knowing when the next generation of Ax8 is heading our way.

Man, you just can’t go wrong either way.

If you love lots of layered effects and nearly limitless routing options – AIII might be your better choice – because the CPU on the AX8 does have its limitations. Plus - the firmware updates are just flying out – rapid fire – on AIII. It seems like there’s a new one every 10-14 days. Do these people ever sleep? Lol.

What I learned though – after I had built a dozen or so dream rigs on the AIII – is that my base rig is pretty basic – and the AX8 is perfect for me.

If you are like me: happy with a few presets that have Comp>Drive>EQ>Amp>Cab with Chorus>Delay>Verb in the loop – AX8 is all you need. What I love about it is it’s self-contained, super-portable, ridiculously easy to program with Axe-Edit – and with the added flexibility of Scenes and X/Y states and expression pedal options……. for me ……it’s a no brainer.

Or ……buy the AIII and know that you have the very best piece of gear the industry has to offer …… and it will be better the month after that …. And the month after that ….etc.

Like I said - you just can't go wrong either way.....
 

Robboman

Fractal Fanatic
I'm really late to this thread but thanks. Helps validate my own reasoning.

My FAS gear history is this:
  1. Bought Ultra
  2. Bought MFC
  3. Bought II
  4. Sold Ultra
  5. Bought FX8
  6. Bought AX8
  7. Sold MFC, sold II and sold FX8
  8. .......
Of course I was tempted by the III, but I'm proud of my emotional maturity and restraint for holding out :)

AX8 is all I really need. But when the next-gen floor unit drops I won't be able to type my credit card digits fast enough.
 

iaresee

Moderator
Moderator
I still gig my AX8 the most. The size is just too alluring when I'm packing for a gig. It's one little bag on my shoulder vs. the rack plus the out-board MIDI controller and pedals. I can totally understand building your live rig around an AX8 and I'm very much looking forward to the floor-based controller catching up to the III in terms of DSP power at some point.
 

DrProgNerd

Regular
But when the next-gen floor unit drops I won't be able to type my credit card digits fast enough.
+1 on this comment. I'd love more CPU. More routing options. And being able to run two amps simultaneously. But that is seriously splitting hairs - because if a new floor unit never came out, I'd be fine with the AX8 as it is. What a great unit.
 
I've done the wall of amps and monster pedalboard thing. I'm over it now - which is what brought me back to Fractal. I had so much fun with the AIII ….. but all I need are a couple of drives, a cool amp model, a dimensional chorus, delay and 'verb and a decent IR. That's the core of most of my sounds - give or take.

In my 'more is more' days, I would have said 'both are more'. Now that my guitar collection went from 15 to 5.... and my amp collection went from 8-10 to zero....and my pedal collection went from dozens to one (Kingsley Jester) …..I do the strangest thing …….. I actually PLAY … when I used to comb through Reverb and Ebay and the gear forums - looking for the next cool thing. The AX8 serves me so perfectly, I can't imagine ever going back to the 'gear game'. Now when/if AX8 V2 comes out …. I will be all over that. Hey, I'm a 'recovering' gear-junky - I didn't say that I had fully 'recovered'. Lol !!!
Years ago I bought first Line 6 Asys212 amp. Then I went whole hog into the Mesas. Then an AxFx when the first one came out I stuck out a toe again for the super fx system. But it wasn’t.t until I got my AX8 that my mind fully understood that all my dreams were answered by the AxeFx systems. The Helix made me truly focus on what was important and to rediscover what actually drove me into guitar and the multi Fx tools systems. AxeFx gives me what I want, a broad upgrade path and a way to make use of my legacy equipment! And with you I see I am not insane! Congratulations, my friend! It’s a multi dimensional heaven here!
 

gdgross

Veteran
Sticking w the 8, sold my II and my MIDI controller as soon as the 8 came out, and never looked back.

The III seems cool, but I sure don't want to lug a rack around again. When/if there's an AX8-2, then i'll jump, as I occasionally do run into CPU usage issues, but to me it's not worth the weight and hassle of a separate rack and pedalboard. Love my rig!!
 
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