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They All Sound the Same, It's About Workflow


Wow, why am I busting my ass making things so accurate when people can't hear how obviously different the first two are?
Different ears are not gonna have the same level of education as yours that make a career spotting those differences but I think you could spend some time finding ways to highlight them so it can click for a wider audience. For example once I've been taught what to listen for to identify audio compression I couldn't un-hear it, but someone had to point it out for me first.


It was hard to hear the difference until I got home to decent speakers. Then, it was a pretty obvious difference.


The first 3 sound similar and have the same type of noise in the high end. The last one sounds a bit different from the others.


A sounds a bit more hi-fi than B. B has a bit more lower mids and more compressed higher mids/highs than clip A. B also has some of that high-mid aggressivenes that I usually associate with cranked plexis. B's gain structure is slightly more gainier and sharper than A's. B sounds the most quirky and chaotic.

C has a bit more mids to it and the top end feels a bit rolled off. The tamest top-end of the three clips. Also the most compressed out of the 4 clips.

D sounds very close to A, but the notes ring out a bit clearer, as it has a more defined gain structure, and it also has a bit more bass than A.

I'd say B is the real amp.

Maybe I was influenced by the slightly suggestive clip title... be be be... never thought I'd have to use reverse-psychology on a guitar forum, but here we are :D

Somehow, I believe, since A and D are so close, and, knowing that it's Cliff's personal Fender amp which he used to base the Axe FX III model on, it would be more logical to assume that either A or D is the real amp and the Axe FX III. I'll still stick to B just to see how wrong I can be...

Greg Ferguson

Wow, why am I busting my ass making things so accurate when people can't hear how obviously different the first two are?
Because people will latch onto the slightest difference, whether it's audible or on a chart, and declare "it's not realistic", even though they couldn't possible tell the difference in real life. I think that bothers you because you know that the math can do it, and I suspect it's also because you know you're on the right track.

Cliff, @FractalAudio, I think the current generation are stunning sounding devices and I love using them live. I still drag my Tone King Imperial out to jams because I'm limited in floor space and can't plug into the FOH and would need to take my monitors. It's NOT a sound or feel thing, it's the physical situation only. My monitors take about the same space as the amp but the FM9 uses space I'd rather use for moving so I'm not forced to stand in one place. I use my FM9 and pair of EV PXM-12MP where I have more space because it's flexible and lets me sound like a bunch of different amps and effects, and it sounds really good.

I think the current generation is good enough, but you have to keep moving because of the market and competition, and because you want FAS devices to be the pinnacle. That's a good goal, worthy of a guy who's scary smart, and who's showed us that numbers can do it. If you stopped now and froze development these would still be legendary and we could use them for years to come. I hope that doesn't happen, because I want to see what other things you have up your sleeves.


Power User
1st take: most open, widest freqency range, most dynamic one

2nd take: this sounds the weakest, as if it has a worse IR than the others, hollow, as if there is phase cancelation. And harmonics, distortion sound washy....like shhhshaaahahasss, covering details with a blanket.

3rd take: sounds more focused/shifted to mids/low mids compared to 1st one, as if carved to fit in the mix, not necessarily better, as if the tone is shifting more to mids, low mids...and less highs. somehow i don't like it that much. Less dynamic than the 1st take. And the accesive low end!

4rd take: Sounds even more focused than the 3rd but with better dynamics.

my conclusions after 3-4 times listening...for me changing the order changes also my perception somewhat.

Best to me is the 1st one.

!!!!: And if the amp is recorded properly, since the modelling is so accurate there should not be any/if at all much difference between the amp and Axe...even @FractalAudio should not be able to pick which is which, right?

add on: when i switch from my Neumann's to NS10ms, the 2nd one does not sound that bad anymore. It could be that NS10m are not revealing all compared to Neumann KH310s.
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Fractal Fanatic
The 3rd has some bass growl going on I don't quite hear in the others. But to say I better like this or that I'd need to play around with it myself and for a longer time. The chosen riff is a bit harsh to my ears.

I have to admit that I never played my DLR, when I had one, with volume on 10....not quite the most usual setting for making comparison IMHO. But the one I had was not the most usual one, it had been modded with a master volume (always full open for me) on the backside and the volume on the front panel rather worked as a gain parameter. Have a bit regrets that I had to sell it, but it was for financing my Axe Fx II in 2012, and that I do not regret.
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dr bonkers

Fractal Fanatic

Maybe they're listening thru smartphone speakers cuz that's pretty obvious thru my monitors
Guilty as charged.

Usually it's easy to hear differences on my phone. This one needs to go to my monitors obviously.
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