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Triaxis / USA Pre models - inconsistencies in controls?

l4mpi

Member
I played around with the various USA Pre models on the Axe FX III yesterday - my main rig before I got an Axe FX (a II XL at the time) was a Triaxis so I decided to dust it off and dial in my exact presets from back then on the Axe. First, let me say that they sound pretty amazing and feel close to what I remember from the real thing. But I found two inconsistencies between the controls of the various models that don't seem to be mentioned in Yek's amp guide. I figured it might either be due to (very minor) bugs, or because of some differences between the models which are not well documented. Either way, this is what I noticed:
  • The "USA Pre Ld1 Red" defaults to an 8 band Output EQ instead of a 5 band Mark. All other models have the 5 band EQ, intended for simulating the "Dynamic Voice" control on the Triaxis. Is this simply a wrong default value or is there a reason why this model has a different EQ type?
  • In Authentic mode, all three Ld2 models have "Preamp Presence" and "P.A. Presence" knobs. However, the Ld1 and Clean models only have a "Presence" knob, which seems to be the power amp presence and not the Triaxis "Presence" control as it is a value from 0-10 and not a level control. What does the presence knob do for the Ld1 and Clean models, and what's the reason for the disparity with the Ld2 models?
 

FractalAudio

Administrator
Fractal Audio Systems
Moderator
I played around with the various USA Pre models on the Axe FX III yesterday - my main rig before I got an Axe FX (a II XL at the time) was a Triaxis so I decided to dust it off and dial in my exact presets from back then on the Axe. First, let me say that they sound pretty amazing and feel close to what I remember from the real thing. But I found two inconsistencies between the controls of the various models that don't seem to be mentioned in Yek's amp guide. I figured it might either be due to (very minor) bugs, or because of some differences between the models which are not well documented. Either way, this is what I noticed:
  • The "USA Pre Ld1 Red" defaults to an 8 band Output EQ instead of a 5 band Mark. All other models have the 5 band EQ, intended for simulating the "Dynamic Voice" control on the Triaxis. Is this simply a wrong default value or is there a reason why this model has a different EQ type?
  • In Authentic mode, all three Ld2 models have "Preamp Presence" and "P.A. Presence" knobs. However, the Ld1 and Clean models only have a "Presence" knob, which seems to be the power amp presence and not the Triaxis "Presence" control as it is a value from 0-10 and not a level control. What does the presence knob do for the Ld1 and Clean models, and what's the reason for the disparity with the Ld2 models?
  • The LD1 Red was simply my choice as I felt an 8-band EQ suited that model better.
  • On our reference Triaxis (both of them) the Presence control doesn't do anything for the Clean and LD1 modes. The model's Presence knob is therefore the Power Amp Presence.
 

l4mpi

Member
On our reference Triaxis (both of them) the Presence control doesn't do anything for the Clean and LD1 modes.
Thanks for the answer! That snippet above is very interesting, as I have at least one Triaxis Clean preset which has presence turned up. Must have been something wrong with my ears when I dialed that one in...
 

joegold

Fractal Fanatic
  • On our reference Triaxis (both of them) the Presence control doesn't do anything for the Clean and LD1 modes. The model's Presence knob is therefore the Power Amp Presence.
Huh?
When I owned my Triaxis, the Presence buttons worked on all 3 modes.
Maybe not on the LD1 Red and LD2 Red modes, which I never used because they were too harsh sounding, so I don't recall.
I'd never have been able to get a good clean bright rhythm tone from the Clean Green or Clean Yellow modes w/o that Presence control.
 
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FractalAudio

Administrator
Fractal Audio Systems
Moderator
Huh?
When I owned my Triaxis, the Presence buttons worked on all 3 modes.
Maybe not on the LD2 Red, which I never used because it was too harsh sounding so I don't recall.
I'd never be able to get a good clean bright rhythm tone w/o that Presence control.
That's how our reference amps work. They are the later models with the TX4 board (different LD2 Red). When using the LD1 modes the Presence control doesn't do anything and is as if the control were at 10.
 

joegold

Fractal Fanatic
That's how our reference amps work. They are the later models with the TX4 board (different LD2 Red). When using the LD1 modes the Presence control doesn't do anything and is as if the control were at 10.
Interesting.
Mine was an earlier model with the LD1 Red that everyone hated and then I bought the upgrade, iirc.
And I also never used LD1 very much so I might have not noticed the action of the Presence control.
But the LD2 Green and Yellow definitely had the Presence control working.
I used LD2 Yellow for the most part.
It's been 10 years since I sold my Triaxis shortly after buying my first Ultra, so my memories might not be accurate.

At any rate, the Triaxis manual says this:

"3. The PRESENCE Control is very late in the circuit to have much effect at all on the timbre of Lead 1 Red. It is virtually undetectable except for extremely low and high settings. This is normal and no cause for alarm. We have found the TREBLE and MIDDLE controls offer plenty of shaping. The PRESENCE control in circuits of similar nature to Lead 1 Red are always found in the power amp section of the amplifier. Use the PRESENCE control to fine tune the pick attack / noise of Lead 1 Red and an actual shaping tool in the other 7 modes that it was designed to enhance. Use the presence controls found on your power amp to add more attack and harmonics to Lead 1 Red."

And my upgrade board was for LD1 Red not LD2 Red.
Maybe that was a typo in your comment about the board?
I've made the same typo a few times myself when typing these posts, but I try to proofread them.
So as far as LD1 Red is concerned (if that's what you intended) you're basically correct in how you've treated this control on your model, afaics.

Maybe I misread or didn't understand your original comment, but are you saying that on your Triaxises (lol) the Presence control does nothing on both Clean modes as well as on all the LD1 modes?
If so, that seems pretty weird.

Iirc, all of the Clean, LD 1 and LD2 modes had the Presence control active, except for the above quoted oddities above of how this control operates in LD1 Red mode.

But the control does do something to LD2 Red, it's just not audible unless you use extreme values on the control.
No?
Plus, I'm on a II and this is about the the III, so I'm probably missing something.
 
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