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Troubled guitar player strikes again (switch or not to switch)

Discussion in 'Axe-Fx II Discussion' started by BillHoudini, Nov 23, 2018.

  1. BillHoudini

    BillHoudini
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    Hello everyone! I'm an ex-Fractal user, I used to have an Axe Fx Ultra (2014-2017). Back then I couldn't afford the II, so I thought I could get a taste of the Fractal magic that way. Long story short, I hated the Midi to USB fanction, the buggy Axe Edit and the limited IR options. So I went back to tubes with a Torpedo Captor, because I can't crank my Victory VX Kraken where I live. I was happy for a while, but here's the thing...

    First of all, I was never a tube guy. Sure, I had a Marshall JVM, a Peavey 5150 combo and the Victory VX Kraken, but the whole concept of weight, amp service once in a while, fuses dying before a gig, carrying everything like it's made off glass, etc, made me search for digital alternatives early on. First was the Line 6 POD, then the Atomic Amplifire and then the Axe Fx Ultra. I loved how the Ultra sounded, but the problems I had with it were more than I could afford at the time.

    Here comes the question. I love how the Fractal products sound, I've tried the AX8 and the II, but I can't afford the III. Should I make the jump back? I play and listen to many different genres, from Police to Richie Kotzen and from Yngwie Malmsteen to Gojira. I know that one amp can't do that, especially the Kraken which doesn't have a clean channel. Another point towards the II is that I really like it's effects, best effects I've played by far, easily comparable to the Eventide and Strymon pedals.

    My only concern is the "feel" factor. I'm still an intermediate player, but I'm practicing a lot and having lessons regularly. My teacher convinced me to go back to tubes, because they're more "unforgiving" and that will help me improve my dynamics, muting and overall feel on the instrument. Even though I trust him blindly on the teaching part, he's a bit of a tube elitist, he admits it himself. After the Quantum concept, do you guys find vast differences in feel between the Axe Fx II and tube amps? I want to be able to sound good in whatever I'm plugged into, not just the Axe Fx.

    Last question, how can I get the "amp in the room" feel with the Axe Fx II? Buy a power amp and cab, or a straight FRFR monitor will do? I ran the Ultra throught the PA when I was gigging and I missed that feeling quite a lot to be honest. If you read this through, thank you for your time and patience!
     
  2. reclavea

    reclavea
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    Get the AxeIII and don't look back IMHO. Everything is at your finger tips. There are many threads on "amp in the room". Search the forums. As you progress you'll find that "amp in the room" is not as big a factor as some players including myself once aspired for. Yet there are simple "workarounds" to achieve that. Also,.....the tones and feel has significantly improved to such a degree it's amazing.....and more improvements to come!.

    Go for it! ;)
     
    pauly likes this.
  3. yoitsmegabe

    yoitsmegabe
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    When people say amp in the room they usually mean cab in the room. Go with the power amp and cab route if that's what you are after. FRFR is more like a cab in another room mic'ed and referenced through monitors.
     
    jakel, 6L6C, blearyeyes and 1 other person like this.
  4. pauly

    pauly
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    Hi Bill,

    Save a little more and the the III - It's an amazing piece of kit - I also had the II, Then the IIXL+, and now the III and as long as you have good monitor speakers, you'll want to practice more, and 1 hour turns to four. The money is hard I know - but well worth it.

    Thanks
    Pauly
     
  5. BillHoudini

    BillHoudini
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    Thank you for your suggestions! Unfortunately I can’t afford the III, I’m moving to Netherlands next year for my Master’s degree, so I have to save money for that as well. When I start getting paid for my PhD I might upgrade to the III, but right now an Axe Fx II is the best I can do.

    My main concern is how unforgiving it can be, I’m sure the cab in the room feel can be solved with a power amp and a cab. If the unit has models that need some digging to sound good, I’ll consider it even more, because my dynamics are good in the soft side, I’m working my harder picking stuff and the truth is that the tube amp helped with that.

    I’ll try to A-B my current setup with an AX8 soon, if I fail to hear a difference I’ll definitely come back to the Fractal family.
     
  6. reclavea

    reclavea
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    I've picked up the AxeIII and have yet to complete dialing presets and setup. I came from the Ultra, the AxeII and the Ax8. Both the II and the Ax8 can easily be dialed in to what will work best for your needs. I get constant complements on my sound and tone! It's definitely a great incredible time to be a guitar player!

    Try dialing up the amp depth (sag) control to increase sag. It will make the amps spongier ....especially great on mid gain amps. There are a host of other suggestions too as you know that may do the trick.

    Good luck
     
  7. MrGuitarabuse

    MrGuitarabuse
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    Great times to snag a brutal deal on an AXE-FX II XL+ now. Loads of people unloading their units now in favor for the III.

    moving to Netherlands eiy!!... Move close to @yek then, and you can try all kind of units out :D :D muaaahaaahaaa
    On a more serious note, I think Yek actually is a guitar cab guy when it comes to AXE-FX and gigging... should be able to shred more light and help on this matter
     
    BillHoudini likes this.
  8. yek

    yek
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    Yeah, on stage I still prefer a traditional cabinet with a power amp (Seymour Duncan Powerstage).

    But FR monitors in front work well too. And I use these at home too, much better sound at low levels.
     
    Admin M@, ∞Fractals and BillHoudini like this.
  9. BillHoudini

    BillHoudini
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    Thank you guys for your feedback! Since I'm a Marshall guy most of the time, I'll probably buy the Axe Fx first and when I start gigging abroad I'll buy an SD Powerstage with a Marshall cab. I already have quality studio monitors, so I can properly play with the unit at home.

    Oh man, I'm really close to coming back, it seems like once you go Fractal you can't go back! :D
     
  10. USMC_Trev

    USMC_Trev
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    What do you have now
    what can you get for it
    how bad do you want it
    you know you wanna
    just do it black friday sale
    its the right thing to do
     
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  11. Muad'zin

    Muad'zin
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    If I may ask, which university will you go to? I work at the one in Nijmegen.
     
  12. BillHoudini

    BillHoudini
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    It's not set in stone yet, I've been in touch with the University of Groningen, but I'm still considering my options. I've been informed about Nijmegen but I haven't contacted their recruiting team yet.
     
  13. Geezerjohn

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    Release the Fracken.
     
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  14. USMC_Trev

    USMC_Trev
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    what the frickin frak
     
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  15. Johan Allard

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    You've ditched the Fryette Yek? Portability or any other reason?
     
  16. BaronVonGrim

    BaronVonGrim
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    If you play the guitar... like it's a drug... yeah definitely get it. The basement,garage,closets are full of thousands of dollars worth of things you'll never use... dont ever let money stop you from doing something you want to do. YOLO
     
  17. lauke-lux

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    Axe II (or ax8) is already very good and no sweat to get marvellous sounds in FRFR with the cab IR of your choice, personally I rather use OH impulses, so no real need to invest in a guitar cab and a power amp, a good stage monitor can do the job.
    Much has been written about amp in the room sound so no need to add another 2 cents.
     
  18. Jimmytwotimes

    Jimmytwotimes
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    I don't know that the Axe is any more or less "forgiving" than a tube amp. You sound like what you sound like. Whether I plug into a tube amp or the Axe , I sound like me. If I suck at dynamics, or have sloppy picking - doesn't matter what I'm playing through - it still comes through.
     
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  19. maxdown

    maxdown
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    A few months ago the AFXII was the best thing since sliced bread ... nothings changed in that respect. If you can't afford the III then the choice is already made for you ..... the II will be a great tool. Upgrade to a III whenever it suits you.
     
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  20. milleniumking

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    just my $0.02c.... I had the ultra, now have the ii, --> I find it way, way... WAY better than the Ultra. Not to say the ultra is bad but the ii is just better in every way that I need it to be. If you need to pick something up now just to tide you over til you can afford the iii, get the ii. Its awesome. I hated the Ultra for the same reasons as you. The MIDI to USB drove me bonkers. I plan on getting the iii at some point but I am waiting for the prices to drop a bit before I go that route.

    I have also tried the FR monitors & Cabs. I went with the cab approach since I just prefer cabs over the FR monitors. I love the tone I get from a cab vs the monitors. Again, its just personal preference. I have the ART SLA2 power amp into an Avatar V30 2x12. It sounds so good for my tastes.

    I absolutely love tube amps as well. I have a 5150, 5150 ii and a Marshall Jubilee. I don't even use them anymore. Mostly for reasons that they are way too loud for my living space and they need to be cranked to get a good tone.

    Needless to say, get the ii. ;););):):):)
     

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