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What made you decide to go Axe FX?


Had a Line 6 Spider IV amp I was micing. Decided I wanted a more direct approach and better quality for my recordings and ordered a Line 6 POD HD Rack. It was backordered and after almost a month I was frustrated. So I Googled "POD HD alternatives". AXE FX II came up and I watched like 2 videos and was very interested. Checked out the site and went holly crap this thing is 3-4x more money, but damn it sounds way better. Looked at the great forum activity and figured ok good support on this thing and more firmware updates in a month than the entire life of my Spider IV or the POD HD. I said to my wife, so I found something better and well it costs a hella lot more so can I get it? She said well if this will make you happy and you cant buy anything else for the rest of the year then go ahead. Bam I ordered it and it was delivered faster than Amazon :). I had less than 24 hours invested in thinking about the AXE FX II and that's all it took. Never looked back.


I actually never owned a tube amp. I was always into multieffect processors - I was young and dumb and I thought I needed a special and unique sound for every song - and in my eyes it was only possible with multieffects - so my first multieffects unit was Digitech RP7 with a preamp tube. After that I got the Line6 POD 2.0. Then I got POD XTL. After years of playing with people who played tube amps and were always making fun of me for going direct to FOH, I finally settled to using just one basic preset in a stompbox mode on the XTL. I refined the preset and people were actually pretty impressed that I can sound that good. But I was still not really satisfied with the tone. Then I heard my friends Boss GT10 - which is basically the same thing as the XTL but sounds a bit different and I guess that is why I wanted it - it sounded more raw than the XTL. But after a while it was the same thing as with the XTL - I got a pretty decent sound out of it and when playing with people who had 2000USD guitar and 5000USD tube amp and pedal board I was still keeping up with them using my 500USD GT10 and 100USD guitar :)

Anyway, then I heard about the AXE Standard, and after several years of wanting a Fractal device I was able to purchase AXE FX II. All the people were talking how much better it was than any digital competition and that is on par with tube amps. I though I would easily outshine everyone with my new digital miracle, but boy was I wrong - years with just one usable preset in GT 10 did not really help me - I had decent sounds, but now I had a 2000USD rig that claimed to be better than tube amps and I could not prove it with my tones - that was pretty frustrating - I had to start researching the amps and tones and cabs and settings and what all those things mean ..., because it actually sounded authentic! :) At least that is what I discovered when researching the tones and comparing them with the axe.

To sum it up - now I have a rig that is absolutely great - myriad of amps to choose from, effects for years and for the fraction of the cost of what many of my fellow guitarists would pay for only one high end tube amp and a basic pedal board filled with commonly used effects.

so yeah - no tubes for me - over the years I owned only one tube - that was in my RP7. :)


I'm a full-time musician
I was gigging 4-5 nights a week and was generally using Bogner Shivas (20th Ann and Regular) and/or Mesa Lonestars (Classics and Specials) for gigs. Sometimes I would bring both amps so I could get Clean/Crunch/Rhythm/Lead sounds all on a stage. Obviously two HEAVY combos, pedalboard and guitars were getting to be too much to haul around. Finding a channel switching amp that could do Fender Clean, Tweed Crunch, AC30 Grind, British Rhythm and British/American High Gain and Fat Dark (Think Andy Timmons/Eric Johnson) Lead sounds under one hood just was impossible. I was always compromising in one of those departments and used pedals or multiple amps to get the best sounds I could.

Also, I was getting booked on plenty of "silent stage" or low-volume stage gigs. Baffles were causing my In-ear tone to be all out of phase or comb filtered, Line 6 floorboards (X3 at the time) just were terrible sounding, and many places didn't even let me mic the amp off stage. Speaker simulators were just terrible at the time as well.

I got introduced to the Ultra at the time by Saosin guitarist and friend Justin Shekoski. He sold me a spare one he had after he got off tour and it instantly solved all my problems. The flexibility of going direct and going all axe fx, or using it in conjunction with my amps in lieu or in combination of a pedalboard offered so much flexibility to my gigging needs that when the II finally came around I went all fractal and never looked back.


It wasn't a decision but just a natural evolution of my GAS!
I owned one of the first Roland digital delays SDE-2000, GR-300..., the first Yamaha digital reverb... many other shorter lived digital multi effects devices and then the Roland GP-16, VG-8..., Line6 Vetta's, original POD, XT-live..., During this whole time I also had a pure analog/tube fetish which culminated in purchase of a Sound Sculpture Switchblade to control all my pedals which I mounted in a rack with pull out drawers only to find I couldn't lift it. Then I found the FAS Axe Fx Ultra and moved to the Axe Fx II when it came out. My GAS was finally cured. Well, kind of. After all, there are still guitars, guitar synths, vocal devices, in ear monitors, high end cables, cool new pickups, better microphones, stands, racks...


Forum Addict
The first time that I've heard about Axe FX was from Petrucci Forum years ago when Ultra was around. Then fractal was a smaller business and getting an axe fx required waiting lists and since I lived in Iran I simply didn't have a chance of getting one. so I've waited and when II became available and company got bigger and purchasing axe became easier I pulled the trigger. Mine came with firmware 7.00


I always used multieffects and simulators, like the yam dg stomp, and it was correct for rehearsing.
One day I hesitated between a mark v and an axefx2, to approach god's sound, chose the amp.
Thought it was a blast, I've never gigged it nor set the volume past 1...So I never knew how it sounded for real.
In may, we wanted to play for our wedding and I took the opportunity,sold the amp for the axe and am so happy of it !
I had to fight my fear to buy a 3000€ electronic device but fas products are lasting.
Artists using it and youtube videos helped me decide, I didn't even studied compétition :)


I got fed up with the never ending story of changing gear to get the tones I need. I do (semi) acoustic Eastern European folk rock. Punk rock with quite a dash of metal and u2ish stuff evolving into deep ambient space.

The axe gave me all I wanted and much more, I looked into the k but did not find its effects convincing, the axe interface reminded me of my loved TC g force and I got a great deal on the old mkii of a very active forum member. No doubt, no looking back, no regrets.
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Jan Geerts

I had tried Line 6 stuff shortly, and went back to tube amps fast. Then a guitarist I know raved about the Axe and how it was exactly like the Marshall he had, but more versatile, less maintenance etc....

What I found funny and made me mistrust the product was that although users claimed it was exaclty like their amps, there was firmware update after firmware update making it sound more real.
I heard that you could try it for two weeks from G66, and I needed something lighter, less loud and more convenient than my vox AC30/Fender Bassman with a gazillion pedals setup, so I decided to give it a try. That Belew used it helped too.
That was FW12, I believe.

I kept it :D I did notice some digital things in the highs, but could live with that. And since 17 or 18, that digital sheen was gone, and it keeps getting better.


I have a great friend who is a former instructor at Full Sail, brilliant audio engineer, virtuoso guitarist and EXTREME tone snob who told me that he bought one and couldn't believe how great it was. I bought one right away. I have since sold all of my amps, cabs, rack effects and pedals.
Best musical investment I've ever made.
Thanks Mark!!!!
I have to imagine all the fly dates you do the axe has been a god send. You never know what an amp is going to sound like when you have to rent them. You can rent a JCM 800 every time and still it may sound different. With your axe you don't have those issues now.


Forum Addict
I spent a good while optimizing my rack units and my pedalboard, made a real nice setup
but when all was said and done .. it didn't felt enough ...

litterally suffered from daily gas attacks .. I spent hours each day reading about amps
, racks and all kind of things .. watching 1 million youtube clips about gears and guitars ..

tried to cure myself by locking myself into a "1 rack solution"

had my eyes on a Eleven Rack

saw the axefx in Dave walliman's videos .. didn't convince me .. because of the steap price

watched cooper carters "every preset" video ..

still made some effort to talk myself into buying the eleven rack ....

went over to fractal audio website and saw some screenshots of axe edit ..

and baammm .. I got hooked .. from that moment I knew I was getting one ....
one way or the other :)

I sold out gear right and left for a couple of months and then finally
could afford to buy one ..

never in my wildest dreams I could imagine how much joy and value this unit has given me ..
and even more on a weekly basis ..

never watched another gear video with the intent to find something new or better ..
I know I have the absolut best one .. it does more than I know how to use .. and it sounds
awesome at bedroom level ...

love it .. gonna sell the last of my rack stuff before too long cause I will never use it again



Fractal Fanatic
I saw more and more mentions of it in the guitar mags that I read whenever I'm waiting at the train station (but never actually buy).
So I decided to check up on it on Youtube and instantly liked what I heard.


Fractal Fanatic
My Elevenrack was so terrible, and so lacking in support.. and well... disappointing, I decided to spend the money and get what everyone was calling 'the best' - It's been a great purchase so I bought another one! - I have an XL+ and MK II. Not sure I'll be keeping two for much longer, but with the great resale value that's not a problem.



New here
My main sounds (clean/lead) always came from my old Mesa DC5 Dual caliber head with effects processing in the loop (Ce1 chiorus,Vintage Mxr Flanger,Tc Gmajor)..its a versatile setup but i always asked "more" for moderately dirt clean sound or low crunchy sounds,and i always avoided overdrive pedals.Those are the main reasons why i switched to Axe FX2:i use it like a preamp,Mfc,50/50 Mesa pwr amp,and 2 1960 Marshal cab with a mix of V30 and GB.


I had a Mark V and I was super happy with it. I started to add stuff to my rig like an fx unit(G-Major) , a comp/gate and a TS. Things needed to be controlled so I had to buy the Ground control Pro with the GCX Switcher. It was a lot of money I had to spend cause most of it is build in the us and it is expensive here in Europe. It was around 2011/12 and I somehow never heard about the axe fx. I could have saved so much money thinking about it now xP
Gigs kept coming and my gear was awesome. I was really happy but it wasn't easy to maintain. I remember some gigs where I had some major troubles with the rig and it was a pain in the ass sometimes.
I had to write a new album with my band after touring and I searched for a solution to play at home. First I tried guitar rig and this was my first contact with simulation. I quickly noticed how much possibilities this gave me. I wasn't blown away by the tone but it somehow did the job and was really easy to use. I came across the 11R and then the Axe and I somehow didn't really thought about switching. While rehearsing the new material I felt limited with my tube rig, I mean it sounded a lot better then the guitar rig, but I lost the versatility. So this was the point where I really considered buying the Kemper or the Axe, and I started to read everything about it. The kemper was too limited for my taste so I chose the Axe and sold all my equip. I couldn't be any happier :)


I remember this video was biggest thing for me to purchase Axe FX II ,i did sold my old Mesa Boogie Mark IV rig and all my rack units to get money for Axe FX II.



Fractal Fanatic
I had a giant triaxis rig, that I sold off when I got a vetta, and used that for a bit, no updates kind got me down, some ghost note problems etc. Put my triaxis rig back together, and wanted to upgrade my effects (gmajor) to an eclipse, but the price of it and the ultra were similar, so I went with the ultra.

Got it about 4 months later, during that 4 months I had to re-tube and the cost of re-tubing the triaxis and 2:90 about made me sick. Got the ultra and could pretty much replicate my whole rig in 2 racks spaces, so I got rid of it again and never looked back.

So convenience and cost of re-tubing.


Forum Addict
I was curious about the first interview to Cliff Chase, when Fractal Audio was completely unknown. It was from a review at Huge Racks Inc. At the review they spoke so good about the Axe-FX Standard that I though that the reviewer was an employee or friend of Fractal Audio, so I created the old forum in order to find real users and now the truth about that machine.

I brought the first Axe-FX into Spain, and one of the firsts in Europe. Before G66 even existed.


Forum Addict
I was curious about the first interview to Cliff Chase, when Fractal Audio was completely unknown. It was from a review at Huge Racks Inc. At the review they spoke so good about the Axe-FX Standard that I though that the reviewer was an employee or friend of Fractal Audio, so I created the old forum in order to find real users and now the truth about that machine.

I brought the first Axe-FX into Spain, and one of the firsts in Europe. Before G66 even existed.

BTW: at that interview Cliff said that he was planning to invent a device to read the minds of the cats. I'm waiting for it 8)


-Owned a 6505+.
-Didn't want to deal with tube amp.
-Wanted versatility.
-Tried almost all other big-name modelers (unsatisfied).
-Bought Axe FX.


Fractal Fanatic
Its all Steve Vai's fault...

I had used a LINE6 X3 LIVE for my casual bar gigs with friends, nothing serious. Some sounded ok, some shite... wanted to upgrade to something... LINE6 had start to rave about their upcoming HD POD....

Reading up on Steve's website that "TADA!, Steve is now using AXE-FX Ultra as his "to-go" unit for effects and blah blah blah"... So I thought a "to-go" unit for Steve Vai would set me back at least 5,000USD so I didnt bother look into it.

After some time at least I had to google it... DAMNATION... I found Kjetil Strands YouTube channel of "(R)evolution of Rock Guitar-Fractal Audio Axe-Fx Ultra Preamp/Effects processor"

For example this https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yXP4Q83--eI
If you haven't seen it please watch.... all those parts. For you guys with an ultra there are still tons of ultra presets, including quite alot of Kjetils presets on AxeFX Francophone - Accueil
Still a great unit.

So then came the Ebay hunt. Back then, i guess production speed etc wasn't at all up to demand and units were highly sought after. I bought an ULTRA on Ebay for (I think) almost same as new price. And I sold it 1.5 years later for roughly the same price as I bought it for.

Got my wait list invitation to buy an AXE-FX II half a year in production of this unit I think. "Bribed" a friend in USA to buy it for me and send it to Hong Kong.

After that I have also convinced my good friend to buy a unit, and he has in the past been a 200 gigs a year tube guy... He totally loves it too.

Life is good
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