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What Prompted You To Buy A Fractal?


I don't remember if I answered in this thread before, but that's okay...I also don't remember what pushed me over the edge.

I've been curious about fractals for a while, but I was convinced that modeling wasn't for me even though I was the perfect candidate...I prefer the sound of NMV amps; I don't regularly play places where I can get them to sound right, and I don't actually like playing at ear-splitting volumes anyway. Plus, I liked most effects after the amp. I never jived with plugins.

At least IMHO, digital vs analog aside, the closer you get to performing, the less I personally want to rely on general use computers and the more I want dedicated hardware.

At some point, I tried a DSM Simplifier and really liked it for a year or so. Then, as my pedalboard got more and more complex and expensive, I don't quite know what tipped me over the edge, but I decided to try a Fractal....and it was so quick to equal what I already had and then surpass it, I started selling basically everything else and haven't looked back. At this point, I don't even really care what else is out there.


Actually that’s a fair point - I made a massive profit on selling my Carr amp and fancy pedal board.

Haven’t wanted a pedal since


Moved on. I had a Skylark, which was a great amp to be honest but I mainly used it as a pedal platform

Don’t need that (or the pedals) with Fractal.


Power User
I first heard about the Axe-Fx in 2008. I'd heard the typical modeler's promise before of providing everything you could ever want in a small light weight package, but none of the other ones got anywhere close to delivering on that. But, there was something different about the Fractal stuff. Guys who really payed attention to tone were downsizing some very nice rigs to get an Axe-Fx. The more research I did, the better things seemed, and youtube clips showcased some seriously great sounds as well. The interface was intuitive and let you build out digital rigs piece by piece, same as you do with analog rigs, the basic controls were out front and the more advanced stuff was slightly deeper down into the menus but still easy to access and clearly named, etc. It sounded great and was fun to work with.

So I bought an Axe-Fx Ultra to see what it was all about for myself, and I loved it. I've owned one from every generation since.
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I bought my dream tube amp because I thought it was the best. Turns out it's way easier and to get my dream tone out of the fractal, so now it never gets used.

I'm still using the same overall preset I tweaked the day i got the fractal, 99% of the time.


Devin Townsend is the one that got me thinking of Fractal (love his music and his sound). I then looked at the price tag and what I could get by selling everything the Axe Fx would be replacing and it was a no-brainer (sold my stuff for much for that the cost of the AFIII). This forum answered all my pre-purchase concerns, which was awesome!

Also, since I primarily do recording, AFIII was a way better fit for me. Best music equipment related decision I ever made!


I'm still using the same overall preset I tweaked the day i got the fractal, 99% of the time.
Actually, yeah....it's been through 20-something revisions, and I've had some diversions. But, I kind of always wanted one really awesome rig. I still have one really awesome rig, it's just that most of it is in one box and I can do a lot of other things if I get curious.


New Member
I played… um… a peavey rage 158 for a long time in my early days. Don’t judge me I was broke!

Eventually my dad helped me buy a Boss GT6. I had wanted one for years and I was so excited! A bought a Presonus tube pre as well.

That lasted three days.

Since the tube pre was the only thing that even remotely salvaged the GT6, I was converted to tube amps, just like that. (Before that I was quite cynical about tube snobbery.) I got a Fender hot rod deluxe and after switching to JJ tubes I was very happy.

Around that time I was seriously into U2 and had been almost like a religious fanatic trying to cop that whole sound - not just the tone but the feel and vibe. I researched FOR. FOUR. YEARS. trying to find the perfect delay pedal for the purpose. Ended up with a TC Nova Repeater that served my journey well for many years.

Around this time I was on some gear forum where people were debating about effects. I was gassing for a TC G Major since I was a TC fan by now. Someone posted: if you can afford it, just get an AxeFx to do everything. It was this exotic, out-of-reach option, so I didn’t pursue it, but I guess it stuck in the back of my mind.

Fast forward many years, and I hadn’t been playing for about a decade due to pretty bad RSI from my IT job. My dad, who always pitched in to help us follow our dreams, was about to pass away from cancer. He has always loved buying me guitar stuff and my sister cameras and other gear. When he passed, he left a small amount of money.

I was lying on my bed one day (a mat on a family member’s floor because I was ‘between homes’) and found a video of that English guy poking around inside the axe with a chopstick and being very offended at Cliff calling him a chucklehead. I thought I’d do some more research, and found a review by @2112. It wasn’t so much the features but Leon’s huge sound and even bigger enthusiasm that sold me. Then of course I saw that The Edge had gone fractal, and I knew how exacting he was with his sound, and I was IN.

So for someone who usually took literal years to choose gear, I was sold in one afternoon. I just felt like my dad was smiling on me, and that this was one last gift he would have wanted to buy me.

It came on Christmas Eve believe it or not. Andrew from Independent Music was super helpful. Of course, I had no idea how to dial in anything but my trusty HRD, so I sounded like anus for many months!

But it reinvigorated my desire to play. It’s been a pretty personal journey for me, and I’m very grateful for the Axe, Fractal, and of course this forum. Now my mate and I have a regular gig in our town and are getting solid bookings. I’ve got my passion back, all thanks to Leon, my dear old Dad, and a some guy’s critical chopsticks.
Love this story. Thanks for sharing!


In 2006 I did read a review of the Axe-FX Standard at HugeRacksInc forum, and a interview to Cliff. It was too suspicious that a unknown new product could be that good, and no sound clips, so I suspected that the reviewer could be a friend of the manufacturer.

At that time there was no other info available and no more reviews, so I did open the first unofficial Fractal Audio Axe-FX Forum to attract info from other users. Very soon some real users joined, including Cliff, and I purchased it a couple of months later. A friend I made at the forum sent it to me from the US to Spain. That was the first Axe-FX in Europe

Then there was no publicity at all, and no famous users. Cliff even stated at that time that he was not interested in publicity. It was all mouth to mouth at the forums. We were the unsung users carrying the flag.
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Power User
I was a die-hard Line 6 fan until I got three bad Pods in a row. They'd work ok for a week or so and then go into a continuous diagnostic loop on power-up. Plus I had a Variax modeling guitar that went through two motherboards. At that point I decided it was time to move on. I'd heard about Fractal through the grapevine so I took the plunge and got an Axe-FX II. Upgrading to the III when it came out was a no-brainer.

TBH, I've had a couple problems with my III, but the biggest difference is the level of service from FAS as opposed to L6. Each time I'd send in my Pod or Variax, I was looking at 4-5 weeks of downtime. Either they were really backed up or just shorthanded. FAS's support is by far the best I've seen anywhere...and that's all industries, music-related or not.


If I remember correctly I saw a video about the Axe-Standard and was interested in learning more. By the late 90s I had already decided to give up amps for modelers because I wanted more variety and less weight to haul around. I went though L6 Pod, Boss GT-6, then GT-8. I also had the Roland VG-88 (still have it) but I didn't want to use it full-time. Then I saw/heard the Fractal and it changed everything. The main vids that got my attention were from Mark Day, but there was also some from a German(?) music store. I bought an Axe-Ultra and loved it. It didn't really matter to me if the amps were dead-on accurate or not, they still sounded and played great. The effects were the best I'd ever heard too, along with being highly programmable. Eventually I decided to get a Axe-II because of the more realistic amps/cabs. I then bought an AX8 because it was easier to carry around and the pedal board was better than my GCP. I still have all 3 units and 4 EV expression pedals.


There wasn't any single thing, just a general interest in modelers as they've developed and a rep that Fractal was the best. Was extremely curious about the FX8 and AX8, but not enough to order one, and unable to just try one up here in Canada.

I'm not a rack guy (yet), so was waiting for the right floor unit, which the FM3 and FM9 definitely are. Bought the FM3 and really liked it, but needed something more aimed at 4cm use in addition to amp modelling, as well as having more switches.

So… that has led to me now owning the FM9 Turbo, which I absolutely LOVE and has just been a super great experience from day one. Amazing unit that I've just been having a blast with, both the amp models and in 4cm with my Mesa. Love the FM9!


I've been into modelers since the OG Line 6 kidney bean. I've tried all sorts of hardware and software amp modelling, and nothing really did it for me. I didn't like the idea of having to fire up a computer any time I wanted to jam, which I did for a while and it was uhhh... not great. I tried Line 6, Positive Grid, Scuffam, Lepou, Ignite, the Neural stuff.... they all fell flat to varying degrees.

I was fairly dead set on getting a Kemper, because I liked the idea of not having to tweak everything to get a good tone, you just find one you like and go. It was also all the rage back in '19 when I was finally ready to pull the trigger.

But I kept hearing little things here and there about it. Things like there's a mid-range frequency you can't dial out. That the profiles only sound good out of the box, and the amount of customization is limited. I saw Misha from Periphery was using the Fractal stuff, and some guitarists I knew heavily recommended Fractal as well.

I was literally just about to click the purchase button on the Kemper lunch box, but at the last minute I impulse-bought the AxeFX III. I have not regretted that choice since. I'm as happy with my mk1 unit as the day I got it, more so since seeing how the company conducts itself, and this community here on the Fractal forums. The one tube amp I have left has been collecting dust in the corner for a couple years now.


I was literally just about to click the purchase button on the Kemper lunch box, but at the last minute I impulse-bought the AxeFX III. I have not regretted that choice since
My story is similar wasabout to get the kemper , asit was available in a store just 4kms away from me. It was during covid lockdown in 20, and in the nick of time i saw an axe 3 in stock online with the dealer and insta ordered one and had it with me under24 hours.
I was not a fan of kemper per say, but i heard some profiles which sounded good online and thought could make it work.
But glad went with axe 3. In the end nothng beats this. Its the ultimate black box for all things guitar.
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