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Why does my Axe sounded better through headphones?

rickbarclay

Inspired
Hi, all. This has been bothering me for years--my Axe sounds harsh and over-amped through my speakers, but sounds clear and pleasant through my headphones. I'm playing through one Atomic CLR and one Powerwerks.
Both amps are set to a very low volume that I use for all playing, headphone or otherwise. I use headphones
when my wife is home and amps when she's out. So there's a lot of tweaking the Axe when playing without the hp's trying to get a tone that doesn't sound like there's too much distortion, or too much brightness. Upping the bass doesn't help.
What bugs me is when I switch back to headphones (Beringer HPS 3000's), everything sounds fine and good.
It's supposed to be the other way around. Any ideas? Thanks for any solutions. Peace.
 

pauly

Fractal Fanatic
Hi Rick,
I suggest borrowing some really good, quality, near field studio monitors & trying them for the Axe FX. Be prepared to spend some bucks though!! Near field to limit the effect of the room, & really good quality because that's all that's good enough!
Thanks
Pauly
 

chris

Legend!
Hi, all. This has been bothering me for years--my Axe sounds harsh and over-amped through my speakers, but sounds clear and pleasant through my headphones. I'm playing through one Atomic CLR and one Powerwerks.
Both amps are set to a very low volume that I use for all playing, headphone or otherwise. I use headphones
when my wife is home and amps when she's out. So there's a lot of tweaking the Axe when playing without the hp's trying to get a tone that doesn't sound like there's too much distortion, or too much brightness. Upping the bass doesn't help.
What bugs me is when I switch back to headphones (Beringer HPS 3000's), everything sounds fine and good.
It's supposed to be the other way around. Any ideas? Thanks for any solutions. Peace.
How high is your Axe output knob when using speakers?
 

milleniumking

Inspired
Something else I have learned is to setup your presets loud (at gig level) then dial them back when playing at home. Also getting really good (pricey) monitors make a difference. I use crappy $20 Sony headphones and they sound great as well. Yet when I used frfr speakers they didnt sound anything like they did with my headphones. Spent way too much time tweaking than playing. Another reason I went with a real cab vs frfr for cost and simplicity.
 

lqdsnddist

Axe-Master
Hi Rick,
I suggest borrowing some really good, quality, near field studio monitors & trying them for the Axe FX. Be prepared to spend some bucks though!! Near field to limit the effect of the room, & really good quality because that's all that's good enough!
Thanks
Pauly
The OP is using an Atomic CLR already, that is a pretty good quality $1000 monitor.....
 

Eliju

Veteran
If you’re playing through the CLR at low volume, that’s the issue. Crank it and dial in your preset. Then go back and listen to it in headphones. Also, are you outputting to two speakers when you use the CLR or just the one? If one, make sure you set your output to mono.
 

rickbarclay

Inspired
How high is your Axe output knob when using speakers?
HI, Chris. Out 1 is at half power. Out 2 is off, and I don't think (if I remember correctly) it even factors into the mix. Interesting you brought that up, because I totally forgot about using OP 1 for volume control. I'll try fiddling with it and see what happens. I think I may have tweaked OP 1 in past sessions. Thanks for that.
 

rickbarclay

Inspired
The OP is using an Atomic CLR already, that is a pretty good quality $1000 monitor.....
Thanks for saving me the time and trouble, dude. That $400 Powerwerks replaced another CLR that busted, and my brain don't detect any sound difference between the two, either.
 

rickbarclay

Inspired
If you’re playing through the CLR at low volume, that’s the issue. Crank it and dial in your preset. Then go back and listen to it in headphones. Also, are you outputting to two speakers when you use the CLR or just the one? If one, make sure you set your output to mono.
Interesting suggestion, Eliju. I'll try iy and see what happens. I always use both speakers at stereo settings. Also, my guitar volume is always at ten and I don't like toning it down if I don't have to.
Thanks all for your suggestions. I'll get back.
Also, to be honest, I don't gig. I just play at home for peace of mind.
 

Roland

Veteran
... What bugs me is when I switch back to headphones (Beringer HPS 3000's), everything sounds fine and good. It's supposed to be the other way around. Any ideas? ...
The frequency response of your headphones is not the same as your monitors. Often headphones have artificially high bass response, and a shallow peak in the key vocal area around 2 to 3 kHz. What everyone is thinking is that you’ve either set up your patches up at low volume, or using headphones. Either of these mean that they will sound wrong at high volume.

There are many ways of altering the EQ. I’d start by putting a PEQ at the end of the effects chain, with a medium width -6dB dip, and sweep it up and down the frequency range. Listen to the difference, and decide which area(s) of the spectrum you want to change. Then try changing that area in different way, eg AMP EQ, PEQ, GEQ etc.

FWIW, my live patches sound harsh when played at home volume without band backing.
 

pauly

Fractal Fanatic
Hi Lqd,

I didn't realise they were 'accurate' but happy to stand corrected - thanks for that - I'd still suggest to try near field simply to reduce the room effects, but again - just suggestions. It appears the op will proceed another way anyway.
Thanks
Pauly


The OP is using an Atomic CLR already, that is a pretty good quality $1000 monitor.....
 

rickbarclay

Inspired
Ok. Seems at first glance Output One was the problem. I lowered it by half and it sounds much better. When I use the phones I just up the output and all is well.. This was something I had done in the past but my memory is short and sometimes needs to be refreshed.
I was pretty sure sure Chris had it right, so thanks to you, sir, and to everyone else who responded and offered suggestions. This is a
fine group for sure. Be good, folks.
 
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