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Wow, things have changed.

This is my first post on this forum in over eight years.

I used to gig regularly with an AxeFX Standard 10+ years ago with a power amp and a guitar cab. I got out of the modeler game for a while, but last April I thought I'd pick up an AX8. Sold out. Got on the wait list. I bought an HX Stomp and an FRFR cab to pass the time. I used it on some gigs and was pretty happy with it.

Fast forward to yesterday, and I now have an FM3. Since I missed out on the Axe II, this is a pretty big jump from what I remember about my AxeFX Standard. I cannot believe how good this thing sounds. This is light years ahead of the Standard I bought in 2009 (which was still incredible). Kudos to the Fractal Audio team!
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Yes, indeed. It's been an accelerating rocket since the Gen 1 gear, and a great ride. To take it all in, you've got a few hundred pages of release notes to catch up on. :)

And welcome back to the funhouse!


Power User
I cannot believe how good this thing sounds.

That's awesome, thanks for sharing! An Axe-FX Standard to an FM3, you went from a Motorola Startac to an iPhone 11! Jeesh, congrats!

How do you compare it to the HX Stomp? Have you A/B'd them?

Just did a quick A/B with the tweed Bassman model on both. I think they both sound great, but the FM3 has just a little more definition. I could probably get it a little closer to the FM3 Bassman with the Stomp if I spent some time with it.

I usually go for crunchy Fender amp tones. The HX only has seven varieties of Fender-ish amps compared to at least 15 on the FM3, so that makes it a clear winner for me. The Vibro-King mode makes me super happy, as the was my main gigging amp for many years. The FM3 just has more amp models that are the kinds of tones I like. The Stomp seems to have a better variety of pedals, and I'm missing the Klon model on the FM3. FM3 has way better reverbs. I really dig the LA-2A compressor in the Stomp, and I haven't figured out how to make that work in the same way on the FM3, but I've only had it five days. The comp thing might be the reason the FM3 had more definition in my A/B test, as it's an "always on" effect for me at the end of the chain on my Stomp patches.

Once I get the hang of it, I think the switching will be better, since you can assign different functions per preset. You can't do that with the Stomp, and I had to get a separate midi controller to get the switching to work for me live. The Stomp is great for what it is, and it sounds great, but there's a lot more flexibility with the FM3. It's hard to go wrong with either, it just depends on preferences and needs.

Mark L.

Thanks for your comments! I wasn't impressed with the reverb and delays in the HX compared to my Fractal FX8, although I didn't make much effort to tweak the HX to see how good they can get. I also didn't care for the GUI for the HX. The GUI for HX Edit just seems toyish to me compared to FX8 Edit. Looks like there's a lot more depth to the FM3 too, which I like. I know others prefer a shallower level of editing, but I'm more of nerd and like the depth of Fractal stuff. Even if I don't go very deep 90% of the time, I like knowing the capability to go deeper is there.
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