Fractal Audio Systems Axe-Fx Ultra
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Fractal Audio Systems Axe-Fx Ultra : severinsteel's user review
"Killer recording tool!"
Product bought new
The Axe FX Ultra is a rackmount guitar preamp, effects processor, and DI recording device all in one. You can use it. inputs/ outputs include unbalanced stereo inputs/ outputs, balanced inputs, stereo FX loop, Spdif digital I/O, AES I/O, MIDI in/ out/ through, and expression pedal inputs. All of the processing is digital in the box.
Ok, so the Axe FX is an extremely powerful box. Unfortunately, it's a little complex to operate. Granted, it would be very difficult to make this gadget 'easy' to use due to its complex nature. So, I'm not going to knock it. A touch screen would be a welcome addition to a future version though. Fortunately, there is the Axe FX edit software that makes editing patches a lot easier, and the layout as far as editing is actually pretty straightforward. It's just the buttons and the wheel on the actual Axe that make it difficult.
Sound quality is very good. I know a lot of pros that actually use this either as a preamp with a tube power amp, or plugged straight into the PA. I use mine primarily for recording, but I think it would work great live. The patches that come on the unit are all pretty generic sounding. I just made my own and they sound great! There is a lot of flexibility in this unit and I probably use 5% of its capabilities. I will admit, all of the tones tend to have a signature 'Axe FX' sound, but they still sound great.
Overall, I am very happy with my purchase. I've used it many times and it's a godsend when I can't use an amp. I've barely tapped into all of what this baby can do. They now have the Axe FX 2 out, and that is supposed to be even more powerful.