Fractal Audio Systems Axe-Fx Ultra
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Fractal Audio Systems Axe-Fx Ultra

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Axe-Fx Ultra, Guitar Amp Simulation Rack from Fractal Audio Systems in the Axe-FX series.


11 user reviews
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Fractal Audio Systems Axe-Fx Ultra tech. sheet

  • Manufacturer:Fractal Audio Systems
  • Model:Axe-Fx Ultra
  • Series:Axe-FX
  • Category:Guitar Amp Simulation Racks
  • Added in our database on: 02/03/2009

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Fractal Audio Systems Axe-Fx Ultra user reviews

Average Score:4.8( 4.8/5 based on 11 reviews )
 7 reviews64 %
 2 reviews18 %
severinsteel06/27/2012

severinsteel's review"Killer recording tool!"

Fractal Audio Systems Axe-Fx Ultra
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.

UTILIZATION

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

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 OPINION

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.
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tjon90105/14/2011

tjon901's review"The future of guitar amplification"

Fractal Audio Systems Axe-Fx Ultra
The Axe-FX is the ultimate amp modeler. I have a hard time calling it a modeler because when most people think modeler they think of cheap stuff that beginners use. The Axe-FX is so much more than that. The Axe-FX ultra has the processing power of a small computer so it can handle the most complex chain of effects you can think of. It has full amp and cab sim's plus midi all packed into a 2 space rack design.

UTILIZATION

Some traditionalists may be confused at first when trying to use the Axe-FX, but it isnt hard to find a good sound. Finding a good sound is no harder than selecting your favorite amp and turning some knobs. For the real tweakers the Axe-FX is heaven. With some patience you will be able to replicate your favorite album tones. It has just about every effect you can think of and every well known amp built in.

SOUND QUALITY

The sound the Axe-FX produces is more like a produced album not so much like a cranked amp next to you. If you are playing it through a power amp and real cabinet make sure you adjust the Axe-FX to this or your sound will not be optimal. If you play live with the Axe-FX you may not like the fact that it is very hard to tweak on the fly but playing live no one will notice that you are using a modeler. When using something like this live I would recommend a backup since this is new technology and not every venue is created equal.

OVERALL OPINION

This is by far the best modeler on the market right now. It is well worth the price and wait time to get one new and they seem to hold their value well. Eventually guitar players will learn to embrace new technology and the whole industry will advance. When more technology like this comes out the prices will get more competitive and the whole industry will get better. Many high level professionals are adopting the Axe-FX as an integral part of their rig, using it to replace racks and racks of effects. For people use to large live rigs the Axe-FX is a cheap and reliable back up or alternative.
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ibanez4life SZ!04/19/2011

ibanez4life SZ!'s review"The Upgraded model for the effects abuser!"

Fractal Audio Systems Axe-Fx Ultra
Fractal Audio Systems stepped into the guitar world with a device that has become the next evolution of electric guitar modeling and processing. The Axe FX Ultra was released as the ‘all-in-one’ box for a guitarist, featuring

- Upgraded processor for heavier effects chain
- 2 space rackmount design
- top quality amplifier modeling
- cabinet simulations with room for 3rd party IRs
- world class effects and processing
- fully customizable routing
- stereo inputs and outputs
- MIDI in, out, and thru
- Phantom power for MIDI controller via adapter
- SOO Much more!


UTILIZATION

Using the Axe FX can be as easy or complicated as one would like. Putting together a great sounding patch is as quick as selecting an amp and cab model. For tweakers, and those really wanting to fine-tune their sound, the Axe FX offers parameters much deeper and customizable than your standard amplifier or rig. Overall, the menus are very easy to navigate, and setting up your patch routing is very intuitive. The biggest selling point for the Axe FX- it has over 50 amplifiers, and every effect you could want, all in one small box. The Ultra includes a few additional effects, and the processing power to use many more of them at a time!

SOUND QUALITY

The sound and FEEL of the Axe FX is very close, if not identical to a real amplifier. Having it side by side with the amplifier it is modeling, with the proper tweaking, it is nearly impossible to discern in an unbiased A/B test. Check the Fractal site to see the exact list of the extra effects available with the Ultra. When it comes to the sound of the unit, the Ultra and Standard are identical. Having the extra processing power is nice for guys using heavily processed and complicated sounds, especially when running a stereo part with two amplifiers. I personally found the Standard to be enough, but my sounds usually stay fairly simple.

OVERALL OPINION

For those willing to embrace this new technology, and get over the fact that it doesn’t have vacuum tubes in it, the Axe FX is an amazing tool for any guitarist. The Ultra is what you want if you never want to hit processing limitation, no matter how complicated your patches. My unit replaced a HUGE analog rig for me, and I am getting better sounds than ever, in a simpler, smaller package, without the necessary maintenance of tubes. I try not to think of the Axe FX as a modeler, but as a very versatile amp on its own, and I believe this is the best way for anyone to approach it.
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Hatsubai03/21/2011

Hatsubai's review"Guitar rig in a box"

Fractal Audio Systems Axe-Fx Ultra
The Axe-Fx Ultra is the evolution of the Axe-Fx. It features more processing power, more memory and a bunch of additional effects. Inputs and outputs are still the same as the regular model, so no real change there. It's still a 2U device with the large scroll wheel that controls most things, etc. If you're familiar with the Axe-Fx, you'll be familiar with this.

UTILIZATION

Just like the previous unit, Fractal did an outstanding job with this. Once you start getting used to programming this device, it becomes real easy to get convincing tones out of it. The manual is alright, but I found the forums to be the most helpful when it comes to programming this unit. Editing is made even easier thanks to the new Axe-Fx software to edit everything. Just buy some sort of MIDI to USB device, and you can control everything on your computer instead of kneeling down. I just wish Fractal would pack these things better when shipping.

SOUND QUALITY

The additional sounds like the synth, gate/expander, megatap delay, etc. are all amazing. It's really a do-all device, and if you can swing it, the Ultra is worth looking into. One thing that was a little bit of an issue was trying to get all your effects into one block so they're available via AA switches. With the Ultra, it's a lot easier thanks to the extra memory. However, keep in mind that memory starts getting real slim once you start running two amps at once.

OVERALL OPINION

This is arguably the best modeler and multi effects device out there. It's a bit pricey, but given all the features this unit provides, it's worth it. Just be prepared to spend some time with it as this unit needs time to go from "good" to "amazing." There are so many features that it can be overwhelming, so I recommend trying out other people's presets first. Be sure to use the software too. It'll save you from having to kneel down all the time.
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Fractal Audio Systems Axe-Fx Ultra news

Fractal releases Axe FX Ultra OS v5.24

Fractal releases Axe FX Ultra OS v5.24

Published on 08/25/08
Fractal Audio Systems has released a new OS update for the Axe FX Ultra.

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Other names: axe fx ultra, axefxultra, axefx ultra, axe fxultra

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