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

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

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ibanez4life SZ! 04/19/2011

Fractal Audio Systems Axe-Fx Ultra : ibanez4life SZ!'s user review

« The Upgraded model for the effects abuser! »
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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.