Fractal Audio Systems Axe-Fx

Fractal Audio Systems Axe-Fx

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

7 user reviews
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Fractal Audio Systems Axe-Fx tech. sheet

  • Manufacturer: Fractal Audio Systems
  • Model: Axe-Fx
  • Series: Axe-FX
  • Category: Guitar Amp Simulation Racks
  • Added in our database on: 06/30/2007

We have no technical specifications for this product
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Fractal Audio Systems Axe-Fx user reviews

Average Score:4.9( 4.9/5 based on 7 reviews )
 6 reviews86 %
 1 user review14 %
ibanez4life SZ!04/19/2011

ibanez4life SZ!'s review"The all in one box that replaced my HUGE rig!"

Fractal Audio Systems Axe-Fx
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 Standard and Ultra were released as the ‘all-in-one’ box for a guitarist, featuring

- 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!


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.


This is where the Axe FX standard strong, and greatly ahead of all its previous and current modeling competitors. 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. After converting to the Axe FX, I was able to sell all 5 of my high end tube amplifiers (Mesa, Bogner, etc.) and a HUGE rack of units and processors, as it achieved all my tones before and more, in a much more convenient package. The best part- I feel like I am finally able to get MY sound, and not a different EQ of the sound someone else designed.


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. It replaced a HUGE analog rig for me, and 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. Did I mention is does AMAZING direct recording too?

loudfunk's review"My one piece of gear I can't function without..."

Fractal Audio Systems Axe-Fx
Multi-fx processor in a 4 rack space box. Comes with amp sims, delays, verbs, OD boxes, filters, wah, pitch shift (anything from crystals to whammy to detune to intelligent harmony), looper, ring mods, eqs, stomb box style and/or studio compressors, etc...
2 independent sets of stereo outputs (both with their own global eq and levels), digital out, 1 front and 2 rear inputs, front input compensated so you don't need a DI box.

The screen editor is laid out in a 4x12 grid scheme. So for guys that want more than 12 series efx in a row they can insert a send block on say row 1 and insert a return block on row 2 and pretty much can add serial efx until they run out of processing power. 4 efx can be run in parallel.

You get a efx loop block as well where the second set of i/o in the back become an efx loop. This way you can interface with other gear.

Also lets you use 3rd party cab modelling impulses like Red Wirez or Ownhammer.


Editing is easy enough, when usaing their Axe-Edit PC/Mac editor things get a lot easier.

Manual is great, their forum will be of even better help when you hit any road blocks.


Easily put if you can know how certain sounds are achived they can be dialed in with it.
One of the greatest features of it is that you don't have to use it as an amp sim, although I'm a big fan of their amp models. You can for example send the efx loop out to your amps and load it down with a THD Hot Plate and send the line-out back to the effects return to the Axe-Fx. Then attach a contoller to a mixer block with a expression pedal and you can use the pedal to pan between your loaded down head and one or two amp models to varying degrees. Or just make it switchable. But the blending is amazing when you want gain with a clean attack, or some harmonic haze behind your cleans.
For that matter you can set your modifiers that on an expression pedal toe up you have say model 1 with delay, verb and chorus, on toe midway amp 2 with verb and moderate gain, toe down model 2 with delay, verb, chorus and more gain.
You can have a noise gate that sense the input and gates after the amp, or the delay for that matter, think ISP Decimator
The limitations are pretty much what you can think up.


WHat do I like most about it? Pretty much everything, the way it's laid out, sounds, the company's customer support before and after the sale. Their frequent updates. They were one big surprise, especially seeing that I never expected a modeller to sound and feel this realistic. And by realistic I mean given a choice over any modern channel switcher or the Axe-Fx I will pick the Axe-Fx.

ejecta's review"One of the best offferings in the modeling world"

Fractal Audio Systems Axe-Fx
The AxeFX is an all digital unit in a four rack space. Designed by Cliff at Fractal Audio it has just about any effect you'd ever want from your classic effects to way out there sounds. On top of the effects you have amp modeling and cab simulation with the ability to load your own impulse responses for cabinets. You have balanced and unbalanced outputs and full midi capabilities. Also there is a still in beta software editor that lets you build patches from your PC or Mac and even though it' still in beta it works rather well.


I find navigation on the front of the unit to be fairly easy to get a hang of despite how complex you can get with routing of your signal through the unit. Add the ability of the software editor and it becomes even easier. You do however have to be careful when building patches with your levels of each block or you can get into some clipping. The manual was pretty informative but I found more information on line with the wiki and forums. I tend to lean to more using it as preamp in front of a tube power amp into a real guitar cab but using direct into a PA with the cabinet simulations works well too. But in my humble opinion you lose some that "in the room" feel and sound.


The guitar I'm using my Dean Soltero loaded with Motor City Pickup in the bridge and a Duncan P-Rail in the neck. I think the AxeFX does translate the tone of my guitar rather well and does a great job reacting to the dynamics of your playing. The feel is quite good as well. The quality of the effects is one of the best I've heard and amp sims are nice as well. I do find though there is an underlying similarity to all the amp simulations. Not that that is a bad thing it's just something I noticed. As far as modeling guitar amp tones I think the technology is there to get you most of the way to realism for the amps but in my humble opinion where the weak link is is in the cabinet simulations. The cool thing tough I was able to download third party cab simulations with various microphones and load those in as well. Where I think this unit really shines is through a tube power into a real guitar cab. At that point it gets real hard to find that much difference in it and the real deal.


I'm of the mind where you use the best tool for the situation. My situation right now is I need something I can record with silently and or play at very low volumes. For this situation and for guys who play live into great PA's, need to control stage volume, and need a large variety of tones I think you'd find the AxeFX hard to beat. Yes the unit is more on the higher end in terms of cost but with all the tools you get and the quality of sounds I think it's worth it. The only negatives I find with the unit is I wish there were easier access to the amp's EQ section on the front. For those playing live this would be nice.

Anonymous 's review (This content has been automatically translated from French)

Fractal Audio Systems Axe-Fx
The Axe-Fx is a standard 2U rack offering simulation models (with Poweramp) firms and the following effects: chorus, compressor, delay, drive, * enhancer, flanger, forming *, equalizer, multidelay, pan / tremolo, parametric equalizer, phaser, pitch, reverb, rotary, wah-wah, mixer, vol / pan *.
Ultra version is available, with more memory, 25% more power and other effects which blocks a looper and an arpeggiator.
The technology used is digital.
The presets can be edited via the interface of the front axle. There are 384 (0-383) presets that can be loaded with 127 presets direct bank A, B, C. Java editor (still in beta), developed by a user "Lars" is available run more or less.
The shaft has a front panel instrument input.
On the back are:
_ A mono input, left / right instrument (TS)
_ 2 mono input, left / right instrument or FX Return (TS)
_ A mono output, left / right FX Send (TS and XLR balanced)
_ A control (1 expression pedal)
_ Control 2 (expression pedal 2)

The digital output works in 48khz/24bits.

The block "drive" a selection of overdrive pedals.
The block "enhancer" creates a stereo signal automatically breading with a slight delay.
The block "vol / pan" controls the volume or pan through a control pedal.
The block "delay" has parameters for modulation and Ducker Delay .. among others.
The block "cabs" have more simulations cabs / mic 10 user locations for loading impulse responses of firms. Fractal provided by a utility to convert sysex format impulse responses. (Missing a dll in the zip utility ...) For now it only takes into account the 11 ms of impulse response. This feature can be used for new reverberations among others.
The firmware is upgradable by sending sysex midi file. Cliff Chase the designer is regularly listen to the users on the Axis forum Fractal Audio and takes into account user requests (to the extent possible).

More information here:


The general configuration is simple if it is used for simple things. However, it offers a lot of combinations. If you want an amp and just chained a law firm that takes a few seconds, if you want to search for more complex sounds .. it can take the day, see this week (see + ).
Many settings are available at both the effects of the amplifiers is a trainer in that unit. It will read the manual to understand its usefulness. ReValver like some of these parameters are related to physical parameters of the modeled amp (bias adjustment, type tonestack, etc. ...).
Effects, amps and cabinets are available in blocks that are chain in a matrix of 4x12.
It has four routes used if desired and that we can route from beginning to end of the 12 blocks of the matrix. For each block "Amp" a page is available to adjust the output volume and pan. To control the effects of dry mix / effect is added.
There is 2 blocks to the amplifiers (two amps so chainable) and two blocks for each of the effects (except those marked with an asterisk).
Other blocks are available including insert effects loop or to make a U-turn at the signal in the matrix (feedback return / send).
The limit of sequence of these effects is supported by the processor.
I put 8 because it lacks an editor PC / Mac worthy of the name.


The effects are good, transparent (Reminds me of the effects of prophesy).
Amounts of U.S. users sell their eclipse and sometimes buy a second axis. As for me compared to my FireworX I find them better, the effects of FireworX are "cold" which is not the case here (beware the FireworX is a great device but for a guitar you pair it with a mic preamp for a more musical). Simulations of Block Drive could be improved is an application that I hope will be taken into account.
Personally I never use it, the saturation of amplifiers enough.
The treatment of I / O of the Axis is the best I have encountered this type of equipment. It is a strong point of the Axis.
This is not to say, as some manufacturers that it has quality converters blablabla ... you need to know to implement them and needs to be heard. By this means.

On this link you will find a recording made with the axis. A preset played with a Telecaster floral. No other effects or processing. Recorded live in 96khz 48khz ... resampled in order to be converted to mp3 ... ... mp3 converted resampled when downloading mp3/128kbps by SoundClick (I have a free account), that is what left:

The original version. Compressed wav (rar), 29MB total here:
(I said it's a preset, I have not added after the recording, the effect is the preset .. it's a one shot)

So the sound is good, it's a device that is best used directly with the speakers Full Range (monitoring or scene).

My only disappointment so far for clean sounds. Everything is relative of course, I try to reproduce the sound of twin reverb and I'm not yet arrived, although I have not explored all the amps at my disposal. The saturation is excellent. You need to have the guitar that goes well (for my case is a Chinese 100 euros which sounds better than my LP studio, imported by the English type told me she had good microphones and yes its Bareknuckle sounds like the Shaft )
I put 9 because perfection does not exist, but if there is a perfection to be achieved in terms of modeling is probably Fractal Audio that will reach the first since fx is the axis on the right track. Maybe with the release of a powerful DSP.


I've had two months. I am starting to emerge that is why I post this notice only today. I did not turn the machine that I spend my time to play around with the presets or the amplifiers. An amplifier with or without my Chinese cab to 100 euros and spits ... (I must make a sample for you to understand )
Today is the best device in my rack.
I rank the top:
_ I / O
_ Effects
_ Some amp simulations (the bassman, the Trainwreck, the powerball, the marshall etc ...) especially for saturated amplifiers.

I stay on my hunger for sounds clean.

What I think in the end .... an essential element for a recording studio that will save hours and hours to musicians.
And this time I put 10 because nothing comparable exists for now. I did not yet rid of my prophesy that I care for clean sounds and some of my saturation .. VG99 for modeling guitar, open tuning and sounds clear too.
I sell the prophesy may be one day.
It's expensive ... unless you buy in the United States, in this case it's worth every penny.

Fractal Audio Systems Axe-Fx news

Fractal Audio Systems Axe-Fx Firmware 10.0

Fractal Audio Systems Axe-Fx Firmware 10.0

Published on 06/26/10
The Fractal Audio Axe-Fx packs amp, cab, and effects tones into an all-in-one solution for the stage or studio guitarist.

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Other names: axe fx, axefx

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