All user reviews for the Fractal Audio Systems Axe-Fx
- 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?
4 people did not find this review helpful
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.
3 people did not find this review helpful
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.
4 people did not find this review helpful
It difficult for someone not used to fly multis ....
Perfect quality. Well I
SAVINGS whole shebang because I do not really know ... it's only been one week and I'm trying stuff.
But what I can tell on the other hand is that I availing oneself of the ENGL SE EL34 or EL34 for the e670 model.
My ttre is plugged into a 4x12 cabinet Mesa corrected in v30.
This head has caractristique plant sparer its pre-amp's power amp. So I then plugged my AXE-FX in the power of my head .... I put the simulation Energyball or I could know what ... is the simulation of the engl powerball home for specific on those who do not know. I read the instructions sogneusement axis-fx bypass the simulatueur dampli power, cab and connections etc. ... and jai obtennu sound even more than my big dment engl SE jai that took the time to work !!!!!! I could not believe my ears. How a multi-effect processor that can beat a head in worth more than double?!
well it is simple, the response is Fractal Audio, qualté multimdia.
2 of 12 people found this review helpful
PatIsAGeek's review (This content has been automatically translated from French)" If it must remain a"
You will find complete information about the beast at this address: http://axefxwiki.guitarlogic.org/index.php?title=Main_Page
The big black dot multi-effects to my senses. I had a number, Boss GT5, POD XT Live, cranks which I even remember the brand ... and always the same edition of the effects is still very complex (except POD).
I'm not the type to spend hours to create me a sound and this side is the axis does not disappoint me.
Firstly unlike almost everything else on the market, the presets are not bad (not all obviously but many are exploited with little or no mods)
I started creating sounds directly above and finally, despite what I thought, even with the small screen, this is very simple. It has more of a PC-based editing software to manage everything (even if it's becoming increasingly common, I think it is a most compelling).
The manual is not great but at least exist in French. I read diagonally anyway because of the ease of editing.
I use an amp with the axis Atomic FR Fractal created in partnership with the axis, a crank FCB 1010 (which did not need to be configured: recognized on) and various guitars (see my stuff) .
The quality of the effects is impressive. Limit was hard to believe that it is possible to have a sound like that at home.
The most amazing to me is the delay that can last endlessly with clarity. You quickly find themselves with a boiled sound with this kind of effect is not there. It intends to each note.
I use it for ten months and I am far from regretting my purchase. I do it again without hesitation.
Another advantage of product inputs XLR outputs. Not useful for everyone but personally I am using that does that. There is a real difference in sound when you plug the amp in jack or XLR.
The price is far from accessible to everyone and the method of distribution does not help (available only in Germany but the G66 guys are pros and super cool) but I really prefer to wait to buy equipment such as why buy me a Boss for example.
The product becomes a sacred reference to my senses. It is now used by Petrucci, Vai, Marty Friedman, Dweezil Zappa, ....
4 of 7 people found this review helpful
Reiep's review (This content has been automatically translated from French)
<div> The Axe FX is a digital simulator amplification chain, the very first guitar effect in exit to the transplanted microphone (included!). It thus simulates the amplifiers, speakers and microphones transplanted and moved moult effects. For a complete list, the best is still Wiki Pages section of interests (http://axefxwiki.guitarlogic.org/index.php?title=Main_Page). </div>
<div> In entries: </div>
<div> - Front-panel guitar input </div>
<div> - Input 1 (left / right mono +) </div>
<div> - Inout 2 / FX return (left / right mono +) </div>
<div> - MIDI in </div>
<div> - SPDIF in </div>
<div> - 2 inputs for expression pedal </div>
<div> - 9V AC Adaptor to power via a MIDI pedal pins 6 & 7 </div>
<div> Output: </div>
<div> - Output 1 (left + right, jack and XLR synchronous) </div>
<div> - Output 2 / FX send (left + right) </div>
<div> - SPDIF Out </div>
<div> - AES out </div>
<div> - MIDI out </div>
<div> - MIDI through </div>
<div> Surprisingly, no headphone jack ... So headphone amp / audio interface or tinkering required. </div>
<div> The Standard of interest here supports 256 presets. A new official publisher of Fractal Audio is under development (public beta), but it is also possible to use commercial classical MIDI as MIDI-OX or Send SX (which I recommend by the way). It is also possible to load 10 IR additional speakers for your favorite forum available. </div>
<div> The digital I / O is 48khz/24bits only, with the Axis managing the clock. Thing to be careful when using the Axis digital connection, otherwise it gives a result not very beautiful (beautiful moment of fright the first hour of use <img class="smiley" src="/images/audiofanzine/interface/smileys/icon_biggrin.gif" alt="" /> ) </div>
<div> Please note that many updates to the firmware can either add functionality or to improve the sound quality of the device. The latest firmware (v 9.00) was a real slap. </div>
<div> Note: 8. The absence of extremely regrettable headphones and to a lesser extent I / O USB or Firewire to equip require additional hardware. </div>
<div> The general configuration is simple? Editing sounds and effects is easy? The manual is clear and sufficient? ... </div>
<div> First, my use: Axis SPDIF plugged into a TC Electronic Konnekt 8, which comes out to headphones AKG K240, or otherwise a Tech 21 Power Engine 60 connected to the Output 1 of the Axis. </div>
<div> In the first case j'uilise a complete chain (with cabinet simulator and possibly microwave) in the second I turn off the speaker and microphone, and a slight compensation for the low PE 60 directly addresses the shooting ( because when we move from a closed to 4 * 12 1 * 12 open you lose some low). But that's all, all my other settings remain the same and it's fun! </div>
<div> Creating a preset is not complicated, I personally do my settings directly from the Axis and not via the editor. It was a few minutes a basic sound that sounds REALLY good. Then comes the hack ... and the only real "fault" of the Axis: its wealth! There are so many parameters that you can work (but not required) to sculpt its 100% custom, someone nitpicking may spend some time tweaking. This is not necessarily a bad thing, but it may repel those who are frightened by more than 5 buttons on an amp. Fortunately with the experience and knowledge sharing on the forum Fractal we arrive to find the "tricks" that are okay and slowly it goes. But it is clear that there is a great time learning: controlling the Axe FX at 100% is not immediate, but what a joy when you start to get there! </div>
<div> The manual is sufficient to start to attack the most sensitive points Fractal forum is a gold mine with a lot of experienced users (although sometimes a bit on the edge of fanaticism, m'enfin ...). </div>
<div> Note: 9. The use of the device is very simple, but requires a large learning curve to master all the parameters. </div>
<div> The effects are they effective, responsive and realistic enough? Which instruments do you use? Which ones do you prefer, you hate? </div>
<div> We enter the heart of the matter. I'm not really a big user of effects, so I'll concentrate on the amp simulation. And it's very good. Having owned / tested many devices modeling, one enters a completely different league, it's incomparable. The difference is huge, the sound is much more alive and dynamic. I do not want to start a debate better / worse than the lamps, but know that with the Axe FX Unlike analog to digital has been very greatly reduced, especially since the firmware 9. </div>
<div> I play primarily on high gain amps, you can sculpt sounds of every era and always high quality. The equalizer is effective (on blocks of effects, amps, effects and EQ blocks themselves). </div>
<div> The IR speakers are perhaps the low point when one compares what is available on the net, without being bad. In the 10 worst locations IR user offset this small gap. </div>
<div> I use mainly effects level block Drive to overdrive and distortion. This block has been redesigned recently and offer higher quality and a behavior similar to a conventional pedal (used in boosters, etc.). </div>
<div> The reverbs, delays, chorus offer enormous opportunities, but I'm just very simple settings. Ditto for the Wah function with great self-imposed cuts the effect if the expression pedal heel rest position a certain period of time (it works on other effects as wah). I hardly use the other effects ... for now. </div>
<div> Note: 10. The Axe is such a step forward for modeling amps than a 9 seems too little. Add to that its excellent effects section (which I use too little) ... </div>
<div> For how long have you been using it? What thing do you like most/least about it? Did you try many other models before getting this one? What is your opinion about the value for the price? Knowing what you know now, would you make the same choice? ... </div>
<div> I have the Axe FX for almost a year, ordered via the European importer G66 (which I salute in passing an exceptional quality of service!). I've tested many cameras before modeling to almost crack a Pod X3 ... but I'm tempted by the Axis FX (note the possibility of the return within 15 days if not suitable!), and I did well. Since that day in March, no more buying Envo amp or effect. For cons, I had to do a lot of expenses on an audio interface, a good headphone, a MIDI footswitch, etc.. I went from 0 in this field, it makes a certain budget to forecast. </div>
<div> So it's somewhat leaden value for money as to use the Axe FX as it should be provided a budget of EUR 500 in rab 'if one has no hardware. That said, I do not plainds final solution because I really thunder. </div>
<div> In case of trouble so I do it again this election, but certainly an Ultra, or perhaps by then the Axe FX 2 <img class="smiley" src="/images/audiofanzine/interface/smileys/icon_lol.gif" alt="" /></div>
Overall rating: the average of previous notes = 9. </div>
4 of 8 people found this review helpful
Anonymous 's review (This content has been automatically translated from French)
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)
_ MIDI IN / OUT, THROUGH
_ SPDIF (RCA), AES / BU (XLR)
_ 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
_ 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.
1 of 4 people found this review helpful