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Author Topic: Axe FX II  (Read 19837 times)

Offline Patzag

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Axe FX II
« on: July 26, 2011, 11:22:28 AM »
HI all,
I'm sure you've heard about the Axe FX.  You may have heard that a new model came out recently, Axe FX II which improves on processing power and mainly quality of amp "simulations"  I put simulations in quotes because I think that this unit has gone beyond simulation.

I received mine 3 days ago and almost lived with it since I got it.  It helps that I am a pro musician and that's what I do for a living so I had time on my hand to actually explore the unit.

I went through a short period of frustration which resolved as soon as I realized I was running into problems with my audio interface.  That behind me I delved into the potential of the system and actually did two shows with it.  A really short one and a full blown gig with over 2 hours of playing.

Being that I am brand new to the system, I only had time to set up three presets to my complete satisfaction including Instant Access Switches to turn effects on and off and continuous controllers for Delay, Wha, etc.

I plugged in direct to the board for FOH sound and ran In Ear monitors for the whole show.   I had a small on-stage monitor as a back up in case the IEM flaked out.
All right  ... ready? ...

WOW!!!


This thing is unreal.  The amps sound amazingly real.  Go from raging distortion to crisp cleans just by rolling off the volume of the guitar.  SRV-style break up and shimmers, EJ type cleans, and much, much more.

In fact, I dialed in a Dumble tone which rivaled my Dumble Clone and, somewhat to my frustration, sounded in fact better.  I say frustration only because I like being right, like most of us, and I have to admit that a digital machine can sound better than tubes.  That's weird.  

I was such a snob when it came to that, and despite using a Cybertwin for years because of versatility, I always missed the response and feel of tubes.

Well I now have both.  In fact, the versatility of the Axe is far beyond what the 'Twin ever hopes to achieve.

Can you tell that I'm impressed?  I'm dumping all my gear.  The Axe FX II has successfully replaced everything I owned (except my guitars!)



Pearl White Custom Dragonfly HSH 2010 / Voodoo Blackburst Custom S3 2011 / Ceriatone HRM amplifier / Axe FX II
Teal Fly Classic 1998 / White Deluxe Hard Tail 1994 /Axe FX II

Axe FX II

Offline stevie axeman

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Axe FX II
« Reply #1 on: July 26, 2011, 11:40:32 AM »
The ads for the new model do indeed make interesting/compelling reading - can you post up some mp3s so the rest of us can hear what we are missing?  :-)
Majik Blue 02 Fly Deluxe, Blue/green-burst 09 Fly Deluxe , Natural Mahogany 05 Fly Mojo, Vigier Shawn Lane, Caparison Horus,  Schecter C7 Hellraiser ,   Brian Moore i9.13 ,Godin ACS-SA
Bogner XTC Classic ,Fishman Performer amps
,Fishman Aura Blender,

Axe FX II

Offline Patzag

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Axe FX II
« Reply #2 on: July 26, 2011, 01:20:21 PM »
quote:
Originally posted by stevie axeman

The ads for the new model do indeed make interesting/compelling reading - can you post up some mp3s so the rest of us can hear what we are missing?  :-)

Vigier Shawn Lane, Caparison Horus,  Schecter C7 Hellraiser ,  Blue/green-burst 09 Fly Deluxe , Natural Mahogany Fly Mojo, Brian Moore i9.13 ,Godin ACS-SA
Bogner XTC Classic (in Purple!),Fishman Performer amps
Roland GR33/Digitech GNX/Fishman Aura Blender, Sequis Motherload Elemental



I definitely plan on it!

Pearl White Custom Dragonfly HSH 2010 / Voodoo Blackburst Custom S3 2011 / Ceriatone HRM amplifier / Axe FX II
Teal Fly Classic 1998 / White Deluxe Hard Tail 1994 /Axe FX II

Axe FX II

Offline Bill

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Axe FX II
« Reply #3 on: July 26, 2011, 05:05:49 PM »
Thanks Patzag for that review.

I think this is the future for pro musicians.

As an amateur though I dread having to learn the technical aspects of digital processing and the various programs. Recording on GB is about my limit. And it tests me to the limit. Someone gave me the TC Helicon Voice Live to play with but just trying to read the manual gave me a headache.

For an amateur hack like me, there is something great about hitting that amp switch and instantly having my music come out the other end.

That said I would love to try the AX.

Do you feel you have to go to tech school to use it ?

Do you process acoustics and piezo's  with it too ?



A few Flys in my soup
« Last Edit: July 26, 2011, 05:06:32 PM by Bill »
A few Flys in my soup

Axe FX II

Offline Patzag

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Axe FX II
« Reply #4 on: July 26, 2011, 06:56:03 PM »
quote:
Originally posted by Bill

Thanks Patzag for that review.

I think this is the future for pro musicians.

As an amateur though I dread having to learn the technical aspects of digital processing and the various programs. Recording on GB is about my limit. And it tests me to the limit. Someone gave me the TC Helicon Voice Live to play with but just trying to read the manual gave me a headache.

For an amateur hack like me, there is something great about hitting that amp switch and instantly having my music come out the other end.

That said I would love to try the AX.

Do you feel you have to go to tech school to use it ?

Do you process acoustics and piezo's  with it too ?



A few Flys in my soup



Hi Bill,
Thanks for the comments.
Tech School? No.  You can be up and running in almost no time with the Axe FX II.  I heard the older model was much more complex to program.  This one is "fairly" easy.  And the presets are good enough to be able to use right out of the box, which is rare for this type of unit.

I have a knack for this type of gear so maybe I'm looking at it through biased eyes.  But in fact I find it very easy to use.

If you've ever set up a pedal board, it's about the same thing.  There's a virtual signal chain and you populate the empty boxes with pedals, amps and effect and link them together with patch cables.  That's the easy part.

This thing can get as complex as you want to but it can also be easy.

The VERY good part is that I can lug 60 or 70 amps and a gazillion effects in a 2RU space and it sounds really, really good.  Much better than I thought it would.

I have not tried acoustic and piezo through this yet.  But I'm told it's also very sweet.  I'll let you know when I do.

Cheers,
Patrick


Pearl White Custom Dragonfly HSH 2010 / Voodoo Blackburst Custom S3 2011 / Ceriatone HRM amplifier / Axe FX II
Teal Fly Classic 1998 / White Deluxe Hard Tail 1994 /Axe FX II

Axe FX II

Offline MegaDroogie666

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Axe FX II
« Reply #5 on: July 27, 2011, 06:02:35 AM »
I run my Parker through my Ultra in stereo and it sounds incredible. I pretty much don't need anything, not even a power amp. As Patzag said, straight to the FOH and IEM. I'm debating selling my Ultra and buying the II.

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Axe FX II

Offline stevie axeman

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Axe FX II
« Reply #6 on: July 27, 2011, 08:13:49 AM »
would be interesting if the II can accept stereo inputs  - so different signal chains for mag and piezo
Majik Blue 02 Fly Deluxe, Blue/green-burst 09 Fly Deluxe , Natural Mahogany 05 Fly Mojo, Vigier Shawn Lane, Caparison Horus,  Schecter C7 Hellraiser ,   Brian Moore i9.13 ,Godin ACS-SA
Bogner XTC Classic ,Fishman Performer amps
,Fishman Aura Blender,

Axe FX II

Offline Patzag

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Axe FX II
« Reply #7 on: July 27, 2011, 01:57:31 PM »
quote:
Originally posted by stevie axeman

would be interesting if the II can accept stereo inputs  - so different signal chains for mag and piezo

Vigier Shawn Lane, Caparison Horus,  Schecter C7 Hellraiser ,  Blue/green-burst 09 Fly Deluxe , Natural Mahogany Fly Mojo, Brian Moore i9.13 ,Godin ACS-SA
Bogner XTC Classic (in Purple!),Fishman Performer amps
Roland GR33/Digitech GNX/Fishman Aura Blender, Sequis Motherload Elemental



Hi Stevie!
It can absolutely.  There's enough processing power to run two entirely separate signal chains.  

I tested the unit with Piezo last night.  It's really a fantastic sounding system.  Clean, bright, very easy to configure and get a great sound from.  Fantastic reverbs and delays.  Yum!


Pearl White Custom Dragonfly HSH 2010 / Voodoo Blackburst Custom S3 2011 / Ceriatone HRM amplifier / Axe FX II
Teal Fly Classic 1998 / White Deluxe Hard Tail 1994 /Axe FX II

Axe FX II

Offline stevie axeman

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Axe FX II
« Reply #8 on: July 27, 2011, 05:08:21 PM »
Now i have GAS !!!
Majik Blue 02 Fly Deluxe, Blue/green-burst 09 Fly Deluxe , Natural Mahogany 05 Fly Mojo, Vigier Shawn Lane, Caparison Horus,  Schecter C7 Hellraiser ,   Brian Moore i9.13 ,Godin ACS-SA
Bogner XTC Classic ,Fishman Performer amps
,Fishman Aura Blender,

Axe FX II

Offline MegaDroogie666

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Axe FX II
« Reply #9 on: July 27, 2011, 05:37:14 PM »
quote:
Originally posted by stevie axeman

Now i have GAS !!!


Vigier Shawn Lane, Caparison Horus,  Schecter C7 Hellraiser ,  Blue/green-burst 09 Fly Deluxe , Natural Mahogany Fly Mojo, Brian Moore i9.13 ,Godin ACS-SA
Bogner XTC Classic (in Purple!),Fishman Performer amps
Roland GR33/Digitech GNX/Fishman Aura Blender, Sequis Motherload Elemental



story of our lives
Official Website: www.fazeguitar.com

Axe FX II

Offline Patzag

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Axe FX II
« Reply #10 on: July 27, 2011, 11:32:38 PM »
quote:
Originally posted by stevie axeman

Now i have GAS !!!


Vigier Shawn Lane, Caparison Horus,  Schecter C7 Hellraiser ,  Blue/green-burst 09 Fly Deluxe , Natural Mahogany Fly Mojo, Brian Moore i9.13 ,Godin ACS-SA
Bogner XTC Classic (in Purple!),Fishman Performer amps
Roland GR33/Digitech GNX/Fishman Aura Blender, Sequis Motherload Elemental



Sorry about that ... (not!)



Pearl White Custom Dragonfly HSH 2010 / Voodoo Blackburst Custom S3 2011 / Ceriatone HRM amplifier / Axe FX II
Teal Fly Classic 1998 / White Deluxe Hard Tail 1994 /Axe FX II

Axe FX II

Offline guitarmanuk

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Axe FX II
« Reply #11 on: July 28, 2011, 09:34:56 AM »
What if you don't have a proper FOH set up (just have a vocal PA), can you use it through a power amp of some sort and in to a speaker cab, or does that sort of defeat the object of it?  I love the idea of it, but I worry that in a real world situation I would only use 1 or 2 % or what it is really capable of.
David

1997 Parker Fly Classic transparent Teal Green
1997 Parker Fly Concert Butterscotch

Axe FX II

Offline Patzag

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Axe FX II
« Reply #12 on: July 28, 2011, 09:59:07 AM »
David:
The Axe, in my opinion, actually sounds a bit better through an amp and cab than direct.  Not by much, and only possibly because I'm still (very much) learning to use it.
I started using it through my Ceriatone power amp section into my beloved 1x12.  Sounded spectacular.  So not an issue if there's no FOH.  You can totally use it with your current rig.
And as far as only using 2% of it, who cares really?  If you manage to dial YOUR sound perfectly and finally cure the urge to change it all the time because it's not perfect, that'd be worth it.
I've done 3 gigs so far using 2 presets only.  Granted, each preset has a bunch of effects I can turn on and off at will (like a virtual pedal board), but still, 2 amps only.  And it sounded fantastic.

Pearl White Custom Dragonfly HSH 2010 / Voodoo Blackburst Custom S3 2011 / Ceriatone HRM amplifier / Axe FX II
Teal Fly Classic 1998 / White Deluxe Hard Tail 1994 /Axe FX II

Axe FX II

Offline stevie axeman

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Axe FX II
« Reply #13 on: July 28, 2011, 01:38:27 PM »
Or as Allan Holdsworth once said when someone saw his 80s/90s enormo-rack :

"Why do you need all that gear when you only use 2 sounds???"
Allan - "How do you think i GET those 2 sounds???"
Majik Blue 02 Fly Deluxe, Blue/green-burst 09 Fly Deluxe , Natural Mahogany 05 Fly Mojo, Vigier Shawn Lane, Caparison Horus,  Schecter C7 Hellraiser ,   Brian Moore i9.13 ,Godin ACS-SA
Bogner XTC Classic ,Fishman Performer amps
,Fishman Aura Blender,

Axe FX II

Offline Scanman413

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Axe FX II
« Reply #14 on: July 28, 2011, 03:54:17 PM »
Stevie, I think you should talk to Fractal about being the official spokesman; I mean, you ARE the axeman! [:D]( Just trying to help ya,Bro!)

2001 Fly Classic
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Schecter Solo-6
Zager ZAD50CE Acoustic/Electric
2001 Fly Classic
2007 Ovation BCS Collector's Edition
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