Fractal FM9...Now a Regular Aspect of My Home

CandidPicker

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Felt that this should display in this section because the Amp Section is relegated to PRS and CAD amps...

Had just been acquainted with my Fractal FM3 and FC12, when out of the blue Fractal announces they've built an FM9 unit, and will be distributing to the USA and Canada. The EU and Asia has their own distributors.

What? How did this happen? Why now? Had I waited several months before considering Fractal, I might have acquired prime real estate on their waiting list for the FM9.

Why the FM9? Double the processing power of the FM3, for one. 9 footswitches. An all-in-one unit, save for the powered speaker(s). Ultra high quality sound sampling made for recording and live applications.

Yet, production is slowed by the global semiconductor chip shortage, and only limited numbers of the FM9 are available to those who'd signed up from day one.

And so the wait for the FM9 begins...FM3 and FC12 have/will be shipped out to points west...

Signed,
Ampless (But Not Desperate) in Seattle
 
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RC Mike

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It fills a gap in their product line-up, and does it nicely. Can’t fault them for that.

What does it do that your FM3 doesn’t do for you? No need to chase the latest and greatest, unless there’s an actual need.
 

CandidPicker

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It fills a gap in their product line-up, and does it nicely. Can’t fault them for that.

What does it do that your FM3 doesn’t do for you? No need to chase the latest and greatest, unless there’s an actual need.

Mike,

The advantage of the FM9 is that it has double the processing power of the FM3. The FM3 works well, but it has its limitations (you can't allow the unit's CPU usage over 80%, otherwise it will shut down temporarily until you remove 1 or more effects blocks). Likewise with the FM9, but the extra processors help keep your CPU usage more manageable.

This would be the only reason for upgrading to the FM9 (since recent Fractal products are mostly the same amp/cab/effects-wise).

If one were creating lush ambient tones awash with loads of delay and reverb, it's these types of effects that eat CPU. With double the processing power of the FM9, it's not only safer and easier to use, but allows for the lush tones described...and there are a few kinds of ambient tones I might try creating...just waiting for my name to reach the top of the FM9 waiting list...
 

LSchefman

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One problem with modeling amps is that they eventually become worthless doorstops, like old computers. Either they're outshined by later models, or the manufacturer stops supporting the early software. Or both.

An old tube amp simply becomes...'vintage'. Same with old pedals.:)

"Stop lecturing everyone on the lifetime desirability of tube amps, Les, we're all tired of it."

"Sorry, I can't do that. Because I'm an old curmudgeon."
 

Alnus Rubra

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One problem with modeling amps is that they eventually become worthless doorstops, like old computers. Either they're outshined by later models, or the manufacturer stops supporting the early software. Or both.

An old tube amp simply becomes...'vintage'. Same with old pedals.:)

"Stop lecturing everyone on the lifetime desirability of tube amps, Les, we're all tired of it."

"Sorry, I can't do that. Because I'm an old curmudgeon."

“Les Schefren’s Crumhorn Curmudgeon”:D
 

CandidPicker

Tone Matters. Use It Wisely.
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One problem with modeling amps is that they eventually become worthless doorstops, like old computers. Either they're outshined by later models, or the manufacturer stops supporting the early software. Or both.

An old tube amp simply becomes...'vintage'. Same with old pedals.:)

"Stop lecturing everyone on the lifetime desirability of tube amps, Les, we're all tired of it."

"Sorry, I can't do that. Because I'm an old curmudgeon."

That may very well be true. My feeling is, if the unit lasts 10 years with supported free OS upgrades for at least that time, I can live with that.

I'm just glad you're not bucking for "old woman," Les....:D

FM9 looks like a great unit.
Kemper just came out with new features such as Double Tracker this morning.
All the new features released work on original 2012 and newer Kempers. :)

The FM9 is approximately 20.2"W x 9.3"D x 3.5"H, just under 12 lbs. Will fit onto a Temple Audio Duo 34 board with an expression pedal and 2 external switches. Will await the notification. Perhaps a month or 3. It's no different than awaiting a PRS build. Collective Soul's "Counting the Days" fixed firmly in mindset...
 
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dmatthews

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That may very well be true. My feeling is, if the unit lasts 10 years with supported free OS upgrades for at least that time, I can live with that.

I'm just glad you're not bucking for "old woman," Les....:D



The FM9 is approximately 20.2"W x 9.3"D x 3.5"H, just under 12 lbs. Will fit onto a Temple Audio Duo 34 board with 2x expression pedals. Will await the notification. Perhaps a month or 3. It's no different than awaiting a PRS build. Collective Soul's "Counting the Days" fixed firmly in mindset...
Pretty much same dimensions as a Stage.
Enjoy the unit, it'll be great.
 

CandidPicker

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Pretty much same dimensions as a Stage.
Enjoy the unit, it'll be great.

Nice! Given my experience with the FM3, the time with the unit was enjoyable. Both FM3 and FC12 now shipped to points west. Will await payment in several days time.

Gotta say, eBay & Reverb used FM3 prices were silly, couple hundred above MSRP. My asking price was about $150 below MSRP on eBay. Wasn't looking so much for profit as I was a timely sale.

Best wishes to those who are trying to profit from their original prices...Fractal will soon offer the FM3 again once their supply chain clears up, and used sellers will need to discount to stay competitive...
 

CandidPicker

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Sorry for the late night rambling...I'd imagined that those who signed up on the wait list within minutes of the FM9 release announcement stand a better chance at an early invitation to buy than folks who signed up several days later.

That being said, the FM9 release announcement was on August 27th, at 1 PM EDT.

I personally signed up on the wait list and received a confirmation notification almost immediately. August 28th, 5:59 PM EDT.

A confirmation email came back within a minute. Stating something that special invitations are being sent out and available units are now shipping to the USA and Canada.

You have no idea how many people have signed up for this waiting list. We're speaking months of backlogged orders. And just today (9/9/21), several folks who signed up early received their invitation to purchase. That's the good news. The bad news is that there are only a limited number of available units for sale presently, by waiting list invitation only.

It's incredibly nice when the anticipation of waiting for something good to happen is almost more enjoyable than actually the fulfillment of the occurrence. I'd say that anyone who has waited for months for something good can attest to this.

What might you compare this to? Newborn child, getting married, PRS PS? I sense a correlation somewhere...
 
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JasonE

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One problem with modeling amps is that they eventually become worthless doorstops, like old computers. Either they're outshined by later models, or the manufacturer stops supporting the early software. Or both.

An old tube amp simply becomes...'vintage'. Same with old pedals.:)

This is something that has gone through my mind a lot. I bought an AxeFX Ultra in late 2010. They released the Axe II the next year. Then they stopped releasing updates for it not too far down the road from there. That left me with a really bad opinion of Fractal overall. That was a $2,000 unit. I signed up for the waitlist for the FMC101 controller but by the time they got to my name I had already bought and configured a Ground Control Pro for it. I still have these units. The interesting thing is that some people are now looking to buy these units kind of like a vintage amp because they sound different and they liked some of the models in them. If I sold it I could probably get $500 to $700 out of it. I just hate selling things on the used market and dealing with the idiots.

Fast forward to last fall, I found out about the Kemper Stage. After doing a good bit of research I decided to buy one. This is a different animal. I actually profiled the amp I have been gigging with for the last 6+ years and I now have that sound in this floorboard unit. This is a real world gigging unit. I have been very happy with this unit. I would still recommend this unit over the others on the market. For me the FM3 was too small. I had CPU issues with the Ultra and I don't use a lot of effects. I could never live with just three switches on the unit.

Fast forward to last month. Fractal announced the FM9. I did a little quick research and found that I can run 2 inputs and outputs on this unit, it will actually do 3. This is desire able for me because I have a few PRS guitars with the Piezo system in them that I use live. I have been running the Piezo through a Fishman Aura then to the board. I would love to be able to do both the electric and acoustic sounds through one unit since I have them in one guitar. With this unit I could add a few effects to the acoustic chain as well as an IR to mimic what the Aura does for me. I am now on the waitlist for the unit. I got on the list a couple of hours after it was opened. This looks like it will be a good all in one solution for what I want. I will still keep the Kemper. That is a great unit. If the Kemper could do the two separate signal chains, this would be the only unit I would want.

Bottom line, if you can get along with the FM3 and the FC for that, I would stick with it. The FM9 will have the exact same tones as the FM3. If you are not bumping up against the processor limit, the FM9 is not really an upgrade. Like LSchefman said, these units will become outdated. The way I have started to look at these units is they will always be what they are unless there is a hardware failure. I have seen some old rack units selling for crazy money because people want them for the sounds they make. Those tones are tied to a time period and are sometimes the only way to get those particular sounds. Look at the selling prices of any of the Scholtz units from the 80's. The digital units of today are all capable of creating great tones. More places are requiring low or no volume stage volumes. To me, it makes sense to have both the digital unit and your amps. That to me is the huge plus of the Kemper. You can profile your amp and haul it around in a smaller light weight unit.
 

LSchefman

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This is something that has gone through my mind a lot. I bought an AxeFX Ultra in late 2010. They released the Axe II the next year. Then they stopped releasing updates for it not too far down the road from there. That left me with a really bad opinion of Fractal overall. That was a $2,000 unit. I signed up for the waitlist for the FMC101 controller but by the time they got to my name I had already bought and configured a Ground Control Pro for it. I still have these units. The interesting thing is that some people are now looking to buy these units kind of like a vintage amp because they sound different and they liked some of the models in them. If I sold it I could probably get $500 to $700 out of it. I just hate selling things on the used market and dealing with the idiots.

Fast forward to last fall, I found out about the Kemper Stage. After doing a good bit of research I decided to buy one. This is a different animal. I actually profiled the amp I have been gigging with for the last 6+ years and I now have that sound in this floorboard unit. This is a real world gigging unit. I have been very happy with this unit. I would still recommend this unit over the others on the market. For me the FM3 was too small. I had CPU issues with the Ultra and I don't use a lot of effects. I could never live with just three switches on the unit.

Fast forward to last month. Fractal announced the FM9. I did a little quick research and found that I can run 2 inputs and outputs on this unit, it will actually do 3. This is desire able for me because I have a few PRS guitars with the Piezo system in them that I use live. I have been running the Piezo through a Fishman Aura then to the board. I would love to be able to do both the electric and acoustic sounds through one unit since I have them in one guitar. With this unit I could add a few effects to the acoustic chain as well as an IR to mimic what the Aura does for me. I am now on the waitlist for the unit. I got on the list a couple of hours after it was opened. This looks like it will be a good all in one solution for what I want. I will still keep the Kemper. That is a great unit. If the Kemper could do the two separate signal chains, this would be the only unit I would want.

Bottom line, if you can get along with the FM3 and the FC for that, I would stick with it. The FM9 will have the exact same tones as the FM3. If you are not bumping up against the processor limit, the FM9 is not really an upgrade. Like LSchefman said, these units will become outdated. The way I have started to look at these units is they will always be what they are unless there is a hardware failure. I have seen some old rack units selling for crazy money because people want them for the sounds they make. Those tones are tied to a time period and are sometimes the only way to get those particular sounds. Look at the selling prices of any of the Scholtz units from the 80's. The digital units of today are all capable of creating great tones. More places are requiring low or no volume stage volumes. To me, it makes sense to have both the digital unit and your amps. That to me is the huge plus of the Kemper. You can profile your amp and haul it around in a smaller light weight unit.

Good points!

If I was still playing out, as opposed to the studio stuff, I'd probably be somewhat inclined to profile my amps with a Kemper - and save my back.
 

dmatthews

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This is something that has gone through my mind a lot. I bought an AxeFX Ultra in late 2010. They released the Axe II the next year. Then they stopped releasing updates for it not too far down the road from there. That left me with a really bad opinion of Fractal overall. That was a $2,000 unit. I signed up for the waitlist for the FMC101 controller but by the time they got to my name I had already bought and configured a Ground Control Pro for it. I still have these units. The interesting thing is that some people are now looking to buy these units kind of like a vintage amp because they sound different and they liked some of the models in them. If I sold it I could probably get $500 to $700 out of it. I just hate selling things on the used market and dealing with the idiots.

Fast forward to last fall, I found out about the Kemper Stage. After doing a good bit of research I decided to buy one. This is a different animal. I actually profiled the amp I have been gigging with for the last 6+ years and I now have that sound in this floorboard unit. This is a real world gigging unit. I have been very happy with this unit. I would still recommend this unit over the others on the market. For me the FM3 was too small. I had CPU issues with the Ultra and I don't use a lot of effects. I could never live with just three switches on the unit.

Fast forward to last month. Fractal announced the FM9. I did a little quick research and found that I can run 2 inputs and outputs on this unit, it will actually do 3. This is desire able for me because I have a few PRS guitars with the Piezo system in them that I use live. I have been running the Piezo through a Fishman Aura then to the board. I would love to be able to do both the electric and acoustic sounds through one unit since I have them in one guitar. With this unit I could add a few effects to the acoustic chain as well as an IR to mimic what the Aura does for me. I am now on the waitlist for the unit. I got on the list a couple of hours after it was opened. This looks like it will be a good all in one solution for what I want. I will still keep the Kemper. That is a great unit. If the Kemper could do the two separate signal chains, this would be the only unit I would want.

Bottom line, if you can get along with the FM3 and the FC for that, I would stick with it. The FM9 will have the exact same tones as the FM3. If you are not bumping up against the processor limit, the FM9 is not really an upgrade. Like LSchefman said, these units will become outdated. The way I have started to look at these units is they will always be what they are unless there is a hardware failure. I have seen some old rack units selling for crazy money because people want them for the sounds they make. Those tones are tied to a time period and are sometimes the only way to get those particular sounds. Look at the selling prices of any of the Scholtz units from the 80's. The digital units of today are all capable of creating great tones. More places are requiring low or no volume stage volumes. To me, it makes sense to have both the digital unit and your amps. That to me is the huge plus of the Kemper. You can profile your amp and haul it around in a smaller light weight unit.
Have you tried the acoustic sim in the Kemper?
 

CandidPicker

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...Bottom line, if you can get along with the FM3 and the FC for that, I would stick with it. The FM9 will have the exact same tones as the FM3. If you are not bumping up against the processor limit, the FM9 is not really an upgrade. Like LSchefman said, these units will become outdated. The way I have started to look at these units is they will always be what they are unless there is a hardware failure. I have seen some old rack units selling for crazy money because people want them for the sounds they make. Those tones are tied to a time period and are sometimes the only way to get those particular sounds. Look at the selling prices of any of the Scholtz units from the 80's. The digital units of today are all capable of creating great tones. More places are requiring low or no volume stage volumes. To me, it makes sense to have both the digital unit and your amps. That to me is the huge plus of the Kemper. You can profile your amp and haul it around in a smaller light weight unit.

Yes, the FM9's as well as most any other modeler, will become obsolete in about 10 years. The reason for my upgrading to the FM9 is because of the processors...some of my presets were riding just under the 80% CPU usage limit with the FM3...the FM9 will allow extra CPU power that can adjust to the previous overload of the FM3...

The Axe FX III allows amp profiling with IR capture, but most all of the amps I'd ever previously owned are available as Fractal amp or cab models. Regards high quality effects units, many of the reverb and play units are spot-on copies of the originals...you just need to know what effect does what when you dial in a tone...the Scholz units are unique in themselves, and the Fractal comes close to these.

Burgs did a YT video describing the "Boston" sound with Fractal...to my ears, it was close, but not quite...

Kemper has its own group of followers, and they are to be applauded...the comparison is Fractal and its followers...both groups dedicated, but each loyal to their own choices...if Kemper has what you need to make music interesting and enjoyable, best wishes to you...

While there is a wealth of information at our fingertips we can use for our benefit, I don't personally mind if someone questions whether modelers or amps will be the future of music. If one piece of gear is what does it for you, go with that.

The Les Schefman mindset is that there is no right or wrong choice regards gear. Whatever works best and sounds good to you is what you should choose.
 

InTooDeep

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im still undecided. Leaning towards keeping the FM3. But I did get on the waitlist at 1:37pm so hopefully if I change my mind ill be ready. I got on the FM3 waitlist and sold my boogie amp, and was without a quality amp for about 9 months which was pretty lame. I'm not selling the FM3 (if I ever do) until my name comes up on the FM9. I like my FM3 for fitting into my backpack when I fly somewhere for work. that would be tougher with the FM9...
 

CandidPicker

Tone Matters. Use It Wisely.
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im still undecided. Leaning towards keeping the FM3. But I did get on the waitlist at 1:37pm so hopefully if I change my mind ill be ready. I got on the FM3 waitlist and sold my boogie amp, and was without a quality amp for about 9 months which was pretty lame. I'm not selling the FM3 (if I ever do) until my name comes up on the FM9. I like my FM3 for fitting into my backpack when I fly somewhere for work. that would be tougher with the FM9...

I think my mindset was the opposite, for the following reasons...this may provide you with food for thought about selling your FM3...

Soon, the used market will be filled with used FM3s and FC6/FC12 foot controllers...I got in early and sold mine $170 below MSRP...whereas currently there are lots of folks trying to sell their gear above MSRP...a couple hundred dollars upwards. Why the difference?

It's because new FM3s are backordered until mid-September...once these are available, used prices must come down...IOW, who would ever consider buying a used FM3 for $200 more than new price? The illogic amazes me...

Only chance I took was selling gear and being without it for a while. I didn't think to "leave anything to chance."

I might ask my buddy in MA if I can borrow one of his amps to keep my chops up. Otherwise, I've really no need other than to wait for the FM9 email invitation.
 
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