I'm not an Axe FX 2 guy

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by ]-[@n$0Ma☩!©, Jul 1, 2013.

  1. ]-[@n$0Ma☩!©

    ]-[@n$0Ma☩!© Fungi Monkey

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    What can I say. I tried it and it's not for me. I spent a chunk of my weekend with one and it really left me wanting.

    I use my guitar's volume and tone pot a lot and found the Axe FX 2 just didn't respond to them nearly as well as I need it to. I also found very little benefit to splitting the pups. Switching from the bass to the treble pup had a notable impact on tone but it, too, was disappointing. The Axe FX just seemed to ignore a great deal of the nuance and tone of the input device. Given all of the feedback I've read online, I expected more. A lot more. I agree that the technology has come a long way (especially since the ART units we played with back in the 80's) but my tube amps are still safe.

    If they were cheap I'd get one to play with headphones - but only if the right tube amp was unavailable. I bought one of the little Vox headphone amps for "after bedtime" use but the sound quality was nowhere good enough to keep me interested. The Axe FX 2 wasn't that bad by a long shot. Something in between would be great.

    Anyone else have this experience?
     
    #1 ]-[@n$0Ma☩!©, Jul 1, 2013
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2013
  2. TFC

    TFC That guitar really tied the room together

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    My experience has been the opposite. I love my Axe 2 and am always amazed at how well it reacts to adjusting my guitar's volume. It goes from clean to mean just by adjusting the volume. Not every amp model does that, of course. But I've found the amps to be very responsive, and different guitars sound different (as they should) through the Axe.

    I'm not going to say that the Axe 2 is for everyone, but one thing it does exceptionally well, IME, is what you found lacking. What was your setup - power amp, cab, pickups, etc.? Do you know which firmware version you were using?
     
  3. jfb

    jfb Plank Owner

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    I have owned both the Ultra and the II and know what you mean. They are great units in many ways, but at the end of the day it's what inspires me to play and they weren't it.
     
  4. LSchefman

    LSchefman Hears Tones

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    Yes, with the first version. I'm with you and JFB, the thing just wasn't inspiring for me to play through.

    People have said, "Well you need to try the new version." And my feeling is, "But you told me the first version perfectly emulated a tube amp. So if it did, how come there had to be a new version?"

    And now it's all about which rev. you have and so on. Pfft. Call me in 100 years when they get it right and I'm long dead. I have something that perfectly emulates a tube amp. It's called a tube amp.

    Certainly the technology is brilliant. I can respect that.

    And certainly it has its uses for folks who like it for what it does for them. I have nothing whatsoever against it, and I do think it's remarkable as an effects box.

    But my feeling is that I don't need something to emulate tube amps; I have tube amps and have never had issues with one. So for me (YMMV) it's a solution in search of a problem. For folks in cover bands who feel they need to emulate a variety of tones, it might be a useful thing!

    Some of my friends have suggested it as in "Well, you have a studio, you need one." And my response has always been, "It's so easy to put a mic up, why do I need one if I play better through a real amp and get a sound I prefer?"
     
    #4 LSchefman, Jul 1, 2013
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2013
  5. ]-[@n$0Ma☩!©

    ]-[@n$0Ma☩!© Fungi Monkey

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    1964 Twin Reverb. Ultra clean amp that is nearly impossible to overdrive. Takes effects pedals like a dream.

    2 X 12 (open back)

     
  6. Kine

    Kine Large Member

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    This! :top:

    I looked at the Axe for awhile but figured It'd be too much tweaking for me. I've had some modeling hardware before (POD's) and recently bought the Two-Notes C.A.B. I think it finally dawned on me why I struggle with them and it's because I'm never playing them thru a real cabinet (it's either headphones or my monitors). The low end is always tough to dial in for me.
     
  7. TFC

    TFC That guitar really tied the room together

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    Thanks, Hans. I should have been more clear in my questions. Did you plug the output of the Axe into the input of a physical Twin Reverb w/2x12's, or was the Twin the model within the Axe that you used? And if the Twin was the model, what physical power amp & speakers was the Axe plugged into?
     
  8. sergiodeblanc

    sergiodeblanc I like to party, mmm hmm, everybody does.

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    I loved my SGX2000, the trick was to put an overdrive pedal with very little gain in the mono loop... smoothed things out.
     
  9. ]-[@n$0Ma☩!©

    ]-[@n$0Ma☩!© Fungi Monkey

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    Yes.

    No.
     
  10. Danerada

    Danerada Goatee Practitioner

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    were you modeling an amp at the time? I have found with these effects/amp modeling units, that if you run it in front of a CHOICE amp with some sort of amp modeling on, they are not very good. But if you turn the amp modeling off, configure it so it knows it's running into the front of a combo amp and use effects only, they will sound better...not always great, but better.
     
  11. Blackbird

    Blackbird Pincher of Harmonics

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    I think a lot of people's success with modelers depends on what style of music they play and what they are looking to accomplish with it (recording, live, jamming). They certainly aren't for everyone, but it's hard to ignore how much they've improved in just the last decade. Extrapolate that to 10 years from now and maybe the gap between tube and digital is closed. But for now, there is still roughly a 5% gap of being able to tell the two apart, both in sound and feel.

    I own an Axe Ultra and only recently have tried an Axe II. They are both excellent units, but in my opinion they require too much refining and adjustment (tweaking) to get the sound that you want. For my personality type, that is not a good thing, as I could end up 'tweaking' a sound for 12 hours straight and still not be able to tell which tone I prefer.

    My favorite modeler that I have been using for over a year now is the Kemper Profiling Amp. The main difference between the Kemper and the Axe is that for people like me, it's much easier to dial-in sounds and the interface is setup like an amp with plenty of instant control knobs. And instead of waiting for the manufacturer to 'model' new amp types, any owner can use the Kemper to create a profile or snapshot of their own tube amp. So with it being user-based content, you essentially have a limitless repository of rare and unheard of amps.
     
  12. Blackbird

    Blackbird Pincher of Harmonics

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    If you plugged the Axe output into the Input of the combo amp, then yes, you need to turn off the amp and cab simulation on the Axe and just use it for effects in that scenario or it will sound like poo poo. To use the Axe's amp modeling with that combo, you want to run the output of the Axe into the return of the effects loop on the combo, if it has one. Also the effects loop on the amp needs to be series, not parallel. This will bypass the amp's preamp section and just be using the power amp tubes and speakers.
     
  13. studio66

    studio66 New Member

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    I bought an Axe Fx 2 and ended up returning for just about exactly the same reasons.
    I decided to jump back into the deep end when Kemper put out its rack version.I've had it a few months and have yet to turn on an amp.Borrowed a friends AxeFx 2 with FW10 and to our ears it wasn't even close.The Kemper feels and sounds like an amp.I'm building a library now of amps I could never own.
    If you decide to try the modeling thing again and can access a Kemper to try...it might be worth your while.
     
  14. Danerada

    Danerada Goatee Practitioner

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    I heard one of these at Mark's house a couple of years ago...yeah it was pretty great.
     
  15. TFC

    TFC That guitar really tied the room together

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    OK, that's almost definitely the issue. With that setup, what you essentially have is a preamp running into a power amp running thru a mic'd cab (this is what the Axe is modeling for you) and you're then running that signal thru the tone stack of a Twin, the power amp of a Twin and then the Twin's speakers. The front of the Twin is expecting a raw guitar signal from your pickups so that it can shape and amplify that into a cool sound. Instead, you're giving it a fully processed, ready for the radio guitar sound that just needs "pure" amplification.

    If you want to hear everything the Axe can really do, it's best to run it directly into a flat response speakers, like studio monitors, or powered PA speakers designed for this purpose, or a flat response power amp into a passive flat response cabinet. The Twin is a "clean" amp, so it would seem you could just run straight into that. But in fact, the Twin sounds like a Twin (which is why it's so popular), and the combination of its preamp, power amp, cab and speakers is going to give you something that is very far from a flat response.

    If you don't have flat response speakers available to you, the next thing to try is plugging the Axe into the effects loop of one of your amps. If you do that, disable the power amp and cabinet sims in the Axe (global menu). That way you're just sending the preamp (and any effects) signal into the power amp, into the speakers. To get the most responsive reaction, you'll want to set your power amp it to its sweet spot, which will most likely be pretty loud. But if you do that, I'd bet that you'll be much happier with the way it sounds and how it reacts to volume & tone.

    Hope that is clear and helps some. And I hope I'm not assuming too much. Just trying to be helpful.
     
  16. jfb

    jfb Plank Owner

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    I have come pretty close to buying one. Luckily a buddy has one. He was kind enough to tell me I could borrow it. I need to take him up on the offer.
     
  17. ]-[@n$0Ma☩!©

    ]-[@n$0Ma☩!© Fungi Monkey

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    All is well. I'm glad to have more input - which is why I posted this.

    As you already stated, the Twin is an exceptionally clean amp. It is so clean, in fact, that many think it's stale. I don't think the tone will change that much when I make the changes you recommend but I will give it a try tonight and let you know how it turns out.
     
  18. TFC

    TFC That guitar really tied the room together

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    Cool. I'm curious to hear what you think. I just got home and checked my Axe just to confirm that the power amp and cab simulations can be turned off from the Global menu (if you're going to run it into an amp's fx loop).

    FWIW, I got to play through a Kemper last week. A friend just got one. Neither of us knew too much about using it, but I played through a few profiles that I thought sounded and felt good. I prefer the functionality and workflow of the Axe, plus it's the one I'm used to using, but I could probably be happy with either.
     
  19. ]-[@n$0Ma☩!©

    ]-[@n$0Ma☩!© Fungi Monkey

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    Cool. When you get a chance, tell me which program you prefer for metal. I'm curious which one most metal guys use.
     
  20. themike

    themike New Member

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    Just coming in to this discussion now but it looks like TFC lead you in the right direction. I love my AxeFX II - it just needs to be set up right for each users specific environment and set up.
     

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