04-05-2013 12:51 AM - edited 04-07-2013 12:26 PM
Well I finally made up my mind and I sold my Mesa Boogie Lonestar 2x12 (my very last tube amp) and my Axe Fx Ultra to fund a new Axe Fx II. Should be here this coming tuesday.
I can't wait to get it in and get firmware version 10 loaded onto it. Version 10 is supposed to be a total upgrade to the unit instead of a partial one.
Cliff said that version 10 SHOULD be ready today.
Can't wait to see all the new features and try out the new presets in version 10.
The two things I really like with the axe 2 over the ultra is it now has an intergated USB port as well as a headphone input! Not to mention all the new sounds it has on it.
EDIT: WOW! No one?
I guess I am going to give up coming here as nobody seems to care about this forum anymore.
04-11-2013 10:15 PM - edited 04-11-2013 10:16 PM
They hardly visited this section even before the changes.
Hope you like your new Axe. My co guitarist runs a nice studio and has the Axe II and KPA. We just went through V10. It's decent. Still nothing like the Kemper.
I wonder if that means the end of line for Axe II. They usually get up to firmware 10 or 11 before the Newest Axe Fx is released just after. New products release come every 2.5 years or so. I'm guessing this Summer.
I bet the next one has a profiler in it. They've done a lot to add new Kemper like features. Only problem is its completely different hardware. Kemper has a little more Amp Pizzazz to it imo. My mate that owns them had the same assessment.
04-12-2013 10:27 AM - edited 04-12-2013 10:27 AM
All depends on what you use the unit FOR.I like the effects in the axe WAY better than the kemper. If the Kemper had the effects and routing like the axe fx II then I would consider one.
And I do NOT think that this is the end of the axe Fx II! It has only been out for maybe a year and a half.... the last one lasted 5 years.
I just put on firmware v10 so I will see how it does, but a lot of people like the new firmware, you seem a little biased twords the kemper.
04-22-2013 07:00 PM
Well, we messed around with FW10. He likes FW9 better. IDK. The amp models in the AXE just seem nasaly compared to the KPA.
Axe can sound great when used with effects. If you like 80's shred sound with 40% wet effects then the Axe is going to be fine. If you like raw amp tone or a specific raw amp sound of your own KPA just has far more options. Tone match in the Axe FX is cool, but it doesnt compare to what KPA does in the same regard.
I am slightky biased toward KPA becasue it sounds more dimensionsal on raw amps than the flatter sound of the Axe FX.
04-23-2013 12:25 AM - edited 04-23-2013 12:29 AM
I think you are baised...period...not slightly either.
There are a LOT of people that are well pleased with the axe in version 10...and not just axe owners either. There are a lot of tube guys taking a serious look at it.
Your BS about a nasal sound with the axe makes me wonder if you know how to get a good sound out of it!
One thing is for surte, if you cannot get a good sound out of the axe with firmware 10, then it is NOT the axe it is you!
04-23-2013 07:31 PM
04-26-2013 10:40 PM
As I said, we have both the Kemper and AxeFX2 in the studio. Amost every guitarist that came in instantly jumped on the Kemper. Many said the digital sound was nasaly compared to their amps. But the KPA was a little less nasaly. Could be tube snobs.
AxeFX2 is a great unit. We went to firmare 10. It's cool too. Just not like the sound we get out of the Kemper. We know modelers. We have worked with them for over a decade now. He and I both own gear from Fractal. He has just about every piece of software modeler too.
Call it bias all you want. It's really just a preference.
I like the Fractal stuff too and the service is great. My buddy dislikes the firmware changing around as often since it changes the sound of everything he worked on. He says the bigger reasons for those changes were to add KPA like features. Not a bad deal if you ask me.
FWIW I like them both. I also have the Standard and the Ultra. He has the 2. I'm holding out for the next run AxeFX3 maybe. Saving my estimated $2600.
04-29-2013 02:56 PM
04-29-2013 08:32 PM - edited 04-29-2013 08:37 PM
@HKSblade2......Well you may think you know modelers, but if you cannot get a decnt sound out of an axe...be it standard, ultra or the II how can I believe you know what you are talking about?
The three I mentioned right there are capable of getting pretty much any sound you want and with firmare 10, just makes it that much more easy. You may have to do more dialaing in to get what you want with the older units, but they can still get fantastic sounds.
I really don't know how picky you or your friend is, but if you like a tube amp...then stay with a tube amp.
Even a kemper will not match a real one!
But I like having a bunch of tube amps and studio quality effects that can match a lexicon or eventide effects unit all in one unit, which is what the axe does best.
The Kemper does NOT have the quality of effects the axe has! If it did, I would consider buying one, though I would definately KEEP my axe II.
No, if you cannot get a good sound out of the axe (of ANY kind)...I'll repeat....it is NOT THE UNIT.... it is you!
I'll stand by what I have stated.
05-01-2013 03:51 AM
It's just two different sounds from profiling vs modeling. Could also be the hardware. IDK. In the studios here most that tried them both went for the Kemper. It was mainly amp sounds of their actual amp or a particular profiled track they wanted to duplicate as easily. We worked out a few with tone-match feature which seemed to match eq, but ot so much the amp dynamics.
Hard to explain exactly, but what most guitarists here noticed that tried them both was the Axe was different in the sense it seemed to be like having a nice recorded sound and little variation with volume changes. IOW the dynamic of modeling isn't very amp like, especially live. I'm not talking about just using your guitar volume control dynamic since all modelers have worked that out a while ago (some better of course), I meant actual amp dynamic with volume changes. They all said their amp settings at various volumes and gain settings react a hell of a lot different than what modeling software or hardware emulates even if you match them cabinet for cabinet, settings for settings which they tried. I told them they don't model every single component, they model characteristics of circuits and accompanying or modified circuit components.
I tend to think they BOTH add a touch of semi-nasaly digital aliasing on the high side or it just seems cut off like a lpf at the top end of guitar freq and any harmonics above are lacking.. More so on Standard and Ultra, but also noticeable on the II. Turn off the effects and you'll hear it. Play notes on the higher octave. Amps do not dampen like that, nor as fast. Does not matter if its the Standard, Ultra, II or KPA or our Gsp1101 or Prophesy II. Kemper has a tad clearer high end and slightly longer decay. (No gate applied, no compression added to any).
These guys sat around with the units a while. They still preferrerd the amps ability to sing more than the modeler or profiler. Probably a good reason most of the artists endorsing these products are also using modeling for effects/stomps only within their amp rigs.
If you like a lot of effects the AxeFX 2 especially is a great buy and awesome perfomer. I think its killer too. If you are more about raw amp modeling and cab tone, especially from your own rig or preferred studio rig, Kemper has an edge. It does not have the effects platform or routing capability of the Axe II either. KPA is an amp/cab emulator (main platform) with a decent set of usable also very high quality effects.
Axe FX is huge with effects junkies too. It's why I have two of them now, and the reason the Axe FX2 is in the studio here. I'm really liking the new cabs Fractal is offerering as options. Check them out if you have not. Cab emulation is the biggest hurdle in all of digital emulations. The newer Ir's are another step to that improvement, although I am a firm believer it will require another major change in hardware (Axe III or KPA II) to get those right.
05-01-2013 11:37 PM
Well some people will ONLY be happy with guitar tube amps! Period. This is true and will never change, no matter how good modelers become.
They will still pass it off as "digital" and stick with tube amps. Those type of people should not even try it, if they are that biased. They should just stick to an amp. Because their minds are not open, they are closed to any ppossibility of going digital....no matter how great it sounds.
That does not mean that the 2% the axe does not get or kemper for that matter I am going to worry about.
I am happy with my uinit, and that is all that matters to me.
I had a Mesa Boogie Lonestar Classic 2x12 that I used to use before the axe fx days. Wonderful amp, but limited to one or two main sounds and weighed around 82 pounds with the casters on. No thanks, I sold it to get an axe fx II and have not looked back since.
I really don't know what the future holds for modeling, but I am happy with my unit right now. If someone else is not? Then that is their problem, not mine.
And no one said that an axe or kemper can sound exactly like a real amp, but it is so close to me, it is not funny.
And I think the axe fx can do MORE than a tube amp. You can route things in the axe you could not do in a real amp.
So it all comes down to personal preferance. I simply do not like carrying around a 82 pound amp everywhere I go and being limited to what that one amp's sound is.
I would much rather have a "jacknife" that cxan do a lot of things and do them, very, very well.
As I stated, though, if people cannot get a good sound out of an axe, then it is them and not the unit.
05-02-2013 01:09 AM - edited 05-02-2013 01:14 AM
Well, my biggest gripe and so many others with these digital units is amplifying them. A lot of people I guess are getting used to or accepting wedge monitors for live applications which I thought would never happen. Once the higher end modelers like Axe users started incorporating them, the rest of the modeling world started to give in and think this is the way to go. Most of the improvements and feedback from vendors and designers to solve the problem of guitar cab amplification went dead silent.
Axe II or Kemper, FRFR monitor wedges it's still a very strange way to go. I never get along with compression horns ffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffff sound for a guitar amp. I don't much like piezo horns in bass cabs either. Late model coaxial speakers might have solved some guitar cab problems but these are mostly designed for PA and you have to drive the hell out of them. (200-250wrms each vs 30-60w speakers in traditional guitar cabs).
I have used VHT tube rack amps and the latest solid state amplifiers for these to be ran with guitar cabs. Even with the VHT and tube output, it's not as harmonically resolved for me. I know plenty of others feeling the same. High gain is less of a problem than lower gain and moderate gains.
As much as I love this digital stuff there are still some things that need to be resolved. Cabinet modeling requires Axe horspower to start with. Two Notes rack cabinet modelers are a prime example. But then , that's $2300 for Axe, and another $2200 for a cab modeling preamp, not to mention the new CLR's (pair of those sets a guy back 2 Grand), and the controller another $700. That's about 7k plus to go full on.
It's not cheap when its all said and done, so its always been my thing to get on these designers more about what lacks in their products than to ONLY sing the praises they already get. Kind of keeping things on the fire as they say. Otherwise you can end up with as is units and the advancements required to make things better will get to a snails pace.
When I bought the first Axe FX it had a lot of praise but there was also a fair amount of great input on what can be resolved to make it better. These days there is less of that. The units have improved too, but I am no different about Fractal or Line 6 than I will be with Kemper. At the KPA forums discussions about what to do to make the profiling sampling better are commonplace.... even when the unit is stellar out of the gate.
For me its like guys in daw forums. Every last one has members looking to resolve any issues and constraints in the design performance or gui, etc. I can sing the praises of Pro Tools, Cubase, Waves, and Sonar, or I can be more objective and illustrate its problems along with that. For some you get the Debby Downer effect, but later on you get gratitude for pointing out those issues and pressing for fixes. It's the bigger reasons Daw success has been natively in design software. I am also big with video editing etc and we chase down a lot of Abobe's Suites issues. Great products regardless.
Fractal needs to do more on the editor interface too. Ever since 07 with the first version, It's always been some beta and buggy. Little better now, but there still are issues many many overlook. Had that been Line 6 with buggy interfaces we all know the sh!t would hit the fan.
Again, the beaty of units like the Axe FX and other digital gear is they have the ability to make significant improvements. I just wonder if the end of the production is close with the Axe II. Ultras and Standards were discontinued after firmware #11. Otoh, there hasn't been as much change is DSP from AD for a while. I would assume any re design is going to be of the later spec DSP's, so it may be a while for a Axe III.
Enjoy the Axe II, but do yourself and the digital community a favor and always express the details and finer points you find lacking. It's very important to the success and future movement of digital gear.
05-02-2013 06:59 PM
Well to me, the axe fx or kemper sounds so much better with a FRFR setup because it does not "color" the sound like any guitar amp would. Now if you are only using effects, then sure, it will sound great with a tube amp and 4 cable method.
But I like getting the best of the axe fx functions ...and of course that is the best way to go through a PA system..... with FRFR.
If you are wanting to use an axe fx with a tube amp, then the best way is to simply use the 4 cable method and just use it's effects....which are absolutely incredible...comparable to high end lexicon and eventide units.
But while I understand that it is important to make improvements, I also think that sometimes people "hear" what they really want to "hear".....if it is digital equipment, it gets a far WORSE review if people prefer tube amps.Just the way it is....no matter HOW GOOD the modeler in question may be.
Though some tube amps can also sound like crap and that is just a fact. It all depends on what tube amp you are talking about. Just being a tube amp does not make it automatically better or worse than modeling.
You have to keep this in mind, when looking at modeling. Not all tube amps are good and not all modelers are bad.
06-07-2013 04:26 PM
06-07-2013 04:30 PM
06-07-2013 06:32 PM
I've used the Axe-FX for a few years. My current rig is both direct using an Atomic FRFR for backline, as well as a Matrix poweramp going into a EVL-12 cab. The sound out of both is fantastic. I get more compliments from the crowd then I ever did from using my real amps, plus the convenience of having so many tones/effects available from a footstomp is priceless.
Every now and then I head into NYC and go to Ultrasound to play through walls of boutique amps. The feeling of a 4x12 moving air really is a great experience, but lets face it, anyone in the crowd more than 20 feet from the stage only hears the miced sound anyway, which is where the Axe excels. Also, for recording, its a blessing to have the same exact tone and volume available months after a recording by simply recalling a patch. Just my opinion...
06-07-2013 08:51 PM - edited 06-07-2013 08:55 PM
@Nagol5178....It is FACT not FICTION that you do not get the exact same sound if you use a guitar amp going through a PA in the front of house!
Sorry, but that is simply a fact!
I don't miss anything using an FRFR, maybe it is the settings you have? I love knowing what I am using is the EXACT sound the audience will be hearing because there is no guitar amp to color the sound. Different strokes.
And as was stated, the audience may or may not hear a miced amp after 20 feet so who really cares?
To me, it is the end result of what comes out of the PA and that is where the axe fx is excellent!
06-07-2013 10:25 PM
I'm not sure what you are saying. I said that you do not get the same sound.
The audience hears what comes through the PA. But if what is coming through the PA is a Mic'd guitar cab, that sounds different than an emulated guitar cab in the Axe Fx. It just does.
So for me, the end result, is the mic that's on the guitar cab. I see the Axe FX as just a pre amp. But that is how I work. Some of my favorite bands use it and run direct. Or they will use a power amp and cab to monitor it but then run direct for the PA. Some mic the cab and then run the other one direct. So, they have both sounds.
A lot of people are doing that, because they like the way it sounds mic'd through the Cab through the PA, but then they run the other output to the PA direct.
Everything influences the sound of what comes through the PA. So if you add a guitar cab, along with a specific guitar cabinet microphone, like an E906, that won't sound like if you simply choose the same emulated cab and mic on the Axe fx. It doesn't have the same powerful sound to it. And it doesn't feel the same.
And the audience can feel it also, through the PA. Especially good PA systems, because that guitar speaker through that E906 or Sm57 is going out to them through those speakers extremely loud and they are feeling it. And it sounds raw and powerful.
Or, you can run direct, and it never sounds that way for me. My favorite band runs direct. But I'm not a fan of it myself. I want the audience to hear the tone that I think I have perfected with my set up. Which needs to be heard through the speaker cabinet and an e906 and Sm57 going to the board.
06-08-2013 04:25 PM
1. To say that you have to have a amp to "sound powerfui" is reallly stupid.
2. There are pro groups going DIRECT to FOH using the axe fx only and they sound fantastic.
3. The audience could not care less WHAT kind of modeler you are using.
4. What you have may work for YOU. that does not mean it will work for everyone.
5. it is a fcat not fiction that using a modeler through a guitar amp of any kind colors the sound that goes out to the PA!
6. "feel" is subjective just like tone is.
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