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Sound Quality

Play mostly with a Gibson ES335, style rock/grunge/blues; sometimes with Fender Strat. My favourite live sounds are based on Van Halen's patches B and D. These patches sound good at room level but tend to become boomy yet brittle when turning the volume above 3. (Play live between 4 and 5 and this is loud.) You have to remember that this is a modelling amp. This means it can also emulate a tube amp which is about to blow and this AT ROOM LEVEL. This is the most amazing feature of a modeling amp because it actually gives you (an emulation of) sounds that you can never have AT ROOM LEVEL with real tube amps. On the other hand, I think this is also the reason why some guitarists who are used to tube amps feel it cannot stand up to the real tube magic. When they want that "magic" from their tube amps, they crank the volume up. When you crank up the volume on the AX2, however, you have to take into account the theory of Fletcher-Munson that says that our ears start to perceive the relative loudness of different frequencies differently. That is why a patch that sounds awesome at room volumes from the AX2 tends to sound boomy and yet brittle at gig levels. And therefore it fails the test with the real tube amp sounds. The solution, however, is inside the AX2: the equaliser. From the curves of Fletcher-Munson, you can derive an adjustement strategy for each of the different frequencies in the AX2' equaliser. In essence, you need to reduce the db of the bass frequencies and take a little of the high frequencies. This works very well for me. Sure, the tone is still just an emulation of the real tube tone. But it sounds awesome on its own and better and warmer than most non-tube amps I have heard. It is good enough for me, and in fact I am very happy with my AX2 because I can practise at home at low levels and have approximately the same sound as during live gig levels.

Reliability/Durability

So far I have had no problems and never had to use my backup amp (H&K). The floorboard need to be maintained; tightening the screws.

General Comments

It's not the most solid and durable construction. It's basically a computer inside so treat it with respect.




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