Seeking advice from AxeFX owners

Seeking advice from AxeFX owners

Postby barefootdave » Sun Aug 12, 2012 7:03 am

Okay, so I am thinking I will pull the trigger on one of these today (gulp!) The AX-2 is $2199 so I think I will just go for that rather than take a chance on the Ultra not being enough, unless I hear strong arguments against that route.

I have spent about 10 hours this weekend listening to Vic on archive.org as well as many of the other examples that are out there, everything sounds great. My goal is to be able to get really close to "The Sound" without going to seriously loud volumes.

I currently run into a H&K ATS head (tube pre like the Bluesmaster JK uses --> 120w solid state power section) and into a 1x12 E120. That gets me close enough to be very satisfying but it has to be LOUD to sound right. I use a handful of pedals: Keely 4 knob compressor, Zen Drive, Boss GE-7, and a Pod XT Live for my envelope and rotary sounds. I typically use a Dr. Z 18w combo at gigs because the JG rig is just too loud.

My band plays smaller venues on the water in S Florida, and I can't run the kind of volume I want to without getting us banned from any future gigs. We are not purely a dead cover band, we do Pink Floyd, Neil Young, Tom Petty, Allmans, Phish, etc.

It looks like many of you have moved to the AxeFX over the past couple of years; while listening to Vic (you rock Vic!) I have gone through a bunch of old threads and found nothing to deter me from taking the leap.

Do any of you owners have any regrets about spending the dough? Are you getting what you thought you would? I already have a midi foot controller, so I am thinking I will skip the Fractal controller. I also already have a pair of Mackie 450w powered speakers that I would use with the AxeFX.

Should I do it?

Thanks!
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Re: Seeking advice from AxeFX owners

Postby JonnyBoy » Sun Aug 12, 2012 10:11 am

Hey Dave,

I have not pulled the trigger although I have come close 2 times. I already have some QSC K 12's, which you will want to have a FRFR monitor speaker with it, if Im not mistaken its what vic uses to monitor/stage volume. A few guys are getting awsome tone from it and its so easy to move, setup and remain full sounding at low/high volumes fo sure.

I think the question is the Dr.Z $2200 worse sounding than your big rig? You can sell off all your other stuff for sure, so that could be a wash in the end. I think I will move that way if I ever make enough to warrant the move.

I hope this thread doesn't tempt me....
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Re: Seeking advice from AxeFX owners

Postby jester536 » Sun Aug 12, 2012 11:47 am

I've been very happy with mine. Only regrets...wish I had waited a bit longer and got the most recent updated version. Really love the sound I get out of it. Vic was a great help. I don't think I've begun to scratch the surface of the capabilities of this thing.
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Re: Seeking advice from AxeFX owners

Postby jkstraw » Sun Aug 12, 2012 12:05 pm

I have the AxeFX II and love it! I have a few setups for mine:

1) As an an FX processor (going through an SMS, Rocktron Velocity 300 into a HT style cab with JBLs).
- I have patches that let me hear the goodness of the tube preamp and the JBL's behind me while sending the modelled preamp and JBL/cabs to the house PA

2) Super portable all in one rig (open stage nights, quick jams, etc) where everything is done through the AxeFX.
- I also use this all-in-one approach for recording
- I also use this for late night playing - loud tone at kid friendly volumes.

I would bite the bullet and grab the AxeFX II - higher resolution IRs for cabinets, tone matching (i.e. find a good quality Jerry solo and literally copy the tone...spooky!)

FWIW I am also building up an analog rig over time...but I am really glad I started with the AxeFX.

Cheers
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Re: Seeking advice from AxeFX owners

Postby strumminsix » Sun Aug 12, 2012 12:13 pm

Best advice , use it with a quality powered monitor and realize your tone always changes with volume.
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Re: Seeking advice from AxeFX owners

Postby playingdead » Mon Aug 13, 2012 10:31 am

Dave, I have not transferred my Garcia preset over to the AxeFX 2 because it works so well on the Ultra. I haven't really changed anything about it in the past couple of years. For gigging, it gives you 100 percent consistency to FOH regardless of stage conditions. I never touch anything at a gig, I have complete confidence that my guitar sounds right out front. I do use and recommend the QSC K12 speakers. Having your guitar sound in a full-range monitor pointing at you like a vocal wedge is a revolutionary experience onstage.

The 2 has many improvements, but I have not felt the urge to dive into the one I have had sitting here for months now.

As far as for other uses, either the Ultra or the 2 will offer you a limitless palette of amps and speakers to choose from. It's as versatile as you want it to be ... providing you have the time to master the learning curve and create your own tones, because the presets on both are fairly useless.

I believe there is still a trial period available, so it would be worth giving it an audition.

As far as integrating it into a rig using traditional power amps, preamps, speakers, etc., I think you are leaving a lot of its capabilities in the box if you do that. My recommendation would be to embrace it fully, dial it in and never have to worry about it again. That's from the standpoint of someone who gigs with it regularly. And yes, any MIDI controller will be fine, I use a Ground Control Pro with mine.
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Re: Seeking advice from AxeFX owners

Postby mrMix » Wed Aug 15, 2012 11:10 am

Anyone using the AxeFX in conjunction with Monitors AND a guitar with an OBEL? If so how are you routing the signal?
Thanks!
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Re: Seeking advice from AxeFX owners

Postby jkstraw » Wed Aug 15, 2012 4:36 pm

mrMix wrote:Anyone using the AxeFX in conjunction with Monitors AND a guitar with an OBEL? If so how are you routing the signal?
Thanks!


I am assuming you mean a patch that uses a traditional amp/cab AND monitors. I don't think it would be possible in that case because only one FX Loop block is possible.
Last edited by jkstraw on Thu Aug 16, 2012 7:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Seeking advice from AxeFX owners

Postby barefootdave » Wed Aug 15, 2012 5:30 pm

Strumminsix agreed to start a "sticky" AxeFX thread some time ago, but I never could find it. This might be a good time to begin!

MrMix, if you look back through Vic's (PlayinDead) posts, he is using it in exactly the manner you describe. He is using the first input/output for the OBEL, then going from the guitar output into the 2nd input, which is where his amp models live. Then on to output 2 to his powered monitors.

It looks like my AX2 will arrive tomorrow...
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Re: Seeking advice from AxeFX owners

Postby kralltime » Sun Aug 19, 2012 6:32 am

Anybody have any experience with the Kemper unit?
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Re: Seeking advice from AxeFX owners

Postby mrMix » Mon Aug 20, 2012 9:45 am

Been reading for over 2 weeks about the AxeFX - and my interest is way up (ugh). Any thoughts to share on the Ultra vs. the II?
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Re: Seeking advice from AxeFX owners

Postby strumminsix » Mon Aug 20, 2012 10:50 am

barefootdave wrote:Strumminsix agreed to start a "sticky" AxeFX thread some time ago, but I never could find it. This might be a good time to begin!


Where and when did that happen? If someone wants to start a Jerry & AxeFx thread with setting and block diagrams and samples/videos to launch as a starting point to get it right, I'll be happy to sticky it!
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Re: Seeking advice from AxeFX owners

Postby playingdead » Mon Aug 20, 2012 8:06 pm

mrMix wrote:Been reading for over 2 weeks about the AxeFX - and my interest is way up (ugh). Any thoughts to share on the Ultra vs. the II?


Basically ... the Ultra has evolved as far as it ever will. It's very, very good -- I still gig with mine even though I bought an AxeFX II last year.

The II is still evolving. Unlike other companies, who will put out a product and then either never change it or charge for new features, when you buy the AxeFX the creator (Cliff) is constantly working on improving it, tweaking the simulations, adding new amps and speaker cabinets, coming up with new and improved effects and capabilities. So, it keeps getting better, and the firmware and updates and new presets are all free. Remarkable in this day and age. He just came out with a new firmware that people are saying revolutionizes the amp simulations.

The reason the II exists is Cliff ran out of horsepower on the Ultra and couldn't take it any further. If you have the cash for the II, I would recommend it. But the Ultra will keep you busy, for sure, too.
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Re: Seeking advice from AxeFX owners

Postby playingdead » Mon Aug 20, 2012 8:11 pm

barefootdave wrote:Strumminsix agreed to start a "sticky" AxeFX thread some time ago, but I never could find it. This might be a good time to begin!

MrMix, if you look back through Vic's (PlayinDead) posts, he is using it in exactly the manner you describe. He is using the first input/output for the OBEL, then going from the guitar output into the 2nd input, which is where his amp models live. Then on to output 2 to his powered monitors.

It looks like my AX2 will arrive tomorrow...


This is how the basic preset is organized:

Image

The effects loop "block" places the second set of ins and outs where you want them in the preset. The first input is to the far left, on the bottom, it runs through all the effects blocks (octave, envelope, overdrive, phaser, wah, delay) and then to the effects loop block.

Don't be confused by the "send" and "return" blocks in that lower grouping, that just routs the signal up to the second row of blocks, it doesn't do anything physically.

When the guitar's OBEL is engaged, the signal is coming into the AxeFX on input 1, and leaving out of the effects loop, to go back into the guitar. The guitar main output is plugged into input 2, and that signal is always connected to the first set of outputs (far left). So, loop engaged, you're getting the effects blocks. Loop off, you're just getting the blocks on the upper right (amp, cabinet, reverb, EQ, etc.).

It does Jerry well ... this is direct to the board.



I have not tried to build a Garcia preset on the II yet. I will, eventually.
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Re: Seeking advice from AxeFX owners

Postby barefootdave » Tue Aug 21, 2012 4:07 am

Looks like this could be the thread to "sticky" then!

Strummin I could go back and find the quote from you, but perhaps our time would be better spent looking forward.

Thanks Vic for getting me started, I will work with the settings you posted above.

I opened the box on Friday, was a little disappointed at first that it didn't sound as good as my current "real" Jerry rig, but within 24 hrs I had begun learning my way around and was getting excited. By the end of the weekend I had gone from "gosh I better return this while I can still get my money back" to "this may be the best purchase I ever made" !
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