jkstraw wrote:Thanks for the response man - out of curiosity what did you mic your 2x12 cab with (and modeled mic in the axefx) when you did the comparison?
I close-miked the cab with a new Shure SM-57 for the comparison. I don't use a mic model in the AxeFX when I play, I like the impulse response of the E-120 without the mic simulation on there, even though there is a Sennheiser 421 model, as well as a bunch of others. I like the Neumann U87 mic model for other things, though.
At the same time I made the comparison files, I was testing recording the E-120 at various volumes using the power amp. I recorded everything from moderate "bedroom" level to loud to "stupid loud" where the cones were really rocking back and forth like Garcia's used to (my power amp is 800 watts). I did that to see if really pushing the JBLs hard would magically add more Jerry to the tone; to my ears, it didn't. Not only that, but the E-120s really do not add any distortion no matter how hard you push them, because other than having to adjust the recording levels, there wasn't any discernible difference in the recorded tone (there was a difference in the tinnitus it gave me, even with earplugs in).
Mike makes a good point; the real strength of the AxeFX is not that it can do a convincing Garcia tone, it's that it can do that, plus a whole lot more ... I'm really convinced that there is not an amp or effect that this box can't model if you just put the time into it. You can do the simplest Angus Young crunch to the most complicated The Edge stereo 10-tap delay heavy effects craziness, all with no pedals, extra amps and rack gear. That's worth the price of admission.
I'll include a quote from Dweezil Zappa, who is currently touring with his "Zappa Does Zappa" show. This is not long after he bought the AxeFX and took it into Frank's "Utility Muffin Research Kitchen" studio to start modeling tones.
"I currently have a very large and involved "Analog" guitar rack which has a collection of rare gear of my Dad's and some very sophisticated routing possibilities via 2 Switchblades. The flow chart of that rig is enough to make your head spin. It is also extremely heavy and cost prohibitive to ship over seas for touring. I needed to find a solution. I found it in 2 rack spaces... just like all of you. I can recreate the vast majority of all of my "Analog" rig tones with the Ultra. Cliff is an evil genius!"
This "was" Dweezil's touring rig.