• TGP is giving away a Strat, Tele, and Jazzmaster. Click Here for full details.
    Click Here to upgrade your account and enter today!

After 3 years with Axe Fx 2 I think I figured out my problem with these flagship modelers...

chrishurley

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
622
Yeah the Axe 3 would be great but at $2500-3000 used + a $1300 Freyette LX2 puts me WAY over budget (And at 4u is kinda pointless for a head like rack). $3800+

Then again $800 for a syn2, $1300 for the Freyette, and $600+ for two modules used is a bit cheaper for a 2U system in a head like rack (gemini-h is 250). $2950

The syn 50 head is $1600, apparently not made with Fryette consultation, unknown build quality given it seems nobody actually has one, and still needs at least another $400ish to make noises. $2000 - $2400.

Honestly its all a freaking crap shoot because we can't actually buy gear right now anyways. Especially if you are looking for freyette or synergy stuff... or Bogner... :(
So I'm chiming in here trying to help...

There is a company on Reverb that makes decent rack enclosures that are sort of like a head enclosure. I had them make me one without any covering a few months back (so I could duratex it- my Syn-2 and Fryette PS2 are in it). They just made me a 6U today for my Axe-FX III, Randall RM4 and power strip. I asked them to make it 13" instead of 12" and it was no problem. Its decent stuff- not high end. Cost me about $120USD shipped.

The Syn 50 does not have unknown build quality. It is built in the USA by Boutique Amp Distribution in the same factory as Friedman, The New Soldano stuff and others.

Bruce Egnater was involved in the design of the Synergy Heads. He is certainly a reputable figure. I think Dave Friedman was involved with the DI and its been getting a lot of attention lately as being very, very good, despite not being IRs. I've yet to try it but keep meaning to.

I'm not sure who else was involved but these are not random overseas amps designed by no-name people by any stretch. I've got a Syn-30 because I didn't want a head as big as the Syn-50. The construction looks like the Friedman JJ Jr I recently had. It should- it came from the same factory.

More people seem to go rack with the Synergy for whatever reason- probably because they want more channels. The heads look solid. I'm loving my Syn-30.
 

chrishurley

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
622
Have you owned the head by chance?

edit: Lol I think I asked you something similar on the Synergy thread in the Rack Forum :p
I've got a Syn-30 head, as well as a variety of older Randall modular stuff. Feel free to PM me if I can help.
 

texhex

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
842
The knobs and buttons are what make the Kemper UI so easy to use once you spend 3 days learning it. Want to edit your delay? Press the delay button. Know scrolling through a virtual signal chain to hi-light the delay block. Just press the delay button. And if all you need to edit are the delay mix/feedback, just use the dedicated knobs. Only use 6 or 7 different amp models? You can load only 6 or 7 amp models (or 1000) on the unit, making selection much easier. Only use 3 different delay settings? You can save those and pick from a much shorter list. Always use the same reverb setting? Lock that block and now your reverb stays the same across all rigs.
Lock feature is hands down my favorite thing about the Kemper. So easy to lock in pre and post effects and the IR and just cycle through amps and then save to a new Profile. Love it!
 

Occam

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
4,187
We've all got preferences. It took me about 2 years to bond with my Kemper but I had a lot of other options, still do and still adding more but I've found a use for it and it's amazing for what it does well. Sometimes I just want a tube amp. Sometimes I want a full-stack of volume, sometimes I want a simple 1 knob combo with no pedals...I like options but even that isn't for everyone. If you're not enjoying it or getting use from it, move on...no need to feel sentimental. For me, the Kemper sounds better than those iso boxes and until I build a large iso room I'll still use it often and even then I still love the stereo effects so I'd probably still use it.
 

jrjones

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
8,090
Only in the digital realm would people find this a flaw. Imagine some new tube amp released by some boutique builder that had great classic dimes Marshall tone with all knobs at noon, but unlike traditional Marshall amps, had a sizeable range of EQ options when you move away from noon? Folks would consider that a pro, not a con. "This thing has great Marshall tone, but it's EQ is just too useful, unfortunately".
Personally, I don’t find that incredibly useful. I might go as far as to say that it might turn me off. But for me the whole draw of a traditional amp is simplicity of being able to walk up to it and know exactly how it works without thinking. That’s neither here nor there though...I don’t own any tube amps anymore.
 

drbob1

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
26,902
It's not quite what you're thinking, but the old Tech 21 TM300 was reasonably light weight, 4 channels with slide switches to set them for voicing and gain (so easy to use on the fly) and simple knobs. Also lots of power.
 

cragginshred

Member
Messages
1,804
I've Owned:
Spider amp series -Walmart
Fractal from 2011 to FM3/Ax8 currently
Atomic -good but not great
Kemper -8d50% of the packs suck Fractal kills em overall

Current rig Friedman Jake E lee with Ax8 in the 4cm in the loop for effects

I use my FM8 for recording and low volume jamming!
 

Jabby92

Member
Messages
3,414
I simply don't like rack gear, giant floorboards, or computer editors. I like Amp heads, compact pedal boards (some digital) and simple knob turning while standing.

I fully realize this will likely never get made, but basically what I want is a nice looking Amp head with three channels, complete with traditional amp knobs for editing, where each channel can be a different "Axe FX 3 Quality" amp simulation.
Other features would be:
- Each channel would have knobs for Gain, Volume, Treble, Mid, Bass, Presence, etc.
- Looks like a high quality amp should (Think Mesa TC 50 for layout)
- Matrix level power amp that could be bypassed, or used in tandem with an XLR output, for FRFR.
- Global, or if possible individual Reverb algorithm for each channel.
- Completely gapless switching between channels
- Midi inputs with controls over channel switching, presets(different sets of three amps), etc.
- Effects loop.
- Up and down buttons on each channel that let you select the amp and a preset save button

Essentially what I am talking about is an Axe Fx Version of the Synergy 50 Head for those of us that still want an amp head, or combo.

The boss Katana is the closest to what I want but falls short of fractal in the sound and available amps area. Which is completely ok given its price point (Not hating on it at all, good piece of gear).

Anyways that is my rant after three years with the Axe FX2. I now await a Bogner Ecstasy 3534 if they ever start shipping them again...lol.

Oh, and an Axe FX 3 in a Rack headshell DOES NOT look, or function, like this,



and looks matter to me :).

Thoughts? (I fully expect to get tarred and feathered...)
Agree. I work on computers all day for a career/job and the last thing I want to do is sit down with my guitar and be staring at the floor all night trying to find 'my sound'. I can see the appeal of digital solutions and its definitely been a success for a lot of players.. but I'll always be an amp guy I think. The sound, feel and ease of use is all there for me.
 

ljholland

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
2,710
My powered Kemper is exactly this. I turn it on - adjust the basics with a few normal knobs and it sounds great into a real deal cabinet.
 
Messages
6,077
I fully realize this will likely never get made, but basically what I want is a nice looking Amp head with three channels, complete with traditional amp knobs for editing, where each channel can be a different "Axe FX 3 Quality" amp simulation.
Other features would be:
- Each channel would have knobs for Gain, Volume, Treble, Mid, Bass, Presence, etc.
- Looks like a high quality amp should (Think Mesa TC 50 for layout)
- Matrix level power amp that could be bypassed, or used in tandem with an XLR output, for FRFR.
- Global, or if possible individual Reverb algorithm for each channel.
- Completely gapless switching between channels
- Midi inputs with controls over channel switching, presets(different sets of three amps), etc.
- Effects loop.
- Up and down buttons on each channel that let you select the amp and a preset save button
<snip>
Thoughts? (I fully expect to get tarred and feathered...)
While it's certainly not all you want, the Avid Eleven Rack did a really good job of being a good sounding amp sim with instantly accessible knobs that match that of a real amp. I have one for my at home guitar rig and it does a great job of getting near instant good sounds.
 

DS007

Member
Messages
695
Guitarists are an interesting bunch. They want modern flexibility and capabilities. They also want it to look like something out of the 1960s.

Form is best when it follows function. Look at the phones we all use. To make a more versatile, powerful, useable device, the form factor had to change. When the first iPhone came out, Microsoft’s CEO said it would fail because it didn’t have a number pad with physical buttons. If your DVR worked just like your VHS player, would you be happy? If getting up to change the channel was required, would that feel more traditional and better?
As amazing as they are, the problem with modern phones is that they actually suck ergonomically speaking. The only reason screen protectors are truly necessary is that people always drop the effing things because: They aren't actually designed for human hands! One day soon we will all look back at our current phones and wonder why the hell did we use something like that. It could be done better from a purely ergonomic point of view.
Following along on the same idea, I've been noticing a trend around here of people asking for something very similar to what the op is asking for and I think it mostly has to do with many peoples desire for a very intuitive (knobs and switches) interface, and is all about the amp tones (rather than everything but the kitchen sink devices) I have zero doubt there is a market for a very amp like (design wise) multiple option device such as this.
 

Guitardave

Member
Messages
9,830
The older I get and longer I play, minimalism is what works best for me.......

Last gig pre-covid I played a minimalist pedalboard: guitar (electric and acoustic) > tuner > Barber LTD > Keeley Caverns > Shift Line Twin Pedal > splitter to stage mixer/FOH.

I found myself not wanting for a thing, setup was fast and clean, for acoustic I turned off the IR and dropped the volume a hair, and had more fun with less things to do vs play.

Hoping that the FM3 can replace this board and offer some benefit to this setup.
As long as you don't have to edit anything mid-song I'm sure it'll be fine.
 

Watt McCo

Member
Messages
10,306
As long as you don't have to edit anything mid-song I'm sure it'll be fine.
If you had to pick five parameters to have tweakable, Dave, which would they be? I ask because I'm thinking of using modifiers on the FM3 to give me five parameters assigned to the five knobs. I'm thinking:

Amp block input gain, drive block gain, drive block level, reverb mix, tremolo speed.

I'll have the tone stack on my powerstage 170 to tweak to room.

I may have expression pedal to handle tremolo depth.

Love to hear how you'd approach it :beer
 

LeoKnighus

Member
Messages
36
I agree. Giant crap is why i'll never get a Helix (unless lottery winnings). Boss GT1000 or Pod Go are where my sights lie (for compact pedalboard), if i decide to upgrade.

The lack of a friendly UI is what pushes me off the fractal stuff too. I want easy access to editing!
Got a Pod Go bout a month ago. It is great. I am a praise and worship player on sundays. I literally walk in with my gig-bag. Plug into a power source, tune and go. Therr is something very cool about not lugging amps, cabs, pedalboards, and hooking it all up. Plus, I have patches at my foot that cover everything from Voxs, and Fender Deluxes to modded Soldanos. Huge reverbs, modulated delays with tap tempos, and every stompbox, I need and 50 more, I'll probably never use. I dont have to worry about mic placement, bad cables, or 'stage volume'.

Dont get me wrong. I still love my amps, but to get a pro quality tone with no brain damage, or a soar back is pretty f-ing cool.
 

mody

Member
Messages
775
I'm an amp guy, I had a kemper for years, I thought it was a marvel of engineering and UI/UX design, but in the end, I don't want to spend money on expensive single point of concern computers.

Rather than replace the digital unit every 4 to 6 years I'd prefer to add a tube amp to the arsenal.
 

Baba

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
6,928
I'm an amp guy, I had a kemper for years, I thought it was a marvel of engineering and UI/UX design, but in the end, I don't want to spend money on expensive single point of concern computers.

Rather than replace the digital unit every 4 to 6 years I'd prefer to add a tube amp to the arsenal.
I used to think this way, but, I'm a live player, and even if I could replace a tube here and there, and fix a tube amp on a gig, that still takes more time than I usually have, to do it, so, whether it's a guitar or an amp/digital piece, if one goes, it's on to the backup, and I'm probably not fixing anything on the gig, so I don't worry about the single point of failure thing too much.

Besides, I haven't heard many (if any) horror stories of these devices simply not working.
 




Trending Topics

Top