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Axe-Fx II - Sticker shock (should I pull the trigger?)

Artb

Member
Messages
671
Recently, I was able to put together enough funds for a big gear purchase (something that doesn't happen often). I've spent the last couple of months researching the Axe Fx II and thought I had my heart set on it.

Last week, I had it (and the MFC-101 footswitch) in the shopping cart and was ready to check out. Then I found out that I'd need to pay like $70 for GROUND shipping, which pushed the bottom line up over $3000. This gave me a rather sudden and acute case of sticker shock. :omg On top of that, I'd need to also buy an FRFR solution so I could gig with it, which would push it up to closer to $4k by the time I'm done.

As if that weren't enough, I'm really liking the new Soldano models Line6 just put out for the Pod HD.

SO.... given the fact that it could be a really long time before I can get this much cash together for gear again, should I reconsider and jump on the Fractal train? Is it worth jumping over that large barrier to entry?

<TL;DR>
I'm sticker shocked by the price of putting together an Axe-Fx rig. Is it worth the investment, or should I just invest a killer tube amp?

Thanks in advance for your words of encouragement or discouragement!
-Art
 

zentman

Member
Messages
1,347
Do you really NEED the pedal? I use a FCB1010 and it does fine. With the new "scenes" FW coming it will do a whole bunch more for live. One button will switch tons of stuff per patch.
 

Will Chen

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
7,098
Honestly, the head to head pricing between it and the Kemper was a big deciding factor for me. But like the others have said, you've priced the total system at about the highest level possible. I just got an FCB1010 as well. Fantastic affordable option for controlling any MIDI device. You're also budgeting $1000 for FRFR, clearly you're playing your HD500 through something currently...
 

zentman

Member
Messages
1,347
I put out a "wanted to buy" ad on my local Craig's list and a guy called with a FCB1010 in a box for 75 bucks. Bought the Uno chip for 11 bucks and never looked back. Two years without a hitch.
 
Last edited:
Messages
3,765
As soon as you can realize that the normal price comparison of gear doesn't really apply to the axe-fx, you'll realize the price is perfect.

Unlike other guitar gear like tube amps, speakers, cabs...etc, the axe fx is an all-in-one solution for everything, even effects and mics.

Your spending a lot of money, but far less then if you were to shuffle through dozens of boutique pedals, amps, speakers, cables (interconnect), mics, recording gear, rack gear, cabs, ... it goes on.
 

Artb

Member
Messages
671
You're also budgeting $1000 for FRFR, clearly you're playing your HD500 through something currently...
Good point. However, I've only been playing my Pod through my computer. I've never plugged it into anything else, or even considered using it live.

I've been looking at the Mackie HD1221, and admittedly, I'm highballing the price. It appears to be around $800 everywhere.
 

Artb

Member
Messages
671
Do you really NEED the pedal? I use a FCB1010 and it does fine. With the new "scenes" FW coming it will do a whole bunch more for live. One button will switch tons of stuff per patch.
Awesome! I've been looking at the Fractal forums for a while now, but had never heard of the FCB1010. I might need to look into that....
 

Jim Soloway

Member
Messages
14,630
I know nothing about foot pedals, so I won't comment on that aspect, but I've had a couple years of experimenting with cabs and amps for modeling. That's the one part of the budget that I would suggest keeping as high as possible no matter what the rest of the rig may be. I've said it many times around here: no modeler can ever sound better than the output system you run it through. My modeler is only $400 new but my cab and power amp together sell for about $750 and I don't need a lot of volume. So don't skimp on that end no matter which modeler you end up with.
 

Artb

Member
Messages
671
I just remembered I have a dusty old Lexicon MXP R1 in my closet somewhere. After a quick look at the Fractal forum, it looks like that'll work just fine (at least until the switches fail).
 

Phostenix

Member
Messages
449
I use an old Roland FC-200 to control the Axe.

It does seem like a lot of money until you have it for a while & realize how much it can do & that Cliff just keeps improving it & that you really won't need to buy any other guitar gear again. Ever. Until the Axe-FX III comes out.
 

atquinn

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
9,749
Good point. However, I've only been playing my Pod through my computer. I've never plugged it into anything else, or even considered using it live.

I've been looking at the Mackie HD1221, and admittedly, I'm highballing the price. It appears to be around $800 everywhere.
Unless there's some reason you need to buy this stuff all at once, I would work on the amplification end first. You might find that your HD500 sounds great through the same system you would have been using for the Axe2. And I'll second everyone else's recommendations on the FCB1010. I have one with a EurekaProm that I use with my Axe2. Cost me ~$100 and works fine for my uses.
-
Austin
 

Macleod

Vendor
Messages
1,411
Do you really NEED the pedal? I use a FCB1010 and it does fine. With the new "scenes" FW coming it will do a whole bunch more for live. One button will switch tons of stuff per patch.
I've got an FCB1010 that I picked up with a used Eleven Rack I got offa Craigslist a couple months ago. The FCB is loaded with EurekaProm.
Haven't figured out how to get it to work with the AxeII I got at the beginning of the month... any tips on reprogramming or whatever needs to be done?
Would be great if I could get it to work with both the Axe and 11r.
 

zentman

Member
Messages
1,347
I used Ripwerx with my PC to set it all up two years ago. I am not sure it works with the Eureka prom. I have the Uno.
 

Will Chen

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
7,098
I've got an FCB1010 that I picked up with a used Eleven Rack I got offa Craigslist a couple months ago. The FCB is loaded with EurekaProm.
Haven't figured out how to get it to work with the AxeII I got at the beginning of the month... any tips on reprogramming or whatever needs to be done?
Would be great if I could get it to work with both the Axe and 11r.
If its an older Eureka, your probably out of luck. The older Eureka chips were dedicated to specific devices.
 

Will Chen

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
7,098
Could just get a newer chip. The Uno's are what 12 bucks now? Easy swap out I would think.
Oh, by all means a new chip could be bought. I meant programming it if it has an older Eureka chip. The newer Eureka chips have a generic programmable setting as does the stock chip and the UNO.
 

Scott Peterson

TGP Co-Founder and Administrator
Staff member
Messages
37,734
I'm a horrible enabler that went all in with the full direct-to-FOH/FRFR rig but did it over time; all I can say is once you get all the pieces... you really don't need any other pieces. And at least in my case, any issues over the prices and money invested goes completely out the window. It delivers big time in real life on the value front IMHO.

For example, I had to cover bass, acoustic and electric guitars on the last gig. One rig = perfect tool for all those jobs. And I mean that in every conceivable way. It's so versatile, efficient and IMHO worth every penny I've spent on it over the years. And it wasn't a compromise in any way; my rig is a fully professional solution for all those roles in real life gigging situations.

Is it expensive? Hell yes, it sure is. It is also a steal for what it can do and how well it can do it at the same time. (Sorry, enabler mode on full. ;) )

But it is what it is; and I understand moving in steps. I started with a Rocktron Midi-Mate and the Axe-FX Standard and moved from there one piece at a time.
 






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