Axe Xl Fw 9.03 -v- Helix Fw 2.30 => Dc30 Ch 1 And Trainwreck .... Crunchy Crunchy Crunch !

Discussion in 'Digital & Modeling Gear' started by benifin, Jan 1, 2018.


  1. benifin

    benifin Supporting Member

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    Hey all

    See S/Cloud .WAV file clip below.

    -> all Crunch clips :) :aok
    -> same guitar / same Cab and Cab settings for all / same G / B / M / T / P / C / MV for each amp and modeller / all other modeller settings set to Stock / Unchanged *
    *
    only 1 exception is that on the Axe, the "new Speaker Comp" which defaults to 3 was set to 0 ... as to my ears at 3 its just too compressed / squashed / mushy
    -> no efx / rev / delay / comps / noise gates etc......
    -> just RAW tone
    -> no Cab Hi / Lo cuts - Cabs used were 2 x Michael Britt Cabs ..... "MB Vox Blend 3" and "MB Mult 2 Brt" 50/50 mix summed to 0db

    Clips are as follows:-

    -> Clip 1 = DC30 CH1 A - Axe
    -> Clip 2 = DC30 CH1 B - Axe
    -> Clip 3 = Trainwreck Express A - Axe
    -> Clip 4 = Trainwreck Express B - Axe
    -> Clip 5 = Trainwreck Express C - Axe
    -> Clip 6 = Trainwreck Express D - Axe

    -> Clip 7 = DC30 CH1 A - Helix
    -> Clip 8 = DC30 CH1 B - Helix
    -> Clip 9 = Trainwreck Express A - Helix
    -> Clip 10 = Trainwreck Express B - Helix
    -> Clip 11 = Trainwreck Express C - Helix
    -> Clip 12 = Trainwreck Express D - Helix




    To my ears, the Helix just sounds "thicker" with "more body" ..... more "guitar" if you will ...... but of course as always, its a personal "ear thing" :)

    Through my CLR up loud, they both sound glorious !!! :) :)

    For me, with the exception of the sheer number of amps available, and with FW 2.30 now here, there is simply no reason ... sonically or otherwise to now keep my Axe XL

    Peace to all :)

    Ben
     
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  2. nicolasrivera

    nicolasrivera Member

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    Fractal sounds better.
     
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  3. arislaf

    arislaf Member

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    C
    Clear curiosity; you heard them?:D:p
     
  4. dmock66

    dmock66 Member

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    lol!!!!
     
  5. benifin

    benifin Supporting Member

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    Right on queue Nicholas :) :aok Happy New Year !!!!
     
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  6. LaXu

    LaXu Member

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    Listening thru a pair of Genelec M040 studio monitors, the Fractal sounds better to me. The Helix has this mid push that I find too nasal. Overall the Fractal seems more defined.

    In my experience the same settings on Fractal and Helix do give different results even with the same IR. On the models I've tried Helix has more gain at the same setting and the EQ differs a bit. Tuning the sound by ear would get them very close to each other.
     
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  7. MatchFive

    MatchFive Silver Supporting Member

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    You mean "To you Fractal sounds better"?

    They sound almost identical to me.

    Helix has a better UI and costs less.. Hmmm, think I'll go with Helix..
     
  8. Jarrett

    Jarrett Member

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    Both sound great. Good time to be a guitar player, at least tonally. Sucks on the gig front.
     
  9. phil_m

    phil_m Supporting Member

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    I do hear the difference in the mid-range people mention, and I think I actually prefer the way the Helix renders it. I think that's one reason I always think Helix tones sound more like raw amp tones to me than the Axe-FX tones. But, regardless, they're still very close. In the real world, no one would care one way or the other.
     
  10. Brandon7s

    Brandon7s Member

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    I am actually surprised at how much better the Fractal sounds here with the DC30. It has a lot more harmonic content in the upper ranges. Could just be the way the amp presets are tuned. Equal knob settings on two different modellers rarely sound terribly close in my experience. The Helix is sounding very nasally here and I think if the treble and presence was kicked up a bit then it'd be a lot more difficult to hear the difference.

    The trainwreck clips both sounded close enough that I wouldn't be able to guess which one was which.
     
  11. Souper

    Souper Member

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    This ones easy. Both sound boring. And there is the issue, if its not the sound you like, it doesnt matter how much technology you use. And I have no doubt Id find this sound from a tube amp boring too. Doesnt matter what technology you pay for, it needs to make an interesting sound for you. My zoom g5 makes better sounds than those, because I make patches that I like the sound of. My zoom was much cheaper than both.
     
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  12. mikah912

    mikah912 Member

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    The sounds are quite similar, but I was surprised the more smoothed out of the two consistently was....the Helix?!? Kinda goes contrary to conventional wisdom about it always being "fizzier" or "brighter" than the "studio mixed/smoothed out" Fractal tones.
     
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  13. AZG

    AZG Member

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    I agree that tuning by ear would be more interesting. Also a blind a/b test is more useful since it removes bias. Nevertheless, both sound good.
     
  14. ColdFrixion

    ColdFrixion Member

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    The only way to really ensure people's impressions aren't being influenced by some sort of bias is simply not to divulge which samples belong to which modeler. In my own blind testing, I found the Helix had slightly more going on in the mids with less top end than the Axe samples. This was more prominent in the DC30 samples than the Trainwreck. The Axe samples had less energy in the 30Hz - 70Hz range. In my attempts to identify the sample with the most clarity, I consistently seemed to pick the Axe, which is likely due to the more prominent top end. Undoubtedly, that played a role in influencing my preference. There were other differences, like the more prominent note attack of the Axe's DC30 samples, but on the whole I thought the Trainwreck samples sounded closer than the DC30 samples.
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2018
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  15. djd100

    djd100 Member

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    More tube amp like detail in the Axe, though just playing a few first position chords proves absolutely nothing (unless of course that's all you ever play LOL)!

    This test does show why Helix did not work for me personally though, in spite of Helix's admittedly better feature set (relays, loops), and price point.
     
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  16. mikah912

    mikah912 Member

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    You do realize this is a snapshot of two models with two particular IRs, right? You could simply turn up the Helix presence and/or treble. There's no "signature sound" on display from either unit here. In fact - as I noted - it actually runs contrary to the popular wisdom of what the respective engines sound like.

    This test just shows what they sound like set to the same EQ markings....nothing more, nothing less.
     
  17. Ni6htWalker

    Ni6htWalker Member

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    nope they doesnt sound almost identical to me,i dont really care about UI or price,i want the best sound and for me Fractal Audio devices sound and feel much better than the Helix.

    i get this facebook message some months ago for an italian guitar player that own all 3 devices.

    Dear John, I prefer AX8 for audio quality, but Headrush is much more confortable on stage.
    If I need to change something is very easy and fast.
    Changing parameters with AX8 on board is not intuitive.
    Furthermore AX8 as a gap when you change the amp block.
    Could not be a problem but you have to take care... not easy.
    For my Trio I prefer HR, I can't have any gap and I like the audio quality.
    Helix has less audio quality and it give me a bad feeling in terme of robustness.
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2018
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  18. mikah912

    mikah912 Member

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    Guess that settles it, then. :D:confused:

    Of course, we know who that guy is and what's attached to his opinions. Already been discussed at length around these parts.
     
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  19. MatchFive

    MatchFive Silver Supporting Member

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    The Axe-FX has a built in smiley face EQ.. lol
     
  20. MatchFive

    MatchFive Silver Supporting Member

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    You're right. The Zoom is better..
     

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