Axefx Standard and Ultra Owners Unite! (A Fractal Gen-1 Users Gathering)

chrishurley

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
945
The Ultra sure does sound lousy... I don't know how they got away with selling these. The newer models are finally starting to sound decent. The Ultra sounds so bad, anybody that still has one should be lucky to get 100usd for it. You should sell them now because they will be completely worthless soon. Wink wink. Wink wink. Haha.

I'm continuing to think about a knob controller for my Ultra and Fm3. I have decided that I will use real pots instead of encoders because they better recreate the traditional Amp experience. I have gotten my sysex code working to be able to control Amp block parameters from knobs and am now working on logistics for how many knobs, leds, switches. Etc.
 

JasonE

Member
Messages
709
The Ultra sure does sound lousy... I don't know how they got away with selling these. The newer models are finally starting to sound decent. The Ultra sounds so bad, anybody that still has one should be lucky to get 100usd for it. You should sell them now because they will be completely worthless soon. Wink wink. Wink wink. Haha.

I'm continuing to think about a knob controller for my Ultra and Fm3. I have decided that I will use real pots instead of encoders because they better recreate the traditional Amp experience. I have gotten my sysex code working to be able to control Amp block parameters from knobs and am now working on logistics for how many knobs, leds, switches. Etc.

A controller like that sounds like a really cool idea.
 

stratzrus

Philadelphia Jazz, Funk, and R&B
Gold Supporting Member
Messages
23,646
I felt that way with my Ultra. I bought mine in late 2010 not knowing that the second version was not too far off. I didn't get nearly as long on the updates as those that got in at the beginning. I felt slighted that my unit was sort of cast to the side to focus on and support the new shiny unit. I understand the need to focus on the new stuff to advance it. I still feel like at the cost of these units it would have been nice to have longer support for those that bought in closer to the release of a new unit. I stayed away from Fractal after that and had a bit of an attitude about the whole thing.

As I understand it, discontinuing firmware updates for the Ultra was not because they were focusing on the new stuff but the CPU had been maxed out and couldn't handle the firmware for the II.

...thinking about getting the Ax III. If I do that I will have to get the FC12 and rack it so I can gig it.

The III and FC12 is a great rig. While the first generation stuff can still sound great if you know what to do with it, the III/FC12 combination is not only easier to dial in but the flexibility of the FC12 allows the player to configure the rig to his or her own preferences in ways that couldn't be done before.

I think the Standard and Ultra are still great units and wouldn't hesitate to use one though.
What does the routing look like- which amps are in that stereo rig? I've never really locked in on a dual amp preset. I've seen them in the stock presets but never hit one that floored me.

I don't know about "floored" but I've always liked the Jim and Leo preset once you dial it in to your own preferences.
 

Elric

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
5,514
The Ultra sure does sound lousy... I don't know how they got away with selling these. The newer models are finally starting to sound decent. The Ultra sounds so bad, anybody that still has one should be lucky to get 100usd for it. You should sell them now because they will be completely worthless soon. Wink wink. Wink wink. Haha.

I'm continuing to think about a knob controller for my Ultra and Fm3. I have decided that I will use real pots instead of encoders because they better recreate the traditional Amp experience. I have gotten my sysex code working to be able to control Amp block parameters from knobs and am now working on logistics for how many knobs, leds, switches. Etc.
FWIW, Al Grenadine (who did FracPad and Fractool) built one of these (for the II) and sold it for a while.
 

JasonE

Member
Messages
709
FWIW, Al Grenadine (who did FracPad and Fractool) built one of these (for the II) and sold it for a while.


This would have made gigging with my Ultra so much easier. I struggled a lot with being able to make some tweaks on the fly like that. I finally gave up on it and just relegated it to a home use item after not being able to do what I wanted to with it. I had to keep my laptop connected to the Ultra at gigs to make tweaks. I hated that. This unit looks very cool and solves some issues in the UI from what I can see.

The new UI and knob layout on the current units also solves these same issues, IMHO.
 

chrishurley

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
945
FWIW, Al Grenadine (who did FracPad and Fractool) built one of these (for the II) and sold it for a while.

yeah- I had one. Super cool device. I think I will prefer having real amp knobs (ala Amplifire), so thats the plan. I'll have some way to indicate what the stored position is for times when the knob is out of sync. I don't view that as a lot worse than having to look at a screen to see where the knob currently is and I much prefer having the regular knobs.

I'm also planning to have my controller store amp presets or channels. I'm not fixed on how it will function just yet but I know I can store the knob positions that I read and transmit so I can recall and transmit them. I need to study the faceplate real-estate and see if I want to have multiple sets of amp controls (like a virtual Egnater IE4 but where I mute, send the knob settings, then unmute) or what. I've got 1U enclosures at the moment, so that will be a limiting factor.

Its just a hobby project to do for fun.
 

chrishurley

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
945
The Ultra continues to deliver... I've been using my FM3 for delay and reverb with my stereo amp rig. It sits on top of my amp head like a POD or something like that. I've fallen in love with this 2290 Delay model in the FM3 and use it all the time.

... and then I remembered the old thread where people shared their recipes for famous effects. I hunted and there is actually even a stock Ultra patch called 2290 Delay. It nails that sound. I am wanting this delay on all the time- it just sounds awesome all the time.

This 2290-style delay has the repeats out of phase, so they sound like they are coming from somewhere else. Very cool.

My favorite general reverb in the FM3 is "Wide Hall"- just a nice stereo space to play in. I spent some time in the Ultra with headphones and got really close to it- so close that I can't tell the difference. I copied as many settings from the FM3 as I could and then tuned it by ear.

As a bonus, I dialed up the "Brown" model as a preamp and have that running back out in stereo bliss to FX returns on my two modular amps and my head just wants to explode. "Brown" is very close to my Randall Brahma preamp module- a desert island tone for me.

I wish the price of these units would drop just a hair more so I could grab a second one...
 

JasonE

Member
Messages
709
I wish the price of these units would drop just a hair more so I could grab a second one...

I have decided that I am going to sell my Ultra. I am not sure where you are located but I am in South Florida and will be looking for a local sale. I have a number of things that I plan to bundle with it if someone wants the. I have a Ground Control Pro and two expression pedals and the cabling to hook it all up. I even have the manuals for this stuff... :) Now I have to figure out how much I need to get out of it.
 

RevDrucifer

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
3,234
I have decided that I am going to sell my Ultra. I am not sure where you are located but I am in South Florida and will be looking for a local sale. I have a number of things that I plan to bundle with it if someone wants the. I have a Ground Control Pro and two expression pedals and the cabling to hook it all up. I even have the manuals for this stuff... :) Now I have to figure out how much I need to get out of it.

I'm in Ft Lauderdale and check on Craigslist/FB marketplace daily; I've only seen maybe 3-4 Fractal units in the last couple of years and they've all been fairly laughable with pricing in comparison to what you can find on Reverb/forums. But good luck, mang!
 

JasonE

Member
Messages
709
I'm in Ft Lauderdale and check on Craigslist/FB marketplace daily; I've only seen maybe 3-4 Fractal units in the last couple of years and they've all been fairly laughable with pricing in comparison to what you can find on Reverb/forums. But good luck, mang!

I always check sold listings on Reverb and Ebay when pricing things. I will be reasonable with it. I just have to figure out what all pieces to put in this bundle. Someone may just want the Ultra without the other stuff. I even have a MIDI splitter for it so you can run the USB converter and the foot controller at the same time. I put this all together years ago as a gig rig. It just didn't work well for me so it never got any real play time.
 

chrishurley

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
945
I don't think I've mentioned it here- I may be repeating myself. I recently attempted to use the Ultra with a headphone amp (that will remain nameless) and I found myself in the position of needing to select an IR. I don't generally play FRFR or headphones, having long given up on that in preference of just using a real cab for my personal enjoyment.

The Ultra doesn't have 1000 cabs. It has just a handful. I picked through and found one that worked and moved right on. There was no need to cycle through 100 cabs to see is this one a little better than that one, or was the other a little better. One cab sounded considerably different and to my tastes, so I picked it and played guitar.

Its kind of refreshing...
 

chrishurley

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
945
I traded my Axe-FX3 for an FM3 and now I've sold that as well. The Ultra has been handling my effects and faux-tube-preamp duties for a few weeks now. I wondered how much horsepower it had- I more than filled up a screen with blocks so I think that will be workable.

Previously when I had the Ultra and something else, it was a constant battle over which to use. Problem solved. Its the Ultra.
 

Lopp

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
527
I traded my Axe-FX3 for an FM3 and now I've sold that as well. The Ultra has been handling my effects and faux-tube-preamp duties for a few weeks now...
Interesting. People usually go in the opposite direction: Ultra -> FM3 or Axe-Fx III.
 

chrishurley

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
945
Interesting. People usually go in the opposite direction: Ultra -> FM3 or Axe-Fx III.

I have owned them all multiple times, except the FX8. I've been trying to escape the cult for years and I've finally done it. I no longer have any reason to see what updates have occurred to newer devices. I can settle in and just get the most out of the Ultra. Stupid? I know.
 
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chrishurley

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
945
I printed and bound the Ultra manual today- looking forward to studying what all has been forgotten about this thing.
 

rkbrock

Member
Messages
269
Nice work on the continued digging and bringing back some of these old treasure troves of knowledge. For years I used to peruse a mega thread talking about people's favorite amps and stuff when ever i was feeling gas for the ll and then the lll. It kept the ultra new to me seeing eveveryone's thoughts and tricks. Hard to beleive that was over a decade ago....

It would be nice if we could pdf or something these reference materials.
 

chrishurley

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
945
Nice work on the continued digging and bringing back some of these old treasure troves of knowledge. For years I used to peruse a mega thread talking about people's favorite amps and stuff when ever i was feeling gas for the ll and then the lll. It kept the ultra new to me seeing eveveryone's thoughts and tricks. Hard to beleive that was over a decade ago....

It would be nice if we could pdf or something these reference materials.

Looking through the manual and the wiki is exactly as you describe! Its like this is a new unit!
 




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