Headphones with an AX8

Discussion in 'Digital & Modeling Gear' started by Noise Under The Floor, May 1, 2016.

  1. Noise Under The Floor

    Noise Under The Floor Supporting Member

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    I currently don't have an AX8 but I'm curious for those of you that do, how are you getting around the no dedicated headphone output jack? I'm reading conflicting reports on the Fractal forum about the Y cable method. Some say it works great, others say it sounds terrible and you need to run the main outs into a headphone amp or mixer first. What are you AX8 users here doing who use headphones?

    Apparently I was on the wait list and didn't know it....not sure when/how/why I signed up but I got an invitation Friday. I actually thought it was a scam at first, I seriously don't ever remember signing up lol. I'm considering ordering it.
     
  2. AZG

    AZG Supporting Member

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    Personally I think the most flexible solutions are using a cheap mixer like the Mackie 402VLZ4 or a recording interface like the Focusrite 6i6, but headphones like the Blue Mo-Fi that have a built in preamp also work great with most any sound source.
     
  3. Noise Under The Floor

    Noise Under The Floor Supporting Member

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    That's what I've been reading, but I honestly don't feel like spending even more money if I've already laid out $1400 for a modeling device like the AX8 just to be able to use it with headphones. I have a decent Presonus interface, which I what I'll probably use. It just seems really lame there's no dedicated headphone output on the AX8. A lot of the guys on the Fractal Forum are praising the Blue Mo-Fi headphones, but that's another few hundred dollars. I'm really specifically wondering about who has actually gone the Y cable route though.
     
  4. jageya

    jageya Member

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    i second that.On a unit at $1400 and a modeler there is no excuse to NOT have a dedicated headphone out. You can bet the ax8mk2 will likely have one.
     
  5. Noise Under The Floor

    Noise Under The Floor Supporting Member

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    Maybe I'll end up on the wait list for one without remembering how too lol.
     
    Last edited: May 1, 2016
  6. AZG

    AZG Supporting Member

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    It's designed and marketed primarily as a device for playing live, so not a shocker it doesn't have a headphone out. Many cheap and easy ways to use headphones with it if you want to including a cheap Y cable. Works fine if your headphones are efficient enough or powered like the Mo-Fi's. IMO the compromise is more than worth it to get the best tones, feel and effects on the market in a smaller package.
     
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  7. stratchamp57

    stratchamp57 Member

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    +1 on the Mackie 402 mixer. I use one with my ax8 for both headphones and being able to plug my laptop or mp3 player into and jam to backing tracks and songs and stuff. Works and sounds great.
     
  8. Elric

    Elric Supporting Member

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    FWIW, I have used my AFX headphone out maybe a couple of hours out of the hundreds (maybe thousands) of hours I have logged on the device in the years I have owned it. If it is at home it is always running through something, usually the computer audio interface that provides a more accessible/convenient headphone out. My Ultra cost way more than an AX8 and there being no headphone port was hardly noticed. I never used them on any of my L6 gear either except probably my POD 2.0.

    While it is, admittedly, too bad not every feature was included by default, complaining when you don't even have the unit in hand seems a bit much. If you feel that deeply about the principle of it being expensive, therefore it should do everything you personally want, you can either compromise that principle and work around it with one of many trivial and inexpensive options one of which you actually have on hand (your interface, dedicated headphone amp, low impedance or amplified phones) or you could get a unit that has a different set of design trade offs. Shrug.
     
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  9. Noise Under The Floor

    Noise Under The Floor Supporting Member

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    Wasn't complaining, just making an observation and stating my opinion about it.
     
  10. Noise Under The Floor

    Noise Under The Floor Supporting Member

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    Eh, I'm not here to debate modelers, want to stick to my original question. If the thread devolves into some kind of AX8 vs other modelers arguing I'll just shut it down.
     
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  11. jageya

    jageya Member

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    sorry..i will delete it..
     
  12. SilentScorp

    SilentScorp Supporting Member

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    I tried the y cable to see if it worked, and that was maybe for 10 seconds ;). If I'm using headphones I just plug into my little mixer that's already on the desk to mix in backing tracks / Xbox one/ laptop ect.....
     
  13. Noise Under The Floor

    Noise Under The Floor Supporting Member

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    No worries, I just didn't want it to go there. Too many threads devolve into things like that. Thanks.
     
  14. Noise Under The Floor

    Noise Under The Floor Supporting Member

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    Ok, but how did the Y cable work for you? I do like the idea of a small mixer for using backing tracks, but I don't want to have to lug a mixer around if I want to travel with the AX8.
     
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  15. mikah912

    mikah912 Supporting Member

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    Very interested in this as well. I'm considering jumping on the AX8 train with the recent display/UI improvements, but this is a sticking point for me. If I can attach a tiny cable adapter and have it not degrade the sound, I might do it.

    But I'm not looking to be tied to a mixer or recording interface just to play at home. If I want to stay modular, I got an Amplifire that already sounds amazing for that.

    I got two young kids and a wife, very rarely have the house to myself, and a quality quiet practice option is a must-have in my rigs.
     
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  16. Gearzilla

    Gearzilla Member

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    You have a good ear for tones and I think you're the type of person who would really appreciate the difference between the tones of the devices in person.

    Is having a good set of powered head phones or a small mixer like a Yamaha AG03 or AG06 really that cumbersome at home?

    :)
     
  17. mikah912

    mikah912 Supporting Member

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    Well, first off...thanks for the compliment.

    Yes, I definitely believe only personal experience can help you decide whether any of these units are right for you. I've always been upfront about wanting to try Fractal and Kemper.

    How cumbersome any of these add-ons are is in the eye of the beholder. Speaking strictly for me, I find it to be a major annoyance. I have a small (but tall and multi-level) Ikea work desk in the corner of my two-story great room to house all of my gear. I already have two guitars racked with my Helix and Amplifire. I also have a small Steinberg CI2 interface. Now, most times, the Amplifire and Steinberg are squared away in a small storage bin next to all of this. But again...with a wife and kids.....the less cables and desk clutter, the better for us all.

    If I were to get powered headphones like the JBL Synchros S500, would they simply plug into the L 1/4-inch output? I'd be limited to mono while I'm playing?

    Or would it be better to go XLR into my CI2? Again, would I be limited to mono in this case?

    Thanks in advance for any clarification you can provide. :)
     
  18. veritechc

    veritechc Member

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    I swear I tried to stay out of this but you have a Helix so here goes.

    I'm totally surprised that the AX8 doesn't have a headphone out. But it doesn't so let's move on.

    I also have a Helix and will be getting a Ax8. I have two was I can go for headphone work arounds.

    I can just plug the Ax8 into my Focusrite 18i20 interface and be done with it.

    Or I can put the Ax8 on a effect loop on the Helix and use the headphone jack from the Helix. I think in this case you should use the Helix.

    Make a blank preset. Put send 1 on it to take your guitar to the AX8. Then add return 1/2 to get the Ax8 to the Helix. Name that sucker "Pass thru to AX8" and you are done. Works great with my Axe Fx 2. Be sure that the Helix global EQ is off. This also has the bonus that you can either effect the Ax8 signal if you want or set up a second entire signal chain on the Helix. Boom you have dual amps!

    Hope this helps.
     
  19. Gearzilla

    Gearzilla Member

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    Pretty sure you could go stereo with a simple inexpensive Y adapter.

    http://www.showmecables.com/product...n=27-140-039&gclid=CNfx6NXLu8wCFZWFaQodRvUOvw

    Or if the Ci2 has headphone monitoring that should work with the XLR given XLR input. I'm not really familiar with that interface.

    I think your better off evaluating the individual modelers without them passing through each other.
     
    Last edited: May 2, 2016
  20. 3dognate

    3dognate Supporting Member

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    I've not done it due to the fact that I have a mixer and audio interface... (I'm of the opinion that one should be using one anyway to combine audio sources. but you didn't ask about how to combine audio sources.) But... I've not read one single person state that headphones directly attached to the AX8 was a good experience. Usable yes... passable... not really if you know too much...
     
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