Matrix GT800FX - for those with concerns over fan noise - and some "flat" EQ clips

paulmapp8306

Member
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Matric GT800fx - for those with Fan noise concerns, and some "flat" Axe EQ clips

I thought it would be best to start a new thread on this. The other threads are getting long, and this post might get lost.

i know there are a few people out there with concerns over the fan noise on the Matrix. I did an A/B/C with the Axe, the Matrix XT800 and the VHT - however it was far from perfect. The camera "calibrates" itself for noise level, so when the VHT kicked in, the camera de-sensitised itsdelf and it appeared the Matrix was no quieter - when in fact it is. Its about half the volume. Yes its still more than the Axe, and the Art SLAs, but really not that intrusuve.

If you recording, it could be too much - but then your going to be goin gdirect for that, not using the Axe. When using what is an 800W amp - theres bound to be some fan noise, but even at bedroom levels when your playing, you really cant hear the fans.

Anyway - I put a clip together. This has the Matrix fan running throughout the video. I talk some nonsense to start with - then go close to the Matrix so you can hear the fans - then play over the top. I dont play loud - its quiet enough for me to play when the kids are asleep (just) - Its not whisper levels but I think typical "quiet" levels for this amp.

YouTube - ‪GT800fx fan Noise x264‬‏


I also though Id knock up a couple more clips while I was doing this. The Matrix is in the rack - and I have now tweeked my patches for that amp. I have 2 O/Ps set so one is has a flat EQ (for live) and the other has a "compensated" EQ to take into effect the Fletcher-Munson curve. I use this secom d out when in the house. For these vids I cranked it up a little - but due to the limitations of my surround sound system it doesnt get "that" loud - consequently I was caught between two ideals. Its not really loud enough for the flat EQ - but too loud for my EQ cureve. I went for flat as I wanted to show what the Matrix did with no EQ help fromthe Axe. Theres no PEQs, GEQs or filters in the patches - and the global is flat as Ive said.

The First is a Bluesy clip because there arnt too many of those around. The second is higher gain - buit a melodic kind of track - not chug chug for sure.

Anyway - excuse the playing - it was too early for me (while the wife was at work
)


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CUob9GMtBMU

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n6Ks4eR74DA
 

stratzrus

Philadelphia Jazz, Funk, and R&B
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Bedroom players don't like fan noise. Recording engineers don't like it much either.

Fan noise was a point of concern for many Axe FX owners and a big deal was made about possible solutions. According to your post, the Matrix GT800FX makes even more noise than the Axe FX so it's inevitable that it will be an issue for some.

For me, the issue is the price. I find myself wondering if there aren't cheaper solutions that are just as good, or close enough, that the price difference makes the Matrix non-competitive in the USA.

Is it really that much better than the Art or Rocktron offerings? $500 is a lot to pay for a difference that can only be heard in a silent room.
 

paulmapp8306

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613
Fair points. However, I have an EU version of the AFX, so it has silent fans fitted as standard. i dont know how loud the US Axe's are by comparrison - and my 1st demo wont show the US version sude by side with the MAtrix anyway.

As for the fan noise - Why would you be using a Power amp in a studio anyway? I can see the Axe fan noise being an issue - but the Matrix is basically a live solution for those powering passive cabs (either FRFR or traditional guitar cabs) - so i dont think thats an issue.

I suppose it is the bedroom guitarist Im trying to address here (no issues with fan noise on a stage now is there). The point here is that while there is some fan noise, its less than a valve power amp. Also - while you can here tham in a quiet room, once you actually play your guitar you cant hear the noise. Even an accoustic guitar covers up the noise. Ultimately if your playing in a bedroom, and want whisper quiet background noise - wouldnt you be using the Axe direct with headphones?


As for the cost - yes thats an issue in the US know. The point is its as good as the VHTs at least that are quite a bit more expensive - with the added weight/size/reliability benefits. Is it betteer than the Art - yes, by quite a bit. I started my Axe life with an Art SLA, and ditched it for the VHT after a year. I just couldnt get the Art to sound as good. The Matrix on the other hand is so close to the VHT is behavior that im switching back. i admit I havent directly compared the Art and MAtrix as there is aover a years gap between loosing the Art and gaining the Matrix - but Im confidant that the comaprrisons with the same VHT stand up to scrutiny. There are several player who moved from the Art to the Matrix - though EU ones where the cost isnt such an issue.

the Rocktron I cant comment on as I havent tried it - however the Matrix is quite a bit more powerfull and quite a bit lighter, so for some its worth the extra $ even if the two units are sonically very close.
 

mpr

Member
Messages
789
I was curious about the fan in the AxeFx and why it's still there in the AxeFx2 (or if it's not for the DSP chips, what is it there for). Seeing some discussions in the Fractal forums about fan replacement also makes you (well, me) wonder why it doesn't come with a quieter fan from the beginning.
 

stratzrus

Philadelphia Jazz, Funk, and R&B
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21,394
I was curious about the fan in the AxeFx and why it's still there in the AxeFx2 (or if it's not for the DSP chips, what is it there for). Seeing some discussions in the Fractal forums about fan replacement also makes you (well, me) wonder why it doesn't come with a quieter fan from the beginning.
My assumption, and it's just an assumption, is that the OEM fan moves more air. Many would prefer keeping the processors as cool as possible over the unit being as quiet as possible.

At least that's why I stayed with the OEM fan. As Paul stated above, once you start playing it's a non-issue.
 

Scott Peterson

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I was curious about the fan in the AxeFx and why it's still there in the AxeFx2 (or if it's not for the DSP chips, what is it there for). Seeing some discussions in the Fractal forums about fan replacement also makes you (well, me) wonder why it doesn't come with a quieter fan from the beginning.
Many of the 'silent' fans are not very road worthy; the OEM fan, while not honestly 'noisy' will never be mistaken for 'silent' but it is ruggedly road proven.

If you are a recording guy going direct... silent isn't really an issue with recording more than a nuisance to the player that doesn't want any ambient noise.

That said, I did replace all the Standard/Ultra fans with Silenx fans and never had one issue. The Axe-FX II OEM fan - while audible - doesn't bother me as much. I've read that it was moved inside the box; I have not opened the Axe-FX II up to look. I do not feel the need to replace the Axe-FX II fan at this time.

All IMHO, YMMV.
 

acbarros

Member
Messages
136
I´ve been using my Matrix GT800 for about 10 days, no fan noise complaints here.
And I´m A/B testing it against my Rocktron Velocity 300 too (thru my 1x12 cab loaded with an EVM 12L Classic – cab sim ON). At first I just kept playing with my main patches that sound good, IMHO, thru my monitors (a pair of KRK Rokit 8) using an amp at a time. In this case I preferred the Rocktron because it gave me tones nearer the ones coming out from the Rokits. However, both amps sounded VERY good! The Rocktron seemed flatter to me and the Matrix with more medium freqs. present.
So I start tweaking my patches to the Matrix without worry about the proximity with the reference tones. And with this I´m now getting VERY good tones! And the Matrix is giving me more “amp in the room” feel that I missed with the Rokits or the Rocktron.
 

Gasp100

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What's the cost for the Matrix for a US buyer (shipping and all that included in the price)? And what is the lead time and shipping door to door (I'm on the East Coast)?
 

paulmapp8306

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Messages
613
Price is on the Website. There building 30 per month - and provided you order before the batch your amp comes from you get it for £440 stirling. if you order from an existing batch (though up till now all available units have been pre-sold before batch completion) then its £490.

shipping costs are on the site - which includes import duty etc. (£42.89 for the US).

That is the main issue though - for US customers there not cheap (though not Bryson prices for instance) because of the exchange rate - and also because US equip like the ART SLAs are far cheaper in the states than in the EU.

in the UK for instance, an Art SAL-2 will cost you £340 against the Matrix at £450 delivered. Thats a no brainer. In the Us however, its closer to $370 for the Art (just looked on Sweetwater - no idea if thats the cheapest) but the Matrix works out at $790 delivered. Thats twice the Art so I can see why price is an issue in the US.

Fact is though, its a better quality amp than the Art (Ive seen inside both), its lighter and sounds better. it has a similar response to valve amps (though a different EQ curve - its much flatter) with a much lower weight and running costs. Whether thats enough of a benefit for the extra cost, only you can say.

Matrix will take a pre-order, and only ask for payment when your amp is built (normally during the soak test period) - and you can change your mind up until you pay. once completed, shipping is around a week I think from Matrix to a US door.
 

stratzrus

Philadelphia Jazz, Funk, and R&B
Gold Supporting Member
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I´ve been using my Matrix GT800 for about 10 days, no fan noise complaints here.
And I´m A/B testing it against my Rocktron Velocity 300 too (thru my 1x12 cab loaded with an EVM 12L Classic – cab sim ON). At first I just kept playing with my main patches that sound good, IMHO, thru my monitors (a pair of KRK Rokit 8) using an amp at a time. In this case I preferred the Rocktron because it gave me tones nearer the ones coming out from the Rokits. However, both amps sounded VERY good! The Rocktron seemed flatter to me and the Matrix with more medium freqs. present.
So I start tweaking my patches to the Matrix without worry about the proximity with the reference tones. And with this I´m now getting VERY good tones! And the Matrix is giving me more “amp in the room” feel that I missed with the Rokits or the Rocktron.
One of the advantages of dialing in presets through monitors is that the sound should be very similar to what you'd expect from FOH systems. When you tweak for the Matrix, is the adjustment significant enough that it might no longer sound right through the FOH? Would a global adjustment be adequate compensation or do you need to tweak each preset?
 

mpr

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Messages
789
Many would prefer keeping the processors as cool as possible over the unit being as quiet as possible.
I'm not sure if it's for the DSPs, or at least not exclusively. The AxeFx2 draws much more power than the original according to the specs, perhaps it's something else.

If you are a recording guy going direct... silent isn't really an issue with recording more than a nuisance to the player that doesn't want any ambient noise.
I suppose. Though, the idea of having a piece of audio gear generate noise is unpleasant. :)

I've read that it was moved inside the box; I have not opened the Axe-FX II up to look.
Any guesses as to what uses all that power in the AxeFx2?
 

acbarros

Member
Messages
136
One of the advantages of dialing in presets through monitors is that the sound should be very similar to what you'd expect from FOH systems. When you tweak for the Matrix, is the adjustment significant enough that it might no longer sound right through the FOH? Would a global adjustment be adequate compensation or do you need to tweak each preset?
I'm still waiting for an opportunity to gig with this new rig (Ultra+Matrix+EVM 12L Classic) when I'll go OUT 1 to FOH and OUT 2 to Matrix/EVM. Maybe june, 11th.

But I really had to tweak my presets to adjust the tones, because I was unable to just tweak only the global EQ and make the tones consistently similar to Rokit's.
I play in a cover band and need a large range of tones. So this problem appears: hi-gain patches require scooped EQ and the others don't. In some cases I had to tweak other parameters too (sag, thump,...).

In small gigs I usually play without PA systems. In this case I think its enough to tweak quickly and easily only the global EQ whenever necessary. The pair Matrix/EVM sounds VERY good!
 

jdolll

Silver Supporting Member
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1,082
I've never understood the fan noise complaints, do you have the volume turned up at all? How can you hear the fan over the guitar coming out? Just use headphones if it needs to be that quiet? It just seems like a ridiculous gripe, I mean no offense, I just don't get it
 

paulmapp8306

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Messages
613
It does surprise me that the Rocktron Velocity - that is designed to sound like a valve power amp, and therefore will not have a flat EQ, sounds closer to the KRKs that the Matrix which is for all intents and purposes flat.

Im wondering what this actually says about:

a. The KRKs - are they actually that flat?
b. The Rocktrons claim that the Velocitys emulate valve power amps.

i dont have a way to test really at present, as my options are my monitors (that are Event TR5s) or the Matrix into my 2x12 V30/G12Hloaded traditional cab. I kind of wish I had an active monitor to A/B with. i suppose I could use my PA tops, but there 15" drivers, so have a hole in the mid range - and arnt great quality as there only Wharfedales. they tend to be a little harsh in the upper Freqs. There fine for my use but I wouldnt use them with the Axe.
 

stratzrus

Philadelphia Jazz, Funk, and R&B
Gold Supporting Member
Messages
21,394
I really had to tweak my presets to adjust the tones, because I was unable to just tweak only the global EQ and make the tones consistently similar to Rokit's.

In small gigs I usually play without PA systems. In this case I think its enough to tweak quickly and easily only the global EQ whenever necessary. The pair Matrix/EVM sounds VERY good!
Understood, and that's what I expected.

I'm glad to hear that the Matrix pairs well with the EVMs, that's what I plan to use as well, either in my Mesa/Thiele 1x12 or I may get a Forte. The Ultra has always sounded great through my 4x12s with EV SRO/12Ls but there's no way I'm hauling them around.

This weekend I'm going to try the Ultra through the effects return of my Markbass Little Mark II (250 watts) into my VHT Fat Bottom 2x12. The FB is also a relatively neutral cab (the "Fat Bottom" moniker may be somewhat misleading) has great detail and cut's well with my Sig:X. If it works well, the Sig:X, Axe II and FB 2x12 might make a great rig using the four cable method.

No matter what, I'll still need a lightweight rackmountable power amp, so right now I'm thinking about the Matrix or the Rocktron.

Currently we're gigging in places without PA systems as well but the band is going to expand and start playing larger gigs, so a good FRFR monitor may be in my future as well. That's why I was wondering about how easy it would be to switch from one form of amplification to the other.

It does surprise me that the Rocktron Velocity - that is designed to sound like a valve power amp, and therefore will not have a flat EQ, sounds closer to the KRKs that the Matrix which is for all intents and purposes flat.

i dont have a way to test really at present, as my options are my monitors (that are Event TR5s) or the Matrix into my 2x12 V30/G12Hloaded traditional cab.
Paul, your posts have been really helpful and informative.

I'm wondering, regarding the tweaks that you made to help the Matrix sound more like the VHT, what role the Celestions played in the adjustments you had to make? I tried Celestions (V30s and Sidewinders) but found the EVs to be more natural sounding...less like I was hearing the speaker.
 

wknight2

Member
Messages
26
My Matrix just arrived. I have 2 cabs I've been trying it with, a 1x12 with an EVM12L and a Port City OS 2x12 with GT12K-100s. I'm having some challenges dialing in the patches, it almost sounds like a blanket over the sound or that you are hearing it from really far away. I've tried with cab sims off and on. Can anyone using the Matrix post some patches? It might shorten the route to getting the tones I'm looking for. Thanks in advance...
 

stratzrus

Philadelphia Jazz, Funk, and R&B
Gold Supporting Member
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21,394
My Matrix just arrived....it almost sounds like a blanket over the sound or that you are hearing it from really far away.
In the original post I read the the user had to tweak the global settings to get it to sound like his VHT tube amp.

Sounds like it needs to be dialed in properly.
 

JimmyD

Member
Messages
1,239
Just wanted to say that my rocktron velocity 300 set me back about $280 brand new with some careful shopping and pricing matching. Yeah its a tad heavier than others, i can deal with it.

Fan noise? don't get me started on that one!

:)
 

paulmapp8306

Member
Messages
613
WKNIGHT2

OK, my cab is an oversized 2x12 with a V30 and a G12H Aniversary - i have cab sims insome of my patches 9for recording) but there disabled globally for the MAtrix/Cab.

Tone is also subjective, so what I consider goo you may not.

However, if you pm me an EMail address, Ill send you a few patches I use to have a look at.
 

paulmapp8306

Member
Messages
613
Another Question though - what mode is the amp in? Mono/Stereo - parallel or bridged?

Just asking because if its in bridged mode, without the correct cable (you CANT use a standard Jack/Jack) then it does indeed sound like a blanket is over the cab. Its to do with phasing issues.

also check taht your speakers in the 2x12 are wired in the correct phase (I suspect they are - and the EV only has a single speaker so is not an issue - but you never know).

If you are in bridged - turn it to stereo, and use a single channel. See if that helps.
 




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