What do you gain going from ax II to II+ to III

yeky83

Member
Messages
3,096
Good to know. How do you compare the II to the II XL+? Are the amp tones of the same quality or do they improve with the XL+?
https://wiki.fractalaudio.com/axefx2/index.php?title=Axe-Fx_II#Model_differences
How about the AX8 compared to an AXII. Are the amp models as complex/good if you were to just use say an amp with reverb and a few effects. I use a power amp and conventional speaker so cab models are not really a big deal for me.
https://wiki.fractalaudio.com/axefx2/index.php?title=AX8#Comparing_the_AX8_to_the_Axe-Fx_II_and_FX8
https://wiki.fractalaudio.com/axefx...Fx_II,_AX8_and_FX8#Axe-Fx_II_XL.2B_versus_AX8
 

Guitardave

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
11,019
and more importantly, if you don't like the II, you probably won't like the III.

Yep - if you didn't like previous Fractal units - AX8/II, etc. then the III isn't likely to change your mind. If you are already know you like it and plan to commit long term then the III is likely worth it.

Not true. With the exception of opening quicker, a word document is the same one both machines once open. The words are no better.

But the feel is vastly improved. And the fonts have more detail. ;)
 

bdrepko

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
2,963
Not true. With the exception of opening quicker, a word document is the same one both machines once open. The words are no better.
When you are trying to render graphics you will definitely prefer the Pentium over the 386.
 

ColdFrixion

Member
Messages
5,736
How about the AX8 compared to an AXII. Are the amp models as complex/good if you were to just use say an amp with reverb and a few effects. I use a power amp and conventional speaker so cab models are not really a big deal for me.

I can't get used to FRFR stuff but love it with my Duncan Powerstage and a conventional guitar cab speaker set up.

I don't know if the smaller processor has an effect on the tonal quality of the basic amps or just how much junk you can run at the same time?

The AX8 and Axe FX II / XL+ all use the same, exact modeling. The difference in processing has absolutely no effect on the quality of the tones. It's identical. One of the big differences is that the AX8 can't use as many effects simultaneously. You also can't use it as an interface, and it doesn't have a headphone jack.
 

jaded1592

Member
Messages
96
When you are trying to render graphics you will definitely prefer the Pentium over the 386.

Ever played a game designed for a 386 on a Pentium? Many were not made with any sort of speed limiting methods and run unplayably fast.

All of these analogies have very little technical relevance to the way these products are designed.

They are given a window in which they must complete all DSP operations. The faster processor can do more in that window, but if they are in fact both running the same algorithm the output is identical.

Processors only do math. Whether it's a 386, a Pentium, or a TigerSHARC, it doesn't change the fact that 0x01 + 0x01 = 0x02. Your 386 can render faster, but if the image output is on a timer and both complete the rendering within the space of that timer, can you tell the difference?
 
Last edited:

Leon Todd

Member
Messages
1,458
The III has a few advantages over the II/AX8 that are incredibly useful for me;

-Channels!
-Updated amp block with FRFR/PA output mode, input boost selection, speaker modelling parameters
-Updated cab block allows you to mix up to 4 IR's
-Updated Multiband compressor block allows for more flexible selection of x-over freq's
-GEQ in the wah and drive blocks
-New multidelay features
-New reverbs

I still love the tones i get from my AX8 and it's incredibly handy for live use, but the III is another beast altogether.
 

MikeDV

Member
Messages
133
Question for you Axe users regarding comparison of amp sounds. I've owned every rack model - Standard, Ultra, II and now XLII+. I only use cab sims for curiosity, play through power amp/speakers. With every firmware and hardware update, the latest was better/best yet, and much more 3D - how far does that go? I keep trying newer models, which definitely improve on the software and physical side - but just how "best" and just how "3D" can it get? I've bought the hype, but always came away with buyer's remorse. Sounds as good as it ever did (really good), but not really more of anything at the base of it all - amp sounds. Also own the Helix rack (which is the physical equivalent of the Axe-Fx III). I can pick any model, and tweak each unit to sound exactly like the other - using virtual amp controls, compressors, EQ, and IR cabs. Result: they closely sound like the actual amp. So - is the latest really better, or is a good product just getting a new shade of lipstick, or what's the real opinion? Not criticizing, obviously I'm bought into modeling and make use of it (* - I use my Triaxis with both units) - but when does "most 3D yet" become 4D - or is it just hype for more sales of the latest greatest, and do y'all really hear a difference, or do you just feel a difference (truthiness - if it feels right it must be true) - esp. for another $1,000 increase. Really, trying to decide which one to keep. I've never posed this question at the Fractal site. If you've read anything there (if you own one, you probably have), anything that even smells of criticism seems to receive a sales pitch at best complete with user tips, and flaming at worst. My best sounds ever - old Fender Super Reverb with only 3 x 10's (one was missing) cranked up with no pedals or fx, and recently Triaxis/Lexicon MPX G2 for fx/Mesa 2:90. Super Reverb long gone for many years; :2:90 weighs a ton, Lexicon like programming a Sony flip phone from 1990, the whole rig about 20 tubes to deal with. Again - not throwing shade, just asking for opinions to compare to my own. More processing power has yet to provide me with a better aural experience. It does give me 2 or 3 delays simultaneously, that I've never cared to use more than as a late-night whim. New/improved/best implies last model wasn't really the end/all be/all like this new one until we upgrade the firmware prior to the next physical model. OK, a little cynicism mixed in, but can't help that one. 1st edit - not necessarily against the need (?) to own the latest of the greatest - that's a thing too if you have the $$$. But the OP's question was, I think, about the relative worthiness of various models.
 
Last edited:

Kborg

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
610
Question for you Axe users regarding comparison of amp sounds. I've owned every rack model - Standard, Ultra, II and now XLII+. I only use cab sims for curiosity, play through power amp/speakers. With every firmware and hardware update, the latest was better/best yet, and much more 3D - how far does that go? I keep trying newer models, which definitely improve on the software and physical side - but just how "best" and just how "3D" can it get? I've bought the hype, but always came away with buyer's remorse. Sounds as good as it ever did (really good), but not really more of anything at the base of it all - amp sounds. Also own the Helix rack (which is the physical equivalent of the Axe-Fx III). I can pick any model, and tweak each unit to sound exactly like the other - using virtual amp controls, compressors, EQ, and IR cabs. Result: they closely sound like the actual amp. So - is the latest really better, or is a good product just getting a new shade of lipstick, or what's the real opinion? Not criticizing, obviously I'm bought into modeling and make use of it (* - I use my Triaxis with both units) - but when does "most 3D yet" become 4D - or is it just hype for more sales of the latest greatest, and do y'all really hear a difference, or do you just feel a difference (truthiness - if it feels right it must be true) - esp. for another $1,000 increase. Really, trying to decide which one to keep. I've never posed this question at the Fractal site. If you've read anything there (if you own one, you probably have), anything that even smells of criticism seems to receive a sales pitch at best complete with user tips, and flaming at worst. My best sounds ever - old Fender Super Reverb with only 3 x 10's (one was missing) cranked up with no pedals or fx, and recently Triaxis/Lexicon MPX G2 for fx/Mesa 2:90. Super Reverb long gone for many years; :2:90 weighs a ton, Lexicon like programming a Sony flip phone from 1990, the whole rig about 20 tubes to deal with. Again - not throwing shade, just asking for opinions to compare to my own. More processing power has yet to provide me with a better aural experience. It does give me 2 or 3 delays simultaneously, that I've never cared to use more than as a late-night whim. New/improved/best implies last model wasn't really the end/all be/all like this new one until we upgrade the firmware prior to the next physical model. OK, a little cynicism mixed in, but can't help that one. 1st edit - not necessarily against the need (?) to own the latest of the greatest - that's a thing too if you have the $$$. But the OP's question was, I think, about the relative worthiness of various models.

What he said. I gig with a Helix, Duncan powerstage and a 1x12 cab. I have every tone I need at any volume for a variety of styles.

Mt tube amp rigs sound better, more touch responsive and to stick with the term, 3D.

I'm wondering whether the algorithms or however they digitally model amps have gotten better and more 3D or is it just a more powerful device that when stripped down to just running a Komet 60 model with no IR into my power amp and 1x12 sounds identical to the AX8 in the same set up?
 
Messages
373
Question for you III users: Seems like a lot of guys who use the III don't use it live (inspired by Leon Todd's post above)-- is there a reason for that?

From the videos I've seen of it, it sounds better. It's got more power and presumably gapless switching. Why go for a unit that doesn't sound quite as good and is a bit underpowered? Is it just a form factor thing? I'm genuinely curious.
 

mikah912

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
7,931
Question for you III users: Seems like a lot of guys who use the III don't use it live (inspired by Leon Todd's post above)-- is there a reason for that?

From the videos I've seen of it, it sounds better. It's got more power and presumably gapless switching. Why go for a unit that doesn't sound quite as good and is a bit underpowered? Is it just a form factor thing? I'm genuinely curious.

My guess would be because they already fashioned a more reasonably priced live solution whether it be AX8 or Helix or whatever.

If you're not doing major mission critical gigs, why haul out your $2400 investment? I seriously doubt the crowd at Wally's Weekend Warrior Emporium would know the difference between that and a Mustang III.

I'm the same way only with my Kemper. Like I have a foot controller and live performances set up for it, along with an FRFR. But why do it when my Helix is tested and true?
 
Messages
373
If you're not doing major mission critical gigs, why haul out your $2400 investment? I seriously doubt the crowd at Wally's Weekend Warrior Emporium would know the difference between that and a Mustang III.

Bwahahaha :D

Yeah, that's what I figured. Kind of the same as guys who buy super expensive guitars but just keep them at home to minimize risk.

I guess I'm of the other mind: Why spend so much money on something you're only using to record & practice with? Why sound at your best at home when nobody can hear you? Personally I want the stage to feel like my home, a temple of sound where I'm at my best and I've got that extra juice from my sweet rig pushing me along to enjoy playing that much more.

But that's just me.

It's a practical question to me, as I'm interested in a Fractal product of some kind. Of course the III sounds like a dream, but it's veeeery expensive (though if it's my main rig, not that bad over time). The Ax8 is sexy as fook, but the limitations on it and the slightly worse sound quality do make it seem like a lot of money for the limitations. Especially since I like long reverbs.

Looks like I'll end up getting a used II ;)
 

Tonekat

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
8,895
I have an Ultra and a IIXL+, and the IIXL+ has the advantage of greater processing power, and lots of room to create and store your own presets while retaining the presets for reference purposes/actual use. To be very broad in my description, it sounds like "more tone" than my Ultra.

One thing I've experienced over the years with both devices is when I've downloaded a new version of the software and thought "Where'd the magic go?!", and then, fortunately, all was set right with the next version.
 

benifin

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
2,729
As GDave said above, if you are going to "live" in the Fractal world, get the Axe 3 - it is the latest and greatest - it is a bit better sounding than the Axe 2 which is already great sounding .... and it has years of forward-support-virtually-weekly-FW-updates coming .. the Axe 2 is done / end of line .... given this, yes the 3 is worth the extra $$ i.m.o. if for no other reason than to future-proof yourself

Full disclosure - I own and use a Helix .... and have also had the Axe 3 for 6+ months

Ben
 

hippietim

Member
Messages
6,855
That's like asking what do you have to gain by going from an Intel 386 to a Pentium processor.

I get your point but it’s a weak analogy, the processor difference only matters if the utilization is there. CPUs are also not standalone products so comparing them outside a usage scenario has no real meaning.
 

BCy2k

Member
Messages
1,710
I'm a relatively new AX8 user (less than a year). As limited as the AX8 is compared to their rack siblings, I'm really loving it. I know many really good players who are loving their Helix as well. I was looking at a Helix during a recent visit to a GC, but I've never tried one. I'm curious to have a listen and check out their their UI.

A big part of what made me gravitate to Fractal (besides reputation) was price. UI wasn't a big concern for my part. Originally I was an an FX8 user and really liked what I could do with that unit. When I experienced their modeling I immediately understood why so many dig Fractal-land. No doubt I'd want a III if I played one. Probably best I don't for now. It's clearly meant for serious guitar fiends (guilty) ... but really, my AX8 has been awesome to gig with so far. I'm not sure you can go terribly wrong with any of these products.
 

benifin

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
2,729
........ I'm not sure you can go terribly wrong with any of these products ........

This ^^^^

Notwithstanding the fact that individual guitarists will have their own "ear-preferences" and "feature-preferences" for specific modellers, if a person cant get pro-grade tones out of an Axe 2 or Axe 3 or Ax8 or Helix or Atomic or KPA, then it is a case of user-error / not enough time spent learning how to dial in a modeller with the given amp and speaker being used.

Ben
 




Trending Topics

Top Bottom