Why I sold my AXE FX II and went back to Analog

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by PiRaSSiC, Dec 6, 2017.

  1. PiRaSSiC

    PiRaSSiC Member

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  2. PartoftheDark

    PartoftheDark Member

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    Good read. I've done the same recently. It was great in that honeymoon stage where you can like dual amp a dumble and plexi or whatever and knock out a few riffs. A few months in though, I'd find myself spending hours trying to sort through 12 reverbs and another 12 EQ settings and so on. It was affecting my writing output. I now have a vox ac15 and I'm happy. There's a lot to be said for just a dumb loud amp. Not knocking the Axe FX either. It's a device that tells you a lot about yourself as a guitarist. They're great for having stuff locked in. I'm not someone who locks stuff in though. They're amazing as a recording device that you can then take on the road and have your stuff sound almost exactly the same as on your computer or FRFR. Though I look up to him, I'm no Ken Andrews. I need less options or I'll never get anything done. I will say this about it. Best bass sounds I've ever heard from an amp of any kind.
     
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  3. midnightlaundry

    midnightlaundry Member

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    In the end you're still trying to recreate the real thing. Nobody ever says I'm on a quest for the Toaster Sound..
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2017
  4. otolathe

    otolathe Member

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    Really dumb that Fractal did not include a headphone out on the AX8. I would pull the trigger if i could get all that for $1100.
     
  5. Leon Todd

    Leon Todd Member

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    That's a well reasoned assessment. The end game is always to make music, and getting hung up on how you process your guitar is always a secondary concern.
     
  6. GreatSatan

    GreatSatan Member

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    The endless possibilities for tweaking is what ultimately put me off of all digital sims,
    hell i even feel the same way about pedals these days.

    Now i run a bunch of preamp/amp-in-a-box pedals into a clean amp, then match a guitar to each dirt box and tweak it just for that guitar. That way you've at least got one good sound per guitar, sometimes more. If that encourages you to just sit and play instead of knob-twiddle then you're on the right path.

    Obsessiveness/ocd is a nightmare for guitarists.
     
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  7. Leon Todd

    Leon Todd Member

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  8. hogy

    hogy Member

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    Option anxiety is real, and it's bad for most humans.
     
  9. Noise Under The Floor

    Noise Under The Floor Supporting Member

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    I thought the same at first, but bought one anyway when it came up used at a good price. All I needed was one of these plugged in to use my headphones:

    [​IMG]

    No headphone amp was needed. The outputs drive headphones just fine. I still ended up eventually selling it though. I completely hated the front UI, and I can't stand having to be tied to a computer for editing.
     
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  10. stormtrooper

    stormtrooper Member

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    Cause it sounds nothing like a tube amp.
     
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  11. PiRaSSiC

    PiRaSSiC Member

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    It's not a matter of sounds. I was pretty happy with either the Kemper or fractal.
    Honestly I think the overall experience is what makes the real difference
     
  12. BoogieManSC

    BoogieManSC Supporting Member

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    Welcome back. I've tried 2 of the "big 3" units out there (Helix & Kemper)...Usage for recording, maybe...for live? No thanks
     
  13. Produktsumme

    Produktsumme Member

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    Did the same thing 4 years ago and went from an AxeFX 2 to a MarkV. Now I have 12 amps (MarkV, BE100, Engls, Marshalls, etc) in the living room instead of a 19" cabinet. Looks way nicer. Options overload? Yes, now there are 12 options to choose from every day....
     
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  14. wahfreak

    wahfreak Silver Supporting Member

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    Exactly what I went through. There are people who don't get lost in all the options. I'm not one of them.
     
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  15. sleewell

    sleewell Member

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    Time is our most valuable asset. I wish I could spend all day tweaking patches and then still have time to create music but I just don't. An actual amp and a few pedals is the best for me in terms of maximizing my limited time.
     
  16. AudioWonderland

    AudioWonderland Member

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    I need clean, dusty, dirty and filthy options....

    This is exactly why I went back to amps years ago. Some guys can do it but I get lost in the minutia of the modeling world. Staying focused on my core tones keeps me focused on the music which greatly helps with getting things done
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2017
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  17. spence

    spence Member

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    I tried a Kemper for a while, but went back to tube amps. Plug & play for me.
     
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  18. LaXu

    LaXu Member

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    Part of your reasoning is why I keep the Axe-Fx 2. I like all those options to be available to me without buying another tube amp. I know I can't be satisfied with a single amp, maybe not even two different ones. Being able to switch as the mood strikes me or based on what I'm trying to achieve has kept me from buying new gear for years now. I do understand that too many options can cause some people to just endlessly tweak trying to make it sound even better instead of settling on a sound. For me I sometimes spend maybe an hour or two building up a patch and then don't touch it for months because it sounds like I want. If it doesn't, I have a bunch of other patches that might work.

    That said, I would gladly change to a more user friendly box. The Axe-Fx 2 front panel is not nice to operate but at the same time I don't want a Line6 Helix either because I feel it doesn't sound quite as good. So I make do with the Axe-Edit computer editor, it's pretty good. I'm now thinking of trying to hook a Behringer knob controller to it to fix the HW control issue.

    I think we need more solutions similar to the Yamaha THR100HD where the sound palette is more limited but covers a lot of ground while retaining simple amp like control. Right now we have the "everything but the kitchen sink" studio equipment type stuff like the Axe-Fx and on the other end the beginner combos with barely anything in between those two extremes. I fully believe that digital amp sims can sound and feel just as good as tube amps but we just need them to be easier to use.
     
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  19. stratzrus

    stratzrus Philadelphia Jazz, Funk, and R&B Supporting Member

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    "You dive into menus upon menus of options and knobs, wondering how this amp would sound with this cab or the other, wondering what difference an obscure parameter would bring if cranked, or what type of sound this filter could create, or….Basically, you can get lost very easily, and your focus diverges from making music to “listening to the machine”. Or at least, my focus did."

    I've always said that the Axe FX is not a good choice for compulsive tweakers.

    Since I'd much rather spend my time playing than tweaking I'd spend 5 to 10 minutes setting up a preset to sound decent and then play through it for weeks without making any more changes. Every few weeks I might spend another 2 to 3 minutes at a time making minor tweaks. Over time my presets sounded really good to me so there was no need to tweak further.

    With that said, I was never an exclusively digital player, I've used tube amps or digital depending on the need or desire of the moment. No need to "go back" to tube amps, I never left.

    As a result of spending minimal time tweaking, using the Axe Fx has been a source of pure joy. Would my presets sound better if I spent an hour tweaking them instead of 2 to 3 minutes. Maybe, maybe not. Either way, I'm glad I spend the vast majority of my time playing instead of chasing minute improvements in my tone. It's what has made the Axe FX experience a source of joy instead of frustration.
     
  20. TropicBoy

    TropicBoy Member

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    Great read!

    I completely related to the diving too much into the options and ending up "listening to the machine" argument... I have never had a Fractal, but I have been through the big Strymon pedals. They all sounded fantastic and delivered the goods big time, but I also started spending hours editing the settings instead of just playing.

    I have kept my TimeLine - but I only use a few patches - and sold the Big Sky and Mobius... I have gone back to just using my amps spring reverbs (or a simple HOF Mini) and analog modulations. They do not have the vast array of sounds you can get from the Big Sky or the Mobius, but in the end, this has allowed me to refocus on making music.

    PS: great choice on the Dirty Shirley... I have the 40W bigger brother and it is amazing!
     

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