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

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


  1. bman5150us

    bman5150us Member

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    I went thru the exact experience with a Line6 POD device years ago. I eventually felt I was playing with a computer way more than playing with my guitar. Gave it away and bought my first tube amp and haven’t looked back since.
     
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  2. mikebat

    mikebat Member

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    I had the same dilemma when I first started home recording. The learning curve was so great, the first two years I spent laying down rush scratch tracks then dropping my guitar and tweaking the DAW. With time things got better, but the technology got in the way at first. (Now, I have an efficient workflow and I can be free of managing the technology and focus on the music.)

    The same goes for a modeller as deep as the Axe FX.

    But, if I was to go digital for my guitar rig it would be for ease of transportation, setup/ tear down, and simplying my rig. Guitar cable into the modeller, foot controller, and only a cab if there are no in ears, if so, it would be wedge shaped FRFR. I would use one basic amp style, in different shades of gain, with either song specific patches, or in stompbox mode for effects.

    A deep dive for every single crazy sparkle and wink to recreate a live recording is a recipe for a nervous breakdown. If I had 1000 patches with 4 expression controllers, triggered by the live ProTools rig...that is an easy road to unhappiness for me.

    It all depends on your goals and expectations. If it is to lighten and simplify your load, great. If it is to get every sound under the sun...get ready to spend 100’s of hours alone tweaking, not creating, not playing.
     
  3. Droptopandy

    Droptopandy Supporting Member

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    I have an AX8 but I only use it now to play in my upstairs room through JBL monitors and my PC. I can only play low since there 3 bedrooms close by. My amp and 4x12's are in the basement. But I like practicing near my PC for jamming along with backing tracks, learning songs, tab, etc. But do I really need the AX8? Is the Amplire good enough for cheaper? Or some other plug in? I only use a few basic tones, once you start tweaking this thing forget it.
     
  4. PiRaSSiC

    PiRaSSiC Member

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    Thank you. I really think the dirty Shirley is one of the best sounding amps out there and I oscillated between buying a mini and a regular until I found a used mini
     
  5. Produktsumme

    Produktsumme Member

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    I think it makes sense to treat a modeler just like a (pre)amp with its unique sound. Despite what many people claim, I am convinced that each modeling tech has its own sound, be it Fractal, Line6, BIAS, etc. You select a certain amp model and they get a good approximation, but the breakup characteristics etc stay pretty close to each other in each modeler. So, going back to tube amps (from being a MESA rack gear guy in the 2000s like Studio, Quad, Triaxis + 2:90 and ENGL EL34 poweramps and the inevitable Intellifex/G-Force, then going AxeFX) was a nice reminder of gain structure differences. My first real amp after AxeFX (MarkV) for example tries very hard to sound like a Marshall in the Edge channel, but does not succeed. How could it? But it is a very fine amp for the cali sounds. My Marshalls break up like Marshalls and they ask for a heavy right hand, my Engls compress like hell, and so on. I could not get that in its full authority from the Axe. What would I do if I played in a top40 band? Get an Axe and a Matrix for mointors, no doubt. Do I have more fun now, trying (and not always succeeding) to wrangle the good tone and playing dynamics from my tube monsters? Hell yeah....
     
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  6. C-4

    C-4 Member

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    I spent way too much time trying to get my Kemper to feel as a valve amp feels. It sounds and feels amazing through head phones, but through a guitar cab and power amp, not to me.
    I didn't sell off my amps as I have read others did, thinking they were going to forever be married to the digital gear.
    I really like the Kemper as someone above does, I use it now only to practice using head phones.
    If I could get it to feel as my Marshall amp feels, I would definitely use it with a band.

    I also like the options to use so many choices from the Kemper, but after several days of dicking around, now I just use the Vox and Marshall profiles. The effects selection is amazing, but I keep everything set up on the controller, as I do on my pedal board.

    I plan to buy one more valve amp next year, if the money allows for it. I don't have any plans to sell the Kemper, but that could change on the drop of a hat. I have no interest in the other digital offerings at all. I have found that I am perfectly happy with one amp that gets the clean and dirt sounds I prefer. It only took me about 60 years to realize that. :)
     
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  7. LPV

    LPV Member

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    I'm playing Saturday at a really small hall. We're using electric drums and I'm using my Amplifire for the first time in months. This is the only situation I've been in where it is ideal. But I'll never try to use it with acoustic drums and some kind of foldback again.

    I still haven't found anything quite as rewarding as the tone and simplicity of my tube heads.
     
  8. Gas Hed

    Gas Hed Member

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    Same - I tried the FX8 as well and couldn't take it. Amazing sounds if you like hitting an A chord all day, but it all became a chore.
     
  9. RLD

    RLD Member

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    I use the Dirty Shirley model in my AX8...no need to tweak it cause it's glorious.
     
  10. PiRaSSiC

    PiRaSSiC Member

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    Yes I agree it sounds beautiful.
     
  11. PBGas

    PBGas Supporting Member

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    Nothing wrong with what you did. Many folks will switch back and forth. When the next new thing comes out, it will probably happen again.

    For me, I love playing live with an amp. I do use my Helix for playing live as well on the odd occasion and it works great. I find it very easy to use and change parameters. However, instead of using the Helix via 4CM with my new amp, I’m just using a couple of boss pedals, a tuner and mini Wah and going with that. Less setup time and its all right there on the floor in front of me. So far so good!
     
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  12. Jim234

    Jim234 Member

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    2 years gigging with line 6 gear. I gradually reduce the number of amp models to 1. Just went back to straight amps in the end. The lesson, keep it simple, learn the nuances of the limited gear you have available. Learn to ride the guitar volume and tone... I became a better player because of the above.
     
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  13. suparsonic

    suparsonic Member

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    Coming from an Axefx back to a real amp was liberating for me, I do not touch the dials ever. I switch to 1w setting at home and 5w or 18w at band rehearsals or gigs, that's it!
     
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  14. WiresDream

    WiresDream Member

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    I've owned two Axe FX II's. I've owned three Kempers. I've owned several Pods over the years, and I currently have a Helix.

    When I sat there with our other guitarist and we just want some usable tones for writing demos, we use the Helix entirely. When I'm recording I use valve amps. The Helix is my effects platform and controller brain of my rigs.

    I have an Orange Rockerverb 100 MKIII, an EVH5150III 50-watt head, and a Diezel D-Moll. Between those three amps, I pretty much have every valve tone I could hope for.

    The Helix is basically the quickest workflow you're going to get without going over to a full board of stomps - which of course I have that too!!

    I pretty much don't need anymore gear. I just need more time!
     
  15. mysticaxe

    mysticaxe Supporting Member

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    I had an Axe-FX years ago (the Standard, sold it right around when they announced the II). Loved the sounds I could get out of it - I think I had 5-6 patches that were my bases. I had it paired with a Mesa power amp and a Behringer controller. Decided that if I had that much weight, I might as well go back to regular amps. I have been tempted by the AX-8, but have resisted the urge so far.
     
  16. GravityJim

    GravityJim Silver Supporting Member

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    Once upon a time, I came this close (forefinger and thumb held very close together) to buying an Axe FX II, because we were moving to Cali and I was going to be downsizing the studio significantly. Then I one day woke up, and realized that for what I was about to spend on a ticklish, extremely-hard-to-learn, and utterly unknown (to me) modeler, I could have my dream amp.

    So I bought a Fuchs ODS, never thought about modeling again and lived happily ever after.

    The End
     
  17. PiRaSSiC

    PiRaSSiC Member

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    And how do you record a lovely beast like the Fuchs ?
     
  18. twoheadedboy

    twoheadedboy Member

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    Some amp sims don't take that approach. Scuffham S-Gear is pretty simple - 5 amps, 3 effects units, and a cabinet simulator. Pretty easy to come up with good sounds.
     
  19. DMVGuitar

    DMVGuitar Member

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    There is a beauty in getting to know a limited amount of gear. One can really learn to milk it for all it is worth.
     
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  20. DMVGuitar

    DMVGuitar Member

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    Curious if you sampled the two notes live or studio? I use a few amps with the live. Great hybrid of analog and digital. I can crank the amps and keep the level tolerable. The two notes lets me adjust the mic type and location in front of the cab. Easier workflow than having to walk between the control room and live room to adjust the mic.
     

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