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Thread: I'm not an Axe FX 2 guy

  1. #81
    Junior Member xarkon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dancing Frog View Post
    Since I have been following the Axe-FX, the most popular powered monitors/cabs for an FRFR rig have sort of followed this progression:
    Atomic Reactor FR->Verve FBT 12ma->QSC K12->RCF NX 12-sma->Atomic CLR

    There are many others of course, but those seem to be the most discussed. Some people like the 10" speaker cabs a lot for the weight, but I have always preferred 12" speakers myself. I am currently waiting to replace my Verves with Atomic CLR's.
    Yes, this list is about right for FRFR in what I would call the "general use" category. I.e. playing at home, rehearsal, or either backline or monitor at a gig.

    Some use the smaller 10" and 8" monitors because they have enough low-end for guitar but more because of (a) weight; (b) wider dispersion pattern on the horn driver.

    The RCF and CLR have co-axial high-frequency drivers; better sound from this type of design is one reason why they are supplanting the QSC. However, the QSC (and similar offerings from JBL, EV, Yamaha, etc.) are readily available and not too expensive.

    If you're going to use it only for recording, studio monitors are fine but just aren't going to move the kind of air that even a compact PA speaker like the QSC can.

    The other FRFR option is to simply plug into a correctly set up, quality PA system, but that's overkill for a simple setup.

    Some people prefer to use separate power amps (like the Matrix) and unpowered FRFR cabs. And others still bypass the FRFR solution and use a power amp (again, Matrix, Crown, QSC, what have you) and run directly into a guitar cabinet. In that case you will not want a cab block in the Axe FX II patch chain.

    Dave

  2. #82
    Quote Originally Posted by Dancing Frog View Post
    Since I have been following the Axe-FX, the most popular powered monitors/cabs for an FRFR rig have sort of followed this progression:
    Atomic Reactor FR->Verve FBT 12ma->QSC K12->RCF NX 12-sma->Atomic CLR

    There are many others of course, but those seem to be the most discussed. Some people like the 10" speaker cabs a lot for the weight, but I have always preferred 12" speakers myself. I am currently waiting to replace my Verves with Atomic CLR's.
    What kind of money are we talking for an FRFR suitable for gigs?
    One Life

  3. #83
    Junior Member xarkon's Avatar
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    QSC K12 is $850.
    Atomic CLR (powered) is $999; there is a waiting list.

  4. #84
    Member dmatthews's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jet Whitey View Post
    Operator error! I've had my Ultra for almost 2 years now and NO WAY am I ever going to spend a dime on an amp again. I have 4 patches based on a Plexi....4 based on a JCM and 3 based on a Twin. Every modulation effect at my will and goodbye to back breaking load ins and load outs! Soundguys love me and so do the guys in front that are no longer being ear lazered by my 4X12's. As I said Hans.....watch it.....you go to that side you won't be coming back.........OOOOPS....that's what Dweez told me 4 years ago.....lol

    You didn't happen to be at the Dweezil Zappa camp in NY in 2010 did you? I was there and they were showing the Axe off for us all. That was a fun/awesome week!
    2001 PRS McRosie Violin Amber Sunburst Abalone birdies
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  5. #85
    Quote Originally Posted by xarkon View Post
    QSC K12 is $850.
    Atomic CLR (powered) is $999; there is a waiting list.
    So we're talking big money for a "proper" Axe FX II rig. About $4500 hundred bucks for the unit, controller, and FRFR?
    One Life

  6. #86
    I got a Groove Tubes Trio preamp, and a Valverb in the effects loop of my Ax2. Part of me remains pure.

  7. #87
    Senior Member themike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ]-[ @ n $ 0 |v| a T ! View Post
    What kind of money are we talking for an FRFR suitable for gigs?
    Well here is the thing - if you're playing a gig at a good club, you don't NEED an FRFR setup. FRFR is supposed to emulate a direct out which, if you're at a good club, is what you would be sending to the front of house engineer (sound guy). He would give you your mix through the monitors (just like a guitar amp) and that is essentially the same thing as using the monitors that we've been discussing. It really depends on what experience each user wants, and how much they want to invest in it. You can literally plug an AxeFX 2 direct at a show with nothing else and sound amazing.

    My set up is a little different than what everyone else is doing - I used to use a poweramp and a normal 4x12 cabinet and that would be output1 . Output 2 would be a direct line to the sound board with cabinet and power amp simulation ON. That gave me a good blend of real amp in the room and prestine direct tones.

    Its a swiss army knife man - it can do anything that you can put your mind to.
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  8. #88
    Member TFC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by themike View Post
    Its a swiss army knife man - it can do anything that you can put your mind to.

    Well, anything except sound good through the front of a Fender Twin.

  9. #89
    Senior Member themike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TFC View Post
    Well, anything except sound good through the front of a Fender Twin.
    Id have to go back and reread the thread but didn't we deem that he ran it like a pedal in front of the amp, instead of only using the power amp like a preamp? I dunno, this threads hurting muh brain! hahah
    Paul Reed Smith 7 - S t r i n g A c t i v i s t | Fueled by P T C

  10. #90
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    Quote Originally Posted by ]-[ @ n $ 0 |v| a T ! View Post
    So we're talking big money for a "proper" Axe FX II rig. About $4500 hundred bucks for the unit, controller, and FRFR?
    That sounds about right for a kick ass rig. You could get a cheaper controller but no way would I skimp on the FRFR speaker. I see posts from guys all the time that do this - they buy a $2k+ Axe or Kemper and then ask "what's the best cheap FRFR".
    You're never too old for tater tots.

  11. #91
    Quote Originally Posted by TFC View Post
    Well, anything except sound good through the front of a Fender Twin.
    The blackface Twin Reverb is the original FRFR.
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  12. #92
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    Quote Originally Posted by ]-[ @ n $ 0 |v| a T ! View Post
    "Extreme changes", yes. But the goods are in the subtle changes. I had to turn the guitar's volume down to 2 before the tone changed on my favorite "metal" preset. What about all those possibilities between 2 and 10?
    This is a gain staging issue. The exact same thing happens with real amps. A lot. If you have a super high-gain metal amp, it will do the same thing. You have to seriously turn the guitar down to get a Rectifier to change dynamics if you've got the gain cranked. I've owned amps by Diezel, Soldano, Splawn, Boogie, Bogner, CAE, Elmwood, etc. and they all exhibit this same behavior with a high gain "metal" tone. A modeler that didn't exhibit this behavior would not be particularly accurate. If you go for something more like a hot rodded Marshall you will find that the volume control is far more effective - this is the same with a modeler or an amp.

    Quote Originally Posted by ]-[ @ n $ 0 |v| a T ! View Post
    Look, I'm not bashing Axe FX 2 users. I'm not even bashing the Axe FX 2. But given the choice between the real deal and the Axe FX, it's no contest. And since it looks like I would have to invest in an FRFR rig (whatever the hell that it) in addition to the cost of an Axe FX 2 ($2500ish) and then the controller pedal (another $999), I may as well buy the real thing.
    If you can run the real thing for the same price or less and it meets your needs then that is absolutely what you should do. The sheer number of low wattage "mini" amps on the market is a good indication that most of us cannot use the real thing for practical purposes. If I could, I'd use a Soldano SLO and a Fender Twin as my rig. Nothing I've used sounds as good as my old SLO with the volume on 6-7. Same thing with my Twin (which I still have). But an SLO and Twin at moderate volumes are very unremarkable sounding - they don't sound bad but the good stuff does not arrive until you are on 6. So I use my Two Rock or Friedman 20 watters instead. They're much better sounding at moderate volumes than the real thing.

    When I first started gigging with the Axe Ultra, it was actually a cheaper rig than what I was using. I had been using a VHT power amp, Bradshaw preamp, Eventide/TC/Digitech processors, and a bunch of boutique pedals. The Ultra rig sounded better, was more powerful, and was about 50lbs lighter
    You're never too old for tater tots.

  13. #93
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    BTW Hans, I've not abandoned my tube amps at all. In my Stones band I use a Two Rock head and stomp boxes. Today I went to do a recording session and took my Friedman and Rivera ISO cab. It sounded great. I love the Axe but it's just a tool like anything else. I use it when I want to.
    You're never too old for tater tots.

  14. #94
    I understand. Trust me.

    When I get a chance to play an Axe FX 2 in it's 'approved' configuration (and I welcome the opportunity) I'll chime back in.

    Between now and then I am going to go with what I heard in the headphones - which was just about the same thing I heard through my Twin.

    I suspect those who doubt my old Fender have never played through a real blackface (not a reissue) Twin. But it doesn't matter. None of this is more than another opinion on the internet.
    One Life

  15. #95
    SuperD Boogie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Danerada View Post
    ...if you run it in front of a CHOICE amp with some sort of amp modeling on, they are not very good...
    This has been my experience, as well. Everything sounded stellar thru the headphones but as soon as I tried to get it amplified into the real world, that all turned fizzy and wimpy. It tool a full range, 3 way PA to get it where I liked it (speaking of the POD products, BTW). And the only tones I really liked were the most distorted and metal-like.
    + '01 Custom 24 + '11 DGT Standard (Mr. Clean) + '09 SE One + Super Dallas + Stealth 2x12+

  16. #96
    Senior Member Jet Whitey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dmatthews View Post
    You didn't happen to be at the Dweezil Zappa camp in NY in 2010 did you? I was there and they were showing the Axe off for us all. That was a fun/awesome week!
    No I wasn't......Grover Duvall (man I miss the dude) introduced me a few years back @ the PRS Experience and I'll be honest I'm really not a big fan of his dad's music, BUT I was a big fan of the tone I heard during his set.
    PRS Guitars Endorsee....White and Relic'd Ones !

  17. #97
    Senior Member Jet Whitey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ]-[ @ n $ 0 |v| a T ! View Post
    What kind of money are we talking for an FRFR suitable for gigs?
    Here's my cost breakdown

    Used Ultra $1250.00
    Used MFC-101 Floorboard $600.00
    Friends and Family GC Discount QSC-K-12 $589.00
    """"""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" Rockit 5's for home $149.00
    PRS Guitars Endorsee....White and Relic'd Ones !

  18. #98
    I was severely impressed Herr Squid's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ]-[ @ n $ 0 |v| a T ! View Post
    The blackface Twin Reverb is the original FRFR.
    Ah, but it's not! While it's the archetype of a loud, clean guitar amp, there's all kind of stuff going on in there to make an electric guitar sound good that is the opposite of a flat, full-range system. That amp will emphasize bottoms and highs, cut out midrange, and the speaker will knock off a bunch of upper frequencies. Plug the same guitar into a Twin, and straight into a PA mixer for an A/B comparison. You'll hear a big difference! And I hope you like the Twin better...

    Anyway, any guitar amp, including "clean" ones jack around the input signal a lot. The Twin is going to put its own sonic stamp on the input signal it gets, and if that signal is already mangled by another guitar amp-like thing, especially a dirty one, the results may not be pleasing! At the very least the EQ will be weird and the response probably won't feel "right."

    Quote Originally Posted by hippietim View Post
    This is a gain staging issue. The exact same thing happens with real amps. A lot. If you have a super high-gain metal amp, it will do the same thing. You have to seriously turn the guitar down to get a Rectifier to change dynamics if you've got the gain cranked. I've owned amps by Diezel, Soldano, Splawn, Boogie, Bogner, CAE, Elmwood, etc. and they all exhibit this same behavior with a high gain "metal" tone. A modeler that didn't exhibit this behavior would not be particularly accurate. If you go for something more like a hot rodded Marshall you will find that the volume control is far more effective - this is the same with a modeler or an amp.
    That's what I was getting at in my prior post -- an amp or model with a lot of preamp gain (i.e. a "metal" amp) doesn't typically clean up well in response to the volume knob. Though I'm sure there are exceptions. My growing-up amp was a Mark III Boogie, and it is [i]terrible[/] at that. I was convinced the volume knob was useless until I tried the THD Flexi, which develops a lot of grind in the power tubes, and responds beautifully to touch and volume controls. There are some models in the Axe-II that do it, and some that don't.

    Quote Originally Posted by ]-[ @ n $ 0 |v| a T ! View Post
    I understand. Trust me.

    When I get a chance to play an Axe FX 2 in it's 'approved' configuration (and I welcome the opportunity) I'll chime back in.

    Between now and then I am going to go with what I heard in the headphones - which was just about the same thing I heard through my Twin.

    I suspect those who doubt my old Fender have never played through a real blackface (not a reissue) Twin. But it doesn't matter. None of this is more than another opinion on the internet.
    I've had bad luck with the Axe-II and headphones. Tried it once and gave up. The Axe can only sound as good as whatever you have throwing the sound. Through my pair of QSC HPR-122i's? Loads of fun! I can get killer tones at completely controllable volume levels and I'm a happy camper. If you ever come back this way, the door's open!

  19. #99
    Senior Member jfb's Avatar
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    When I had my Axe-Fx Ultra I'd take it to a friends and play it through his Bose tower PA thing. Was pretty cool. The Axe-Fx II never left my studio area.
    Plank Owner

  20. #100
    FWIW is finally did a patch that totally makes me feel inspired and feel like having a real amp next to me....

    Using my Custom 24.


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