Is the Axe FX worth it and should I get one?

Discussion in 'Beginners/FAQ' started by METAL123, Dec 5, 2017.

  1. METAL123

    METAL123 SS.org Regular

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    For the longest time I've been using plugins for amp sims, and while they're alright, they sound a bit too digital and I'm not impressed with the latency. I use a Focusrite thunderbolt interface with a low buffer rate and still encounter latency.

    Moving on to my main question.. I've always been hesitant to drop $3k on amp modelling hardware but now I'm actually considering it. I'm looking for something versatile with low latency that has a good realistic sound. The Axe FX seems to do just that.

    With all that being said, is it worth the money? Will I be happy with it? I also looked at the route of buying a good head and digital load box, but it would add up to cost around the same and I wouldn't get the advantage of using different amp sounds.

    You feedback would be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. Drezik27

    Drezik27 SS.org Regular

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    I really liked mine, but I ended up selling it and got a Kemper instead.

    Kemper isn't as tweakable as the Axe, but to my ears I think it sounds better for what I want.
     
  3. Taylord

    Taylord SS.org Regular

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    A resounding yes.
     
  4. Descent

    Descent SS.org Regular

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    For 3k I'd rather have a Mesa Mark V and mic that bad boy up, or even go with the 25 watt version and get another amp. I personally like the Kemper a bit more as well, still not sold on either though. I've used them for demos but still reamp for the final results.
     
  5. METAL123

    METAL123 SS.org Regular

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    No doubt that the real deal tube amp will sound better. But I just don't want the hassle of micing up the cab and getting the right angel. When I have an idea, I want to just plugin and record with a good sound. Plus it's too noisy, and a good digital load box would cost.

    This is why I'm considering an Axe FX or Kemper.
     
  6. InCasinoOut

    InCasinoOut syncopAZN

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    If the only hassle you want to avoid with recording a tube amp is micing, there's always all the new reactive load boxes with good cabinet impulses as an option. I have a Suhr reactive load that I use with my Mark V 35, and I love this option far more than the POD HD500 I replaced it with. Recording is just as easy as plugging in, and I no longer second guess my tone because it just sounds great so easily, with the Mark Vs offering plenty of versatility.
     
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  7. CerealKiller

    CerealKiller SS.org Regular

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    An Axe-Fx is well worth the money. Check out the AX8 as well, if you haven't already. I've been using it for about a year and a half now, and it is awesome. Sold all my amps, cabs, and pedals after having the AX8 for about 6 months.
     
  8. katsumura78

    katsumura78 SS.org Regular

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    They have a good sale going on. It’s never been a better time to grab an Axe Fx.
     
  9. budda

    budda Guiterrorizer Contributor

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    Do you want to record a pro album at home with your setup or are you just worried about the quality of scratch tracks?

    Write out a pro/con list and see where you end up.
     
  10. marcwormjim

    marcwormjim SS.org Regular

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    For a few years, now, we’ve been in the era where the flagship amp sim only sounds as good as its user. I bought an Axe FX two weeks ago understanding that I can’t buy my way out of how I sound; and that it won’t sound any better out of the box than Bias or the PODHD did (blasphemy, I know).

    In the time since, I’ve been reading the manual and dialing things in. The unit has been the industry standard for enough years now that any complaints I may have can only be a consequence of unrealistic expectations I held. Your mileage may vary.
     
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  11. Descent

    Descent SS.org Regular

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    ^ this
     
  12. thraxil

    thraxil cylon

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    Are you the kind of person who's chasing the one really great tone that's in your head? Or do you like to play all kinds of different styles of music and like to completely switch out your rig to get the sound for each? Axe-Fx works best for the latter. I have times when I want a 5150, a Recto, a JCM800, a Blackface, or a dozen other amp sounds depending on my mood. Without the Axe-Fx, I'd be filling storage spaces with spare amps by now and would've spent ten times as much money.
     
  13. noise in my mind

    noise in my mind SS.org Regular

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    I love my axe fx. I have been using them since late 2008. I have had an ultra and now a mark II. I think they are great for your situation, but I still love the sound of a real mic'd cab the best.
     
  14. noise in my mind

    noise in my mind SS.org Regular

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    I love my axe fx. I have been using them since late 2008. I have had an ultra and now a mark II. I think they are great for your situation, but I still love the sound of a real mic'd cab the best.
     
  15. laxu

    laxu SS.org Regular

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    In my opinion it is still the best sounding and most feature packed amp modeler with the best software editor. However be aware that the hardware user interface is a bit rubbish. It’s not great for on the fly adjustments. Line6 Helix is better on the HW UI front but behind in other areas.
     
  16. Mike

    Mike The Traveler Contributor

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    This.

    If money's not an issue, sure go for it. Tone-wise, the axe-fx is a great unit capable of everything almost any musician could want and more. However, if you're just after a good modeler for ease of use, L6 Helix and even the HD Pro are still very capable modelers at a fraction of the cost. As marcwormjim mentioned regarding equipment being only as good as the user, I've worked with musicians who owned axe-fx's as well as kempers and I've been able to record better sounding tracks than them imo just using TSE, POD Farm, or my HD500x.

    Edit: Also your latency issue very well may not be corrected by getting an axe-fx. I have a Saffire Pro 40 for my interface (firewire) and have zero latency issues with my setup. You have thunderbolt, so latency shouldn't be occurring at all with the right buffer settings. If you get an axe-fx, that's usb so it's not going to get the signal to your DAW any faster then going direct into your interface and using sims. Looking upgrading at your computer hardware may also be something to consider if it's been a number of years since you've done that.
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2017
  17. marcwormjim

    marcwormjim SS.org Regular

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    ^To reiterate his point in an offensive way: The majority of Axe FX owners on this board paid three grand, for a single piece of gear, in an attempt to sound as good as Misha’s POD XT Live.
     
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  18. DarthV

    DarthV SS.org Regular

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    All of the top shelf digital units sound great. They also get you to the point that for recording, you may never notice the difference between them and a real amp. I've had my Kemper for 5 years now and it still puts a big grin on my face when I power it on.

    What are you mainly looking to use it for? If it's just for home & recording, you really don't need to worry about footswitching or amplification. If you're looking to play out, you're going to need both.
     
  19. METAL123

    METAL123 SS.org Regular

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    I’m running a 5k 27” iMac with a maxed out processor and upgraded SSD and RAM. My computer definitely isn’t the issue. And I do have low latency mode in logic turned on.

    Nonetheless, when I’m using Bias FX, the response time doesn’t feel as real as my 6505+ combo. It feels like there’s an a very small extra delay that I notice. I’m picky so maybe it’s just me..
     
  20. LiveOVErdrive

    LiveOVErdrive SS.org Regular

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    Oh dude you need to change the input buffer size on your interface driver. They tend to default to like 30ms and you can probably get away with less than 5ms. Just keep turning it down until you get stuttering.
     
  21. Dineley

    Dineley SS.org Regular

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    If you go with Fractal don't get the AX8 at least it sounds like from your needs you will want the additional recording capabilities that go along with the full unit.

    Don't rule out Helix either, there's a killer series of comparison videos on YouTube that helped sway me towards Helix... well those videos and also the retarded price we are forced to pay in Canada haha.
     

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