Fractal Axe-FX vs Line-6 POD X3 - opinions?

Discussion in 'Gear & Equipment' started by TMM, Jan 22, 2009.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. TMM

    TMM UUDDLRLRBAStart

    Messages:
    4,392
    Likes Received:
    760
    Joined:
    May 7, 2006
    Location:
    NH, USA
    Hey everyone!

    I suspect that this may have been discussed before, but I always have a hard time using the search on this site.

    For anyone who has owned both a Fractal Axe-Fx (std or ultra) and a POD X3 (bean or pro), how would you say the two compared with each other? I know the Fractal is significantly more expensive, and a lot of people here that have one seem to really like them, but I've owned the bean X3 before, and I haven't heard any sound clips of the Axe-Fx yet, live or direct, that I didn't think could be done as well or better with a POD X3 (if not even just a regular PODxt).

    Is this really the case? Or is there some feature of the Axe-Fx that makes it superior in one situation or another?

    I really want to get another rackmount modeller, and I was looking at the X3-Pro, but wanted to get opinions on the Axe-Fx first, as I haven't had the opportunity to try one.

    Thanks in advance for your help!
     
  2. Emperoff

    Emperoff Hasta la vista, Baby Contributor

    Messages:
    2,941
    Likes Received:
    492
    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2005
    Location:
    Spain
    Dude, just there's no comparison between those things. If you can afford the AxeFX, I wouldn't even think the POD exists :lol:
     
  3. TMM

    TMM UUDDLRLRBAStart

    Messages:
    4,392
    Likes Received:
    760
    Joined:
    May 7, 2006
    Location:
    NH, USA
    So I've been told, but I haven't heard "why", which is what I'm asking for here. I certainly haven't heard 'proof' with regards to an Axe-Fx sound clip that was just obviously better than the POD X3.

    I was able to get my POD X3 (in combination with a 6L6 tube poweramp and a V30 filled 412) to sound as good or better than nearly any actual tube amp I've played, so it set the bar pretty high for me.
     
  4. technomancer

    technomancer Gearus Pimptasticus Super Moderator

    Messages:
    26,666
    Likes Received:
    5,542
    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2006
    Location:
    Out there, somewhere
    After listening to TONS of clips, and having owned a POD XT Pro (since none of the tech changed for the X3 except being able to run 2 models at the same time) the Axe just sounds 1000x better to my ears.
     
  5. vontetzianos

    vontetzianos SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    1,657
    Likes Received:
    446
    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2008
    Location:
    Joburg, SA
    What I love about the Axe fx is the ability to easily construct the signal chain of a guitar rig ie pedals-amp-cabinet-mic, which is really cool. I've tried PODs on a number of occosions and I've always been very disappointed. It has a sort of unconvincing, over-processed tone that the axe fx from what I hear does doesn't have. Get an axe fx if you can afford one.
     
  6. TMM

    TMM UUDDLRLRBAStart

    Messages:
    4,392
    Likes Received:
    760
    Joined:
    May 7, 2006
    Location:
    NH, USA
    None of the tech changed between XT-Pro and X3? I thought I'd heard that the X3 was redesigned from the ground up? I know at the very least that the routing options with the X3 are much more flexible.

    This is one of the things that was updated in the X3 - you can change the order of the signal chain.



    When you're saying that the Axe-Fx just 'sounds' better, in what way do you mean better? More like the amps it is trying to model, higher audio quality, better dynamics, less digital... ?
     
  7. silentrage

    silentrage The DeRailer

    Messages:
    3,479
    Likes Received:
    264
    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2008
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    Gentlemen, I believe a shootout is in order.
     
  8. TMM

    TMM UUDDLRLRBAStart

    Messages:
    4,392
    Likes Received:
    760
    Joined:
    May 7, 2006
    Location:
    NH, USA
    That sounds like a wonderful idea :yesway: Anyone willing to take the challenge?

    It would need to be as even as possible... maybe same amp model vs same amp model, or something along those lines.
     
  9. JJ Rodriguez

    JJ Rodriguez Contributor

    Messages:
    14,738
    Likes Received:
    1,350
    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2005
    Maybe if you don't go terribly in depth you can get similar patches, but on the Axe, you can change power amp settings, tailor the frequency response of the amps controls, etc. There's so much shit I don't even really know what I'm doing half the time :lol:

    I own a Toneport, and could never dial out the fizzy sounding garbage. I just started trying to record with the Axe, and when I first plugged it in, it was fizzy and shitty sounding too, which made no sense since I've heard amazing clips (search for Cynic, Tymon, and Axe FX for a thread where Tymon from Cynic posted a metal clip) so I knew it was something I was doing. It turned out to be my Tubescreamer in front of my pre-amp. The setting sounded good live through my power amp and cab, but not good direct. It's better now, but I'm still EQ'ing and tweaking.

    Personally, I've just never clicked with Line 6 products :shrug: I did enjoy my Boss GT-6, but found when running it with my tube amp it made it sound processed and took a lot of the tube warmth away, which kind of defeated owning a boutique amp.

    If you like the Line 6 stuff, and you know it, and it's within your budget then stick with them.

    I personally really like the Axe so far for my live sounds. I'm sure once I get better at tweaking stuff, I'll really dig the direct tone too. I tried everything with that damn Toneport and couldn't get anything usable out of it.

    There's also the effects that people have been replacing their Eventide units with on top of the models.
     
  10. technomancer

    technomancer Gearus Pimptasticus Super Moderator

    Messages:
    26,666
    Likes Received:
    5,542
    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2006
    Location:
    Out there, somewhere
    Pretty much all of the above :lol:

    Just my opinion though, and I don't own an Axe yet.
     
  11. JJ Rodriguez

    JJ Rodriguez Contributor

    Messages:
    14,738
    Likes Received:
    1,350
    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2005
    Definitely less digital. I never went in depth with a lot of the Line 6 stuff, but you can do weird shit on the Axe, like put in a delay block, feed the dry signal through it, and route the wet signal to a pitch shifter, or phaser, so you still have your regular signal, and the effect only gets applied to the delayed signal. I can set up a ISP Pro Rack G type noise gate block, but running a blank row (I think you can have like 8 rows or something) and run that into the noise gate that's after your pre-amp, and tell it to track the dry guitar signal. You can set up to 3 noise gates, the one that's always on the input by default, which you can turn off, and up to 2 gate/expander blocks (on the Ultra, not available on the Standard). There's a Vocoder, intelligent pitch shifter.

    Honestly, I personally probably don't need an Axe because there's just so much shit I don't know what to do with it :lol: I'm sure I'll learn in time though.
     
  12. Justin Bailey

    Justin Bailey SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    2,155
    Likes Received:
    284
    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2007
    Location:
    hell
    is there any medium between the two? Something that sounds good, but isn't as expensive as the axe fx, other than line 6 stuff.
     
  13. Cancer

    Cancer Cancer:The Crucifuct

    Messages:
    3,260
    Likes Received:
    281
    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2005
    Location:
    Baltimore, MD
    I don't own an Axe, but I have a Pod X3 Live, and have done extensive research on the Axe, and heard are my thoughts.

    A. The PoD X3 is basically 2 XT's run in parallel. To my ears a single side of the X3 sounded a little better (slightly more detail, didn't need a bbe etc), but it was slight.

    B. While you can run parallel chains on the X3, you can't share sound between the two (ie, for instance, taking a side of chain a and running it into chain b). You can run the parallel chains in series though, although you need a cable do it.

    C,. The chain order on the X3 is preset, you can make some minor moves (delay pedal position, volume pedal, etc) but not much.

    D. The X3 has no real pitch shifting (outisde the bender which is limited). On the Axe you have dumb and intelligent pitch shifting, which, in this day and age, should be standard on effects units anyway.

    I could on, but here my summary, if you're just doing basic amp sim stuff, save your money and get the X3. Of the basic modellers IMO its still the best one out there, and for the price you can't go wrong...

    HOWEVER....

    If you're looking to do any sort of sound design, anything that requires a high degree of routing flexibility, the Axefx is one of the few "modern" unit I've found that can do it. It has 4 parallel chains (i believe) which means right there it's like twice the X3 (actually more like twice the Vetta), but with more insane routing options.

    That being said, there are older units that also have a higher degree of flexibility, I thinking specifically of the Boss GT-5, the GX-700 .
    Arguably, although the above Boss units do not have parallel chains (wasn't in vogue yet), these 2 units are the only units I've had experience with that could even come close to the internal flexibility of the Axefx. Of course, they use older components, so the sounds are not going to be as up to date, but they can be had for mad cheap now, where as the Axefx Ultra is 2k$.

    Personally, I'm saving for an Ultra, I just Fractal Audio would release the floorboard to it. Last fall they said it would be out by January 2009. Still no word on it yet.
     
  14. silentrage

    silentrage The DeRailer

    Messages:
    3,479
    Likes Received:
    264
    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2008
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    The cheapest solution is Audio Interface > DAW > VSTs > Impulses or Nebula Samples

    You only really need to shell out money for the interface, cheapest less than $100, and Nebula, $80 pounds.

    Problem is if you wanna do live you need stage PAs and your laptop + interface.
     
  15. Justin Bailey

    Justin Bailey SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    2,155
    Likes Received:
    284
    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2007
    Location:
    hell
    hmm. Well I'll just start a thread when I'm at that point, I need a new guitar first.
     
  16. Spinedriver

    Spinedriver SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    2,475
    Likes Received:
    372
    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2007
    Location:
    NB,Canuckistan
    The one thing that has really disappointed a lot of people is that Line 6 has been using the same amp model algorithms since the XT first came out in '04. The only real difference between the XT line and the X3 is mainly hardware. Granted, you can run 2 sims at the same time (like the Vetta head), but the amp models are identical.

    So in terms of modeling, they're starting to seriously lag behind. With the Axe-FX, Amplitube, Guitar Rig, REvalver MK III, all having a much greater degree of parameter editing available, the quality of the XT(3) line is starting to look pretty pale in comparison.
     
  17. drooster

    drooster The Other Drew

    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    3
    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2008
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    I own the POD X3 (bean) and the Axe-FX Ultra - I used the Pod for a looong time (had a pod 2.0 before the X3 came out) and just recently switched over to the Axe-FX. The Axe-FX has some considerable advantages over the Pod, some of which others have already mentioned:

    - The amp sims are much, much better on the Axe-FX. They respond to different dynamics and sound much more life-like. The amp controls are more like actual amp controls; you can pump the drive for pre-amp distortion or pump the main volume for power tube distortion, etc.

    - The Axe-FX is infinitely more flexible/configurable, almost to a fault. It takes a while to learn how to use, but once you do, you can do ANYTHING with it. This was the ultimate selling point for me; I spent hours and hours tweaking POD patches, never being 100% happy with the sounds. With the Axe-FX, its a lot easier to nail that sound you're looking for. I also like the Axe-FX's editors (on the unit and on the computer) better.

    - Its got enough features to choke an elephant, far more than the POD has. Some of the things I thought I'd never use (4 outputs? seriously?), I use the hell out of. And there are some really "out-there" sounds you can get with it.

    I use mine at home, plugged directly into the computer for recording, and with a mesa poweramp for live settings. I haven't used the Pod for live stuff, so I can't compare, but the Axe-FX is *perfect* for live situations. Patches switch fast, you can control everything through MIDI, and its rugged.

    Main Page - Axe-Fx Wiki
     
  18. TMM

    TMM UUDDLRLRBAStart

    Messages:
    4,392
    Likes Received:
    760
    Joined:
    May 7, 2006
    Location:
    NH, USA
    The Axe-Fx is starting to sound more and more intriguing... now to find one at a price I won't have to sell an organ for :yesway:
     
  19. FoxZero

    FoxZero Zero Imperfections

    Messages:
    868
    Likes Received:
    71
    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2007
    Location:
    West Chester, PA
    Common. Do you really need both your kidneys?

    :lol:
     
  20. vontetzianos

    vontetzianos SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    1,657
    Likes Received:
    446
    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2008
    Location:
    Joburg, SA
    Oh... didn't know that:yesway:
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.