Selling All My Gear For Amp Modeler....Suggestions?

Discussion in 'Gear & Equipment' started by scottro202, Oct 27, 2016.

  1. scottro202

    scottro202 I'm walkin' here!!!

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    Hey ya'll,

    So I don't play out like I used to. School has basically taken over my life, and next year I'm going to law school so school will consume my life even moreso. So I'm considering selling all of my non-guitar gear (amps, pedals, cab) and getting a first-run Axe-FX. They're going for under $1000 on Reverb/Ebay, and should be able get one with selling my gear without having to put any extra money to it.

    So, my question is, compared to what's out there right now, how do the FIRST RUN Axe-FX's hold up? I'm not sure if I'd get the Ultra or the Standard (they seem to be around the same price used), but if I can find one I'd definitely get the Ultra. I've also looked at the Line 6 Helix, but the first run Ultra's are cheaper still and I have a feeling that even though it's older, it's still better for the price.

    I hate to leave my t00bs, but when you only have a couple of hours at the end of the night to play, you don't want to have to wait 5 mins for tubes to warm up and to have to plus in your pedalboard when all you wanna do is rock :hbang: And when I practice at home I'm using VSTs/IRs anyways.

    TL,DR: For amp modelers under $1000, how do the first-run Axe-FX Ultras/Standards hold up to what's available today?
     
  2. TonyFlyingSquirrel

    TonyFlyingSquirrel Cherokee Warrior

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    If budget allows, Kempler or Axe FX.
    If budget is limited, POD HD500X, or Helix.

    I still use my HD500X for recording and gigging, but I've invested a lot of time creating my presets with backing tracks in Pro Tools, and 9 out of 10 times, I show up, plug in, and they adjust the trim pot on the board & bypass the eq, and I sit right in the mix where I need to be. FOH guys love my approach, but I've also been doing FOH & Recording for 30+ years, so I take all things into consideration when setting up my stuff.
     
  3. RobPhoboS

    RobPhoboS SS.org Regular

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    Budget limited, forget any of the POD stuff, go with an Amplifire and a few IR packs, plus a few choice pedals if you need\want them.
     
  4. lewis

    lewis SS.org Regular

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    just save the extra and do kemper. Every amp ever and unlimited profile storage given how tiny each amp profile is in size (like 8kb or something daft)

    £1500 for every amp/channel ever seems a bargain lol
     
  5. Andromalia

    Andromalia Pardon my french

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    The 1st gen axe can sound very good but is a PÏTA to program and learn the ropes on. Ease of use is one of the main selling points of the axe 2.
     
  6. pkgitar

    pkgitar SS.org Regular

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    I'm a Kemper user myself, but when I just want to quickly fool around for a bit I've got my Roland Cube 30 which works wonders. Not the most inspiring amp, but it works and it sounds decent for what it is.
    My friend bought an Ultra a couple of years ago, the Axe 2 was already released then AFAIK, and he seems happy and uses it on his own and other peoples recordings all the time with great success. From clean indie stuff to metal. If you can get past the fact that there is a "new and improved" version, it should be fine.

    If you want to "have a rig" and save money though, and this is just a wild suggestion which I've never tried myself but you see a few people around here do it, maybe consider like an iPad with BIAS and an interface. That way you've still got access to tons of great sounds that you can run through a pair of headphones or monitors (depending on the size of the interface) which in total should come out quite a bit less than $1000.
     
  7. budda

    budda Guiterrorizer Contributor

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    Keep your gear. Use garage band/reaper/bias and jam that way if you want good modelling and headphones.
     
  8. vick1000

    vick1000 SS.org Regular

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    If all you need is the modeling and interface, go with a PC/laptop, monitors/headphones, and one of the appliations mentioned above. I really like what I have heard fom Bias lately, and you can't beat Reaper for $60.

    Should be able to get the interface and all for way under a grand.
     
  9. Jacksonluvr636

    Jacksonluvr636 SS.org Regular

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    You have tons of options mate.

    I can't speak on how good the first run axe is vs the new but what I want to say is from reading your post....While the AXE is GREAT GREAT stuff (you probably wont be able to beat their sounds) There are better options for you in my opinion.

    You want to just plug in and rock? You do not want the Axe Fx dude I promise you. I have the AX8 and I love it. But it is probably the FARTHEST thing from plug and rock.

    I think any suggestions I would give have already been covered. You already use IR's...Reaper is $60 (or a free trial for eternity) and there are many free or cheap amp sims out there. You could sell your rig, spend a few hundred on some good monitors and some amp sims like maybe Revalver or TSE or Thermionik.

    If it were ME I would get the Amplifire pedal because the tones kick ass, it is nowhere near as complex as the Axe and it is still in your budget.

    But again, IMO the AXE tones are going to be hard to beat. Yes, I have heard crappy axe tones and I have heard amazing TSE tones but for me the Fractal stuff is amazing. It is just not plug and play at all. You would need to spend a lot of time with it learning it and dialing it in. However, once you have it figured out it slays.

    I would just ask yourself, do you want to spend max budget, get the best tones even though you may need to tweak and learn a few things? If so get the axe.

    No nonsense plug and play and save all of your money for law school? Free amp sims and rock.

    Amplifire somewhere in between.
     
  10. ncfiala

    ncfiala Silence you bastard

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    Law school? Buy something cheap because you're going to be broke for quite a while. Or maybe that's a reason to go on a spending spree now while you can.
     
  11. laxu

    laxu SS.org Regular

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    I've owned both the Axe-Fx Standard and now own the Axe-Fx 2 MK I. My first question to you is what will you be connecting it to? In my experience you need quality gear as output device too. Standard guitar poweramp and cab are far from ideal because they limit the tones available. The cab sim actually makes a big difference, probably bigger than the amp modeling. So you want some good studio monitors at home and a PA or FRFR setup for stage use.

    The Axe-Fx Standard was good enough sounding and feeling for me to ditch my tube amps. However, on the Std/Ultra you need to mess a lot with various gain and volume settings to get patches balanced and so on. The Axe-Fx 2 is a bit easier in that regard but you still have to do it. The hardware user interface isn't all that pleasant to use on either device, but the Axe-Edit software is very solid even if it is no longer updated for the Std.

    I would still consider the Line6 Helix. It has a lot better user interface and sounds almost as good as the Axe-Fx 2 at least with 3rd party IRs.
     
  12. Elric

    Elric SS.org Regular

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    FWIW, I have a bunch of rigs (including an AFX2 among other modelers, VST, and three traditional amps) but honestly my AxeFx Ultra->Power amp->Cab gets a ton of playing time.

    I strongly agree with what others here have said about the first generation axefx's requiring more dialing time when you are getting your personal presets setup and that can be a massive pain; in fact it is too much for some folks... but once you learn the ins and outs and once your core tones are dialed; you are done. The firmware is not changing every three weeks like the two. I have a core set of presets I have not changed in any meaningful way for probably two years. It is so easy just to fire that rig up and rip across any of a number of different styles with full authority and I find it much more satisfying for jamming than my VST based setup (which is more for recording) and it scales/feels proper at low volume moreso than my tube amps.

    It's not perfect but it has a lot of merit. I could probably be pretty happy with it alone, if for some reason I had to give up my other gear. It feels much better than any VST I have (amplitube/bias/revalver/thermionik) and it is better than my Amplifire which some noobs on the net have hyped (it is good for a $600 box but my Ultra is easily a better feeling and sounding unit; the AF is all about form factor).

    Honestly, I would not trade it to for any other modeler other than a II or Kemper. If someone offered me a Helix for it I'd do the trade, flip the Helix and rebuy the Ultra and pocket the difference
     
  13. crg123

    crg123 SS.orgLocalArchitect

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