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Axe-Fx II vs Axe-Fx Ultra

Discussion in 'Backline' started by Clark Kent, Dec 11, 2012.

  1. Clark Kent

    Clark Kent Member

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    Hey there! My bandmate just got his Axe-II rig together and we spent this day A/B'ing these two out. My honest opinion is that the Axe-II is more direct sounding out of the box. The pick attack is very fast and it feels more like a real amp. That does not mean either sounds better than the other though. Here's a video we made using the same amp models and cabinet model. Bare in mind that neither unit is performing at their best in this video.



    Now... once you've seen that and thought what ever you thought about which has better modeling etc. take a listen to these two clips where the only difference is the modeling, dynamics and playing style. The Ultra was matched to have the same spectrum with the Axe-II:





    ... and tell me which one was first, Ultra or II?

    FEEDBACK!!
     
    #1 Clark Kent, Dec 11, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 23, 2015
  2. Vicioushead

    Vicioushead Member

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    Clip 1) I'm gonna say it's Axe 2 first.

    Clip 2) Ultra then Axe 2

    I don't know what else to say other than I think they both sound very good.

    /prepares to be wrong

    /has an ear infection :(
     
  3. FIXXXER

    FIXXXER ¯\(°_o)/¯

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    clip 1: II > ultra
    clip2: ultra > II
     
  4. JeffTD

    JeffTD Senhor Testiculo

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    I prefer the first clip in both, and the II to the I in the video. The problem with this is the different played and guitar, though - his playing seems much more open and dynamic than yours which is more focused, midrange-specific, and tight.
     
  5. Clark Kent

    Clark Kent Member

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    Yeah exactly. Different guitars, pickups, players... so many variables... even if it was the same player with the same guitar it wouldn't be 100% comparable.

    The units are in the same order in both clips. Cliff Chase (creator of Axe-Fx) answered this question on the Fractal Forum and he guessed wrong.
     
  6. Vicioushead

    Vicioushead Member

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    I don't feel too bad then :)
     
  7. Clark Kent

    Clark Kent Member

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    Yeah, it doesn't mean that one is better than the other. Ofcourse the II is better with it's features alone. You can make the Ultra sound "so close that even the creator can't tell the difference" so I guess we should all be happy. :)

    I must say that the pick attack was a lot direct in the II though. So there will most likely be a feel difference.
     
  8. Behind

    Behind Member

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    Are you able to check them by using the same guitar and player?
     
  9. Clark Kent

    Clark Kent Member

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    Sure. I think we'll be doing a test like that soon.
     
  10. Vicioushead

    Vicioushead Member

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    Do you have any experience of the Axe Standard Clark?
     
  11. Clark Kent

    Clark Kent Member

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    I actually owned one of those for a year or so. The same exact amp modeling as the Ultra. Half the power of the Ultra but will enough for most tones for sure. You can't do any of those uber crazy things like violin or bagpipe tones but other than that it's pretty good.
     
  12. Vicioushead

    Vicioushead Member

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    Cool, thanks. As long as it has the same modelling, I'm happy.
     
  13. drew_drummer

    drew_drummer Dancefap

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    So... you tone matched the Ultra to be the same as the Axe II ... ??

    Not sure what this proves really...
     
  14. Lasse Lammert

    Lasse Lammert HCAF Blitzkrieg

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    why buy an AFX, if you can just EQ-match any tone using any vst modeller? ;)

    sorry, couldn't resist ;)
     
  15. Nuno Filipe

    Nuno Filipe You talkin' to me?

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  16. Clark Kent

    Clark Kent Member

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    If you can't hear a difference then it means that there isn't much of a difference in the dynamics, which would mean that you can get the same tones with both units, if not by other means then at least with matching tones.

    Personally I feel that it's so close that I can't justify paying 1000€ to get the II.

    Haha... here we go again. Although I match EQ a lot I've never stated anywhere that I'd use matched tones live. I very rarely use them in my recordings. It's merely for the situations where I do a session with a band where the guitarists have no clue about how a guitar should sound to fit a mix. I can give them various options that I can work with without having to reamp a dozen different versions.

    Other than that I wouldn't use a vst modeler live. That and the versatility of the Axe-Fx is unbeatable. TH2 sounds good but it feels kind of weird in the vst environment since you'll always have some delay which always affects feel. This and a million other reasons... :)
     
  17. Lasse Lammert

    Lasse Lammert HCAF Blitzkrieg

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    Sorry mate, I know, I was just being a dick:)
     
  18. drew_drummer

    drew_drummer Dancefap

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    But dynamics isn't something you solely experience with hearing; in the context of guitar playing, dynamics is far more closely related to your actual playing of the guitar than it is to hearing it. Asking people to judge differences in dynamics when it comes to amp sounds, purely by ear.. I dunno... misses the whole picture if you ask me.
     
  19. kev

    kev Im guybrush threepwood

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    Word. Especially highly distorted "dynamic".

    Interesting test!
     
  20. Clark Kent

    Clark Kent Member

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    Yea I knew you were kidding. :)

    Yes you are right. The Axe-II felt very quick... it actually felt even quicker than most real amps. I had the Orange Thunder 30 combo and it had this quick feel. Like the attack was immidiate with no delay at all. However I'm not sure if that is what dynamics are all about. I'd say the Axe-II has sharper transients so in that way higher fidelity but both units worked the same way when dropping the volume on the guitar. That seems to be the way most people "test" dynamics.

    So the feel is very different on the units.
     

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