Fractal Audio Systems is INSANE!

chocol8

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I use my AF3 about 99% of the time with my JBL studio monitors. I have tried headphones but much more prefer the monitors.
I have been curious to how the FRFR speakers work out. In a live situation, I have a feeling that I would prefer to use the AF3 with my real cab then go the FRFR route.

Since FRFR's are neither flat nor full range, the results vary tremendously depending on what you use. For low to modest volume, studio monitors are the way to go. For loud, the Atomic CLR or quality PA speakers. I am not a fan of the Headrush units.

Using a real cab gets you closest to the feeling of playing a real amp, like REALLY close. The issue is it brings in all the problems of playing loud amps on stage and getting the best tone to the audience.
 

saxon68

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Since FRFR's are neither flat nor full range, the results vary tremendously depending on what you use. For low to modest volume, studio monitors are the way to go. For loud, the Atomic CLR or quality PA speakers. I am not a fan of the Headrush units.

Using a real cab gets you closest to the feeling of playing a real amp, like REALLY close. The issue is it brings in all the problems of playing loud amps on stage and getting the best tone to the audience.
It also limits you to the sound of the speakers used. Some songs I prefer greenbacks, some with T75, some V30. FRFR lets you make those changes.

I’ve got a pair of Headrush 108s and they sound pretty damn good, to my surprise. Using one with Helix my last band thought I was using the Marshall half stack that I’d been using for the previous few months with them.

Just added the AFX 3 to get that last 10% there, and really love some of the recorded tones I’ve heard in mixes.

EDIT: I’m not a bedroom player, if I wanna jam quietly I’ll use headphones with the PC or modeler, or Katana Air (or the WAZA air).

My use case will be onstage (and rehearsals) with a pretty loud rock band, or recording.

I’m still a tube amp guy also, I like all the kool-aid flavors :)
 

Derek S

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I think I've quickly become one of those "same IR for most models" fan. The irony is I didn't think I'd end up approaching the Fractal that way after a few sample runs through the entire preset list, thought the developers did a nice job of showcasing the range of amp/cab IR's diversity (for the most part), was excited to have hundreds of IR's at my disposal, and the IR is really half the battle. I recall exiting the modeling game back in the dark ages (L6 POD days circa 25 years ago lol) with a bad taste in my mouth specifically due to that flaw (all the amps having a "sameness" issue). I just assumed using the same IRs now with different models in the AxeFx would have that problem too but thankfully, nope, that's definitely not an issue these days!

All that said, I think I just needed to find the few IRs that really speak to me and stick to them. Last night I revisited a few models I scoffed at the first few times I sampled through them because frankly, some sounded like ass, nothing like what they're supposed too, or at least in my mind anyway, I mean I have an SLO sitting right beside me running into a greenback cab and the AXEFX version, in basic/unchanged state anyway is rubbish lol. I was like "WTF were they thinking? That's nothing like the real deal". Then I tried dropping in a couple of my favorite IR's instead of the odd choice the Fractal folks selected - and BAM, amazingly close! I mean i was nearly drooling at how good it sounded. So I swept through a few other models I remember being underwhelmed by, swapped in my preferred IR's and again...magic! I may damn well sell the SLO after hearing how close the Axe III was with the right IR lol.
 

saxon68

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I think I've quickly become one of those "same IR for most models" fan. The irony is I didn't think I'd end up approaching the Fractal that way after a few sample runs through the entire preset list, thought the developers did a nice job of showcasing the range of amp/cab IR's diversity (for the most part), was excited to have hundreds of IR's at my disposal, and the IR is really half the battle. I recall exiting the modeling game back in the dark ages (L6 POD days circa 25 years ago lol) with a bad taste in my mouth specifically due to that flaw (all the amps having a "sameness" issue). I just assumed using the same IRs now with different models in the AxeFx would have that problem too but thankfully, nope, that's definitely not an issue these days!

All that said, I think I just needed to find the few IRs that really speak to me and stick to them. Last night I revisited a few models I scoffed at the first few times I sampled through them because frankly, some sounded like ass, nothing like what they're supposed too, or at least in my mind anyway, I mean I have an SLO sitting right beside me running into a greenback cab and the AXEFX version, in basic/unchanged state anyway is rubbish lol. I was like "WTF were they thinking? That's nothing like the real deal". Then I tried dropping in a couple of my favorite IR's instead of the odd choice the Fractal folks selected - and BAM, amazingly close! I mean i was nearly drooling at how good it sounded. So I swept through a few other models I remember being underwhelmed by, swapped in my preferred IR's and again...magic! I may damn well sell the SLO after hearing how close the Axe III was with the right IR lol.
Any chance you can pm me with a link to your preset and IR used?
 

Michael Roe

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I think I've quickly become one of those "same IR for most models" fan. The irony is I didn't think I'd end up approaching the Fractal that way after a few sample runs through the entire preset list, thought the developers did a nice job of showcasing the range of amp/cab IR's diversity (for the most part), was excited to have hundreds of IR's at my disposal, and the IR is really half the battle. I recall exiting the modeling game back in the dark ages (L6 POD days circa 25 years ago lol) with a bad taste in my mouth specifically due to that flaw (all the amps having a "sameness" issue). I just assumed using the same IRs now with different models in the AxeFx would have that problem too but thankfully, nope, that's definitely not an issue these days!

All that said, I think I just needed to find the few IRs that really speak to me and stick to them. Last night I revisited a few models I scoffed at the first few times I sampled through them because frankly, some sounded like ass, nothing like what they're supposed too, or at least in my mind anyway, I mean I have an SLO sitting right beside me running into a greenback cab and the AXEFX version, in basic/unchanged state anyway is rubbish lol. I was like "WTF were they thinking? That's nothing like the real deal". Then I tried dropping in a couple of my favorite IR's instead of the odd choice the Fractal folks selected - and BAM, amazingly close! I mean i was nearly drooling at how good it sounded. So I swept through a few other models I remember being underwhelmed by, swapped in my preferred IR's and again...magic! I may damn well sell the SLO after hearing how close the Axe III was with the right IR lol.
I have been doing the "single IR thing" for a while now. I get what you are saying.
Oddly enough, my current single IR is a York Audio Marshall 4x12 M25 with a Vintage Sennheiser 421. This is my go to for just jamming in my room. It has a really nice beefy bottom end which to me sounds like my real 1960AX in the room. It probably wouldn't work in a mix without some tweaking though.
I have used my own IRs ( Zombie Cabs ) as well. When I shot those, I did so with the cabs off the floor and completely flat and no colored mic pre. Recently I tried using one of my 1960AX -412 mic IRs. I went to the cab block and did a few minor tweaks and was blown away! I raised the "proximity" a bit and turned on the mic preamp simulator and that same IR sounds equally as good as the YA version.

As for the Soldano model, I have tried that one and never cared for it. What IR are you using with it?
BTW, one pain in the ass thing I find with the AXE FX is when you switch amp models it auto switches the " Speaker Impedance Curve" which doesn't always follow what IR you may be using.
This "SIC" can make a huge difference when trying out an amp model.
 

Derek S

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Any chance you can pm me with a link to your preset and IR used?
No prob. I actually just used the current stock solo 100 patch or whatever they call it for the SLO 100, didn't even mess with tweaking it yet (just swapping the IRs had me giddy lol). It's a third party IR, something from the Ownhammer pack I bought...but I will shoot it to you when I get home this eve.
 

tallcoolone

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Since FRFR's are neither flat nor full range, the results vary tremendously depending on what you use. For low to modest volume, studio monitors are the way to go
Agreed. Remember though, we all end up dialing in a tone that works with whatever "real" cab we are using too. Monitors are the same. IME the differences are much less pronounced with near field monitors as you say. The AXE through a good set of studio monitors is the most incredible practice setup I've ever had.
Using a real cab gets you closest to the feeling of playing a real amp, like REALLY close. The issue is it brings in all the problems of playing loud amps on stage and getting the best tone to the audience.
I never liked running the Fractal or Helix through guitar cabs. Then you are playing whatever power amp you are using--nothing against that but it's just adding another factor to the equation. The most direct way to audience's ears is from hardware->FOH. You trust that you did a good enough job representing the sound in your head and you let the sound guy/engineer do the rest.

I think both modelers "feel like an amp", they just feel like the SAME amp. IMO this is a positive. Once you get the feel for the unit and your rig all of the amps feel and respond the same under your fingers. I remember enjoying the Splawn preset quite a bit on the AXE and I've had 2 Splawns that I ditched even though I loved the tone. I just hated the way they responded to my playing. The AXE is always consistent from model to model.
 
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Jethro Rocker

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Bluguitar is awesome. It’s 4 channels and knobs since it’s an amp so no presets, but I could gig with it and be very happy. The classic is a great Marshall sound. I don’t feel the need to ever have a 2203 now. That itch is scratched.
No presets as such, but, as one switches channels the adjustments on the side of the unit for each channel come into play as the one set of controls of course remain the same between channel changes. For me that is like a preset as opposed ro a JVM etc.
Great sounding unit though.
 

Derek S

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I have been doing the "single IR thing" for a while now. I get what you are saying.
Oddly enough, my current single IR is a York Audio Marshall 4x12 M25 with a Vintage Sennheiser 421. This is my go to for just jamming in my room. It has a really nice beefy bottom end which to me sounds like my real 1960AX in the room. It probably wouldn't work in a mix without some tweaking though.
I have used my own IRs ( Zombie Cabs ) as well. When I shot those, I did so with the cabs off the floor and completely flat and no colored mic pre. Recently I tried using one of my 1960AX -412 mic IRs. I went to the cab block and did a few minor tweaks and was blown away! I raised the "proximity" a bit and turned on the mic preamp simulator and that same IR sounds equally as good as the YA version.

As for the Soldano model, I have tried that one and never cared for it. What IR are you using with it?
BTW, one pain in the ass thing I find with the AXE FX is when you switch amp models it auto switches the " Speaker Impedance Curve" which doesn't always follow what IR you may be using.
This "SIC" can make a huge difference when trying out an amp model.
I've heard great things about the York stuff, although it'd be overkill having several I'm really happy with already, I may watch their page for a deal lol.

I've been testing the SLO model with several different IR's, all of which sound better than the Legacy/stock cab they slapped on it initially...but I may have been harsh to criticize the engineers when I first heard their preset because not everyone is on the same page with speaker/cab choices paired with real amps and what they "should" sound like. Just because I love my Soldano with Greenbacks doesn't mean everyone else should! The few I've been happy with are the OH MAR-TV M25 57, OH MAR-TV M25 121, OH MAR PR-M55 57, OH MAR PR-M55 121 and a custom one I grabbed from their message board from one of their artists.

I think both modelers "feel like an amp", they just feel like the SAME amp. IMO this is a positive. Once you get the feel for the unit and your rig all of the amps feel and respond the same under your fingers. I remember enjoying the Splawn preset quite a bit on the AXE and I've had 2 Splawns that I ditched even though I loved the tone. I just hated the way they responded to my playing. The AXE is always consistent from model to model.
I'm also liking the consistency, especially when running certain flavored amps through the same few IR's...it may be placebo, but I'm starting to feel like I'm better understanding my setup now and can dial in tones quicker/more to my liking.

I sure know where you're coming from on the Splawn, I really wanted to keep and love my Quick Rod, the tone was amazing - but the amp had about as much touch sensitivity as an angry lion, zero personality came across when playing leads and if you're a lead player, that's kinda important. If you're a chuga chuga, rhythm dude, I get it, the QR was sweet. Now you have me curious to check out the Axe FX Splawn models lol, wondering if they're dry as dirt or do they have some give and make soloing more enjoyable than the real things.
 

Derek S

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Quick test clip of the Axe-FX SLO model. This is pretty raw but I kinda like it, sounds like one angry amp. This was stock preset settings, just swapped out the IR. I could see using this tone in a mix with a little refining, it's certainly not as bad as everyone was claiming. Forgive my George Lynch rhythm influence, was a big fan at one point in time ha!

 

saxon68

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No prob. I actually just used the current stock solo 100 patch or whatever they call it for the SLO 100, didn't even mess with tweaking it yet (just swapping the IRs had me giddy lol). It's a third party IR, something from the Ownhammer pack I bought...but I will shoot it to you when I get home this eve.
If it’s ownhammer let me know the pack and I’ll buy it.
 

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I love my AxeFX III. I use it with a Seymour Duncan PowerStage 170 into my 1960AX. I just so happened to have a week off right after I bought the AxeFX, and I’m glad I did - I spent a large part of that week diving deep into it, and by the end of that week I decided to sell my last tube amp. It’s probably the best piece of gear I’ve ever purchased. I’m happy to see others here who are happy with their Fractal too, because I thought I might have gone crazy (I was so against modeling and digital prior to getting the AxeFX)
 

Michael Roe

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Check this one out guys.
A preset for you to DL. If you are here and like Marshall amps you should enjoy this one, IMHO. Mostly Marshall but a few Friedmans in this.
All of them are getting hit in the front with the new Klon pedal. I love that pedal!
All EL34 amps (8 Scenes) and one Greenback cab.
I loaded one of my cab IRs with this. It is on CAB Block CH B slot 1.
I did some tweaking to the "Proximity" and the mic preamp section to get it as close as I could to the York Audio Marshall M25 421-V IR.
If you have that York Audio IR....load it to CH A and make each scene use CH A instead of CH B. That YA IR is killer for this preset!
All the amps in this Preset have been properly biased.
The JMP-1 , scene 2 has had some major deep tweaking to get it to sound like it has a more modern power amp section.
Check it out and let me know what you think.
 

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tallcoolone

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I sure know where you're coming from on the Splawn, I really wanted to keep and love my Quick Rod, the tone was amazing - but the amp had about as much touch sensitivity as an angry lion, zero personality came across when playing leads and if you're a lead player, that's kinda important. If you're a chuga chuga, rhythm dude, I get it, the QR was sweet. Now you have me curious to check out the Axe FX Splawn models lol, wondering if they're dry as dirt or do they have some give and make soloing more enjoyable than the real things.
I'd love to hear a clip of that--such a cool unique sounding amp
Quick test clip of the Axe-FX SLO model. This is pretty raw but I kinda like it, sounds like one angry amp. This was stock preset settings, just swapped out the IR. I could see using this tone in a mix with a little refining, it's certainly not as bad as everyone was claiming. Forgive my George Lynch rhythm influence, was a big fan at one point in time ha!
You bastid, got me jonesing for an SLO now...that sounds chewy angry and fantastic
 

saxon68

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Check this one out guys.
A preset for you to DL. If you are here and like Marshall amps you should enjoy this one, IMHO. Mostly Marshall but a few Friedmans in this.
All of them are getting hit in the front with the new Klon pedal. I love that pedal!
All EL34 amps (8 Scenes) and one Greenback cab.
I loaded one of my cab IRs with this. It is on CAB Block CH B slot 1.
I did some tweaking to the "Proximity" and the mic preamp section to get it as close as I could to the York Audio Marshall M25 421-V IR.
If you have that York Audio IR....load it to CH A and make each scene use CH A instead of CH B. That YA IR is killer for this preset!
All the amps in this Preset have been properly biased.
The JMP-1 , scene 2 has had some major deep tweaking to get it to sound like it has a more modern power amp section.
Check it out and let me know what you think.
Thank you sir I will!

Hopefully this weekend I get some free time, I got a used Friedman ASM12 in this week :)
 

Derek S

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I'd love to hear a clip of that--such a cool unique sounding amp

You bastid, got me jonesing for an SLO now...that sounds chewy angry and fantastic
Haha! Thanks! I'll definitely be checking out the Splawn model and try to make a clip later this weekend (today is crazy full lol).

The slo is a beast, you'd love one, you RARELY hear dudes with complaints, maybe about the loop being oddly positioned (never been an issue for me personally, and I DO use it, sounds great to me) or the volume (again, weird gripe as I find with a little clean boost pedal up front, the SLO sounds amazing even with the volume at nearly OFF lol) to most tone junkies, it's an iconic amp for a reason.
 

Derek S

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I'd love to hear a clip of that--such a cool unique sounding amp

Here you go, a little slice of the Splawn QR, possibly the most pissed off Marshall flavored amp in the Fractal! I think I've found several high gain monsters I could work with now lol, probably gonna start exploring lower gain stuff (or maybe the Mesa Mk series...the fun seems endless).

I'm enjoying sampling the models and making test clips for reference so much I had to create a sound cloud account to share more haha (I think I want to keep my yt channel for actual tunes/videos, etc).

 

tallcoolone

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Here you go, a little slice of the Splawn QR, possibly the most pissed off Marshall flavored amp in the Fractal! I think I've found several high gain monsters I could work with now lol, probably gonna start exploring lower gain stuff (or maybe the Mesa Mk series...the fun seems endless).

I'm enjoying sampling the models and making test clips for reference so much I had to create a sound cloud account to share more haha (I think I want to keep my yt channel for actual tunes/videos, etc).


Very cool—thanks! And through the Fractal it doesn’t feel stiff as a board!
 

Derek S

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Very cool—thanks! And through the Fractal it doesn’t feel stiff as a board!
Thanks! No stiffness or dry feel whatsoever, they did good. In unaltered/stock form (I changed the IR to the Ownhammer again I've been using on everything lol) the preset even manages to have that early Splawn "weird mids" vibe, I was like "yup, I remember that"...thankfully that vanished with the IR swap (never like that aspect either).

Funny thing I'm learning now as a newb to Fractal and modeling - there are actually a few models that might sound better than their real world amp versions, at least a couple I had experience with...weird! I never loved the QR yet the AXE version is pretty yummy. Never loved my JVM, same, etc.
 

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I'm in my mid-40's now and my 100 watt W/D/W setup w/3 4x12's is starting to take its tole. Not on my hearing (that I know of, what?), but my enjoyment of playing. The sound pressure and bass can sometimes leave me feeling nauseous. So I've been interested in going the modeling route, i just don't know where to start when it comes to Speakers. If I just want to sit at my computer with the AX-FX III, what's the best way to hear it in stereo? I don't want to use my computer itself, just sit at the desk and play/listen while I browse the internet. FR/FR? Those powered Friedman speakers? Something else?
 


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