the AX8 has landed

Discussion in 'Amp Modeling' started by mdubya, Apr 25, 2017.

  1. Rhust

    Rhust Senior Member

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    there was just a discussion about this in the helix forum... a lot of guys are even setting the high cut down around 1.5-2k, because the general cut isn't very steep... if you cut it with it's own block, like in a EQ pedal, it's a little steeper... more like a guitar speaker would be...

    personally, for my clean stuff, I've got it set around 5k on the high cut, 100 on the low
     
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  2. mdubya

    mdubya Senior Member

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    Thanks, tt. :yesway:

    I am still experimenting with the QSC K8. I am back to playing it with the HF driver boosted, due to it being woofy and overly throaty sounding. I know most recommend against doing this, but I think it is helpful at the low volumes I use. At higher volumes I believe I could go back to a flat response setting.
     
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  3. ttbit

    ttbit Senior Member

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    I double-checked when I got home and it is at 7.5k...
     
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  4. mdubya

    mdubya Senior Member

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    Welp, I am still rocking along quite happily with the AX8. It seems I learn new tricks with it every week or so.

    I've been using the looper extensively and have added it as a permanent footswitch on several of my favorite models. One interesting element with the looper is I can listen to the tone in playback mode, so I can evaluate if the tone is really as great as I think it is when I am in the heat of the moment playing.

    I love, love, love, the tremelo. And I am starting to tame some of the deep reverbs.

    The XiTone is great. No more complaints regarding in the room tone. I have completely settled in to a nice usable volume and comfort zone. I am even enjoying the JCM 800 2204 model which I did not like through the QSC monitor.

    I have a handful of favorite guitars and this little box of joy. I am watching NAMM videos like crazy and feeling sorry for anyone who doesn't already have all the tones they could ever need at their disposal.
     
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2018
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  5. mdubya

    mdubya Senior Member

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    Someone posted a Tone Bender on Instagram today, so tonight was fun with Tone Bender night. My own Badger 30 preset (4x12 greenbacks) with a very mildly set TS 808 OD, a fairly healthily set Tone Bender model (nothing too over the top), my own Bling Rangemaster clone (outboard) and my 335. It is just plain stupid fun to have this stuff at your fingertips (and toes). Cycling from TS to Tone Bender to Rangemaster and back again.

    One thing that cracks me up is how natural the bare model sounds when you disengage all the pedals. Just like the real thing. But the Tone Bender and the TS stacked on the neck pickup of the 335...:shock: So good!

    Now I need to find a Univox Super Fuzz setting. :hmm:
     
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  6. splatter

    splatter Senior Member

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    I'm thinking of getting an AX8, I'm not going to sell my tube amps though. how hard is it to get a good tone running through the power amp of a tube amp into a guitar cab?
    I see tons of discussions on the best FRFR to use .lots of people complaining that they bought the wrong one or wish they had a different one . the last thing I'm gonna do is buy an AX8 and then spend anouther $1800 on an FRFR
     
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  7. mdubya

    mdubya Senior Member

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    Great questions, @splatter! :thumb:

    I have zero experience running through the power section of any amp (aside from the power amps in the monitors I have used), nor through a real speaker cabinet. I considered buying a Katana 100 watt to do just that.

    I am assured that not only is it doable, but it will give your tube amp a run for its money, too. You will simply need to disable the cabinet/speaker emulation portion of the AX8. Which should be pretty easy to do. I haven't found anything yet that I couldn't do with a quick Google search.

    The only big draw back, to me, would be you are always using the same speaker cab, and not getting the full benefit of going between different modeled types of speakers and cabinets.

    I am currently using a XiTone powered monitor ($900). It is everything I need. No shortcomings, no complaints. It answers all the questions I have.

    I previously used an Alto TX8 and a QSC K8. I was not satisfied with either.

    I would expect the Friedman to sound pretty decent for around the same price. I also expect this aspect of high end digital modeling to progress the most in the next few years.

    **************************************************************

    I was planning on updating this thread pretty soon with the following:

    I went all analog for a week. I got my 2204 and my Champ back from getting full tune-ups on each. The Champ sounds as good as it even has. I purposefully ran it exactly as I would have before and everything was great; guitar > Maestro Fuzz > OD808 > Champ. All at low volume. Does anything from CSN&Y to Hendrix to Black Sabbath and some very retro sounding DOOM. Modern tones need not apply.

    The 2204 is different. I haven't figured out quite what, yet, but it is different. I had given it a good long play before taking it in, so it is not like I was unfamiliar with how it was sounding. It still sounds OK, but I am trying to find my old sweet spots in the amp.

    So, after a week of analog noodling, I needed to tune-up (guitar). Of course, the tuner is in the AX8. So, I plugged in, tuned up and I have been playing the AX8 ever since. :lol: :dude:

    I am not saying the AX8 sounds better than the Champ or the 2204, or that everyone should abandon their tube amps (not the good ones, anyway). What I am saying is that the AX8 and Fractal models can produce tones on par with just about anything out there. Certainly at the bedroom volumes I am playing. And beyond that, you better have the purest plexi clone at significant volume.

    Nevermind the dozens and dozens of amp, cab, and FX options lurking in the box.

    I still like the Champ and the 2204, but for the first time, I am wondering if they will see significant play time again. :hmm:

    Good tones are a no brainer with the AX8. Positively great tones take a little patience, a little research, and a little tweaking. 10 months in I am still learning new things from the AX8 every week. I consider that a great thing.

    Last weekend, I played (through the AX8) until my fingers were sore, both days.

    [​IMG]
     
  8. frankv

    frankv Have You Ever Lost A Love? V.I.P. Member

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    ^^^^^^ The nature of Tube amps is as you describe. Variable. Tone is dependent on so many "floating" values. Resistors, tubes and even the power coming from the wall outlet. It all matters for that "sweet spot" to appear. I could never deal with that nonsense. I want what I want when I want it. And if it's not there, I turn the dial.
     
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  9. splatter

    splatter Senior Member

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    Can you get this kind of feedback/sustain from your cab ?
    https://www.thegearpage.net/board/i...eaker-feedback-control.1820098/#post-25806668
     
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  10. frankv

    frankv Have You Ever Lost A Love? V.I.P. Member

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    ^^^ More and more PRS guitars out there.. Seems we have a new "Player" in town.
     
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  11. mdubya

    mdubya Senior Member

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    Yes. At the low volumes I play, I turn the noise gate off completely. I also use a single pedal in front of the AX8 depending on my mood. I would probably need to turn the noise gate on if a played much louder. It is adjustable so you should be able to dial in the feedback you want.

    This is an acoustic level clip I made of my ES LP producing harmonic double tones (unpotted MHS buckers).

    https://www.soundclick.com/html5/v3/player.cfm?type=single&songid=13635974&q=hi

    I think you will find the AX8 does react a little bit differently than whatever you are currently using, but it does indeed react and does all sorts of pleasing things. I use my guitar volumes and picking dynamics and vibrato and so forth to coax things out of the AX8 just like I would/do with the Champ and the 2204.

    FWIW- I was doing similar things with my Fender Mustang I. It just didn't have the depth of options of the AX8.

    https://www.soundclick.com/html5/v3/player.cfm?type=single&songid=12029307&q=hi
     
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  12. mdubya

    mdubya Senior Member

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    Here's on with a Bling Rangemaster clone in front of the AX8, low gain plexi model and the Fractal Phaser (because I couldn't help myself :p ).

    https://www.soundclick.com/html5/v3/player.cfm?type=single&songid=13568938&q=hi

    This was made with the Alto TX8. The XiTone sounds infinitely better and reacts the same or ever better.

    Some nights when I am playing I just can't believe the tones that are coming out of the AX8 and XiTone.
     
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  13. El Pablo

    El Pablo Senior Member

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    Marco Fanton is an incredible talent. He posts a lot of YouTube videos of Amp Modeling Gear. Anyone interested in Fractal, Helix, Kemper, Headrush, etc should check his videos out.
     
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  14. mdubya

    mdubya Senior Member

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    I started to post this in @RAG7890 's OX thread, but figured I would leave it out and just post it here instead.

    **Not trying to be obnoxious here; I played my "real" amps this weekend. They have all the charm they ever had (2204, Champ), but switching back to my AX8, for my low volume needs, does just about everything I could ever want. The endless possibilities of amps, cabinets, and effects makes the real amps feel limited. I could really play my Champ with a box full of pedals for the rest of my life. But the AX8 has several versions of the Champ, the box of pedals, and so much more. Just this morning I already spent an hour EACH on the Super Reverb and the JTM45. So many possibilites; reverb, delay, fuzz, OD, tremolo, looper. I used all of that while noodling around on each model just today. I used my Maestro Fuzz and OD808, outboard, too, just as I had on the Champ and 2204.

    Here's one for @frankv ; My most recent loop (I have dubbed my new style "garage jazz" just a couple of chords mixed with uneducated noodling): Dm, G7, Em, A7, looped. It allows you to move between D Natural minor and E Natural minor. It never resolves, so it just goes on and on and on. You might like it, you might not. :yesway: I enjoy the element of moving between the 2 key patterns.

    Dm

    E ----X----
    B ----6----
    G ----5----
    D ----X----
    A ----5----
    E ----X----

    G7

    E ----X----
    B ----X----
    G ----4----
    D ----3----
    A ----X----
    E ----3----

    Em

    E ----X----
    B ----8----
    G ----7----
    D ----X----
    A ----7----
    E ----X----

    A7

    E ----X----
    B ----X----
    G ----6----
    D ----5----
    A ----X----
    E ----5----

    All four chords are the same fingering.

    Nicked, in part, from Jimmy Bruno.
     
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  15. frankv

    frankv Have You Ever Lost A Love? V.I.P. Member

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    How many bars each are you playing it?
     
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  16. mdubya

    mdubya Senior Member

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    One bar each chord; 1,2,3,4 - 1,2,3,4 - 1,2,3,4 - 1,2,3,4.

    Edited for clarification.
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2018
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  17. mdubya

    mdubya Senior Member

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    Here's a snippet.

     
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  18. frankv

    frankv Have You Ever Lost A Love? V.I.P. Member

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  19. mdubya

    mdubya Senior Member

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    Very nice. :applause:

    I love it. The looper is like a drill instructor; "Is that all you got, boy?!?!?!?" :lol: :dude:

    I believe the progression is a part of Till There Was You.

    When I grow up I am going to learn the whole thing. :p
     
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  20. frankv

    frankv Have You Ever Lost A Love? V.I.P. Member

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    I couldn't help it. I wanted to play it kinda slow and soulful.. but my fingers got the best of me.. hahahahah

    I substituted F major for Dminor and G major for Eminor to mix it up a bit..
     
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