Need possible purchase input.....Axe Fx Ultra vs Helix Stomp

Zungle

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So I've been selling off unused gear for the last few months and planned on picking up a Helix Stomp as permanent fixture for recording guitar.....

Anyway....today an Axe Fx Ultra popped up locally for $400 and I'm like dam, I better grab it.....

So being I haven't used either for any extended time I was hoping I could get some opinions or shared experience on these modelers......especially if you'v owned both ?

$400 seems like a good deal on the Ultra.....wondering how it stacks up to Helix
More specifically the amp modeling.......effects aren't a primary concern at all.

My scenario...

For my playing really like organic warm metal tones, think Heaven and Hell Sabbath or Savatage "Streets".....not into razor sharp tight metal..think Pantera

I only need it for home use and I am mostly into medium to high gain.....no 7 string, just drop D/Dflat

I do plug in my bass a couple times a week for an hour here and there....for bass I try to play along with all styles within my crappy skill set.

I have a nice mixer/monitors/effects etc

I've owned/own multiple modelers and know whats up...including MIDI implementation etc.

Thanks for any input.
 

CaptainT

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If I had your "Setup" and needs, I think I´d save and get an Amp1. Maybe even the Iridium edition.

That thing is bonkers:)

I have a Helix and I pretty much love it and use it for hours. I wouldn´t by something outdated in the digital world, like an Axe Ultra. But that´s just me.

For ease of use you could take a look at the Headrush Gigboard, too. I had the big Headrsuh Board and I liked some of the sounds better than the Helix ones.
 

Zungle

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Well the guy with the Axe FX Ultra is willing to take $300 if I drive all the way to pick it up.

Its only 23 miles away so I think its gonna be a done deal.

If anyone has anything please go ahead and post.
 

matthew bear

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I'd go for the AXE if it's strictly for home use. Helix is fine, but I found most of my best Helix sounds (harmonically rich) were multi amp setups, which wouldn't work with the stomp.
 

Zungle

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I'd go for the AXE if it's strictly for home use. Helix is fine, but I found most of my best Helix sounds (harmonically rich) were multi amp setups, which wouldn't work with the stomp.

Thanks for input ....much appreciated

I'm gonna pick up the Ultra tonight at 6pm pacific time

$350 is the price.

It looks to be in very good condition, only used in home environment.

I already have a FCB1010 control pedal and a couple spaces in my rack.

Should have time over the weekend to give it a good run thru.
 

matthew bear

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Thanks for input ....much appreciated

I'm gonna pick up the Ultra tonight at 6pm pacific time

$350 is the price.

It looks to be in very good condition, only used in home environment.

I already have a FCB1010 control pedal and a couple spaces in my rack.

Should have time over the weekend to give it a good run thru.
350 is a great deal, provided it all works properly.
 

Zungle

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350 is a great deal, provided it all works properly.

I just picked it up, ended up paying $340

The guy said he had change for a $20 , when I got there he realized he didn't and just said take it for $340

He demo'ed it for a minute.....looks to function correctly.....I'll dive in later tonight.

I think your in Washington ?

I bought it from a guy in Spanaway a little south of Tacoma.
 

CaptainT

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Congrats on your purchase!

I hope everything works out well with it.

There is a guy who transcribed all the Savatage albums and cloned their sounds with an AXE II. Maybe you can get some inspiration from him:)


Savatage "Dead winter Dead" and "Streets" are some of my favorite albums of all time, so have fun with it:)
 

Zungle

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Congrats on your purchase!

I hope everything works out well with it.

There is a guy who transcribed all the Savatage albums and cloned their sounds with an AXE II. Maybe you can get some inspiration from him:)


Savatage "Dead winter Dead" and "Streets" are some of my favorite albums of all time, so have fun with it:)

"Streets" is one of my absolute favorites.....
 

CaptainT

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Yeah, Criss Oliva was such a great guitar player. But I also love Pitrelli:)
 

Zungle

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Yeah, Criss Oliva was such a great guitar player. But I also love Pitrelli:)

Yep Criss and Chris were a great Savatage duo.....

All of the Savatage /Jon Oliva guitar tree have been awesome,....

My personal favorite is/was Matt LaPorte and his work on the first 3 Jon Oliva's Pain releases.....he had a real feel for the music in the studio .....not over playing yet fvkin' tearing it up .......
 

Zungle

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So.....

Some ramblings...FWIW

I've dug into this guy pretty deep 3 times .......for several hours.

My initial observation's......

The thing is packed with features.....far more than I'll ever use...totally exceeds my meager playing ability.......not a bad thing....lots of cool stuff.

The editing options appear endless and deep.......again waaaay more than I need.

The unit is dead quiet....although I feel like the 11Rack is quieter yet a little smoother.

The editing window is way to small and is somewhat annoying ?

The fx are OK.....somewhat clinical...(at least skimming thru the surface)

Not really impressed with compressor ........studio or stomp.

The editing for the cab sims is very cool....I will need to work with it alot more.

The over all sound is good....but again a bit clinical and will need deep editing.

I haven't found any warm sounding/smooth overdrive or gain yet....but I'll keep working on it.....I'm gonna run a few analog drives in front of it and see how it reacts.

The available EQ's are right up my alley....

My Gibson P90's lend a bit of warmth to the unit.....

My Seymour Duncan Customs are a poor match as they are already razor sharp with some bite.....

Guessing a Dimarzio Super would sound alot better...

I'll hit it again tonight and do some A/B'ing with my TonelabEX and V-Amp Pro....
 
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matthew bear

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^ I get this...

I had stumbled into an axe fx 2 with a foot controller in a trade for my helix just last week, and I can relate to the editing being absurdly deep. I've found that I can either plug in the AXE, go into the editor, start messing with shit, and at the end, get a good tone OR plug into the kemper and get a good tone :laugh2: I'm way more into the KPA than the axe 2 :dunno:
 

Zungle

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^ I get this...

I had stumbled into an axe fx 2 with a foot controller in a trade for my helix just last week, and I can relate to the editing being absurdly deep. I've found that I can either plug in the AXE, go into the editor, start messing with shit, and at the end, get a good tone OR plug into the kemper and get a good tone :laugh2: I'm way more into the KPA than the axe 2 :dunno:

So I sat down last night and did and hour and a 1/2.....Ultra vs Tonelab EX.

While the Tonelab EX is far more limited with editing and not as precise or quiet.....the amp models I would actually use are far warmer more natural 3D and easier to dial in and save on the Tonelab EX ......and the pedal board format is a plus...and easier to navigate.

The effects on the Ultra are far superior to the Tone Lab EX and the Parametric EQ on the Ultra is a very good tool.....I do pefer the EX compressor,energizer and noise reduction .
 

mdubya

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My approach with the AX8 has been to use what is there, first. And slowly expand into tweaking, little by little. This allowed me to enjoy playing while slowly but surely digging into the possibilities.

Things like automatically setting high and low cuts to 5k and 100k respectively, on every model/cab block, became a subtle but very good default.

I use my own OD's and fuzzes mixed with the onboard reverbs and delays. Like anything "active" getting subtle sounds can be a challenge.

I think my best praise, at least with the AX8 and whatever firmware version I am using, is that every guitar sounds distinctly different. I stick with 2 or 3 favorite models and only venture into the unexplored when I am bored or not feeling inspired by the "same old same old."

I also find that what I think I am going to like or want to like is not always what I end up liking. And what I end up liking, I REALLY like.

YMMV.

My first 6 months with the Fractal were not the easiest. I had good sounds, but frustrated by learning the UI.

Here we are, more than 2.5 years down the road and I couldn't be happier and the possibilities still seem almost limitless. I didn't even want limitless possibilities when I started down the Fractal road. But now....that is something I always look forward to.
 

Zungle

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My approach with the AX8 has been to use what is there, first. And slowly expand into tweaking, little by little. This allowed me to enjoy playing while slowly but surely digging into the possibilities.

Things like automatically setting high and low cuts to 5k and 100k respectively, on every model/cab block, became a subtle but very good default.

I use my own OD's and fuzzes mixed with the onboard reverbs and delays. Like anything "active" getting subtle sounds can be a challenge.

I think my best praise, at least with the AX8 and whatever firmware version I am using, is that every guitar sounds distinctly different. I stick with 2 or 3 favorite models and only venture into the unexplored when I am bored or not feeling inspired by the "same old same old."

I also find that what I think I am going to like or want to like is not always what I end up liking. And what I end up liking, I REALLY like.

YMMV.

My first 6 months with the Fractal were not the easiest. I had good sounds, but frustrated by learning the UI.

Here we are, more than 2.5 years down the road and I couldn't be happier and the possibilities still seem almost limitless. I didn't even want limitless possibilities when I started down the Fractal road. But now....that is something I always look forward to.


The navigational learning curve hasn't been bad at all.....I've used a ton of digital studio gear and MIDI operation over the years.....just had to knock a little rust off.

However....learning how every little tweak and algorithm sounds and affects each other and what pairs well with what is another story.....

Could be a year of trial and error......
 

Lungo

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I'm curious how you've been getting along with the Ultra? I've been watching the prices lately and been considering one myself.
 

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