Fractal Axe Fx 3

  • It is undeniably true that more processing power will allow Fractal to do more processing. I would further say that with that much processing power, the unit should be capable of producing sounds that the KPA is not capable of.


    Given its sonic versatility and sheer depth of control, I'd contend that the Axe FX II already can.

  • To be fair, it is possible that in the future, it may become the norm that the tone that most people consider "good" can not be created by a tube amp at all. It can't be ruled out.

    This is a realistic possibility for me too.
    It is a question of creativity and musicality that there can be a development in this direction.
    The opinion here is that only Kemper achieves approximately the sound and feel of a tube amp. And I share this assessment.
    But this is not the criterion for good or successful contempory pop music.
    It may well be interesting to see what else is yet to come.


    And - it would not be a new development. 20-30 years ago it was the synths that suddenly dominated the mainstream.
    I feel that the renaissance of guitar sound in recent years has been a countermovement and this was gratifying for me. (Personal taste)

  • I tend to see this as a step sideways for Fractal instead of ahead of where it was. The FXII + was a great unit and now with FXIII it's more of the same but you can also plug more things into it. So it opens up more to a studio piece of gear than something a guitar player might use.


    All IMO of course.

  • This is a realistic possibility for me too.It is a question of creativity and musicality that there can be a development in this direction.
    The opinion here is that only Kemper achieves approximately the sound and feel of a tube amp.

    I also believe that before we speak of "new possibilities for creating new amp sounds" we should maybe care more for the possibilities of creating more "musical horizons" how to use any "new amplified" sound.


    The history of tube amp sounds is a history of guitar and bass instruments getting electrified,louder and overdriven distorted..this is "our norm" this is what our ears are used to since the 50s and the beginning of "amplified guitar sounds" we like to call "rock" or "popular music"..and I strongly believe the limits in these directions are even surpassed.This is a big issue but I know most guys will know what I mean.


    I had the big hope that Fractals "new flagship" would bring new "norms" for amplified sounds of "other string instruments"..yes,solely string instruments.I dont care for playing a windinstruments on my guitar.I believe this is even covered by keys & most of all midi-stuff.I would like to use all the ways of playing string instruments(dynamics,vibrato,bendings,slidings on frettted and ofcourse non-fretted necks) for example using a sitar or a violin sound..but with all the aggressivness and "crazyness" which I get from a top class tube rig and fx.


    Dweezil Zappa did some weird testing with a fractal violin sound.I mean this vid where he tested a "real violin" kind of thing and not a "cheap simulation".


    I had the big hope that mr.hyperactive (yes,I mean the guy from fractal) would see that there is no "revolution" without changing "everything".Yes.The electric guitar is done folks.. ||
    Whatever we were able to squeeze out of this instrument has been done.


    Dont get me wrong.I love the guitar and I always will do so but during the last years I started to get bored by any kind of "rocksound",by 4-4ths beats and pentatonics,major/minor kind of "norm"..


    Seeing all the horsepower of the new fractal flagship I ask myself if we will hear some more "strange stuff" like they tried with Dweezil and his violin-stuff some years ago;


    https://www.dweezilzappa.com/videos/2029666


    Imagine for example two simultanous "amp sims" one with a distorted violin and the other with a "clean" sitar with fx..things like this will lead you (at least they do with me right now) to go "new ways",leaving well known paths and trying to find new ways of playing,sick and tricky beats,different and more strange scales,modes,phrasings and whatever.And not because you want to "impress other musicians" but because these new sounds need all this different approach.It is a natural thing.


    There is no "new sound" and "new norm" without to have the musical frame to use them.In this aspect I will repeat my claim:The eletric guitar as "eletric guitar"is done.If we dont care to develop its possibilities it will become 100% a cliche..a cheap stereotype.If it is not already right now.


    Lets see what the AF3 brings on this issue..

  • As it is, the guitar is one of the most popular, if not the most popular, instrument in the world, at least according to Google Trends. However, its tones are simply a means to an end, not an end in themselves; the end of which is obviously music creation, where your imagination is your only limitation. Between the practically infinite number of ways music can be arranged and the sheer variety of tones available to guitar players, there's plenty of life left without pushing for an evolution where no real demand exists.


    That said, musicians and guitarists have never had more opportunity to create novel and innovative sounds involving current hardware / software. There is still a huge demand for hardware that can perfectly model older gear because a majority of tube amp enthusiasts still aren't convinced.

  • What would be freaky is if they have some synth sounds hidden in that thing.


    Imagine tapping a couple of strings with EHX or Boss SY-300 style synth effects on a couple of ouputs...


    Then some mad modulated delays with shimmering reverb on another two outputs...


    Then the stack sound on another two outputs...


    Then the stack sound of a completely different amp on another two outputs...


    Seriously, competition is good, if it is indeed competition. There is no point saying this thing doesn't have better sounds than the FX2.


    After all, has anyone heard any clips?




    In that regard, a little digression:


    It is indeed incredible to me when I hear so many guys on TGP or the Line 6 forums say the Helix is the ultimate tone engine.


    Then, of late, I come to this forum and I see the same thing.


    And it struck me, if it only boils down to sheer numbers, we're not in the majority by far.


    That's really interesting to me. And it really does no one any good by telling anyone to listen to this clip or this blind test.


    That kind of tells you that a lot of the digital solutions are at a very good place now, with more real tones than ever before.


    Sure, the Kemper is the top of the heap, to me, you and anyone who owns one.


    Can it be proved? I'd like to think so.


    But by bashing a product without even hearing what it sounds like, we sound just like any other proud owners tooting the horn of the product we own with no objectivity.


    By all accounts I have heard, the Fractal tone is not where the Kemper is... Or perhaps that should be where the Kemper was...


    I seriously doubt they'll put out something that is just an Axe FXII in a different package.


    Heck, even if the FX are better, that is a significant achievement, and more power to them.

  • @ColdFrixion


    The demand may be high..this is out of question..


    There are still 1-2 generations left who "fullfill" all their GAS they could not when they were 17 or even 25..take a look around you and tell me how many young lads have the same fanatism for learning a instrument like guitar or drums like they spend their time for "doing" hiphop,Dj orwhatever other "sport" a young guy right now can do for "expressing himself" without to sit down and spending many hours of practicing guitar every day.


    The "demand" tells me nothing.I would like to know how many of this "demand" is from the younger generations.Because what I see is a lots of "older guys" buying gear as there is no tomorrow..for many personal reasons.


  • You'd be surprised how many beginner guitars are sold at most music stores. Far, far more than high end instruments.


    And as for young guns playing guitar? Check out some videos on youtube, man! Some of those kids are smoking.

  • The electric guitar is done folks ..........

    Lets see what the AF3 brings on this issue..


    I can follow your comments. They reflect a development that I also believe and probably will happen. I have indicated similar things in my mail, but I did not formulate them so concretely.
    I will not participate in such a development any more, but I will look at it with interest.


    For me, the electric guitar still holds enough secrets. :)
    As a guitar player who only plays nostalgic swing, rock and blues, I got pretty much the best gear I can have and can carry.
    I love this tube amp sounds and use few effects.
    A further personal development probably won't be expected any more ;)


    I will probably go along with the Kemper for my remaining years to play in public, if it is not replaced by a handier device and did not break.


    But anyway I'll try to notice what's going on.
    BTW: An improvement of a competitor will also help us. :)

  • The whole KPA vs Axe-fx II or Axe-fx III reminds me of the PS4 vs Xbox One arguments. If you have already bought the KPA then why not buy the Axe-fx III to increase your tonal options. It really does not have to be one versus the other. I love my KPA rack but I am on the wait list for the AXE-fx III. If and when Kemper comes out with a new rack I will get that too. :thumbsup:

  • How long have prognosticators been predicting the death of the tube amp? Has it happened yet? I'm not worried about what's currently en vogue (Hip Hop, DJ'ing) because trends come and go(eg. Disco). The fact is, the guitar (in all its current tonal incarnations) spans numerous genres of music. As long as interest in those genres continues to thrive, there will continue to be interest in the associated instruments thereof.

  • The whole KPA vs Axe-fx II or Axe-fx III reminds me of the PS4 vs Xbox One arguments. If you have already bought the KPA then why not buy the Axe-fx III to increase your tonal options. It really does not have to be one versus the other. I love my KPA rack but I am on the wait list for the AXE-fx III. If and when Kemper comes out with a new rack I will get that too. :thumbsup:

    That's how I see it. Who ever said people have to choose one or the other?

  • Because it's $2500 and for that money there are many state of the art processors by companies who make the reverbs and effects emulated in the AXE FX II.


    Did you think he was referring to players who are simply interested in a few top of the line pedals? If that's all someone's interested in then obviously the Axe FX II or III is overkill.

  • @nightlight


    I hope you are right man.Really I hope I am wrong.From what I know (have lived in central europe untill recently) here in europe the guitar has "left" for scandinavia and some regions in southern europe(dont know about eastern europe)..in central europe (I know about germany,france,benelux) the kids do hiphop..better said gangsta..
    Most students I had in my time when I teached in germany were either guys in my age(all with super expensive gear) or young kids sent by their parents (upper middle class/mostly some kind of "ex-hippies" with dad still having his old electric guitar and "20-40 years old pictures" showing him with long hairs..).


    One other "hint" is to look where the old still surviving hardrock heroes (Ozzy/coverdale etc) choose their guitar players from... :/


    Anyway..again I go OT,sorry for that.Will stop now.