Fractal Axe FXII- When To Finally Give In

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by Kyle Matthews, Jan 16, 2013.


  1. Kyle Matthews

    Kyle Matthews Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2012
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    Location:
    Huntington Beach, CA
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    Proudly Endorse: Source Audio, Trailer Trash Pedal Boards & GerogeL Cables
    Hey TB,

    Lately I have been juggling with the idea of purchasing the Fractal Axe FXII. Currently I run 2 large pedal boards into an EDEN WP100 which goes into the 2 channels of my QSC PLX1804 which powers a SWR 12pack with one channel and 12stack with the other.

    My band has taken a much more electro direction lately and I find myself wanting, maybe needing, a multi effect for the ease of use that comes with presets. I have thought about getting a programmable looper for each board, but the idea of all the maintenance that comes with running large boards in addition to the immense amounts of patch cables has me less than excited.

    I was thinking about going the Pod HD Pro route, though I have never been fully satisfied with the M series effects. Then I thought about getting a TC G-System and using my fuzz/drive pedals in conjunction. Then I thought, "maybe it is just time to cough up the cash for the Fractal".

    This would be a huge purchase and I want to be sure, before I buy it, that it will provide the solution I am looking for. What do you guys think about getting the Fractal based on my specific situaiton?:atoz:
  2. metaball

    metaball

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2011
    Location:
    southern california
    i love my pedals, but if i had a touring gig i'd take a serious look at Axe Fx to consolidate & simplify my setup.
  3. Baird6869

    Baird6869 Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2007
    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    Disclosures:
    Nobody is stupid enough to actually pay me to play their gear.
    If I had a touring gig AND a smart touring bass tech, maybe.

    The Axe FX is pretty complicated IME. Not impossible to use, but plan to spend at least a full day setting it up. It does sound great though.

    YMMV.
  4. Swift713

    Swift713

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2006
    Location:
    The Berkshires, Ma
    I'd love to try one out but I'd be obsessed with tweaking it for weeks.
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  6. rsmith601

    rsmith601 Gold Supporting Member

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    Apr 14, 2009
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    Woburn, MA
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    President, Source Audio
    I know that Adrian Belew, D. Zappa and Steve Vai use this unit and love it. DZ's and SV's tech is the ledgendary Thomas Nordegg (Frank Zappa) who told me that he can dial in ANY of Franks classic distortion tones with the Fractal.

    Yes, this is digital distortion, but Fractal seems to be winning over more doubters than anyone right now.

    Have not see any bass players with one yet.
  7. N.F.A.

    N.F.A. Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2009
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    Back on the chain gang!
    My best friend and a killer musican in his own right has one. (He's a guitarist though.) They live up to the hype completely. You must know that dialing it in is a long term project. Those famous guys you mentioned above paid one of the Fractal Audio programmers to come in and get their Axe together. It would definitely work in your case. Also, if you didn't like it, flipping it would be instantaneous. Wait time is at least 6 months IIRC...
    Learning to use it will require more than a day or week.
  8. bassgiant15

    bassgiant15

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2005
    Disclosures:
    Endorsing Artist: Spector Basses
    I use my axe fx ultra for all my bass tracks. It is awesome for bass! I'm pretty sure deftones bass player uses one live. Periphery does as well. Check out nolly using his here. http://youtu.be/HCp8vE1ZT0g

    I heard he tone matched his b7k with his axe II for his tone.

    The axe fx is a really great piece of equipment
  9. rsmith601

    rsmith601 Gold Supporting Member

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    Apr 14, 2009
    Location:
    Woburn, MA
    Disclosures:
    President, Source Audio
    This is accurate. Lots of set-up time and expense to get those guys up and running.

    One very selfish comment here: the Fractal team was not able to recreate the Multiwave Distortion tones for Adrian Belew. As such, it is the only separate distortion unit in his rig.
  10. odin70

    odin70

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2007
    Location:
    Oslo, Norway
    I used to have one. Great for guitar...but i could never find good bass sounds. And i really tried for a long time.
  11. fasto

    fasto

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2007
    Location:
    Amsterdam, NL
    if there were more bass-presets (+amps/cabs) i would buy the Axe-FX II
  12. Andy Will

    Andy Will

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2003
    Location:
    London, England
    The Axe-fx is absolutely gods gift to guitarists (truly amazing) but for my Bass purposes, it was a very expensive D.I. Box. so, I returned my Axe-fx Ultra within the 14 day trial period
    This is not me flaming the unit at all as I loved it and the other Bass users are getting fantastic results, but the downsides (for me) were:
    a) I still needed to use an amp or power amp with it.
    b) For live use you'll still need to spend time/money on the pedalboard set-up.
    c) My amp at the time (Aguilar AG500) set flat on the EQ was already the perfect clean tone for me in a lighter package. Programming to get a similar sound was taking some time and the Ampeg model didn't do anything for me.
    d) Many effects weren't as good as the TC and Eventide units on a Bass, particularly pitch related effects.

    With my guitar I instantly found many sounds that I would have hit the stage with immediately, so if you also double on guitar, buy one for sure (Nolly from Periphery is a very proficient guitarist hence him using one straight away with Bass). Also, there have been constant improvements particularly with the Axe-fx 2 being released after I did my trial. Things should be a lot better now however, there isn't really a focus on any Bass amp models being added that I've seen so far.

    Just some food for thought, but want to re-iterate that the Talkbass users who own one are getting great results and having spoken to a couple, they are really open to sharing ideas to find if it's the right thing for you.

    Hope this helps!
  13. noermaen

    noermaen Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2011
    i think you can get some amazing tones with it. Have a listen here:
  14. joegrant413

    joegrant413

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2009
    I'm thinking about " giving in" to an Axe-Fx, too. More so to improve and simplify my guitar rig than my bass rig. But I'd use it for both, of course.
    - Joe

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