"In use the Axe FX II sounds incredible, with easy patch editing, even at the deepest level. Creating patches from scratch is as simple as selecting your amp model and cab, adding effects and then getting creative with modifiers. The possibilities are literally endless.
The modelling is phenomenal and has reached the stage where it is allmost impossible to tell the difference between modelling and real tube amps.
With the added attraction and excitement of future updates from Fractal and a support network of dedicated users and developers exchanging sounds and patches, the Axe FX II might just be the most exciting guitar product out there right now. Amazing - congratulations Fractal!"
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Guitarist-Gold: "There's no doubt that the Axe-Fx II takes the ball from its predecessors and runs with it. It's got more firepower, but at the same time it's easier to use.If the Ultra got a Guitarist Gold Award there's no way the the Axe-Fx II shouldn't. Impressive? very.
It`s not a difficult process to get sounds exactly as you want them, as the display is clear and easily navigated.
Our feeling is that the Axe-II provides the closest digital simulation of a valve amp playing experience yet - not just in the tone but in feel, too - dynamically responsive to your touch and with sounds that clean up nicely as you turn your guitar volume knob down.
The sounds onboard the Axe-Fx II are superb. Trawling through the presets gives the sense that there's an enormous degree of flexibility in sound creation here.
Guitarist says: The Axe-Fx II offers the most complete and comprehensive signal chain for recording guitar that can be found in one box.
Impressive? Very. Revolutionary."
Clearly, the Fractal guys took everything into account when embarking on their mission to create realistic models — even amplifier attributes some might consider less than optimal.
What it offers practical and adventurous players alike in terms of sonic potential is hard to put a price on."
"To get basic sounds is very easy but you can also go as deep as you want. I really mean that, there isn't a parameter you cannot tweak. Personally I love tweaking, but even if you don't these parameters don't get in the way if you don't need them.
This thing feels and responds exactly like a tube amp. The effects in this unit are top notch and the best I have ever used. There are so many to choose from: Drive/OD/Fuzz/dist., Chorus, Compressors, Delay and Mega-Tap Delay, Enchancer, Flanger, Formant, Vocoder, Gate, Mixer, Multi- Comp, Pitch, Reverb, Quad- Chorus, Synth, Wah, etc.
I really can't say enough about the quality of tone you can get, you really need to hear it in person. This machine is made of the highest quality parts (highest quality convertors, gold-plated boards, x2 TigerSHARC Processors, gig-ready case, highest quality headphone output, etc.) and you can really tell.
I really can't say enough how great this thing is, you find new things every time you use it, it is that deep.
Overall this thing has blown me away. It is great for any type of music and I would highly recommend it to anyone. If you go in and add up all the amp models, cab models, and fx models you will see you get so much and it really is a great deal. The best part is the creator Cliff Chase is also the CEO. He does not have to deal with bean counters telling him what to do.
The Axe-Fx II is so much more. If I were to lose this or have it stolen I would immediately purchase another. The only thing I wish this had is the ability to brew me a pot of coffee or maybe drive my car for me. If you have the money this is a no brainer, trust me!"
"If just setting a rig up and going is your thing, you’ll love it; if you’re a hard-core tone tweaker you’ll think you’ve died and gone to heaven.
What you get are the most accurate amp and effects models we have heard so far from a unit that is incredibly hard to get a bad sound out of.
Going through the tones available would be impossible; it would need its own novella.
There’s no doubting that the Axe-Fx II is simply stunning. It’s brilliant in its design and function in a way we haven’t seen before. Prepare to be amazed!"
This thing sounds just like what it models – the quality of tone is amazing.
One other cool thing about this is that the factory presets sound great. Unlike other units: they’ll just be like... eh, okay, and you’ll have to go in and tweak - the Axe-Fx factory presets you can actually use right out of the box and rock off with them and it sounds amazing.
You can take the amps and make them sound better than the real thing which is really cool. Because when they are set up initially they sound just like the real amp and then you can go in and add EQs, drive pedals, reverbs - tons of different things – to make it sound just like you want it to."
“The way the virtual amps react to variations in pick attack, the way they clean up when you turn down your guitar’s volume and the amount of bite in the sound – it is all extremely realistic, highly expressive and great fun to play. As far as sound and playing feel go, what I hear out of the speakers is, for me, on the same level as what I hear when sitting in the same spot and playing a mic’ed up amp at maximum volume in the other studio room.
Whether a Lexicon or Eventide fan will prefer the specific algorithms of the gear they are used to is a personal decision, but as far as audio quality goes Fractal Audio is definitely in the same league.
The Axe-Fx II is definitely meant for guitarists who take their music seriously.”
"What’s amazing about the Axe-Fx II is the quality of the highs – generally a big problem for amp modeling. There are plenty of them here but they never sound cheap or nasty; on the contrary, pleasant and natural are the order of the day.
Another thing we need to mention: the Axe-Fx II can also do loud - very loud if need be. It won’t get drowned out by the rest of the band.
The flexibility of the sounds the Axe-Fx II can produce, along with Fractal Audio’s highly commendable update policy, define a new level of quality that has set the bar very high for its few exclusive rivals."
“The improvements in sound, detail and dynamics of the virtual amps compared with those of the previous generation are definitely audible. The sought-after “in your face” sound is there, as close, direct and dynamic as otherwise only a good tube amp can produce, but without the need for professional micing when used in a studio environment. Without sticking my neck out too far, I can safely say that the Axe-Fx II achieves the same results, but with far less effort.
Every single note reflects the employed picking technique and even if you play the same tone ten times in a row it will never sound exactly the same.
As soon as you dig into the strings the amp seems to explode and when the virtual power amp begins to sag the sound starts to billow as if the power tubes, output transformer and speaker are working at their limits and the amp has reached its sweet spot.
The way the tone cleans up when you roll back your guitar’s volume knob and the way it reacts to the tone control on the guitar are totally life-like.
Summing up all the features at the end of this test, it becomes clear that the Axe-Fx II is not merely a further development of the Ultra model, but rather a completely new machine.
Stand-out features are not only the considerably easier and faster usability and much-improved connectivity, but also the truly fantastic sound quality, including amp models that react realistically in every detail. Not even the Axe-Fx Ultra could have dreamt of anything like this.
The effects of the previous generation were already among the best money could buy, but it is fair to say that even here the Axe-Fx II has gone one better. For demanding professional recordings the Axe-Fx II is a perfect solution.
If you want to use it live you will need a power amp of similar quality and a good cabinet or active monitors. The MFC-101 is an ideal companion on stage and is highly flexible thanks to its Axe-Fx mode and universal MIDI connections. The suggested purchase prices are entirely reasonable.”
"The first thing that strikes you about the Axe-Fx II is that it’s much easier to get around. The ergonomically remodelled front panel has a larger LCD display and four Quick Control soft knobs with which you can easily access parameters directly.
The modelling has had an upgrade too – the new G2 Amp Modelling Technology replicates both preamp and power amp at component level – valves, transformers, filter caps and more, are all modelled separately. While there might be a minutiae of adjustments available, it’s not really a difficult process to get sounds exactly as you want them, as the display is clear to read with easy navigation around it via a large value dial, page buttons and four-way cursor.
It provides a complete signal chain that comes closest to the sort of recorded sound an experienced engineer with access to great gear and mics and a good recording room would achieve, and exhibits an outstanding degree of flexibility in sound creation, routing and control."
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With its endless selection of effects, free updates and simple user interface the Axe-Fx II has become a world-wide standard for everyone from amateurs to studio professionals.
The editor “Axe-Edit” is the most attractive and best- functioning one I have ever seen.