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> Axefx2 V Mesa Mk V, For those of you who perform live on stage
SirJamsalot
post Dec 4 2012, 06:45 PM
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if you were going to invest 2K+ on a new live rig, where would you put the money if you played Rock/Metal.

AxeFX or Mesa Boogie MK V
I'm limiting it to these two because I'm a mesa hound, and I've never tried the AxeFX.

I know - go to a store and try it out - but that's really an undertaking. You have to get store personnel to hook it up in the loud room next to the mesa, which means they'd have to cart in speakers and an amp of some sort. Plus, I'd have to crank them to hear their true colors.

What's been your experience if you've tried them before?

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Gabriel Leopardi
post Dec 4 2012, 07:02 PM
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Good question!! I've never tried an Axe so I can't say which one would be better. Mesa Boogie amps are killer but I would like to know the opinion of those who could use both.


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Alex Feather
post Dec 4 2012, 11:35 PM
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Hmmm I would suggest neither...
I think Kemper profiling amp is the way to go now you can get any amp you want in it and have it live!
I own Axe and it works great live but for me it is a more studio unit
If I had to choose between two I would go with Axe over mesa
Here is the link for Kemper


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jstcrsn
post Dec 5 2012, 12:12 AM
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QUOTE (Alex Feather @ Dec 4 2012, 11:35 PM) *
Hmmm I would suggest neither...
I think Kemper profiling amp is the way to go now you can get any amp you want in it and have it live!
I own Axe and it works great live but for me it is a more studio unit
If I had to choose between two I would go with Axe over mesa
Here is the link for Kemper

I HAVE SEEN THIS DONE WITH THE AXEFX
and have not heard if the Kemper reacts like a tube amp(live ) and the axefx does
I have and will still be , coveting the axefx
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SpaseMoonkey
post Dec 5 2012, 12:23 AM
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QUOTE (Alex Feather @ Dec 4 2012, 05:35 PM) *
Hmmm I would suggest neither...
I think Kemper profiling amp is the way to go now you can get any amp you want in it and have it live!
I own Axe and it works great live but for me it is a more studio unit
If I had to choose between two I would go with Axe over mesa
Here is the link for Kemper


*Raises Hand* Ooooh oooh me me pick me!

I think I shall be the closest person to talk of this very subject but as always it is a personal preference. Some people are hardcore tube players and would never say using a modeling device it can't come close to the tone. With that out of the way.


I am a bedroom player 100% I've never played a gig, I jam with some friends and such but thats about it for playing live. I loved my triple rectifier. I did a v30/gt75-12 X in my cab, sounded so good. But to crank it to get that great tone was way to loud for just a bedroom player was a bit overkill. I've owned the Pod HD500 good little unit but it actually was a down payment on the mesa. After a good year of owning the amp I got tired of never being able to hear the tone. So I went on youtube and looked up the axe-fx 2. I was pretty dead set on ordering it. I don't play cleans at all, its just not well.. Metal duh! But I seen a comparison of cleans on the Axe/Kemper. I was sold the very next day I ordered the Kemper.


Next you'll be like ok so you have this product but what does it sound like? Well I have been trying to play cleaner and do bends so here is a clip I was working on today to have as a reference point in my playing. I'm not the greatest at mixing or mastering seeing how I've just recently begun to try with it. But here is a direct clip recorded from Guitar > Kemper > Interface > PC.

https://soundcloud.com/spasemoonkey/mix-testing-solos

This is how people have explained the 2 items to me. Axe-FX2 is for live rigging, the Kemper is better for studio work. They both ups and downs. The Kemper has that tube feeling to it as well.


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Todd Simpson
post Dec 5 2012, 01:32 AM
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Well, as much as it would be cool to have a MESA, the AXE FX can sound like a Mesa and just about any other amp you can think of and fits in a rack so easier to carry.

Todd

QUOTE (SirJamsalot @ Dec 4 2012, 12:45 PM) *
if you were going to invest 2K+ on a new live rig, where would you put the money if you played Rock/Metal.

AxeFX or Mesa Boogie MK V
I'm limiting it to these two because I'm a mesa hound, and I've never tried the AxeFX.

I know - go to a store and try it out - but that's really an undertaking. You have to get store personnel to hook it up in the loud room next to the mesa, which means they'd have to cart in speakers and an amp of some sort. Plus, I'd have to crank them to hear their true colors.

What's been your experience if you've tried them before?

Thanks!
Chris



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PosterBoy
post Dec 5 2012, 08:16 AM
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I only have the Axe Ultra not the II, and I've had it since 2008.

The things I love.

So many amp choices, although I have my favourites for live use, I'm sure the others will make an appearance when recording. It also helps when I suddenly want to play a different genre of music.

The quality of the effects up their with Eventide etc and the routing makes it really flexible.

The patch switching is pretty seamless, I've never heard a horrible lag in the change, and the reverb and delay can spillover (as long as the other patch has the effect block in it)


This is the thing and I don't know if the Axe II has made this a moot point but

It doesn't sound like an amp in the same room as you, it sounds like a mic'd up amp (if you are using the power amp and cab simulation)
I didn't notice this or at least I got used to it until I set up my Fender HR Deville to check it out before advertising it for sale and I was like 'Wow this amp sounds so good'

Playing live in a full band (I play in a worship team where my stage volume has to be fairly controlled) I would pair it up with a Matrix power amp and a Cab with EV12Ls in it, these have been said to work well with both the power amp and cab simulation on or off.

This negative, and I'm not sure how much it exists with the Axe II, will only be noticed by you, and not your audience and probably not band mates. Soundguys will love you.

You'll also have a killer recording device


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Alex Feather
post Dec 5 2012, 09:52 AM
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QUOTE (SpaseMoonkey @ Dec 4 2012, 11:23 PM) *
*Raises Hand* Ooooh oooh me me pick me!

I think I shall be the closest person to talk of this very subject but as always it is a personal preference. Some people are hardcore tube players and would never say using a modeling device it can't come close to the tone. With that out of the way.


I am a bedroom player 100% I've never played a gig, I jam with some friends and such but thats about it for playing live. I loved my triple rectifier. I did a v30/gt75-12 X in my cab, sounded so good. But to crank it to get that great tone was way to loud for just a bedroom player was a bit overkill. I've owned the Pod HD500 good little unit but it actually was a down payment on the mesa. After a good year of owning the amp I got tired of never being able to hear the tone. So I went on youtube and looked up the axe-fx 2. I was pretty dead set on ordering it. I don't play cleans at all, its just not well.. Metal duh! But I seen a comparison of cleans on the Axe/Kemper. I was sold the very next day I ordered the Kemper.


Next you'll be like ok so you have this product but what does it sound like? Well I have been trying to play cleaner and do bends so here is a clip I was working on today to have as a reference point in my playing. I'm not the greatest at mixing or mastering seeing how I've just recently begun to try with it. But here is a direct clip recorded from Guitar > Kemper > Interface > PC.

https://soundcloud.com/spasemoonkey/mix-testing-solos

This is how people have explained the 2 items to me. Axe-FX2 is for live rigging, the Kemper is better for studio work. They both ups and downs. The Kemper has that tube feeling to it as well.

Thank you very much for the takes! Sounds very close! To be honest I have heard the opposite that AXE FX is better for studio and Kemper is better for live I guess everyone like different stuff and have their own way to use it!
I own AXE and know a few guys who own Kemper we did some jams and I would totally use it live the price is a little too much and I am pretty happy with my Ugly amps and Fenders so not really sure if I want it anymore...


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SpaseMoonkey
post Dec 5 2012, 03:06 PM
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QUOTE (Alex Feather @ Dec 5 2012, 03:52 AM) *
Thank you very much for the takes! Sounds very close! To be honest I have heard the opposite that AXE FX is better for studio and Kemper is better for live I guess everyone like different stuff and have their own way to use it!
I own AXE and know a few guys who own Kemper we did some jams and I would totally use it live the price is a little too much and I am pretty happy with my Ugly amps and Fenders so not really sure if I want it anymore...


They told me the AXE FX is more towards live due its a rack mount, so it's easier to move as a whole than the Kemper.


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Gabriel Leopardi
post Dec 5 2012, 03:37 PM
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QUOTE (SpaseMoonkey @ Dec 5 2012, 11:06 AM) *
They told me the AXE FX is more towards live due its a rack mount, so it's easier to move as a whole than the Kemper.


This sounds very reasonable... great info everybody!


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ztevie
post Dec 5 2012, 03:56 PM
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I would say Axe Fx II is great in a studio environment. Because of all the connection possibilities. USB, SPDIF, Midi and several analog ins/outs. It also seems superior to the Kemper regarding internal routing possibilities.

For me, the Axe is pretty much a flawless modeling unit. It has everything I need and the tone is so close that I don't hear any difference from the real thing... IMHO that is... smile.gif



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maharzan
post Dec 5 2012, 04:04 PM
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I have the II too... highly recommended. smile.gif


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SirJamsalot
post Dec 5 2012, 07:42 PM
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Seems like the consensus is that the modeling unit has become the preferred rig over and against tube amps for live performance in this thread.

1. Because it sounds so close to the real deal
2. Because it is rack-able, and therefore easier to transport than an amp
3. Sound man will love you because he can control your life
4. Ideal for recording - DI / amp modeling (choose your sound / effects)

I don't know why I'm so scared to make a choice! Oddly, it's not the price tag that worries me either. I know what a Mesa sounds like first-hand on stage, and I love the sound. I don't have hands on experience with the AxeFX, so that's an unknown, but I hear all the testimonies (including John Petrucci appears to be using it (or at least was for a time) ).

I'm going to have to go sit under a tree in the Bahamas for a while for some quiet contemplation time. Oh the agony of decision making!

Thanks everyone!
Chris!


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Opetholic
post Dec 5 2012, 08:31 PM
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I would go for the Mesa Mark V. The digital amp simulators surely do an amazing job but I think they lack something a tube amp has (surely they lack the tube transistor biggrin.gif) So to me they never sound the same, no matter how great they are. Also if I understand right you will use it on stage, so the actual tube amp is then perfect for you. You can crank it up and use it to its full capacity smile.gif I think many players once they find a good tone settle for it, think of it that way, do you really think you will continuously change your tone and try out all the possible models that come with an Axe Fx ??


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SirJamsalot
post Dec 5 2012, 09:26 PM
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QUOTE (Opetholic @ Dec 5 2012, 11:31 AM) *
I would go for the Mesa Mark V. The digital amp simulators surely do an amazing job but I think they lack something a tube amp has (surely they lack the tube transistor biggrin.gif) So to me they never sound the same, no matter how great they are. Also if I understand right you will use it on stage, so the actual tube amp is then perfect for you. You can crank it up and use it to its full capacity smile.gif I think many players once they find a good tone settle for it, think of it that way, do you really think you will continuously change your tone and try out all the possible models that come with an Axe Fx ??


That's the tricky part for me to answer - My band does covers of everything from Talking Heads to Dio - I mean we cover rock from the 80's to the present, and each song we play calls for a different guitar tone. But - and here's the kicker - we've been getting along fine so far with my current tube amp and a pedal here and there - so I don't need a modeler to exist. A Mesa would sound better to my ear (I currently have a Peavy). But would modeler benefit me more than say my existing pedals? I don't know... I'm inclined to hook up my HD500 for my next show to see how going fully emulated goes. But I sure do love the growl of a tube amp on stage. But I'm guessing something like the AxeFX growls too based on what I'm reading smile.gif Grrrrr.



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Todd Simpson
post Dec 5 2012, 11:39 PM
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QUOTE (SirJamsalot @ Dec 5 2012, 03:26 PM) *
That's the tricky part for me to answer - My band does covers of everything from Talking Heads to Dio - I mean we cover rock from the 80's to the present, and each song we play calls for a different guitar tone. But - and here's the kicker - we've been getting along fine so far with my current tube amp and a pedal here and there - so I don't need a modeler to exist. A Mesa would sound better to my ear (I currently have a Peavy). But would modeler benefit me more than say my existing pedals? I don't know... I'm inclined to hook up my HD500 for my next show to see how going fully emulated goes. But I sure do love the growl of a tube amp on stage. But I'm guessing something like the AxeFX growls too based on what I'm reading smile.gif Grrrrr.


Part of it comes to practicallity. If you are happy with your AMP/TONE, do you really need an Axe Fx? Nope. However, as MARCUS mentioned (He has a Mesa and and Axe Fx), you can't always bring the Mesa with, and it's not always easy either way. In those cases, having the AXE FX, is really handy. If nothing else as a backup. This of course assumes you can afford to have that much money tied up in an amp and axe fx. smile.gif

Todd


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Alex Feather
post Dec 6 2012, 12:07 AM
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QUOTE (SirJamsalot @ Dec 5 2012, 06:42 PM) *
Seems like the consensus is that the modeling unit has become the preferred rig over and against tube amps for live performance in this thread.

1. Because it sounds so close to the real deal
2. Because it is rack-able, and therefore easier to transport than an amp
3. Sound man will love you because he can control your life
4. Ideal for recording - DI / amp modeling (choose your sound / effects)

I don't know why I'm so scared to make a choice! Oddly, it's not the price tag that worries me either. I know what a Mesa sounds like first-hand on stage, and I love the sound. I don't have hands on experience with the AxeFX, so that's an unknown, but I hear all the testimonies (including John Petrucci appears to be using it (or at least was for a time) ).

I'm going to have to go sit under a tree in the Bahamas for a while for some quiet contemplation time. Oh the agony of decision making!

Thanks everyone!
Chris!

You have a good point! But I am just not use to racks I guess and also Axe ii has a lot of great features for the studio work like USB etc. We need to compare AXE FX VS Kemper
In this clip you can really hear the difference between The real deal - Kemper and AXE FX


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Patrik Berg
post Dec 6 2012, 01:52 AM
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QUOTE (Alex Feather @ Dec 5 2012, 11:07 PM) *
You have a good point! But I am just not use to racks I guess and also Axe ii has a lot of great features for the studio work like USB etc. We need to compare AXE FX VS Kemper
In this clip you can really hear the difference between The real deal - Kemper and AXE FX

Thanks Alex, that is a great demonstration of why to get a real amp biggrin.gif
IMO the kemper sounds closer to the real amp, but that is me listening on my phone speakers.


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PosterBoy
post Dec 6 2012, 12:29 PM
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In that clip you can tell the difference between the two, but also the ears and tweaking of the person who programmed the patch comes into it too.

Plus Cliff is constantly creating updates for the Axe 2.

I think for Jams the Axe 2 with all the effect options is probably the best choice for a cover band situation.

He could go from SRV or John Mayer to Rage against the machine complete with whammy pedal in one press of a footswitch.

The outlay for the Axe Fx, midi controller and optional power amp and cab or FRFR Monitor is not cheap though. Then neither is a Mesa Rig either


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Gabriel Leopardi
post Dec 6 2012, 03:32 PM
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QUOTE (Alex Feather @ Dec 5 2012, 08:07 PM) *
You have a good point! But I am just not use to racks I guess and also Axe ii has a lot of great features for the studio work like USB etc. We need to compare AXE FX VS Kemper
In this clip you can really hear the difference between The real deal - Kemper and AXE FX



This is a very good comparison. The kemper is closer to the real amp, but the real amp wins! smile.gif


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