REVIEW: Fractal Audio Systems Axe-FX II

axe fx II

A few years ago a revolution began in guitar processing. Fractal Audio Systems’ Axe-FX processor arrived in 2006, bringing together amplifier modelling and effects processing – both of which had been tackled by dozens of companies for decades, so that was nothing new, right? And yet something set the Axe-FX apart from the others: a level of sonic realism and a degree of control that transcended pretty much any piece of digital gear to date, combined with incredible flexibility for professional stage use. The Axe-FX was followed by the Axe-FX Ultra in 2008, and now the Axe-FX II. It’s a modelling preamp which simulates various famous guitar and bass amps as well as including original models designed by Fractal, plus simulations of speaker cabinets, effect pedals and studio effects. And it’s found its way into the guitar rigs of players as picky as Steve Vai, Dream Theater’s John Petrucci, Rush’s Alex Lifeson, Devin Townsend, Meshuggah’s Fredrik Thorendal, Dweezil Zappa, and of course Periphery, who have done so much for demonstrating the capabilities of the Axe-FX that they must hear “Dude, I bought an Axe-FX because of you,” like, all the time. Read More …