AX8 Amp Modeler/Multi-FX Processor
Quantum Amp Modeling, Ultra-Res™ Cab Sims, and Fractal-Quality Effects
The new AX8 is an all-in-one Amp Modeler + Multi-Effects Pedalboard Processor. It features many of the same leading-edge technologies utilized in our flagship Axe-Fx II processor, now offered in a floor unit at a fantastic price. Quantum Amp Modeling gives the AX8 over 222 exquisitely modeled amps that recreate the incredible nuanced tone and feel of real tube amps: sparkling cleans, elusive “edge of breakup” tones, and everything from warm, touch-sensitive overdrive to face-melting distortion. Ultra-Res™ Speaker Simulations offer a range of cab tones, with 130+ “Factory” cabs, plus 512 “User Cab” memory slots to store entries from our celebrated Cab Packs. Add to this a stunning selection of effects utilizing our state-of-the-art algorithms: G3™ drive pedals, HD reverbs, compressors, delays, EQs, choruses, phasers, flangers, rotary, tremolos, pitch shifting, wah, and many more. Above all, the AX8 sounds great, with a pristine, high-quality signal path and the signal processing power that makes Fractal Audio Systems the industry standard for today’s most discriminating professional guitarists.
The AX8 is “built-like-a-tank” to be road-worthy and reliable. It sports a signature black steel chassis and aircraft aluminum end-panels, a convenient top handle/guard, and eleven quiet, durable, solid-state stomp switches with no mechanical contacts to fail.
Hands-on editing has never been easier than on the AX8. Dedicated LED-ring knobs give direct access to eight “must-have” amp controls: Drive, Bass, Mid, Treble, Presence, Depth, Master, and Level. Add to this five additional “soft knobs” beneath a brilliant LCD display, six buttons, including SHIFT for extra functions, front-panel LED meters/indicators, 27 LEDs in three colors, and dedicated knobs for output levels.
The back panel contains an instrument input with Fractal Audio’s signature “Secret Sauce” circuitry, stereo main outputs with XLR, ¼” Humbuster™, and SPDIF out, plus a stereo-in/stereo-out effects loop that can also be repurposed as a utility input or output. This allows the AX8 to output “cab sim” signal to “front of house” while simultaneously addressing a power amp and conventional guitar speakers for on-stage “backline”. USB, MIDI IN, and MIDI OUT ports round out the set. Above all, the AX8 features an extremely high-quality signal path to deliver ultra-low noise and pristine sound.
Quantum Amp Modeling + Ultra-Res Speaker Simulation
The AX8 features over 222 Quantum amp models utilizing the same industry leading amp modeling technology as our flagship Axe-Fx II. Fractal’s amp modeling sets the industry standard against which all others are measured, and is backed by the endorsement of many of the world’s greatest musicians across all genres of music. Only Fractal offers Ultra-Res™ Speaker Cab simulations for enhanced IR performance without intolerable latency. The AX8 is also compatible with our entire library of Cab-Packs.
Fractal Audio is just as well-known for effects as it is for amp modeling, with a long list of incredible names standing behind our “no compromises” effects technology. The effects of the AX8 use the same core technology and algorithms as those of the Axe-Fx II. An impressive number of effects are included, with what we believe to be the complete package needed by the majority of professional players in the ultimate “grab-and-go” unit.
- All of the amp models from the Axe-Fx II
- Hundreds of Speaker Cab Sims
- 29+ Drive Pedal models
- Dozens of Delays
- 19 Reverb types
- Totally customizable Wah
- Highly customizable Whammy
- Fixed and Intelligent Harmony
- Shimmer, Crystals, etc.
- Phaser & Uni-Vibe
- Flanger, Chorus
- Rotary Speaker
- 7 powerful Filter types
- Graphic & Parametric EQs
- 4 Compressor types
- Front-end Noise Gate
- Mono Guitar Synth
- Built in Looper
- New “true” Tape Echo
- And more…
The effects in the AX8 offer “XY” switching, giving each effect two completely different sound settings from a single block instance. For example, you might equip an AMP block with discreet “Deluxe Tweed” and “Plexi 50W” channels, or toggle a reverb between “spring” and “hall” sounds.
The AX8 gives you traditional “instant access” effects switching using the eight main footswitches, while three assignable “Function” footswitches let you change modes or access other features.
There are 512 preset memory slots, with each preset featuring our now-familiar “4×12” layout grid and eight easy-access “SCENES” per preset to engage pre-defined groups of effects, switch XY states, adjust levels, and more.
Our fantastically flexible “modifier” system enables easy, real-time sound changes. You can plug four external switches or expression pedals (like the Fractal EV-1) into the onboard jacks to control Wah, Whammy, Volume, or virtually anything else, or utilize MIDI or onboard controllers to make sound changes.
A precision, full-screen tuner, two global equalizers, and a convenient Tap Tempo function are also built-in. AX8-EDIT, a full-featured software editor, is included free.
The AX8 is fully compatible with Fractal-Bot for preset sharing, easy backup and restore. The unit’s firmware is upgradeable and although it has now reached end of life, owners enjoyed many updates during a long run— including a recent update with improvements borrowed from the newer Axe-Fx III processor.