GazzaBloom Posted May 15, 2015 Share Posted May 15, 2015 OK, I have no intention of starting a AXE FX vs PODHD flame war and will try to comment as objectively as possible. I caused a bit of a storm by announcing that I was selling up my POD HD500X and DT25 rig and moving to a AXE-FX II XL+ and Atomic CLR. The new gear arrived late yesterday afternoon and I have had just a couple of hours with it, here is my initial impression in comparison to the L6 rig. 1) The problem I had with the L6 sounds was a harsh boomy low end on the majority of amp models coupled with a (hard to describe) thin high end glassy presence (you can hear this clearly in some Youtube 'Vs' demos). I also found that I have to add the 'hard to understand' EQs to just about every patch to get anywhere near a tone that I was happy with. I also found the DT25 drive sounds to be harsh at low volume and it seems to need some significant volume to get the best from it. This is a luxury I cannot afford as I play 99% of the time at home. In general I have never been satisfied with the tones from the PODHD (I was happier with POD XT and X3), the cleans also sound too thin and almost 'DI' like with any string rattle from my guitars be prevalent in the tone (unlike through an amp) and no really 'body' to the sound. 2) My initial impression of the AXE-FX when plugged in for the first time through my Event TR8 nearfield monitors and the CLR wasn't good. I scrolled through many of the presents and found few that sounded good with my guitars and were not at all EQ'd right for me. 3) I came back to it a couple of hours later and I found the Axe-FX 'DOUBLE VERB' present and decided to have a look in that and see if I could adjust it to my taste. I switched off the bright switch, adjusted the tone to my taste (brought up mids, reduced bass, treble to suit my CS 60 Relic Strat), adjusted the drive, input level and output level, lowered the level on the reverb...and....there was a superb full bodied clean tone, direct into the interface and monitors. It's really hard to describe the difference, but the quality of the sound is significantly better, punchier, clearer and fuller. Through the CLR wedge, it really does sound like a old Fender amp played clean, with a punch and body I never found with the POD. 4) There is a plethora of options to tweak on the amps, effects, and cabs but this is down to the individual as to how far you want to go. I just tweaked the drive & EQ and am very happy with the Double Verb tone, no need for deeper tweaking. Took a few minutes and it was dialled in. 5) Effects, just had a quick scroll through some delays, reverbs, drives and modulation and again, a noticeable improvement, especially in the reverbs and delays. I'm delighted and look forward to exploring further, now it's time to read the manual. If anyone gets the chance to upgrade and to spend some time (away from the Axe FX presets) with the AXE-FX II I think you would be impressed. But, it is hellishly expensive. New rig shown in pic below Gazza 5 Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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