Axe-Fx III Preamp/FX Processor

Was: $2,499.99
Now: $2,249.99
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FAS-026
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THE WORLD'S MOST POWERFUL PROCESSOR

The Axe-Fx III is the latest in our line of the worlds most powerful all-in-one processors for guitar, bass, and other instruments. This new model offers our latest "Ares" amp modeling technology, thousands of UltraRes speaker cab simulations, and state-of-the-art effect algorithms, all backed with more raw power and feature upgrades than any Fractal Audio product before. Our vision was to take the Axe-Fx to a whole new level: to create a totally redesigned platform that sounds better, does more, and is easier to use. Equipped with four processors, the Axe-Fx III contains more raw processing power than any guitar product ever made, by far.

The hardware of the Axe-Fx III was designed around a streamlined new workflow. The centerpiece is a dazzling new high-contrast full-color display with 30x the resolution of previous products. This display works alongside five new endless-rotary push encoders. These push-knobs do different things on different pages, with labels to show dynamic functions. The end result is a user experience thats immediately more intuitive. The display also excels at animation for meters, modifiers, and more.

Better sound quality has been achieved through an audiophile-grade signal path. The difference shines through in lower noise floor, pristine clarity, and better USB audio performance than most dedicated audio interfaces. Computer audio integration now includes a professional-quality 24-bit/48k 88 interface. Record multiple tracks of processed audio at the same time, plus a DI. The re-amping workflow is improved with independent monitoring of backing tracks and re-processed guitar tones while you dial in a sound.Physically, the Axe-Fx III continues our tradition of combining extraordinary design with manufacturing quality rugged enough to withstand the rigors of life on the road. The unit is housed in a steel enclosure with a one-piece anodized aluminum faceplate/bezel featuring a glowing Axe-Fx III logo.

19 Reviews Hide Reviews Show Reviews

  • 5
    Axe FX III Review

    Posted by Brian Ford on 28th Aug 2019

    Highly recommended. I use for recording guitar/bass, as well as effects for vocals. The amps, IRs, and effects are top notch. Large selection of amps and cabs. Great sounds are easy to dial in. Excellent customer service and frequent firmware enhancements. Also a great community on the forums.

  • 5
    Axe Fx III

    Posted by Kevin Collins on 28th Aug 2019

    I purchased an Axe Fx II mkII in 2013 after deciding that my excellent sounding but very large analog rig was just too big.

    I gave myself 6 months to either love it and sell my old rig or sell it. The old rig has been history for almost 6 years and I have zero regrets.

    Along the way I upgraded to the Axe Fx II XL+ and now the Axe Fx III.

    Everything about the Axe Fx is well thought out, flexible and extremely usable... and the sounds of all the amp models and effects is really incredible.

    But, the real killer is the FEEL!

    You can make lots of things sound good, but the Axe Fx modeling responds to touch and dynamics like a real tube amp.

    On top of all that, there is an amazing Fractal Forum community, and the staff at Fractal are not only top notch, but they are very active there.

    Owner / Creator Cliff Chase and crew not only participate but actively take suggestions and feedback to constantly improve the system thru firmware updates that are frequent and free of charge.

    All in all, the Axe Fx III (and before that the II) and hands-down THE BEST gear purchase I have made in 35 years as a musician!

  • 5
    Axe-Fx III...Simply the best!

    Posted by RandyVanMartini on 28th Aug 2019

    From build quality to sound quality, from firmware updates to stellar service, this magical black box is worth it's weight in gold....seriously.

  • 5
    The best piece of gear I've ever bought...

    Posted by Kamil Kisiel on 28th Aug 2019

    ... and that's not an exaggeration. The Axe-FX III replaced all my other guitar electronics with one convenient rackmount unit. I was able to sell off all my pedals and get rid of my amp. It really does it all, and sounds amazing in the process. There possibilities are virtually unlimited and the amp models and effects sound amazing. The regular firmware updates just make it better and better. The customer service and support is the best in the business. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend an Axe-FX III to anyone.

  • 5
    Axe-Fx III - GAS cure!!

    Posted by Jeff Robb on 28th Aug 2019

    The Axe-Fx III is by far the best gear investment I've made in the 40+ years of playing guitar. The quality of effects and amp tones are simply amazing! I'm a semi-pro player and am not willing to compromise on my tone, either live or in studio. I made a decision a few years ago to play what sounds best, no matter how complicated, heavy or inconvenient. I stumbled on the AX8 when needing a fly rig and was completely blown away by the quality of effects and amp tones. When the Axe III was released, I decided to take the plunge and couldn't be happier with it, there has not been a tone I haven't been able to replicate. The biggest thing that's impressed me is the interaction with the amps, they're very dynamic and responsive. There's nothing I miss from a playability or feel perspective compared to "real" amps. Great job FAS, you've converted someone who had sworn never to use modelers, let alone going direct live. Can't recommend this piece of gear more highly, regardless of your experience level or status.

  • 5
    Amazing models, awesome effects, unparalleled support.

    Posted by michael vengrowsky on 28th Aug 2019

    Plug in and play and it's as simply as anything else. Dive deep and it is the abyss by comparison to all I have played. Some companies sell you a device and never even fix bugs let alone add functionality... Axe folks are constantly adding functionality/improvements. They even listen to their customers! It is everything they say it is and more. Top notch - top to bottom.

  • 5
    The answer to my problems and then some!

    Posted by Travis Grotbo on 28th Aug 2019

    I was constantly flipping pedals, and had just replaced my Peavey Classic 50 410 with a PRS Archon 25. I had the big Strymon delay, reverb, and modulation pedals. Noise issues in the loop made me get a buffer.

    I then got a Boss ES8 and was programming the presets by hand on the clunky interface. The Strymon pedals required programming and midi commands to change presets. Showing up to gigs still required going through every sound to try to match volume levels between drives and other effects. The pedalboard was huge and almost self-aware. There were too many points of failure. I started thinking there had to be an easier way.

    I remember when the first AxeFx was released. At the time I thought it was too expensive, but it sounded amazing. Now with the cost of my pedalboard and amp this concern seemed laughable. In my search for a solution I happened upon the newly released FX8. It seemed to be the answer to all my problems. I purchased the FX8 and it was awesome loading in with an amp, the FX8, and an expression pedal or two. The best part was having peace of mind volume levels would be consistent between presets. I also didn’t have 15+ patch cables/power supplies that could go bad.

    I soon became curious about the AX8. I purchased one. The amp modeling was amazing! I rarely touched the Archon anymore. No more 4+ cables running all over stage! I finally found the amp sounds I had been seeking when I was flipping drive pedals. I sold the AX8 to a bandmate, sold the FX8 on Reverb, and upgraded to the AxeFx II XL+ and MFC. I got a Xitone cab. Life was as good as I thought it could get. Enter the III!

    I mainly upgraded to the III because I can see the scene names on the FC12 and don't have to memorize what each switch does on the controller. I can run 80+ songs from 8 presets. I have more time to spend with family, more efficient practice, and spend less time programming and memorizing nuances of presets thanks to the LED displays on the FC12. The modeling sounds amazing as always. This has truly been the answer to all my needs and I am so thankful to have Fractal in my life!

    P.S. While waiting for the FM3 my buddy sold his AX8 and we have been running shows with both guitars through the III. I have him on a 4 button switch connected to the expression inputs on the III. It works great!

  • 5
    Axe FX III

    Posted by Patrick Zagury on 28th Aug 2019

    Well here we are 18 months since I bought the Axe FX III, after 7 years with the Axe FX II - a revolutionary product itself and one that allowed me to produce shows of superior quality with rave comments from fans and sound engineers alike.
    I actually thought that the II could not be better. Yes, maybe a more powerful version with more complex algorithms or a longer looper or more delays - but better tone? Not likely. After over 25 major software upgrades, the sound was there and I was not expecting any thing drastic.
    But the Axe FX III surprised me. It's not that the amps sounded hugely different, it was the ease of dialing in great tone. It was how it FELT to play and - I don't know, it's hard to put into words - something was just "more right".
    Yes, I got more complex algorithms, routing improvements, some of the effects were obviously reworked and some great effects were added, a longer looper too, but what got me the most was how EASY it was to dial in a perfect tone.
    I made a preset that I can use for Jazz, Funk, Rock, Blues and Pop in less than 4 minutes with absolutely zero effort and it sounds glorious. I do entire shows with that one preset - and it has only one amp!
    From a user interface viewpoint, the III is miles ahead of the II. The screen is sharp and easy to read, colorful and easy to orient oneself on. The navigation is sublimely simple and like I said, putting together a preset is a pice of cake.
    I wold be remiss if I did not mention the FC foot controller here. It's only fitting because all of the FC programming is IN the III, not the FC.
    I was concerned at first that 12 buttons would not be enough. Fool that I was! It's not only plenty, it's luxury. The design of the foot controller interface is so badass that it's actually more like having 24 switches at your feet and then you can have 8 completely different layouts that can be accessed with 1 or 2 clicks!
    I'm very enthusiastic about this product and the level of care and support I get from Fractal Audio.
    It's not often that you can converse directly with the designers and owners of a company and have your wishes granted. I feel like I contributed to the greatness of the Axe FX III, even if just a little bit.
    Thanks for a total winner.

  • 5
    AxeFx -III

    Posted by Unknown on 28th Aug 2019

    Hands down - the best purchase I’ve ever made in my 30 years of playing guitar. I have a studio with a PILE of amp heads and a variety of world renown cabs as well , that now sit collecting dust. I may never play a traditional amplifier again in my lifetime. The III has every amp model , cab , and effect that anyone could possibly want , at their fingertips , and they ALL sound and feel amazing. I am blown away by the cost of this unit. It should cost TENS of THOUSANDS of dollars. If you are serious about the tone and feel of electric guitar , do yourself a favor and get one. There’s a reason that a growing number of touring musicians are using Fractal.
    ....The support from the company itself , is unreal. I’ve met the owner himself , along with most of the staff ( while at an amp show ) and they are truly great people. The Fractal forum is another great reason to own their gear. Immediate answers to questions , from good , intelligent people.
    - Back to the Axe-Fx III , ...if you’re reading this review , just buy one. It’s a steal , even at 5 times the cost. A single , quality guitar alone , costs as much or more. If you’re on the fence - DO IT ! I never write reviews. Never. For the Axe-Fx III , I had to. It’s that good. Whether you are recording ( there are a ton of routing options via SPIF , USB , etc , reamping , you name it ) or playing live , it just doesn’t get any better.