BLIND TEST! Friedman vs Axe Fx III vs Helix...

Guitarjon

Active member
It's that time again, please join the fun!

This one has been requested for a while and I honestly think it's going to be very interesting! I'm going to compare my Friedman JJ JR (BE mode) tube amp to the Axe Fx III and the Helix, BLINDLY! So it's up to you guys to guess which one is which. I showed this to a friend who has very good ears prior to the release and he said he heard some pretty big differences between the sounds while I thought that the differences between some of them were VERY subtle. So I can't wait to find out how you guys experience this....


Have at it! ;)
 

TheToneDig

Active member
Very good blind test.

Basically guessing A, B and C.

Couldn't segregate much between them all. So I would guess A is the real deal and B and C the modelers. Haven't a clue though in reality.
 
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scottosan

Well-known member
It's that time again, please join the fun!

This one has been requested for a while and I honestly think it's going to be very interesting! I'm going to compare my Friedman JJ JR (BE mode) tube amp to the Axe Fx III and the Helix, BLINDLY! So it's up to you guys to guess which one is which. I showed this to a friend who has very good ears prior to the release and he said he heard some pretty big differences between the sounds while I thought that the differences between some of them were VERY subtle. So I can't wait to find out how you guys experience this....


Have at it! ;)
I never get an answer to this question. Is the real amp mic’d or using IR?
 

RaceU4her

Well-known member
A to me sounds like a modeler. B has a little more air on top but sounds maybe a little thin compared to C which sounds to have the weight of the real amp but not as airy top, since ive heard people complain the be's can be a little dark ill guess C is the real amp.
 

Fordman65

Well-known member
Yeah. As I suspected. The sound similar because all 3 are using modeling technology. IRs will color the tone even on a real amp. IRs are a huge part of the tone
Of course IRs "color" the tone. Are you saying mics and mic-pre's in a traditional setup don't? Signal path is the same as far as I know. Or are you saying that If I were to use an AxeFx, into a tube power amp with a traditionally mic'd cab, the differences would be more obvious?
 

Kyrpajyra

Active member
Of course IRs "color" the tone. Are you saying mics and mic-pre's in a traditional setup don't? Signal path is the same as far as I know. Or are you saying that If I were to use an AxeFx, into a tube power amp with a traditionally mic'd cab, the differences would be more obvious?
All i know is that IRs suck ass and anyone who's seriously using them should be ashamed.
 

scottosan

Well-known member
Of course IRs "color" the tone. Are you saying mics and mic-pre's in a traditional setup don't? Signal path is the same as far as I know. Or are you saying that If I were to use an AxeFx, into a tube power amp with a traditionally mic'd cab, the differences would be more obvious?
They all have a similar underlying tone. It’s like a picture vs seeing the real thing. The resolution has improved and for general purposes and in a mix that works, but it’s not real and to insinuate that the Friedman would sound like that mic’d is disingenuous
 

TheToneDig

Active member
They all have a similar underlying tone. It’s like a picture vs seeing the real thing. The resolution has improved and for general purposes and in a mix that works, but it’s not real and to insinuate that the Friedman would sound like that mic’d is disingenuous
Let's assume that is true. You still didn't really know if it was IR or mic'd up. You asked to confirm a suspicion but you weren't totally positive, right?
When the lines blur like that, I think whatever is going on is already getting a pass in the world of modeling systems.

Also, let's say we do mic up a Friedman with an actual cab and not an IR. Would the tone be radically different enough to claim disingenuousness on the part of the video maker? I think not. I think if you bought a Friedman amp and cab, you could expect to be in the ballpark of what that sound is with that tuning and that style of playing with those IRs. If it sounded nothing like that, then I would be asking why not?

Do you think it sounded like Friedman? I did.
 

scottosan

Well-known member
Let's assume that is true. You still didn't really know if it was IR or mic'd up. You asked to confirm a suspicion but you weren't totally positive, right?
When the lines blur like that, I think whatever is going on is already getting a pass in the world of modeling systems.

Also, let's say we do mic up a Friedman with an actual cab and not an IR. Would the tone be radically different enough to claim disingenuousness on the part of the video maker? I think not. I think if you bought a Friedman amp and cab, you could expect to be in the ballpark of what that sound is with that tuning and that style of playing with those IRs. If it sounded nothing like that, then I would be asking why not?

Do you think it sounded like Friedman? I did.
They sound similar because all we’re using IR’s. Of course it sounds like a Friedman….with an IR. It’s not going to sound the same mic’d vs a 3rd party IR.
 

DanTravis62

Well-known member
They sound similar because all we’re using IR’s. Of course it sounds like a Friedman….with an IR. It’s not going to sound the same mic’d vs a 3rd party IR.
I use zero IRs :dunno:

Theyre a great time saving tool, but there's something to be said for painstakingly learning your craft to be able to mic a gig-volume guitar amp in a convincing way. Even though the risk is high, that you will fuck everything up, the reward is also high - there's magic in the chaos of pushing air in a room.

That being said, IRs can sound very good - they just tend to sound the same, because people always use the same ones.

That Mesa OS 4x12 v30 IR is ubiquitous on everyones 28 year old cousins deathcore demo (bonus points for steven slate drum plugins)

That friedman 4x12 v30/greenback IR is very popular for the youtube shill crowd a

Those two IRs account for like 70% of all recorded "high gain" tones you hear on the internet. Which is maybe a contributing factor to why they sound the same to everyone.
 

TheToneDig

Active member
Anyone I have worked with IRs done properly understands the difference between the QuickStart folder and the other folders within providing 100s of locations and mic type combinations. Therein is how you find the location that works like the sweet spot on a regular cabinet. Single IR files work best with the profile packs they were designed for. If you are firing up a real amp, then the single IR method is a surefire way to get mediocre results. You should go through the whole complement of files to find the sweet spot.
 

scottosan

Well-known member
I’m not saying IR’s are bad. I’m not even saying that you could identify it being real or mic. I’m just saying in this situation it’d be harder to match the tones of the other 3 if using a real mic
 
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