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FRACTAL AUDIO SYSTEMS AXE-FX III

The high-end digital modelling phenomenon returns with a third iteration that promises significant upgrades both inside and out. Darran Charles plugs in…

FRACTAL AUDIO SYSTEMS AXE-FX III €2,899

REVIEW

The Fractal’s rackmount form factor returns, making it suitable for both the road and the studio

AWARD CHOICE 9/10

Fractal Audio Systems’ Axe-Fx redrew the high-end digital modelling landscape when it arrived on the scene a decade ago, quickly becoming a fixture in the touring and recording rigs of some of the biggest and most infiuential guitar players in the world, thanks in no small part to its mix of top notch tone and rock-solid build quality.

Fractal’s success sparked a highend modelling arms race that has since seen the likes of Kemper, Positive Grid and Line 6 bringing their own variations on the theme to market, but the Axe-Fx remains the benchmark for many guitarists out there – particularly those at the heavier end of the spectrum. As a result, it was a shock when, at this year’s Winter NAMM show, Fractal unexpectedly launched the Axe-Fx III, which supersedes version II, released back in 2011 and last upgraded in XL+ form in 2015.

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About Guitar Magazine

The August 2018 issue of The Guitar Magazine is on sale now and this month it’s all about Player power as we run the rule over four new models from the Player series: Fender’s replacement for the Mexican Standard line. As well as more traditional configurations, the Player series contains several guitars and basses that are far from standard, such as the nifty HH Jazzmaster that readers of the print mag can find behind the barn doors of our special edition cover. Elsewhere in this month’s issue we fly to Iceland to find a man dipping guitars in volcanic hot springs, investigate the issue of gender politics in the guitar industry, meet band-of-the-moment Boy Azooga, get to grips with an incredible staple-pickup ‘56 Les Paul Custom and put hot new gear from Collings, ThorpyFX, Fractal, Keeley, EarthQuaker Devices and more to test. On top of all that we have not one but two fantastic competitions with pro Audio-Technica monitor headphones and a one-off custom-painted Strat up for grabs. It’s a hot one, alright – download your copy of the August 2018 issue of The Guitar Magazine now.