[SOLVED!] Fractal Civil War: AX8 Vs. Axe FX II


The popularity of Fractal means it’s not uncommon for people to put Fractal effect processors up against each other and AX8 vs. Axe-FX II is a prime example. While they come from the same brand, AX8 and Axe-FX II have unique characteristics that allow them to excel in distinct settings. 

AX8 and Axe-FX II both have something you like so you have a hard time choosing one over the other? In that case, our article can help you out so please spare a bit of your time and read to the end. Down below, you should find all information necessary to visualize what to expect from the Fractal effect processors in use. Once you have a good grasp on AX8 and Axe-FX II, picking the winner is a walk in the park. 

An Overview Of The Processors 

Audio I/OStereo In/Out, XLR oUTStereo In/Out, XLR oUT
MID I/OIn/ OutIn/Out
USBUSB Audio InterfaceUSB Audio Interface
PriceGenerally more affordableGenerally higher priced

AX8 Vs. Axe FX II: Breakdown

Fractal AX8

For your information, AX8 is an all-in-one effect processor and its capabilities resemble that of Axe-FX II. AX8 features a simple user interface that is easy to use during live performance in addition to speaker cabinet simulators, amp models and effects. The foot switch layout on AX8 allows you to control presets and parameters as you see fit. Needless to say, AX8 is well-liked by those who prefer to be able to switch between different sounds quickly.

Fractal Axe-FX II

Versatile and flexible, Axe-FX II offers many effects and amp models that guitarists require to generate high-quality sound and realism. It is a mountable rack unit that sees extensive use in studios as well as tours around the globe. Its interface is more complex than AX8 but it also boasts more functions. All in all, once it comes to precision, Axe-FX II is superior to most models in its price range. 

Head-To-Head Reviews 

Processing Power And Audio Quality

Compared to AX8, Axe-FX II includes more powerful systems, a faster processor, and more memory for complex signal chains. As a result, it’s able to process multiple high-quality effects simultaneously to deliver detailed and realistic audio presentations. While AX8 is weaker than Axe-Fe II, it still creates high-quality sound for standard applications. Keep in mind that since AX8 struggles to handle demanding and intricate signals, it isn’t the best choice for high-end music processing. 

Amp Modeling And Effects

In case you don’t know, Axe-FX II offers several amp models that feature iconic and classic guitar amps. These models have the nuances of various amp styles: clean, high-gain tones and crunch. Aside from that, there is an extensive effects library with simulations for reverbs, choruses and phasers. 

About AX8, it shares many amp models and effects with Axe-FX II but it’s inferior in terms of number. It also contains basic tones and effects but you can only make use of exclusive features of the line if you have Axe-FX II.

Interface And Controls

At a glance, Axe-FX II incorporates a complex interface with a large screen and multiple control knobs and buttons. With fewer preset parameters and more control for guitarists, Axe-FX II facilitates the process of fine-tuning the effects. In the case of AX8, its interface is rather simple: a small screen and several buttons. It’s small and easy to carry around, hence, it is ideal for live performances and quick adjustments.

Connectivity And I/O Options

Considering the fact that Axe-FX II is mountable, it possesses quite a few connectivity options. The presence of numerous input/output options, MIDI ports, and XLR connections make Axe-FX II a nice addition to professional audio setups. Regarding AX8, it’s designed to be small for portability so input and output choices fall behind Axe-FX II. That being said, you may use most devices with AX8 in times of need.

Size And Portability

Axe-FX II is a rack-mounted unit which means you should have an additional rack to protect it on the move. It is a nice model for studios as well as permanent installations on live rigs. On the other hand, AX8 is portable as it is an all-in-one unit. It is easy to move and set up AX8 because of its handling characteristics.


Historically, Axe-FX II is more expensive than AX8 since it is more powerful and offers more features than AX8. Meanwhile, capable of outperforming its competitors while remaining affordable, AX8 offers guitarists a balance between cost and effectiveness. 

AX8 has a simple interface ideal for concerts, while Axe-FX II offers numerous effects and amp models. Axe-FX II provides more processing power and can handle more complex chain signals than AX8. Continue reading to the end to learn more.

Effects Processors For Guitars: Compilation 

To put it plainly, an effect processor is a digital device that emulates guitar amps and effects. By taking advantage of effect processors, guitarists may put together variable tones on stage. Benefits of modern effect processors include versatility in tones and effects, portability for live performances, space-saving by replacing multiple gears and preset consistency. Depending on how you use effect processors, they can be effective replacements for traditional amps/pedals.