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Fractal FM9 - the best of all digital worlds?

7771 Views 33 Replies 15 Participants Last post by  TubeStack
I've had my FM9 for a few weeks now and I thought I'd leave a review in case you're on the list and wondering whether to buy or thinking of getting on the list. In short I feel that this is an amazing value and can't be beat if you're looking for an all in one unit. I've owned the Helix and Kemper Floor. What sets it apart?

1. Best Dual amp set up - The Kemper community has begged for this for a long time. The Helix can do it but IMO the Fractal modelling is a step above in feel and detail. When you consider the amp blocks can actually include four separate "channels" which are really amps for 8 amps in one preset and it's not a contest.

2. Superior Switching - this was what I loved about the AFX3 when I had it. The degree to which you can make the controller do what you want is above every other unit. Only the MC8 is really comparable. You get that power built in.

3. DSP - if you know you know.

4. No compromises - with almost every other unit people say "it's great but..." the reverbs could be better, the drive pedals aren't great blah blah. I don't feel one can say that here. Add to that Cliff's undying commitment to improvement.

There's much more that could be said but I'll leave it there. Feel free to drop off any questions or comments.
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Not to take anything away from the pricier modellers, but if one is cost-conscious I recommend keeping your eyes peeled for a used Johnson J-Station. It not only has lots of amp models, but deeper editing (which is VERY easy to do) allows one to select from a variety of cabs, adjust additional parameters for the many effects (lots of reverb control - more than many pedals), have up to 6 effects concurrently (if you count distortion as one of them), and save lots of presets, all accessible under MIDI control or a couple of button presses. One can easily whip up a footswitch to scroll through presets, and there are editors freely available for download. I bought my unit for something like $90.

Here' the manual, to give you a better idea of the capabilities - Johnson Amp J-Station Owner’s Manual JStationmanual - and a video from someone who still appreciates theirs. Again, not saying it is "better", but if you'd like something that provides more comprehensive construction of your tone, this is a surprisingly powerful cost-effective option that takes you a good distance towards what the Fractal and Kemper units do.
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