This could certainly turn into a big deal. Fractal Audio Systems, makers of the ubiquitous Axe-FX rackmount guitar rig modeler, is releasing its first ever floor unit: the FX8. Details are very scarce at the moment. In fact, the only news comes from Fractal’s message board where the company released a photo on the fly and very little other info. But users obviously began to ask the necessary questions. Here’s what Fractal eventually let slip.
Just effects. Specifically designed for [the 4 cable method] with dedicated pre- and post- paths. Up to 8 simultaneous effects. Any number assignable pre/post. Any combination of series or parallel routing. Two expression pedal inputs, four relay outputs. USB for remote editing with free FX8-Edit software. Silent Switch technology from the MFC Mark III. True Bypass. Etc., etc. Don’t drop it on your foot.
So it seems like the FX8 is an effects unit made to work in conjunction with an amp. It would be cool if they at least built a cabinet sim in there but that might be wishful thinking. Fractal did later confirm that the FX8 will handle channel switching on amplifiers, presumably via 1/4″ jacks but maybe through a custom DIN output like RJM’s Amp Gizmo.
Eventually it would be amazing if Fractal Audio Systems released a full Axe-FX unit in a floorboard, to increase the unit’s portability as a true rig in a suitcase. But until then, if you’re the type to chain 4 Eventide “factor” pedals and wish for a smaller solution, Fractal’s FX8 may be the new hot shit unit in that field. I’m looking forward to seeing how it compares with existing quality units like TC Electronic’s G-System or Nova System.
No price or release date has been announced yet, but Fractal says it’s coming “soon.”