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Thread: Axis comparisons and question

  1. #1

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    Axis comparisons and question

    So last night, I was comparing my three Axes (Axii?) side by side, and it was very interesting. I was prompted because my guitar teacher keeps raving about how the BFR sounds so much better than the other two. I assumed he was saying that because it's newer and he likes it better than the other two. They all have the same pickups and materials, so it couldn't be that much different, right?

    To my surprise, I discovered that the BFR does indeed have a fuller, richer sound than the other two. It's a very subtle difference from the Starry Night, and I would expect a little variation there due to the different materials, wiring and trem. So not a huge surprise.

    What I wasn't prepared for was the massive difference between the BFR and my original Axis. Side by side my No. 1 sounds very thin and tinny. I was a little stunned because the differences between the two material-wise are mainly cosmetic -- same pickups, same woods. The only real differences are stainless frets, the newer-style trem on the BFR (which I love for the ease of going Drop D with the fine tuner) and the setup.

    The action seems to be the common denominator between the two that sound better. It's a good bit lower on my No. 1 than on the BFR and the Starry Night, which are set just as they arrived. I've been thinking about lowering the action on the BFR a hair, but now I'm thinking I may need to raise the action on No. 1. I can certainly see that making some difference, but could it really make that much difference?
    My stuff:
    2007 Axis Pacific Blue Burst (9/25/07)
    2016 Axis SS Starry Night PDN (11/23/16)
    2016 Axis SS Semi-Hollow Trans Teal one-off (6/8/16)
    2018 Axis BFR Steel Blue No. 45 (9/18/18)
    2010 JP6 Mystic Dream (6/22/10)
    1989 Fender HM Strat HSS Blackstone
    2016 Gibson Les Paul Studio Deluxe Caribbean Night
    1995 Washburn N2 Padauk Stain
    2017 Taylor 224ce-K DLX Koa
    SBMM JP70 Trans Purpleburst
    SBMM S.U.B. SB4 Black

    http://mountainkingmusic.com
    http://spychocyco.blogspot.com

  2. #2

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    It could be the action in part or it could be a combination of that along with the individual pieces of wood and how it resonates. I have been fortunate enough to play a large assortment of the same exact model EBMM alongside each other (sometimes 2 or 3, sometimes even 7 or 8 depending on what we have in stock), and they are very consistent... BUT, there have always been one or two that truly stand out from the others. My guess is this is what you have, one of the diamonds!
    Have you got G.A.S. for another EBMM???
    Visit the all new
    https://DUBALDOMUSIC.com! <--- My Store --->DuBaldo Music on Facebook & on twitter
    Do you want to TRADE your used EBMM in for a NEW one? -- Email me for details!
    pete@dubaldomusic.com <--- My email
    www.YELLOW9.com <--- My band

  3. #3

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    Funny, I was just playing my BFR axis the other day and thought it was tight and darker (like mahogany, IMO) and my regular axis was beautiful airy and resonant. Same PUs.

    I can't imagine action affecting tone, other than perhaps the strings close to the fret wire reducing some of the vibration.
    '97 Axis Sport Transparent Purple (HSS, Floyd)
    '11 JP6 Pearl White (Loaded)
    '11 Axis Purple Quilt
    '12 PDN Axis Honey Burst
    '12 SM-Y2D Purple Sunset (Floyd)
    '12 JPX Barolo

    MY MUSIC is on Facebook and Reverbnation.

  4. #4

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    Action does make a difference. As the years go by, I've become more and more comfortable with slightly higher action. It lets the strings ring easier and changes the way you play. Also makes it easier to 'grab' a string for bends and vibrato.. blues / rock style.
    But it really depends on your style and type of music you play.
    I can also vouch for Pete's comment, in that I've had opportunity a number of times to try up to 6-7 guitars of the same exact model, and in my experience, every one had a unique tone & personality.
    Oh yeah, and different strings can make a big difference too...
    Balls are Best!!

  5. #5

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    I broke out my ruler last night and set the OG Axis up to the exact string height of the BFR. It definitely has a fuller sound at that height, but still doesn't match the BFR. I'm going to re-string it tonight because the strings are on the old side, but I think Pete might be right about my BFR.
    My stuff:
    2007 Axis Pacific Blue Burst (9/25/07)
    2016 Axis SS Starry Night PDN (11/23/16)
    2016 Axis SS Semi-Hollow Trans Teal one-off (6/8/16)
    2018 Axis BFR Steel Blue No. 45 (9/18/18)
    2010 JP6 Mystic Dream (6/22/10)
    1989 Fender HM Strat HSS Blackstone
    2016 Gibson Les Paul Studio Deluxe Caribbean Night
    1995 Washburn N2 Padauk Stain
    2017 Taylor 224ce-K DLX Koa
    SBMM JP70 Trans Purpleburst
    SBMM S.U.B. SB4 Black

    http://mountainkingmusic.com
    http://spychocyco.blogspot.com

  6. #6

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    I've found that pickup height can make for a noticeable difference in output. I realize there shouldn't be "any" difference between these, but maybe?
    SUB AX3 TBL/M
    AX30D CRB
    SILO 30D
    (They're better at being guitars than I am at playing them... lol )

  7. #7

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    Some guitars just sound better than others

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by beej View Post
    Some guitars just sound better than others
    That's the bottom line....
    Balls are Best!!

  9. #9

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    Wood is organic.

  10. #10

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    And Axis BFR Have mahogany tone block if I’m not mistaken so not exact same wood.
    EVH Hardtail Red 1995
    Axis Sport SSS Trem Transparent Purple 1998
    Axis Sport MM90 Trem Transparent Orange 1999
    Axis SS Hardtail Piezo Honeyburst 2007
    Albert Lee MM90 Hardtail Dargie Delight 2007
    Bongo 4HH Stealth 2007
    BFR 25th Anniversary Venetian Red burst 2009

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